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climate change

The global shipping industry is enormous — thousands of ships carry billions of dollars of goods each year across nearly every ocean on the planet.

Sixth grade science teacher Melissa Lau prepares a lesson on climate change using "tree cookies" for her students at Piedmont Intermediate on July 1, 2019.
Caroline Halter / StateImpact Oklahoma

Melissa Lau is preparing for the coming school year. She teaches 6th grade science in Piedmont, just northwest of Oklahoma City. Inside her classroom, she’s laid out over thirty cross sections from the trunks of red cedar trees. Each ring represents one year of growth. Lau calls them “tree cookies.” 

Stillwater's Boomer Dam is one of more than 4,700 in Oklahoma.
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

Oklahoma has more than 4,700 dams. At least 30 percent of these flood control structures are at the end of their 50-year design life. With climate change expected to bring more heavy precipitation, can they hold up?

The Devon Energy Center in downtown Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs

Devon Energy says it will voluntarily reduce methane emissions from its operations in the United States by at least 12 percent by 2025.

Meteorological Electronics Technician Kirk Wilson eyes the top of a 30-foot tower as he prepares to replace a wind sensor at an Oklahoma Mesonet station near Shawnee, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Scientists are getting better and better data on the earth's changing climate. Now there's a push to take advantage of the information stream to help us cope with the extremes we know are coming. One leader in this is Oklahoma.

Kelvin Droegemeier responds to questions from senators during the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing on August 23.
Megan Ross / Gaylord News

Calling himself a scientist, stormchaser and educator, former OU vice president Kelvin Droegemeier adamantly defended freedom of scientific inquiry from political influence while facing questions on climate change from a Senate panel during a Thursday nomination hearing for a White House position.

Benji and Lori White in a pasture at their ranch near Putnam, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Benji White pulls into a field and honks his horn. Before the shifter hits park and the doors close behind him and his wife Lori, the silver Ford pickup is surrounded by dozens of Red Angus eager for a handout of cattle cake, a protein-dense pellet.

Reveal: The Tide Is High

Jan 8, 2018
Gabriel Hongsdusit / Reveal

Last year saw the most destructive Atlantic hurricane season on record. As climate change pushes ocean temperatures ever higher, scientists predict storms will continue growing more severe.

How did we get here? And what steps are we taking to ensure that rising seas and catastrophic weather don’t swallow American communities whole? This week’s episode investigates.

Volunteer firefighters Christie Smith and David Thompson cool down after extinguishing a hotspot that flared east of Noble, Okla., in 2012. Scientists expect the risk of wildfire to increase as climate change-fueled droughts occur more frequently.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A new report from hundreds of experts and more than a dozen federal agencies is stark: Humans are likely responsible for the warmest period in modern civilization.

The consequences of this warming vary regionally, but scientists and researchers forecast significant effects in Oklahoma and other southern plains states.

Thirty miles off the shore of Port Douglas, Australia, tourists jump into the water of the outer reef. On their dive, they see giant clams, sea turtles and a rainbow of tropical fish, all swimming above brightly colored coral.

On a boat, marine biologist Lorna Howlett quizzes the tourists in the sunshine. "How many people out there saw a coral highlighter-yellow?" she asks, eliciting a show of hands. "What about highlighter-blue? Yeah? Anyone see some hot pinks?"

Wild horses and cattle graze on the marshy banks of southern Spain's mighty Guadalquivir River.

From the mouth of this river, Christopher Columbus set off for the New World.

But since then, the river has gotten more salty. As fresh water is extracted for agriculture, drought — made more frequent by climate change — means less rainfall replaces it. Tides send salt water farther upriver.

Inside a cement building straddling part of the river, pumps suck 800 gallons out of the Guadalquivir per second — diverting it to irrigation canals.

President Trump announces his decision for the United States to pull out of the Paris climate agreement in the Rose Garden at the White House on Thursday, June 1, 2017.
Win McNamee / Getty Images

The United States will withdraw from the international climate agreement known as the Paris accord, President Trump announced on Thursday. He said the U.S. will negotiate either re-entering the Paris agreement or a new deal that would put American workers first. NPR journalists fact-checked and added context to his remarks, including comments about the economy and U.S. energy sector.

Somali refugees wait outside a UNHCR processing center at a refugee camp outside Dadaab, eastern Kenya, on Aug. 5, 2011. Climate change contributed to low rain levels in East Africa in 2011, making global warming one of the causes of Somalia's famine.
Jerome Delay / AP

 

Interactions between humans and the environment is a two-way street. Human actions change the environment, and changes to the environment affect human behavior.

David Lopez-Carr, a geographer a the University of California-Santa Barbara, calls it “human environment dynamics.” He studies how climate change impacts food security, crop production and human health, particularly infant mortality.

 

“Babies and infants are the hardest hit when there is when there are food shortages,” Lopez-Carr told KGOU’s World Views.

A dad and his daughter on the final stretch of the March for Science at the Oklahoma capitol on April 22, 2017.
Joe Wertz / State Impact Oklahoma

Oklahomans joined thousands of people in more than 600 cities on Saturday in a march for scientific freedom organized to send a message to state and national lawmakers.

World Views: November 4, 2016

Nov 4, 2016

University of Oklahoma Vice President for Weather and Climate Programs, College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences Dean, and National Weather Center director Berrien Moore talks with Suzette Grillot about his involvement with last year’s Paris Climate Conference, and some of the domestic politics surrounding climate change.

But first, Joshua Landis provides an update on the Middle East, including the latest on the fight against ISIS in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

Participants attend a panel entitled "Science on a Sphere Presentation"at the COP21, United Nations Climate Change Conference, in Le Bourget, north of Paris, Dec. 8, 2015.
Michel Euler / AP

Between Nov. 30 and Dec. 12, 2015, 19,385 national delegates from across the world met in Paris for COP21 to discuss rising emissions, green energy, and the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

A power plant
Wladimir Labeikovsky / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

No matter where you land on the climate change discussion, humans have become a geophysical force that impacts everything from local ecosystems to the atmosphere itself.

“Humans are having, for a single species, pretty much unprecedented effect on their entire biosphere, such that it could possibly be recorded permanently in the geological record,” University of Oklahoma anthropologist Noah Theriault argues. “If an extraterrestrial species came down and studied our planet sometime in the distant future, they would be able to tell there was some big change right around what we would consider to be the geological present.”

But what do you call that?

Climate change threatens coastal communities across the world, such as the Gunayala islands off the northeast coast of Panama.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

In Paris last week world leaders reached a groundbreaking climate deal to significantly limit carbon emissions in the coming years, with a goal of limiting the world’s rise in temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

World Views: December 18, 2015

Dec 18, 2015

Rebecca Cruise talks with University of Oklahoma sociocultural anthropologist Noah Theriault about the Paris climate agreement, and its effect on some of the small island countries of Southeast Asia.

Then, we'll hear Joshua Landis' conversation with Nazila Fathi, a journalist and author who grew up in Iran, and was nine years old when the Islamic Revolution changed her entire life. She left Iran 20 years later, and then returned to cover the 2009 election protests as a correspondent for The New York Times.

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.)
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

President Obama and delegates from nearly 200 nations are gathering in Paris to hammer out an agreement to rein in global climate change

World leaders are acknowledging their countries’ contributions to climate change, and are making commitments to improve the environment. But there’s an army of Republicans pushing against Obama’s Paris plan, and U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma is one of its generals. 

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