Q and A: Michael Lemonick On Global Weirdness, Climate Change, And How To Talk About Science

Michael Lemonick
Michael Lemonick
Michael Lemonick is a former senior science writer at Time Magazine, the senior staff writer at Climate Central, and the lead author of Global Weirdness, a new book that attempts to lay out, in simple terms, what scientists do and don't know about climate change. We spoke with him this week about climate change and his approach to science journalism.

Why did you write Global Weirdness?

Thomas Friedman wrote this column bemoaning the harsh rhetoric back and forth about climate change -- all the conflicting information people were sending out and how confusing it all was. He said that the world's greatest climate experts should sit down in a room and write a 50-page book that explains what we know and how we know it in language a sixth-grader could understand.

At Climate Central, we were interested, because the idea was very much in keeping our mission, which is to steer clear of rhetoric and hype and be faithful to the science and just talk about what climate science is telling us and be honest about what we don't know and admit uncertainties where they exist.

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NYC Weather Remains Weird: How to Make the Most of It

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Good morning! It is Day Two of your unprecedentedly warm, especially weird weather this week. Expect another day in which you can probably walk around sans coat and maybe in just a T-shirt, if you veer toward the hot -- it won't be a record-breaking 70, but it will be in the 60s -- except you should bring an umbrella, as there's a 70 percent chance of rain, and, well, it's actually raining right now. Meanwhile, it snowed in the Deep South. Not to worry, cold is coming our way! But for today, here is your guide for making the best of our particular weird weather, as you see fit.

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Antarctica Has a Bad Case of Crabs

Pay the hurricanes and earthquakes no mind, what we really need to worry about are the giant crabs set to take over Antarctica. They have arrived, with their "crushing claws and ecosystem-altering habits," in a deep basin in the Antarctic continental shelf, and oceanographers are worried not only that they'll hurt other species, but also, after an entire ecological history of them not being there: What does this move mean?

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Solar Power Could Energize Half of NYC

Yesterday, the City University of New York's graduate center in Manhattan hosted a "Solar Summit" where researchers and programmers announced the launch of the NYC Solar Map. The CUNY website describes the solar map as "an interactive online tool that will allow users to estimate solar energy potential for any building in the City." The map will also calculate the cost of installing solar panels and how long it will take for the panels to pay for themselves. The map has allowed analysts to calculate that nearly two-thirds of NYC's rooftops could host solar panels and that solar power could provide for half of the city's energy needs. [MSNBC]