Covering Climate Change | New Hampshire Public Radio

Covering Climate Change

Human activity is warming the planet. This change is already reshaping how we live and interact with our environment in New Hampshire, across New England and beyond. And just as more people than ever were beginning to wake up to the climate emergency, our lives collided with the coronavirus pandemic and a generational reckoning on racial justice. 

From NHPR, By Degrees is a climate change reporting project that begins in this historic moment. Here, we tell stories of the challenges and solutions that these intersecting crises are bringing to light -- individual stories of resilience and struggle, innovation and compromise, and of big change by degrees. We’ll answer your questions, take you to new places, challenge those in power, and explore how our state and region are living through climate change -- and responding to it. 

Click here to take our quick survey and share your ideas and questions for future By Degrees stories, or email us tips and photos of the changes you're seeing: climate@nhpr.org.

Select a topic below to see more related stories and resources: 

Ways to Connect

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Part of New Hampshire has entered an extreme drought for only the second time in 20 years.

The extreme conditions center on the Dover area and extend in a circle from Great Bay, to near Concord, up to the Lakes Region.

The rest of the state is in severe drought, with moderate conditions in the Upper Valley and Monadnock Valley. 

Sean Hurley

The White Mountain Fritillary butterfly can only be found in one place on earth - above 4000 feet in the Presidential Range. A conservation effort is underway to make sure the insect can survive climate change… but scientists have only just begun to learn about the species and how it may be at risk.

As part of NHPR’s reporting project, By Degrees, NHPR’s Sean Hurley joined researchers atop Mount Washington to see four captive butterflies released back into the wild.

Nearly all regions of the three northern New England states are experiencing some level of abnormally dry conditions right now, with some areas in a moderate to extreme drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. And that's leading to the potential for wildfires.

Bow Fire Department / Facebook

Update, 5 p.m. Wednesday: Concord fire officials say the Merrimack River island fire was extinguished this afternoon, though "hot spots" may flare up in the dry weather forecast for the coming days. 

Annie Ropeik for NHPR

About 370,000 people in New Hampshire – more than a quarter of the state’s population – are currently under outdoor water use restrictions due to the ongoing severe drought.

The drought has been escalating since May across the region and is now extreme in some parts of New England, with no substantial rainfall expected soon.

Flikr Creative Commons / Claudio Schwarz

A new study says New England has the largest gap in energy burdens between low-income energy burdens and median energy burdens than any other region in the country. 

Household energy burden is the percentage of annual income spent on yearly energy bills.

OC Aerials / facebook.com/OCAerials603

New Hampshire’s drought is not expected to improve any time soon, and officials say it’s continuing to create prime conditions for possible wildfires.

Seventy-two percent of New Hampshire is now in a severe drought, with moderate drought in the southwestern and far northern part of the state. The drought also stretches across New England, with extreme conditions in far northern Maine and on New England’s south coast.

Sarah Gibson/NHPR

En el noticiero de hoy, te compartimos una entrevista con Claudia Castaño, coordinadora para el programa de English Language Learners del distrito de Nashua, sobre cómo ha empezado el año escolar y que recursos de apoyo hay para familias de los estudiantes. 

También te compartimos otras noticias sobre lo que sucede en New Hampshire hoy, viernes 18 de septiembre.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: September 18, 2020

Sep 18, 2020

Smoke from West Coast wildfires has dimmed our sunshine - could we see extensive fire damage here, and what’s the link to climate change? The New Hampshire Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week in a case that will decide if a list containing the names of more than 250 law enforcement officers with credibility issues should be disclosed to the public. We also find out about inconsistencies in psychological evaluations used in the hiring process at N.H. police departments. We find out about a demonstration at Cathedral Ledge in the Mt. Washington valley. And what will leaf-peeping be like this this fall?

 

 

Ken Watson / KenWatson.net

Update, Wednesday, Sept. 16: The risk of wildfires was “very high” Wednesday in New Hampshire and Maine. Officials say they've had reports of several small, deep-burning fires in the southern and central part of New Hampshire.

Smoke from Western wildfires is also still wafting over New England. Forecasters say it will make for a colorful sunset but isn't yet affecting air quality. 

All of New Hampshire is now in a drought, with severe conditions persisting from the Seacoast to Grafton County.

Moderate drought conditions have expanded into the few areas of the North Country thathad been unaffected, according to a weekly update from the national drought monitor.

Get climate change news in your inbox - sign up for our newsletter today.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Today, Labor Day, caps off one of New Hampshire's warmest summers on record -- a consequence of climate change.

National Weather Service data for June, July and August says this summer was the warmest on record in Manchester, with an average temperature of 74.4 degrees.

Thirty-two days were over 90 degrees in the Queen City - compared to fewer than 10 normally in the years since 1980.

Labor Day highs in Manchester have also ticked up in that time, according to weather records.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

New Hampshire’s ongoing drought has worsened again, with severe dryness now spreading into Grafton County and escalating impacts to surface water and agriculture.

At a meeting Thursday, officials said nearly the entire state remains in a drought, with the worst of it stretching from the Seacoast into the lower White Mountains.

Cori Princell / NHPR

The state is out with a first-of-its-kind report on the health of New Hampshire’s lakes, showing the effects of climate change, population growth and a decline in acid rain.

