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climate change

The Best Ways to Communicate Climate Change

Aug 13, 2018
Elizabeth Lies / unsplash

Just over a year ago, NY Magazine’s Daily Intelligencer ran a story by David Wallace-Wells entitled The Uninhabitable Earth. It was a litany of apocalyptic worst-case climate change scenarios that sparked an energetic conversation about the value of shock and fear in motivating climate action. 

Why We're Having the Same Weather All Summer

Aug 6, 2018
Fires burning in Sweden can be seen from space, as in this NASA photo from July 20, 2018.
NASA, https://go.nasa.gov/2vq4PZR

This summer has brought intense heat to much of the Northern Hemisphere and severe wildfires – not only to the American West, but to places like Sweden. Heat waves, droughts and wildfires are all events that climate scientists say are becoming more frequent and severe as a result of human-caused global warming.

Over the past decade, as climate change has been driving increasingly extreme weather around the globe, the political debate in Washington has also grown more extreme.

Republicans, in general, have moved further from the scientific consensus and in their opposition to curbing greenhouse gas emissions. But a growing number of conservatives are moving back in the opposite direction, embracing the science of climate change and proposing free-market solutions.

Samantha Fields

The town of Sandwich is currently trying to pull off the biggest beach nourishment project that’s ever been done on Cape Cod, and one of the biggest in the state.

For more than 100 years, the town’s main beach has been starved of sand by its neighbor, the Cape Cod Canal.  

And that’s left both the beach, and the town, increasingly vulnerable to climate change. 

10,000 Cape Homes At Risk of Chronic Flooding

Jun 18, 2018
Union of Concerned Scientists

 

Warming seas and melting sea ice are causing sea levels to rise, and putting coastal homes at risk of chronic flooding—inundation that happens, on average, 26 times or more per year.

Blish Point Citizens Organize to Fight Floods

Jun 18, 2018
Pien Huang/WCAI

The storm that flooded Tess Korkuch’s neighborhood was six months ago, but the images are fresh in her mind and at her fingertips. She has photos and videos on her phone—a neighbor's bocce court three feet underwater, more water pouring through the streets—and she’s ready to show them to anybody who asks.

Tidal Flooding Outlook and How the Moon Plays a Role

Jun 11, 2018
NOAA

Massachusetts saw high tide flooding in dramatic style up and down the coastline during storms in January and March. In total, Boston saw a record-breaking 22 days of high tide flooding over the course of the past year, according to a new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The lead author of the report, William Sweet, says the frequency of coastal flooding has doubled, and it’s a clear result of climate change.

In the Shadow of Stilts

Jun 5, 2018
Pien Huang/WCAI

As surely as the sea level will rise, new homes on Surf Drive in Falmouth are going up—and up.

Davide Cantelli / https://bit.ly/2DYMsAM

New York State has revived a climate science committee that the Trump administration let go last summer. The group’s objective is to help local and regional officials to get the information they need to prepare and respond to impacts like heat waves, droughts, and flooding. And they’re building a network of dozens of organizations to get the job done without the federal government’s involvement.

Niilo Isotalo / https://bit.ly/2rae6CI

A new survey finds that seventy percent of Americans think climate change is happening, and nearly sixty 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 climate change.

pbslearningmedia.org

Forty thousand years ago, a massive volcanic eruption in southern Italy devastated what today is Europe. And yet, the culture of the early humans who lived there persisted. Now, archeologists say the key was long-distance trade and social networking.

'No Free Lunch' When It Comes to Coastal Resiliency

Apr 16, 2018
UMass Boston

Severe coastal flooding during storms in January and March of this year jolted Massachusetts residents and officials into an unwelcome awareness of just how vulnerable we are to rising sea levels. Last month, Governor Baker announced a 1.4 billion dollar bond bill to finance climate resilience efforts.

William & Mary Virginia Institute of Marine Science

The severe coastal flooding brought by storms in January and March has drawn renewed attention to the issue of sea level rise, and how prepared or unprepared we are for it.  

Is Solar Power the Key to Our Energy Future?

