Lauren Sommer Lauren Sommer covers climate change for NPR's Science Desk.
Stories By

Lauren Sommer

Lauren Sommer

Correspondent, Science Desk

Lauren Sommer covers climate change for NPR's Science Desk, from the scientists on the front lines of documenting the warming climate to the way those changes are reshaping communities and ecosystems around the world.

Prior to joining NPR, Sommer spent more than a decade covering climate and environment for KQED Public Radio in San Francisco. During her time there, she delved into the impacts of California's historic drought during dry years and reported on destructive floods during wet years, and covered how communities responded to record-breaking wildfires.

Sommer has also examined California's ambitious effort to cut carbon emissions across its economy and investigated the legacy of its oil industry. On the lighter side, she ran from charging elephant seals and searched for frogs in Sierra Nevada lakes.

She was also host of KQED's macrophotography nature series Deep Look, which searched for universal truths in tiny organisms like black-widow spiders and parasites. Sommer has received a national Edward R. Murrow for use of sound, as well as awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Society of Environmental Journalists.

Based at NPR's San Francisco bureau, Sommer grew up in the West, minus a stint on the East Coast to attend Cornell University.

[+] read more[-] less

Story Archive

Shipping workers recorded the tide levels beginning in 1854 at St. George's Dock in Liverpool, England, creating valuable records for future scientists. Heritage Images/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Heritage Images/Getty Images

How Fast Are Oceans Rising? The Answer May Be In Century-Old Shipping Logs

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/959600735/972409688" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

A 1930 tidal chart from the village of Bowling on the Firth of Clyde Andrew Matthews hide caption

toggle caption
Andrew Matthews

President Biden has set a goal of making the U.S. carbon neutral by 2050, which will require steeper emissions cuts than the U.S. has ever achieved. To reach it, coal power would have to wane into a footnote, replaced by renewables like solar and wind. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Daniel Gorham, a research engineer with the Insurance Institute for Building and Home Safety, looks for clues about how homes can survive wildfires. Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety hide caption

toggle caption
Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety

The Complex Decisions Around Rebuilding After A Wildfire

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/961097205/962166899" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A Look At The Future Of Biden's Climate Change Policies

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/961279027/961279028" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

How Climate Change Is Setting The Stage For Natural Disasters

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/949078343/949078344" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Motorist stop at an intersection where a sign displays the temperature on June 20, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. As 2020 comes to a close so does the hottest recorded decade. Ralph Freso/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Ralph Freso/Getty Images

A pedestrian uses an umbrella to get some relief from the sun as they walk past a sign displaying the temperature on June 20, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. As 2020 comes to a close so does the hottest recorded decade. Ralph Freso/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Ralph Freso/Getty Images

2020 May Be The Hottest Year On Record. Here's The Damage It Did

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/943219856/948697885" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The Environmental Upside To The COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdowns

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/947440090/947440094" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Flames approach houses during the Tick Fire on Oct. 24, 2019 in Canyon Country, California. David McNew/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
David McNew/Getty Images

Rebuilding After A Wildfire? Most States Don't Require Fire-Resistant Materials

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/936685629/938763588" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript