Chris Funk - Director, Climate Hazards Center - Author of “Drought, Flood, Fire…”


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Chris Funk is the Director of the Climate Hazards Center (CHC) at UC Santa Barbara. He works with an international team of Earth scientists to inform weather and famine-related disaster responses. Chris studies climate and climate change while also developing improved data sets and monitoring/prediction systems. He’s the author of Drought, Flood, Fire: How Climate Change Contributes to Recent Catastrophes and co-author with Shrad Shukla of Drought Early Warning and Forecasting. While his research interests are quite diverse, a central theme uniting Chris’ work is developing both the technical/scientific resources and the conceptual frameworks that will help us cope with increasingly dangerous climate and weather extremes.

“I guess the work that we're doing here at the Climate Hazards Center is trying to build out the science to cope with a two-degree world. And I think that we can do that. It's not going to be easy, but I think that's definitely within our capabilities, and it is already making human beings be smarter together in very empowering ways. And these are examples of people in Boulder, Colorado getting ready for the next big flood event and having conversations between the National Weather Service and local communities, or me on a zoom call at seven in the morning with my friends in East Africa as they're getting ready to cope with the next extreme. There are great examples of radio clubs in Niger who are working with their meteorological agencies and local farming communities that are pulling data that we're producing here in Santa Barbara, precipitation estimates, but then using them to decide whether they should fertilize their millet crops or not. And so there are ways that we can counter climate hazards and weather hazards by being smarter.”

Drought, Flood, Fire: How Climate Change Contributes to Recent Catastrophes

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