climate change

Oleg Doroshin, Fotolia

The weather was beautiful over the weekend around most of southeastern Wisconsin. It was especially welcome because during April, it felt like it would never warm up and spring would never arrive. However, April was actually tremendously warm month across the globe and set a temperature record. 

George Stone is professor emeritus of natural science at Milwaukee Area Technical College and the now-retired organizer of the annual Sustainability Summit in Milwaukee.

For millions of Americans, climate change is making the weather nicer. That's the conclusion of a new study that points out winters are getting quite a bit milder, while summers aren't getting that much worse.

The study's authors say the mild temperatures might be one reason some people aren't so worried about climate change.

For most of the U.S., the hottest temperatures in July haven't gone up much — scientific consensus is about half a degree over the past 40 years. Same for sticky humidity — not much change, if any.

eileenmak / Flickr

The story of climate change has become very familiar, but the February climate report released by NASA added frightening new chapter. February 2016 broke the global climate record by a couple tenths of a degree.

While that may not sound like a lot, meteorologist Dr. Jeff Masters says it’s an ominous sign.

It's not rare for a year to break record temperatures. But it's now happened two years in a row — and 2015 was "very, very clearly the warmest year by a long chalk," says Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

T Nelson

Tia Nelson was one of thousands of people who closely observed the recent United Nation’s climate change conference in Paris. The 13-day, nonstop negotiations culminated in an international climate agreement.

Nelson’s interest runs deep, starting with the fact that she is daughter of Earth Day founder and former U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson.

In what supporters are calling a historic achievement, 196 nations attending the COP21 climate meetings outside Paris voted to adopt an agreement Saturday that covers both developed and developing countries. Their respective governments will now need to adopt the deal.

S Bence

Official delegates aren’t the only people milling about at the United Nations Climate Change Conference. NGOs and businesses are also well represented.

Clay Nester is representing Johnson Controls at the UN conference. It’s not his first; Nester attended the 2009 gathering in Copenhagen.

“We can be observers within the plenaries, but very rarely have any sort of formal role. I’ve been fortunate enough to make a couple of interventions for exactly two minutes on the role of the private sector, marketplace mechanisms, innovations, things such as that,” Nester says.

S Bence

Milwaukee-based singer/songwriter Billy Bob Rayson recently released his first album, Stop The Show.

Environmental themes run throughout. Rayson says he's been deeply influenced by environmental issues.

S Bence

Today marks the beginning of the UN gathering. World leaders face a daunting task to draft an agreement to combat climate change.

Clay Nesler was about to pack his bag and head to Paris, when I met him at Johnson Controls. He’s the company’s VP of Global Energy and Sustainability.

This won’t be Nesler’s first climate change summit. He attended the U.N.’s 2009 gathering in Copenhagen.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to make a couple of interventions for exactly two minutes on the role of the private sector, market place mechanisms, innovation,” Nesler says.

Nearly 150 world leaders are gathered near Paris for what is being billed as a last-chance summit to avoid catastrophic climate change.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports that this is the biggest diplomatic meeting in France since 1948. She filed this report for our Newscast unit:

S Bence

Some educators in northern Wisconsin aren't letting the fact that climate change is a politically charged issue sway them from teaching about the subject.

Cathy Techtmann is among them. The UW-Extension environmental outreach specialist decided it was time to rethink climate change education.

“The old model purely based on science were just not resonating with people,” Techtmann says. “A lot of people realize that there’s cultural component, not just a scientific piece but also a cultural piece that makes the issue come alive to people.”

Climate change tends to make the news pretty regularly. Despite the coverage, many believe too little is being done to curb emissions and slow the global warming trend, others dismiss concerns with equal conviction.

A program in far northern Wisconsin along Lake Superior is trying to change minds through education.

Called G-WOW, the model not only integrates scientific climate change research, but a glimpse of how Lake Superior’s coastal environment, people, cultures and economies stand to be impacted by climate change.

Where Presidential Candidates Stand On Climate Change

Aug 11, 2015
ALDEN PELLETT AP

Last week, President Obama released a plan to cut carbon emissions from power plants. Climate change has also been cropping up on the presidential campaign trail — both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have released their own proposals.

Today, Pope Francis took the unprecedented step of issuing a formal opinion on the environment

His encyclical, titled On Care of Our Common Home, states humankind has a moral obligation to radically change its behavior, in order to protect the planet for future generations.

Like the rest of the globe, the Midwest is expected to warm, but thus far scientists cannot clearly predict if the region will become wetter or drier. Even more perplexing, is the fact that temperatures in the Midwest have not yet significantly increased.

The puzzle is the subject of a study led by Dartmouth College assistant professor of geography Jonathan Winter.

He started digging into the Midwest while working on his PhD.

Pages