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

Robert Bukaty/AP / via Maine Public

The state of Maine is proposing the country’s first floating offshore wind farm in federal waters off Northern New England.

They hope to win a federal research lease to build a dozen turbines over about 16 square miles. The project will generate 120 megawatts of power.

That's enough to power at least 75,000 homes. It's bigger than many onshore wind projects in the region, but far smaller than the typical full-scale offshore development. 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The Seacoast will get multiple king tides that top 10 feet in the next few days, and residents can take photos and videos of the tides' effects for an annual state contest that runs Saturday through Tuesday.

This kind of high tide tends to cause low-level flooding in the streets of ocean-facing towns like Hampton, and in the waterfront parks of Great Bay communities like Dover.

WeatherReMarks/Twitter

Unseasonably warm temperatures the past few days have set records across New Hampshire and Maine, according to the National Weather Service.

Manchester saw record daily highs on Saturday and Sunday – getting close to 80 degrees. Concord also saw a record daily high on Sunday. Previous records were in the low 70s and 60s.

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Yellowstone National Park

The National Parks are seen as a national treasure, touted by some as “America’s Best Idea.” But restricting access to the natural world as a method of conservation is also part of a history of indigenous erasure. 

 

On this episode, we trace the history of the prejoratively-termed “fortress conservation,” from Robin Hood to Fort Yellowstone and the global spread of national parks and preserves.

 

Plus, what the likelihood of another four years of divided government means for climate action.

Gunstock Mountain via Twitter

A new state aid program has already gotten more than 60 requests for bottled water from people whose wells have run dry as a result of the drought, which has persisted in Southeastern New Hampshire despite recent rain and snow.

The dry conditions have improved in much of the state and region, but remain extreme in much of Rockingham and Strafford Counties and surrounding areas, as well as in southern Maine and from Cape Cod into Rhode Island.

Are you noticing any issues with your home's water supply? Send us an email with your story.

David Murray / via NHDES

Democrats describe themselves as the only party taking the threat of climate change seriously. And President Trump’s continued denial of climate science and rollbacks of environmental protections haven’t made it easy for Republicans to change that.

But some New Hampshire conservatives think their candidates could be doing more to run – and win – on climate change.


UNH Agricultural Experiment Station

Certain New England tree species might not grow as fast after severe drought years like this one, according to new research from the University of New Hampshire.

The findings come from an ongoing study on plots of red oak and white pine trees – both key timber species – in Durham and the White Mountains.

courtesy of Federal Bureau of Prisons

A continuación, encuentra las noticias del jueves 29 de octubre. 

Puedes escucharlas haciendo click en el audio o leerlas.

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

Estado comparte datos actualizados de COVID mientras el contagio comunitario aumenta

El estado registró 113 [ciento trece] nuevos casos confirmados de COVID-19 el miércoles, junto a tres fallecimientos más. Esto lleva el total de muertes en el estado a 478 [cuatrocientos setenta y ocho]. 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR file

A continuación, encuentra las noticias del lunes 26 de octubre. 

Puedes escucharlas haciendo click en el audio o leerlas.

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

Funcionarios advierten que la transmisión del COVID-19 en la comunidad aun ocurre. Hay 1,032 casos activos.

Los funcionarios de salud anunciaron 92 [noventa y dos] nuevos casos de COVID-19 el domingo. Esto lleva el total de casos activos a 1,032 [mil treinta y dos]. 

Shawn St. Hilaire / Courtesy

New Hampshire’s dry conditions are improving after recent rain, but the southeastern part of the state is still in extreme drought. 

The latest update from the National Drought Monitor shows two areas of extreme drought left all across New England. One covers parts of southern Maine across the upper Seacoast toward I-93. The other spans from Cape Cod into Rhode Island.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR file

Climate change policy marks one of the sharpest divides between incumbent Republican Gov. Chris Sununu and his Democratic challenger, Concord state Sen. Dan Feltes.  

NHPR’s Morning Edition host Rick Ganley spoke with reporter Annie Ropeik about how the candidates' differences on this issue put the state at a crossroads on climate action.


Community Power New Hampshire

More than 20 local governments sent a letter to the state’s Public Utilities Commission last week asking it to develop rules and regulations that would support community power programs.

These programs allow municipalities and counties to purchase power on behalf of residents and businesses within their jurisdiction. Advocates say this is one way to get more energy from renewable resources, and at possibly lower costs to ratepayers. 

Utilities would still be the ones to distribute that energy.

NHSEC

State regulators didn't raise major concerns Friday at the start of final deliberations on New Hampshire’s first-ever major solar power project.

The 30-megawatt Chinook Solar array is proposed by Florida-based NextEra, which also owns Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant. It would cover about 100 acres of private land in the small Monadnock Valley town of Fitzwilliam.

Courtesy Nicole McKenzie

A continuación, encuentra las noticias del lunes 5 de octubre. 

Puedes escucharlas haciendo click en el audio o leerlas.

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

Estado reporta 53 nuevos casos, 1 fallecimiento adicional y ninguna hospitalización

Un residente más de New Hampshire ha fallecido de COVID-19, y se anunciaron 53 [cincuenta y tres] casos positivos el domingo. Seis de los nuevos casos son personas menores a 18 [dieciocho]. 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Despite some recent rain, New Hampshire’s drought is growing, causing wells to run dry across the state. And the hotter temperatures of a changing climate could make future droughts more likely. 

As part of NHPR’s By Degrees project, Annie Ropeik reports on how the dry conditions are affecting people who rely on well water, and what it would take to prepare for the future.  

Merlene Whiting Pilotte / Courtesy

More than 10 percent of New Hampshire is now in an extreme drought, with Lake Winnipesaukee and other reservoirs at record low levels and an increasing number of water wells running dry.

Rachel Cohen / NHPR file

A continuación, encuentra las noticias del miércoles 30 de septiembre.  

Puedes escucharlas haciendo click en el audio o leerlas.

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

La próxima semana termina el CENSO 2020, un mes antes de lo programado, y aun se aceptan formularios en línea

El censo nacional terminará su conteo del 2020 la próxima semana, un mes antes de lo que los funcionarios planeaban. 

Wikimedia

A new emissions inventory for the city of Concord points to potential climate change solutions as the state capital works to sharply lower its greenhouse gas emissions.

Concord’s city council set its climate change goals in 2018. They want all electricity used locally to come from renewable sources by 2030, and the same for heating, cooling and transportation by 2050.

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?

 

Air date: Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. 

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.

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