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Studying the ocean to understand weather and climate


A warming planet is causing disruption in historic weather patterns. Predicting weather in advance, and with more accuracy, has never been more essential. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution scientist emeritus Ray Schmitt had worked on the idea of using the saltiness of the ocean to predict rainfall for several years but hadn’t been able to get funding to pursue it. Around 2019 he and his adult twin sons Eric and Stephen won a contest demonstrating they could beat the baseline prediction for rainfall in the Southwestern United States. Since then, they’ve created a company called Salient Predictions and shown that the saltiness of the ocean, measured at certain points, is an important untapped variable. Joining us to talk about rainfall prediction and the different ways the private and public sector could use the information: Ray Schmitt, Salient President and Co-Founder, Matt Stein CEO and Co-Founder of Salient Predictions and Anthony Atlas, Head of Agriculture and Supply Chain at Salient.
Next, we discuss how the study of the oceans increases our understanding of weather and climate, and how the ocean influences our weather in New England with Jim Edson, a senior scientist in Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

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Mindy Todd is the host and producer of <i>The Point</i> on WCAI which examines critical issues for Cape Cod and the Islands. She brings more than 40 years of experience in radio and television to WCAI.