Climate change still up for debate?

Belinda Waymouth

Debate moderators have used immigration, gun control and abortion to contrast the ideological differences of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and her Republican counterpart Donald Trump. But they avoided climate change—an issue that starkly divides the nominees. In last week’s third and final Clinton/Trump face-off, the issue wasn’t mentioned at all. During the second debate, climate…



The $77 billion bug invasion

David Colgan

Ten species of invasive insect account for $77 billion in annual global economic damages, according to the first in-depth study on the subject, published today in Nature Communications. Even that estimate is extremely conservative. Author Franck Courchamp, a French conservation biologist who researched the paper as a visiting professor at UCLA, said reliable studies on…



A planetary perspective from Kathryn Sullivan, head of NOAA

David Colgan

Sullivan is Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the first American woman to walk in space. She’ll be at UCLA on October 18 to deliver the keynote speech of EARTH NOW: EARTH 2050, a massive, three-day environmental symposium at the Luskin Conference Center. I recently spoke with Sullivan to get her…



Pacific Ocean’s response to greenhouse gases extends California’s drought

Alison Hewitt

Clues from prehistoric droughts and arid periods in California show that today’s increasing greenhouse gas levels could lock the state into drought for centuries, according to a study led by UCLA professor Glen MacDonald. The study, published today in the journal Scientific Reports, looked at how natural climatic forces contributed to centuries-long and even…