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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:

Weakening Ice Shelves Raise Sea Level Rise Concerns

Weakening Ice Shelves Raise Sea Level Rise Concerns

All along Antarctica’s coast, tongues of floating ice act as a firewall. Any major breaks in the firewall could send inland ice flowing faster to the sea, raising ocean levels and threatening coastal communities around the globe. In some ways, it’s a process already seen in some areas of Antarctica and it’s concerning enough that scientists have … Read More

Climate Economists React to Obama’s Proposed Oil Tax

Climate Economists React to Obama’s Proposed Oil Tax

On Thursday, President Obama dropped a surprise in his transportation plan as part of his annual budget. The plan — dubbed the 21st Century Clean Transportation System — calls for $300 billion in investments over the next decade in high speed rail, driverless cars and mass transit across the U.S. That would cut down on carbon pollution and could … Read More

Hot, Dry Weather Could Cut Into California’s Snowpack

Hot, Dry Weather Could Cut Into California’s Snowpack

Hello, it’s me. Words made famous by Adele could just as easily apply to what’s about to happen in California. An unwelcome call is coming from across the Pacific for a state still struggling with drought. A ridge of high pressure is coming to the state, harkening back to the ridiculously resilient ridge of the past few years and butting into… Read More

The Southwest May Have Entered a ‘Drier Climate State’

The Southwest May Have Entered a ‘Drier Climate State’

The Southwest is already the most arid part of the U.S. Now new research indicates it’s becoming even more dry as wet weather patterns, quite literally, dry up. The change could herald a pattern shift and raises the specter of megadrought in the region. “We see a very intense trend in the Southwest,” Andreas Prein, a postdoctoral researcher at the … Read More

These Paintings Turn Climate Data Into Art

These Paintings Turn Climate Data Into Art

Climate data is usually seen in pixels, spreadsheets and maps. But watercolors? Not so much. That’s what makes a growing series of paintings by Maine-based artist Jill Pelto so striking. They combine imagery from the natural world with hard data showing the impact climate change is having. The message can be subtle, with the global average … Read More

Watch All of 2015’s Weather in Super High-Def

Watch All of 2015’s Weather in Super High-Def

Another year of wild weather is behind us. But thanks to EUMETSAT, you can now relive it in amazing high-definition video from space. The new visualization uses geostationary satellite data from EUMETSAT, the Japan Meteorological Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to stitch together 365 days of data into one stunning … Read More

What You Need to Know About Zika And Climate Change

What You Need to Know About Zika And Climate Change

The rapid rise of the Zika virus is turning into a full-on public health crisis. The virus, transferred via specific types of mosquitoes, “is now spreading explosively” across Latin America, according to Margaret Chan, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO). There could be up to 4 million cases right now, just eight months after the first … Read More

Wildfires Are Burning Some of the World’s Oldest Trees

Wildfires Are Burning Some of the World’s Oldest Trees

Northwest Tasmania is home to part of the Gondwana forest. It’s a stretch of primeval-looking temperate rainforest, much like the one found in the Pacific Northwest’s Olympic National Park. Trees more than 1,000 years old tower above ancient ferns, forming a connection to the distant past. It’s why the region has been designated a UNESCO World … Read More

Weekend Blizzard Was a ‘Multi-Billion-Dollar’ Disaster

Weekend Blizzard Was a ‘Multi-Billion-Dollar’ Disaster

Sledders from Capitol Hill to Central Park enjoyed bluebird skies on Sunday after a massive winter storm swept across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. But while the joy on sledding hills across the region was palpable, so too was the cost of the storm. Crippling snow, coastal flooding, icing and high winds all conspired to make this storm the first… Read More

This Winter Storm Could Set Coastal Flood Records

This Winter Storm Could Set Coastal Flood Records

The chatter about this weekend’s snowstorm has reached a fever pitch. And while snow total maps are de rigueur for any weather site worth its road salt, it’s the coastal flood impacts that could also go down in the record books and drive major damage. Areas north and west of Washington, D.C. are under a blizzard watch from Friday afternoon… Read More

Denmark Just Set a Wind Power Record…Again

Denmark Just Set a Wind Power Record…Again

Wind turbines are as ubiquitous as clogs, Legos and tall people in Denmark. Unlike the latter three, though, Denmark’s wind turbines were busy setting a world record in 2015. According to Energinet, Denmark’s electric utility, the country’s turbines accounted for the equivalent of 42 percent of all electricity produced for the year. It’s the … Read More

Lingering El Niño Could Mean Fewer Tornadoes This Year

Lingering El Niño Could Mean Fewer Tornadoes This Year

Last year brought a huge advance in tornado forecasting: the first seasonal severe weather forecast for the U.S. The forecast proved to be accurate and now researchers are back with a second forecast: a below average number of tornadoes and hailstorms for the coming year. The new forecast was presented at the American Meteorological Society’s … Read More

Western Australia Wildfire Brings Widespread Destruction

Western Australia Wildfire Brings Widespread Destruction

On the back of hot, windy weather, a wildfire raging in Western Australia continues to wreak destruction across the state. The fire has burned more than 140,000 acres as of Friday and engulfed the small town of Yarloop. Lightning ignited the wildfires — known in Australia as bushfires — across Western Australia on Wednesday. The largest flared up … Read More

