Talking about the physics of our climate change world: What is happening and what can we do?

Wednesday 23 October 2019, 9.30-12.30
Organised by the IOP Physics Communicators Group

Talking about the physics of our climate change world: what is happening and what can we do? This is hosted in combination with the IOP Environmental Physics Group afternoon session, with the theme of Oceans and climate.

The morning session is hosted by Dr John T Bruun (University of Exeter): A climate dynamics physicist and science communicator (Chair of the Physics Communicators Group). John will introduce the discussion on the contemporary and conflicting issues we need to confront when studying and explaining the physical phenomena of our climate system. Our three audience discussion questions are

  1. a) How do we best identify the essential physical properties of the climate?
  2. b) What is the implication of current climate projection futures and how uncertain is this?
  3. c) Can we envisage using additional approaches from physics that can help to better inform resilience to climate change? All opinions are welcome.

After setting the context, we will run this as three focus group discussions who then report back within the overall insight and commentary to the full session. The outcome of this combined session will be a spotlight and a collective IOP physics community discussion of the contemporary issues related to how we better understand and communicate the physics of the climate.

Dr John T Bruun (University of Exeter): A climate dynamics physicist and science communicator (Chair of the Physics Communicators Group). John’s focus is on how we can better identify and explain physical phenomena (chaotic and regular) in the climate system and its impact to the biosphere. John is Chair of the Physics Communicators Group and co-opted to the Women in Physics Group. Recently (2017) John updated our understanding of the ENSO by identifying the Heartbeat of the Southern Osillation phenomena. This is a ocean-land-atmosphere coupled resonance process and it helps to explain low frequency modulation (multi-decadal) across the Pacific basin.  and introduced a new method of spectral analysis to climatic science called dominant frequency state analysis (DFSA). John focusses on developing better understanding of the climate system and how to identify community actions that can improve society’s resilience to the changing climate.


About the IOP Physics Communicators Group

The Physics Communicators Group aims to raise the profile of physics through high quality public engagement resources, events and activities.

The group wishes to:        

  • bring the community of physics communicators together, both amateur and professional, and work to expand this community
  • support members who are undertaking outreach and physics communication activities and/or who contribute to the public engagement/understanding of physics
  • identify, understand and share good practice through CPD, workshops and mentoring
  • offer opportunities to share information and resources through electronic networking, newsletters, conferences meetings etc.
  • promote and support Physics communication activities, including activities of group members, other IOP members, IOP, other organisations, the media and others

The Physics Communicators Group will also help to strengthen the relationship between the Institute and its members as well as involving people who are not members of the Institute.

Key dates

Registration deadline:

11 October 2019