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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:

Google Plans to Be 100 Percent Renewable Next Year

Google Plans to Be 100 Percent Renewable Next Year

For six years, Google has aggressively purchased renewable energy to power the email accounts, searches, app downloads, video streams and other services that have become an integral part of daily online life. In the process, it became the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy on the planet. Next year it plans to go one step further, ensuring… Read More

A Climate Denier is Leading the NASA Transition

A Climate Denier is Leading the NASA Transition

Scientists and policy watchers have been sounding the alarm bell that NASA’s climate work could be in jeopardy ever since Donald Trump’s election last month. That’s due in large part to some of his advisors saying the agency should be focused on space exploration and not wasting money observing the earth. But the alarm started ringing louder last … Read More

What You Should Know About Trump’s Cabinet & Climate

What You Should Know About Trump’s Cabinet & Climate

As President-elect Donald Trump continues to round out his cabinet and White House staff, his policies and priorities are coming more into focus. All indications so far point to a bleak future for addressing climate change, or even recognizing it as one of the world’s largest challenges. A number of his cabinet nominees, political appointees and … Read More

Tennessee Wildfire is ‘Unlike Anything We’ve Ever Seen’

Tennessee Wildfire is ‘Unlike Anything We’ve Ever Seen’

The Southeast’s spate of freakish fall fires continued on Monday night. Tinderbox conditions and powerful winds whipped up a firestorm in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, forcing the evacuation of at least 14,000 residents from the gateway communities of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Fleeing residents documented a harrowing nighttime … Read More

The Arctic is a Seriously Weird Place Right Now

The Arctic is a Seriously Weird Place Right Now

The sun set on the North Pole more than a month ago, not to rise again until spring. Usually that serves as a cue for sea ice to spread its frozen tentacles across the Arctic Ocean. But in the depths of the polar night, a strange thing started to happen in mid-October. Sea ice growth slowed to a crawl and even started shrinking for a bit. Intense … Read More

Young Climate Researchers Are Facing a Trump Reality

Young Climate Researchers Are Facing a Trump Reality

For those just entering the climate field or graduating soon, President-elect Donald Trump’s choices on funding and policy will set the tone for their careers. His budget decisions will dictate priorities, raising the profile of some aspects of research while chilling other areas. It’s not just a question of science policy choices. Trump’s … Read More

Climate Advocates Get a Huge Donation Trump Bump

Climate Advocates Get a Huge Donation Trump Bump

Much of President-elect’s Donald Trump’s policy preferences remain opaque and can only be inferred from vague campaign statements. While specifics are forthcoming, a number of organizations are already gearing up to do battle on a host of issues, including climate change. And if the early sign are any indication it looks like they may have more … Read More

Climate Change Doesn’t Really Care Who Was Elected

Climate Change Doesn’t Really Care Who Was Elected

Donald Trump has said climate change is a Chinese hoax. His presidency raises the prospect of a climate denier atop the Environmental Protection Agency and an oil and gas billionaire running the Energy Department. He could pull the U.S. — and its 15 percent of all global carbon emissions — out of the Paris Agreement. This information has made his … Read More

Trump’s Presidency Poses Serious Risks to the Climate

Trump’s Presidency Poses Serious Risks to the Climate

On Tuesday, the U.S. elected Donald Trump president. It’s a choice that will dramatically reshape U.S. policy on a host of issues from immigration to trade to foreign policy. And then there’s climate change. During the eight years of the Obama administration, the U.S. made incremental moves toward curtailing carbon emissions in the U.S. in the … Read More

The World Isn’t Doing Enough to Slow Climate Change

The World Isn’t Doing Enough to Slow Climate Change

The Paris Agreement to limit global warming goes into effect Friday. It’s stated goal is to keep the world from warming more than 2°C (3.6°F) above pre-industrial times. There’s just one problem: the greenhouse gas emissions reductions countries have pledged so aren’t nearly enough to meet that goal, according to the United Nations’ Environmental … Read More

Warm Temps Slow Arctic Sea Ice Growth to a Crawl

Warm Temps Slow Arctic Sea Ice Growth to a Crawl

A strange thing is happening in the Arctic. After dipping to its second-lowest extent on record in September, sea ice has struggled mightily to rebound in October. Freakishly mild weather coupled with a warmer than normal ocean are in large part responsible for the great sea ice slowdown of 2016. It’s just the latest piece of evidence that 2016 is … Read More

World’s New Marine Protected Area is a Big Climate Win

World’s New Marine Protected Area is a Big Climate Win

The creatures of the Southern Ocean just got a lot more space to roam freely. On Thursday, 24 countries and the European Union agreed to set aside a 600,000-square-mile swath of ocean — roughly twice the size of Texas — off the coast of Antarctica as a marine protected area. It’s taken years of negotiations to get to this point, but the end… Read More

10 Years on, Climate Economists Reflect on Stern Review

10 Years on, Climate Economists Reflect on Stern Review

Climate change is ultimately a problem of dollars and cents across generations. That’s because the actions society takes today to address climate change — namely cutting carbon pollution — won’t provide immediate benefits. Instead, those benefits will be reaped in the coming years and decades and even centuries in the form of fewer people dying … Read More

