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NPR Features Alumna’s Work to Cool Urban Heat Island

María Belén Power ’07 was recently featured in a WBUR story that also aired on All Things Considered from National Public Radio. Belén Power is associate executive director at GreenRoots in Chelsea, Massachusetts. The environmental justice organization is collaborating with the city and Boston University to pilot a host of cooling strategies on a densely populated Chelsea block, from planting trees to replacing asphalt with lighter-colored material.

In addition to improving local residents’ well-being, the Cool Block project serves as a template for other cities as climate change brings longer, hotter summers, increasing health risks in urban heat islands.

“Some days we feel like—what?—are we really having an impact? Like, is this really going to prevent the climate crisis?” Belén Power told WBUR’s Martha Bebinger. “And then I think, ‘It’s no longer about preventing it. It’s about protecting the most vulnerable communities.’”

Learn more about the Cool Block project from WBUR or listen to the full story from NPR.

John Zobitz discusses weather patterns with International Business Times

ibtimes_100dpi300x75pxlAssociate Professor of Mathematics and environmental science researcher John Zobitz helped to answer the question posed by many in the wake of a recent record-setting snowfall in the Buffalo, N.Y., area — Why is it so cold and snowy in November?

The reason is global warming, according to Zobitz and other scientists studying the Earth’s climate. Changes in the overall temperature of the planet have affected the jet stream, thereby causing unusual weather. “Yes, the globe is warming in temperature, but that means some places are warm a lot more, and some places are sometimes colder,” Zobitz said. “We happen to be on the cold side of that right now, and no matter how you want to slice and dice it, that’s the reality.”

Read more about how changes in the Earth’s temperature influence weather patterns on the International Business Times website.