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Scientist Paul Mayewski on climate change, and what scares him the most

BROOKLYN, New York — According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Earth's climate system is a "complex, interactive system consisting of the atmosphere, land surface, snow and ice, oceans and other bodies of water and living things."

And, yes, the scientific community pores over all kinds of data related to this system every day.

But how should ordinary people think about the science of what's happening right now to the planet? And where do we go from here?

To find out, we turned to climate expert Paul Mayewski, the director of the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine and the science adviser for GlobalPost's yearlong investigation Calamity Calling.

For the past four decades, Mayewski has studied how the climate works and documented how it’s changing.

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