I am founder of the Purdue Weather and Climate Risk Internship program, which links our students to internship opportunities in the emerging job market of weather-dependent decision-making. This effort is funded by my NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award.
The policy-conscious scientist
I believe that scientists should have at least a basic understanding of their role in modern society. Below are a couple of books/sources that have guided me thusfar in my professional career.
- "The Honest Broker" by Roger Pielke, Jr. (2007) -- highly recommended
- "Why We Disagree About Climate Change" by Mike Hulme (2009)
- "How science makes environmental controversies worse" by Daniel Sarewitz (2004)
- "Do Scientists Understand the Public?" by Chris Mooney (2010)
- "When Scientists Politicize Science" by Roger Pielke, Jr. (2006)
"The Science of Global Warming" is a publicly-available PDF (hosted by Scribd, opens in new tab) that presents the fundamental physical basis for "global warming" -- i.e. the warming of the Earth's climate due to increases in the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide.
Ultimately, the scientific basis for global warming is founded upon two universal laws of physics: blackbody radiation and energetic equilibrium. These two laws, in conjunction with a couple of other basic physical principles (e.g. radiative transfer, convection), provide significant insight into the climate of a rocky planet like the Earth and can be used to understand the direct effects of changes in the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases. These laws are not specific to climate science but instead are physical laws of the universe and are thus uncontroversial.
Importantly, although this scientific basis is indisputable, the science can only help identify climate risks; how society chooses to respond to such risks (i.e. climate policy) is the domain not of science but of modern democracy and governance.
Note: This PDF is the product of several years of annual public presentations at MIT on the basic science of global warming. Many thanks go out to my collaborators Marty Singh and Tim Cronin, as well as those presenters who preceded us and provided some of the initial seed ideas/graphics for this work.