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John Upton

John Upton

Editorial

John Upton is a Senior Science Writer at Climate Central. He is focused on shores and rising seas, and he also covers global climate policy, oceans research and wood energy. Upton has science and business degrees and a decade of international reporting experience. He has written for the New York Times, Slate, Nautilus, VICE, Grist, Pacific Standard, Modern Farmer, and Audubon magazine.

Most Recent News Entries:

Communities Retreat as Oceans Swell, Coasts Erode

Communities Retreat as Oceans Swell, Coasts Erode

Erosion, rising seas, ferocious storms and other coastal perils have prompted the resettlement of more than 1 million people worldwide, with an exhaustive new analysis highlighting an emerging migration crisis that’s worsening as global warming overwhelms shorelines. Researchers scoured journal papers, government reports and news articles for … Read More

Polluters Could ‘More Easily’ Commit Crimes Under Cuts

Polluters Could ‘More Easily’ Commit Crimes Under Cuts

Investigators that enforce federal environmental laws would see their funding cut by nearly a third under a Trump administration proposal, boosting the likelihood that people, wildlife and the climate will be harmed by corporate pollution.… Read More

Budget Proposal Would Hamper Climate Efforts Abroad

Budget Proposal Would Hamper Climate Efforts Abroad

The Trump administration’s budget proposal would hamper efforts abroad to slow global warming, especially by poor and fast-developing countries, compounding the hazards of America’s retreat from efforts to ease its own climate impacts. A 54-page proposal released Thursday would end payments to global climate initiatives, such as a United Nations f… Read More

Trump and Automakers Target EPA Mileage Rules

Trump and Automakers Target EPA Mileage Rules

Attorneys for automakers have joined forces with the Trump Administration as they begin the cumbersome task of working to scuttle what would have been some of America’s most far-reaching rules designed to slow global warming — ambitious car mileage standards. Trump announced in Michigan on Wednesday that the EPA would review federal mileage standa… Read More

NOAA Sea Grant Cut Could Slow Climate Adaptation

NOAA Sea Grant Cut Could Slow Climate Adaptation

As President Trump moves to rein in federal efforts to slow warming, his administration is also mulling cost-saving measures that would leave coastal Americans more vulnerable to rising seas, heavier deluges, acidifying waters and other effects of climate change. A four-page budget memo obtained by the Washington Post showed the Trump … Read More

European Climate Action Faces Crucial Moment

European Climate Action Faces Crucial Moment

One of the original weapons in the fight against warming is facing obsolescence in Europe, which is wrangling with many of the same forces that have bogged down potential climate progress in the U.S. The post-2020 future of the European Union’s cap-and-trade system, which was designed to tax and limit pollution, is about to be negotiated following… Read More

Humans Blamed for Starting Most Wildfires in the U.S.

Humans Blamed for Starting Most Wildfires in the U.S.

About five out of every six wildfires battled in the continental U.S. during the past two decades were started by humans, new research shows, either by accident or by an arsonist. The rest were ignited naturally by lightning strikes. “The human-ignition element is critical to understand,” said Park Williams, a climate and ecology researcher at Col… Read More

California Farmers Use Floodwater to Replenish Aquifers

California Farmers Use Floodwater to Replenish Aquifers

As dam managers were draining water from a Northern Californian reservoir this week to avert what could have been one of the worst flood disasters in the state’s history, Southern California farmer Don Cameron was doing something different with the watery winter excess. Using a network of levees and irrigation gates, Cameron inundated the orchards… Read More

Congress Protects Coasts From Climate Change With Mud

Congress Protects Coasts From Climate Change With Mud

As California reels from record-breaking erosion following punishing waves last winter, the federal government is turning to mud and sand from dredging projects to slow land losses and ease flooding nationwide as seas rise and storms intensify. Pacific Ocean storms strengthened by a powerful El Niño and global warming caused yawning erosion from … Read More

Coastal Cities Could Flood Three Times a Week by 2045

Coastal Cities Could Flood Three Times a Week by 2045

The lawns of homes purchased this year in vast swaths of coastal America could regularly be underwater before the mortgage has even been paid off, with new research showing high tide flooding could become nearly incessant in places within 30 years. Such floods could occur several times a week on average by 2045 along the mid-Atlantic coastline… Read More

Conservatives Push Carbon Tax to Address Climate Crisis

Conservatives Push Carbon Tax to Address Climate Crisis

With President Trump and Republicans in Congress moving swiftly to repeal regulations that slow global warming, a group of prominent conservatives on Wednesday touted a different potential solution — a carbon tax that pays cash dividends to Americans. In a paper titled “The Conservative Case For Carbon Dividends,” op-eds in the New York Times and … Read More

Record Judge Vacancies Could See Trump Recast Courts

Record Judge Vacancies Could See Trump Recast Courts

With President Trump preparing to nominate a ninth justice for the Supreme Court this week, tumult over the crucial vacancy is overshadowing his unprecedented potential to fill the benches of lower federal courts. A broad refusal by Senate Republicans to approve judicial nominees during the last two years of Obama’s second term means Trump could… Read More

