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Videos about Climate & weather

Danny Dorling on

See the world anew and discover hope for the future says Danny Dorling as his TEDxExeter talk is featured on

We are delighted that Danny’s powerful talk has been featured on, the 6th talk from TEDxExeter to be featured on the main TED site.

“There are a huge number of good news stories in the world,” says Danny Dorling in his 2016 TEDxExeter talk: “Maps that show us who we are (not just where we are)”. And now his talk is on many more people around the world will hear about the constant, incremental changes for the better that rarely feature in the print and broadcast media.

Danny Dorling, Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography at the University of Oxford, challenges us to examine some of our beliefs about the world and open our minds to a new, often unreported reality. Using beautiful and unfamiliar world maps created by Ben Hennig (and shown in colour for the first time) he shows us that in many ways life is slowly getting better and there’s much to be optimistic about, as long as we continue to connect with each other.

“I’m very glad TED has decided to feature the talk I gave at TEDxExeter,” said Danny. “In it I examine new ways of viewing the world, its future, and how we can be a little less afraid if we do not see other people as being our enemy as much as we currently do. We currently fear people from other countries too much, we fear that those in faraway places are taking ‘our jobs’, we fear what we do not know. But if we begin to see the world as a whole, as the place from which we all get our food, as the place that we all pollute, then as our global population begins to stabilise we can learn to become less fearful. Some people learn faster than others. The British Prime Minister, Teresa May, recently said that ‘if you believe you are a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere’. It is not her fault that she was taught geography at time before we could map all the citizens of the world and see that we are each just such a citizen.”

“I hope you watch the talk if only to see the weird and wonderful ways in which Benjamin Hennig has remapped the planet. Seeing the earth shaped in proportion to the amount of rain that falls, and how that changes over a year, shows the planet as a single entity that almost appears to have an annual heartbeat. Seeing all the humans of the world drawn on a single projection can help us realise that imagining all of humanity as one is not beyond the scope of our collective imaginations. Let’s see the world anew!”

Ben Hennig has also used this method of remapping the world to map the result of the US presidential election and show that not only did most voters who voted not vote for Trump (which people know), but also that an even larger majority of Americans live in areas which did not vote for Trump. See more on Ben’s website Views of the World.

Democrat areas are coloured blue on Ben’s map of the election result. On the traditional map it looks as if Trump had a great deal of support. On the map adjusted to correctly represent the number of people living in an area it is made clear that only a small minority of Americans supported him and that he has only won office due to the US voting system and because there is so much disaffection there (so many people don’t vote).

Danny’s TEDxExeter talk was based on a book he wrote with Carl Lee called ‘Geography’.

His new book A Better Politics can be downloaded as a PDF here. The book was timed for publication on the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s book ‘Utopia’ which is this month (‘Utopia’ was originally published in Latin in very late 1516).

You can find out more about Danny’s work at and @dannydorling.

Live blogs about Climate & weather

Ann Daniels talk

Ann Daniels featureAnn grew up in Bradford, went to a comprehensive, left school at 16, got a job, got married, had no aspirations… especially to having an idea that is worth spreading.

Having triplets changed all that. She realised that she could do anything! She saw an advert for ordinary women to go on a polar expedition. She had all the qualifications – she was an ordinary woman. She went on a weekend for applicants on Dartmoor, and was annihilated. But she then spent 9 months training, friends taught her how to read a map, and she went back to Dartmoor and got on the team, her biggest accomplishment!

She was on the first leg of a relay across the Arctic ocean. She spent 17 days walking in what she describes as a ‘crystal beast’, with blues and pinks, and booms of moving ice.

Coming back she and four other women hatched a plot to be the first British women team to reach the South Pole. They spent 61 days walking into the Antarctic winds, in incredibly low temperatures, but they made it.

She also realised that scientists actually work there, but before getting involved in science, she had another expedition to walk all the way to the North Pole. Temperatures were unprecedented: -70 degC with windchill, hauling 300lb sledges. And she realised why only 53 teams had managed to undertake the journey. Traversing the ice is harder than the Antarctic land. On day 37, they had gone only 69 of 500 miles. They suffered physical injuries, frostbite and gangrenous feet – unpleasant photo! One of the team had to leave on the next supply plane. They had to swim, in specially-designed orange suits. But again they made it, and set a world record for women reaching both poles.

Ann got to know Pen Hadow, who is an explorer and scientist. He chose her to lead a team on the Arctic ice while he and another collected ice samples and took photos. What’s the point if we don’t do anything with information we collect? The photos are a way of sharing with the world. Every night they drilled and measured with a tape measure. They appeared on the News at Ten.

