Science shows humans have left the stable patterns of former climates. From the Stockholm Resilience Center, Owen Gaffney explains. As Australia burns with heat, Tasmanian scientist David Bowman reveals great regions of the world where fire will strike.

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They call it “the great acceleration”. In 1950 human activity departed from the old cycle of ice and warmer times into a new geological age. We don’t know what it will be like, or how far it will go toward an ice-free world. But now we have the formula – in science presented in this program.

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Find more links to follow up on both guests in this full blog.

The Great Acceleration



In recent years, extremely dangerous and damaging fires have dominated the news in many parts of the world. A major forest fire ripped through Chile. The oil sands city of Fort MacMurray Canada was almost destroyed. In 2023, Canada set an all-time record for the amount of forests burned. Areas the size of European countries burned. Are mega fires increasing? Will we see even more as the world warms?

There is research out about that. The title of a paper published February 6, 2017 in the journal Nature is “Human exposure and sensitivity to globally extreme wildfire events“. We’ve reached the lead author, Dr. David Bowman.

David Bowman is Professor of Environmental Change Biology, at the University of Tasmania’s School of Plant Science. He’s a visiting Fellow or Adjunct Professor at three other Australian Universities. In my mind, David is one of the world’s great experts on wildfires. Listen and learn.

Download or listen to this interview with David Bowman in CD Quality or Lo-Fi



As Hurricane Beryl rakes the Caribbean as the earliest Cat 4 and Cat 5 storm in our long records – I collect two of the world’s best hurricane experts, MIT’s Kerry Emanuel and Dr. Jeff Masters to explain how they work and what to expect as world oceans heat up even more.

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