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TILclimate

Science Podcasts

Get smart quickly on climate change. This award-winning MIT podcast, Today I Learned: Climate, breaks down the science, technologies, and policies behind climate change, how it’s impacting us, and what our society can do about it. Each quick episode gives you the what, why, and how on climate change — from real scientists — to help us all make informed decisions for our future.

Location:

United States

Description:

Get smart quickly on climate change. This award-winning MIT podcast, Today I Learned: Climate, breaks down the science, technologies, and policies behind climate change, how it’s impacting us, and what our society can do about it. Each quick episode gives you the what, why, and how on climate change — from real scientists — to help us all make informed decisions for our future.

Twitter:

@TILclimate

Language:

English

Contact:

978-201-6295


Episodes
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Do wind turbines kill birds?

4/11/2024
Wind power is the largest source of clean, renewable energy in the United States. But the large turbines that create that power can endanger wildlife. MIT Professor Michael Howland returns to the podcast to answer a listener's question about the risks of wind energy to birds—and explain how wind turbines compare to coal plants, power lines, office towers, housecats, and other threats to birdlife in the modern world. For a deeper dive and additional resources related to this episode, visit: For more episodes of TILclimate by the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, visit tilclimate.mit.edu. Credits Laur Hesse Fisher, Host and Executive Producer David Lishansky, Editor and Producer Aaron Krol, Writer and Producer Michelle Harris, Fact Checker Music by Blue Dot Sessions Artwork by Aaron Krol

Duration:00:07:24

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Do wind turbines freeze up in the cold?

4/4/2024
You might have heard how wind turbines failed in Texas during a terrible cold front in 2021. Does this mean we can’t rely on this clean, renewable source of energy when the weather turns extreme? MIT Professor Michael Howland joins the podcast to explain how wind turbine operators prepare for frigid conditions, and why some turbines failed in Texas while others are working fine in Antarctica. For a deeper dive and additional resources related to this episode, visit: For more episodes of TILclimate by the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, visit tilclimate.mit.edu. Credits Laur Hesse Fisher, Host and Executive Producer David Lishansky, Editor and Producer Aaron Krol, Writer and Producer Michelle Harris, Fact Checker Music by Blue Dot Sessions Artwork by Aaron Krol

Duration:00:07:46

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Won’t more CO2 help plants grow?

3/28/2024
Plants take in CO2 from the air to grow—and today’s atmosphere has about 50% more CO2 than it did before we started burning massive amounts of fossil fuels. So, is that great news for plants? Prof. David Des Marais, a plant ecologist at MIT, helps answer this listener question. For a deeper dive and additional resources related to this episode, visit: For more episodes of TILclimate by the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, visit tilclimate.mit.edu. Credits Laur Hesse Fisher, Host and Executive Producer David Lishansky, Editor and Producer Aaron Krol, Writer and Producer Andrew Moseman, Science Reporter Michelle Harris, Fact Checker Music by Blue Dot Sessions Artwork by Aaron Krol

Duration:00:08:50

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Season 6 Preview: Something a Little Different

3/15/2024
The sixth season of Today I Learned: Climate is coming in two weeks, and this time we’re doing something a little different. People all around the world write into our team with questions about climate change. So this season, we’re working with scientists and experts at MIT and beyond, to answer those questions in language we can all understand.

Duration:00:01:49

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Why does it take five years to build a wind farm?

12/7/2023
The United States has a goal to power the country with 100% clean electricity by 2035. Unfortunately, our energy regulations are not set up to make this much change this quickly. Energy economist John Parsons of MIT joins the show to explain how much clean energy infrastructure we need to build, the obstacles to building it, and reform ideas to transform our energy system on the timeline our climate goals demand. For a deeper dive and additional resources related to this episode, visit: https://climate.mit.edu/podcasts/e8-why-does-it-take-five-years-build-wind-farm For more episodes of TILclimate by the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, visit tilclimate.mit.edu. Credits Laur Hesse Fisher, Host and Producer David Lishansky, Editor and Producer Aaron Krol, Scriptwriter and Associate Producer Ilana Hirschfeld, Production Assistant Sylvia Scharf, Education Specialist Michelle Harris, Fact Checker Music by Blue Dot Sessions Artwork by Aaron Krol

Duration:00:15:49

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Energy storage: keeping the lights on with a clean electric grid

