3Qs: What sparked the Tennessee wildfires?

Wild­fires raged recently through the foothills of Tennessee’s Great Smoky Moun­tains, dam­aging more than 1,400 struc­tures and killing 14 people. Last week, two juve­niles were charged with aggra­vated arson in con­nec­tion with them. Northeastern’s Auroop Gan­guly, an expert on cli­mate extremes, notes that the “chain of causality” in such events is com­plex, with human activity sig­nif­i­cant but other fac­tors, including cli­mate change, also playing a role.

Global climate deal to phase out fast-​​growing pollutant. What happens next?

More than 170 coun­tries reached a land­mark cli­mate deal last weekend to limit the use of a chem­ical used in air con­di­tioners and refrig­er­a­tors that’s been called the world’s fastest-​​growing cli­mate pol­lu­tant. North­eastern pro­fessor Matthew Eck­elman weighs in on the deal’s sig­nif­i­cance and the envi­ron­mental trade offs that come with replacing one tech­nology with another.

Researchers reveal the hidden environmental and public health impacts of the US healthcare sector

Over the past 10 years, the U.S. health­care sector’s green­house gas emis­sions grew by more than 30 per­cent, accounting for 9.8 per­cent of the national total in 2013. “If the U.S. health­care sector were itself a country, it would rank 13th in the world for green­house gas emis­sions, ahead of the entire U.K.,” states a new paper coau­thored by North­eastern researcher Matthew Eckelman.

Researchers mine Twitter to reveal Congress’ ideological divide on climate change

Senate Democ­rats are three times more likely to follow science-​​related Twitter accounts than their Repub­lican peers, according to a new study led by Northeastern’s Brian Hel­muth. The research shows the growing divide between par­ties on the issue of cli­mate change, but also pro­vides hope, says Hel­muth, pointing to indi­vid­uals who cross the aisle and bridge the gap.