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Bobby Magill

Bobby Magill

Editorial

Bobby Magill is a Senior Science Writer at Climate Central, focusing on energy and climate change. Prior to joining Climate Central, Bobby covered Western energy and environmental issues as a freelance writer for Popular Mechanics and as an award-winning reporter for the Fort Collins Coloradoan newspaper in Fort Collins, Colorado, and the Daily Sentinel newspaper in Grand Junction, Colorado. His work has also appeared in USA Today, High Country News, NewWest.net and other publications. His coverage of oil and gas drilling and fracking at the Coloradoan earned a commendation from the Columbia Journalism Review as a "model for other reporters on this beat in the West and beyond." Born and raised in Charleston, S.C., Bobby was a wilderness guide in Colorado and New Mexico and holds a B.A. in Communications with a specialization in Mass Media from the College of Charleston. He lives in New York City. 

Most Recent News Entries:

Mexico, Canada, U.S. to Make Clean Power Pledge

Mexico, Canada, U.S. to Make Clean Power Pledge

The U.S., Mexico and Canada are expected to pledge Wednesday to collectively generate 50 percent of their electricity from zero-carbon sources by 2025, according to White House officials. The agreement is expected to be struck at the North American Leaders’ Summit in Ottawa. It means that when all the electricity generated in the three countries … Read More

‘Water Windfall’ Found in Drought-Stricken California

‘Water Windfall’ Found in Drought-Stricken California

California’s Central Valley has three times more freshwater in underground aquifers than previously thought, drinking water that could help the state weather future drought and fortify itself against a changing climate, according to a new Stanford University study. But tapping that water, locked thousands of feet beneath the ground, will be … Read More

Wind at China’s Back to Amp Up Its Renewables

Wind at China’s Back to Amp Up Its Renewables

China can tap just 10 percent of its wind resources to supply more than a quarter of its electricity by 2030, significantly boosting the global transition to renewable energy, according to an MIT study.… Read More

Extreme Oil Prices May Be Costly to the Climate

Extreme Oil Prices May Be Costly to the Climate

When oil and gas prices go to extremes, such as when they crashed two years ago, scientists begin to look for answers about what those prices mean for climate change — especially when cheap oil encourages people to guzzle more gasoline in less fuel-efficient vehicles. A new study shows that if oil and gas prices remain at either extreme — very … Read More

Scientists Urge Obama to Halt Oil Leasing in the Arctic

Scientists Urge Obama to Halt Oil Leasing in the Arctic

In a letter being delivered to the White House on Thursday, nearly 400 scientists from more than a dozen countries are urging President Obama to stop future oil and gas drilling in the Arctic Ocean because of the significant environmental and climate risks associated with further fossil fuels exploration there. “No new oil and gas leasing or … Read More

Melting Arctic Could Supercharge Climate Feedback Loop

Melting Arctic Could Supercharge Climate Feedback Loop

As global warming heats the Arctic, carbon dioxide emissions from melting permafrost could play a bigger role in worsening climate change than previously thought, according to a new study. Scientists have long considered methane emissions to be the biggest climate threat posed by thawing permafrost. Methane is more potent than carbon dioxide in … Read More

Wildfires Disrupt Oil Sands, Exposing Climate Risk

Wildfires Disrupt Oil Sands, Exposing Climate Risk

While importing oil from Canada has been controversial in the U.S., the devastating wildfires in Fort McMurray have served to underscore a larger issue: Natural disasters exacerbated by climate change can threaten major natural resources. The wildfires in Alberta forced tar sands production to be cut by about a third, or 800,000 barrels per day in… Read More

Scientists Turn Carbon Dioxide Emissions to Stone

Scientists Turn Carbon Dioxide Emissions to Stone

For the first time, carbon dioxide emissions from an electric power plant have been captured, pumped underground and solidified — the first step toward safe carbon capture and storage, according to a paper published Thursday in the journal Science. “This opens another door for getting rid of carbon dioxide or storing carbon dioxide in the … Read More

Arctic Sea Ice Breaks May Record . . . By A Lot

Arctic Sea Ice Breaks May Record . . . By A Lot

Arctic sea ice shrank to its fourth-lowest level in 50 years last month, setting a record low for the month of May and setting up conditions for what could become the smallest Arctic ice extent in history, according to National Snow and Ice Data Center data released Tuesday. “We didn’t just break the old May record, we’re way below the previous on… Read More

Scientists Seek a New Measure for Methane. Here’s Why.

Scientists Seek a New Measure for Methane. Here’s Why.

