INNOVIM congratulates Dr. Gavin Schmidt on his recent appointment as Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). Dr. Schmidt replaces outgoing director Dr. Jim Hansen and has been serving as Acting Director in the interim.

Here at INNOVIM, we are pleased to provide the GISS contractor support through our joint venture TRINNOVIM, and remain in awe of the fantastic work in planetary climatology that takes place there every day. It’s been great news that we now have a permanent Director to support, but the real excitement at INNOVIM headquarters came when we learned of Dr. Schmidt’s recent TED talk, “The emergent patterns of climate change.”

We have a tradition at INNOVIM of sharing a thought-provoking TED Talk during Friday lunches, followed by a group discussion. It is our way of exploring different perspectives and stretching beyond our day-to-day responsibilities in a thought-provoking way. We always enjoy watching talks from people we know and, of course, climate is one of INNOVIM’s specialties, so we were particularly eager to check out this talk.

If you’re a climate novice or don’t quite understand what’s the big deal about climate change, this talk is definitely for you. “It did a great job simplifying a complex issue into something that is understandable and applicable,” said INNOVIM COO Cindi after the company viewing. Chief Scientist Richard Sikorski particularly appreciated Dr. Schmidt’s characterization of models: “Models are always wrong. A model is skillful if it tells you more information than you would have had otherwise.” Business Manager Nicole Hayden went right to the crux of the matter: “It really demonstrated how imperative action toward reducing our carbon footprint is.”

The TED Talk is well worth sharing, from its explanation of the absence of reductionism in climate to its perspective on climate’s breadth spanning 14 orders of magnitude in time and space. If you’ve never quite understood what makes climate models so complicated, you won’t want to miss this talk.

If you do watch, and you happen to be hanging out around GISS, be sure to tell its new Director what you think.