Award-winning independent journalist specializing in energy, technology, earth sciences, climate change and water. Contributor to NatGeo, Yale360 and more. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In Boost for Renewables, Grid-Scale Battery Storage Is on the Rise
The twin smokestacks of the Moss Landing Power Plant tower over Monterey Bay. Visible for miles along this picturesque stretch of the Northern California coast, the 500-foot-tall pillars crown what was once California’s largest electric power station — a behemoth natural gas-fired generator. Today, as California steadily moves to decarbonize its economy, those stacks are idle and the plant is largely mothballed. Instead, the site is about to begin a new life as the world’s largest battery, st...
Polar Bears to Vanish from Most of the Arctic This Century
With Arctic sea ice in a spiraling decline—2020 was recently declared the second-lowest ice year in the satellite record—it’s an axiom of climate change that polar bears are in peril. But until now, scientists have been unable to pinpoint when and where populations of this charismatic marine mammal will begin to collapse. A novel model combining projections of future sea ice loss by region with calculations of the maximum number of ice-free days polar bears can withstand now gives a timeline ...
Voices North Podcast
The exhibition North explores extreme ecological changes in the Nordic countries. It focuses on how artists adapt their expressions and ideas to these radical changes in nature. In this episode we explore the state of the ecological crisis in the arctic with science journalist Cheryl Katz.
CLIMATE CHANGE ERASING THE FACE OF THE NORTH: THE VANISHING NORDIC LANDSCAPE
Essay on climate change in the Nordic countries, for book accompanying Norðrið/North art exhibition at LISTASAFN ÁRNESINGA in Hveragerði, Iceland, Sept. 19-Dec. 20, 2020.
What challenged Andrea Pitzer to write what she calls her best work ever
When she set out from Russian port of Murmansk on a 60-foot sailboat headed to Novaya Zemlya in August 2019, journalist Andrea Pitzer had few expectations. She hoped to visit historical sites central to the book she was writing about the 16th century Dutch explorer William Barents, who perished on an ill-fated expedition to the remote Arctic island 400 years earlier. Accompanying her on the voyage was a Russian crew who spoke little English, a pair of biologists documenting trash in the Arctic...
Roadkill rates fall dramatically as lockdown keeps drivers at home
As humanity’s hubbub slows due to the coronavirus pandemic, some wildlife is benefiting: Roadkill has taken a precipitous drop in parts of the United States.
During the peak of the lockdowns in March and April, traffic on U.S. roads fell by as much as 73 percent. During that same period, fatal collisions with deer, elk, moose, bears, mountain lions, and other large wild animals fell by as much as 58 percent. Road deaths of dogs, sheep, and other domestic animals show a similar plunge.
The Pandemic Has Taken Cars Off Urban Streets. Will It Last?
On a recent spring day in San Francisco, people strolled down the middle of what used to be a busy city street. Some discussed business on their cell phones. Others toted groceries, or take-out food from nearby restaurants. Bicycles whizzed by in designated lanes on either side. Except for conversations, whirring bike and scooter wheels, chirping birds, and the occasional car crossing an intersection, it was quiet — yet abuzz with folks on the move.
The same scene has been playing out in citi...
Norwegians are building boutique hotels for threatened Arctic birds
A changing ecosystem is driving nesting kittiwakes out of their habitat and into coastal Norwegian towns. Can “Kittiwake hotels” help these gulls and humans co-exist?
Urban Heat Islands Are Warming the Arctic
Urban heat islands—centers of warmth surrounded by halos of greening fueled by human activities—are an important climate phenomenon. Characterized by raised temperatures and longer growing seasons, these heat islands trigger significantly faster warming in cities than in rural areas. New research using satellite spectral imaging shows that urban heat islands aren’t just a product of metropolises in the planet’s populous temperate zones. They’re also contributing to climate change in the remot...
Fristelser og fornuft i Arktis
Sist høst, da jeg deltok på Norsk Polarinstitutts forskningstokt, fikk jeg igjen muligheten til å besøke Svalbard etter å ha vært borte i nesten et tiår. Jeg ble overrasket over å se hvor mye den en gang så rolige Longyearbyen har vokst og forandret seg siden sist. Rader med nye hus klatrer oppover fjellsidene, gatene er fullstappet av besøkende, og en hærskare av bedrifter, alt fra opplevelsesturer og sportsutstyr til teknologi i tillegg til luksuriøse hoteller og eksklusive restaura...
Warming at the poles will soon be felt globally in rising seas, extreme weather
Ice loss, permafrost thaw, fires: Trouble in the Arctic and Antarctic could cause shocks to the world’s weather and sea levels sooner than thought, says a new study.
Why is an ocean current critical to world weather losing steam? Scientists search the Arctic for answers.
A conveyor belt of ocean water that loops the planet and regulates global temperatures could be heading for a tipping point.
New England Winters Are “Losing the Cold”
Winters in New England are becoming decidedly less wintry.
Over the past century, the number of days below freezing across the northeastern United States has dropped by more than a day a decade, a new analysis finds. Bitter cold and days with snow have also waned, whereas “mud days”—when earth is bare and thawed—have gained ground.
“We’re losing the cold,” said Alix Contosta, an ecosystem ecologist at the University of New Hampshire in Durham. Contosta is the lead author of a new study in Eco...
Why Rising Acidification Poses a Special Peril for Warming Arctic Waters
From the deck of a Norwegian research ship, the ravages of climate change in the Arctic are readily apparent. In the Fram Strait, the ocean passageway between Norway’s Arctic islands and the east coast of Greenland, seas that should be ice-covered in early September shimmer in the sunlight. Glaciers that muscled across mountains a decade ago are now in rapid retreat, leaving behind walls of glacial till. Rivers of meltwater gush off the Greenland Ice Sheet.
But some of the biggest changes tak...
Why does the Arctic have more plastic than most places on Earth?
GREENLAND SEA, aboard the Kronprins HaakonOn an ice floe in the Greenland Sea, high above the Arctic Circle, Ingeborg Hallanger is vacuuming up plastic.
We’re standing on a patch of “fast ice,” so called because it’s held fast in a jumble of icebergs stuck on the shallow shelf off Greenland’s northeast coast. A rumpled white tabletop, pocked by blue meltwater pools and webbed with cracks, stretches to the horizon. Greenland’s glaciers shimmer in the distance.
Hallanger, a researcher with the ...