Recorded during a Southern California heatwave, this episode explores the increase in the extremes of disasters due to climate change.
For the past year and a half, the Dr. Jones Center has been working on a unique project. Tempo is an international collaboration that brings together climate scientists and engineers, social scientists, and musicians to explore the ways in which music can be used to change the emotional climate about climate change. This episode goes over how this project came about, why we need to focus on evoking specific emotions, and how those who are interested in participating in the Tempo Project can be part of the solution.
As Dr. Jones says, when you have a lot of earthquakes, you have a lot of earthquakes. This means that there are many more small earthquakes than large ones; it's a well defined distribution. Not only are there a lot of earthquakes, but scientists can tell you how many there will be by using an equation. In this episode, Dr. Jones gets nerdy and details the equation that fits this distribution to predict the data.
One of people’s biggest fears about an earthquake is that they will be crushed by a building. While most buildings in California will not collapse, because most are single family, wood construction homes, what is of more concern is the buildings that are less prolific but have an impact in all of our lives: public buildings. In this episode, Dr. Jones examines the Field Act, its limitations, and why continuous building inspections are so important.
The San Andreas is a complicated fault. It has the potential to have the biggest earthquakes in Southern California, yet in the last half century, there has only been one earthquake on it that no one really remembers. In this episode, Dr. Jones explains what makes a weak fault and why this legendary fault fits in that category.
In this episode, we look at the Afghanistan earthquake of June 2022 that killed more than 1,000 people, how we know what we know, and how Dr. Jones' work in the country in the 1970s shapes our understanding of the seismology there.
Disaster hazards being faced by societies around the globe are monumental. The work each nation has undertaken has been notable, but it’s especially apparent in New Zealand, with just five million people and a third smaller than the state of California. After spending the week in New Zealand as part of a science advisory board, Dr. Jones discusses how the same science within a different framework can have dramatic outcomes.
One of the most common beliefs about earthquake prediction is that animals know before the earthquake comes. In this episode, telling the story of her experience researching this question, Dr. Jones cuts to the chase: we want it to be true, but there is no evidence animals can predict earthquakes.
Whenever there is a significant geological event along the Pacific Rim, people take to social and conventional media to conjure the mythical impacts of the “Ring of Fire”! Once again, people look for a pattern when one doesn’t exist. With plate tectonics, subduction zones, and volcanoes, Dr. Jones explains in this episode how the “Ring of Fire” has no geologic significance and naming the complexity of the region with one simple term is a dangerous approach to manage the geological risk.
From normalizing risk to making patterns, people have dealt with the uncertainty of the pandemic in many ways. In this final episode of our three part series on randomness, Dr. Jones discusses our current relationship with randomness as we enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic.