When extreme weather occurs, questions of whether and how climate change contributed to the event loom large. According to Rick Weiss, director of SciLine and past science reporter for the Washington Post, it’s a fraught area, and reporters can easily veer from what the research says.
In the anticipation and aftermath of natural disasters, those in their path face difficult choices: To stay, or to leave? To relocate, or to rebuild in areas prone to the risk of property damage, which is predicted to become more acute as climate change progresses?
Before she was a journalist, Elizabeth Arnold spent several seasons fishing salmon commercially in her home state of Alaska. In 1985, she began reporting for Juneau’s NPR member station KTOO, covering local environmental and political stories. From 1991 to 2006, she served as a political correspondent out of NPR’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., where she covered campaigns, Congress and the White House
Among the elderly, women and black people are more likely to be admitted to the hospital from exposure to wildfire smoke than men and people of other races.
When engineers build roads, they use weather models to decide what kind of pavement can withstand the local climate. Currently, many American engineers use temperature data from 1964 to 1995 to select materials. But the climate is changing.
Fires have always burned in the planet’s temperate forests. They hasten regeneration by thinning undergrowth and fertilizing the soil. Before there were humans to flick cigarette butts into the brush, there were lightning storms and cyclical droughts.
An overwhelming amount of scientific evidence has shown that the earth is getting hotter. As the planet warms, humans in some of the most extreme climates are struggling to adapt.
For coastal communities threatened by global warming, the challenge can be sketched with two questions: How much will the waters surge and where will the inundation be worst?