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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:

South Miami Just Made a Huge Rooftop Solar Decision

South Miami Just Made a Huge Rooftop Solar Decision

South Miami this week became the first city outside of California to require all new homes to install solar panels on their roofs. Six cities in the Golden State began requiring solar to be installed on new homes over the past few years. But in Florida, where voters killed proposed solar restrictions last year, South Miami is now a pioneer. This… Read More

Rising Temps Could Bring Flight Delays Worldwide

Rising Temps Could Bring Flight Delays Worldwide

Imagine boarding a summertime flight at LaGuardia Airport in New York City, only to be told that the airline needs a dozen or so passengers to take a later flight because it’s too hot outside for the plane to take off fully loaded. That could become a common scenario at 19 major airports worldwide as extreme heat caused by global warming disrupts … Read More

States Betting on Giant Batteries to Cut Carbon

States Betting on Giant Batteries to Cut Carbon

Some states and electric power companies are rolling out a new weapon against fossil fuels — giant batteries. A growing number of states are requiring large batteries to be used to store electricity to help expand wind and solar power. The trend is catching on quickly as at least three states have created energy storage targets or incentives so… Read More

Climate Change Altering Droughts, Impacts Across U.S.

Climate Change Altering Droughts, Impacts Across U.S.

As a major drought devastated the West and Midwest beginning in 2012, farmers racked up billions of dollars in crop losses and water managers grappled with possible water shortages for millions of people as reservoirs dried up in the heat. That drought is now gone. But scientists have found that the dry spell showed unusual wild extremes of … Read More

Desert Basins Could Hold ‘Missing’ Carbon Sinks

Desert Basins Could Hold ‘Missing’ Carbon Sinks

Deserts across the globe may contain some of the world’s “missing” carbon sinks — land masses scientists had not previously identified that absorb carbon from the atmosphere, according to researchers at China’s Lanzhou University. A study published Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience found that closed, or endorheic, basins in deserts — areas… Read More

The U.S. Hit a Wind and Solar Power Milestone in March

The U.S. Hit a Wind and Solar Power Milestone in March

Ten percent of all of the electricity generated in the U.S. in March came from wind and solar power, marking the first such milestone in U.S. history, according to a new U.S. Energy Information Administration report. The EIA estimates that wind and solar farms likely generated 10 percent of America’s electricity in April as well, which would be … Read More

Protecting Ocean Waters Will Aid Climate Adaptation

Protecting Ocean Waters Will Aid Climate Adaptation

Setting aside vast swathes of ocean and protecting them from industrial uses such as overfishing and other development is critically important to helping both the earth and countries adapt to climate change, a global team of marine biologists says. Large marine reserves can also help prevent some of the worst effects of climate change by helping … Read More

Fact-Checking Trump: Coal Mines Open, Prospects Bleak

Fact-Checking Trump: Coal Mines Open, Prospects Bleak

As President Trump announced on Thursday that the U.S. would leave the Paris climate agreement, he repeatedly expressed unwavering support for the coal mining industry. Boosting coal production, bringing back coals jobs, and killing federal climate change programs have been among his top priorities since he took office. “The mines are starting to … Read More

World’s First Commercial CO2 Capture Plant Goes Live

World’s First Commercial CO2 Capture Plant Goes Live

A Swiss company on Wednesday is set to become the world’s first to commercially remove carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere and turn it into a useful product. Climeworks, which will begin operations at a facility near Zurich, Switzerland, plans to compress the CO2 it captures and use it as fertilizer to grow crops in greenhouses. The … Read More

Budget Guts U.S. Carbon Capture, Storage Research

Budget Guts U.S. Carbon Capture, Storage Research

As with many other federal climate-related programs, President Trump’s proposed 2018 budget nearly snuffs out funding for carbon capture and storage, or CCS, research and development, possibly dramatically slowing the advancements in that technology.… Read More

White House Budget Aims to Kill ‘Crazy’ Climate Science

White House Budget Aims to Kill ‘Crazy’ Climate Science

As The White House released its budget request for the 2018 fiscal year on Tuesday, the Trump administration made good on its promise to target deep cuts to federal spending on climate, energy, science, research and other programs widely seen as critical to America’s ability to adapt to a warming world and reduce its impact on the climate.… Read More

Focus on Carbon Removal a ‘High-Stakes Gamble’

Focus on Carbon Removal a ‘High-Stakes Gamble’

The manmade emissions fueling global warming are accumulating so quickly in the atmosphere that climate change could spiral out of control before humanity can take measures drastic enough to cool the earth’s fever, many climate scientists say. The most important way the earth’s rising temperature can be tempered is to reduce the use of fossil… Read More

Climate, Energy Programs Get Budget Reprieve

Climate, Energy Programs Get Budget Reprieve

Lawmakers are set to vote this week on a bipartisan appropriations bill that would keep the government running through the remainder of the 2017. The spending package fully funds the government and keeps many climate, renewable energy and environmental programs funded at close to 2016 levels. The deal almost fully funds most agencies compared to… Read More

