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Moving the Climate Narrative Beyond the “doom and gloom” Keith Masback and Dr. Marshal Shepherd

“Climate is science.”

The way we discuss climate change is evolving.

The GeoIgnite, Winter Geo Conference, was honoured to have a livestream with Keith Masback, Principal of Plum Run LLC, and Dr. Marshall Shepherd, the Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor of Geography and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Georgia, and Director of the Atmospheric Sciences Program, on March 2, 2022. 

The talk addressed climate change and what happens when the climate meets the surface of the earth. It also addressed how the geospatial community can increase its atmospheric knowledge. 

His extensive experiences of Shepherd give him a wealth of knowledge. He says it is critical to convey the information gathered to policymakers, practitioners, and stakeholders. There seems to be a disconnect between science organizations and what the user community needs and wants. There is ample, good technology, but so much data, we need to find a way to extract and analyze the data so it can be used.

When asked if machines will take the human element out of telling the weather, Shepherd’s simple answer was, “No.” He explained humans know they are limited in the ability to analyze the vast amount of data received from satellites and radars. There is too much for us to handle. This is where machines come in. Machines don’t have the ability to read or detect the nuances of weather, so there will always be a place for humans in the decision-making part of the weather and climate discussion.

Shepherd discussed how during the summer, it is more humid. Since the climate is warming, there is more water vapor. Summer storms, and winter blizzards, “tap” into the extra water vapor and create the notorious deluges and blizzards. Floods happen, not just from the rain, but from the ground as well. There is rapid runoff because there is not as much infiltration into the ground. He discussed how the stormwater management systems need to be updated, with help from the geospatial community, to help redesign these systems

Shepherd wants to move the climate narrative beyond the “doom and gloom.” He says, “We know what we need to do, we just need to act.” He invites people to follow him on Twitter. 
To enjoy this entertaining and information-packed presentation from the GeoIgnite 2022, Winter Geo conference, you can watch it on YouTube below.

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