We Have Slides!

After a marathon PowerPoint-session yesterday I finally got my 63 slides out of the way. Here is the presentation for anyone who is interested. The script is written in the notes beneath the slides.

I like to have things fading in and out of my slides, so sometimes the text boxes and images are stacked on top of each other and it won’t make sense until you view the animation.

Researching the median lethal dose of arsenic during my spare at school was really awkward. I had to do a lot of hasty explaining to my friends about how it was a metaphor for small concentrations having large effects, and no, I wasn’t planning to poison anyone.

Anyway, enjoy.

Mind the Gap (12 MB)


10 thoughts on “We Have Slides!

  1. It looks rather buggy in OpenOffice… I suggest you use your own computer for projecting, or you may have some nasty surprises.

    [The school computers all use MS Office, so I think it should be okay this time around. -Kate]

  2. Beautiful presentation and very well argued. You should make a video of this talk!

    One argument I didn’t find quite so convincing is actually the arsenic-in-coffee comparison. It seems strange to me to compare two entirely different phenomena, just because they both can be expressed in parts per milliion. Also, “everyone knows” arsenic is bad, while carbon dioxide is necessary for life. You could instead use a “too much of a good thing” metaphor, such as “we need water to live, but drinking too much too fast can lead to water intoxication“.

    Keep up the good work!

  3. Yes, excellent work indeed. Have to admit that I also thought about the arsenic thing. I guess 280ppm would be almost as bad as 390, while for CO2 there are different rules.

    [It isn’t a perfect metaphor, but all I want to show is that small concentrations can have major effects. -Kate]

  4. 63 slides sounded like total visual overload, but this is nicely done. I particularly liked the credibility spectrum with percentages added on.

    The reference to “Vostok et al.” on the slide “Carbon dioxide variations” is presumably a slip? (Vostok being the name of the ice-core site.)

    At 390 ppm, I estimate 94 mg arsenic in a standard U.S. cup ( ~ a Starbucks “short”). Some sources put the minimum acutely lethal dose at 100 mg. But don’t trust my sums, and don’t try this at home!

    Another comparison I’ve played around with is this: A doubling from 280 ppm pre-industrial CO2 to 560 ppm may not sound like much, but if that were alcohol in your blood, in Manitoba it would get your driver’s license suspended. (You’ve got a .05 limit, right?)

    [I estimated the average cup of coffee to be about 350 mL – most people drink more than a standard “cup” at one time. Starbucks tall, pretty much.

    I wrote Vostok et al because there were about five different ice core datasets used, Vostok being the main one. Maybe “etc” instead of “et al” would be better? -Kate]

  5. Bravo! Your perspective on the recent events at CRU, and what has followed in the media are spot on. Your style of presentation is breezy ( meaning quick, and easy to understand ) and factual. This is actually a great combination for communicating science topics to the general public.

  6. Kate, I’ll echo the concern about using arsenic as a comparison to CO2 in shooting down the dilution argument. I prefer to use CFCs, which all together comprise ~1 part per billion of the atmosphere, yet it is the chlorine atoms in CFCs that have caused the hole in the ozone layer.

  7. Without having made time to view your slides, I’ll chime in me-three on the arsenic analogy. You could perhaps try: a few drops of ink or food coloring making water less transparent (to a specific colour, for food dyes), at fairly low concentrations – easily visible and simple to perform one’s own demostrations. Compare the colour of the dye with infrared as another “colour” in the spectrum, even though one our eyes can’t perceive.
    You can mention those special thermal IR cameras, like Mike Holmes uses to check for poor insulation.
    You can note that earth-observation satellites actually detect just this dimming of “earth glow” in the IR range depending on both CO2 and water vapour in the atmosphere (each blocking different “colours” of IR, i.e. spectral bands.

    P.S. have you picked a university yet? Here’s my page that lists programs in climate science that I found while listing climate authors – over 20 in Canada any lots more in the US:


    Here’s a YouTube demonstration about the CO2/ink metaphor. Thanks for your list of climate research centres, it will be very useful. -Kate

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