Ask a Scientist

Our monthly ‘Ask a Scientist’ column answers questions that come from UCS members and supporters.


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As Global Warming Increases, Is There an Upper Limit to How Much Additional Water Vapor The Atmosphere Can Hold?

, senior writer

I’m sure you’ve heard that old adage, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” Living in Washington, D.C., for the last three decades, I certainly know what it means. That said, it would be more accurate to say, “It’s not only the heat, it’s also the humidity.” Based on a question about water vapor and global warming we recently received from a UCS supporter in Lexington, Kentucky, I talked with the lead author of our recent Killer Heat report, Kristina Dahl, a senior climate scientist in our Climate and Energy Program, about increasing heat and humidity, global warming, and the choices we face. Read more >

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What Can Concerned People Do about Attacks on Science?

, senior writer

J.V. of Austin, TX, asks “What can ordinary people do about attacks on science?” and Anita Desikan, research analyst with the UCS Center for Science and Democracy, answers. Read more >

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What are the Major Economic Implications of Sea Level Rise?

, senior writer

Dr. Rachel Cleetus, lead economist and policy director with the UCS Climate and Energy Program, answers the questions “What are the major economic implications of sea level rise?” and “What can we do about it?” Read more >

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How Does Pollution from Animal Agriculture Compare to Vehicle Pollution?

, senior writer

N. from Sun City, AZ, asks “I have read that industrial agriculture, especially animal agriculture, creates nearly as much air pollution and water pollution as vehicles. What are the facts about this?” and Marcia DeLonge, Ph.D., senior scientist with the UCS Food and Environment Program, answers. Read more >

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How Does the Farm Bill Affect Everyday Americans?

, senior writer

Today only 2.1 million out of a population of 327 million people are farmers. It isn’t a stretch to say that almost no one farms anymore. So why should anyone care about the Farm Bill? Read more >

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