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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:

Tipping Point Nears for ‘Emerging Flooding Crisis’

Tipping Point Nears for ‘Emerging Flooding Crisis’

Soggy times are coming for cities along both U.S. coasts and they’ll be here much quicker than previously thought. By mid-century, sea level rise is set to make floods a monthly occurrence in more than two dozen cities, and in some of those cities, it could become a daily occurrence by the 2070s. The watery findings come from a new study published… Read More

NASA Satellite Sends Back Most Detailed View of CO2

NASA Satellite Sends Back Most Detailed View of CO2

It’s been a busy five months for NASA’s newest carbon dioxide-monitoring satellite, snapping up to 1 million measurements a day of how carbon dioxide moves across the planet. Now NASA scientists have shared the first global maps created using that data, showing one of the most detailed views of CO2 ever created. The satellite — known as OCO-2 — has… Read More

Persistent Warming Driving Big Arctic Changes

Persistent Warming Driving Big Arctic Changes

Not every year can be a record setter in the Arctic. But records are only one small piece of a larger puzzle that shows persistent change in the Arctic. And that change hasn’t slowed according to this year’s Arctic Report Card released at the American Geophysical Union’s Fall Meeting on Wednesday. Long-term trends in rising temperatures, spirali… Read More

Acidic Oceans Could Quiet Coral Reefs

Acidic Oceans Could Quiet Coral Reefs

Doug E. Fresh may have some competition in the beatboxing arena from unlikely source. It’s not from some underground phenom but rather an underwater rising star, or well, fish. Take a listen to this beat laid down by a croaker fish off the coast of Indonesia. A rhythmic thumping provides the beat for an otherwise ambient ocean noise track. “This o… Read More

Greenland’s Ice Sheet Shifts Could Speed Melt

Greenland’s Ice Sheet Shifts Could Speed Melt

New discoveries in Greenland’s warming ice sheet tell a chilling tale of change in its depths. Mysterious under-snow lakes pockmarking its edges and deep layers of ice at higher elevations both point to changes that could hasten melt and send water cascading into the ocean, pushing global sea levels ever higher. Researchers revealed findings of th… Read More

CO2 Takes Just 10 Years to Reach Planet’s Peak Heat

CO2 Takes Just 10 Years to Reach Planet’s Peak Heat

In a study that could have big ramifications on estimating the impacts, costs and benefits of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, new research shows that CO2 brings peak heat within a decade of being emitted, with the effects then lingering 100 years or more into the future. The research, published Wednesday in Geophysical Research Letters, provide… Read More

Atmospheric River, Heavy Rain Roar Into California

Atmospheric River, Heavy Rain Roar Into California

For the second time in a week, heavy rain is making an appearance in drought-weary California. This round comes courtesy of the tropics via an appropriately named “atmospheric river” that is sending precipitation across the state, bringing a modicum of relief. While the storm may marginally help the state-wide drought, relief could come at a high p… Read More

Earth, Now Available in Ultra High Definition

Earth, Now Available in Ultra High Definition

A year in weather in high definition was pretty amazing and so was a similar sharp take on the spring equinox. But a five day view of the planet from space in ultra high definition is a whole other level of awesome. The imagery from mid-May 2011 comes courtesy of Russia’s high flying Elektro-L weather satellite, which sits in high Earth orbit more … Read More

Climate Investments ‘Falling Short’ of 2°C Goal

Climate Investments ‘Falling Short’ of 2°C Goal

Staving off the worst impacts of climate change by investing in clean energy and smart climate adaptations makes economic sense, but a new report shows that investments are still lagging globally. At the same time, the dropping costs of clean energy, particularly solar, mean that companies are doing more with less. The annual Global Landscape of C… Read More

World Needs to Mind the Carbon Emissions Gap

World Needs to Mind the Carbon Emissions Gap

A new report suggests that policymakers better mind the gap if they want to meet the 2°C global warming threshold. But in spite of the warning, that chasm is growing as the world’s carbon dioxide emissions continue to rise. To bridge the gap, the world will have to reduce emissions to reach net carbon dioxide (CO2) neutrality sometime between 2055-… Read More

40 Years of Scratching Reveals Ocean Acidification Data

40 Years of Scratching Reveals Ocean Acidification Data

As carbon dioxide levels increase due largely to human emissions, the world’s oceans are becoming highly corrosive to a number of organisms that call it home. But the rate of acidification and related changes are anything but uniform. That’s why a new study aims to set a baseline for nearly every patch of saltwater from sea to acidifying sea so tha… Read More

NASA Shows Stark Year in the Life of CO2

NASA Shows Stark Year in the Life of CO2

This is what your atmosphere looks like on carbon dioxide. And it’s not a pretty sight. NASA provides a stark and stunning view of a year in the life of our planet as humans continue to emit greenhouse gases that warm the planet. The animation comes courtesy of one of the highest-resolution computer models in existence. Since the Industrial Revolut… Read More

NASA, Other Data Show Globe Had Warmest October

NASA, Other Data Show Globe Had Warmest October

For the third month in a row, global temperatures reached record territory according to newly available data from NASA. And if one global temperature record isn’t enough, the Japanese Meteorological Agency also provided new data on Friday that showed the warmest October on record. Data from NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) show this … Read More

Feel the Heat: Fourth-Warmest October for U.S.

