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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:

Satellites Show Vanuatu’s Scars From Cyclone Pam

Satellites Show Vanuatu’s Scars From Cyclone Pam

Cyclone Pam ripped through the small island nation of Vanuatu earlier this month, leaving behind scenes of utter devastation. Images on the ground have captured ripped up trees, destroyed houses and signs of cleanup underway. Now Landsat satellite images released by NASA Earth Observatory on Friday show the big picture of what those winds, in… Read More

Two Maps Show Countries’ Plans For CO2 Pledges

Two Maps Show Countries’ Plans For CO2 Pledges

International climate negotiations include every country from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. And as the world gears up for Paris, climate watchers will be looking to see how (or if) each country plans to rise to the challenge of reducing the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. The next major climate talks are still nine months down the road, but commitment… Read More

The West Coast Is in Hot Water

The West Coast Is in Hot Water

Move over polar bears. Are starving sea lion pups the new face of climate change? This year’s slew of hungry pups washing ashore in California, which has generated a slew of media coverage replete with heart-tugging images, has roots in natural temperature fluctuations in the ocean. But in the coming decades, human-induced warming could make these… Read More

Climate Change on International Disaster Talks Agenda

Climate Change on International Disaster Talks Agenda

It may be nine months until pivotal climate negotiations get underway in Paris, but climate change is very much on the international agenda this week in Sendai, Japan. Countries from the around world have convened there at the behest of the United Nations for the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction with the goal of updating a 10-year-old ag… Read More

Four Countries Eclipse EU Renewable Goals Early

Four Countries Eclipse EU Renewable Goals Early

The European Union continues to march toward its renewable energy goals for 2020, but some countries aren’t content to wait until then to meet their targets. Newly released data show that four countries — Sweden, Bulgaria, Estonia and Lithuania — have met or surpassed their renewable energy target ahead of schedule, and two others are on the cusp … Read More

Sao Paulo’s Reservoirs Feel Pinch of Failed Wet Season

Sao Paulo’s Reservoirs Feel Pinch of Failed Wet Season

Sao Paulo, in the wake of another dry summer in southeast Brazil, continues to struggle with a multi-year drought. The city has implemented water rationing, but reservoir levels still hover at perilously low levels and will likely remain there or drop even further as the usual rainy season ends. What is traditionally the rainy season runs from Sept… Read More

Warming Could Hit Rates Unseen in 1,000 Years

Warming Could Hit Rates Unseen in 1,000 Years

We are standing on the edge of a new world where warming is poised to accelerate at rates unseen for at least 1,000 years. That’s the main finding of a paper published Monday in Nature Climate Change, which looked at the rate of temperature change over 40-year periods. The new research also shows that the Arctic, North America and Europe will be … Read More

Drought Weakens the Amazon’s Ability to Capture Carbon

Drought Weakens the Amazon’s Ability to Capture Carbon

During drought, trees across the Amazon continue to stretch their limbs. But they shirk one of their more important, planet-saving tasks: inhaling carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. In the drought of 2010, the ability of the Amazon’s trees, shrubs, bushes and vines to absorb carbon was greatly diminished, according to new research that used on-th… Read More

Maps Show El Niño Won’t Help the West’s Water Woes

Maps Show El Niño Won’t Help the West’s Water Woes

El Niño has finally proved the haters wrong. After months of being derided as “El Limbo” and “El No Show,” scientists declared the phenomenon here almost a year to the day after declaring an El Niño Watch. Sure, it’s later and wimpier than initial forecasts, but better late and weaker than never. Unless of course you’re suffering from drought in … Read More

Global Warming Upped Heat Driving California’s Drought

Global Warming Upped Heat Driving California’s Drought

Another dismal wet season is nearly behind California. Extremely low snowpack in the Sierra Nevada has conspired with warm temperatures to keep the state in the grips of one its worst droughts on record for at least another year. The precipitation has been the key ingredient to start the drought, but heat has played an important role in maintainin… Read More

Climate Change a ‘Contributing Factor’ in Syrian Conflict

Climate Change a ‘Contributing Factor’ in Syrian Conflict

Moist air comes flowing off the Mediterranean into Syria each winter, unleashing rains that transform the dull brown countryside into myriad hues of green. But in 2005, the rains never fully materialized, the first of five consecutive failed rainy seasons that sparked the worst drought in Syria’s history and directly preceded the country’s descent … Read More

NASA Satellites Show Rain In Detail Like Never Before

NASA Satellites Show Rain In Detail Like Never Before

Few things on our planet connect us like precipitation. The storm that drops snow in the mountains of North Carolina one day can bring rain to the plains of Spain a week later. Yet there hasn't been a way to effectively monitor all the precipitation across the globe at once, let alone create a vertical profile from the clouds to the ground. All th… Read More