11/30/2023
The large majority of new energy we’re building today comes from clean, renewable wind and solar projects. But to keep building wind and solar at this pace, we need energy storage: technologies that save energy when the weather is favorable, and use it when wind and sun are scarce. Prof. Asegun Henry joins TILclimate to explain how energy storage works, what storage technologies are out there, and how much we need to build to make wind and solar dominant. For a deeper dive and additional resources related to this episode, visit: https://climate.mit.edu/podcasts/e7-energy-storage-keeping-lights-clean-electric-grid For more episodes of TILclimate by the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, visit tilclimate.mit.edu. Credits Laur Hesse Fisher, Host and Producer David Lishansky, Editor and Producer Aaron Krol, Scriptwriter and Associate Producer Ilana Hirschfeld, Production Assistant Sylvia Scharf, Education Specialist Michelle Harris, Fact Checker Music by Blue Dot Sessions Artwork by Aaron Krol

Duration:00:14:43

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A public health expert’s guide to climate change

11/16/2023
We all want to live full, healthy lives. But climate change is threatening a growing number of people’s lives and well-being. Amruta Nori-Sarma, assistant professor of environmental health at Boston University School of Public Health, joins the show to help us see climate change not in tons of carbon dioxide, but as a matter of health. For a deeper dive and additional resources related to this episode, visit: https://climate.mit.edu/podcasts/e6-public-health-experts-guide-climate-change For more episodes of TILclimate by the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, visit tilclimate.mit.edu. Credits Laur Hesse Fisher, Host and Producer David Lishansky, Editor and Producer Aaron Krol, Scriptwriter and Associate Producer Ilana Hirschfeld, Production Assistant Sylvia Scharf, Education Specialist Michelle Harris, Fact Checker Music by Blue Dot Sessions Artwork by Aaron Krol

Duration:00:12:12

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TILclimate presents: What the heck is El Niño, anyway? (from Outside/In)

11/9/2023
We were going to produce an episode on El Niño, and its relationship to climate change. And then we found out that Outside/In, from New Hampshire Public Radio, already did that. And they did a really good job. So please enjoy this episode of Outside/In, where you'll learn what El Niño is, how to tell if extreme weather events are caused by climate change or by El Niño, and what the powerful El Niño event of 2023 can tell us about our climate future. Outside/In is a production of NHPR, New Hampshire Public Radio, a podcast where curiosity and the natural world collide. In addition to their regular program, they have run special limited series covering issues from the offshore wind industry to lawns and gardens to Canadian hydropower. Learn more at outsideinradio.org.

Duration:00:21:28

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Wildfires and how we're changing them

11/2/2023
If you live in the U.S. Mountain West, the Pacific Coast of the Americas, or large parts of Australia or southern Europe, there’s a good chance a major wildfire has passed near you in the last five or six years—maybe one more intense than anything you’ve ever heard of in your area. But why exactly are wildfires getting worse? Is climate change entirely to blame? And what should we be preparing for next? Dr. Daniel Swain joins the TILclimate podcast to help break down what is going on with wildfires and climate change. For a deeper dive and additional resources related to this episode, visit: https://climate.mit.edu/podcasts/e5-wildfires-and-how-were-changing-them For more episodes of TILclimate by the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, visit tilclimate.mit.edu. Credits Laur Hesse Fisher, Host and Producer David Lishansky, Editor and Producer Aaron Krol, Scriptwriter and Associate Producer Ilana Hirschfeld, Production Assistant Sylvia Scharf, Education Specialist Michelle Harris, Fact Checker Music by Blue Dot Sessions Artwork by Aaron Krol

Duration:00:13:38

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Can desalination solve water scarcity?

10/26/2023
Today we’re talking about desalination: turning saltwater into freshwater, so we can drink it or use it to grow crops. And we’re talking about this because, in many parts of the world, freshwater is getting harder to come by. So… is converting saltwater a good solution? Our guest Prof. John Leinhard has devoted his whole career to this question—and its relationship with climate change. For a deeper dive and additional resources related to this episode, visit: https://climate.mit.edu/podcasts/e4-can-desalination-solve-water-scarcity For more episodes of TILclimate by the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, visit tilclimate.mit.edu. Credits Laur Hesse Fisher, Host and Producer David Lishansky, Editor and Producer Aaron Krol, Scriptwriter and Associate Producer Ilana Hirschfeld, Production Assistant Sylvia Scharf, Education Specialist Michelle Harris, Fact Checker Music by Blue Dot Sessions Artwork by Aaron Krol

