National Geographic Show Spotlights SCCC Experts

By Jessica Patino


Science experts from across the globe were chosen to contribute to the National Geographic program, “The Worst Weather Ever” were they discussed the effects of climate change on recent extreme weather events. 

“National Geographic had shown various extremes in weather phenomena, and then had science experts discuss what linkage climate change had to these events. Some events such as drought, fire, floods, and sea level rise are very much connected to a warmer climate. I helped National Geographic in 2012 with their super storm Sandy documentary. They included me in the program because I co-founded the Climate Science Rapid Response Team, which connects scientists to media and lawmakers,” Professor Scott Mandia, professor of physical sciences, said.

The polar ice caps melting could be a result of global warming. “Extremes in costly, deadly weather events are being increased due to human-caused climate change. If we keep burning coal, oil, and gas for our primary energy needs, this show about extremes will, down the road, be a show about the normal. The Poles are rapidly warming – faster than anywhere else on Earth. We may see no ice at the North Pole during the summer by the year 2025 or sooner. Polar bears use sea ice to hunt. With less sea ice they have fewer hunting grounds and are eating less, starvation results,” Mandia said.

Some science experts are still in a vigorous debate as to whether global warming is a threat to humanity.”Humans cannot do anything about the natural or unnatural course of weather patterns, but they are dominating the natural processes of Earth. We have control over what we are doing. Disasters will always occur, but it is irresponsible that we are making them worse.There is no informed debate that humans are overloading the air with too much carbon and that this carbon is causing the planet to dramatically warm. The amount of CO2 that is added to the air every day by human activities, primarily from burning fossil fuels, is equal to the amount of oil spilled by 15,000 Gulf Oil Spills per day. Virtually every publishing scientist, and all international science academies agree on this. It has been known that for nearly 200 years increased levels of CO2 warms the planet. The link between global warming and some extremes is well understood while others such as tornadoes still needs more data to ascertain the linkage,” Mandia said.

Recent technology has made monitoring extreme weather patterns more accessible.”For large-scale weather events such as floods, fires droughts, and hurricanes, we have satellites that monitor nearly the entire Earth’s surface, so we can easily see these extremes,” Mandia said.

Scientists suggest there are ways to help prevent global warming. ” People could begin by energy efficiency, get rid of those old light bulbs Drive a more fuel-efficient car and make climate change a voting issue, and vote,” Mandia said.

The Ammerman Campus basketball team members’ were also featured in the National Geographic program.”They were used to appearing on TV for sporting events they played in, but this was the first science show they were featured in. The footage was filmed at the Grant Campus last June. The natural backdrop for my interview was also filmed there as well,” Mandia said.

“I thought it was great that the program featured members of the SCCC Men’s Basketball team. A real sense of pride came over me when I viewed the program. Professor Mandia and members of the SCCC men’s basketball team working together to educate others on such an important topic will have long term benefits to the community. I consider global warming not only to be a threat to humanity, but possibly the greatest threat there is. I think the most important thing people can do to help eradicate climate change is to become more informed. It’s important to educate oneself in order to take action or make a change,” Victor Correa, head coach of the men’s basketball team, said.

“I think it was a great idea including the basketball team members to assist in visualizing the concepts of climate change. When academics and athletics are combined it is a step in the right direction,” Kevin Foley interim director of athletics, said.

The Worst Weather Ever program will be aired on National Geographic and available for purchase for those who missed it. “It will appear occasionally on National Geographic television for a few months, but then only be available for sale through the National Geographic store,” Mandia said.

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