Path to Zero
Path to Zero
3.16 - The Physics of Climate Change with Dr. Lawrence Krauss

Joining Tucker in this edition of Path to Zero, is internationally known theoretical physicist and best-selling author Dr. Lawrence Krauss. He’s known for presenting the most accurate scientific information in a way that is accessible to laypeople.

In his latest book, The Physics of Climate Change, Dr. Krauss provides the perspective needed to understand and assess the foundations and predictions of climate change.

Dr. Krauss is the founder of The Origins Project Foundation, as well as The Origins Podcast, which he hosts.

He is the recipient of numerous awards for his research and outreach, including major awards from all three US physics societies and the 2012 Public Service Award from the National Science Board. Dr. Krauss is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Physical Society.

After being awarded a PhD in physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Krauss held numerous professorships and distinguished research appointments, including Yale, Case Western Reserve University and most recently as Foundation Professor and Director of Arizona State University’s Origins Project. He was Chair of the Board of Sponsors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists from 2007 to 2018

The fundamental physics and chemistry of climate change

Dr. Krauss explains to Tucker how the fundamental science of climate change is more than 200 years old and in some sense is basic high school physics. Krauss says carbon dioxide is basically creating a larger blanket around the earth. That insulation is keeping the earth from emitting as much energy, so there’s a lot of energy being stored in the earth that wasn’t there previously.

The amount of extra heat trapped in the earth over the last 25 years due to that additional carbon dioxide has heated up the oceans by .04 degrees Celsius.

“That doesn’t sound like much. But when you consider the whole ocean, it’s the energy equivalent of 3.4 billion Hiroshima bombs exploded in the ocean over the last 25 years,” says Krauss. “That’s 5 bombs per second every second of the day, 24 hours a day.”

In this fascinating conversation, Tucker and Dr. Krauss also discuss methane, the urgency to act now on climate change, and what all of us can do as individuals.