Climate Coverage

Drawdown is when global greenhouse gases in the atmosphere begin to decline on a year-to-year basis.  It's also a nonprofit organization and a book.  Project Drawdown analyzes 100 solutions to rollback greenhouse emissions and comes to some surprising conclusions about what provides the most impact.  Our discussion will focus on the solutions within the sectors of energy, food, and women and children.

Sean Linehan / NOAA

Most wetlands permits issued in New England would not be affected by a proposed change in federal environmental rules.

The Trump administration wants to narrow which wetlands receive federal protection under the Clean Water Act to only those that directly feed navigable waters.

Steve and Michelle Gerdes / Flicker CC

New Hampshire's members of Congress say they support the call for a select House committee on a "Green New Deal."

The campaign is being led by the group Sunrise Movement and incoming Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

Her proposed committee would draft a plan by 2020 to move the U.S. economy off fossil fuels, and combat climate change, by creating new jobs and technology in renewable energy.

Chris Jensen

The U.S. government released its Fourth National Climate Assessment report at the end of last week that shows the effects of climate change are already here – both in New England and all over the country.

Jennifer Jacobs is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of New Hampshire, and she’s the lead author on that report’s chapter on transportation and infrastructure.

Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Jacobs about her work and what it means for New Hampshire.

woodfin / Flickr CC

New research suggests New Hampshire forests could help store more climate-warming carbon dioxide while growing higher-value trees.

The study, from Clark University and the Nature Conservancy, says better land management – especially reforestation – could store up to a fifth of America’s climate-warming carbon emissions. 

A new report suggests New Hampshire's Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant will be essential to curbing the effects of climate change in the coming years.

Seabrook and Millstone Station in Connecticut will be the only two nuclear plants left in New England after next year.

They're also some of the most profitable nuclear plants in the country, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Public Service of New Hampshire

New Hampshire is the only New England state that didn't join a coalition opposing the proposed rollback of the Clean Power Plan.

The EPA wants to replace the Obama-era plan with a rule that loosens carbon emissions standards for coal-fired power plants.

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

Last Halloween was not a great one for Chelsie Lent. A bad storm blew across New Hampshire, flooding part of a campground she owns in Warren, along the Baker River.

The water swept away campfire rings, knocked picnic tables across the property, destroyed a road and bath house, and dropped all kinds of debris, she said.

It was symptomatic of a changing climate here. 

Wildcat Mountain Facebook

The Wildcat Mountain ski resort in the White Mountains will have the earliest opening ever in its 61-year history Saturday.

It comes after a mid-October cold snap that bucks the overall warming trend for New England winters.

Wildcat Mountain spokesman Jack Fagone says it's usually not cold enough for snowmaking until closer to Thanksgiving.

That wasn't the case this year – with a recent week of weather in the 20s and lower, as well as a surprising amount of natural snowfall.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

A controversial conference in Portsmouth Friday focused on economic solutions to climate change – while questioning some mainstream scientific views. 

The Portsmouth Conference was the first put on by Citizens Count, a nonpartisan voter education nonprofit.

Its founder is prominent New Hampshire businessman Paul Montrone, who sat in on the conference at a hotel in Portsmouth.

Jason Moon / NHPR

Several climate science skeptics from around the world will join a controversial conference in Portsmouth over the next two days.

The event, known as the Portsmouth Conference, lost support from the city and the University of New Hampshire because of its roster of speakers.

Northeast Naturalist via Flickr CC

Researchers have finished their largest study to date on how ticks and warming winters are hurting moose in Northern New England.

The data shows unprecedented death rates among moose calves -- more than 50 percent in four of the past five years, plus lower reproductive rates in adult moose across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

courtesy photo

The New Hampshire Film Festival’s first Virtual Reality Lounge opened Friday in Portsmouth, with four films about climate change.

 

Dark curtains hung from the walls, dimly lit by black lights. Ten festival-goers took their seats on swivel chairs. They turned in their seats to get a full view of a California wildfire or a desert in Somalia.

 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

A group of New Hampshire legislators and renewable energy advocates issued their response Thursday to the governor’s 10-year energy strategy.

The volunteer coalition wrote plans for how the state can rapidly shrink its carbon footprint—and people’s bills—by investing in energy efficiency, renewable energy and new technologies.

They call it a roadmap to their goal of using renewable power for all of New Hampshire’s electricity by 2040.

Some of the world's top climate scientists have concluded that global warming is likely to reach dangerous levels unless new technologies are developed to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says pledges from the world's governments to reduce greenhouse gases, made in Paris in 2015, aren't enough to keep global warming from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees F) above pre-industrial temperatures.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Hundreds of people rallied for action on climate change in Keene and Portsmouth this weekend.

