Climate Change

 

Keeping the maple syrup flowing for generations to come will be the focus of a panel discussion and pancake breakfast at the University of New Hampshire.

Wednesday's panel includes local maple syrup producers, scientists and others speaking about climate effects on forests and maple trees. Among the speakers are Martha Carlson, a conservationist and educator who owns Range View Farm; Chris Keeley, the climate program coordinator at UNH Cooperative Extension and Jennifer Wilhelm of the New Hampshire Food Alliance.

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  A bill to take New Hampshire out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, has been changed in the House Committee on Science, Technology and Energy.

It would now maintain New Hampshire’s participation in the program but would allocate all of the money raised by the program away from renewable energy projects and into electric rate relief.

Right now, the state puts four out of every five dollars it gets per carbon allowance into rate subsidies.

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There’s a cold snap on the way.

At least one town in Wyoming has set a new all-time low for the month of November, and that arctic air mass is now barreling its way toward New Hampshire.

While it’s unclear to what extent this cold actually is a piece of the polar vortex, that doesn’t mean the vortex isn’t an important driver of New England’s winter Climate. Experts are debating if more extreme swings from warm to cold are part of what a changed climate will look like in New England.

New federal science education standards adopted in Vermont require that students learn about climate change. So teachers are starting to create lesson plans with hands-on activities about weather patterns.

Some are getting that training deep in the woods of the Northeast Kingdom.

Michael O'Brien / Flickr/CC

Last week, more than 100 world leaders attended the United Nations summit on climate change in New York City.

Via Creative Resistance

More than two hundred New Hampshire residents are headed to New York City Sunday for a massive climate change demonstration.

Organizers of the People’s Climate March – which include environmental advocacy groups, labor unions, and religious organizations – think anywhere from one to four hundred thousand people could be in attendance.

From the Granite State there are 3 full charter buses leaving from Concord,  another two are coming from Maine to pick up folks in Portsmouth.

Kevin Bryant / Flickr CC

Researchers studying the Gulf of Maine say its waters are warming faster than 99 percent of the world’s oceans, and worry the rising temperatures will hit New England commercial fisheries hard.

The study is still in its preliminary phase, and is being conducted by scientists at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. According to their data the waters off of New England’s coast are warming by about a half a degree Fahrenheit per year on average. That gives the region a dubious distinction.

kohane via Flickr CC

 

  Today, about 70 percent of the earth’s oxygen comes from marine plants. We slip beneath the surface to find out how a rebounding whale population could help spur phytoplankton growth…and slow climate change. But first: more than 4000 wells have been drilled since 2008, and the county expects to be pumping for decades. A UNH professor explains why he set out to learn more about North Dakota’s oil country, by walking 65 miles across it. Plus, we take a look at the China-based e-commerce behemoth Alibaba, the most powerful company you’ve never heard about.

National Marine Sanctuaries via Flickr CC

The oil boom is on in McKenzie county, North Dakota. More than 4000 wells have been drilled since 2008, and the county expects to be pumping for decades. Today, a UNH professor explains why he set out to learn more about North Dakota’s oil country, by walking 65 miles across it. Then, about 70 percent of the earth’s oxygen comes from marine plants. We slip beneath the surface to find out how a rebounding whale population could help spur phytoplankton growth…and slow climate change. Plus, we take a look at the China-based e-commerce behemoth Alibaba, the most powerful company you’ve never heard about.

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.


christopher.woo via Flickr Creative Commons

We spoke with Freakonomics co-author Stephen Dubner about three issues that have been dominating headlines lately. In case you’ve missed them and need to catch up quickly, we’ve compiled the highlights so you can be a champion of serious water-cooler discussions.

The major take-away? Dubner urges you to think like a freak, and to listen to more public radio.

Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, New Hampshire, is hosting a presentation on the effect of climate change on historical sites.  The discussion is scheduled for Tuesday, June 10 at 6 p.m.  It will look at how New Hampshire's archaeological resources, historic buildings and cultural landscapes are affected and threatened by sea level rise, coastal erosion, increased flooding, heavy rains and insect infestations.

Flkr Creative Commons / PSNH

Under a proposed rule out of the EPA Monday, New Hampshire will have to come up with its own plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. However, many of the building blocks for that plan are already in place.

The new EPA rule says that New Hampshire should emit 486 pounds of carbon per megawatt hour of electricity generated, and that, as of 2012, New Hampshire’s rate was 905 pounds per megawatt hour.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Paul Schaberg marshals a small team of scientists, surveying a stand of red spruce in Colebrook for frost damage from last winter.

