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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Decoding climate patterns

At a time, when ‘climate’ and the rapid changes it undergoes is making headlines everyday, let’s get to know about the people who unveil the best and worst sides of this newsmaker
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The scientist who analyses climate patterns over a period of time in a particular area is called a climatologist or simply climate scientist. He/she analyses various factors including weather and its impact on the environment. This understanding will help people to adapt to the changes in the surroundings. The field also includes the study of water, atmosphere, and geology. Climatology is the study of atmospheric changes

They analyse data from ice cores, soil, water, air, and plant life to find patterns in weather and learn how those patterns affect the Earth and its inhabitants.

Here is a look some climatologists from different part of the world.

James Edward Hansen, an American climate scientist, was one of the firsts to throw light on global warming and the dangers of climate change. Touted as the father of climate change awareness, he called the much-discussed Paris Agreement ‘fraud’.

He was not just a professor and a scientist, but also an activist who has courted arrests fighting against mountaintop mining and Keystone pipeline extension. He is a retired head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, a part of the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. He has published several papers on the planet Venus. He is the director of a Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions programme at Columbia University's Earth Institute. This programme creates public awareness to advocate policy actions. He wrote his first book in 2009 on global warming. Called Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity , it is about threats to people and organisms on earth from global warming.

Hansen has presented an optimistic way of dealing with global warming, focusing on non-CO2 gases and black carbon for now, thereby giving more time to make reductions in fossil fuel emissions.

Gordon Hamilton

Gordon Hamilton, a Scottish climate scientist, is remembered by his colleagues as someone who would be willing to court danger to do the job he loved – studying glaciers. He passed away recently while conducting one of his researches. On a trip to Antarctica when his snowmobile fell into a crevasse. Hamilton, a glaciologist at the University of Maine, is a doctorate from the University of Cambridge.

His research focused on the impact of a warming climate on sea levels.

Work of a climate scientists also involve physical risks. They may have to travel to remote regions to better understand the effects of warming on the natural world.

Veerabhadran Ramanathan

An engineer from India, Veerabhadran Ramanathan is a professor of Applied Ocean Sciences and director of the Center for Atmospheric Sciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. Among his other contributions to atmospheric science, the scientist is recognised for discovering the greenhouse effect of CFCs in 1975. He also predicted insights into global warming as early as 1980. He led an international assessment on the climate effects of non-CO2 greenhouse gases and concluded that they are as important as CO2 to global climate change.

Veerabhadran’s other important findings include the cooling effect of clouds. He has developed light weight unmanned aerial vehicles to track pollution in Asia and North America. Teaming up R. K Pachauri, he initiated a World Bank sponsored project to reduce soot emissions from the transportation sector in India.

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