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3rd of May 2023
ATNF Colloquium
How astronomers can be part of the solution to climate change
Travis Rector (University of Alaska)
Abstract: From a social, environmental, and political standpoint climate change is the most important scientific topic of our time. Fortunately we can still avoid the worst consequences, but we need to take swift action. The good news is that climate change can be solved, and astronomers are especially well suited to make a difference. Through the classes we teach and our public outreach we can, and should, take the opportunity to help people understand the causes and consequences of, and solutions to, climate change.

We also need to address that astronomy as a profession is a contributor to climate change. From supercomputing, air travel, and operations we are responsible for an outsized carbon footprint. Astronomy is also being affected by climate change, from the increased risk of forest fires to the stability of the atmospheric conditions at our observatories. How should astronomers change how we work in order to reduce our carbon footprint? How should we adapt to the impacts of climate change and proposed mitigation efforts? And how can we make changes that improve the equity and productivity of our profession? In my talk I will discuss the roles that astronomers can– and are– playing in addressing the climate crisis.

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