Visualizing Climate Change – Live Blogging UBC Climate Change Symposia

More from the Panel on Accelerating Solutions to Climate Change

11:40am – Dr. Stephen Sheppard talked about using visuals and community engagement to increase awareness of the impacts and urgency of climate change issues.

Using the drama of pictures, Dr. Sheppard showed images of future worlds. The key was that these pictures are of your own local pictures of your own local communities. For example, pictures of sea level changes that cause flooding in your own neighborhood in Delta…. or pictures of how the ice cap on our local mountains might change given different climate change models. These pictures show practical aspects of climate change on the local scale (that hold up to the scrutiny of science) but also highlight social aspects that might not be otherwise be evident. For example, the fact that your community might lose it’s seaside view because of the higher sea wall that needs to be built.

With these community outreach initiatives, Dr. Sheppard has found that this process helps with increasing awareness – this visual process has impact, shifts attitudes to the problem of climate change is NOW. The pictures are indeed very moving… I’ll try and get some copies of the simulations that Dr. Shepard presented so that you can look at them yourself. I find that these images of climate change are pretty addictive. Dr. Sheppard did make an important point that the context that these visuals were presented is very important. See for yourself…

In the meantime, you can check out the project website:

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Joanne often gets really excited when she talks about Science. Luckily, she works in the Advanced Molecular Biology Laboratory, the educational arm of the Michael Smith Labs. She likes all kinds of science but has a special spot in her heart for biology, technology, and well, sports. As a scientist and educator at UBC, she hopes that she never becomes so specialized that she loses her global perspective. (When she gets around to writing an intro post, I'm sure that she'll link to it here).