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

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Warmer temperatures are leading to emptier reservoirs across the West, such as Lake Oroville in Northern California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A Hotter Climate Is Shrinking The Water Supply In The Western U.S.

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Hurricanes, Drought And Fires: The U.S. Has An Intense Summer Ahead

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Scientists expect increasing marine heat waves to cause coral bleaching, which can result in reefs dying off. Kevin Lino/NOAA/NMFS/PIFSC/ESD hide caption

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Kevin Lino/NOAA/NMFS/PIFSC/ESD

Fearing Their Kids Will Inherit Dead Coral Reefs, Scientists Are Urging Bold Action

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The Biden administration is opening the West Coast to offshore wind. Companies have largely focused on the East Coast, such as this wind farm off Block Island, R.I. Don Emmert/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Don Emmert/AFP via Getty Images

Newly deposited dirt sits on top of a levee at the Eden Landing Ecological Reserve that protects the eastern edge of San Francisco Bay. Lauren Sommer/NPR hide caption

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Lauren Sommer/NPR

SCOOP: There's A Dirt Shortage

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Coastal communities are racing to restore marshes, like these in San Francisco Bay, to provide a barrier against storm surges and rising seas. Cris Benton hide caption

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Cris Benton

Got Mud? For Coastal Cities, Humble Dirt Has Become A Hot Commodity

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U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, April 22, 2021. Biden pledged to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 as he convenes world leaders in a virtual summit intended to demonstrate renewed American resolve to fight climate change. Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

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Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images

U.S. Renews Its Commitment To Addressing Climate Change

President Biden is hosting dozens of world leaders for a virtual climate summit on Thursday and Friday. The administration is trying to regain ground lost by pulling out of the Paris climate agreement during the Trump administration. The Biden team is promising dramatic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions in the next several decades. Rhitu Chatterjee talks with NPR climate reporters Rebecca Hersher and Lauren Sommer.

U.S. Renews Its Commitment To Addressing Climate Change

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Kaz Fantone/NPR

Is Your Home At Risk From Climate Change? Here's How To Know

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World Leaders Convene (Virtually) For White House Climate Summit

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To cut carbon emissions, President Biden announced an initiative to further cut the cost of solar installations, like this one being tested at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado. Dennis Schroeder/NREL hide caption

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Dennis Schroeder/NREL

How The U.S. Could Halve Climate Emissions By 2030

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

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Andrew Matthews

Purple sea urchins have boomed off Northern California, destroying kelp forests that provide a crucial ecosystem. Steve Lonhart / NOAA MBNMS hide caption

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Steve Lonhart / NOAA MBNMS

In Hotter Climate, 'Zombie' Urchins Are Winning And Kelp Forests Are Losing

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A container at the Bodega Marine Lab in California holds hundreds of purple urchins harvested from the Mendocino County coast where they have been destroying kelp forests. Terry Chea/AP hide caption

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Terry Chea/AP

The Purple Urchins Don't Die

NPR climate correspondent Lauren Sommer explains how scientists are getting creative to deal with the hordes of urchins overtaking kelp forests in the Pacific Ocean — and why this kind of drastic ecological change may become more common as the climate gets hotter.

The Purple Urchins Don't Die

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Climate change is also making ocean waters more acidic, potentially harming shellfish like oysters. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

One Of Biden's Biggest Climate Change Challenges? The Oceans

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