Predicting Climate Change

Jun 17, 2015

The Earth has been through many changes. We can see the evidence when we study the geological record, but looking ahead is harder.

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe explores the science of predicting climate change.  What do we know about the future of our planet, and how can we prepare for what is to come?

Nebbe talks with Gene Takle, an Iowa State University researcher who worked on the National Climate Assessment and uses a super computer to make calculations about our future. They also touch on why it is important to make calculations about the future.

"What used to be a hundred year flood in Iowa will, in the future, be a 24 year flood," says Takle. "The practices we used in the past will get us a return period of 24 years, so we'll have to replace bridges on a much more frequent interval if we don't pay attention to climate change."

Connie Mutel, a senior science writer at the IIHR Hydroscience and Engineering center, and Laura Jackson, director of the Tallgrass Prairie Center and professor of biology at the University of Northern Iowa also join the conversation.