Duration:00:14:24

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Don’t throw away your refrigerator

10/19/2023
Refrigerants are in every refrigerator, freezer and air conditioner, and the world is on track to make a lot more of them in the years to come. They’re also powerful greenhouse gases: often thousands of times more warming than carbon dioxide. Prof. Ronald Prinn, an expert in the physics and chemistry of our climate system, joins TILclimate to discuss the past, present and future of how these chemicals affect our planet. For a deeper dive and additional resources related to this episode, visit: https://climate.mit.edu/podcasts/e3-dont-throw-away-your-refrigerator For more episodes of TILclimate by the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, visit tilclimate.mit.edu. Credits Laur Hesse Fisher, Host and Producer David Lishansky, Editor and Producer Aaron Krol, Scriptwriter and Associate Producer Ilana Hirschfeld, Production Assistant Sylvia Scharf, Education Specialist Michelle Harris, Fact Checker Music by Blue Dot Sessions Artwork by Aaron Krol

Duration:00:14:45

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How tackling methane cools the planet fast

10/12/2023
Carbon dioxide—CO2—is the greenhouse gas you’ve probably heard most about, on this podcast and elsewhere. But it turns out, methane is an incredibly important greenhouse gas too. Stopping methane emissions today is a powerful way to dampen climate change in the very near term—to keep the Earth cooler in the next 10 or 20 years. So today, Prof. Desiree Plata returns to TILclimate to tell us—how do we get that done? For a deeper dive and additional resources related to this episode, visit: https://climate.mit.edu/podcasts/e2-how-tackling-methane-cools-planet-fast For more episodes of TILclimate by the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, visit tilclimate.mit.edu. Credits Laur Hesse Fisher, Host and Producer David Lishansky, Editor and Producer Aaron Krol, Scriptwriter and Associate Producer Ilana Hirschfeld, Production Assistant Sylvia Scharf, Education Specialist Michelle Harris, Fact Checker Music by Blue Dot Sessions Artwork by Aaron Krol

Duration:00:12:30

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Wait, how do greenhouse gases actually warm the planet?

10/5/2023
You probably know that today’s climate change is caused by certain gases—what scientists call greenhouse gases—that human activity has been adding to our atmosphere. But—how do these gases actually keep heat from escaping into space? And why these gases in particular? To help answer these questions, we invited Desiree Plata, an associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT and the director of the MIT Methane Network. For a deeper dive and additional resources related to this episode, visit: https://climate.mit.edu/podcasts/wait-how-do-greenhouse-gases-actually-warm-planet For more episodes of TILclimate by the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, visit tilclimate.mit.edu. Credits Laur Hesse Fisher, Host and Producer David Lishansky, Editor and Producer Aaron Krol, Scriptwriter and Associate Producer Ilana Hirschfeld, Production Assistant Sylvia Scharf, Education Specialist Michelle Harris, Fact Checker Music by Blue Dot Sessions Artwork by Aaron Krol

Duration:00:14:35

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Coming Soon: TILclimate Season 5

9/21/2023
This is MIT’s climate change podcast, Today I Learned: Climate. If you're looking to get smart quick on climate change – without the jargon and without the politicking – this podcast is for you! In each episode, we work with experts at MIT and beyond to explain climate change science and solutions in fifteen minutes or less. On October 5, TILclimate is returning for our fifth season! We’ll give you the straight answers to things like: And much more. Here’s a sneak peek of what’s to come.

Duration:00:02:14

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America’s Big Year of Climate Action

8/16/2023
On August 16, 2022, President Joe Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). It was the largest of three bills signed over the course of 10 months that together make up the United States’ largest investment in addressing climate change… well, ever. Dr. Liz Reynolds, lecturer in MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning and former Special Assistant to the President for Manufacturing and Economic Development at the National Economic Council at the White House, joins the TILclimate podcast to help us see the big picture of what these bills are trying to accomplish. For a deeper dive and additional resources related to this episode, visit: https://climate.mit.edu/podcasts/americas-big-year-climate-action For more episodes of TILclimate by the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, visit tilclimate.mit.edu. Credits Laur Hesse Fisher, Host and Producer David Lishansky, Editor and Producer Aaron Krol, Scriptwriter & Associate Producer Ilana Hirschfeld, Production Assistant Sylvia Scharf, Education Specialist Michelle Harris, Fact Checker Music by Blue Dot Sessions Artwork by Aaron Krol

Duration:00:16:02

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Announcing TILclimate's Live Event: "America’s big year of climate action"

4/11/2023
On Wednesday, April 19, TILclimate will host its first live event at the MIT Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts! Reserve your seat at tilclimate.org to watch a live recording and join the questions as your host Laur Hesse Fisher sits down with MIT lecturer and former Special Assistant to the President for Manufacturing and Economic Development Dr. Elisabeth Reynolds about “America’s big year of climate action” and the course set for U.S. climate policy in 2021-22.

