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climate change

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

While the U.S. is withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord, states like Connecticut are still committed to reducing their carbon emissions. Offshore wind power is one way.

This hour, we take a look at proposals to bring wind energy to Connecticut. How will the Trump administration’s inaction on renewables impact this emerging industry in our region?

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Carmen Baskauf / Connecticut Public Radio

Do you worry about how you’re everyday actions contribute to climate change? You may think about the carbon gas-burning cars are putting into the atmosphere, or coal-powered electricity in your houses.

But what about the food you eat?

Each summer for the last two decades, Jim Parker has readied his small whale watch boat, and made a business out of ferrying tourists out into the cool blue waters of the Gulf of Maine.

For years, it was steady work. The basin brimmed with species that whales commonly feed on, making it a natural foraging ground for the aquatic giants. Whales would cluster at certain spots in the gulf, providing a reliable display for enchanted visitors to the coastal community of Milbridge, Maine.

Doc Searls / Flickr

An epoch of our own making is one way to describe it. And as the Anthropocene is set to be formally recognized as a chrono-stratigraphic unit in the next couple of years, scientists, philosophers, engineers and many more are exploring unconventional ways of adapting to this new era.

This story is Part 3 in a series on the future of nuclear power. Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here.

The future of fusion energy is right around the corner. You’ll find it off Massachusetts Avenue, on Albany Street in Cambridge. It’s on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in an old, low-rise, brown brick building once owned by Nabisco.

Part 1 in a series on the future of nuclear power. Part 2 is here.

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Future? In Massachusetts, nuclear power is history.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

This Friday, climate activists in Connecticut and around the world will take to the streets to urge their governments to adopt policies that will fight climate change. The Global Climate Strike has been largely organized by young people inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.

CT DEEP

SLAMM is one of those wonky acronyms that science types looking at the impacts of sea level rise from climate change like to use. It stands for Sea Level Affecting Marsh Migration.

John9474 / Wikimedia Commons

In 2018, around one thousand Connecticut residents died from opioid overdoses, according to the state’s Chief Medical Examiner.  Connecticut has joined nearly every state including thousands of municipalities in suing Stamford-based opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma.

This hour, we get the latest after Purdue filed for bankruptcy Sunday. Twenty states tentatively reached a multi-billion dollar settlement with Purdue Pharma. But we find out why Connecticut Attorney General William Tong says this settlement doesn’t go far enough.

Later, we hear from a Connecticut teen who’s helping organize a “Connecticut Climate Strike” this Friday in Hartford.

And we get the latest on the Bridgeport mayoral race.

images of Giant ground sloth (Megatherium americanum), Moa (Megalapteryx didinus), Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus)
Ballista, George Edward Lodge, Michael L. Baird / Wikimedia Commons

What would it have been like to see a huge, elephant-like mastodon roaming our state? 

The earth has been home to some spectacularly large animals. A few of them still roam or swim our world today.

This hour, we take a look at the biology of these giants. 

The U.S. used to send a lot of its plastic waste to China to get recycled. But last year, China put the kibosh on imports of the world's waste. The policy, called National Sword, freaked out people in the U.S. — a huge market for plastic waste had just dried up.

Where was it all going to go now?

If you want to know what climate change will look like, you need to know what Earth's climate looked like in the past — what air temperatures were like, for example, and what ocean currents and sea levels were doing. You need to know what polar ice caps and glaciers were up to and, crucially, how hot the oceans were.

Humans must drastically alter food production to prevent the most catastrophic effects of global warming, according to a new report from the United Nations panel on climate change.

The panel of scientists looked at the climate change effects of agriculture, deforestation and other land use, such as harvesting peat and managing grasslands and wetlands. Together, those activities generate about a third of human greenhouse gas emissions, including more than 40% of methane.

Jess Gambel / Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station

This hour, we take a look at bees. From the famous animals that make the honey we eat to lesser-known native “solitary bees” that nest in holes in the ground, there are thousands of species of bees, and hundreds of them have been found right here in Connecticut!

We'll talk about the critical role these pollinators play in agriculture and learn about the threats they face.

Later, we talk about another iconic pollinator: the monarch butterfly. Have you spotted one of these rare and magnificent creatures near your home?

Frankie Graziano / WNPR/Connecticut Public Radio

Yale University has a $29 billion endowment, one of the largest in the world. The endowment invests in many things including fossil fuel companies.

This doesn’t sit well with some Yale students and faculty who are concerned about climate change. They’ve called on the school to divest that money from oil, coal, and gas companies. 

