The Research Triangle Park

RTP180 Recap: Weather & Climate

By Author Jul 02, 2018

On June 21, we invited five local experts to talk about our region’s Weather & Climate:

  • Ben Lord of RTI International spoke to the impact of climate change on water resources, and how access to water affects society. He likened reservoirs to refrigerators, and pointed out that Durham straddles two watersheds, meaning water is transferred in space and time between two water systems.Watch Ben’s talk here.
  • Elizabeth Gardner of WRAL Weather took the stage to share tips on how to stay safe in a changing climate. She noted a key difference between weather and climate: “Weather is what I tell you on TV—climate is what happens in our atmosphere over time.” According to Elizabeth, for every degree our atmosphere warms, it holds 4% more moisture, meaning a higher potential for flooding in places like North Carolina. Watch Elizabeth’s talk here.
  • Dr. Ana Barros of Duke University gave a historical perspective on environmental and climate studies. She gave an overview of connections between climate and society, including the documented flooding of the Nile River in relation to politically-motivated famines. Watch Ana’s talk here.
  • Chip Hughes of NIEHS discussed the impact of climate change on human health. He explained that health risks impact individuals differently, and multiple health conditions are created or augmented by exposure to heat waves, sun, and climate change in general. Outdoor workers, children and the elderly are most vulnerable to these risks. Watch Chip’s talk here.
  • Dr. Pai-Yei Whung of the EPA joined us to talk about mosquitoes and the diseases they carry in relation to climate. She noted that there are more than 3,000 mosquito species on Earth, and about 175 of them can be found in the United States. However, only a few mosquito-transmitted diseases are widely known or understood, and eradicating them is a complex issue. Watch Dr. Whung’s talk here.

Ready for more #RTP180? Our next topic is Diversity & Inclusion—reserve your free tickets for the July 19 event.

Thanks to presenting sponsor RTI International for enabling us to provide a platform for our community to share their knowledge. We’re also glad to have UNC-TV as our producer—if you can’t make it to an RTP180, be sure to watch the live stream beginning at 6:00PM EST the day of the show, and follow along with us on Twitter using #RTP180.