Climate Central

Doug talks to Climate Central’s senior science writer, Brian Kahn.

In episode 16 of America Adapts, I talk with Brian Kahn, Senior Science Writer with Climate Central.

Climate Central (CC) is exactly what it sounds like: a central location for key science information and resources. Climate Central is a relatively new organization and Brian walks us through their unique model for providing climate science. Brian explains how CC uses social scientists to find ways to get science news to resonate with the public. Brian also explains their unique Climate Matters program, which engages with meteorologists all over the country, providing climate graphics and resources. We then talk about some of Brian’s own articles, the process of writing and selecting the topics, when a story connects, or when one is not well received, and how he can work with fellow Climate Central experts to figure why an article might have not connected as intended. A few of his stories include: Heat, Then Deluge Fell a Town’s Beloved 600-Year-Old OakCarbon Dioxide Passed Critical Threshold in 2015This is What It’s Like To Be a Young Climate ScientistHottest Months on Record Have Something in Common, OK Fine, Here’s the Carbon Dioxide Spiral. As you’ll discover, Brian brings a unique voice to these climate discussions and it’s one you’ll find yourself returning to frequently. We talk at length on his multipart series on the National Park Service and their response to climate change. Doug and Brian also discuss the National Climate Assessment: what it is; the challenges of sharing the information in the assessment; and how Climate Central has similar goals as the Assessment. Doug and Brian also discuss the role of Climate Central in adaptation planning and what opportunities exist for the organization to help this emerging field of climate practitioners. The conversation ends with Brian sharing some of his favorite climate web sites and writers. We also dig into climate change and pop culture and how movies like Before the Flood can engage and inspire a new generation of climate professionals.

Brian Kahn is a Senior Science Writer at Climate Central. He previously worked at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society and partnered with to produce multimedia stories, manage social media campaigns and develop version 2.0 of His writing has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Grist, the Daily Kos, Justmeans and the Yale Forum on Climate Change in the Media. In previous lives, he led sleigh ride tours through a herd of 7,000 elk and guided tourists around the deepest lake in the U.S. He holds an M.A. in Climate and Society from Columbia University.

One of Brian’s best quotes from the podcast, and a very succinct reason why Climate Central is so needed:  “Climate change is not a 2100 problem, it’s a 2016 problem.”  There’s a lot more to hear from Brian, so please listen in!

Additional Resources:
Follow Brian on Twitter!


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