Sizzling Science: The Climate Models Calendar

The only calendar on Earth that shares the planet’s hottest climate science and the people behind it. Be among the first to display it by supporting the Climate Models Kickstarter campaign.

IRI's Tufa Dinku is a 2014 Climate Model. Click on his image to see the others!

IRI’s Tufa Dinku is a 2014 Climate Model. Click on his image to see the others!

On a steamy summer day this past August, six climate researchers from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society made a few stops on their way to the office: hair, makeup, wardrobe and fashion photo shoot. Along with seven of their  Columbia University colleagues, they took part in a fun and quirky science communications project called the Climate Models wall calendar, created by IRI’s Francesco Fiondella and Rebecca Fowler, from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. They collaborated with fashion photographers Charlie Naebeck and Jordan Matter, creator of the New York Times bestseller “Dancers Among Us” to create the calendar.

Scientists use climate models, or mathematical computer-based models of the Earth, atmosphere and oceans, to learn about climate. This calendar uses scientists as models to raise awareness of climate science.

The goal of the project is to humanize science and increase understanding of current climate research. Many people don’t understand how researchers collect climate data, measure change in the environment over time and analyze this information to understand past, present and future climate.

Photos in the calendar shatter stereotypes of scientists and show that they’re a diverse group of people doing important research to understand how our planet works. From studies of drought in the sub-Saharan Africa to reconstructions of Southeast Asia’s climate history using data obtained from tree rings, the information in the calendar covers a broad range of current climate science and describes what scientists are discovering about Earth’s past, present and future climate. IRI scientists who participated are Lisa Goddard, Anthony Barnston, Alessandra Giannini, Tufa Dinku, Kátia Fernandes and Nicolas Vigaud. Sharing the stage were  Lamont colleagues Peter deMenocal, Richard Seager, Dorothy Peteet, Jason Smerdon, Michela Biasutti and Bredan Buckley and Allegra LeGrande from the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

Listen to Fiondella and Fowler discuss the motivation behind the calendar in this video:

The project has received support from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and the New York chapter of the Awesome Foundation.

Visit and follow #ClimateModels on Twitter for the latest updates on the project.