• Climate migrationClimate Change Triggers Migration

    Environmental hazards affect populations worldwide and can drive migration under specific conditions, especially in middle-income and agricultural countries. According to a new study, changes in temperature levels, increased rainfall variability, and rapid-onset disasters such as tropical storms play an important role in this regard.

  • WildfiresWildfire in Northern California's Coastal Ranges on the Rise Since 1984

    High-severity wildfires in northern coastal California have been increasing by about 10 percent per decade since 1984, according to a new study. From Berryessa to Klamath Mountains, High-Severity Burns Quadrupled During Warm Drought.

  • WildfiresDoes Experiencing Wildfires Create Political Consensus on Resilience Measures?

    By Bruce E. Cain

    As of last weekend [12-13 September], 97 large fires have burned 4.7 million acres across the American West, causing widespread evacuations in California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Idaho and Utah.  The smoke from these summer wildfires has spread very widely over the region, curtailing outdoor activity and sending many to the hospitals with respiratory ailments, heat attacks and strokes.  Will this move us any closer to achieving a consensus on the topic of dealing with climate change?

  • Tipping pointsWhat Is a Tipping Point, and Why Should I Care?

    By Andrew Bernier

    Big or small, certain shifts — spurred by disruptions — indicate that in some way a point between the way things were in the past and the way they’ll be in the future has been met and passed. Our ability to understand and act thoughtfully around this single concept could determine the fate of life on Earth.

  • Coastal challengesUp to 15 Inches of Sea-Level Rise from Ice Sheets by 2100

    A collaborative effort of more than three dozen research institutions from around the world has helped to create the most accurate prediction of how melting ice in Antarctica and Greenland will contribute to global sea-level rise.   

  • WildfiresClimate Change Making Western Wildfires in U.S. Worse

    By Steve Baragona

    Wildfires have burned a record-breaking 1.25 million hectares in California as of Saturday. Washington state is enduring its second-largest area burned. A half-million people are under a fire evacuation warning or order in Oregon, one-tenth of the state’s population. The devastation is not unexpected. Climate experts have been sounding the alarm for a long time. Wildfires need dry plants to burn, and climate change is helping increase the supply.

  • WildfiresGlobal Fire Outlook Not Good News, but Mitigation Is Possible

    Wildfire is a natural process necessary to many ecosystems. But wildfires are getting worse and more damaging, and it is our fault, according to new research. The global economic and environmental damage caused by wildfire will only increase because of human-caused climate change, but we are also able to save ourselves, the researchers said.

  • GeoelectricClimate Engineering: Modelling Projections Oversimplify Risks

    Climate change is gaining prominence as a political and public priority. But many ambitious climate action plans foresee the use of climate engineering technologies whose risks are insufficiently understood. Researchers warn that over-optimistic expectations of climate engineering may reinforce the inertia with which industry and politics have been addressing decarbonization. In order to forestall this trend, they recommend more stakeholder input and clearer communication of the premises and limitations of model results.

  • Climate challengesClimate Change Will Ultimately Cost Humanity $100,000 Per Ton of Carbon, Scientists Estimate

    By Louise Lerner

    Economists frequently try to estimate the societal cost of releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but few of their projections go beyond the year 2100—far short of the millennia it takes for the climate changes from burning carbon to ultimately subside. Two geoscientists and a philosopher from the University of Chicago wanted to take a much longer view on the matter. Their new estimate for an “ultimate cost of carbon” to humanity, published in the journal Climactic Change, came out closer to $100,000 per ton of carbon—a thousand times higher than the $100 or less routinely calculated for the cost to our generation.

  • HurricanesDevastating Hurricanes Could Be Up to Five Times More Likely in the Caribbean

    Global warming is dramatically increasing the risk of extreme hurricanes in the Caribbean, but meeting more ambitious climate change goals could up to halve the likelihood of such disasters in the region, according to new research.

  • Climate policyNatural Disasters Must Be Unusual or Deadly to Prompt Local Climate Policy Change

    Natural disasters alone are not enough to motivate local communities to engage in climate change mitigation or adaptation, a new study found. Rather, policy change in response to extreme weather events appears to depend on a combination of factors, including fatalities, sustained media coverage, the unusualness of the event and the political makeup of the community.

  • Coastal challengesSea Level Rise Matches Worst-Case Scenario

    Ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica whose melting rates are rapidly increasing have raised the global sea level by 1.8cm since the 1990s, and are matching worst-case climate warming scenarios. “The melting is overtaking the climate models we use to guide us, and we are in danger of being unprepared for the risks posed by sea level rise,” says one expert.

  • PERSPECTIVE: Managed RetreatU.S. Flood Strategy Shifts to ‘Unavoidable’ Relocation of Entire Neighborhoods

    For years, even as seas rose and flooding worsened nationwide, policymakers stuck to the belief that relocating entire communities away from vulnerable areas was simply too extreme to consider — an attack on Americans’ love of home and private property as well as a costly use of taxpayer dollars. Christopher Flavelle writes that now, however, that is rapidly changing amid acceptance that rebuilding over and over after successive floods makes little sense. Using tax dollars to move whole communities out of flood zones is swiftly becoming policy, marking a new and more disruptive phase of climate change.

  • Food securityWarming May Force Some Favorite Produce Crops to Get a Move On

    Record drought and heat have some farmers worried about where and when crops can be grown in the future, even in California where unprecedented microclimate diversity creates ideal growing conditions for many of the most popular items in America’s grocery stores Warmer California temperatures by mid-century will be too hot for some crops, just right for others.

  • Water securityWater Efficiency Achievable Throughout U.S. without Decrease in Economic Activity

    A recent study showed that targeted efforts to increase water efficiency could save enough water annually to fill Lake Mead. It could happen without significantly compromising economic production, jobs or tax revenue.