Rachel Licker

Senior climate scientist

Author image
Rachel Licker is a senior climate scientist with the Climate & Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. In her role, Dr. Licker communicates climate science to policymakers, the public, and the media. She analyzes new developments in climate science and works to defend climate science budgets and programs. See Rachel's full bio.

Subscribe to Rachel's posts

Rachel's Latest Posts

Photo: Flickr / Irene / Creative Commons license CC-BY-NC 2.0

Heat Extremes at 1.5°C and 2°C Warming

A key feature of the new IPCC report is its look into how climate change impacts are likely to be different at 1.5°C and 2°C warming above pre-industrial levels. A comparative look at heat extremes at these two warming levels is among the topics covered. The implications of these kind of projected changes – from adverse effects on our health and safety, to creating pre-conditions for large wildfires – are not difficult to envision after the devastating heat waves of 2018.

Read more >

Photo: Flickr / Irene / Creative Commons license CC-BY-NC 2.0
Bookmark and Share

Photo: IISD

Understanding 1.5°C: The IPCC’s Forthcoming Special Report

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – an international body that develops non-policy prescriptive climate science assessments for decisionmakers – is currently compiling a Special Report that will provide information on what it would take to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The report will also assess the climate impacts that could be avoided by keeping warming to this level, and the ways we can limit the worst impacts of climate change and adapt to the ones that are unavoidable. Read more >

Bookmark and Share

Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Will Happer, a Climate Science Denier, Joins the White House

News broke Tuesday that Dr. William Happer, a skeptic of climate science and professor emeritus of Physics at Princeton University, has joined the National Security Council, directing an emerging technologies portfolio. The scope of his responsibilities and the power he will wield remain unclear as the position appears to be newly created. However, Dr. Happer’s public condemnation for the scientific consensus around climate change (a field that he is not an expert in) is cause for serious concern, especially given the role the National Security Council has in setting high-level foreign policy and the growing threat climate change is posing to our nation’s security. Read more >

Bookmark and Share

Photo: NASA

The Importance of Briefing NASA Deputy Administrator Nominee on the Latest Climate Science

At his Senate nomination hearing yesterday, when asked whether he agrees with the scientific consensus that climate is changing and humans are the dominant cause, NASA Deputy Administrator nominee James Morhard stated that he believes “the climate is changing and man has a significant impact on it.” When pressed further about whether he accepts the scientific consensus that humans are the dominant cause, he replied that he cannot speak authoritatively to make that statement. Given James Morhard’s discomfort with speaking to this topic, it is critical that moving forward, he be briefed expeditiously by experts from NASA’s Earth Science Division to fill this knowledge gap.

Read more >

Photo: NASA
Bookmark and Share

Why NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System Matters

Future funding for NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System (CMS) was recently cancelled, leaving the important program in jeopardy unless Congress takes action soon.

Read more >

Bookmark and Share