Climate Change | New Hampshire Public Radio

Climate Change

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Throughout the presidential primary campaign, voters in New Hampshire have said climate change is one of their top priorities. And even as candidates emphasize the dangers of global warming – and detail their plans to address it – many voters aren't reassured.

NHPR’s Annie Ropeik has more as part of our series “Where They Stand,” which takes a closer look at candidates’ policy proposals. 

Editor's note, Feb. 4, 2020: Click here to see an updated version of this project with the Democratic field as of the final week of the New Hampshire primary. 

Great Plains Institute

New Hampshire will soon build high-speed electric vehicle charging stations along major state roadways.

Officials have put out a request for proposals to construct the charging areas over the next 18 months, with some online by the end of next year. 

The state will put up $2 million for the project, drawn from its settlement in the Volkswagen emissions tampering case.

WPS Geography

New Hampshire will host the kick-off meeting of a federal offshore wind task force for the Gulf of Maine. The meeting is set for Dec. 12 at the University of New Hampshire.

It will be open to the public, with time for public input.

courtesy of Franklin Pierce University

Franklin Pierce University is creating a new institute that’ll focus on combating climate change.

The Institute for Climate Action will focus on community outreach, education on campus, finding ways to make campus operations more sustainable and partnering with local organizations.

Last year’s report on climate change from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change spurred the creation of the institute. The report said that significant actions need to be taken in the next decade to curb the effects of climate change.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

For the past few decades, New Hampshire's logging industry has been selling its wood scraps to be burned for energy. But now, after two years of failed subsidies, the state’s small biomass power plants are shutting down

It's left the forest products sector with few in-state markets for a lot of low-grade timber -- even as innovative new uses for that wood take root elsewhere in the region.

Peter Biello/NHPR

Earlier this week, Thomas Starr took a walk along Route 108 in Durham, looking for a path to town landing, by the Oyster River. The path veers away from the bridge and drops down closer to the water.

"You see how the road dips down here? That's a concern, where that could flood," says Starr.

 

Starr is professor of graphic and information design at Northeastern University, and he thinks a lot about flooding, especially the kind attributed to climate change. 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Dartmouth College had a plan to build a wood chip burning plant to heat its campus. This would have added a new biomass market for landowners and foresters within a 50 mile radius of Hanover.  

But, after months of local pressure the College said it would reconsider building the plant. Dartmouth’s decision speaks to the complexity of using wood biomass to transition away from burning fossil fuels.


BRICKY CEMENT / FLICKR/CC

The Outside/In team demystifies cap-and-trade programs in the Northeast.

File photo

A new study from the Audubon Society says climate change could push some state birds out of their home ranges – including New Hampshire’s purple finch.

The report, released Thursday in a major follow-up to a less detailed 2014 Audubon study, says even a moderate warming scenario could push the iconic finch out of much of New Hampshire.

But senior conservation biologist Pam Hunt with the state Audubon society cautions that the true climate picture for birds may be more complicated than that.

Scanning N.H. Skies: Diminishing Bird Numbers

Oct 8, 2019
File photo

Birds are a good indicator of environmental health, and a recent study shows a drastic decline in the North American bird population - with three billion birds gone since 1970. The numbers were drawn with help from the birdwatching community. We see how this decline is playing out in New Hampshire, and look for inspiration from some successes in the Granite State. 

Air Date: Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019

Credit Bricky Cement / Flickr/CC

New Hampshire and other Northeast states are considering a carbon pricing system to curb emissions from passenger vehicles.

The transportation sector is New England's top source of the greenhouse gases that exacerbate the effects of climate change.

In New Hampshire, transportation – especially passenger vehicles – contributes more than 40 percent of emissions, while electricity generation contributes around 20 percent.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Nearly 70 people were arrested during a protest at a coal-fired power plant in Bow Saturday.

The activists had marched onto the grounds of Merrimack Station, the largest coal-burning facility left in New England that is not set to retire.

Hundreds more people from across the region protested outside the plant’s main gate and in nearby Memorial Field, decrying the continued use of the fossil fuels that accelerate the harmful effects of climate change.


Joanne Glode / Nature Conservancy

New Hampshire’s coastal towns are beginning to think about adapting to climate change. It’ll mean finding new ways to protect critical pieces of infrastructure from rising seas, heavier rains and stronger storms.

NHPR’s Annie Ropeik has this story of the lessons from a major road project in Newmarket that’s one of the first in the state to focus on climate resilience.


Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Hundreds of people across New Hampshire turned out at Climate Strike events Friday to lend their voice to calls for action on climate change. 

Carrying handmade signs, pushing strollers and handing out leaflets, they joined striking protesters around the world in a coordinated effort to kick off a week of climate activism.  

Maria-Jose Viñas / NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

People in nearly a dozen New Hampshire cities and towns are rallying for action on climate change Friday, as part of a global week of strikes and protests, urging policy-makers to do more to lower carbon emissions.

