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Dr. Mark Z. Jacobson is an expert on global climate models and created one of the first.

In this podcast, he describes

  • how modeling took on more complexity over  the years and what its potential uses are,
  • why measuring electric car payback is also about health effects, not just an emissions versus production measurement, and
  • what states are approaching 100% renewable energy efforts and which technologies will get us there the fastest.

Dr. Jacobson is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University. He works on understanding air pollution and climate change issues and develops large-scale clean, renewable energy solutions. Currently, he’s working on a three-dimensional atmosphere, biosphere, and ocean computer model. He simulates air pollution, weather, and climate to enable renewable energy road maps for states to transfer to 100% renewal energy systems in the near future.

As a young person, he traveled to LA frequently and experienced physical effects of air pollution, inspiring him towards his present work. He’s still working on a model he started in grad school that tracks the “life cycle” of air pollution. In this conversation, he talks about the process of collecting emissions data from a gridded system that integrates anthropogenic emissions. He then adds natural emissions as well and weather predictions.  

He tells listeners that transportations is the biggest pollution emitter and why. He also explains that this not only causes the greenhouse effect, but also causes numerous health problems and thousands of deaths. Therefore, he reminds listeners, eliminating air pollution is a vital health issue.

Finally, he explains how his global climate models are scaled to state-wide systems to help governments reduce air pollution and climate change through suggested technologies.

For more, see his web page at Stanford. It contains links to his papers as well as a free online class he offers:

You can find him on twitter as @mzjacobson

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