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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:

Scorched Earth Is Big Climate Concern in Alaska Wildfires

Scorched Earth Is Big Climate Concern in Alaska Wildfires

Alaska and its neighbor to the east, Canada, have kicked off wildfire season in a major way. Blazes have raged across the northern stretches of North America, sending smoke streaming down into the Lower 48 and leaving the landscape charred. The multitudes of fires is a glimpse of things to come as the climate warms, but blackened trees are only … Read More

The U.S., Brazil and China All Set Major Climate Goals

The U.S., Brazil and China All Set Major Climate Goals

The world got a major dose of climate clarity on Tuesday. The U.S., Brazil and China — three of the world’s top greenhouse gas emitters — all released major commitments to reduce or at least slow their greenhouse gas emissions, protect forest and ramp up their use of renewable energy. The flurry of activity comes with five months to go until major… Read More

Three Ways The World’s Power Mix Is About To Change

Three Ways The World’s Power Mix Is About To Change

Big changes are afoot for the energy sector in the next 25 years. Coal and gas are headed out and solar and wind are rushing to take their place on a multi-trillion dollar investment bonanza, according to a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance that scopes out the power generating landscape through 2040. The main reason for the big … Read More

Twitter Could Shape Flood Disaster Response

Twitter Could Shape Flood Disaster Response

First the rains came. Then the floods. Then the tweets. In late January 2014, Jakarta was inundated with heavy rain. So much rain fell that the region saw 16 inches more rainfall than normal for the month. Rivers rose and punctured their banks, spilling onto the streets of the Indonesian capital. Flood waters reached over 6 feet in some areas and … Read More

NASA’s New Climate Projections, Now On the Cloud

NASA’s New Climate Projections, Now On the Cloud

NASA has put a new item up on Amazon. But there’s no price tag and you won’t necessarily find it by using the marketplace’s search bar or browsing the electronics section. Instead, you’ll have to look at Amazon’s cloud, where NASA scientists have shared 11 terabytes of high resolution climate projections. A snapshot of July in 2100 in the map … Read More

G7 Leaders: World Needs to Phase Out Carbon Emissions

G7 Leaders: World Needs to Phase Out Carbon Emissions

Barack Obama, Angela Merkel and the other leaders of the world’s seven largest economies met in Germany for wide-ranging discussions on the state of the world on Sunday and Monday. Climate and energy were high on the agenda with concurrent climate talks happening in Bonn and major negotiations set for Paris later this year … Read More

Here’s Why the Global Warming Hiatus Might Not Exist

Here’s Why the Global Warming Hiatus Might Not Exist

The global warming hiatus — a decade-plus slowdown in warming — could be chalked up to some buoys, a few extra years of data and a couple buckets of seawater. That’s the finding of a new study published on Thursday in Science, which uses updated information about how temperature is recorded, particularly at sea, to take a second look at the global … Read More

Climate Change Poses a Brewing Problem for Tea

Climate Change Poses a Brewing Problem for Tea

A myth ties the origins of tea to an errant gust of wind that blew tea leaves into a Chinese emperor’s hot water more than 4,700 years ago. Since that lucky first brewing, tea has become the second most popular beverage in the world (behind water, of course). The industry has grown into a $20 billion behemoth that sells everything from pedestrian … Read More

Halfway There: Countdown to Paris Climate Talks

Halfway There: Countdown to Paris Climate Talks

Woah, we're halfway there. To the Paris climate summit in December that is (sorry if you were hoping for news of a Bon Jovi tour). The big event in December is part of an ongoing process of climate talks that include interim meetings scheduled in Bonn, Germany these next two weeks. The main goal of all the talks is simple to state, but hard to … Read More

In Stunning Reversal, ‘Big Oil’ Asks for Carbon Price

In Stunning Reversal, ‘Big Oil’ Asks for Carbon Price

Let’s see if you can guess the source for the following quote. “We want to be a part of the solution and deliver energy to society sustainably for many decades to come.” If you guessed a major solar, wind or renewable energy company, you’d be wrong. If you guessed six of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, give yourself a gold star. In a … Read More

Ocean Species Set for Reshuffle Unseen in 3 Million Years

Ocean Species Set for Reshuffle Unseen in 3 Million Years

The world’s oceans could face a massive reshuffling by the end of the century, the likes of which hasn’t been seen in as many as 3 million years, due to warming waters. Changes are already afoot in the oceans. Roughly 93 percent of the heat trapped by human greenhouse gas emissions is ending up in the world’s seas and already contributing to … Read More

Obama Issues Tropical Storm Forecast, Does Twitter Q&A

Obama Issues Tropical Storm Forecast, Does Twitter Q&A

Add another title to Barack Obama's resume: hurricane forecaster. On Thursday, President Obama spent the morning touring the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami and getting a briefing on the coming Atlantic hurricane season, which begins on June 1. However, the eastern Pacific region saw its hurricane season start two weeks ago on May 15 and … Read More