Climate strikes are planned all over the state, led by activists, businesses, students and parents.

NASA

There are nearly a dozen "climate strikes" being organized in New Hampshire on Sept. 20 to urge local, state and federal leaders to take tougher action on climate change. Below is a list of the events in the Granite State:

Annie Ropeik for NHPR

Seacoast towns are testing out a new state framework to help plan for rising seas, stronger storms and other coastal risks expected to increase with climate change.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Congressman Chris Pappas spoke with The Exchange on a variety of issues including climate change legislation, background checks, and the I-93 expansion.  Here are some highlights from that conversation. 

Listen to the show and read the transcript. 

Arctic.NOAA.gov

Five Democratic presidential candidates in the span of 24 hours have released sweeping plans to address climate change, ahead of a series of town halls devoted to the issue.

On Wednesday, California Sen. Kamala Harris and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg each unveiled their climate plans. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Obama cabinet member Julián Castro each laid out theirs on Tuesday.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Voters at a presidential campaign forum about climate change Thursday night say the issue still isn't getting enough attention.

The event, at yogurt-maker Stonyfield's factory in Londonderry, featured Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan and former Maryland Congressman John Delaney, both Democrats.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee had been slated to appear, but ended his climate-focused campaign earlier this week.

Voters like Elizabeth Deutsch, a nurse from Vermont, worry the issue will remain sidelined in the race.

Flickr Creative Commons | dotun55

  Every other Friday on Morning Edition NHPR’s Sam Evans-Brown tracks down answers to questions about the environment and outdoors for our listeners in a segment we call “Ask Sam.”

Rich from Hudson, NH asks: “I’ve noticed that last summer I noticed an awful lot of dragonflies in my neighborhood. And they were beautiful and they were much larger. I really liked it, and I wonder if this has something to do with the global warming that we’re experiencing?”

Wikimedia Commons

A new study says New Hampshire and the nation will see far more days with dangerous heat over the coming decades – especially without more action to curtail climate change.

Ruin Raider via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/8uzPPU

New research from the University of New Hampshire recommends that the state should invest in thicker asphalt roads. The state's roads are likely to see more damage due to rising temperatures and sea levels.

When asphalt is exposed to hotter springs and summers, it's more likely to crack under the weight of vehicles and create rougher surfaces. Damaged roads can lead to reduced fuel efficiency, more safety hazards and more traffic due to construction and road closures.

Flickr Creative Commons | chadnorthrup

Every other Friday on Morning Edition, NHPR’s Sam Evans-Brown tracks down answers to questions about the environment and outdoors for our listeners in a segment we call “Ask Sam.” Do you have a question you want Sam to tackle? Click here to submit it!

Virginia from Manchester asks: I was wondering if we are having an abnormally high amount of pollen this season. And if we are having a worse pollen season than usual, I was wondering what the reason might be?

The Weather Machine: A Journey Inside the Forecast

Jun 23, 2019
HarperCollins Publishers

In his new book, The Weather Machine, Andrew Blum explores the people, the technology, and the infrastructure behind the weather forecast we rely on day to day, and the role of meteorology in the study of our planet and global policy and decision making. The book is on sale June 25th. 


Sarah Gibson for NHPR

Massachusetts senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren visited voters in Windham and Manchester, New Hampshire on Friday to pitch a plan she says will fight the influence of big corporations and rebuild the middle class.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Presidential candidate Joe Biden used a swing through New Hampshire Tuesday to highlight his new proposal to combat climate change. The former Vice President is embracing what he calls the frameworks of the Green New Deal, including a $1.7 trillion federal investment in climate related policies.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A first-of-its-kind study from UNH shows that slower rates of global warming can make seasonal change more predictable.

The study looked at the period between 1998 and 2012, when global temperatures increased more slowly than in years prior. Scientists still aren't sure exactly why.

Algkalv / Wikimedia Commons

A new study from Dartmouth College shows how warming in the Arctic is rapidly changing an important landscape.

The research, by Ph.D candidate Rebecca Finger Higgens, says lakes in the Arctic tundra are shrinking as global temperatures rise.

Finger Higgens spent a summer in Greenland studying these lakes, which are scattered across a vast glacial landscape of rolling hills and low shrubs.

"It's a place where one degree of temperature change can make a really big difference."

Arctic temperatures have risen around 2.5 degrees celcius since 1985.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

Former Texas Congressman and presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke says climate change needs to be more of a priority in the 2020 election. Fresh off a campaign stop in flood-ravaged regions of Iowa, O’Rourke told voters in Hooksett:

“It’s not God. It’s not Mother Nature. It is us - our emissions, our excesses, our inaction in the face of the facts. And we know that this will get exponentially worse over time unless we change course now.”

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