In 2006, while still in high school, Californian Daniel Swain launched the still popular website, “Weather West” – a blog on the science of extreme weather and climate variability.

Weather vane

In the decade since, the climate science prodigy has honed his communication skills as his interests have evolved.

Swain: “The more I became aware of the degree to which the climate system is actively changing as a result of human activities, the more interesting that became because there really are these huge societal impacts, and these changes – those impacts – are only going to grow in the future.”

Society’s interests, too, are evolving. As climate change makes extreme weather likelier, more people are experiencing the brown lawns, dead trees, shrinking lakes, and record-breaking wildfires that come with drought and extreme heat.

”New Click To Tweet

Swain: “There’s been a lot of new evidence, over the past decade or so, that has forced us to think a little bit differently about weather and how likely climate change may be affecting the likelihood of some of these kinds of extreme events.”

Swain, at 26, is now a Stanford University PhD candidate in climate science and plans to continue addressing such questions at “Weather West.”

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media/Julianne Warren.
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Diana Madson contributed regularly to Yale Climate Connections from 2014 to 2021. She enjoys exploring U.S.-based stories about unexpected and innovative solutions to climate change. In addition to her...