There may be a significant problem with the measuring stick scientists use to account for how much methane is affecting climate change, according to a recent study led by researchers at Oxford University. The long-term effect of methane emissions might appear to be a lot greater than it really is when compared to carbon dioxide in terms of both… Read More

Warming Could Boost Carbon Storage in Alaska Forests

Warming Could Boost Carbon Storage in Alaska Forests

Climate change may dramatically increase carbon storage in Alaska’s temperate forests, possibly offsetting the climate impacts of melting permafrost and wildfires, new research from the U.S. Geological Survey shows. But there’s an asterisk: the study’s authors said their projections could be skewed by a lack of data on methane emissions from lakes… Read More

Easing Drought Boosts California Hydropower, For Now

Easing Drought Boosts California Hydropower, For Now

The easing of California’s drought has boosted the state’s early spring hydropower generation to its highest level since 2011, helping it to recover from a 15-year low reached last year. But hydroelectricity production is not expected to improve much overall this year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The West’s four-year … Read More

New Tar Sands Impact on Climate, Air Quality Found

New Tar Sands Impact on Climate, Air Quality Found

In one of the first studies of its kind, scientists have found that tar sands production in Canada is one of North America’s largest sources of secondary organic aerosols — air pollutants that affect the climate, cloud formation and public health. The study, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, showed that the production of tar sands and … Read More

U.S. Leads Globe in Oil Production for Third Year

U.S. Leads Globe in Oil Production for Third Year

The U.S. led the world last year in producing both oil and gas, federal government estimates published Monday show, even as the country committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions. … Read More

Power Plant Emissions Fall to Lowest Level in Decades

Power Plant Emissions Fall to Lowest Level in Decades

Carbon dioxide emissions from electric power plants have fallen to their lowest level in decades, and that trend could help states meet their emissions goals under the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan if it survives court challenges, according to new U.S. Energy Information Administration data and a New York University analysis. Carbon … Read More

Young Forests Can Store ‘Enormous’ Amounts of Carbon

Young Forests Can Store ‘Enormous’ Amounts of Carbon

Woodland areas that regrow after forest fires, logging operations or other disturbances can sequester huge amounts of carbon dioxide and they play an unexpectedly valuable role in mitigating climate change, according to a study by 60 scientists from across the globe. The research, published Friday in the journal Science Advances, is the first to … Read More

EPA Moves to Regulate Oil and Gas Methane Emissions

EPA Moves to Regulate Oil and Gas Methane Emissions

The Obama administration announced new rules on Thursday aimed at cutting methane emissions from new oil and gas wells and fracking operations. The rules also will require energy companies to provide pollution information to the Environmental Protection Agency so it can regulate methane emissions from existing oil and gas wells. Methane warms the … Read More

Global 2040 Forecast Sees Only Slight Fall in Fossil Fuels

Global 2040 Forecast Sees Only Slight Fall in Fossil Fuels

Despite the urgency to cut greenhouse gas emissions as climate change bears down on the globe, fossil fuel use is not likely to change much in the coming decades. Though renewable energy will grow quickly though 2040, gasoline and diesel will still move most of the world’s vehicles, and coal will still be the largest single source of carbon … Read More

Could Baby Steps Be the Best Global Climate Strategy?

Could Baby Steps Be the Best Global Climate Strategy?

Could baby steps be the best way to make international progress on slashing greenhouse gas emissions instead of trying to strike a bold and grand bargain among world powers? A paper published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change concludes that the answer to that questions is: Yes. So far, international cooperation on climate change has come… Read More

Fracking Hits Milestone as Natural Gas Use Rises in U.S.

Fracking Hits Milestone as Natural Gas Use Rises in U.S.

More natural gas in the U.S. is coming from wells that have been hydraulically fractured than ever before, and fracking’s share of the country’s gas supply is continuing to rise, according to new data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. At the same time, the fracking boom in the U.S. has led to a major boost in natural gas consumption… Read More

Hurricanes Boost Carbon Storage in Southeastern Forests

Hurricanes Boost Carbon Storage in Southeastern Forests

Hurricanes hitting the Southeast coast can supercharge the region’s forests, spurring them to store more than 100 times the carbon released annually by all vehicles in the U.S., Duke University researchers have found. Rainfall associated with hurricanes acts as fuel for photosynthesis, drastically increasing trees’ carbon absorption rates… Read More

Paris Pact Could Benefit From Halt of Fossil Fuel Leases

Paris Pact Could Benefit From Halt of Fossil Fuel Leases

Phasing out federal coal, oil and gas leasing on public lands in the U.S. could make a small but significant contribution toward the international goal of keeping global warming to 2°C (3.6°F), according to a paper published Tuesday by the Stockholm Environment Institute. Shutting down all federal oil, gas and coal leasing would lead to a … Read More

Satellite Shows U.S. Has the Most Gas Flares in the World

Satellite Shows U.S. Has the Most Gas Flares in the World

Drive through many oil and gas fields in the U.S. and one thing stands out above the pumpjacks and storage tanks, especially at night — steadily flickering flames. Those flames are known as gas flares, which burn off excess natural gas from crude oil and natural gas wells across the globe. Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric … Read More

Strong El Niño Helped Lower U.S. Heating Costs

Strong El Niño Helped Lower U.S. Heating Costs

Was your heating bill a bit friendlier to your wallet this winter? If so, there’s a good chance you can thank El Niño. The exceptionally strong El Niño in the Pacific has been driving chaotic weather across the globe for months, but it also contributed to a mild winter in the U.S., which was about 15 percent warmer than the winter of 2014-2015.… Read More

2016 Election Critical to Success of Paris Climate Pact

2016 Election Critical to Success of Paris Climate Pact

The 2016 presidential election is likely to be enormously consequential to the success of the Paris climate agreement, due to be signed Friday at the United Nations, and the ability of the United States to lead the world in reducing greenhouse gas emissions to keep global warming to “well below” 2°C (3.6°F).… Read More