Amusing Monday: Expert explains climate science with a touch of humor

Climatologist Adam Levy, better known as ClimateAdam, uses humor and examples from everyday life to explain the science of climate change and to dispel mistaken beliefs and misinformation.

Take, for example, the first video on this page, which addresses a common statement I’ve heard from climate-change skeptics: If carbon dioxide is essential to life on the planet, how can it be considered dangerous?

I love Adam’s example, which shows an alternative Adam getting drenched in a shower with his clothes on. Yes, water is essential to the planet, but it’s not always beneficial, as I discuss constantly in this blog.

“The greenhouse effect from carbon dioxide is actually a good thing,” Adam acknowledges. “We should all be super-grateful for it. Without it, there would be no protective warming blanket around the Earth, and things would get way too cold for comfort.”

But he points out that too much CO2 can mean too much of a good thing — that is, too much warmth. In another video, titled “Why the Greenhouse Effect is like a Hot Sweater,” Adam says when a person gets too warm, he needs to take off a sweater — or at least stop putting on more clothing.

Adam holds a doctorate degree in atmospheric physics from the University of Oxford, where he began his YouTube channel. He later worked for Nature publications, where he co-hosted the award-winning Nature Podcast. He currently works as a freelancer, producing scientific podcasts and videos for a variety of organizations while continuing his podcast.

The second video is a new trailer for his YouTube channel, showing clips from the videos he produced over the past five years.

“While I was doing my doctorate, I was constantly having conversations about climate change,” he told Mikaela Joyce in an interview for MIT’s “Climate” publication. “I realized just how different those conversations were when I had them with my colleagues versus when they were with friends, family and strangers. But I loved these discussions, because it felt like I was able to share the knowledge I was accumulating and help other people see through some of the disinformation they had come across. So I thought, why not start talking to even more strangers?

“I was aiming to make a YouTube channel that was first and foremost entertaining and engaging,” he added. “I wanted my videos to be funny enough that you’d want to watch to the end even if you didn’t care about climate change. The hope was that if I could do this, I could trick people into learning. And maybe even trick them into caring.”

Earlier this year, Adam won second place in the Comedy & Climate Change Video Competition sponsored by Inside the Greenhouse.

While most of his videos are based on humorous situations, Adam took on a serious tone a year ago when he became frustrated with the international climate-change negotiations known as Conference of the Parties to the United Nations, or COPP 24. His video “Climate negotiations made me terrified for our future” is the third on this page, but I only feature that video as a lead-in to the latest video that Adam produced last week during COPP 25.

In the fourth video, Adam expresses a heartfelt appreciation for Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish activist who has become famous for her emotional and even taunting speeches directed to political leaders and international assemblies. Greta was named last week as Time magazine’s Person of the Year. If you want to know why some people find her so inspirational, I would urge you to watch Adam’s entire video on this page.

In a similar fashion, Adam posted a video last month that reflects the frustration that must be felt by every climate scientist in the world when they consider the climate views of our current U.S. president, Donald Trump. I must say that I did smile at times while listening to ClimateAdam’s responses to Trump’s outlandish viewpoints. See “Climate Scientist reacts to Donald Trump’s climate comments.”

Here is my list of ClimateAdam’s Best Videos:

For all of Adam’s videos, check out his YouTube channel, ClimateAdam.

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