I connected the dots between loss of Arctic sea ice and California’s recent devastating wildfire season in this piece for Vice:
“Calling this [fire season] the ‘new normal’ —that’s not out of line at all,” says Professor Jennifer Francis, an atmospheric scientist and research professor in the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University. Professor Francis has spent her career focused on the Arctic and energy exchanges between that region and the rest of the planet. She says the warming she’s seen in the polar region has impacted weather patterns throughout the Northern Hemisphere. “Those changes up north, they’re impacting the billions of people down here.”
“When I was 7 years old, I traveled to the Florida Keys with my grandmother and learned to snorkel, spending most of the day, every day, for over a week, peering down at countless corals bursting in indescribable shapes and glorious colors.
Nearly 30 years later, I returned to the same beaches, eager to strap on my mask and dive in. I was excited to show my West Coast-raised partner the beauty I knew to be hidden beneath the gentle aquamarine surface.
But there was no color left.”
However, there’s hope. Some intrepid scientists are using some creative techniques, including IVF, to help baby coral survive a challenging new landscape. I got to talk to them for this article for The Daily Beast.
Our world’s climate is changing, we have changed it, and now we need to prepare for what’s next. The ends of the earth are ground zero for understanding these changes.
Which is why I wrote this article about the greening of the Arctic for Vice’s new environment-focused site, Impact.