Robert Henry is driving along the top of a Mississippi River levee, giving me a tour of land where he'd love to be planting soybeans right now. We're just east of New Madrid, Mo.

"Smells kind of raunchy, doesn't it?" he says.

From the window of Henry's truck, I see what looks like a swamp, with trees standing in water. Then we make a turn, and suddenly, as far as I can see, there's water. It covers a wide flood plain between the main river channel and the levee. This is where Henry normally grows his crops.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut's five U.S. Representatives stood with their Democratic colleagues and four Republicans Tuesday in rebuking President Donald Trump for his Twitter attacks against a group of minority congresswomen who have become known as "The Squad."

Now what?

Wikimedia Commons

Reality TV shows like the Discovery Channel's Doomsday Bunkers and National Geographic Channel's Doomsday Preppers perpetuate a stereotype of "preppers" that omits the wide swath of people who engage in preparedness in a less extreme and more varied way.

Vanessa de la Torre / Connecticut Public Radio

Leticia Colón de Mejias thinks no problem is insurmountable if Americans come together.

“Sometimes we take these subjects and we make them so big and scary that people feel we can’t take action,” said Colón, 42, a Connecticut entrepreneur, environmentalist and mother of seven. “Climate change seems terrifying. And everyone’s like, it’s too big.”

Wikipedia

Reality TV shows like the Discovery Channel's Doomsday Bunkers and National Geographic Channel's Doomsday Preppers perpetuate a stereotype of "preppers" that omits the wide swath of people who engage in preparedness in a less extreme and more varied way.

Wikipedia / Creative Commons

Do you rush to the store to buy food before a snowstorm? Do you buy flashlights and a generator in case the power goes out? Do you insure your home, your car, your health against catastrophe?

Climate Change Versus Tweed Airport

Apr 29, 2019
Wikimedia

Since 1931, Tweed New Haven Airport has sat on a spit of what was once salt marsh and wetlands straddling the East Haven border. It is wedged between New Haven Harbor where the Quinnipiac River empties, the Farm River mouth separating East Haven and Branford, and Long Island Sound. It is transected by other waterways – Tuttle Brook and Morris Creek.

And it floods.

Young people and their supporters gather in Hartford to protest climate change and ask for the Green New Deal.
David DesRoches / Connecticut Public Radio

A large majority of teachers say that climate change should be taught in schools, according to a new NPR - Ipsos poll. But the same poll that found that most teachers don't teach climate change to their students. 

Pxhere

We all need fresh water to survive, yet it's so ubiquitous most of us barely spare it a thought in our daily lives. This hour we take a look at the state of water in our country, from rivers and streams to the water that comes out of our taps.

The melty weather in New Hampshire this winter has been a big problem for some kinds of seasonal recreation -- and it’s all part of a long-term warming trend.

As this season comes to an end, some of the region's favorite pastimes are preparing for an uncertain future.

Windblown Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoeing is tucked into the hills of New Ipswich, New Hampshire, not far from the Massachusetts border.

View of a forest from above
Geran de Klerk / Wikimedia Commons

From dying coral reefs to fires and coastal flooding, the effects of climate change are already being felt around the world. And it will only get worse.

A 2018 report from climate scientists from around the globe found that some of climate change’s disastrous consequences will be in full force if Earth’s temperature rises past 1.5 degrees--something that could happen as early as 2040 at current emissions rates.

Updated at 4:51 p.m. ET

Tens of thousands of students around the world skipped school school Friday to protest inaction on climate change. It was one of the largest turnouts so far in a months long movement that included the U.S. for the first time, in an event organizers call the "U.S. Youth Climate Strike."

When NPR interviewed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in February about her Green New Deal, she said that her goal was bigger than just passing some new laws. "What I hope we're able to do is rediscover the power of public imagination," she said.

Well, we're unleashing our imagination and exploring a dream, a possible future in which we're bringing global warming to a halt. It's a world in which greenhouse emissions have ended.

As the climate warms, Americans – and New Englanders – appear to be finding abnormal temperatures less and less remarkable.

David Siu / Creative Commons

Nobody likes the termite. They get into the wood in our homes that can lead to infuriating and expensive repairs. What's to like.

It turns out, there's a lot to like about the termite; scientists study how termites build their "mounds" for clues to solving some of the world's most pressing problems, like mitigating the effects of drought, building colonies on Mars, and the creation of biofuels. 

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