They were part of demonstrations nationwide, ahead of a global climate summit in San Francisco this week.

Seacoast families and students filled Portsmouth's Market Square with electric vehicles and signs denouncing fossil fuels and President Trump’s climate policies.

They listened as mock-time travelers told stories from two potential futures. One came after inaction on climate in the present day:

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The Portsmouth City Council has withdrawn its support of a conference on climate policy. 

The conference, titled "Climate Policy Choices: Payoffs and Trade-offs" once had the backing of the Portsmouth City Council.

But several residents raised concerns about the conference speakers, some of whom challenge policies that prioritize climate mitigation efforts, saying they're a big cost to the economy.

Flickr Creative Commons | Andiseño Estudio

 

 

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.”

Kenny, calling from his van, asks: “I’m wondering if, like I saw in a TED talk, if we could spray chalk into the atmosphere to reflect sunlight to solve global warming?”

New England has seen a significant increase in heavy rain and snow events in recent years, storms delivering upwards of two inches of precipitation in a single day.

While human-caused warming is a major contributor to that shift, natural climate trends may be playing a role as well, said Jonathan Winter, a professor of geography at Dartmouth College. 

He recently published research looking at specific weather patterns driving precipitation in the northeast since 1996. 

Courtesy of Loon Mountain

A new study from Plymouth State University and the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest says New Hampshire ski areas will have fewer days to make snow each winter as the climate warms.

Co-author Geoff Wilson of the Cary Institute says they already knew the White Mountains were warming faster during the winter than at other times of the year.

For this study, he says they worked with nearby Loon Mountain Resort to see how warming is affecting ski areas.

File photo

Deb Bourbeau owns a home in Hampton Beach, and each morning, she checks how high the tides will be. Flooding's been an issue for her and her neighbors.

It's one reason she turned out for the New Hampshire Coastal Climate Summit on Wednesday.

Jason Moon for NHPR

A new study says rising seas could threaten more than 5,000 homes on the New Hampshire Seacoast by the end of the century.

The Seacoast properties at risk from chronic flooding pay more than $33 million in property taxes, according to the national report from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Climate change is leaving a mark on one of New Hampshire's springtime rituals: maple sugaring.

Scientists and farmers dug into the latest research over pancakes in Plymouth on Tuesday.

Mount Washington Observatory research director Eric Kelsey says maple trees face a lot of stresses: abnormal storms, droughts, excess road salt, acid rain and new pests.

"And that might explain the general 25 percent decrease in sap-sugar content we've seen over the last 40 to 50 years,” Kelsey says.

In recent years, unreliable snow cover and wild temperature swings have caused headaches for our winter recreation industry, and all those who love to ski, ice-fish, or snowmobile.  But the impacts go beyond disappointment: there are animal and forest health affects as well, including the beloved Sugar maple. 

File photo

New studies say a decrease in snow days as the climate changes is taking an economic toll on states like New Hampshire—as well as an environmental one.

A national report commissioned by nonprofit Protect Our Winters says when snow falls and stays on the ground, spending on winter sports tends to increase. (Read the report here.)

file photo

Conservationists say two iconic New Hampshire animals – moose and loons – show how climate change will reshape the region in the years to come.

They talked about their latest research – and how they hope people will respond to it – at the Audubon Society in Concord Wednesday night.

It was the same day New Hampshire and Maine set new records for winter warmth. Highs were in the 70s in Concord, and the snowless Mount Washington summit reached 48.

f2point8 / Flickr Creative Commons

Some New Hampshire towns hit hard by storms this year are still waiting for federal disaster relief funds. That's led to a proposal to offer short-term aid from state coffers to fill the gap. 

Orford, for example, suffered bridge damage and road washouts after storms in July and October. The Grafton County town is expecting to be reimbursed in part by FEMA funds, but there's a delay before that money comes through.

Intriguing: Top 2017 Science and Tech Stories

Dec 20, 2017
Allegra Boverman, NHPR

We discuss the top stories in science, technology, the environment and energy in New Hampshire in the past year.  From the eclipse that captivated the nation's attention to the biofabrication industry gaining steam in the Manchester Millyard, we look at top stories nationally and in New Hampshire, including extreme weather, solar power, and a bitcoin bubble.  Plus intriguing discoveries in outer space and in the human body.


Mount Washington Auto Road

New research from UNH says the effects of climate change on New Hampshire could start to accelerate by the middle of the century.

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