92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Sunday, 22 January 2012
Promoting Climate Literacy: An Inside Look At Measuring Greenhouse Gasses
Hall E (New Orleans Convention Center )
Stacey M. Hitchcock, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and J. Turnbull, P. Tans, and P. Lang

Improving public understanding of the climate system and the changes that have occurred since 1750 is a crucial step towards future mitigation and adaptation to the changing climate. Increases in greenhouse gasses are the driver of current climate change and scientific understanding of their sources, sinks, and effects is a key part of predicting future climate change. Additionally, the measurements of certain greenhouse and other gasses help provide an understanding of their flow in the atmosphere. An informative yet interactive online outreach project was created to help the public explore the importance of measuring and understanding specific greenhouse gasses, as well as the care taken in the measurement process. The sources, sinks, and properties of four key greenhouse gasses as well as two additional key gasses were explained in order to explain the motivations for the measurements preformed by the group. Working closely with members of the Carbon Cycle Greenhouse Gasses (CCGG) group, complicated scientific processes were explained using creative relationships to everyday processes and activities. The importance that the group places on measurement precision was explained through discussion of how standards are used at many steps throughout the measurement process. Coordination with the ESRL outreach personnel and presentation experiences have allowed sharing and critique of the content and presentation style of the material prior to its appearance on the ESRL outreach page.

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