Stories by Andrew Freedman

It's not just President Trump who thinks climate scientists disagree

President Trump says climate scientists disagree about what is causing global warming.
Protestors at a "Stand up for Science" rally. Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images.

In recent interviews, President Trump falsely claimed that scientists disagree about the causes of global warming. In fact, at least 97% of climate scientists agree that human activities are the dominant cause of global warming since the mid-20th century.

The big picture: President Trump is not the only one who thinks that the main causes of global warming are still being debated. According to polling from George Mason University's Center for Climate Change Communication, even those Americans who say they are concerned about climate change tend to significantly underestimate the strength of the scientific consensus.

Hurricane Willa intensifies into a Category 5 storm, menaces Mexico

Satellite animation of intense Hurricane Willa spinning off the coast of Mexico.
Satellite animation of Hurricane Willa, spinning off the coast of Mexico as a Category 5 storm on October 22, 2018.

Hurricane Willa put on an astonishing display of rapid intensification over the weekend into Monday morning, going from a tropical depression to a Category 4 hurricane in just 48 hours and intensifying further into a Category 5 storm on Monday. The storm is expected to hit Mexico's Pacific coast as a major hurricane of Category 3 or stronger by Wednesday.

Why it matters: While Hurricane Willa is likely to weaken slightly prior to making landfall, it will still be an extremely dangerous hurricane when it comes ashore, bringing an array of hazards including life-threatening storm surge at the coast, damaging winds, heavy rains that could be measured in feet and the potential for inland flooding as the storm crosses Mexico from west to east.

How climate change puts our cultural heritage at risk

Illustration of Socrates statue surrounded by rising water, as sea level rise threatens cultural sites.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Sea level rise due primarily to global warming threatens to submerge dozens of the most culturally significant sites in the Mediterranean.

  • In Italy alone, at least 13 UNESCO World Heritage Sites are at risk, according to a study published this week in Nature Communications.

Why it matters: UNESCO designates cultural World Heritage Sites for places that represent cultural traditions or civilizations that have since disappeared. The Mediterranean region was home to several ancient civilizations, many of which flourished by the sea.