Environment

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Environment
4:38 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

"Bioblitz" Aims to Catalog All The Species In Two Square Miles In 24-Hours

Jan McClure and Chris Kane stand on top of an abandoned beaver dam, in a complex system of beaver impoundments an area the Nature Conservancy plans to purchase for preservation.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

One of the state’s biggest environmental organizations is finishing the fundraising for a 1,300 acre conservation deal in North Conway. Once it’s finished, the land will be added to the 4,000 existing acres of the Nature Conservancy’s Green Hills Preserve, where it will provide recreation for people, and habitat for plants and animals.

But before the conservancy closes the deal it wants to know what it’s getting, and to figure that out it assembled plant and wildlife experts from all over the state for a sort of naturalist marathon.

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Morning Edition
2:03 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Bobcats In The Granite State

Credit Wayne Dumbleton Flickr CC

Researchers out of Durham are close to completing a study on bobcat populations in the Granite State. Though no one is sure how many bobcats are in New Hampshire, increased sightings and captures over the past decade have led researchers to believe bobcats are rebounding.

Dr. Marian Litvaitis and her husband John, both professors at UNH, have spearheaded the investigation as part of a project collaboration . Now in the project's fourth year, Litvaitis and her team are now focused primarily on bobcat genetics. I talked with Dr. Litvaitis about the rebounding cat on Thursday:

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Environment
2:34 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Following Proposed Carbon Regulations, RGGI Allowances Reach Another New High

After two years of trading at or near the floor price, the price of RGGI allowances - which represent the right to emit a ton of CO2 - have been on the rise since last year's announcement that the "cap" on emissions would be tightened.
Credit Data: RGGI.org / NHPR

In the latest quarterly auction of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, the cost for the right to emit a ton of carbon has again reached a new high. Speculation that more states could join RGGI could be driving interest in carbon allowances.

The announcement of the new EPA rules jazzed the latest RGGI auction. When the prices came out Friday morning, they were at $5.02 per ton of CO2, up from $4.00 in the last auction.

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Environment
3:55 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Behind the Headlines: What New Carbon Rules Mean For New Hampshire

Credit SNL; http://www.snl.com/InteractiveX/Article.aspx?cdid=A-28272515-14375

A lot of reporters were distracted by the big number in yesterday's announcement of proposed reductions in carbon dioxide emissions: 30 percent by 2030. Indeed that was the lead sentence in almost every news story about the new rules. 

But the 30 percent figure is not how the Environmental Protection Agency will measure success of the new regulations. The figure is arbitrary, chosen to give some nationwide context to what the state-by-state goals would mean.

The goals the EPA actually set vary quite a lot from state to state. And, indeed, how the agency arrived at those figures is a good deal more complicated than just picking a nice, round number.

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Environment
4:54 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

N.H. Likely Has Proposed Carbon Limits 'In The Bag'

Credit 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.

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Something Wild
12:41 am
Fri May 30, 2014

The 'Dirt' On Soil

Credit NRCS Soil Health via flickr Creative Commons

This time of year finds a lot of people working in their gardens. Good gardeners pay attention to their soil.Just like above ground, there’s a diverse world of wildlife below ground competing for space, nutrients, and performing roles that support life on Earth.

Microscopic bacteria species by the millions; root fungi that deliver nutrients to plants; worms, ants and other insects aerating the soil and adding nutrients through their droppings and—post mortem—as their bodies decay. Minerals laid down long ago are constantly breaking down through weather and erosion.

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North Country
2:50 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Half The Wood For Berlin Biomass Coming From New Hampshire

About 51 percent of the wood purchased for the new Burgess BioPower biomass plant in Berlin during its first two months of operation came from New Hampshire, according to a new “sustainability” report filed with the state’s Site Evaluation Committee.

Thirty-five percent came from Maine.

Five percent from Vermont.

Eight percent from Massachusetts.

And "one truck load" came from Canada.