Feel the Heat: Fourth-Warmest October for U.S.

It might be chilly (OK, downright Arctic) in the middle third of the U.S. these days, but if you live there, you can warm yourself with memories of October. According to new data released Thursday, October wasn’t just a little warm, it was the fourth warmest October for the lower 48 on record and not a single state recorded below normal temperature… Read More

What You Need to Know About U.S.-China Climate Pact

What You Need to Know About U.S.-China Climate Pact

It’s been a busy few months for international movement on climate change. Following a September climate march and meetings at the United Nations and an announcement by the European Union to cut greenhouse gas emissions, President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping topped it all by announcing a new joint climate commitment late on Tuesday. “As … Read More

No Recovery, But a Sliver of Drought Gain for Calif.

No Recovery, But a Sliver of Drought Gain for Calif.

The phrase “abnormally dry” might conjure up a skin condition or your preferred type of martini. But it might just be the most positive words uttered in months about California’s relentless drought. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor released Thursday, a tiny sliver of the Golden State is no longer in drought, the first time that’s happened sinc… Read More

An Inside Look at How Monster Tornadoes Can Form

An Inside Look at How Monster Tornadoes Can Form

Ever wondered what it would look like if 90s blockbusters “Twister” and “The Matrix” were mashed up? OK probably not, but if it did happen, this 3-D model of a tornado is a likely candidate. Leigh Orf, a meteorologist at Central Michigan University, presented a model simulation of a what can cause and sustain a violent EF-5 tornado — the most dama… Read More

Ozone Hole Recovery Continues, Albeit a Little Slower

Ozone Hole Recovery Continues, Albeit a Little Slower

The ozone hole is a gash in the stratosphere, like a festering wound high above the earth’s surface. Scientists first diagnosed the problem in the mid-1980s and recommended a course of action to treat the problem. And today, NASA announced that recovery has continued, though slightly slower this year compared to years past.… Read More

Drying Amazon Could Be Major Carbon Concern

Drying Amazon Could Be Major Carbon Concern

The lungs of the planet are drying out, threatening to cause Earth to cough up some of its carbon reserves. The Amazon rainforest inhales massive amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, helping keep the globe’s carbon budget in balance (at least until human emissions started throwing that balance off). But since 2000, drier conditions are ca… Read More

One of Sao Paulo’s Biggest Reservoirs Is Nearly Dry

One of Sao Paulo’s Biggest Reservoirs Is Nearly Dry

Drought is taking its toll on the water system that quenches the thirst of Brazil’s largest city, Sao Paolo, to such a degree that it is visible to orbiting satellites. Sao Paolo is facing water rationing as the worst drought to hit the region in decades reduces reservoirs to muddy waters surrounded by cracked earth. The Cantareira Reservoir … Read More

El Niño Brings Floods, Risks — and Opportunities

El Niño Brings Floods, Risks — and Opportunities

The phantom El Niño continues to hold sway over the weather and climate world, in part because it has such a strong influence on weather patterns around the globe. But the weather it influences isn’t the end of the story or even the biggest point. What really matters is how those shifts can lead to flooding or drought. A new study looks at those d… Read More

Climate Change Takes Center Stage on Instagram

Climate Change Takes Center Stage on Instagram

Odorless, invisible gases cause the buildup of heat in the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans that lead to climate change. Those changes, such as shifts in rainfall patterns and the acidification of sea waters, are ones that happen in the long-term, relegating them to the background and making them hard to notice. The International Center for Photograph… Read More

Calif. Heads for Warmest Year As Drought Hangs On

Calif. Heads for Warmest Year As Drought Hangs On

Heavy precipitation fell across parts of the West in September, and while some locations saw top-10 wettest Septembers, much of the region is still mired in deep drought. Part of that is due to the excess heat that’s afflicted the region this year, including what’s been the warmest year to date in California according to U.S. temperature data relea… Read More

Pentagon: Climate Change Poses ‘Immediate Risks’

Pentagon: Climate Change Poses ‘Immediate Risks’

The Department of Defense sees climate change as an “immediate” risk and is taking steps to assess those risk and respond to them according to its newly unveiled Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap. The document, released on Monday, is an update to the agency’s first climate roadmap released in 2012. But rather than being a slight tweak, it provides… Read More

The $9.7 Trillion Problem: Cyclones and Climate Change

The $9.7 Trillion Problem: Cyclones and Climate Change

You can do a lot with $9.7 trillion: buy all the real estate in Manhattan 12 times over, purchase 22 carbon copies of Apple, or an absurd quantity of apples. It’s also the amount of money that tropical cyclones could cost the global economy over the next century, especially if climate projections of fewer but more intense cyclones are accurate. In… Read More