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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:

The Biggest Loser in Last Night’s Debate? Climate Change

The Biggest Loser in Last Night’s Debate? Climate Change

Monday’s presidential debate featured spirited back-and-forths on tax returns, how to heal divides in the U.S. and the candidates’ economic plans. Notably absent, though, was any thorough discussion about climate change. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump differ wildly on their views on climate policy and whoever is elected president will play a… Read More

The World Passes 400 PPM Threshold. Permanently

The World Passes 400 PPM Threshold. Permanently

In the centuries to come, history books will likely look back on September 2016 as a major milestone for the world’s climate. At a time when atmospheric carbon dioxide is usually at its minimum, the monthly value failed to drop below 400 parts per million. That all but ensures that 2016 will be the year that carbon dioxide officially passed the … Read More

What 2 Million Years of Temps Say About the Future

What 2 Million Years of Temps Say About the Future

That the climate has changed before is a given. So is the reality that humans are changing it now by dumping carbon pollution in the atmosphere. The deep history of temperature changes can inform us about what comes next for our fair planet and new research published Monday in Nature provides a continuous 2-million-year record of the past. It … Read More

Greenland is Losing More Ice Than Scientists Thought

Greenland is Losing More Ice Than Scientists Thought

Bad news keeps flowing for the icy landscapes of the world. Rising temperatures are melting ice and sending it to the ocean, a process that is pushing sea levels higher and altering the landscape at both poles. The latest news comes from Greenland, where researchers have used high-tech satellite and GPS measurements to see how much mass the ice … Read More

Obama Just Tied Climate Change to National Security

Obama Just Tied Climate Change to National Security

On Wednesday, President Obama took another step toward securing his climate legacy. This time his focus wasn’t on energy, public lands or international diplomacy. It was on national security and making sure the U.S. military is prepared for a more unstable future. The White House published a presidential memorandum setting up a timetable for more … Read More

This is What Climate Change Sounds Like, in D Minor

This is What Climate Change Sounds Like, in D Minor

Despite spending countless hours of her PhD at Stanford making site visits to remote stretches of Alaska, pouring over yellow cedar measurements and photos and ultimately publishing her findings, Lauren Oakes was about to experience her data in a new way. Driving for a weekend trip to the Sierras, she turned the volume way up in her car and hit … Read More

Is La Niña Here? Depends Who You Ask

Is La Niña Here? Depends Who You Ask

After the demise of El Niño, the climate phenomenon that has helped fuel record-setting heat for the past two years, all eyes have stayed on the Pacific waiting for its counterpart, La Niña. Without the cooling influence of a La Niña event, the planet is likely to continue feeling the heat for the rest of the year. July and August tied for the … Read More

These Images Show Near-Record Low 2016 Arctic Sea Ice

These Images Show Near-Record Low 2016 Arctic Sea Ice

Arctic sea ice is one of the grandaddy’s of climate indicators. And this grandaddy isn’t doing so good these days. Ice is disappearing at a quickening clip as rapidly warming air and water eats away at the briny, frozen mantle on the top of the planet. In the nearly four decades of satellite monitoring, sea ice has disappeared at a clip of 13.4 … Read More

Climate Change, Explained in One Simple Comic

Climate Change, Explained in One Simple Comic

Do you like nerdy web comics and climate change real talk? Of course you do. Randall Munroe, creator of the tri-weekly web comic xkcd, has combined the two into an epic timeline of earth’s climate. It shows just how radical the recent changes are and puts to bed the trope “the climate has changed before.” The two hottest months the world has ever … Read More

Scientists Are Racing to Unravel an Ice Avalanche Mystery

Scientists Are Racing to Unravel an Ice Avalanche Mystery

In July, one of the largest ice avalanches ever recorded ripped through a remote area of Tibet. Scientists are now working in the region to understand what caused such a massive chunk of ice to break off a glacier and wreak havoc on the landscape and people living in the region. There are signs climate change could have played a role in weakening … Read More

New England is Wicked Dry Right Now

New England is Wicked Dry Right Now

A Patriots fan might say that the biggest disaster in New England right now is Tom Brady’s four-game suspension to start the NFL season. But there’s another catastrophe that’s been brewing all summer. An intense drought has enveloped the region with eastern Massachusetts at the epicenter. It hasn’t warranted the breathless, blow-by-blow coverage… Read More

Tropical Storm Madeline Sent CO2 Below 400 PPM

Tropical Storm Madeline Sent CO2 Below 400 PPM

Tropical Storm Madeline brought the classic impacts of heavy rains, high surf and gusty winds to Hawaii’s Big Island on Wednesday night and early Thursday. But it also brought a rather unexpected impact: carbon dioxide levels dipped below 400 parts per million (ppm) at the Mauna Loa Observatory. The Scripps Institute of Oceanography, which monitor … Read More