Tibet Just Had Another Massive Ice Avalanche

Tibet Just Had Another Massive Ice Avalanche

An ice avalanche stretching 3.7 miles and burying the land in up to 98 feet of ice is weird. A second one in almost the exact same location just a few months later is essentially unheard of. And yet that’s exactly what happened in a remote corner of Tibet in late September, when a second massive jumble of ice and rock ripped across the landscape … Read More

Heat, Then Deluge Fell a Town’s Beloved 600-Year-Old Oak

Heat, Then Deluge Fell a Town’s Beloved 600-Year-Old Oak

Basking Ridge, N.J. is quintessential small town. It’s the type of place where red, white and blue bunting gets draped on storefronts on the main drag during the Fourth of July and carolers wander the streets with hot cocoa in December. Like all good small towns, it has a defining feature. Or at least it did. This summer, heat stress and heavy … Read More

Carbon Dioxide Passed Critical Threshold in 2015

Carbon Dioxide Passed Critical Threshold in 2015

On Monday, the World Meteorological Organization released another reminder of the planetary predicament we’re in: The earth’s atmosphere officially passed the 400 parts per million (ppm) threshold permanently last year. It’s the first year in human history where carbon dioxide levels have reached the symbolic milestone for an entire year. But it … Read More

This is What It’s Like To Be a Young Climate Scientist

This is What It’s Like To Be a Young Climate Scientist

This year is proving to be a momentous one for the climate. There have been both wildly depressing and wildly hopeful milestones. On the downside, carbon dioxide passed the symbolic 400 parts per million threshold permanently (in our lifetimes anyways), the planet is going to have its hottest year on record for the third year in a row and a rash … Read More

Hottest Months on Record Have Something in Common

Hottest Months on Record Have Something in Common

On Tuesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its global temperature data for September. It shows that the month was a scant 0.07°F (0.04°C) below September 2015’s record making it the second-warmest September on record. That ends a streak of 16 consecutive record-setting hot months in NOAA’s dataset, a record … Read More

The World’s Poorest Most at Risk From Drought, Conflict

The World’s Poorest Most at Risk From Drought, Conflict

Agriculture is the key source — and in many cases, the only source — of income for many living in the developing world. When drought hits, it has the potential to take away everything and unravel the threads that stitch together society. New findings published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science are part of a burgeoning … Read More

September an Exclamation Point on String of Hot Months

September an Exclamation Point on String of Hot Months

2016 is the year where abnormal has become the norm when it comes to the global temperature. New data from NASA shows that yet again, the planet had a record-warm month. September set a record with temperatures 1.6°F (0.91°C) above normal, besting the previous mark set in September 2014. It’s the latest in a run of months — and years — where freak … Read More

Sandy’s Surge Was Extreme. It Could Become Normal

Sandy’s Surge Was Extreme. It Could Become Normal

The destructive force of storm surge was on clear display this weekend as Hurricane Matthew ripped across the Caribbean, Florida and the Carolinas. For some in New York, it may have brought back memories of Sandy, another destructive October storm that broke flood records and upended the region. Research published on Monday in the Proceedings of … Read More

Images Show Hurricane Matthew’s Storm Surge Potential

Images Show Hurricane Matthew’s Storm Surge Potential

Hurricane Matthew has a chance to break the decade-long major hurricane drought in the U.S. The storm could bring punishing winds, heavy rains and storm surge to Florida as early as Thursday. The potential risks that storm surge poses are particularly worrisome for parts of Florida as the center of Matthew is likely to approach the coast on Friday… Read More

GOES-R Will Revolutionize U.S. Weather Satellites

GOES-R Will Revolutionize U.S. Weather Satellites

The U.S. fleet of weather satellites is about to get upgraded to high definition. In 30 days, the GOES-R satellite is scheduled to be launched into orbit, giving scientists a clearer view of the weather than ever before. The new satellite will be launched by NASA and managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to monitor … Read More

Climate Letters to the Future That Should Inspire You Now

Climate Letters to the Future That Should Inspire You Now

Sitting there, with the cursor on your computer flickering, what words would you write to your child about this juncture in time, when we’re acutely aware that our carbon pollution is a problem, but we have yet to take major actions to reduce it? What would you tell them about what you did to make sure their future isn’t lived in an environmental… Read More

OK Fine, Here’s the Carbon Dioxide Spiral

OK Fine, Here’s the Carbon Dioxide Spiral

The world has blown past the 400 parts per million carbon dioxide milestone, and is unlikely to return below that threshold again in our lifetimes. It’s the biggest climate news of the week and quite possibly, the year. And it’s also a sobering reminder of what our carbon pollution problem is doing to the world. With that in mind, perhaps you’ve … Read More

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Mountain Snowmelt and Fire Recently, in the American West, wildfires have burned about 17 times more land in years with early snowmelt than with late.

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