Blue Dot

Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. and Fridays at 6:30 p.m.

Blue Dot, named after Carl Sagan's famous speech about our place in the universe, features interviews with guests from all over the regional, national and worldwide scientific communities. Host Dave Schlom leads discussions about the issues science is helping us address with experts who shed light on climate change, space exploration, astronomy, technology and much more. Dave asks us to remember: from deep space, we all live on a pale, blue dot. 

NASA

This transcript has been lightly edited

Climate change is one of the most daunting problems facing our global civilization. And while world leaders struggle to find solutions, scientists continue to compile the compelling evidence of a planet being warmed by human activity. Climate scientists are people too, and they have to talk to their friends and family members who may still be skeptical or ambivalent about what can seem like an overwhelming issue.

Macmillan Publishers

Bill Nye has been communicating science for decades. His hit show "Bill Nye the Science Guy" educated millenials (and their parents) in the '90s, and since then he's been spreading the good word: science rules. His new book is "Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World," and it aims to do just that: encourage people to address the changing climate. 

NordForsk

In our warming world, Greenland's glaciers are melting at an alarming rate. Recently, NASA scientists announced that one of the continent's major northern glaciers, Zachariae Isstrom, is entering an accelerated rate of retreat after millennia of glacial stability. It's a big glacier, and a big deal since it contains 5 percent of Greenland's ice sheets. 

Josh Willis is principal investigator of NASA's Oceans Melting Greenland program. He explained what "OMG" means to him.

NASA

NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 recently completed its first year of operation monitoring carbon dioxide being emitted and absorbed around the planet. It's the first time scientists have been able to accurately assess global carbon levels from space.

Annmarie Eldering is deputy project scientist for OCO-2. She spoke with Dave Schlom about the new data, but started with what exactly it is.

We all hear about the weather — "Did you hear that it's going to rain?" — but someone at some point had to actually figure out what the weather looks like. Michelle Mead, a warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sacramento, and she's one of the folks who does the legwork to let us know that yes, it's going to rain. 

NASA

Dave Schlom talks with Daniel Stern, project scientist on NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR). The array looks for supermassive black holes, and has recently discovered that there may be many more in the universe than previously thought.

NASA

Is there water on Mars? Was there at some point? If so, what are the implications for life on the Red Planet? Dave Schlom talks to Leslie Tamppari about the recent findings of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter that point to new evidence for water on Mars, and what that might mean.

Jason Sussberg

Bill Nye produced 100 episodes of  "Bill Nye the Science Guy" during the 1990s, winning 19 Emmy Awards  in the process. Since then, he's continued to be a voice for science and science education. Jason Sussberg and David Alvarado are directing the crowd-funded documentary (with Nick Gordon and Nick Pampanella producing) about Bill, and Sussberg spoke about it with host of the Blue Dot Report Dave Schlom. Dave being the Bill Nye fan he is, the conversation went too long for our radio broadcast. 

Kacey Gardner / NSPR

On this special episode of The Blue Dot Report, produced for North State Suds and Spirits Day as part of NSPR's fall membership drive, Dave Schlom investigates the science behind beer, with a guest who knows quite a bit about it. 

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