NOTE: New episodes are no longer being added. To jump straight to the archives containing all 77 interviews, please visit the Episodes page.
Hi, and welcome to Forecast, a podcast about climate science and climate scientists. I’m Michael White, Nature’s editor for climate science. I ran Forecast for about three years, from 2015 to 2018. It was a fantastic experience for me, and I’m incredibly grateful to all the guests and listeners. I’ve decided to maintain an archive of the show, in case future listeners might have an interest in looking back on climate science of the early 21st century.
Like most academics, or quasi-academics as I now think of myself, I’ve moved around quite a bit. An extremely abbreviated life and work history, pre-Nature, is as follows:
- 1970-1975 born and lived in Washington D.C. area
- 1975-1984 lived mostly in Santa Fe, New Mexico
- 1984-1988 returned to the D.C. area for high school
- 1988-1992 University of Virginia, BA in Environmental Science
- 1992-1994 two years cooking in restaurants
- 1994-1999 University of Montana, MS and PhD working on terrestrial ecosystem modeling and remote sensing
- 2000 University of Montana, postdoc
- 2001-2008 Utah State University, Assistant/Associate professor
My academic publications are available here or via Orcid iD 0000-0002-0238-8913. Perhaps my two best papers are my first, in which I thought I knew what was going on with land surface phenology, and my last, in which I concluded that, like John Snow, I knew nothing.
I came to Nature in 2008, where I handle submissions on atmospheres, oceans, the cryosphere and hydrology – past, present and future, on Earth and other planets. I also work closely with Nature’s editors for biogeoscience and ecology, and think of my expertise as being in Earth System Science, broadly defined, rather than in one particular area of climate. Since about 2016, I’ve become increasingly involved with submissions on economics, sustainability, and policy.
Although my main role is handling submissions, the Nature job also allows you to do occasional recreational writing, which has been good fun. Here’s a few examples:
- Review of The Watchmen
- Feature on the idea of terroir
- Interview with food chemist Hervé This
- Review of The Last Ocean
- Review of a 30-year-old snowman
- Review of Last Diamonds
- Suggestions for scientific writing
- Pre-Nature restaurant reviews
After getting interested in podcasts like Mark Maron’s WTF and Levi Dalton’s I’ll Drink To That I figured that it might be interesting to try something similar for climate: a podcast based on long-form interviews with climate scientists, about their lives and their work. My goal was to have wide ranging discussions with everyone from graduate students to scientists working in the field for decades.
Disclaimer: Any statements/opinions/ideas expressed here are mine or that of my guest and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nature, nature.com, or Nature’s publisher.