The Board of Directors is the leading body of the Climanosco Association after the General Assembly. It operates under the Association’s Statutes and is composed of experienced climate scientists and of members who come from different fields (non-climate scientists). The current Board of Directors was formed after election of its members by the Constitutive Assembly on the 9th July 2015 (see announcement). It is composed of the members of the former, temporary Advisory Committee plus the founder, Michel Bourqui.
Climanosco‘s Board of Directors is strong of nine members; we are very proud to present them hereafter (alphabetic order).
My name is Cassandra Bolduc and I am a PhD candidate in Physics at University of Montréal, Canada. I am studying the variability of the solar spectrum in the ultraviolet and of the total irradiance. I also had the chance to be co-supervised by Dr. Bourqui and to study the influence of solar variability on stratospheric chemistry. Though I do not consider myself a climate or atmospheric scientist, I am sure that my background in physics and solar-terrestrial relations would be useful to the Climanosco community. I can easily put myself in the position of someone from the public because I am not a specialist of atmospheric sciences or climate, while I am able to understand the science behind.
I see Climanosco as the future reference for anyone looking for answers that are clear while being backed up by scientist. The different point of views would be reflected, so that the general public will know how science works and how theories and hypothesis are verified. This would help, I think, showing that discussions is part of the scientific method and that our knowledge is always evolving. I imagine all points of view being represented, proportionally to their popularity among the scientific community. I also wish that the public will get a better understanding of how complex the atmosphere and the climate are, so they know how difficult it is to predict their future, but also to get them interested to know more about them. I hope that the public will develop a sense of responsibility by knowing how our lifestyle can affect climate change, and that this journal will become a reference and a source of information for our policy makers.
Michel Bourqui (President)
I am a physicist with 15 years experience in scientific research on atmospheric processes. During this time, I worked as a research fellow in Switzerland and the UK, and as a professor at McGill University in Canada. Through my scientific career, I have been struck by the lack of connection between the scientific world and the world in which most people live. This lack of connection has so far left most people around the world short of knowledge on climate processes, despite their increasing impacts and our increasing scientific knowledge. Since my return in Zurich (Switzerland) late 2012, I have been increasingly using my time to work on ideas that can help improve this connection.
As founder of Climanosco, my goal is to make our scientific knowledge on climate processes accessible to everyone in a non-scientific language. As is true for most scientific disciplines with intensive research activities, this knowledge is nothing static. It is developing in a highly dynamical manner at different research institutes and universities around the world, through small and big steps. Its hypotheses and results are always again revisited, re-explored and re-evaluated by climate scientists. This process of knowledge development is hard to cast into a classical journalistic framework without losing much if its substance. I believe that only the climate scientists who work every day on developing this knowledge can communicate this knowledge in a faithful manner. For this to happen, we need to develop a community which works together at shifting the old paradigm. Several initiatives are currently emerging here and there in this direction. Climanosco is one of them, unique of its kind, tackling this challenge one step at a time.
Farid Ait Chaalal
I am an atmospheric dynamicist currently working as a modeller of weather and climate risks for the re/insurance industry. I have a Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences from McGill University and several years of postdoctoral experience in atmospheric and climate dynamics in North America and in Europe. My academic research aimed at exploring fundamental questions about the atmosphere. For example: what controls the strength of storms; or what determines the vertical structure of the atmosphere? I also investigated novel approaches to computing climate statistics directly, rather than through aggregation of “simulated weather”, as is currently done in climate research. Exploring these questions involved both numerical modelling and theory. My current position as a risk modeller is making me familiar with observational climate science without losing grip on climate modeling.
I am passionate about knowledge. As a researcher and modeller, an important component of my job is to make knowledge relevant and useful to stakeholders and to the general public. And I think this is also one of the missions of Climanosco.
I see Climanosco as a bridge between scientists and non-scientists. This is a formidable asset to make it a successful endeavour because the pursuit of knowledge is, in essence, a public service. Climanosco is a direct channel where scientists educate non-scientists to climate science and to scientific thinking. And through this channel, scientists also learn from non-scientists: what are their needs; What matters for them? I am happy to see that many early career scientists are already involved in Climanosco. Popularizing science contributes to becoming a better scientist because explaining elaborate concepts from the basics reveals what is not truly understood and forces to deepen one’s and everyone’s knowledge.
