[Podcast] Breaking the Ice Ceiling: Dr. Jen Kay Ep. 37

Breaking the Ice Ceiling: Dr. Jen Kay Ep. 37
November 30th, 2021

For Dr. Jennifer Kay (she/her/hers), global warming and ice loss brings up many headspaces. “I’m curious, scared, hopeful, frustrated, and inspired all at once.” As a climate scientist at the University of Colorado, understanding the physics of snow, clouds and ice is her job.

Growing up in upstate New York, she spent most of her days skiing, sledding, and loving snow. It’s not surprising that she loves all things cold. Now, she’s a doctor, professor, and highly cited researcher with a focus on polar regions.

In our warming world, polar regions are losing snow and ice. For example, the loss of land-based ice in West Antarctica and Greenland is currently causing irreversible sea level rise.

Because land-based ice sheets can melt and collapse so much faster than they can be rebuilt from snow accumulation, this current land ice melt is irreversible on human timescales.

Irreversible keeps Dr. Kay up at night. What will happen to the billions of dollars, lives, and ecosystems that depend on coastal environments?  What will happen to Island Nations and Coastal Cities?  Does everyone understand what is at stake here?

Dr. Kay stresses: “We have a shared climate future. Investing in infrastructure and committing to reduce greenhouse gases are encouraging steps, but more action is needed. Irreversible ice loss is just one of many reasons we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions now.”

On this episode, we talk about the climate crisis, how adventurers and scientists can work together and about gender bias in climate science.

Follow Dr. Kay on Twitter to continue learning about her work: