Lauren Sommer Lauren Sommer covers climate change for NPR's Climate Desk.
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Lauren Sommer

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Headshot of Lauren Sommer.
Eric Lee/NPR

Lauren Sommer

Correspondent, Climate Desk

Lauren Sommer is a correspondent for NPR's climate desk, where she covers scientists on the frontlines of documenting the warming climate and how that science is — and isn't — being used by communities to prepare for increasing disasters.

Since joining NPR, she's looked at how a lack of building codes is putting people at risk of wildfires, how cities are failing to plan for stronger storms and how communities are allowing development in flood-prone areas. Lauren also scaled ice sheets to explore how melting polar ice is having mysterious impacts around the planet.

Prior to joining NPR, Lauren spent more than a decade covering climate and environment for KQED Public Radio in San Francisco, where she delved into the impacts of California's historic drought and record-breaking wildfires. On the lighter side, she's run from charging elephant seals and searched for frogs in Sierra Nevada lakes.

Lauren 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. She has received a national Edward R. Murrow, as well as awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Society of Environmental Journalists.

Story Archive

Monday

wildestanimal/Getty Images

Sperm whale families talk a lot. Researchers are trying to decode what they're saying

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Sunday

What are sperm whales saying? Researchers find a complex 'alphabet'

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Friday

Christiane Keyhani (bottom left) and Liz Yannell (bottom right), of the non-profit group Hui O Ka Wai Ola, measure water quality along Lahaina's coast. The group is part of a coalition that mobilized in the wake of the fire to closely monitor the water quality off Lahaina. Ryan Kellman/NPR hide caption

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Ryan Kellman/NPR

Maui community mobilizes to protect water quality from runoff after Lahaina fires

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Thursday

Federal forecasters say El Nino is waning, after contributing to a record heat year

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A woman takes refuge during Greece's July 2023 heat wave. El Niño helped drive global temperatures to new heights, making it the hottest year on record. Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP via Getty Images

Tuesday

Sperm whales have lengthy exchanges, made up of clicks, which scientists have found is more complex than previously thought. Alexis Rosenfeld/Getty Images hide caption

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Alexis Rosenfeld/Getty Images

What are sperm whales saying? Researchers find a complex 'alphabet'

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Wednesday

Coral reefs undergo what may become the most extensive bleaching event on record

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Record levels of heat in the ocean are causing a worldwide mass bleaching event on coral reefs, as seen here on the Great Barrier Reef. Scientists are working on creating more heat-resistant coral to help restore reefs. Veronique Mocellin/AIMS hide caption

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Veronique Mocellin/AIMS

Coral reefs can't keep up with climate change. So scientists are speeding up evolution

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Monday

During spawning corals release their eggs and sperm, filling the water like confetti, which combine to create the next generation of reef builders. Marie Roman/AIMS hide caption

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Marie Roman/AIMS

Scientists are breeding 'super corals.' Can they withstand climate change?

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Wednesday

French bulldogs have skyrocketed in popularity. Legislation being considered in New Hampshire could put rules on breeding ones with chronic breathing problems. Sarah Stier/Getty Images for Westminster Kennel Club hide caption

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Sarah Stier/Getty Images for Westminster Kennel Club

Bulldogs are prone to health problems. New Hampshire could limit their breeding

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Thursday

West Maui is a center of the tourism industry, raising concerns in the community that developers will buy properties destroyed in the fire as they come up for sale. Ryan Kellman/NPR hide caption

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Ryan Kellman/NPR

After the fires, a Maui community tries a novel approach to keep homes in local hands

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Saturday

Thursday

Humpback whales that spend their winters in Hawaii, like this mother and calf, have declined over the last decade. Martin van Aswegen/Marine Mammal Research Program, University of Hawaii at Manoa, NMFS Permit No: 21476/21321 hide caption

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Martin van Aswegen/Marine Mammal Research Program, University of Hawaii at Manoa, NMFS Permit No: 21476/21321

Wednesday

Climate change is hindering humpback whales' return from the brink of extinction

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Monday

Gabi Huerta, with the Eastern Sierra Conservation Corps, replants trees in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Ryan Kellman/NPR hide caption

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Ryan Kellman/NPR

Wildfires are killing California's ancient giants. Can seedlings save sequoia trees?

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Thursday

SunPower Corp. solar panels technician Jose Arrechiga braves the extreme heat as he installs solar panels on a residence's roof in Pasadena, Calif., Wednesday, July 19, 2023. The European climate agency calculates that 2023 was the hottest year ever recorded globally. Damian Dovarganes/AP hide caption

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Damian Dovarganes/AP

2023 was the hottest year on record. Is this how it's going to be now?

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Thursday

Expect more intense rainfall events as the world warms, scientists say

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Wednesday

COP28 president Sultan al-Jaber of the United Arab Emirates at the annual climate meeting in Dubai. Getty Images Europe hide caption

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Getty Images Europe

Wednesday

Sultan al-Jaber of the United Arab Emirates, right, celebrates the end of the COP28 climate meeting with United Nations Climate Chief Simon Stiell, left, and COP28 CEO Adnan Amin on Dec. 13, 2023, in Dubai. The final deal included a modest reference to transitioning away from fossil fuels, which scientists say is crucial to avoid catastrophic warming. Kamran Jebreili/AP hide caption

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Kamran Jebreili/AP

Friday

After getting hit with Hurricane Irma in 2017, Antigua and Barbuda is still recovering. It's one of many countries that will need hundreds of millions of dollars to prepare for stronger storms and other climate impacts. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Thursday

At COP28, countries pledge hundreds of millions of dollars to help vulnerable nations

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Wednesday

Summers could get dramatically hotter if the world fails to slow the pace of climate change. Brent Jones/NPR hide caption

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Brent Jones/NPR

3 climate impacts the U.S. will see if warming goes beyond 1.5 degrees

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Monday

Wind turbines generate electricity off the coast of England. World leaders will meet later this week in Dubai to discuss global efforts to reduce emissions of planet-warming pollution and transition to renewable energy sources. Frank Augstein/AP hide caption

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Frank Augstein/AP