Climate Change

The Arctic is a huge, icy cap on the planet that acts like a global air conditioner. But the air conditioner is breaking down, according to scientists who issued a grim "report card" on the Arctic on Tuesday.

They say the North Pole continues to warm at an alarming pace — twice the rate as the rest of the planet, on average. This year was the Arctic's second-warmest in at least 1,500 years, after 2016.

French President Emmanuel Macron, in a not-so-subtle jab at President Trump, has awarded long-term research grants to 18 climate scientists — 13 of them U.S.-based researchers — to relocate to France and pursue their work with the blessing of a government that doesn't cast doubt on the threat of climate change.

Hemlock-Killing Bug Getting Help From Warmer Winters

Dec 5, 2017
Caitlin Whyte / Great Lakes Today

On a rainy day, City Forester Jeanne Grace takes me on a tour of the Ithaca City Cemetery, where tall, evergreen trees hang over many of the graves.

The cemetery has the peace and quiet of any cemetery, but if you take a closer look at the hemlock trees - real close - you’ll spot the pesky hemlock woolly adelgid.

Note: Updated on Dec. 6, based on lake surface temperatures in November, which significantly lowered predictions for the ice cover. --

Over the past two winters, the Great Lakes have had a below-average ice cover. And that’s expected to continue this year.  


Great Lakes Vineyard Confronts Climate Change

Nov 28, 2017
Grapes at 21 Brix Winery and farm in western New York.
Angelica A. Morrison / Great Lakes Today

Just a few miles from Lake Erie, farmer Mike Jordan takes me on a walk through his vineyard. On a work utility vehicle we move through the rows of vines bursting with purple and high yellow grapes.

Governments are wrapping up a meeting in Bonn, Germany, to figure out how to implement a global climate agreement.

The conference has focused on the pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which nations made two years ago in Paris. But even as negotiators debate the details, scientists are warning that carbon dioxide levels are again on the rise, and the efforts in Paris may not be enough.

It is "extremely likely" that human activities are the "dominant cause" of global warming, according to the most comprehensive study ever of climate science by U.S. government researchers.

The climate report, obtained by NPR, notes that the past 115 years are "the warmest in the history of modern civilization." The global average temperature has increased by about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit over that period. Greenhouse gases from industry and agriculture are by far the biggest contributor to warming.

Ultraviolet light is nature's way of purifying lakes, rivers and coastal waterways. Researchers led by a Miami University professor are quantifying how climate change is negatively affecting nature's ability to do its job.

Hurricane Irma is hovering somewhere between being the most- and second-most powerful hurricane recorded in the Atlantic. It follows Harvey, which dumped trillions of gallons of water on South Texas. And now, Hurricane Jose is falling into step behind Irma, and gathering strength.

Is this what climate change scientists predicted?

In a word, yes. Climate scientists such as Michael Mann at Penn State says, "The science is now fairly clear that climate change will make stronger storms stronger." Or wetter.

At a time when the Great Barrier Reef and other coral reefs are facing unprecedented destruction, researchers in Australia have found a small ray of hope for the fish that make the reefs their home.

Fish are more resilient to the effects of ocean acidification than scientists had previously thought, according to research published Thursday in Scientific Reports.

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