“So what are you guys seeing, are you seeing any injury yet?” he calls out.  

“We’re just seeing green needles,” hollers back one of his helpers.

“Happy, happy trees,” responds another.

Flooding near Main Street Museum in WRJ, VT
Ann and Dan / Flickr Creative Commons

The Environmental Protection Agency and Antioch University New England are hosting a climate change adaptation conference in Manchester this week.  

Cedric via Flickr CC

New Hampshire is hosting a conference on climate change preparedness in the Northeast.

The conference is being held Monday through Wednesday in Manchester. Antioch University New England is hosting it along with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The conference is bringing together planners and decision-makers from the northern Chesapeake Bay to Maine to learn how to build healthy and resilient community plans, and how to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Adapting To Climate Change; Flood Insurance

Apr 10, 2014
Andrew Naylor / Flickr/CC

Adapting to Climate Change

The White House has announced that New Hampshire will host one of seven regional “climate hubs”. The Forest Service’s Northern Research Center in Durham will provide technical support to farmers and land managers working to adapt to climate change.

Among the questions food producers and farmers are looking at these days is how they might be affected by a changing climate – and what they might do about it.

There’s certainly no shortage of enthusiasm for hitting New Hampshire’s ski slopes in winter, but there are concerns the industry is headed for tough times in years to come.

PSNH

Last month, President Obama vowed to take on climate change, bypassing Congress and pledging to use his authority under existing laws. The centerpiece of his plan is imposing, for the first time, limits on carbon emissions from existing power plants.  Environmentalists applauded the announcement, but industry representatives balked, calling the approach heavy handed and warning of plant closures. We'll look at how this debate affects New Hampshire and the region.

Guests:

Steve Rhodes / Flickr Creative Commons

President Obama’s newly announced climate action plan could have impacts down the line for New Hampshire. The big headline for New Hampshire is that over the next two years the EPA will develop restrictions on carbon emissions from power plants.

“Power plants can still dump unlimited amount of carbon pollution into the air for free.” Obama told students assembled at Georgetown University, “That’s not right, that’s not safe, and it needs to stop.”

That raises questions for the state’s coal plants.

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EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Listening For The Elusive Sound Of Ice Chimes

Feb 22, 2013
Ice Chimes
Amanda Loder / NHPR

This year, the Dartmouth College campus has become temporary home for a mixed-media menagerie called Ice Chimes.  And the 20-foot tall pagoda-like structure outside the Life Sciences building gets a lot of curious stares from students.

Ice Chimes is supposed to be interactive.  But it isn’t exactly intuitive.

iStock Photo

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

David Brooks, writer for the Nashua Telegraph, walks us through current and future threats that global warming poses to the ski industry.


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The National Science Foundation has given The University of New Hampshire $750,000 to coordinate the study of the impacts of Climate Change on roads and bridges.

The grant money will establish a network of Northeast climate scientists and civil engineers led by UNH researchers.

Climate Change and Extreme Weather

Sep 26, 2012
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EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine


Dear EarthTalk: What is the scientific consensus on all the extreme weather we’ve been having—from monster tornadoes to massive floods and wildfires? Is there a clear connection to climate change? And if so what are we doing to be prepared?                                     -- Jason Devine, Summit, PA

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New Hampshire towns looking to improve their environmental infrastructure – think drinking, storm-water, and wastewater projects – can go to the State to get some help paying for those projects. But since 2008 the State hasn’t been able to fund its part of the deal, and as the weather gets wilder, that could mean trouble down the road.

In 2008, the small town of Jaffrey completed construction of a brand-new wastewater treatment plant, says selectman Don MacIssac.

Photo Credit FlyingSinger, Via Flickr Creative Commons

Two Harvard professors are developing a proposal for a first-of-its-kind field experiment in geo-engineering… a trial balloon that would release chemical particles into the atmosphere.  Their hope?  To better understand the effectiveness and dangers of technology designed to manually reverse climate change.  Henry Fountain covere

Flikr Creative Commons / GraySky

A new report out from the New Hampshire Energy and Climate Collaborative finds that NH may not be doing enough to make homes more energy efficient.

Three years ago Governor John Lynch put forth his climate action plan, a roadmap for how to reduce the states carbon emissions. Number one on the list of strategies: maximize energy efficiency in buildings. But getting homeowners to invest in efficiency has been harder than policymakers had hoped.

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