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Brian Kahn

Brian Kahn

Editorial

Brian Kahn is a Senior Science Writer at Climate Central. He previously worked at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society and partnered with climate.gov to produce multimedia stories, manage social media campaigns and develop version 2.0 of climate.gov. His writing has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Grist, the Daily Kos, Justmeans and the Yale Forum on Climate Change in the Media. In previous lives, he led sleigh ride tours through a herd of 7,000 elk and guided tourists around the deepest lake in the U.S. He holds an M.A. in Climate and Society from Columbia University. 

Most Recent News Entries:

Chilling Video Shows Wildfire Damage in Fort McMurray

Chilling Video Shows Wildfire Damage in Fort McMurray

The Fort McMurray fire is still burning out of control, but footage is beginning to emerge of the destruction left behind in northern Alberta’s largest metro area. As of Friday morning, the wildfire that flared up in northeastern Alberta on Tuesday had spread to 247,000 acres, according to the CBC. The wildfire is expected to be one of the most… Read More

Here’s the Climate Context For the Fort McMurray Wildfire

Here’s the Climate Context For the Fort McMurray Wildfire

An unusually intense May wildfire roared into Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, on Tuesday, forcing the largest wildfire evacuation in province history. The flames rode the back of hot, windy weather that will continue through Wednesday and could pick up again this weekend. The wildfire is the latest in a lengthening lineage of early wildfires in no… Read More

Florida Reefs Are Dissolving Much Sooner Than Expected

Florida Reefs Are Dissolving Much Sooner Than Expected

It wasn’t supposed to happen this fast. Some of the reefs around the Florida Keys are dissolving. They may have crossed a tipping point due to increasing ocean acidification, raising the alarm that climate change impacts in the ocean are continuing to happen at a much quicker pace than scientists previously suspected. Rising carbon dioxide levels … Read More

Stunning Cloud Maps Tell the Story of Life on Earth

Stunning Cloud Maps Tell the Story of Life on Earth

Clouds might seem like a nuisance if you’re headed on a Sunday afternoon picnic. But put aside your personal biases for a second and consider this: clouds can also tell the story of life on earth. That story has become a heck of lot clearer thanks to new maps created by scientists that document a global year in the clouds in more intimate detail … Read More

This Is How Surfers Are Helping Fund Climate Science

This Is How Surfers Are Helping Fund Climate Science

Surfing is synonymous with riding waves all day, jamming to Jack Johnson, chilling around a beach bonfire by night and sleeping in a VW van before doing it all over again. But there’s another word idea that should also come to mind when imagining the idealized life of a surfer dude or dudette: science. In particular, research on ocean health … Read More

Bleaching Has Hit 93 Percent of the Great Barrier Reef

Bleaching Has Hit 93 Percent of the Great Barrier Reef

We knew coral bleaching was a serious issue in the Great Barrier Reef, but the scope of just how widespread it was has been unclear — until now. Extensive aerial surveys and dives have revealed that 93 percent of the world’s largest reef has been devastated by coral bleaching. The culprit has been record-warm water driven by El Niño and climate … Read More

There’s a Hopeful Message Hidden in These Dead Reefs

There’s a Hopeful Message Hidden in These Dead Reefs

“It was a gut punch.” That’s how Kim Cobb, a scientist at Georgia Tech, described what she saw on a recent dive on the reefs surrounding Christmas Island. She’s studied them for the better part of two decades and what she saw this April was something she had never seen before. Once vibrant reefs, some of the most pristine on the planet, were … Read More

Greenland’s Melt Season Started Nearly Two Months Early

Greenland’s Melt Season Started Nearly Two Months Early

To say the 2016 Greenland melt season is off to the races is an understatement. Warm, wet conditions rapidly kicked off the melt season this weekend, more than a month-and-a-half ahead of schedule. It has easily set a record for earliest melt season onset, and marks the first time it’s begun in April. Little to no melt through winter is the norm … Read More

Climate Change is Altering How the Poles Drift

Climate Change is Altering How the Poles Drift

The spin of the earth is a constant in our lives. It’s quite literally why night follows day. And while that cycle isn’t going away, climate change is messing with the axis upon which our fair planet spins. Ice melting has caused a drift in polar motion, a somewhat esoteric term that tells scientists a lot about past and future climate and is … Read More

El Niño Has Helped Fill California’s Biggest Reservoir

El Niño Has Helped Fill California’s Biggest Reservoir

Californians, say hello to an old friend. After four years of drought, the state’s largest reservoir is again a reservoir instead of a mudpit. Lake Shasta, located in the northern half of the state, was down to just 29 percent of normal storage capacity as recently as December. But one of the strongest El Niño’s on record has helped steer rain to … Read More

These Ice Cap Images Show the Arctic’s Rapid Change

These Ice Cap Images Show the Arctic’s Rapid Change

This has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week for ice around the world. First came news that Arctic sea ice set a record low extent this winter (topping the old record set last year). Then came news that the West Antarctic ice sheet is facing the threat of runaway melt. Now NASA Earth Observatory has decided to remind us that even … Read More

Climate Change Is Coming For Your Maple Syrup

Climate Change Is Coming For Your Maple Syrup

Blue bags hang off the trees lining the road to Joshua Rapp’s sugar shack. On a brisk late February day, some bulge with maple sap while others sport little sap icicles. The blue bags are a little less romantic than the metal pails that Rapp’s forbearers hung off trees, but they have the benefit of being easily weighed and transported. Measuring … Read More