I am an astrophysicist by training, a solar physicist by practice, and currently hold a Faculty position in the Physics Department at the University of Montreal, Canada. For now close to 25 years I have carried out research on the physical mechanisms driving solar magnetic activity. More recently I have become interested in modeling the variations of the solar radiative output across changing levels of magnetic activity levels, and quantifying the impacts such variations may have on the Earth’s upper atmosphere. My interest in climate change stems naturally from these research interests, but also from deeply held concerns regarding the future well-being of my children, and their children’s children’s children.
The debate regarding the importance of human impact on climate may be deemed closed by the vast majority of climate scientists, but policy makers as well as the general public continue to be exposed to a flow of confusing, contradictory claims, more often than not driven by agendas that are primarily political. Of particular importance, in my opinion, is to explain why it is still not yet possible to quantify the impact of solar activity on climate in a physically sound manner. In science there is nothing wrong with saying “We don’t know”, but it is our duty to explain WHY we don’t know. Climanosco appears to me an excellent vehicle towards achieving that goal.
I come from Switzerland but now I live in The Netherlands. I am doing a PhD there! I am working on visual risk communication. This means that I am trying to find the best solutions to communicate natural hazards such as floods and landslides to the population using visualization! Maybe this description is a bit technical. To be simple to goal is to help people to know how to react if such disasters occurs. I hope to contribute at least a little bit to make people safer! I chose this education because it requires to be in contact with people, getting to know them and understand their culture. And I also like to do that in my free time: my favorite activities are traveling the world and meet new people, read novels that will take me places where I cannot go physically, keep informed on what’s going on in the world and see as much as art as possible to access emotions that cannot be transmitted only with worlds!
Climanosco is a very important initiative because it aims a bridging several gaps. The most important to me is to make climate sciences accessible to the public. While talking to my entourage and during my PhD field work, I realized that first climate change is not understood properly, secondly that people do not understand why scientists do not provide unequivocal answers to their questions about the topic. Therefore I imagine Climanosco as a website that would provide understandable scientific works for the public and would answer public questions I also imagine it as a website that would benefit to the scientists by providing a peer reviewed process of a high quality and give them the incentive to participate more actively to the public outreach of this topic.
My name is Severine Günter and I am from Switzerland. I am a self-employed therapist with a federal diploma in naturopathy.
When I first heard of Climanosco, I got very excited. Getting access to reliable, comprehensible and neutral information about the climate was exactly what I have been looking for. I am deeply concerned about how our lifestyle interferes with the ecosystem. Nowadays, information is only one click away but as a non-scientific person it is hard to keep track of something as complex as the climate. Journalists know how to write but they are non-scientific persons too. Manuscripts written by scientists on the other hand are often confusingly complicated. There has to be another way of getting important and complex information across! Climate change and its long-term implications are real and affect us all. If I am to change my behaviour I need to know why and how. It is my responsibility to adapt to climate change, but I think it is the science’s duty to provide reliable information to everyone who cares about the future of our planet. Especially politicians as well as leaders of global enterprises should have access to independent information. To me, Climanosco is the answer. My vision for Climanosco is for it to be an officially acknowledged independent institution, sharing its knowledge with scientific and non-scientific persons alike and thus creating even more awareness for the challenges that lie ahead.
I am an academic in the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds, UK. Trained as a physicist, I use computer models to study the evolution of the climate through the geological past. I specialise in simulating warm climates of last 50 million years, particularly focussing on the causes of climate and Earth system changes. On these timescales geological changes are just as important as greenhouse gases, but climate models fail to capture the scale of warming without greenhouse gas increases. I am also trained in glaciology and combine models of ice sheets and icebergs with climate models, to understand the connection between warm periods of the past and ice sheet changes. Through this research we can understand the workings of climate in warmer than modern, high CO2 worlds.