167 Tiny Maps Tell the Major Story of Climate Change

167 Tiny Maps Tell the Major Story of Climate Change

Climate change just got another telling visual courtesy of the famed temperature spiral creator. But rather than a graph, it’s a series of 167 maps. Alone, they each tell the story of whether a year was mostly hot or mostly cold or mostly average for the planet. Together, they show unequivocally how much our planet has warmed since the 1850s … Read More

One Glorious Map Shows the Future of Animal Migrations

One Glorious Map Shows the Future of Animal Migrations

The natural world is under siege by climate change. Rising temperatures are pushing plants and animals outside their current range. To keep pace with climate change, species will need a path to follow northward or up in elevation, minimally interrupted by human development. This map shows that path (well, paths actually) in the most beautiful way … Read More

The Future of National Parks is Going to be a Lot Hotter

The Future of National Parks is Going to be a Lot Hotter

Summertime is primetime for national parks. As snow melts, wildflowers bloom and waterfalls roar, generations of visitors have flocked to the natural wonders that dot the American landscape (to say nothing of all the amazing cultural sites the National Park Service protects). The National Park Service was created a century ago — August 25, 1916 to … Read More

This Is What the Ice-Free Northwest Passage Looks Like

This Is What the Ice-Free Northwest Passage Looks Like

An ice-free Northwest Passage was once the stuff of legend. But it’s now becoming the norm thanks to global warming, and commercial freighters to luxury cruise ships are racing to turn a profit off the newest frontier on earth. An image published by NASA Earth Observatory shows a nearly ice-free path from the North Atlantic to the Pacific… Read More

A Computer Just Changed the Coral Research Game

A Computer Just Changed the Coral Research Game

Coral reefs are increasingly imperiled by global warming. Rising temperatures and ocean acidification are destroying some of the world’s most stunning ecosystems. That’s why scientists’ efforts to save them have been going into overdrive recently, working in labs and in the field to find out what makes some corals more resilient than others. The … Read More

Global Coral Bleaching Continues For a Record Third Year

Global Coral Bleaching Continues For a Record Third Year

Bad coral reef news seems to be never-ending these days. Case in point: on Monday, scientists announced that the world is in for an unprecedented third year of coral bleaching across the globe. The announcement comes courtesy of NOAA Coral Reef Watch, which keeps an eye on a number of climate factors that can stress reefs out. That includes rising… Read More

Antarctic CO2 Hit 400 PPM For First Time in 4 Million Years

Antarctic CO2 Hit 400 PPM For First Time in 4 Million Years

We’re officially living in a new world. Carbon dioxide has been steadily rising since the start of the Industrial Revolution, setting a new high year after year. There’s a notable new entry to the record books. The last station on Earth without a 400 parts per million (ppm) reading has reached it. A little 400 ppm history. Three years ago, the … Read More

Everything You Need to Know About Wildfires in One Map

Everything You Need to Know About Wildfires in One Map

Summer's heat is settling in early in parts of the West, and may arrive in earnest this weekend. With sweltering days ahead, the rising specter of wildfires isn’t far behind. To get the big-picture, we’ve created a brand new wildfire tracker that shows where every wildfire is burning with a side of climate. Hover over a red circle to see how much … Read More

A Simple Idea Could Help Wildlife Survive Climate Change

A Simple Idea Could Help Wildlife Survive Climate Change

Global warming is chasing plants and animals, forcing them to head uphill or north to find suitable habitat. Scientists have considered migration corridors — restored, healthy natural areas that connect current habitats with likely landing spots — as a way to help plants and animals stay a step ahead of climate change. New findings published on … Read More

El Niño Had a Good Run, But Now It’s Over

El Niño Had a Good Run, But Now It’s Over

Did you wake up on Thursday with an overwhelming sense of sadness, a feeling that there was a hole in your heart? You’re not alone. The world officially said goodbye to an old friend. On Thursday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that the past year’s El Niño was no more. The declaration comes a few weeks after … Read More

The Temperature Spiral Has an Update. It’s Not Pretty.

The Temperature Spiral Has an Update. It’s Not Pretty.

The temperature spiral that took the world by storm has an update. If you think the heat is on in our current climate, you ain’t seen nothing yet. To recap, U.K Met Office climate scientist Ed Hawkins wrecked the internet a few weeks ago with a revolutionary new way to look at global temperatures. Using a circular graph of every year’s monthly… Read More

Global Warming Threatens the World’s Special Places

Global Warming Threatens the World’s Special Places

The most precious places on the planet are under siege by climate change. From Venice being slowly consumed by the sea to rising temperatures stressing out Uganda’s famous gorillas, history and the natural world are facing a threat unlike anything they’ve ever experienced before. On the eve of Memorial Day and the unofficial start to summer … Read More

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