climate change

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.

Courtesy Kerry Emanuel via CIRA

It’s been five years since Superstorm Sandy struck New England. This hurricane season set a record for the most consecutive hurricanes and threatens to make that unprecedented storm seem run-of-the-mill. 

NASA shows how the ozone hole has recovered and how its recovery is expected to continue.
NASA / http://bit.ly/2yORtd5

Most of the time, the headlines are full of bad news. That’s especially true of environmental headlines. But Susan Solomon of MIT says we have a track record of environmental success stories that deserve more attention. 

In recent years, greenhouse gas emissions have actually dropped in developed countries. Europe and China are setting more abitious goals for the future.
Elsa Partan

The EPA has released its four-year plan and there’s no mention of climate change. Plus, they’ve officially begun the process of rescinding the Clean Power Plan. It’s the latest step in the Trump administration’s efforts to undo Obama-era climate policies. 

The Clean Power Plan was the Obama administration’s approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the face a GOP-controlled Congress opposed to climate legislation. So, is its rollback the end of U.S. action to address climate change? 

Between Harvey, Irma, and Maria, hurricanes have left hundreds of thousands of people in Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean with a gut-wrenching choice: rebuild, or relocate? It’s a question that some Massachusetts towns and property owners face on a regular – if less dramatic – basis.

National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Woods Hole, MA Labels by Syagria / Public Domain

The waters off New England’s coast are warming faster than 99.9% of the world’s oceans. A new study finds that summer-like conditions in the Gulf of Maine now last two months longer than they did just a few decades ago. And that's not necessarily a good thing.

Scientists have known for a handful of years that the waters off the northeast coast are warming at an unusually rapid rate. Over the course of thirty three years, the average temperature has gone up about one degree. But the warming hasn't happened steadily.

Hurricanes Nudge Financial Policy

Sep 11, 2017
Paula DiPerna
Wikicommons / http://bit.ly/2wk9Z7C

The cost of extreme weather has increased dramatically in recent years. Hurricane Katrina was the most expensive weather event of past thirty years with a total price tag of more than $150 billion. Harvey is expected to be in that range, and we are still watching Irma and Jose unfold.

Are these economic impacts changing policy or behavior more broadly?

The Texas Army National Guard responds to Hurricane Harvey
Army National Guard / http://bit.ly/2wAHHrd

Hurricane Harvey dropped an unprecedented amount of rain on a vulnerable area. How much of that is the fault of human-caused climate change? Before the floodwaters had even left Houston, Michael Wehner was working on that question. He is a scientist in the Computational Research Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

The report says the Northeast will be strongly impacted by climate change.
Elsa Partan

A climate science report leaked to the New York Times this past week presents some unsettling warnings, both about our changing weather and our current political climate. That report is part of the fourth National Climate Assessment. These assessments are intended to provide guidance to lawmakers and officials – from federal to local.

World Climate Simulation pairs mock U.N. negotiations with a climate model that shows participants the likely result of their actions.
Courtesy of John Sterman / Climate Interactive

In the two and a half weeks since President Trump announced that the US would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, there’s been a lot of speculation about how the rest of the world will respond, and whether they can address climate change without the U.S. on board. An MIT researcher plans to test exactly this idea with a simulation this Thursday.

As water temperatures rise, southern New England is losing its lobsters.
Derek Keats, Wikimedia Commons / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en

When it comes to the iconic fisheries of New England, lobster is a close second only to cod. But lobsters are not faring well in the waters off southern New England. In fact, on a ten-point scale, lobster biologist Kari Lavalli of Boston University puts the population at a three.

Beth Casoni, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Lobstermen's Association, says lobsters south and west of Cape Cod have faced “a multitude of stressors.” Lavalli agrees, but points the finger primarily at climate change. Both say this is definitely not the fault of those who catch and eat lobsters.

Self-folding pasta could significantly cut the cost and carbon footprint of shipping dried pasta - a multi-billion dollar industry in the U.S.
Courtesy of Transformative Appetite / MIT Media Lab

President Trump has clearly signaled that his administration won't make an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but one initiative he proposed this week might do just that. And other cuts could come from unexpected places.

President Trump's announcement last week that he will withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement was not unexpected. Besides the fact that the news was leaked to the press a day in advance, Trump has been promising to do this since he was on the campaign trail. But Trump’s blatant disregard for climate science and his description of the Paris Agreement, itself, has drawn criticism from the science community.

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