On the next expedition, she learnt about ocean acidification, collecting samples of water. Since the Industrial revolution, the carbon dioxide we have emitted has been absorbed by the ocean. The oceans have been a buffer, but at a cost. The water is becoming a weak carbonic acid, which is affecting coral reefs, becoming bleached and eroded. Other marine life is suffering, and humans will too, as reef protects us from winds and tsunamis. Phytoplankton can’t produce as much – the bottom of our food chain is being eroded.

We can make small changes that make a difference – buy locally, buy green energy, use the car less, make your home energy efficient, encourage each other to go through glass ceilings and realise our dreams.


Here’s another bit of topical Twitter tennis with the Met Office, your friendly Exeter-based national meteorological service.

@TEDxExeter : Hi @metoffice we have @AnnDanielsGB polar explorer speaking at #TEDxExeter today, what is the current weather in the polar regions?

@metoffice : @TEDxExeter Greenland is forecasted light snow and temps between -1 and +1 C over next 5 days ^EC

@metoffice : @TEDxExeter Antarctica has light and heavy snow in the forecasts, temps between -5 and 0 C ^ec

Positively balmy!

Alberto Arribas talk

Alberto Arribas portraitAlberto is Spanish, and knows how good a nap after lunch is… but not today!

He works for the Met Office, on research into forecasting over the next weeks and months. It’s about understanding climate variability first – the meteorological equivalent of living the questions – and then using that understanding to project into the future.

He’s showing a graph of observed climate variability – an overall upward trend, but also a lot of wiggles year-by-year. The wiggles can go in the same direction as global warming, or in the opposite direction, giving the false impression of accelerated or decelerated warming.

In the winter of 2010-11, La Niña caused all sorts of extreme weather patterns world-wide. In winter 2009-10, the North Atlantic Oscillation and the jet stream changed massively, which generated very cold temperatures in the UK, and the country was covered in snow. These effects are happening at the same time as global warming.

It’s impossible on 12 April to produce a forecast for the 1 July, but it’s becoming more possible to forecast La Niña and North Atlantic Oscillation events and get a general picture of the likely weather patterns months ahead.

But improving the forecast is only part of the story – only you know how the weather affects yourself and your business. For example, Alberto’s father in Spain needs to know whether to plant crop A, which needs a lot of rain, or crop B, which can survive in drought conditions. So a forecast of the probabilities of more or less rain is very useful to him. A forecast of a 70% chance of lots of rain means that he can devote 70% of his land to crop A, and 30% to crop B.

In terms of living our way into future climate,  how can we work together to make these seasonal forecasts more useful?

More Information

Seasonal to decadal prediction research at the Met Office

Met Office Climate guide, answering questions such as: What is climate? What is climate change? How has our climate changed? How may it change in the future?

Kirsty Schneeberger talk

Kirsty Schneeburger portraitKirsty has fallen in love with the potato, but her story starts with a dining hall… at New College Oxford. The oak ceiling is marvellous, but recently had a beetle infestation. What to do? The college forester said that the original builders of the hall centuries ago had also planted a grove of oak trees to plan for the future.

According to the Brundtland Commission, sustainable development is “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Kirsty and others tried to take young people’s perspectives to the UN Climate Conference at Poznan in Poland. But she felt powerless affect the processes amid many other competing interests. Her ‘fear dragon’ reared its head, and she came away feeling dispirited.

But 3 months on, she and the other campaigners went to the next UN conference. Instead of taking answers, she took questions, specifically, “how old will you be in 2050?” She wanted to invite the delegates to think differently and actually live the questions on what they were trying to do.

We’ve been having a bit of a climate change party, thinking we won’t have a hangover. But future generations are going to bear the brunt of that hangover. And that’s why Kirsty’s trying to bring young people into the process. Living the questions creates a space to say we don’t know what the answers are, but if we work together in that dark space, we might be able to work them out.

Fear can hold back, or it can motivate, like Kirsty’s efforts to address her fear dragon. Vulnerability TED Brené Brown said: “courage is to speak your story with the whole of your heart”. St George slayed the dragon. But St Martha tamed the dragon – that is courage.

Taming the fear dragon took lots of energy. We are going to need to live with the whole of our heart. We are going to need courage. It’s OK not to know the answer. So Kirsty hopes that we will all have courage. So when she is 66 in 2050, she can look back from her rocking chair on stories of living the question with the whole of our heart. Which will be a remarkable cure for any hangover she might have woken up with.

More Information

UK Youth Climate Coalition on Twitter

UN Framework Convention on Climate Change meetings

Think2050 on Twitter

Kirsty is also on Twitter