055 – David Karoly – Climate Change

In this episode, I talk to Professor David Karoly, Federation Fellow at the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne in Australia – and who is also a lead author for the IPCC (Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change) report on global warming.

We discusses climate change – what is it, what causes it, what are the effects, and how it relates to Australia and the world. David also mentions some topical thoughts about Ross Garnaut and what his report should state to the federal government, and answers some climate change skeptic questions.

What should our emission targets be? What are the timings of the impact of emissions?

We also talk about some fallacies – did you know that Japan, with an arguably much higher standard of living than many western nations, has half the per capita greenhouse emissions per person compared to Australia or the US?

Listen in on this fascinating episode. The show is just over an hour long, but I thought it was important to publish it in it’s entirety in a single episode.

Download MP3 of Ep 55

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9 Comments to “055 – David Karoly – Climate Change”

  1. Interview with Prof David Karoly on Climate Change « SCIENCEPODCASTERS.ORG Says:

    […] most recent episode of Brains Matter features an interview with Professor David Karoly, one of the lead authors of the IPCC report on global […]

  2. mike Says:

    Great podcast Ordinary Guy. I agree that the science is overwhelming that humans must carry some responsibility for contributing to the greenhouse effect, leading to global warming. I think the science is underwhelming as to the degree of that impact, and accordingly the extent to which a reversal of our carbon output would have a significant impact on the trend.

    I would like to hear a discussion about the extent to which the recent (geologically speaking) drift of the earth’s magnetic poles (see the huge shift that has happened, presumably coincidently with the onset of the industrial revolution at http://www.physics.sfasu.edu/astro/img/northpoledrift.gif) and the resulting weakening of our natural magnetosphere shield from the suns rays has contributed to an increase in temperature. We know these magnetic reversals occur on average every 200,000 years and can happen quite quickly, and when it does happen, the protections it affords our planet are seriously diminished.

    My fear is that we take Kyoto-like steps that have an enormous economic and therefore human impact and the temperatures continue to rise because our magnetic protection shield is becoming weaker every day, leading to the Mars effect. Of course, I firmly believe we should do everything we can to reduce our carbon output by a great amount and in a relatively short period of time, but don’t oversell the payoff from those lifestyle changes.

    Thanks again.

  3. Ordinary Guy Says:

    Hi Mike,

    Professor Karoly responded to your query as follows:

    “The Earth’s magnetic field does not significantly influence visible solar
    radiation, which is the main warming influence from the sun. However, the
    magnetic field does protect the Earth from both the solar wind and from
    cosmic rays. The direct heating influence at the surface from solar wind and
    cosmic rays is negligible, so changes in the Earth’s magnetic field would
    have no influence on changes in the direct heating influence from the solar
    wind or from cosmic rays, as there is no such direct heating influence in
    the first place.

    A small number of scientists have tried to argue that changes in cosmic rays
    are related to changes in cloud cover, using short observational records and
    correlations. However, cosmic rays are well monitored and there is no
    recent long term trend in cosmic rays consistent with the observed global
    average warming since the start of the 20th century. Over the last 30 years,
    there is observed decreases in cosmic rays. At a time when temperature has
    increased substantially.”



  4. jeff Says:

    Professor Karoly’s interview I found very informative having just discovered Brains Matter. I’m interested to hear his comments on several subjects:

    1. What “dangerous climate change” may involve, since it seems all to likely now that this is the scenario that we are facing?
    2. His opinions on the several proposed geo-engineering solutions.
    3. Paleoclimatic evidence for the worst mass extinctions being driven by carbon dioxide rises of similar magnitude to those being experienced now.

    congratulations to BM.

  5. Ordinary Guy Says:


    I’ll get those questions to Prof. Karoly and let you know what his responses are


  6. Ordinary Guy Says:

    Answers to Jeff’s questions are in episode 66 of Brains Matter.

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  8. climate change Says:

    it is very important to take care our country protect the whole nation so that we all can prevent the natural natures especially government must do it in action rather than talk to much this can’t really help?global warming is very danger in the whole world,

  9. Interview with Prof David Karoly on Climate Change — SCIENCEPODCASTERS.ORG Says:

    […] all,The most recent episode of Brains Matter features an interview with Professor David Karoly, one of the lead authors of the IPCC report on global warming.Professor Karoly is the Federation […]


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