How much of an impact does air travel have on climate change? What can be done about it? Through a hands-on demonstration and a short literature review, students consider the impacts and future of aviation. With data, students consider why climate communicators and scientists focus on carbon dioxide. This guide is an extension of the TILclimate episode "TIL about planes."
Today I Learned: Climate
TILclimate (Today I Learned: Climate) is an award-winning MIT podcast that breaks down the science, technologies, and policies behind climate change, how it’s impacting us, and what we can do about it. Each quick episode gives you the what, why, and how on climate change — from real scientists and experts — to help us make informed decisions for our future.
Carbon pricing, including cap-and-trade and carbon taxes, is one tool in the toolbox governments have to reduce the impacts of climate change. What kind of a tool is it? After an introduction to carbon pricing, students use an online simulator to investigate multiple pathways to a cooler future.
This Guide for Educators was developed by the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative as an extension of our TILclimate (Today I Learned: Climate) podcast, to make it easier for you to teach climate change, earth science, and energy topics in the classroom. It is an extension of the TILclimate episode "TIL about carbon pricing."
We hear about climate impacts all over the world, often in global terms. But what is happening where? And what will happen in our own communities? Students play a game to understand changes to precipitation. Then, using the US Climate Resilience Toolkit, they investigate local climate concerns and solutions.
This Guide for Educators was developed by the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative as an extension of our TILclimate (Today I Learned: Climate) podcast, to make it easier for you to teach climate change, earth science, and energy topics in the classroom. It is an extension of the TILclimate episode "TIL about climate impacts."
Earth's climate system is enormously complex, and scientists develop climate models to understand how climate change will play out in different parts of the world. Students play a climate resilience game, and then explore the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 5th Assessment Report to learn more about how climate scientists handle uncertainty in models. This guide is an extension of the TILclimate episode "TIL about uncertainty."
How do clouds form? How are clouds affected by (and how do they affect) climate change? Students create a cloud in the classroom, and then investigate climate models and real-time cloud observation data. This guide is an extension of the TILclimate episode "TIL about clouds."
Hurricanes are a fact of life for millions of Americans each year, and billions more people around the world. What is a hurricane, and how can we prepare for them? Through a model and student-level data, students explore the factors influencing storm frequency and intensity. They also consider the language of storms, as well as steps to resilience. This guide is an extension of the TILclimate episode "TIL about hurricanes."
Our modern world uses many different materials, often complexly constructed and difficult to recycle. Students investigate the elements in a smartphone and innovations in cement and steel. They also consider the challenge of communicating about large and complex numbers. This guide an extension of the TILclimate episode "TIL about materials."
Here at TILclimate (Today I Learned: Climate), there’s one question we get from our listeners more than any other: “What can I do to make a difference on climate change?” In this special episode of the podcast, three guests who have made acting on climate a big part of their lives join interim host Aaron Krol to share their stories and their advice for those who want to do more. Together, we discuss how to mobilize and inspire others, how small individual actions can lead to large societal ones, and why your contributions to a cooler, more resilient future can have benefits that aren’t just about rising seas or mounting heat waves.
“I love to travel. But I hate the fact that something I love to do, creates so much pollution.” In this episode of TILclimate (Today I Learned: Climate), MIT professor Steven Barrett and host Laur Hesse Fisher dig into how — and why — air travel impacts our earth’s climate, and what solutions are on the horizon. They explore the surprising heating effect of condensation trails (“contrails”), how computer simulations of the earth’s climate system are built, and what scientists and engineers are doing to make flying, well, less bad for the planet.
Humans have changed clouds: where they form, how much precipitation they produce, and how quickly it rains or snows. In this episode of TILclimate (Today I Learned: Climate), MIT professor Dan Cziczo joins host Laur Hesse Fisher to spell out why this is, and what this has to do with climate change. They explore how clouds form in the first place, how human activity has impacted cloud formation and rainfall, and what scientists are still trying to understand. They touch upon the emerging field of geoengineering and how humans could create more clouds to cool the planet -- but we’ll have full episode on that coming out soon.