Climate Change Could Melt Everest Region’s Glaciers

Climate Change Could Melt Everest Region’s Glaciers

The Dudh Koshi basin spans 1 million acres and includes some of world’s tallest peaks including Mount Everest. Glaciers tumble down from the highest reaches to the valleys below, shaping the landscape and culture of the region. But climate change has the jagged tongues of ice that define the region primed for a major meltdown. A new study … Read More

Monsoon Sets Up ‘Race Against the Clock’ in Nepal

Monsoon Sets Up ‘Race Against the Clock’ in Nepal

The prospect of aftershocks continue to keep Nepal on edge after a major earthquake shook the country in late April. The magnitude 7.8 earthquake and its aftershocks have left an estimated 500,000 families homeless, more than 8,000 dead and scarred the country with at least 3,000 landslides. But another issue for quake-rattled Nepal is brewing … Read More

Take a Look at One of the First Climate Models In Action

Take a Look at One of the First Climate Models In Action

Climate models, they just don’t make ‘em like they used to. Of course, that may not be a bad thing. Like an Atari to an Xbox One, a Nokia brick to an iPhone 6, climate models have come a long way since their early predecessors. In a video recently published by Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, you can see just much of an update computer-run models … Read More

Heat is Piling Up in the Depths of the Indian Ocean

Heat is Piling Up in the Depths of the Indian Ocean

The world’s oceans are playing a game of hot potato with the excess heat trapped by greenhouse gas emissions. Scientists have zeroed in on the tropical Pacific as a major player in taking up that heat. But while it might have held that heat for a bit, new research shows that the Pacific has passed the potato to the Indian Ocean, which has seen an … Read More

The Bright Side of 13 Years of Clouds in 1 Map

The Bright Side of 13 Years of Clouds in 1 Map

Cloudy days can be a bit of a downer. But when you add them all from nearly 13 years of measurements, the bright side becomes more apparent. NASA Earth Observatory just published a map that uses data collected between July 2002 and April 2015 to give an unparalleled view of the world’s cloudy (and sunny) spots. One thing that’s immediately apparent… Read More

Sea Level Rise Is On the Up and Up

Sea Level Rise Is On the Up and Up

Sea level rise is a game of millimeters a year, but those millimeters add up to a huge amount of water entering the world’s oceans. And the rising tide could eventually swamp cities around the globe. With tide gauges distributed sparsely around the planet, scientists have turned to satellites to provide a global picture of sea level since the early… Read More

Boom! Here’s What Thunder Looks Like

Boom! Here’s What Thunder Looks Like

During a thunderstorm, launching a rocket with copper wire attached to it is pretty much the exact opposite of what any sane person would do. But when it’s the only way to answer one of the mysteries of science, even scientists, usually the most rational of people, are willing to make an exception. Last July, researchers from the Southwest … Read More

A Global Milestone: CO2 Passes 400 PPM

A Global Milestone: CO2 Passes 400 PPM

Another month, another carbon dioxide record. This time the record extends beyond the rocky slopes of Mauna Loa, Hawaii, home to the most storied carbon dioxide record, and includes 39 other sites around the globe to paint a troubling picture of a greenhouse gas rise with no signs of slowing down. For the first time since record keeping began … Read More

U.S. Hurricane Drought ‘A Matter of Luck’

U.S. Hurricane Drought ‘A Matter of Luck’

From water to your dating life, most droughts are tough. But in the case of major hurricanes, a dry spell can be a good thing. And the U.S. has been in one for nine years. Every day that passes without a major hurricane hitting the U.S. stretches the current record-setting hurricane drought just a bit further. The last major hurricane … Read More

What Severe Weather Season Looks Like in 8 Seconds

What Severe Weather Season Looks Like in 8 Seconds

It’s that time of year again when flowers bloom, ice starts to find its way into coffee and afternoon strolls are a must. Ah, spring. Yet for all the wonders warmer temperatures can bring, there are a few downsides. Allergies for one. But those are just a minor nuisance compared to severe weather and the tornadoes it can spawn that generally … Read More

New NASA Satellite Gets the Dirt on Soil Moisture

New NASA Satellite Gets the Dirt on Soil Moisture

Tracking soil moisture is a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it. Soil moisture is a critical indicator of drought. For decades, ground observations have done the heavy lifting but they’re few and far between. That’s why NASA spent $1 billion to launch a soil moisture monitoring satellite earlier this year. After months of calibration, the… Read More

Looking for Global Warming? Check the Ocean

Looking for Global Warming? Check the Ocean

We tend to focus on land surface temperatures, because, well, that’s where we live. And human greenhouse gas emissions have ensured their steady rise since the start of the Industrial Revolution, punctuated by 2014 setting the record for warmest year. But surface heat is just a fraction of the climate change equation. There's a whole other piece to… Read More

Major Changes Loom in Arctic as U.S. Leads Council

Major Changes Loom in Arctic as U.S. Leads Council

Just 30 years ago, the Arctic was viewed as a frozen expanse of limited opportunity. But climate change is rapidly reshaping the region — it’s warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet — creating new opportunities and risks that are coming into global focus. “Without climate change, we wouldn’t really be talking about the Arctic in the first… Read More