The science behind a climate headline

In 4 minutes, atmospheric chemist Rachel Pike provides a glimpse of the massive scientific effort behind the bold headlines on climate change, with her team — one of thousands who contributed — taking a risky flight over the rainforest in pursuit of data on a key molecule.

So, I’m starting a project for one of my courses–namely, Climate Change in the 21st century with Stewart Cohen–and I’m really interested in how media representations of climate change inform (or misinform) the public conversation. This is obviously an overly broad topic at this moment, however, my preliminary research is already turning up some fascinating stuff.

Pike’s brief talk has given me a glimpse at how much work can go into a very specific scientific pursuit. How do you fairly represent this kind of work  in a daily news story? How do you make it interesting and accessible in a feature?

Anyway, as a non-scientist, such a massive concerted effort was beyond the purview of my imagination. This clip helped me put things in perspective. It’s worth a watch.

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