Highly visual climate science demos
June 21, 2012 1:24 PM   Subscribe

Is there a demonstration of an aspect of climate science that could be performed for a television show, and which would be highly visually interesting?

The host of a popular science television program is interested in showing a demonstration of some aspect of climate change science. Whatever the demo is, it must have a high level of visual interest.

I have a few ideas about phenomena that could be demonstrated. For instance:

* The absorption of infrared light by various gases and gas mixtures (air, air with extra CO2, pure CO2, pure methane, etc)
* Changes in albedo, as with melting sea ice
* Burning samples of coal, oil, and gas to demonstrate CO2 production
* Demonstrations of renewable energy technology and/or energy storage technology
* Demonstration of geothermal heating and cooling

Do you know of any demos that have already been done? Ideally, it should be possible to carry out in a television studio using relatively inexpensive or commonly available equipment. Alternatively, do you have any ideas for demos that could plausibly be carried out under these conditions?

This seems like a good opportunity to teach some of the fundamentals of climate science to interested members of the general public, so any suggestions would be much appreciated.
posted by sindark to Education (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Something like the demos of Julius Sumner Miller would be ideal:

posted by sindark at 1:26 PM on June 21, 2012

I can't find the video, but we had a Five-Minute Lectures video on demonstrating why people should care about the idea of "parts per million" in the atmosphere. It was basically a dropper of colored liquid into a clear beaker of water.
posted by Madamina at 1:38 PM on June 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Richard Dawkins did something along these lines for a TV show (maybe some kind of self-contained miniseries?) but I can't find them again among all the debate dreck he's involved in.
posted by Evilspork at 12:02 PM on June 22, 2012

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