Trump White House Distorts Wages Figure on First Day

Trump White House Distorts Wages Figure on First Day

Shortly after Donald Trump was sworn in as president on Friday, the White House said that eliminating power plant climate rules, a clean water rule and other environmental regulations would “greatly help American workers, increasing wages by more than $30 billion over the next 7 years.” The statement, included on the White House’s website to… Read More

Trump’s EPA May ‘Review’ California’s Car Pollution Rules

Trump’s EPA May ‘Review’ California’s Car Pollution Rules

It became clear Wednesday that far-reaching car pollution rules enforced by California and a handful of other states could be jeopardized if EPA nominee Scott Pruitt is confirmed by the Senate. After repeatedly suing the EPA as Oklahoma's attorney general over what he has characterized as federal overreach, President-elect Trump’s pick to lead the… Read More

Exxon’s Tillerson Murky on Future of Paris Climate Pact

Exxon’s Tillerson Murky on Future of Paris Climate Pact

Former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson downplayed global warming’s dangers during a hearing into his nomination for secretary of state on Wednesday, refusing to rule out an American withdrawal from a climate treaty even as he acknowledged that “the risk of climate change does exist.” Tillerson recently resigned after a four-decade career with America… Read More

Trump’s ‘Extreme’ Cabinet Could Fuel Warming Crisis

Trump’s ‘Extreme’ Cabinet Could Fuel Warming Crisis

Senate hearings into President-elect Trump’s proposed cabinet members began Tuesday, with anti-science politicians and fossil fuel executives being considered for key posts, threatening to undermine the worldwide fight against global warming at a crucial moment. Given Trump’s campaign promises to rejuvenate the coal sector and boost drilling for … Read More

Trump, Congress Could Halt State Action on Climate

Trump, Congress Could Halt State Action on Climate

The head of the city department that drafts many of San Francisco’s greenest rules and regulations uses one word to explain her greatest fear for the environment during Trump’s presidency: “preemption.” If some of the deepest concerns of climate-focused bureaucrats from San Francisco to Massachusetts and New York come true, the Trump… Read More

Exxon’s $180 Million Deal With Trump’s Pick for State

Exxon’s $180 Million Deal With Trump’s Pick for State

ExxonMobil has agreed to provide an investment package worth about $180 million to its outgoing chief executive, Rex Tillerson, letting him cash in on benefits that he would have been required to give up in order to serve as President-elect Trump’s top diplomat. If the Senate approves Tillerson’s nomination as secretary of state, ExxonMobil will … Read More

Where to Follow the Climate Action in 2017

Where to Follow the Climate Action in 2017

The past year epitomized the toing-and-froing of planetary fortunes that have come to define global climate policy and debates. Here are some of the key issues and places to watch this year as battles are waged against dirty energy, as climate policies are debated and implemented, and as governments abroad move to take over the leadership role that… Read More

New EU Wood Energy Rules Threaten Climate, Forests

New EU Wood Energy Rules Threaten Climate, Forests

As American foresters ramp up logging to meet the growing demand for wood pellets by power plants on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, a new European wood energy proposal would allow the power plants to continue claiming their operations are green for at least 13 more years, despite releasing more heat-trapping pollution than coal. Most of the… Read More

The Climate Impacts of Trump’s ExxonMobil Pick for State

The Climate Impacts of Trump’s ExxonMobil Pick for State

President-elect Trump on Tuesday rounded out a potential dream team of anti-environment cabinet members with the chief executive officer of ExxonMobil, among the world’s 10 largest companies and one that has profited from global warming and worked to slow the fight against climate change. If the nomination of Rex Tillerson for secretary of state… Read More

Democrats’ Domination May Save Calif. Climate Program

Democrats’ Domination May Save Calif. Climate Program

As Democrats in Congress confront the specter of watching as the country’s climate policies are dismantled by President-elect Trump, key gains by the party in California could help Sacramento take over as the nation’s leader in the fight against global warming. With a Democrat last week securing the final seat in the state senate, the party held… Read More

Supermoon Floods Warn of Crisis Facing Trump, U.S.

Supermoon Floods Warn of Crisis Facing Trump, U.S.

Donald Trump is preparing to lead America during a perilous period for the 130 million residents of its coastal counties. High tides linked to the full moon since the weekend caused minor flooding from Florida to New England, underscoring the need for improved coastal infrastructure at a time of faster rising seas. “We do see some pretty high tides… Read More

The Agonizing Wait For Trump to Speak on Climate Policy

The Agonizing Wait For Trump to Speak on Climate Policy

Scientists, analysts, activists and world leaders on Monday were anxiously waiting to learn how President-elect Donald Trump plans to reshape climate policy following a campaign in which he dismissed the global warming crisis — with America’s own climate negotiators being left in the dark. Trump publicly warned of the dangers of climate change bef… Read More

Climate Lawsuit Awaits President Trump

Climate Lawsuit Awaits President Trump

A sweeping climate change lawsuit filed against the Obama Administration will move forward, a judged ruled on Thursday, setting up an extraordinary legal battle between environmentalists and President-elect Donald Trump. The lawsuit claims the rights of 21 young Oregonians have been unconstitutionally violated because the federal government has… Read More

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Can Rain Cause More Fire? This graphic shows how volatile precipitation patterns can lead to more fires in some states. Produced by DuKode Studio.

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