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UC San Diego Students Join Annual U.N. Climate Meeting

November 6, 2017 1:24 p.m.

UC San Diego Students Join Annual U.N. Climate Meeting


Tashiana Osborne, graduate student, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Related Story: UC San Diego Students Join Annual U.N. Climate Meeting


This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

The last few days have seen major events in support of climate change science. 13 U.S. federal agencies release a scientific report finding that human activity is causing climate change and linking acclimate to weather events like intense hurricanes and fires. In addition Jerry Brown led a state delegation to the Vatican to put California's efforts to mitigate time it changed before stage. As the international climate summit gets underway today in Germany, a climate scientist will present some ideas on how nations can achieve the goal of controlling global temperature wise. Scientists is Tashiana Osborne. She's working with doctors focusing on the impact of atmospheric rivers. I spoke with her before she left for the conference. It's a big year for the UN climate conference. The first one after President Donald Trump pulled out of the Pierce Kleiman Accords. Do have awkwardness being an American science attending this event?I'm curious as to what it will be like as a U.S. citizen at the conference. I think it's really important for us to have representation at the conference. By having individuals there were so dedicated to the problem who are investing so many days and hours and even their whole life career in the problem, I think it's really important to show that we have that structure and that many people in fall.You said that attending a climate conference has been a dream of yours for years. Why is that?Of always been interested in in natural processes and nature. Once I moved into focusing more on science, I became interested in the idea of doing the science but also in how can the science become dedicated to people outside of the scientific community and how can it help drive strong policy? I think this is a great way to be in that environment. I'm so excited about it.What you think you will be paying attention to while you're there?I'm going to be focusing on getting a feel on how decisions and how negotiations are really being made with so many different countries involved. There will be representatives from 200 countries all in one place. It will be fascinating to see how they are negotiating.How much of that process do you think you're going to be able to see?Am hoping to get in on some of the meetings that will be more on the serious side. I think I will be able to participate in some at least as a witness. I'm really looking for to that part of the process.Your area of research is atmospheric rivers. Could you give us a explainer on that.What I'm really interested in is the rain and snow in the mountain regions in California that result from these atmospheric rivers. They are these long, narrow ribbons of very high, integrated water vapors. They are very moist rivers coming in from over the Pacific Ocean and hitting land. Once they hit land, they can interact with our mountains and cause precipitation.Do these determine what kind of precipitation we get?What really determines the precipitation, there are many factors involved. The factor that I'm interested in is how once this huge amount of water vapor reaches land how that moisture is interacting with our topography. So because of our mountains once the moisture hits the mountains, it rises up and condenses and creates these rain and storm so events that we see in that can lead to our stream flowing runoff being affected. If we get a ton arraigned, sometimes that leads to flooding offense.So it's rather important for us to be able to get better at predicting whether California is going to get a lot of rain or snow.Right because what we do predict that were getting a lot of rain, were able to better prepare for the rain versus getting a lot of snow at one time. That snow will sit there for a while in the mountain regions until it melts when the temperatures warm up. We have been able to do a pretty good job with actually predicting that snow melt versus the very sudden flooding offense that's a little bit tricky.Will you be presenting your research at the conference?I will be. I will be speaking on some of my research during a press conference that I will be giving during the event.You're not just going to be speaking to scientists, you're going to be speaking to journalists and politicians?Right. Anyone can attend the press conference and the way that I would like to present the research and presented more of a broader view is to make it so that it's more for the press and more focusing on the key points that are really important showing the implications of the work.In other words, not technical but more why it's important.Definitely why it's important and especially honing in on the fact that science is really helping to drive effective policy.What sorts of efforts are you working on to foster more collaboration between scientists and politicians?When I was in Sacramento at the state capital, I was able to talk with different delegates for San Diego county about my research. Especially about why it's important to invest in graduate research and the signs that we are doing that Scripps Institution of Oceanography and UCSD.You're going to be providing information about your research at the conference. What are you hoping to learn?I'm interested in hearing more about what other countries are doing and what they are committed to doing when it comes to the climate change problem. I'm also interested in seeing how researchers from other institutions in other countries might be tackling the problem.This is going to be a real learning experience for you as well as one where you hope to help the rest of the world.Absolutely. I'm looking forward to having an opportunity like this and being there with Scripps Institution of Oceanography. It will be wonderful.I've been speaking with Tashiana Osborne a graduate student at Scripps institution of oceanography. Have a great trip.Thank you for having me.