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climate change

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If you own stocks or have money in a retirement plan, your money may be more at risk than you’re being told.

The Seattle Times Photo/Steve Ringman

Rising levels of carbon dioxide are corroding the world's seas. It’s called ocean acidification, and it’s already threatening Northwest oyster beds.

Scientists think the impact of ocean acidification is happening much more rapidly than previously thought.

The Seattle Times has published a major print and online series on its impacts called "Sea Change: The Pacific’s Perilous Turn" by reporter Craig Welch and photographer Steve Ringman. Craig Welch talks with Ross Reynolds.

Flickr Photo/Wizetux

We take for granted the fact that we can predict long-term weather forecasts. Now scientists at the University of Washington are working on ways to forecast the changing conditions of the ocean. They hope these forecasts can help them better understand how those conditions affect Northwest fisheries. 

Samantha Siedlecki is a research scientist at the University of Washington Joint Institute of the Study of Atmosphere and Ocean; she helped develop the forecasting tools and explains the way they work.

You may know that on a hot, sunny day it’s better to be sitting in a white car than a black one. White reflects sunlight, while black absorbs more of it.

The same concept applies to researchers trying to figure out what effect wildfires have on climate change. And part of the answer is whether the smoke particles are dark or reflective.

EarthFix Photo/Ashley Ahearn

Maureen Ryan scales rocky trails at 5,000 feet elevation as nimbly as the mountain goats that wandered through camp earlier this morning.

The researcher of amphibians leads her team of scientists down off a ridge line in the Seven Lakes Basin of Olympic National Park to her “lab,” you might call it. It’s a series of pothole wetlands cupped in the folds of these green, snow-studded mountains: a perfect habitat for Cascades frogs (Rana cascadae).

Ryan, a researcher with the University of Washington, is an expert on alpine amphibians. She’s also part of a group of scientists from around the region, coordinated by the Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative at the USGS, who are trying to understand and project how the warming climate will affect these frogs’ ability to feed, mate, and ultimately, survive.

Wind energy
Flickr Photo/Alex Abian

MLB Suspensions
Major League Baseball has handed down lengthy suspensions to more than a dozen players for using performance enhancing drugs, among them: former Seattle Mariner (and current New York Yankee) Alex Rodriguez. He was suspended for the remainder of this season and all of next season. A player in the Mariners’ minor league system was also suspended: Tacoma Rainiers catcher Jesus Montero. What do these suspensions say about the state of drug use in baseball?

Technology-Enabled Sexual Landscape
Technology has changed when and how kids are exposed to sexual activity.  Gone are the dirty magazines under the mattress.  On average, kids are exposed to full action, hardcore sexual activity by age 10.  How is this changing the behavior and expectations of teenagers?  How can you help your kids navigate a technology-enabled sexual landscape?

Climate Change And The Republican Party  
Former head of the Environmental Protection Agency and former co-chair of the Puget Sound Partnership, William Ruckelsaus explains why the Republican Party needs to take action on climate change.

The Weather and Hike of the Week
Michael Fagin suggests a hike that matches the week’s weather forecast.
 

Bill Kibben's book "The End of Nature"

In 1989, Bill McKibben wrote what is considered the first book on climate change for a general audience. More than two decades after “The End of Nature,” McKibben is still advocating for the environment. He’s been a main player in the fight to stop the Keystone Pipeline and he focuses this talk on climate change and the Northwest.

He spoke at the Queen Anne United Methodist Church on April 28 as part of The Well lecture series.

The viability of carbon capture and storage can spark lively debate among climate scientists, activists and industry. This week, technicians in southeast Washington continue a field test to show how carbon dioxide could be injected and trapped deep underground.

It's an experiment led by the Pacific Northwest National Lab. Injection of fifty tanker truck loads of CO2 will take about four weeks. Then comes about a year and a half of monitoring to see if the global warming gas stays locked away forever beneath ancient lava flows.

Environmental Debt With Amy Larkin

Jul 18, 2013
Flickr Photo/rlpporch

Environmental debt — global warming, extreme weather, pollution — is weakening the global economy. Amy Larkin, formerly of Greenpeace, discusses how the natural world and business can coexist. She spoke at the Elliott Bay Book Company on July 1.

Song For A Warming Planet

Jul 10, 2013
NASA

As a student at University of Minnesota, Daniel Crawford was exposed to the latest science on climate change. He learned that the planet was warming rapidly. Scientists have struggled to communicate the gravity of that discovery with others, and so, as a planet we've failed to make changes that would slow the warming trend.

But Daniel has a tool unavailable to most scientists. He plays the cello. By translating NASA's collection of historic temperature data into notes, he tells the story of Earth's climate change with a song. It's an unpleasant song. But it's also a song whose melody can't be easily forgotten.

Full list of stories on KUOW Presents, July 10:

The loss of 19 firefighters in Arizona is sending a chill through the firefighting community in the Northwest. Fire season is about to begin here -- ushered in by a heat wave sweeping the region.

Word spread fast among wildland firefighters in the Northwest. “We are saddened but [must] honor our fallen by continuing with the job at hand,” wrote the hotshot crew out of Union, Ore., on Facebook.

Annalee Newitz's book "Scatter, Adapt, and Remember."

We’re long overdue for a catastrophic disaster based on studies of Earth’s past. Scary? It probably should be, considering that during our most recent disasters, more than 75 percent of the planet’s species died out. 