Humans use around 90 billion metric tons of materials every year, creating about ⅓ of total global greenhouse gas emissions. Which materials produce the most emissions? You might be surprised.
Scientists predict that hurricanes will hit us harder in the future -- but why? And what can we expect to see? In this episode of #TILclimate (Today I Learned: Climate), MIT professor Kerry Emanuel joins host Laur Hesse Fisher to break down how these “heat engines” work and how a changing climate will increase hurricane intensity, storm surges, and flooding. They also explore how people around the world are adapting to growing hurricane risks.
How do we make choices in the face of uncertainty? In this episode of TILclimate (Today I Learned: Climate), MIT professor Kerry Emanuel joins host Laur Hesse Fisher to talk about climate risk. Together, they break down why the climate system is so hard to predict, what exactly scientists mean when they talk about “uncertainty”, and how scientists quantify and assess the risks associated with climate change. Although this uncertainty shrinks every day — as researchers refine their work, computing power grows, and models improve — what we do and how quickly we act will ultimately come down to how much risk we are willing to accept.
With climate change, some parts of the world will get more water, but others will experience droughts. Some will start seeing more mosquitoes, but some fewer. And some regions might actually benefit economically. What’s the deal? In this episode of TILclimate (Today I Learned: Climate), MIT professor Elfatih Eltahir joins host Laur Hesse Fisher to talk about how climate impacts will differ across the globe. Together, they do a quick world tour, exploring how climate change will affect malaria in Africa, water availability in the Nile, and heat waves in Southern Asia.
What exactly is a carbon price, and how does it work? What would it look like and how would it change everyday life? In this episode of TILclimate (Today I Learned: Climate), MIT economics professor Christopher Knittel joins host Laur Hesse Fisher to break down the complexities of carbon pricing. Together, they explain different types of programs, give us a sense of how much it would cost, and explore how countries and U.S. states are experimenting with carbon pricing now.
When talking about climate change solutions, we often hear about reducing emissions and adapting to climate impacts, but a third option is starting to get more attention: altering the atmosphere. In this episode of TILclimate (Today I Learned: Climate), MIT alumnus Janos Pasztor joins host Laur Hesse Fisher to explain geoengineering: what it is and the different technologies that are being researched. They also dive into the opportunities and challenges presented by geoengineering, and what difficult decisions we might need to make as a society.
Is it too late to prevent climate change? Are the scary predictions that we hear about inevitable? In this episode of TILclimate (Today I Learned Climate), MIT Prof. Noelle Selin joins host Laur Hesse Fisher to answer these questions. They explore what change is predictable, explain what climate goals like 1.5 C mean, and give insight to what it will take in order to achieve them.
The electric grid are networks that carry electricity from central power plants to our homes. But how exactly is electricity generated and brought to our door? And what needs to change if we’re going to transition to generating “clean” electricity? In this episode of TILclimate (Today I Learned: Climate), Harvey Michaels, lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management, joins host Laur Hesse Fisher to explain the history and perhaps surprising features of the electric grid, and what changes are in store for the future.
Fossil fuels -- coal, natural gas, and oil -- provide the large majority of our power in the United States and around the world. In this episode of TILclimate (Today I Learned: Climate), John Reilly of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change joins host Laur Hesse Fisher to demystify fossil fuels: what are the different kinds of fossil fuels, and how do they compare to each other? What is “fracking” and how did impact energy use and CO2 emissions in the United States? What kinds of decisions do we need to make to transition to clean energy, while providing electricity to a growing number of people?
In this mini-episode of TILclimate (Today I Learned: Climate), host Laur Hesse Fisher breaks down what we’re actually talking about when we use the word “energy”. In a few minutes, we cover the difference between energy and electricity, and the big picture strategy for how to reduce CO2 for each.