How Sahara Dust Sustains the Amazon Rainforest, in 3-D

How Sahara Dust Sustains the Amazon Rainforest, in 3-D

The Amazon rainforest exists in part due to an atmospheric pipeline of dust from the Sahara Desert. And if that pipeline were to dry up or be diverted, massive biological changes could occur across the jungle. New research published on Tuesday in the journal Geophysical Research Letters uses satellite data to create the first three-dimensional look… Read More

Here’s Where Ocean Acidification Will Hit the U.S. Hardest

Here’s Where Ocean Acidification Will Hit the U.S. Hardest

U.S. coastal communities better start preparing for ocean acidification now, especially if we want scallops, oysters and other shellfish to keep appearing on our dinnerplates. That’s the message of a new study that shows that shellfisheries across the U.S. are more vulnerable to climate change’s less considered counterpart than previously thought … Read More

Freeze Frame: Drone Captures Niagara Falls on Ice

Freeze Frame: Drone Captures Niagara Falls on Ice

It may feel too cold to even think of walking outside if you live on the East Coast. But you know what it's not too cold to do? Fly a drone over a mostly frozen Niagara Falls. That's exactly what Canadian videographer Brent Foster did on Friday. The results? Pretty spectacular. Raise your glass of hot chocolate (or iced tea if you're out West) to … Read More

Dry or Snowy? Winter Weather Splits the U.S.

Dry or Snowy? Winter Weather Splits the U.S.

Snow, snow, and more snow. That’s what’s been dominating the headlines the past few weeks. However, other than the most recent winter storm that cut across the middle of the country and cut up along the East Coast, it’s really only a small area of the U.S. that is getting pounded with such high amounts of snow — yes, that’s you coastal New England.… Read More

Ocean Acidification, Now Watchable in Real Time

Ocean Acidification, Now Watchable in Real Time

The depressing task of monitoring ocean acidification just got a little easier. A collection of scientists from Europe, the U.S. and India have developed a technique that could provide the first global and nearly real-time assessment of our rapidly acidifying seas.… Read More

Whiteout? Map Shows Last Time All 50 States Had Snow

Whiteout? Map Shows Last Time All 50 States Had Snow

Boston probably has enough snow for the rest of the country. But the last time all 50 states shared in Massachusetts' snowy fortune (or misfortune depending on how you feel about it) was five years ago this week.… Read More

Southwest, Central Plains Face ‘Unprecedented’ Drought

Southwest, Central Plains Face ‘Unprecedented’ Drought

Climate change is creating an “unprecedented” risk of severe drought in the Southwest and Central Plains. Rising temperatures and decreasing rainfall mean that future drought could be more extreme than any drought seen in at least the past 1,000 years and the effects could reverberate for urban dwellers and farmers across the regions. The 1930s Dus… Read More

Climate, Satellite Gaps are Risky Business for Feds

Climate, Satellite Gaps are Risky Business for Feds

In 2014, the federal government set aside $3.5 trillion in outlays for myriad programs. That’s a huge chunk of change exposed to a lot of risks, and according to a new report, two of the biggest threats are the impacts climate change and a looming weather satellite gap. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its biennial High Risk rep… Read More

Geoengineering Holds Promise; Solutions Not Ready

Geoengineering Holds Promise; Solutions Not Ready

Fifty years ago, the idea of reducing the amount of sunlight reaching the earth to address climate change officially entered the scientific and political vernacular. That concept has since been lumped under the banner of geoengineering with other hotly debated techniques that could help cool the planet. Just five years ago, President Obama’s scien… Read More

Everyday Climate Change, Now On Instagram

Everyday Climate Change, Now On Instagram

The #tbt hashtag might get a run for its money on Instagram: climate change has arrived on the popular social network. World class photographers are putting their pictures on display for a new account called Everyday Climate Change and amateurs can contribute. Instagram might seem like an odd place to show pictures of climate change every single … Read More

Climate Calculator Lets You Create a New World

Climate Calculator Lets You Create a New World

Have you always wanted to wield the power of a world leader but been unable find a suitable in? Well, your search is finally be over. The U.K. government has released its Global Calculator, a climate model hitherto only available to world governments to understand how their actions work in concert to reduce global warming. Now the public can crunch… Read More

A Country Divided by Seasons and Warming

A Country Divided by Seasons and Warming

The U.S. is no stranger to differences among its sometimes bickering states, so perhaps it’s no surprise that even global warming finds itself with some regional rivalries. A Climate Central analysis of regional and seasonal temperature differences in the contiguous U.S. since 1970 reveals a country divided along temperature lines, just as it is i… Read More

Thunderstorms Helping Bring Ozone Down to Earth

Thunderstorms Helping Bring Ozone Down to Earth

Ozone is a bit of a shape-shifting chemical. High in the stratosphere, ozone acts as an ultraviolet-blocking shield around Earth (which is why the ozone hole is such a problem). At ground level, it’s a pollutant that can cause serious respiratory problems. And if it finds its way into the troposphere — the lowest level of the atmosphere — ozone ser… Read More