We hear a lot about greenhouse gases, the main culprits of global warming and climate change. But have you ever stopped to think about what a greenhouse gas is at a molecular level? Why do they lead to temperature rise – and some more than others? Are they different than other gases, and if so, how? Once released, can they be re-captured?
In the first episode of our GLF Live mini-series of “climate crash courses” – 15-minute lessons on foundational terms and topics we might have overlooked in our learnings – Paola Andrea Arias, who is the first Colombian woman author of an IPCC report, walked us through the greenhouse gas basics: how they’re formed, when they’re released and why they’re bad for our atmosphere.
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Paola A. Arias is a full professor at the Environmental School at the Engineering Faculty in Universidad de Antioquia – Colombia. Her research focuses on climate variability and change in northern South America, particularly on atmospheric moisture transport and inter-hemispheric teleconnections in the region, including the American monsoons. Her most recent research has focused on the analysis and simulation of extreme precipitation and drought events in northern South America as well as the impacts of land cover changes (deforestation) in the hydroclimate of northern South America. She has a particular interest on gender-focused studies regarding climate change. She has been actively involved in outreach activities focused on climate change in Latin America not only from the physical science perspective but also from social and economical aspects. Currently, she is member of the Scientific Development Team of the WCRP My Climate Risk Lighthouse Activity and the GEWEX Hydroclimatology Panel. She is a lead author of the IPCC WGI AR6 Chapter 8, focused on water cycle changes. She is also a coordinating author of the AR6 WGI Technical Summary, Summary for Policy Makers, and Annex V on Monsoons. In addition, she is a review editor of the AR6 Synthesis Report.