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Something Wild
9:28 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Water In The Trees

A yellow birch "leaking" water.
Credit Dave Anderson

The patter of rain. Fingers of wind comb the canopy of tender leaves. These are exotic sounds of the new tree canopy in late May. New Hampshire forests are adapted to withstand rigors of wind and weather. Leaf structures reflect inner tree plumbing we rarely consider.

Tubes of the water-moving "xylem" are coiled like springs that stretch and recoil to some degree and not break the tension of water in these drinking straws.  Stem fibers of differing lengths break at different stress points

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NH News
6:55 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Tech, Environmentalism And Agriculture Converge For iFARM

For iFARM 2014, all 250 acres of Tuckaway Farm have WiFi.
Credit Michael Samuels

 

A big part of farming and conservation is finding creative solutions on a budget.

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Environment
5:00 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Is New England Already Compliant With Upcoming Carbon Rules?

Credit iStock Photo/Thinkstock

When President Obama announced that he wanted the EPA to fast-track regulations on carbon emissions at existing power plants, the outcry was immediate.

“How are we all to blame?” asked Joe Manchin, Democratic senator from West Virginia, on Fox and Friends, “and why are we taking the hit that we’re going to be taking? Why is this economy going to be taking this hit? Why are jobs going to be lost? …and they will be lost!”

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Lakes Region
1:28 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Maintaining Level Of Winnipesaukee A Delicate Balance For Boaters, Environment

Boaters on Lake Winnipesaukee tend to prefer higher lake levels as it makes the lake more navigable.
Credit Karen Cardoza via Flickr CC

As summer approaches, boaters who enjoy spending time on Lake Winnipesaukee have their eyes focused on two things: the weather and the lake level.

Most lakes have natural high and low seasonal water points caused by the whims of nature. But the state’s largest lakes are too important to New Hampshire’s tourism economy to be left to chance.

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Lakes Region
1:03 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

The Lakeport Dam: Standing At New Hampshire's Water Crossroads

Credit Via WeirsBeach.com

The Lakeport Dam is only about 222-feet wide and more than 60 years old, but it stands at a unique New Hampshire crossroads.

Upstream is Lake Winnipesaukee, the state’s largest lake covering more than 44½ thousands of acres of surface area and plunging to a depth of up to 212 feet.

Downstream is  the Winnipesaukee River, which travels through downtown Laconia (“The City of Lakes”) and then into Lake Winnisquam, the fourth-largest lake in New Hampshire.

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Something Wild
5:57 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Favorite Phoebe Nest

Old Phoebe nest.
Dave Anderson

A little phoebe nest is tucked beneath the rafters in my backyard woodshed like a miniature wreath. It’s a curious little relic to behold during those long, cold snowy weeks of hauling winter cordwood. By May, it once more cradles eggs and tiny nestlings.

The elegant little nest cup is woven of green moss, lined with pine needles and dried grass and cemented with warm mud. During winter, that Phoebe’s nest carries the promise of time travel to these fleeting mornings of early May when warm sunshine drenches the Lane River Valley - already now awash in spring bird songs.

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New England Snapshot
2:10 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Maine DEP Withdraws Formaldehyde Rule Proposal, Dismaying Environmentalists

Nail polish is one of the many household items which may contain formaldehyde.
Credit Emre Kanik via Flickr CC

Say the word "formaldehyde" and you can practically smell it. The pungent preservative is associated with everything from nail polish and hair straightener to embalming fluid and fetal pigs. But it's also an ingredient found in a wide array of household items, such as glue, floor finish, paper and baby care products. 

"The whole point of the Kid Safe Products Act is to give Maine parents the right to know which toxic chemicals or cancer-causing chemicals are in everyday products," says Mike Belliveau of the Environmental Health Strategy Center.

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Word of Mouth
1:44 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Human Behavior In Bonobos

Alaina Abplanalp Photography via flickr Creative Commons

Frans de Waal is a distinguished biologist, university professor, and author who specializes in primate social behavior. For years, he’s been bucking prevailing ideas about the nature of human morality and ethics. Over decades of research, he’s found evidence of altruistic and empathic behavior in a number of species, concluding that there is a biological foundation for human morality that emerged from our animal origins.

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