My vision for Climanosco is that it would be a key tool in the communication between climate scientists and the general public. That it would enable scientists to communicate their research simply, to a general audience, without the need for tabloid journalism. That the public would have a reliable, peer-reviewed source of cutting-edge climate science, which is written without the complex language of most scientific journals and accessible to all. That those who have genuine questions about climate issues and the state of current climate science would have a trusted source of information and a forum for raising their questions. That teachers could use the latest results from climate scientists around the world within the classroom, safe in the knowledge that they are using a recognised and reliable source. I hope that Climanosco will become more than a scientific communication journal and find ways to incorporate creative projects, provide the spark for citizen science and engage a whole new community with climate science.
Angélica Lòpez Gladko
Angélica is a trained Environmentalist with additional education in International Development Cooperation. She has collected hands-on experience in International Cooperation and Climate Change Adaptation in multicultural Environments at community, country and regional levels. Having lived in Nicaragua, Russia, Switzerland and Cuba has allowed her to develop important intercultural sensitiveness and strengthen her language skills. Her life main goal is being happy while contributing to a more sustainable society.
Angélica sees Climanosco as a Global Platform of dialog and solution – oriented discussion between Scientists, who bring knowledge from their Research, and non Scientists, who bring concrete questions about and experience in Climate Change. This platform will be a contribution to find balance between our way of living and the Climate.
I work in the field of climate model analysis, specializing in uncertainty of simulated extremes by regional climate models. I presently work at Ouranos in Montréal, a research consortium that focuses on two main themes: Climate Science and Vulnerabilities, Impacts and Adaptation to climate change. My present research focus is on the application of probabilistic climate scenarios for the assessment of various impacts and adaptation studies.
Climanosco strive to become the main source of information for the main questions asked by the general public, journalist, politician and early career scientist. To do so, Climanosco will provide factual resources about the main climate themes (“What is Climate Change?” “How Climate Change will affect my life?” “What are the adaptation needed?” “What adaptation technique have been used elsewhere?”), as well as the impacts of climate change on the local population or stakeholders. Moreover, Climanosco should strive to become a hub for general (or detailed) publicly available climate scenarios relevant for local population around the world. My vision for Climanosco is a place where we can get the information, the climatic data, the climate scenarios and some useful adaptation ideas at the same place.
I am physicist and graduated with PhD in atmospheric science. Although I left academia quite some while ago, I will always be a scientist in my heart and passionate about contributing my part in mitigating dangerous levels of climate change. I started adult education on the root causes, the processes and the dangers of climate change back in 2007, when I initiated a lecture series in several facilities in Germany. I composed a 1-hour lecture. I rapidly acknowledged the need for choosing a language that is understandable by a non-academic audience and received very good feedback on my talks. Since then, I had the opportunity to talk about climate science to very diverse audiences and started to understand the complexity and importance of proper communication in this topic.
In terms of my professional life, I graduated from the St. Gallen MBA program in 2014, in which the connection of sustainability and business was a definite focus. I dedicated by MBA thesis on investigating business cases for electric energy battery storage, a key enabler to facilitate high levels of renewable energy grid penetration. I learnt that most islands in the world have a terrible energy mix, most often totally fossil fuel dependent and back by Diesel generators. Employing energy storage in a smart way, islands could get to 100 % renewable power today, exploiting an appropriate mix of wind, solar and biomass sources. Today, I enjoy working in a global consulting firm and I believe that being part of a global firm network, I can bring valuable insights to needs and current interest of businesses in climate change.
I like to see Climanosco as the number one global organization that informs the greater public on the scientific understanding of climate change, covering identical areas as IPCC: scientific basis, vulnerability of socio-economic and natural systems, and options for mitigating climate change. For me, all of these topics belong together because only when considering all of them, any “so what” questions may be answered. The scientific basis makes people curious to learn more, learn, what this all means for their daily, individual lives, and for greater society. I believe, expanding Climanosco’s scientific network to the areas of IPCC Working Groups II and III, bears the great potential to deliver answers to interested consumers of Climanosco’s content.