UW Program on Climate Change Director LuAnne Thompson on being a climate scientist

LuAnne ThompsonThe College of the Environment’s LuAnne Thompson, a faculty member in the School of Oceanography and the director of the Program on Climate Change, has dedicated her career to researching the ocean’s role in climate variability. Having recently returned from France, where she delved into the specifics of measuring an interpreting sea levels from radar altimetry with her academic peers, Thompson reflects on her feelings about the state of climate science and her hopes for the future of climate science outreach and education.

“The larger problem that we face is that we have not communicated how science is done: that is that scientists are skeptics at heart. We all question our results repeatedly, we are compelled to do additional model runs, laboratory experiments, and acquire new data sets,” she says. “This is why scientific papers are years in the making. And yet, we all feel like we have to be an expert in all areas of climate science in order to be able to answer any question that is thrown to us. Maybe part of the answer is to communicate why we trust the scientific enterprise, and why the results of hundreds of scientific peer reviewed papers back up what we know about climate change science.”

Check out the full piece at Program on Climate Change.

(The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Washington or UW College of the Environment.)

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