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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:

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

Here’s the Climate Context For the Fort McMurray Wildfire

Here’s the Climate Context For the Fort McMurray Wildfire

An unusually intense May wildfire roared into Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, on Tuesday, forcing the largest wildfire evacuation in province history. The flames rode the back of hot, windy weather that will continue through Wednesday and could pick up again this weekend. The wildfire is the latest in a lengthening lineage of early wildfires in no… Read More

Florida Reefs Are Dissolving Much Sooner Than Expected

Florida Reefs Are Dissolving Much Sooner Than Expected

It wasn’t supposed to happen this fast. Some of the reefs around the Florida Keys are dissolving. They may have crossed a tipping point due to increasing ocean acidification, raising the alarm that climate change impacts in the ocean are continuing to happen at a much quicker pace than scientists previously suspected. Rising carbon dioxide levels … Read More

Stunning Cloud Maps Tell the Story of Life on Earth

Stunning Cloud Maps Tell the Story of Life on Earth

Clouds might seem like a nuisance if you’re headed on a Sunday afternoon picnic. But put aside your personal biases for a second and consider this: clouds can also tell the story of life on earth. That story has become a heck of lot clearer thanks to new maps created by scientists that document a global year in the clouds in more intimate detail … Read More

This Is How Surfers Are Helping Fund Climate Science

This Is How Surfers Are Helping Fund Climate Science

Surfing is synonymous with riding waves all day, jamming to Jack Johnson, chilling around a beach bonfire by night and sleeping in a VW van before doing it all over again. But there’s another word idea that should also come to mind when imagining the idealized life of a surfer dude or dudette: science. In particular, research on ocean health … Read More

Bleaching Has Hit 93 Percent of the Great Barrier Reef

Bleaching Has Hit 93 Percent of the Great Barrier Reef

We knew coral bleaching was a serious issue in the Great Barrier Reef, but the scope of just how widespread it was has been unclear — until now. Extensive aerial surveys and dives have revealed that 93 percent of the world’s largest reef has been devastated by coral bleaching. The culprit has been record-warm water driven by El Niño and climate … Read More

There’s a Hopeful Message Hidden in These Dead Reefs

There’s a Hopeful Message Hidden in These Dead Reefs

“It was a gut punch.” That’s how Kim Cobb, a scientist at Georgia Tech, described what she saw on a recent dive on the reefs surrounding Christmas Island. She’s studied them for the better part of two decades and what she saw this April was something she had never seen before. Once vibrant reefs, some of the most pristine on the planet, were … Read More

Greenland’s Melt Season Started Nearly Two Months Early

Greenland’s Melt Season Started Nearly Two Months Early

To say the 2016 Greenland melt season is off to the races is an understatement. Warm, wet conditions rapidly kicked off the melt season this weekend, more than a month-and-a-half ahead of schedule. It has easily set a record for earliest melt season onset, and marks the first time it’s begun in April. Little to no melt through winter is the norm … Read More

Climate Change is Altering How the Poles Drift

Climate Change is Altering How the Poles Drift

The spin of the earth is a constant in our lives. It’s quite literally why night follows day. And while that cycle isn’t going away, climate change is messing with the axis upon which our fair planet spins. Ice melting has caused a drift in polar motion, a somewhat esoteric term that tells scientists a lot about past and future climate and is … Read More

El Niño Has Helped Fill California’s Biggest Reservoir

El Niño Has Helped Fill California’s Biggest Reservoir

Californians, say hello to an old friend. After four years of drought, the state’s largest reservoir is again a reservoir instead of a mudpit. Lake Shasta, located in the northern half of the state, was down to just 29 percent of normal storage capacity as recently as December. But one of the strongest El Niño’s on record has helped steer rain to … Read More

These Ice Cap Images Show the Arctic’s Rapid Change

These Ice Cap Images Show the Arctic’s Rapid Change

This has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week for ice around the world. First came news that Arctic sea ice set a record low extent this winter (topping the old record set last year). Then came news that the West Antarctic ice sheet is facing the threat of runaway melt. Now NASA Earth Observatory has decided to remind us that even … Read More

Climate Change Is Coming For Your Maple Syrup

Climate Change Is Coming For Your Maple Syrup

Blue bags hang off the trees lining the road to Joshua Rapp’s sugar shack. On a brisk late February day, some bulge with maple sap while others sport little sap icicles. The blue bags are a little less romantic than the metal pails that Rapp’s forbearers hung off trees, but they have the benefit of being easily weighed and transported. Measuring … Read More

This 23-Second Video Shows Old Arctic Sea Ice’s Demise

This 23-Second Video Shows Old Arctic Sea Ice’s Demise

The Arctic seems to be a never-ending source of dismal climate news, particularly when it pertains to sea ice. Let’s recap. Sea ice extent has set monthly record lows this winter (after setting a seasonal record low just last winter). In general, its extent is shrinking across all seasons. But what’s even worse news is the character of sea ice is … Read More

Another Month, Another Troubling Arctic Sea Ice Record

Another Month, Another Troubling Arctic Sea Ice Record

This year is quickly excising 2015 from the dubious top of the climate record books. The most freakishly warm month on record, record atmospheric heat in February and now for the second month in a row, a new monthly Arctic sea ice low. February saw record low sea ice extent, with ice running 448,000 square miles below average. In essence, a chunk … Read More

What To Know About February’s Satellite Temp Record

What To Know About February’s Satellite Temp Record

Global warming, it isn’t just for the surface. It’s also lurking in the atmosphere and new satellite data shows the incredible heat that’s building on the planet. February marked the biggest atmospheric temperature spike observed, with the monthly reading running 1.5°F above normal, a new record. The measurement is taken by satellites operated by … Read More

Syria’s Drought Has Likely Been Its Worst in 900 Years

Syria’s Drought Has Likely Been Its Worst in 900 Years

The relentless flow of refugees from the Middle East into Europe continues to raise tensions across the region. This weekend, fires ignited at a refugee camp in Calais, France, and countries are beginning to tighten their borders as more than 1 million people have streamed into Europe in the past year. The 1 million refugees represent just a … Read More

Scientists Turned Back the Clock on Climate Change

Scientists Turned Back the Clock on Climate Change

The world was a vastly different place 250 years ago. There weren’t 50 states, Taylor Swift feuds or viral videos anywhere in sight. Another thing that was also less plentiful: carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Since then, CO2 has risen and with it, a host of other impacts have befallen our planet. That includes the rapid acidification of our seas … Read More