Brian Kahn

Brian Kahn

Posts by This Writer

8 years 9 months ago

This is the second part in a two part series on climate change refugees and the film Sun Come Up. The film documents the Carteret Islanders search for new land. It serves a powerful reminder that climate change is not statistics. It’s living people, some of whom have some very hard decisions ahead of them.

Sun Come Up's other great strength is that it brings attention to the science of sea level rise. For too long, sea level rise due to climate change has been wrapped in the language of islands...


8 years 9 months ago

Climate change refugees have been a hot topic this month in the international development world. Three reports put out document the likelihood of climate refugees in the future. Reports from large agencies rarely capture the finer details of what happens on the ground. Luckily, an Oscar-nominated documentary, Sun Come Up, provides an intimate look at a climate migration that has already happened.

The film looks at the efforts of a group of Carteret Islanders to relocate to higher land. Living off Papua New Guinea, they decide to search for land on a...


8 years 9 months ago

The picture of the Earth’s climate could become even clearer after tomorrow. NASA is getting a satellite off the ground even as House Republicans try to defund climate monitoring.

Understanding the Sun’s Role

The satellite, called Glory, has two primary purposes. One is to monitor solar radiation. Scientists have been aware of solar cycles for some time. These cycles run on an 11-year loop on average and are one of many natural processes that influence the Earth’s climate. Peaks in the cycles cause more sunspots and tend to increase the energy entering the Earth’s system, which accounts for some warming.

Not...


8 years 9 months ago

Attacks on climate change regulations, thawing permafrost in National Parks, and attempts to defund climate research. Climate change has had some bad news this month. There’s at least one (sort of) bright spot,...


8 years 9 months ago

Some companies are taking action to address climate change in spite of international gridlock. Bombardier is one of those companies, having received accolades in Canada for it’s commitment to sustainable business practices to taking innovative engineering approaches to getting employees involved.

Bombardier is the world’s third largest aerospace company. Headquartered...


8 years 10 months ago

A large scientific consensus has built around the role of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions in causing climate change. Yet public acceptance in the US lags behind and is particularly acute with conservatives. A new study presented two weeks ago at the American Meteorological Association’s annual meeting puts forth one of the more compelling ideas of why this gap exists.

Professor Sol Hart of American University presented his findings on the boomerang effect in climate change communication. A boomerang effect occurs when presenting...


8 years 10 months ago

To listen to Republicans, you’d think Americans hate all forms of government regulation. Along that front, Newt Gingrich has been pushing the idea of abolishing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Yet a new poll shows most Americans want the EPA to do more, not less.

Gingrich’s "Moderate" Proposal

This week, Gingrich, a Republican presidential...


8 years 10 months ago

Here’s a quick climate change riddle. What can warm and cool the Earth, cause or prevent it from raining, makes for pretty sunsets and comes from sources as disparate as campfires, oceans, and smog? Aerosols of course. In spite of all this knowledge, though, there’s still some certainty as to their exact effects on climate change.

Aerosols can be explained most simply as particles in the atmosphere. Dig a little deeper, though, and there’s a wealth of differences which account for the uncertainty of their effects.

Where They...


8 years 10 months ago

Where are the most Buicks in the world sold? Not in the US but China. This year, sales of American-based General Motors (GM) cars in China outpaced that same consumption in the US. This development has ramifications for the auto industry and international climate policy.

USA Today reports that in 2010, Chinese consumers bought 2.35 million cars from GM. Demand in the US was about 136,000 less over that same time period. The total cars sold for 2010 represent a 29% increase over the year before. In comparison, US sales rose just 6%. One of...


8 years 10 months ago

Monks from the 1600s now have a hand predicting future climate change. No, this isn't about Nostradamus. Rather, researchers from the University of Edinburgh are using monks’ diaries to reconstruct temperature records from the past to improve future predictions.

The researchers wanted to confirm climate models’ ability to predict temperature in Europe over long...


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