climate change

Brewster, Mass., is experiencing sea level rise, and with it, erosion.

Much of what we hear about rising sea levels consists of long-range projections hundreds of years in the future -- projections that mostly consider the impact of melting ice.

But this global perspective won't tell you what will happen at any particular location. And it turns out, all sea level rise is local.

Microbes determine whether salt marshes trap carbon or release it.
jenneva72 / Pixabay

By Becca Cox

A group of nearly three dozen scientists from around the world have issued a warning to humanity: pay attention to microbes. They may be microscopic, but they play critical roles in the Earth’s climate systems and we ignore them at our own peril.

A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet launching from the USS Theodore Roosevelt on full afterburner.
U.S. Navy/Wikimedia

By Neta C. Crawford, Boston University

Republished from

Scientists and security analysts have warned for more than a decade that global warming is a potential national security concern.

May brought record tornado activity, with more than 300 tornadoes in the second half of the month.
TheAustinMan / TheAustinMan [CC BY-SA 4.0 (]

Record rainfall in California. Record flooding in the mid-West. Record tornado activity in the central and southeastern U.S. And, while federal forecasters are calling for a near-normal level of hurricane activity this summer, the first named storm formed almost two weeks before the official start of hurricane season. In fact, extreme and record-setting weather seems to be the norm this year.

The majority of Americans - across party lines - support more funding for renewable energy research and tax incentives for solar panel purchases.
Vera Kratochvil / CCO 1.0 Public Domain

A new CNN poll finds that climate change is the most prevalent issue on the minds of Democratic voters. Eighty two percent of survey respondents told CNN that they think it is very important that the Democratic for president support taking aggressive action to slow the effects of climate change. Not even universal healthcare garnered a “very important” rating from that many prospective voters.

And, sure enough, some would-be Democratic nominees are making climate change a signature issue. Beto O’Rourke, Cory Booker, and Elizabeth Warren have all outlined plans.

Phragmites, an invasive species, line this marsh at Sachuest Point in Middletown, Rhode island.
Tom Sturm/USFWS / Public Domain

By Judith Weis, Professor Emerita of Biological Sciences, Rutgers University Newark


The Green New Deal has ignited a theatrical debate in Congress, from posters of a velociraptor-riding President Reagan on the Senate floor to press briefings of hamburger-eating leg

The Missouri River near Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.
Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Nebraska is facing more than one billion dollars in damage due to historic and devastating flooding this past week. The storm that set things into motion was powerful –a so-called bomb cyclone. But the amount of rain it delivered doesn’t account for the flooding on its own.

Naomi Oreskes
Sage Ross,

Many of our most important social and political debates have science at their core – from climate change to genetically modified foods. When policymakers want expert input on what we know about these subjects, they often turn to massive synthesis reports known as assessments. 

L. Lerner


People who love the ocean know it can be blue, or green, or gray, depending on the weather. It’s a different color in the tropics than here in New England or up in the Arctic.

But here’s a factor most people probably have not considered when it comes to ocean color – climate change.   

Physicist Dominic Walliman's map of physics.
Dominic Walliman /

“The term quantum leap has already pervaded our vocabulary. We use it to mean something magical - something that challenges the imagination - even if many people who use it don't quite understand what it means."  -Evelyn Hu

This week on Living Lab Radio:

Courtesy of Gregory L. Tracy /

“Science helps us diagnose the problem. The reality, though, is that scientists have been diagnosing for quite a while and it still hasn’t moved us to action.” - Reverend Mariama White-Hammond on climate change

This week on Living Lab Radio:

Aaron Burden / unsplash

When it comes to climate change, there’s a growing realization that there’s a lot of overlap between what scientists tell us we need to do and what faith leaders say we should do.

Last May, more than a hundred scientists and 500 religious leaders from Massachusetts signed a joint appeal for climate action and launched a coalition to formalize those common interests and goals. The faith leaders continue to speak out.

Block Island wind farm on June 30, 2017.

On Wednesday on Capitol Hill two House committees held climate change hearings. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker used his appearance at the hearings to highlight the commonwealth’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The president speaks at the 2019 State of the Union address.
Shealah Craighead,

President Trump’s State of the Union address included the word “science” not just once, as was the case in last year’s speech, but twice. The President called for efforts to stop the spread of HIV and cure childhood cancers.