climate change | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

climate change

A Dangerous Mix: High Ozone Levels And Obesity

7 hours ago
Melanie Carol Stengel

For the 29 percent of Connecticut adults who live with obesity, summer brings a difficult form of air pollution. Ground-level ozone is the colorless, odorless gas formed when auto exhaust reacts with sunlight at temperatures above 80 degrees. Ozone can be dangerous for people who have higher body mass indexes.

Robin Lubbock / WBUR

The pandemic has forced many people in New England into a dire economic situation. But there is at least one potential silver lining: the opportunity for climate action. It’s likely the federal government will approve stimulus money again to try to boost the economy, and many environmentalists propose we intentionally direct some of those funds toward “green” recovery. 

david siu / flickr creative commons

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

It turns out, there's a lot to like termites. Scientists study how they 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 creating biofuels.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Since the pandemic hit, carbon emissions have dropped globally. A study in “Nature Climate Change” found a 17 percent decrease in emissions by early April. In New England, data show that air pollution and energy consumption are down.

Jonathan McNicol / Connecticut Public Radio

No one likes a cloudy sky. A cloud on the horizon is seen as a harbinger of doom. We feel like clouds need to have silver linings.

But here's our thesis: Clouds are unfairly maligned.

Consider this: From almost any vantage point (literally -- any vantage point in the universe), clouds are planet Earth's defining characteristic.

They're what changes, what moves. They're what's going on on our pale blue dot.

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.

Talk of nuclear war, climate apocalypse, pandemic, economic instability, and the decline of democracy has led more people to think about how to survive a catastrophic -- if not apocalyptic -- event.

Mike Mozart / Flickr

How often do you buy new clothing?

Stores like H&M and Forever 21 sell new styles at low prices, making it easy to constantly update your wardrobe. But, this hour: the environmental and social costs of "fast fashion". 

From unsafe garment factories to pollution in rivers, we hear about impacts of the fashion industry from journalist Jasmin Malik Chua.

Wood Thrush
Paul J. Fusco

Have you noticed fewer sparrows or warblers flitting about your backyard? Bird populations in North America have been declining for years, but in 2019, the data was particularly grim. Two-thirds of bird species are at risk of extinction due to climate change and urbanization, according to recent studies. What does that mean for Connecticut’s birds?

Rob Russell / Wikimedia Commons

Scientists estimate bush fires in Southeastern Australia have killed hundreds of millions of animals. This hour, we talk about the fires’ impact on biodiversity.

And we learn about how climate change is shaping wildfire patterns around the globe. Are severe natural disasters becoming the “new normal”?

kateausburn / Creative Commons

After years of debate, a solar array spread over more than 130 acres in Simsbury is operational and producing power. Representatives for the Tobacco Valley Solar Farm notified the state Siting Council in a letter Tuesday. 

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

When we think about animals that inhabit the cold New England ocean, sharks, seals, or lobsters may spring to mind. But there’s another critter lurking in the deep off our coast, and it’s one that may hold valuable secrets that could help its tropical cousins.

And you may not have even known that it’s actually an animal: coral. 

On "good" bad days, the shells lie open at the bottom of the river, shimmering in the refracted sunlight. Their insides, pearl white and picked clean of flesh, flicker against the dark riverbed like a beacon, alerting the world above to a problem below.

Phil Roeder / Creative Commons

Defense Secretary Mark Esper demanded the resignation of Navy Secretary Richard Spencer on Sunday. Esper said he had lost confidence in Spencer. Esper's action follows Spencer publicly disagreeing with President Trump over the military's decision to demote one of three war criminals the president pardoned against military advice. What are the consequences of presidential interference in the military code of justice?

Students Storm Field At Halftime Of Harvard-Yale Football Game To Protest Climate Change

Nov 24, 2019
Courtesy of Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard

Protesters wearing the colors of both Harvard and Yale staged a sit-in at midfield of Yale Bowl during halftime of the 136th edition of the annual football rivalry known as The Game. Most left after about an hour when they were escorted off by police; a handful who remained were told by police they were under arrest.

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.

____

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?

Is Divestment Key To Our Climate Future?

Aug 1, 2019
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.

Pages