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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:

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

Pacific Winds Tied to Warming Slowdown, Dry West

Pacific Winds Tied to Warming Slowdown, Dry West

To understand why the West has been so dry since the turn of the century, cast your eye further west — to the natural waxing and waning of Pacific Ocean winds. Strong trade winds have been forcing heat into ocean depths, contributing to a temporary slowdown in land surface warming over the past 15 to 20 years that some have called a warming hiatus… Read More

Can Climate Scientists Make A Difference by Not Flying?

Can Climate Scientists Make A Difference by Not Flying?

Globally, air travel accounts for 2.5 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. If air travel were a country, it would be roughly on par with Germany in emissions. And if air travel by climate scientists were a city, it would be a one-stoplight outpost. In other words, climate scientists curtailing their air travel would make a microscopic dent in redu… Read More

Satellite Images Show Scope of Calif.’s Record Low Snow

Satellite Images Show Scope of Calif.’s Record Low Snow

When news broke of California’s record low snow earlier this week, it wasn’t a surprise this year was a recordbreaker. The real shock was just how low the snowpack had dwindled. Weak snowfall and downright balmy temperatures drove the snowpack down to just 6 percent of normal on April 1, a mark that “obliterates” the previous record, one official … Read More

One Image That Shows Future of Climate Models

One Image That Shows Future of Climate Models

The future of climate modeling is taking a lesson from Van Gogh’s paintings with a dose of extra technicolor for good measure. Los Alamos National Laboratory released a simulation that captures the temperatures and currents of the world’s oceans in intimate detail. The image reveals ripples down to a resolution of 9 miles in the North Atlantic, th… Read More

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

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Northern Rockies Forest Wildfires Number of large wildfires on forested federal lands in the Northern Rockies region, including western Montana

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