Rebecca Hersher

Rebecca Hersher (she/her) is a reporter on NPR's Science Desk, where she reports on outbreaks, natural disasters, and environmental and health research. Since coming to NPR in 2011, she has covered the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, embedded with the Afghan army after the American combat mission ended, and reported on floods and hurricanes in the U.S. She's also reported on research about puppies. Before her work on the Science Desk, she was a producer for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered in Los Angeles.

Hersher was part of the NPR team that won a Peabody award for coverage of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, and produced a story from Liberia that won an Edward R. Murrow award for use of sound. She was a finalist for the 2017 Daniel Schorr prize; a 2017 Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting fellow, reporting on sanitation in Haiti; and a 2015 NPR Above the Fray fellow, investigating the causes of the suicide epidemic in Greenland.

Prior to working at NPR, Hersher reported on biomedical research and pharmaceutical news for Nature Medicine.

Cutting greenhouse gas emissions quickly would save tens of millions of lives worldwide, a new study finds. It's the latest indication that climate change is deadly to humans, and that the benefits of transitioning to a cleaner economy could be profound.

More than 200 of the world's leading climate scientists will begin meeting today to finalize a landmark report summarizing how Earth's climate has already changed, and what humans can expect for the rest of the century.

Coastal neighborhoods around the U.S. are seeing a steady increase in high tide flooding, as sea level rise accelerates and sends seawater into homes, sewers and streets. The problem is expected to get worse in the coming years, federal scientists warn.

Big bodies are good for cold places.

That's the gist of a foundational rule in ecology that has been around since the mid-1800s: Animals that live in colder places tend to have larger bodies, especially birds and mammals that need to regulate their body temperatures. For example, some of the largest whale and bear species have evolved in the coldest reaches of the planet.

The Speights' mobile home in DeQuincy, La., is at the end of an unpaved road in a stand of tall longleaf pines. Donnie and Stephen Speight bought the land and the house 11 years ago after Stephen retired from his job as a pipe fitter at a local petrochemical plant.

More than half of the buildings in the contiguous U.S. are in disaster hotspots, a new study finds. Tens of millions of homes, businesses and other buildings are concentrated in areas with the most risk from hurricanes, floods, wildfires, tornadoes and earthquakes.

The findings underscore how development patterns exacerbate damage from climate change.

The Environmental Protection Agency is cracking down on a powerful class of greenhouse gases that are used in refrigerators, air conditioners and building insulation. On Monday, the agency announced a new regulation that would dramatically decrease production and use of hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, over the next 15 years.

It's the first concrete regulatory step the Biden administration has taken to tackle planet-warming emissions since the president announced ambitious goals 10 days ago to cut U.S. emissions by half in the next decade.

The Biden administration says addressing climate change and health inequities are among its top priorities, and it will need to lean heavily on federal scientists to achieve ambitious goals. But decades of underfunding, political interference and systemic race and gender bias have undercut trust among many government scientists and have led to a disproportionately white, male workforce.

Updated April 22, 2021 at 6:14 AM ET

On Thursday, the White House kicked off a two-day summit on climate change where leaders from 40 countries are discussing plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions and ultimately reverse global warming.

The summit highlights the United States' return to the Paris climate agreement, and it is the Biden administration's first major opportunity to reestablish the country as a trustworthy player in international climate diplomacy.

In the next several days, the Biden administration is expected to announce plans across the economy to reduce America's greenhouse gas emissions dramatically by 2030.

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