Duration:00:01:48

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TIL about recycling

2/16/2023
We often hear about recycling as a way to make an impact on climate change right in your own home. But how big a difference are we really making when we recycle? For this episode, Anders Damgaard, senior researcher at the Technical University of Denmark, joins the TILclimate podcast to help us understand the climate benefits of recycling—and why they depend on what we’re recycling and how. For a deeper dive and additional resources related to this episode, visit: https://climate.mit.edu/podcasts/til-about-recycling For more episodes of TILclimate by the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, visit tilclimate.mit.edu. Credits Laur Hesse Fisher, Host and Producer David Lishansky, Editor and Producer Aaron Krol, Associate Producer Natalie Jones, Script Writer Ilana Hirschfeld, Production Assistant Sylvia Scharf, Education Specialist Michelle Harris, Fact Checker Music by Blue Dot Sessions Artwork by Aaron Krol

Duration:00:14:07

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TIL about winter storms

12/15/2022
Winters are warming faster than any other season here in the U.S. So why are some winter storms getting even more intense? Today, we’re going to explore the connections between climate change and extreme winter weather. For this episode, we sat down with atmospheric science expert Dr. Jennifer Francis of the Woodwell Climate Research Center. Dr. Jennifer Francis is a senior scientist at the Woodwell Climate Research Center, and her research is focused on the rapidly changing Arctic. This work engages in why change is occurring, how those changes are affecting the Arctic as well as temperate regions across Earth where billions live. Dr. Francis has devoted more time in recent years towards effective science communication acoss media and helping non-scientists and public officials to gain deeper understanding of why the climate is changing and how it will continue to affect each of us. For more episodes of TILclimate by the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, as well as educator guides, sources and further reading, visit https://tilclimate.mit.edu. To receive notifications about new episodes, follow us on Twitter @tilclimate. Credits

Duration:00:11:06

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TIL about carbon offsets

11/17/2022
What if you could pay someone else to cancel out your carbon emissions? As countries, organizations, and even individuals around the world commit to lowering their impact on the climate, many have been doing just that. So today, we’re going to look at how “carbon offsets” work and whether they are an effective tool for slowing climate change. For this episode, we sat down with carbon trading and offsets expert Dr. Barbara Haya from the University of California Berkeley. Dr. Barbara Haya is a Research Fellow at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California Berkeley. She leads the Berkeley Carbon Trading Project, which studies the effectiveness of offset programs and carbon trading with the goal of ensuring these programs and policies support effective climate action. Dr. Haya is also helping the University of California to develop its own strategy of using offsets to meet their carbon neutrality goals. Haya received her PhD at UC Berkeley’s Energy and Resources Group, and has previously worked with NGOs to help support international offset program reform. For more episodes of TILclimate by the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, visit tilclimate.mit.edu. To receive notifications about new episodes, follow us on Twitter @tilclimate. Credits

Duration:00:14:00

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TIL about everyday travel

9/15/2022
Roughly ten percent of the world’s CO2 emissions come from passenger vehicles: cars, pickups, motorcycles, buses, and taxis. So today, we’re going to zoom in on how people get around every day and what to consider when thinking about reducing carbon emissions from everyday travel. For this episode, we sat down with our former MIT colleague and transportation expert Dr. Joanna Moody. For a deeper dive and additional resources related to this episode, visit: https://climate.mit.edu/podcasts/til-about-mobility For more episodes of TILclimate by the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, visit tilclimate.mit.edu. Credits Laur Hesse Fisher, Host and Producer David Lishansky, Editor and Producer Aaron Krol, Associate Producer Barrett Golding, Script Writer Ilana Hirschfeld, Production Assistant Michelle Harris, Fact Checker Sylvia Scharf, Education Specialist Music by Blue Dot Sessions Artwork by Aaron Krol

Duration:00:14:03