Interview with climate scientist and #MISYCS workshop leader, Dr. Inga Beck
Dr. Inga Beck studied physical Geography in Munich with a special focus on climate change in the Arctic. She did her PhD about climate change related changes in the Canadian permafrost and spent many times in the Arctic for her studies. After her PhD, she was involved in several scientific projects concerning the consequences for the cryosphere due to global warming. Besides her scientific career she is involved in education and outreach activities concerning climate change for all kind of audiences.
I recently contacted Dr. Beck who is leading a workshop at the MIS Youth Climate Summit next weekend. Her workshop, “Global Climate Change and Local Consequences,” will help students model key stakeholder groups in local challenges related to climate change.
What is your job and what does it consist of?
I am working at the environmental station Schneefernerhaus at the Zugspitze. I am responsible for public relations of the station.
Give information about your job –what you do, how it relates to Climate Change, etc.
At the station almost all scientists are involved in climate changed related research topics. Hence I am dealing daily with the new results from these studies.
What studies does someone need to have to obtain this kind of job?
My background is in natural sciences (I studied physical geography), but I also studied public relations. Hence, I think both qualifications are quite important for this kind of job, but both are not necessarily required.
What is your opinion on Climate Change?
There is no question about if the climate will change. For me it is important to find sustainable solutions and adaptation strategies for future generations.
What are the consequences of Climate Change? Why should someone be concerned?
There are many consequences related to climate change. Negatives as well as positives, and many we do not know yet, or we do not know the extent of the consequence. We should be concerned because it will change our daily life – we should be concerned about us; for the earth such alterations in climate do not matter, but we will suffer under them.
Is there a country policy that you like the most to prevent Climate Change and can take example from? If not, state what governments are doing to prevent Climate Change and why.
This is very hard to answer, because the politicians are in the very unfortunate position that they have to combine the interests of all stakeholders. But, I think many small, simple things like e. g. not illuminating store windows during night would already help. And it would probably help in two ways: 1. Saving energy, 2. Foster the awareness of the people to save energy themselves.
What would you say to those who do not believe in Climate Change (e.g. Donald Trump)?
Unfortunately, the climate predictions are not ideas of scientists, but are based on physical equations…and unfortunately physics is not changing and there is no doubt about it.
What are you aiming to achieve through the MIS Youth Climate Summit?
I hope to have some interesting discussions with the students. It would be great if after the summit the participants are having a more complete picture of all the things involved in climate change and if they would afterwards act as ambassadors to convince other people to live more ‘climate friendly’.
Anything else you would like to add? (e.g. important facts, quotes, motivational advice, etc.)
In geological times there have been many changes in climate on the earth; it has been extremely cold and extremely hot, but only now there are humans living on the planet, and they need the climate as it is now.
I look forward to meeting you in person, Dr. Beck. Thank you so much for the interview!