Brian Kahn

Brian Kahn

Posts by This Writer

9 years 2 months ago

Climate change has played a role causing the Australian floods. Looking at both this role and how people respond could tell us volumes about our future.

Floodwaters peaked in Brisbane yesterday. They hit a high of 4.46 meters, submerging the central business district and damaging at least 20,000 homes.

Heroic and poignant scenes played out across the region. These included a...

9 years 3 months ago

Climate change has the potential to cause mass extinctions. In light of that, the Endangered Species Coalition put out a report this week documenting the 10 most crucial ecosystems that should be saved in the US to protect vulnerable species.

The group, which includes the Center for Biodiversity, Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Audobon Society among others, chose 10 diverse ecosystems. They include specific places like the Everglades, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and...

9 years 3 months ago

Munich Re, one of the largest reinsurance companies in the world, released its annual report on natural disasters Monday. This past year was the sixth-highest in total losses for insurers since 1980 and also an indication that climate change isn’t an issue for the future, but something that needs to be addressed right now.

Total insured losses for 2010 were $37 billion compared with...

9 years 3 months ago

Did you notice the air was a little fresher yesterday? It's because the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) started the slow process of regulating greenhouse gases in an effort to address climate change.

Earlier this year, President Obama said he would have the EPA regulate greenhouse gases if Congress failed to pass climate legislation, and that’s exactly what’s happening. The EPA has the power to regulate greenhouse...

9 years 3 months ago

A new understanding of climate change comes from an unlikely source: broken glass. A major uncertainty in climate modeling is dust’s exact role in past and future changes. New research provides some clarity and also has strong implications for regional weather forecasting.

The research published in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences focuses on the ratio...

9 years 3 months ago

Climate change will have numerous effects on rivers. But could rivers also be a cause of climate change? A paper published in the most recent edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences unravels the mysteries of river greenhouse gas emissions.

Specifically, a team led by researchers from the University of...

9 years 3 months ago

What are the odds your house will burn down? How about your chances at a blackjack table in Vegas? Or what about winning the lottery? From insurance to casinos, there are plenty of people trying to figure out the probability of certain events happening to get ahead. In the case of climate change, probabilities are also important to getting ahead. Yet people seem to care much less...

9 years 3 months ago

The first climate change refugees could likely come from small island states. Rising sea levels swallowing islands are often thought of as the culprit. However, island communities could disappear before the land does because of the absence of another key element to life: freshwater.

An estimated 50 million people inhabit over 8000 small islands around the globe...

9 years 3 months ago

The climate change talks in Cancun ended early Saturday with the 29-page Cancun Agreement. It isn’t binding, it isn’t complete, and it kicks the can on a number of issues, but there are some important lessons to be taken home from the Mayan Riviera.

Animating the Dead

International climate change negotiations were on life support leading up to the conference. But the talks in Cancun weren’t marred...

9 years 4 months ago

Government-led climate change action at Cancun has been slow. However, the business community has had a lot more to celebrate. Richard Branson’s Carbon War Room and clean technology investor Sunil Paul created the first annual Gigaton Awards. They were awarded recently at Cancun to businesses that have successfully reduced emissions even amidst the slow global negotiations.

Anu Bradford at the Huffington Post writes, “businesses today are already changing their behavior based on expectations of the future and...