This 23-Second Video Shows Old Arctic Sea Ice’s Demise

This 23-Second Video Shows Old Arctic Sea Ice’s Demise

The Arctic seems to be a never-ending source of dismal climate news, particularly when it pertains to sea ice. Let’s recap. Sea ice extent has set monthly record lows this winter (after setting a seasonal record low just last winter). In general, its extent is shrinking across all seasons. But what’s even worse news is the character of sea ice is … Read More

Another Month, Another Troubling Arctic Sea Ice Record

Another Month, Another Troubling Arctic Sea Ice Record

This year is quickly excising 2015 from the dubious top of the climate record books. The most freakishly warm month on record, record atmospheric heat in February and now for the second month in a row, a new monthly Arctic sea ice low. February saw record low sea ice extent, with ice running 448,000 square miles below average. In essence, a chunk … Read More

What To Know About February’s Satellite Temp Record

What To Know About February’s Satellite Temp Record

Global warming, it isn’t just for the surface. It’s also lurking in the atmosphere and new satellite data shows the incredible heat that’s building on the planet. February marked the biggest atmospheric temperature spike observed, with the monthly reading running 1.5°F above normal, a new record. The measurement is taken by satellites operated by … Read More

Syria’s Drought Has Likely Been Its Worst in 900 Years

Syria’s Drought Has Likely Been Its Worst in 900 Years

The relentless flow of refugees from the Middle East into Europe continues to raise tensions across the region. This weekend, fires ignited at a refugee camp in Calais, France, and countries are beginning to tighten their borders as more than 1 million people have streamed into Europe in the past year. The 1 million refugees represent just a … Read More

Scientists Turned Back the Clock on Climate Change

Scientists Turned Back the Clock on Climate Change

The world was a vastly different place 250 years ago. There weren’t 50 states, Taylor Swift feuds or viral videos anywhere in sight. Another thing that was also less plentiful: carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Since then, CO2 has risen and with it, a host of other impacts have befallen our planet. That includes the rapid acidification of our seas … Read More

Longest Global Coral Bleaching On Record Isn’t Over Yet

Longest Global Coral Bleaching On Record Isn’t Over Yet

Coral reefs have had a rough run over the past two years. Climate change has ratcheted up ocean temperatures and El Niño helped kick them into overdrive in parts of the world. All that heat kicked off what has been a major coral die-off around the globe. While El Niño has passed its peak, scientists have warned that the global coral die-off, known … Read More

Arctic Sea Ice Is in Record Low Territory (Again)

Arctic Sea Ice Is in Record Low Territory (Again)

The winter of discontent in the northern latitudes continues. Persistent warmth has baked the region, making snow a no show in parts of Alaska and, perhaps more importantly, slowing the growth of Arctic sea ice. Though it’s still likely a month before the Arctic sea ice reaches its maximum, the current trajectory is not a good one. Slow and at … Read More

Every State’s Temperature Trend for Every Season

Every State’s Temperature Trend for Every Season

A winter heat wave is spreading inland from the West Coast and could bring unseasonable warmth spanning from coast-to-coast by the weekend. Southern California is on track to continue setting hot temperature records, Phoenix will have its earliest first 90°F day of the year, and parts of the South could see temperatures 20°-30°F above normal … Read More

January Smashed Another Global Temperature Record

January Smashed Another Global Temperature Record

The calendar may have turned to 2016, but temperatures are picking up where 2015 left off. January was record warm, according to data released this week by NASA. You may recall that last year was the hottest on record for the globe. And by NASA’s accounting, it ended with a bang. This past December was the warmest December on record and the most … Read More

CO2 Emissions Are Causing Earth to ‘Hyperventilate’

CO2 Emissions Are Causing Earth to ‘Hyperventilate’

Every year, plants inhale and exhale carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It’s a natural seasonal cycle that has played out over millennia. But as humans emit more carbon dioxide (CO2) by burning fossil fuels, the steady rhythm is being replaced by a more erratic cycle as plants race to keep pace with all the new CO2 in the atmosphere. New research… Read More

More Rain, Less Snow for U.S. Winters

More Rain, Less Snow for U.S. Winters

For most states in the U.S., winters without snow would be like a Super Bowl performance without Beyonce, Donald Trump without a combover or an overseas flight without a visa. And yet that’s exactly what’s been happening. As the world warms, it’s changing the essence of winter. It’s not that less precipitation is falling (though that is happening … Read More

These 9 EU Countries Are Leading the Renewable Charge

These 9 EU Countries Are Leading the Renewable Charge

The list of European Union (EU) countries beating their renewables goals continues to grow. In what’s been a steady stream of good news over the past three years, more countries than ever are meeting their 2020 targets for renewable energy generation ahead of schedule. First it was Sweden, Bulgaria and Estonia. Then last year, Lithuania joined the … Read More

Weakening Ice Shelves Raise Sea Level Rise Concerns

Weakening Ice Shelves Raise Sea Level Rise Concerns

All along Antarctica’s coast, tongues of floating ice act as a firewall. Any major breaks in the firewall could send inland ice flowing faster to the sea, raising ocean levels and threatening coastal communities around the globe. In some ways, it’s a process already seen in some areas of Antarctica and it’s concerning enough that scientists have … Read More