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Stories from Climate Central's Science Journalists and Content Partners

For Air Pollution, Trash Is a Burning Problem

For Air Pollution, Trash Is a Burning Problem

When atmospheric scientist Christine Wiedinmyer first went to Ghana in 2011 to investigate air pollution produced by burning different materials — from crop stubble to coal used in stoves — she noticed an unexpected potential source: burning piles of trash. Like most residents of developed nations who hadn’t traveled broadly in the developing… Read More

Pests Pose Increasing Risk to Food Security

Pests Pose Increasing Risk to Food Security

Coming soon to a farm near you: just about every possible type of pest that could take advantage of the ripening harvest in the nearby fields. By 2050, according to new research in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography, those opportunistic viruses, bacteria, fungi, blights, mildews, rusts, beetles, nematodes, flies, mites, spiders and caterpi… Read More

Cut Carbon, Breathe Easier, Live Longer

Cut Carbon, Breathe Easier, Live Longer

What if I offered you an investment that would make us all healthier, save thousands of lives, and pay for itself? It would be hard to turn down a deal like that. According to a new study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, there is such an investment, and it’s called cap and trade—the market-based plan to reduce carbon pollution that i… Read More

Coal Plants Lock in 300 Billion Tons of CO2 Emissions

Coal Plants Lock in 300 Billion Tons of CO2 Emissions

If they live out their full life spans, all the world’s power plants existing today will spew out 300 billion tons of CO2 before they are retired, according to a new study.… Read More

What Global Warming Might Mean for Extreme Snowfalls

What Global Warming Might Mean for Extreme Snowfalls

So if the world is warming, that means winters should be less snowy, right? Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that. OK, it’s a lot more complicated. While the average annual snowfall in most parts of the world is indeed expected to decline, the extreme snowfalls — those that hit a place once every 10 or 20 years and can cause major headaches… Read More

Visualize It: Old Weather Data Feeds New Climate Models

Visualize It: Old Weather Data Feeds New Climate Models

In the 1930s, there were no computers to run climate models or record weather observations. Instead, weather reports were written or typed on typewriters and forecast maps were drawn by hand. Those observations from the past contain valuable data that can help scientists better understand what the climate may look like in the future. But gathering… Read More

The Jargonaut: What’s a Rossby Wave?

The Jargonaut: What’s a Rossby Wave?

This is the year of obscure atmospheric phenomenon. The polar vortex chilled everyone’s winter. Methane releases might be carving mysterious craters in the Arctic ice. And blocking patterns got the blame for Colorado’s so-called thousand-year flood. So if you want to impress friends and relatives with your meteorological knowledge, you’re going to … Read More

Depths of Atlantic May Hold Key to Global Warming Hiatus

Depths of Atlantic May Hold Key to Global Warming Hiatus

The key to the slowdown in global warming in recent years could lie in the depths of the Atlantic and Southern oceans where excess heat is being stored – not the Pacific Ocean as has previously been suggested, according to new research. But the finding suggests that a naturally occurring ocean cycle burying the heat will flip in around 15 years’ ti… Read More