A scientist with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change linked Russia's invasion of her country to climate change.
On the morning of Thursday 24 February, Svitlana Krakovska could hear missiles falling in nearby parts of Kyiv while she sat in her apartment attending a video conference. The delegates to the meeting of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were working on a report. Krakovska wasn't sure what to do. Should the meeting be used to protest against the Russians?
The Applied Climatology Laboratory at the Ukrainian Hydrometeorological Institute is run by Krakovska. This was not the norm.
Krakovska and her husband and four children were making preparations to survive the war when the bombs went off. She spoke at the closing plenary despite being pretty shy. She said she was so angry.
She told delegates that the human-caused climate change and war against Ukraine have the same roots. The balance of power in the human world has changed because of the ease with which energy can be received.
There was a lot of responses. The delegation apologized for the attack and the representative of Russia apologized as well.
Krakovska was crying. We really needed this support at that time. She was offered refuge by some researchers.
Krakovska's father was seriously ill and in a care home before he died. She has changed her life because of the international attention she has received. She accepted the invitations to speak at major events. Krakovska called Russia's invasion a "fossil-fuel war".
The first meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was nine years ago. She studied meteorology in Leningrad and became a cloud physicist, working on cloud-seeding experiments to enhance precipitation. She climbed mountains in the former Soviet Union.
She was the first Ukrainian scientist to apply regional climate modelling when she was a PhD student. She found that many in Ukranian dismissed the threat of climate change, either saying they didn't believe it or that it wouldn't have much impact in a country far away from oceans, tropics or polar regions.
She was impressed by how science can be understood. Everyone was listening when the scientists said something. I am not used to being listened to so closely.
Krakovska persuaded other Ukrainian scientists to join the International Panel on Climate Change. Ukrainian senior ministers approved a strategy for environmental security and adaptation to climate change in October.
The European Geosciences Union in Vienna was one of the events Krakovska spoke at after the meeting in February. She chaired a meeting to rebuild Ukrainian science at the UN General Assembly. She said that the world should follow the example of the Ukrainians in fighting climate change.
While missiles have continued to land kilometres from her home, Krakovska is still struggling with intermittent electricity, heat and water, but she is thankful for amenities such as a mobile-phone connection. She is working on climate change projections for Ukraine and hopes to host a webinars explaining the reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. She spends her fees from international work and speaking engagements on buying electricity generators for other Ukrainians.
Scientists are struggling with the situation around her. More than 50 research institutions in the country have been damaged or destroyed in the war. The kit from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant has been stolen. Scientists from the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine have left the country.
Krakovska says it is difficult for scientists in Ukraine to think about survival.
Krakovska's decision to speak up in February was praised by a senior adviser for climate change at the US National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration. She says that they're both scientists and humans. Nobody who is standing where she is can tell the same story.