climate change

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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.

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.  

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.

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 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. 

A cruise ship visits Glacier Bay National Park in 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.

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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