climate change

Open Season on Climate Science

I coined the term “Serengeti Strategy” to describe how industry special interests and their powerful patrons single out individual climate researchers or teams of scientists for attack, not unlike the way lions of the Serengeti target an individual zebra from the herd. This week, they are out for blood again.

High Schoolers Have High Hopes for Saving Corals

Climate change, illegal harvesting, coastal development, destructive fishing practices, and ocean pollution have been driving the world’s wild coral populations to the brink. But a high school science class on Long Island is hoping their captive-grown corals might one day help to address the problem.

Just Add Science?

Common wisdom suggests that the remedy for unscientific beliefs on everything from climate change to evolution is to simply administer more reporting on the science. The problem is, studies have shown time and time again that this strategy doesn’t work. So what’s a well-meaning science journalist to do?

Connecting the Dots

In one of his final acts in office, President Obama added an additional 48,000 acres of protected land to Oregon’s little-known Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. Ranchers and loggers called it a tragedy, but scientists say it was a crucial victory for biodiversity and landscape connectivity.

The Measure of a Fog: Geoengineering

With the exception of rogue experiments, most geoengineering schemes — which aim to reverse climate change on a planetary scale — are still in the “what if” phase, and caution would seem to dictate that we go slowly. Still, with temperatures and emissions still rising, such ideas could gain new urgency.

Flood-Risk Figures Get Friendlier

A new approach to assessing changes in U.S. flood risks in the past 30 years reveals a progressive rise in risk in the northern U.S. and a drop in much of the southern U.S. And the risk is expressed in elevation measures that make sense to non-scientists rather than in cubic meters per second.

Five Questions for John Gunn

A robust industry has grown up around harvesting trees for generating electricity, but researchers continue to urge caution, noting that the presumed “carbon neutrality” of woody biomass is a complicated matter. John Gunn, a New Hampshire forest scientist, is among them. “We need to do the math,” he says.

Noam Chomsky on Trump, Climate Change, and Journalism

Renowned linguist and political philosopher Noam Chomsky predicted the rise of a figure like Donald Trump six years ago. Journalists, pollsters, and pundits, on the other hand, dismissed that possibility until it became a reality two weeks ago. In a short video, Chomsky weighs in on this and other topics.

Flying In, Flying Away

Melting ice means that bird species of the North Atlantic and North Pacific — separated for millennia by a frozen sea too large and bereft of food to cross — now have a passage between oceans. Their migrations suggest unprecedented shifts in the native ecosystem of the Chukchi Sea, and the globe.