News Section
Stories from Climate Central's Science Journalists and Content Partners

Tropical Dams an Underestimated Methane Source

Tropical Dams an Underestimated Methane Source

Big dams built in the tropics to produce hydroelectricity have long been highly controversial — data gathered in Laos by a French team studying methane emissions confirms that dams can add to global warming, not reduce it. In many rocky regions low on vegetation and population, such as in Iceland and other northern mountainous regions, the prod… Read More

The Good and Bad Climate News from Permafrost Melt

The Good and Bad Climate News from Permafrost Melt

Earth’s subterranean carbon blisters are starting to pop. Carbon inside now-melting permafrost is oozing out, leaving scientists scrambling to figure out just how much of it is ending up in the atmosphere. Whether recent findings from research that attempted to help answer this question are good or bad climate news might depend on whether you see … Read More

Calif. Plans Nation’s Most Detailed Sea Level Database

Calif. Plans Nation’s Most Detailed Sea Level Database

To help adapt to the increased flood-risks affecting people and property in these landscapes, California is about to compile the nation’s most elaborate sea level rise planning database. The task won’t be easy. California’s bureaucracy can be as bewildering as its hydrology. Which is one of the reasons its lawmakers are directing a single agency t… Read More

Mountain Forest Changes Threaten Calif. Water Supplies

Mountain Forest Changes Threaten Calif. Water Supplies

Hike high enough up California’s Sierra Nevada and the forest morphs around you. At around 6,000 feet, the dazzling diversity of the lower montane forest, replete with California black oak, ponderosa pine, and incense cedars gives way to more monotonous landscapes of red fir and lodgepole pine. Hike further still and trees eventually disappear alto… 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

Battle Wages for California’s Groundwater Rights

Battle Wages for California’s Groundwater Rights

Grapevines march across wires strung along rolling hills, their little trunks improbably supporting heavy black fruit. Cindy Steinbeck’s family has been farming this land since 1920. They grow Zinfandel, Viognier, Cabernet, Merlot, and Petite Syrah grapes but are best known in this area of Central California for a blend called The Crash, named afte… Read More

Antarctic Riddle: How Much Will the South Pole Melt?

Antarctic Riddle: How Much Will the South Pole Melt?

One of the biggest question marks surrounding the fate of the planet’s coastlines is dangling from its underbelly. The melting of the Antarctic ice sheet has long been a relatively minor factor in the steady ascent of high-water marks, responsible for about an eighth of the 3 millimeters of annual sea-level rise. But when it comes to climate change… 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