Annalee Newitz is a journalist and editor of the science website i09.com. She’s also the author of “Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction.” Annalee Newitz talks about how, even though catastrophe may be inevitable, humanity's chances for survival are better now than ever. She spoke at Seattle’s Town Hall on May 22.

AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

President Barack Obama’s wide-ranging plan for action on climate change, announced Tuesday at Georgetown University, includes regulating carbon emissions from existing coal-burning power plants for the first time. In the Pacific Northwest, relatively little coal is used, but one of the region’s biggest coal consumers is sticking with its plans to keep relying on the dirtiest of all fossil fuels.

Obama Announces Action On Climate Change

Jun 25, 2013

  Today, President Barack Obama announced he's taking aim at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. He also said he'll only support the controversial Keystone XL pipeline if it doesn't lead to a net increase in greenhouse gas emissions. David Roberts writes about energy policy for the environmental magazine Grist. He talked with David Hyde.

The Northwest is well positioned to make wine into the future despite global climate change. So says a scientist who presented his findings on climate change and wine at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash. Monday.

Wine grape vines can be productive for decades. But how will climate change affect that? That’s the question Antonio Busalacchi, with the University of Maryland, sought to answer.

Andrew Guzman Discusses "Overheated"

Jun 13, 2013
Andrew Guzman's book "Overheated."

 Berkley law professor Andrew Guzman’s new book "Overheated: The Human Cost of Climate Change" warns about the eventual disasters that unchecked climate change could cause. He even begins his book with a dedication to his sons: “To Nicholas and Daniel, Whose Generation Will Face The Consequences.” David Hyde talks to Guzman about the rapidly changing state and uncertain future of our planet. 

Making Seattle Carbon Neutral By 2050

May 6, 2013
Flickr photo/Neal Jennings

Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien wants Seattle carbon neutral by 2050. The plan to make Seattle carbon neutral is bound to be expensive, but O’Brien says carbon neutrality has benefits beyond just reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. Mike O’Brien joins Ross Reynolds today to talk about this proposal. 

OLYMPIA, Wash. – In the coming months, Washington state will embark on a study of the best ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The research is one provision of a measure Governor Jay Inslee signed into law Tuesday. It’s a key legislative win for the Democrat.

So why are Republicans declaring victory?

In the end, Governor Inslee got his climate change bill. But it came out looking a bit different then it went in. That’s because Republicans now largely control the Washington Senate. They rewrote key sections of the bill.

Ashley Ahearn

Macaque monkeys are the distant relatives of an ancient species that roamed the lush rainforests of the Northwest during the early Paleocene – about 60 million years ago. Climate change models project a possible return to Paleocene conditions in the near future. One local scientist says it’s time to bring back the macaque – and the Cascade Mountains are the perfect place to do it.

Flickr/masmediaspace

The Northwest is famous for its steady gray drizzle. But for violent storms and downpours? Not so much. That might be changing. Newly published research finds evidence that rain is coming in more intense bursts in one Northwest location.

Borge Ousland: Adventures In Polar Exploration

Feb 25, 2013
South Pole
Flickr Photo/Eli Duke

Global warming and melting ice are rapidly changing the landscape of the Earth's polar regions. What will it mean for life at the poles, and for the rest of the world? Norwegian explorer Borge Ousland has seen this environmental transformation for himself. He’s the first person to complete solo expeditions across both the North and South Poles. In 2010, he completed the Northern Passage – a circumnavigation of the entire Arctic ocean. He joins us to talk about his adventures in the vast, frozen tundra of the poles.

Ashley Ahearn

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee says he wants to defeat climate change. Rather than taxing carbon or pursuing a cap-and-trade system to restrict the emission of greenhouse gases, the Democratic state executive wants more clean energy research and development.

The United States doesn't currently have a plan for dealing with the problem of climate change. But President Obama is expected to bring it up in his State of the Union address tomorrow night. What is he expected to say? What’s he likely to do? David S. Roberts of the Seattle-based environmental magazine Grist talks with David Hyde about his predictions on how the president will attempt to tackle climate change.

Energy expert Amory Lovins says the United States can replace all oil and coal by the year 2050, without nuclear power, new federal taxes or subsidies, or new inventions. At the same time, we can grow the US economy by 158 percent.

New report suggest flooding by 2050
Port of Seattle

City officials predict that by 2050 parts of Seattle will be under water at high tide as global sea levels rise. At a press conference held Monday on the edge of Elliott Bay near downtown Seattle, the City Council announced a new plan to take action on climate change.

Are We All In Sales?

Jan 10, 2013


Are we all in sales? Are most transactions — in school, with our children, at the coffee shop — about getting people to part with resources? Daniel Pink argues that "buyer beware" has been replaced with "seller beware." He joins us to talk about the ideas in his new book, "To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others."

Historic gas pump
John Ryan

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn wants the city to get its money out of fossil fuels. He has called on the city’s two main retirement funds to divest millions of dollars invested in oil and gas companies.

Looking for a holiday gift for the green thumb in your life? Greg Rabourn and Marty Wingate join us with a few ideas for useful gifts sure to please any gardener.

Damaged oil-spill containment dome
BSEE (via KUOW FOIA request)

A KUOW investigation has led a top congressman to demand answers about Shell Oil's underwater accident this fall in Puget Sound.

As we reported on Friday, an underwater test near Anacortes left Shell's first-of-its-kind oil-spill equipment “crushed like a beer can.”

Ground Truth Trekking

Landslide season has begun. That's when we hear stories about houses sliding down Seattle's famously steep slopes. But according to geologist "Hig" Higman, landslide season is about to get even hairier.

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