Unintended Consequences | Season 2, Ep. 5

“Unintended Consequences,” a new episode of the “What Makes Us Human” podcast series, looks at how human activities interact with natural feedback in unexpected ways that we are only beginning to understand.


“So many of our activities modify the environment, including burning fossils fuels, which emits carbon dioxide, the primary cause of climate change, and air pollutants, which cause harm to human health. But we are also modifying the land: over 30% of the land is highly managed by humans,” Natalie Mahowald, Irving Porter Church Professor of Engineering in the College of Engineering, says in her podcast.

Mahowald’s research focuses on understanding feedbacks in the earth system that impact climate change. This includes global and regional scale atmospheric transport of species such as desert dust, as well as the carbon cycle.

The “What Makes Us Human” podcast’s second season asks the question "Where Is the Human in Climate Change?" and showcases the newest thinking across academic disciplines about the relationship between humans and the environment. The series is produced by the College of Arts and Sciences in collaboration with the Cornell Broadcast Studios and features audio essays written and recorded by Cornell faculty.

New episodes are released each Tuesday through the spring and are available for download on iTunes and SoundCloud and for streaming on the A&S humanities page, where text versions of the essays are also posted.

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