CESD Senior Scientist Margaret Torn was one of three experts invited to participate in the recording of a virtual panel discussion with Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Dr. Jane Lubchenco, the Deputy Director for Climate and Environment at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), on Thursday, July 22. The event was designed to educate the general public about Office of Science leadership in climate science research. Torn, pictured bottom left above, described EESA’s work studying how climate change is affecting vulnerable ecosystems, and shared what gives her hope in the face of the many challenges brought on by climate change.
Torn remarked, “DOE is pioneering a new way of studying what ecosystems do when experiencing more disturbance, starting with projects in the Arctic and the Tropics. These bring together large teams of scientists from across the country whose data are put into models that allow us to test our understanding of ecosystem changes and build the ability to predict the future, for example, what will happen as Arctic permafrost thaws or tropical forests burn.”
Asked how she remains hopeful despite the challenges brought on by the climate crisis, Torn said, “What gives me hope is that we know the U.S. can reach net zero CO2 emissions from energy by mid-century. I was part of a study that found this can be done affordably, and that there are multiple pathways to get there, as long as we start now. We know how to solve this problem, and how to support the creation of good U.S. jobs in the process. We could not have said that with technical certainty 10 years ago, but now we can.”
Watch the event here.