34th Chaos Communication Congress

»A hacker's guide to climate change«
2017-12-29, 18:00–18:30, Saal Borg

Climate change has long ceased to be news to many people but it is increasingly shaping humanity's reality. This talk tries to view the changes in the climate system and its consequences from the perspective of a hacker: keen to open the box of the unknown, to understand, and to alter things to the better.


So how do we open the box? The talk begins with the most simple climate model, which is advanced step by step explaning the basic processes. This will be guided by visualizations rather than focussing on the mathematical formulas, from the bio-physical consequences to the socio-economic ones. We will give an insight about modeling is done in the field and how everyone can play around to understand the climate using open software. Finally, where are emissions headed, based on the latest developments in the UN climate negotiations process

Hacking the Climate

In a second part, we discuss attempts to hack the climate system itself. Under the urgent pressure of mitigating the impacts that are expected to arise from climate change a plethora of ideas like negative emissions technology or solar radiation management have been proposed. Most of these attempts are however not more than just a "workaround". Nevertheless some of these are discussed much more seriously among climate scientist than the public realizes.

Hacking the System

The talk concludes with some proposals and examples of what could be effective solutions to the climate problem, hacking our political and economic system rather than the earth system. What societal changes do we need? How can information technology help? How can we all become hackers changing not the climate but our global community to the better?