Mar 26, 2018

Solar energy is one of the most contentious topics out there. Some see it as the way to a carbon-neutral energy system, while others say it’s a boondoggle. Varun Sivaram has worked in the ivory tower of academia, the nitty gritty of municipal governance, and the high-risk, high-reward world of tech start-ups. Along the way, he’s come face to face with the differing views of solar, and he attempts to pull them all together and put them in perspective in his new book, Taming the Sun.

 

 

L. Lerner

Southern New England has been battered by three major winter storms in as many weeks. Severe coastal flooding and widespread power outages have prompted many to ask if it's a new normal brought on by climate change. A growing body of research suggests it may be, and extreme warming in the Arctic may be responsible.

When we think about the impacts of climate change in New England, our minds often go to the ocean and coasts. But a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture finds that New England’s forests are vulnerable, as well. In New England, average yearly temperature has already increased by 2.4 °F, with even greater warming during winter.

Leaked U.N. Climate Report

Feb 19, 2018
wikimedia commons

A news organization called Climate Home News this week obtained, and then published, a draft of a UN climate science report. The report assesses the feasibility and likely benefits of achieving the most ambitious goal set by the Paris climate agreement – which is to hold total global average warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The conclusion is that it will be difficult to cut emissions quickly enough.

gmri.org

It’s no secret that the lobster fishery in southern New England is in trouble. The population has declined by almost eighty percent in the past few decades. In contrast, lobsters in the Gulf of Maine have exploded and the fishery has seen record landings. So, what gives? 

Christine Todd Whitman Sees Danger in New EPA Approach

Jan 1, 2018
Christine Todd Whitman says nobody likes regulations, but the EPA is in charge of keeping people safe from harm.
Whitman Strategy Group

Nowhere is the gap between climate science and federal climate policy more obvious than at the Environmental Protection Agency. Administrator Scott Pruitt denies the link between carbon dioxide and climate change, and has called for military-style Red-team-Blue-team debates of climate science. 

There's Hope for Action on Climate Change in 2018

Jan 1, 2018
Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska
Glacier Bay National Park

This past year is expected to be the second hottest year on record, following three years of record-breaking high temperatures. Greenhouse gas emissions are again rising, and new research shows that, due to human disruptions, both Arctic permafrost and tropical forests are releasing more carbon than they’re storing. Nonetheless, the Trump administration is dismantling federal climate policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Why Climate Change May Mean Colder, Snowier Winters in New England

Dec 4, 2017

Meteorological winter is upon us, and if you’re wondering what the next few months have in store weather-wise, you have a few options. There’s always the Farmer’s Almanac which – by the way – is predicting a cold, snowy winter here in New England. If you want something more scientific, there’s the The National Weather Service's winter weather outlook, which is calling for warmer than average winter temperatures in the northeast.

NASA - Ball Aerospace

NASA and NOAA are teaming up to launch a new weather satellite on Friday. It’s going to make it easier for meteorologists to predict extreme weather events up to 7 days out. We talk to Vanessa Griffin, NOAA’s Director of Satellite Operations.

The political relationship between the U.S. and Russia is tense right now, but scientific collaboration between the two countries is on the rise, particularly when it comes to the Arctic. Earlier this year, the U.S. and Russia were among the eight parties who signed the and Arctic science agreement. And this week, the International Arctic Science Committee is meeting at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow to discuss next steps. For more we talk to Paul Berkman, Professor of Practice in Science Diplomacy at the Tufts Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. 

The Environmental Protection Agency has scrubbed climate change language from its website and barred agency scientists from speaking at a recent conference in Rhode Island. EPA administrator Scott Pruitt has also advocated for military-style red-team-blue-team debates of climate science. Lisa Friedman, climate policy reporter for the NY Times, joins Living Lab host Heather Goldstone to talk about recent EPA actions. 

Wildfires are nothing new, but a complex combination of climate change, forest management practices, and development patterns are making them bigger and more damaging. Our guest on Living Lab Radio is Edward Struzik, author of Fire storm: How Wildfire Will Shape Our FutureHeather Goldstone hosts.

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