The report takes a comprehensive look at water quality trends from the past few decades or longer in 150 of the state’s lakes and ponds monitored by volunteers and state biologists.

Jerry and Marcy Monkman / Trust For Public Lands

The state is out with a draft 10-year plan for managing its forests, with a new focus on recreation and climate change impacts. 

The Division of Forests and Lands updates this plan every decade. The new 2020 draft plan is out for public comment until Oct. 15.

USDA

Researchers at Dartmouth College have published a new analysis on how current and future uses of plant-based energy could be a key solution to climate change.

The study looks at bioenergy and biofuels, which can come from all kinds of plants, including grass, trees, corn or algae.

Nick Mott

When the debate over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge first emerged, most people had never heard of global warming. So over the last four decades, the controversies over oil in the Refuge and climate change evolved on different tracks.

Now, those tracks are intersecting. In the final episode of The Refuge miniseries -- a dive into the resulting tensions and contradictions around oil and climate.

For the month of August, Outside/In is featuring Refuge, a four-part Peabody award-winning documentary series from Threshold. This is part four.

What Is The Promise of Green Hydrogen?

Aug 26, 2020
Q Hydrogen Solutions

Is there a way to combat climate change and keep that furnace in your basement? We learn about green hydrogen and examine if we can use it to take advantage of existing natural gas infrastructure as we wean ourselves off fossil fuels. We discuss the promise and pitfalls of green hydrogen and where these fit in the energy future of N.H. and the country. This program is part of NHPR’s By Degrees climate reporting initiative.
 

Airdate: Wednesday, August 26, 2020

U.S. Drought Monitor

State officials are asking residents to stop watering their lawns and washing their cars.

Taking these steps can protect the public’s water supply, and prevent a water shortage.

The most recent data from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows that almost half of the state is experiencing a moderate drought.

Other areas are experiencing either severe or abnormally dry conditions.

More than a hundred community water systems in the state are complying with these new restrictions.

Amy Martin

The Gwich’in have lived and hunted in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge long before it was carved out as federal protected land. Their territory spans a huge swath of northeastern Alaska and northwestern Canada, and their health and culture depends on the Porcupine caribou herd—a group of animals 200,000 strong that calve on the area of the coastal plain slated for drilling.

The Refuge team spends this episode in Arctic Village, a community just over the southern border of the Refuge, and hear from the Gwich’in about what’s at stake for them as development looms in the 1002 area.

For the month of August, Outside/In is featuring Refuge, a four-part Peabody award-winning documentary series from Threshold. This is part three.

Carbon Engineering

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."

Nick Mott

The Threshold team visits Kaktovik, Alaska, the only town within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, to find out how the conflict over drilling for oil in the refuge feels to the people who live there. But the heart of the issue isn’t just over oil extraction and development, wilderness and wildlife. Whatever side people took, their focus is on their community, sovereignty, and survival.

For the month of August, Outside/In is featuring Refuge, a four-part Peabody award-winning documentary series from Threshold.

Dan Tuohy/NHPR

A continuación, escucha y lee las noticias del jueves 13 de Agosto.

Una nota: lo que vas a leer, es nuestro guion de grabación, por lo que encontrarás anotaciones diferentes.

Estado reporta cifras actualizadas del COVID-19 en New Hamsphire

Empezamos con información actualizada del COVID-19 en New Hampshire.

No Coal No Gas / Youtube

A continuación, están las noticias del miércoles 12 de agosto.

Puedes escucharlas haciendo click en el audio o leerlas.

Una nota: Lo escrito es nuestro guión para nuestras grabaciones. Tenlo en cuenta si ves algunas anotaciones diferentes.

En cinco días consecutivos, no hay reportes de muertes por COVID-19 en New Hampshire

Ya son cinco días seguidos en que New Hampshire no reporta ningún fallecimiento vinculado al COVID-19. 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Activists are calling on electric customers in New Hampshire and New England to stop paying their utility bills on Sept. 1, in a strike that aims to put pressure on the regional energy system to address climate change.

No Coal, No Gas campaign volunteer Jeff Gang says the goal is to have a thousand people signed up to strike ahead of time.

ReVision Energy Instagram

COVID-19 has been hard on just about every industry in New Hampshire, and renewable energy is no exception. 

People worried about money are putting off investing in solar panels, and health concerns have made home energy efficiency visits more complicated. But scientists say investments like these can lower energy costs, and remain a critical way to combat the other big crisis we’re facing – climate change. 

As part of NHPR’s new climate change reporting project, By Degrees, NHPR’s Annie Ropeik has been trying to find out what might be ahead for the renewable energy industry in the state. Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with her about what’s next.

Estas son las noticias de hoy, viernes 7 de agosto. Se pueden leer en nuestro guion de grabaciones a continuación --incluye anotaciones  diferentes-- o escucharlas en el siguiente audio.

Nuevos centros  de pruebas de COVID-19 en hospitales locales de New Hampshire

Todd Bookman for NHPR

The Democratic candidates for governor continue to clash over their approaches to climate change, with State Sen. Dan Feltes rolling out a "green jobs" plan Thursday.

His primary opponent, executive councilor Andru Volinsky, says the new plan glosses over Feltes's continued support for natural gas.

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