climate change | WCAI

climate change

Experts Assessing Experts

Mar 17, 2019
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. 

Climate Change Will Alter The Color of the Ocean

Mar 3, 2019
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.   

FULL SHOW: March 3, 2019

Mar 3, 2019
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:

FULL SHOW: February 24, 2019

Feb 24, 2019
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:

When Climate Justice and Religion Mix

Feb 24, 2019
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.


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.  

FULL SHOW: February 10, 2019

Feb 10, 2019
Childhood cancer survivor Grace Eline sat next to First Lady Melania Trump during the 2019 State of the Union address.

"They really accomplished what I call the trifecta of science. Trump really covered the impact of science on economics, as well as health, and even defense and national security." - Jamie Vernon

This week on Living Lab Radio:

Polar Vortex Linked To Climate Change

Feb 4, 2019
Jennifer Francis is one of the scientists who have made the connection between warming oceans and the blast of arctic air we just experienced.
Elsa Partan

A pocket of arctic air rolled down over Canada and the Midwest this past week and brought record cold temperatures as low as the -50s. Schools were closed, mail delivery was suspended, and several deaths were linked to the cold.  

President Trump quipped on Twitter that he wanted global warming to “come back fast,” suggesting as he has before, that the cold weather proves climate change isn’t happening. But that’s far from the truth. 

FULL SHOW: February 3, 2019

Feb 3, 2019

This week on Living Lab Radio:

Lobster War: A Climate-fueled Conflict

Jan 27, 2019
David Abel


The buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is warming the oceans, and the waters off New England’s coast are seeing some of the most dramatic temperature increases of anywhere in the world. And that is having a major effect on lobster populations and the fishermen who rely on them.

Silencing Science: What We're Seeing Now

Jan 20, 2019
J. Junker

Several high-profile federal and international reports this past fall highlighted the threats posed by human-caused climate change. But the words “climate change” have been removed from multiple reports and planning documents at the National Park Service.

Most people understand the climate change will affect others. But they don't see how it will affect them.

One of the biggest science stories of the year has been climate change. And for good reason.

Carbon emissions in 2018 hit a record high. The Six Americas survey released in April found that 70 percent of Americans think climate change is happening, and nearly 60 percent understand that it is largely human-caused. That puts us back approximately where we were ten years ago, before politics and economics eroded public acceptance of the fact of climate change.

Pien Huang/WCAI

Aquaculture is on the rise in Massachusetts.  For many entering the business, shellfish farming seems like a more secure option than the marine fisheries.  But climate change looms as a long-term threat over the industry. 

Chef Scott Robertson: Try Jonah Crab at Home

Nov 14, 2018
Pien Huang/WCAI

As executive chef at Fisherman’s View Restaurant, Scott Robertson is a pioneer in the growing field of Jonah crab cuisine.

Pien Huang/WCAI

The lobster industry in southern New England has been on the decline for decades. As waters warm, some lobster fishermen are adapting by switching their catch to Jonah crab, a crustacean once considered a trash species.

Pien Huang/WCAI

New England’s fishermen are feeling the effects of climate change in fundamental ways, as fish populations respond to changes in the ocean environment. For scientists trying to understand this dynamic system, one big challenge is getting enough data. To address that problem, a number of scientific projects are building on an unlikely collaboration, enlisting data collection from the men and women who are out on the water most.

How to Bridge the Political Divide at Thanksgiving

Nov 12, 2018

We’re about a week from Thanksgiving and the mid-term election is still fresh on the mind. Heck, some races are still being decided. For many, the country's political divide has become intensely personal – dividing families and even breaking up Thanksgiving traditions.

Meera Subramanian

With mid-terms just days away, there’s been a lot of talk about the state of our political discourse: the extreme polarization and seeming inability of Democrats and Republicans to speak civilly with one another.

Samantha Fields

In high school in Massachusetts, climate change mostly appears in earth science or environmental science, if and when those courses are offered. But some teachers are finding ways to take the subject far beyond science class. 

Samantha Fields

The words “climate change” first appear in the state science standards in Massachusetts in high school, but the concepts first appear, in a real way, in middle school, in seventh and eighth grade science, which are all about systems and cycles, cause and effect. In fact, teachers say that middle school is often where students spend the most time learning about climate change. 

In Many Schools, 'Climate Change Is Playing Catch-Up'

Oct 23, 2018
Samantha Fields

If the world doesn’t make “rapid” and “unprecedented changes in all aspects of society,” a UN report warned this month, the effects of climate change will be dramatic and far-reaching – and not in some distant future, in the next 20 years. Even now, though, in most schools, climate change is still just starting to make its way into classrooms, and many teachers don’t have the training or the resources they need to teach it.

Threshold producer Nick Mott

The U.N.’s most recent special report on climate science was eye-opening for many. But for the four million or so people who live in the Arctic, the potentially catastrophic impacts of rapid global warming are a daily reality more than a shocking headline.

Is Science Advice to Policy Declining Globally?

Oct 22, 2018

Much has been said about the lack of science advice reaching the Trump administration. There is still no director of the white house office of science and technology policy – the person who usually serves as the President’s top science advisor. The position of science and technology advisor to the secretary of state is vacant, and the EPA says it plans to eliminate the office of the science advisor to that agency’s administrator.

When to Talk About Climate Change and Hurricanes

Oct 15, 2018

On the heels of the U.N. report released last weekend, Hurricane Michael rekindled the conversation about hurricanes and climate change – transforming in two days from a tropical storm to the strongest hurricane to hit Florida since 1851. There is no question that such rapid intensification is fed by warm ocean temperatures, and that the ocean is warmer now, and will continue to get warmer as a result of our greenhouse gas emissions.