Watch Yes, in My Backyard: Climate Predictions for Your Neighborhood

Written by: The Exchange

After a year of extreme weather that brought the risks of climate related disasters into sharp focus, the world’s attention is focused on climate negotiations in Glasgow for the COP26 climate conference. According to the Washington Post, at least 85 percent of the world’s population is already experiencing weather made worse because of climate change. It is apparent that climate danger is no longer just a problem for the future.

While people readily recognize the weather is changing, it is harder for us to picture how a changing climate will affect us personally in the future. Since existing climate models are not able to accurately predict the local impacts of climate change, what tools do we have that will enable us to adapt to a changing climate and prepare for more hurricanes, heatwaves, and wildfires?

Join us for an important conversation between writer/director Lisa Joy and Julia Slingo, the former Chief Scientist at the Met Office, the UK’s National Weather Service where they discuss the ways in which scientists can better communicate the risks of climate change with the public and how we can distinguish between the certainty of a hotter climate and the variability of extreme weather.

This conversation is presented through a collaboration between the British Consulate-General in Los Angeles, UK Science and Innovation Network, and The Exchange.


Dame Julia Slingo served as Chief Scientist of the UK Met Office from 2009 to 2016 when she retired. At the Met Office, she led a team of more than 500 scientists working on a broad portfolio of research that underpins weather forecasting, climate predictions and climate change projections. Her special interests are in tropical weather and climate variability, understanding their influence on the global climate system and their role in monthly to decadal climate prediction. In 2015 Julia was appointed to the High Level Group of the European Commission Science Advice Mechanism where she served until her retirement. Amongst other awards, Dame Julia was elected a Foreign Member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 2016.

Lisa Joy is an Emmy Award® -nominated writer, director and producer. She is the co-creator, co-showrunner, executive producer and episodic director of HBO’s Westworld which has amassed 54 Emmy nominations for its first three seasons. The fourth season is currently in production. Reminiscence, her feature directorial debut for Warner Bros., starred Hugh Jackman. Joy’s script landed on The Black List and she also produced the film. In 2011 she co-founded the production company Kilter Films with Jonathan Nolan which recently signed an overall deal with Amazon. Lisa, a biracial and first-generation Asian American, graduated from Stanford undergraduate and Harvard Law School.

The statements and opinions expressed in this piece are those of the event participants and do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for this event or of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.