First U.S. Offshore Wind Farm Shutters Diesel Power Plant

First U.S. Offshore Wind Farm Shutters Diesel Power Plant

America’s first offshore wind farm just helped to shut down a small diesel-fired electric power plant on Block Island, R.I. Block Island officials on Monday switched on a connection between the island and a cable linking the wind farm to Rhode Island’s mainland power grid. … Read More

Environmental Rules Played Minor Role in Coal’s Decline

Environmental Rules Played Minor Role in Coal’s Decline

Environmental and climate regulations that cut pollution from coal-fired power plants have played only a minor role in the decline of the coal industry, which has been hurt mainly by expanding use of natural gas and less demand for electricity, according to a Columbia University report published this week. U.S. coal use fell by about 30 percent … Read More

How Trump’s Monuments Review Could Impact Climate

How Trump’s Monuments Review Could Impact Climate

President Trump has directed the Interior Department to “review” all large national monuments created since 1996 to recommend ways for Congress to shrink or abolish them. The directive came in the form of an executive order signed by the president Wednesday morning. It requires the department to make preliminary recommendations within 45 days and … Read More

Pollution From Canada’s Oil Sands May Be Underreported

Pollution From Canada’s Oil Sands May Be Underreported

Canadian scientists have found that the standard way of tallying air and climate pollution from Alberta’s oil sands vastly understates pollution levels there — by as much as 4.5 times, according to a Canadian government study published Monday. The study shows that air samples collected using aircraft may be a more accurate way to tally air and … Read More

A Cooler Future May Hinge on Removing CO2 From the Air

A Cooler Future May Hinge on Removing CO2 From the Air

Climate pollution equal to about 27 times humans’ 2015 carbon dioxide emissions may have to be removed from the atmosphere and locked underground forever in order to keep the globe from warming beyond 1.5°C (2.7°F) above preindustrial levels, according to a new study. The research, led by scientists at the International Institute for Applied … Read More

Scientists: Get Used to Wildfires in a Warming World

Scientists: Get Used to Wildfires in a Warming World

Communities across the Western U.S. and Canada may have to adapt to living with the ever-increasing threat of catastrophic wildfires as global warming heats up and dries out forests across the West, according to a University of Colorado study published Monday. Residents living in neighborhoods adjacent to forests — known as “wildland-urban … Read More

Carbon Emissions Factor Into Major Oil Sands Shakeup

Carbon Emissions Factor Into Major Oil Sands Shakeup

As global companies abandon the Canadian oil sands at a time of low oil prices and huge losses, some of them are also concerned that producing one of the world’s most carbon-laden fossil fuels may be bad business in a warming world. A wave of sell-offs began last year when Murphy Oil and Norway’s Statoil decided to pull out of the oil sands. Royal… Read More

Electricity’s Carbon Footprint in U.S. Shrinks, Sets Record

Electricity’s Carbon Footprint in U.S. Shrinks, Sets Record

All the right things came together in 2016 for the U.S. to shrink its carbon footprint in some dramatic and record-breaking ways, according to federal data released this week. For two years in a row, carbon emissions from electric power plants in the U.S. fell by about 5 percent each year — the first time in more than 40 years of recordkeeping… Read More

Americans Used A Lot Less Coal in 2016; Here’s Why

Americans Used A Lot Less Coal in 2016; Here’s Why

Coal use fell last year for the third year in a row — after slight increases in 2012 and 2013 — and has been steadily declining in the U.S. since it peaked a decade ago, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data. The ongoing decline is occurring even as the Trump administration promotes coal as a way to boost energy independence and… Read More

Congress’ ‘Political Theater’ Threatens Science, Climate

Congress’ ‘Political Theater’ Threatens Science, Climate

As the Trump administration embarks on a deregulatory frenzy aimed at weakening federal climate action, Congress is matching his enthusiasm. Dozens of GOP-sponsored bills have been introduced that seek to hamstring the government’s ability to protect the environment, cut greenhouse gas emissions and consider peer-reviewed science in its decisions… Read More

Removal of Energy ‘Burdens’ Could Have Huge Impacts

Removal of Energy ‘Burdens’ Could Have Huge Impacts

A provision of the “energy independence” executive order signed by President Trump this week is so broad in scope that legal experts say it could affect numerous government responsibilities far beyond those that deal directly with energy and climate change. The order, which takes steps to rescind Obama-era climate regulations, calls for each … Read More

Trump Moves to Dismantle U.S. Climate Rules

Trump Moves to Dismantle U.S. Climate Rules

President Trump signed a sweeping executive order Tuesday rescinding numerous federal climate policies and calling for the review and replacement of the Obama administration’s most ambitious effort to control climate pollution — the Clean Power Plan. The order is Trump’s most aggressive move yet to dismantle federal climate regulations even as … Read More