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Apr 21, 2005 (From the CalCars-News archive)
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Science Friday > Archives > 2005 > April > April 22, 2005, Hour One:
Earth Day 2005: Climate Change Update / Plug-in Hybrids
I'm scheduled to be on at 11:40 Pacific, 2:40 Eastern (see links at CalCars to streaming media)­pages/­2005/­Apr/­hour1_042205.html

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2-4 pm Eastern

Friday, April 22nd marks the 35th anniversary of Earth Day, a day in 1970 made famous for mass participation in environmental demonstrations and educational events. The organizers of that first Earth Day estimate that as many as 20 million Americans participated. In this hour of Science Friday, we'll take a look at environmental topics both on a global and on a local scale.

First, we'll think globally, and talk about the effects of climate change around the world. New research published this week in the journal Science indicates that glaciers in Antarctica are on a steady retreat. We'll talk about the new work, and about how much of that retreat can be attributed to changes in the climate. We'll also talk with Michael Mann, a climate scientist responsible for a climate model that some call the 'hockey stick.' The model has been the target of criticism by some who don't believe that manmade climate change is occurring. We'll also speak with a journalist who has traveled around the world investigating climate change effects.

Antarctic glaciers. Image courtesy British Antarctic Survey.

We'll also take a look at the way one California group is acting locally to change their environmental impact. Though the low-emissions Prius hybrid car may seem pretty green already, a group of concerned drivers has worked out a way to adapt their cars to run entirely off their battery capacity for short trips, leaving the combustion engine in their hybrids turned off.

These plug-in Priuses take their power from the electric grid -- which, some say, can provide cleaner power than the car's own engine. We'll talk about the project, and about why such hybrid cars aren't designed from the start to be plugged into the wall.

Call in with your questions and comments at 1-800-989-8255 (2-3 Eastern). Teachers, find more information about using Science Friday as a classroom resource in the Kids' Connection.

Elizabeth Kolbert
Political Correspondent
The New Yorker
New York, New York

Michael E. Mann
Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia

David Vaughan
Principal Investigator, Glacial Retreat in Antarctica and Deglaciation of
the Earth System
British Antarctic Survey
Cambridge, United Kingdom


Felix Kramer
California Cars Initiative
Palo Alto, California

Books/Articles Discussed:

" Retreating Glacier Fronts on the Antarctic Peninsula over the Past Half-Century" by A. J. Cook, A. J. Fox, D. G. Vaughan, J. G. Ferrigno. Science, Vol. 308, 22 April 2005.

"The Climate of Man" series, by Elizabeth Kolbert. The New Yorker, Issue of 2005-04-25.

Related Links:

The New Yorker: Q&A With Elizabeth Kolbert
British Antarctic Survey
The Man Behind the Hockey Stick
RealClimate Climate Science
Scientific Behind the Hockey Stick
BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Row over climate 'hockey stick'

California Cars Initiative for Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles
How We Green-Tuned an '04 Prius Into a PRIUS+ Plug-In Hybrid!
Yahoo! Groups : priusplus
Giving Hybrids A Real Jolt
Hybrid-car tinkerers scoff at no-plug-in rule | Tech News on ZDNet

This segment produced by Karin Vergoth

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