The 2015 Wildfire Season Set an Ominous Record

The 2015 Wildfire Season Set an Ominous Record

The U.S. as a whole may finally be feeling winter’s chill, but the newly released 2015 wildfire numbers serve as a reminder of how hot and smoky the past year was. The National Interagency Fire Center’s numbers vividly illustrate how that 2015 was a record setter. U.S. wildfires scorched 10.12 million acres. That bests the previous mark of 9.87 … Read More

Climate Image of the Year: Hurricane Patricia

Climate Image of the Year: Hurricane Patricia

It’s been a year marked by hurricane records. The northern hemisphere saw 31 major cyclones, crushing the old record of 23 storms. Yemen got hit by two rare cyclones while the U.S. saw another year pass — that’s 10 years and counting now — without a major hurricane making landfall. That includes Hawaii, which dodged not one or two, but 15 named … Read More

Climate Chart of the Year? Record Heat, Of Course

Climate Chart of the Year? Record Heat, Of Course

The world is getting hotter. And hotter, and hotter. As 2015 comes to a close, it will be the hottest year on record, besting the former record holder of 2014 (also known as last year). Nine of the 10 hottest years on record have come since 2005. So let us repeat: The world is getting hotter. You know it. I know it. But maybe your Uncle Peter … Read More

The 7 Most Interesting Climate Findings of the Year

The 7 Most Interesting Climate Findings of the Year

At Climate Central, we love climate research (but really, who doesn’t?). We cover it relentlessly and a lot of findings have come through our inboxes this year. All those studies are crucial to shaping both what we know about the world we currently live in as well as what we’re in store for in the future depending on how we respond to climate … Read More

The 8 Biggest Climate Storylines of the Year

The 8 Biggest Climate Storylines of the Year

We’re coming to the end of arguably the most influential year ever when it comes to climate change. The agreements struck at the Paris climate talks gave the world hope that nations could finally get their acts together to cut carbon emissions and with them, the risks climate change poses. And talk about a good timing. On top of being the hottest … Read More

This is Why Scientists Have Hope For the Climate

This is Why Scientists Have Hope For the Climate

There’s no getting around the fact that climate change is a bummer. The planet is warming, ice is melting, oceans are acidifying and, well, you get the point. While the bad news is important to know what we’re getting into with this whole climate change thing, it’s also worth remembering there’s reason for hope. This year the world finally came … Read More

The Planet Keeps Breaking Heat Records

The Planet Keeps Breaking Heat Records

In news that will surprise almost no one, the third gatekeeper of global temperatures agrees that 2015 is on track to set a heat record after a toasty November. On the heels of NASA and the Japan Meteorological Agency’s data release earlier this week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has published its November temperature… Read More

El Niño Impacts Could Spark Amazon Fires Next Fall

El Niño Impacts Could Spark Amazon Fires Next Fall

In the coming weeks, this year’s super El Niño impacts should kick into high gear and last through the winter. However, one of the biggest impacts might not make headlines until well after the “Godzilla” El Niño returns to the depths of the ocean. On Tuesday at the annual American Geophysical Union meeting, scientists indicated that this winter’s … Read More

The Globe’s Hottest Year Just Keeps Getting Hotter

The Globe’s Hottest Year Just Keeps Getting Hotter

Another month, another record. On Monday, NASA released its latest monthly temperature data for the globe. And it’s perhaps no surprise that this November was the warmest on record for the planet. The Japan Meteorological Agency’s dataset also shows the same record warmth for the month. (These stories seem to write themselves, don’t they?) … Read More

NASA Tracks Ships and Dust From 1 Million Miles Away

NASA Tracks Ships and Dust From 1 Million Miles Away

Sometimes you have to step back to see the fine details. And sometimes you have to step (or fly) way back. Like a million miles back. DSCOVR — shorthand for Deep Space Climate Observatory — is providing NASA with that long view. Consider it the world’s longest selfie stick. The location allows it to keep a continuous eye on the sunny side of … Read More

Astronauts Send a Message to Paris Climate Talks

Astronauts Send a Message to Paris Climate Talks

Houston, we have a climate message. Astronauts past and present, including current International Space Station Commander Scott Kelly, sent along a video to climate negotiators in Paris this weekend. As the only people to ever have a truly global view of Earth, their perspective is a little different than your average person's. Literally … Read More

These Coral Reefs Are a ‘Crystal Ball’ For Future Change

These Coral Reefs Are a ‘Crystal Ball’ For Future Change

Christmas Island sits about as close to the middle of the Pacific as you can get. The main island of Kiribati, a small island nation, is 3,300 miles from San Francisco, 3,800 miles from Brisbane and just 140 miles north of the equator. Its closest neighbor of note is Hawaii, which is still 1,250 miles away. Some might say it’s as close to the … Read More

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Extreme Weather Trends: What Do We Know? The current level of understanding makes it hard to say for certain how climate change will influence Atlantic hurricanes.

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