climate change

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Living Lab first aired on June 25th of last year. In our excitement about our fisheries coverage, The Long Haul, we completely missed our own first anniversary.

We're making it up now (better late than never, right?) by sharing a couple of our favorite interviews from our first year on the air. Enjoy, and thanks for a great first year!

Pteropods, Art, and Climate Change

Gary Braasch's exhibit "Climate Change in our World" is currently at the Boston Museum of Science.
Gary Braasch

Climate change is a global phenomenon, and the science can sometimes seem distant or disembodied. But the impacts of a warming planet are increasingly apparent – and personal.

Act 1: Climate Change Hits Home

Climate change is a global phenomenon, and the science can sometimes seem distant or disembodied. But the impacts of a warming planet are increasingly apparent – and personal.

Act 1: Climate Change Hits Home

As water temperatures rise and southern species become more common in New England's waters, there's the question of whether they could replace the region’s iconic cod - ecologically, economically, and culturally.

Sometimes it can be hard to visualize the science we talk about on Living Lab. We know that. And that's why this is so exciting.

A few months ago, Dr. Larry Berg joined us on Living Lab to talk about the Two Column Aerosol Project (or TCAP), a one-year research project based here on Cape Cod. The focus of the study is clouds and other microscopic, airborne particles - curreantly one of the weakest parts of the computer models. 

The Climate Prediction Center is calling for an active to extremely active hurricane season.
NASA/NOAA GOES Project

Memorial Day has come and gone, marking the unofficial start of summer. Here's what experts say is in store for the season.

2010, 2011, and 2012 were the hottest three consecutive summers in over a century, and each year tied with two earlier years for third most named storms in a season. We may be poised to continue those streaks.

By the 2050's, shrubs and trees could be growing hundreds of miles north of the current tree line in the Arctic.
Woods Hole Research Center

"Green" has become synonymous with "good" in many circles. Not inside the Arctic circle.

Two recent studies - one projecting into the future, and one reconstructing the ancient past - both lead to the same conclusion: The Arctic of the near future will be warmer, wetter, and dramatically greener, with more trees and less snow and ice.

North Atlantic right whale, Wart, with her weeks-old calf in January, 2013.
Allison Henry / NEFSC under Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies NOAA permit #14603

In another sign of the season, the right whales have come and gone. At the height of things, about ten days ago, 113 North Atlantic right whales - fully a quarter of the estimated 470 existing individuals - were sighted in Cape Cod Bay. A week later, Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies posted on Facebook:

Not a single right whale spotted in Cape Cod Bay...

Lars Plougmann / Flickr

Welcome to the first of what we hope will become a regular feature here on Living Lab. We’re calling it From the Director’s Chair, and it’s a chance to check in with the heads of local research institutions about the news and issues that are on their minds.

On the docket this time:

Coastal flooding and erosion are expected to become more frequent and severe as the climate warms.
Heather Goldstone / WCAI

Coastal counties in the United States are home to nearly half the nation's total population, and contributed more than 8 trillion dollars to the nation's economy in 2010. As the weather events of the past six months have made evident, coastal communities are increasingly vulnerable to the forces of nature.

Winning times for the Boston Marathon are slower when it's hotter.
Chase Elliott Clark / Flickr

New research points to some of the subtle ways climate change can affect daily (or not-so-daily, as the case may be) life.

A satellite image shows a large plume of aerosol moving eastward over the North Atlantic Ocean.
Courtesy of NASA EOS Project Science Office

Humans have been watching clouds since the dawn of time. Still, clouds remain one of the most poorly understood aspects of climate and, thus, climate change. Some of the most vehement scientific debates about climate change center around the role of clouds. As a result, they're one of the largest sources of discrepancies between climate models.

A year-long research project based at Cape Cod National Seashore aims to change that.

Factory-farmed beef has one of the highest carbon footprints of any food.
Rick Harrison / Flickr

While conversations about climate change typically focus on cars or power plants, the food we eat is a major factor that often flies under the radar. Food - it's production, processing, and transport - accounts for nearly a third of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. The irony is that putting a dent in that portion of our carbon footprint could be fairly simple. If everyone in the U.S. avoided meat and dairy one day a week for a year, it would be the carbon-cutting equivalent of taking 7.6 million cars off the road. On the other hand, since transportation actually accounts for just 2% of food-related emissions, eating locally may not be the climate panacea some have made out.

Pablo Suarez, Scientist with the Red Cross/ Red Crescent Climate Center and a gaming enthusiast, talks about innovative ways to educate developing nations about the impacts of climate change. Suarez has developed participatory games to help explain the complexities and threats surrounding climate change and raise awareness about the options of dealing with it before a storm, crop failure or flood hits.

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