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News stories tagged with "climate"

Ripples in sand: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30302870@N08/2839605958/">Markles55</a>, and in snow: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/n031/3285104971/">Clear Inner Vision</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Ripples in sand: Markles55, and in snow: Clear Inner Vision, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

No, the North Country's not the coldest place on earth

Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager discuss the hottest and coldest places on earth. Death Valley is no longer the hottest. Libya takes (or bakes) the cake these days. The lowest, as you would expect, is in Antarctica. How cold? You don't want to know.  Go to full article
Eric Young, soil scientist at the Miner Institute. He's leading a study on tile drains. Photo: courtesy of Miner Institute
Eric Young, soil scientist at the Miner Institute. He's leading a study on tile drains. Photo: courtesy of Miner Institute

Tile drains: good or bad?

Tile drains are controversial. Farmers install the slotted pipes under their crops to drain water faster, extend the growing season, and increase crop yield. But environmentalists worry that the drains provide a direct route for harmful nutrients, like phosphorus, into a waterway.

Phosphorus loading in Lake Champlain has led to dangerous blue green algae blooms. And phosphorus levels in the lake remain stubbornly high.

A new study at the Miner Institute in Chazy may provide some answers.  Go to full article
Photo: Zach Hirsch
Photo: Zach Hirsch

Iconic footbridge needs "complete rebuild"

This week's warm weather might have been nice for those who enjoy shedding a few layers. But rapidly thawing ice creates all sorts of problems.

On Monday, a beloved footbridge in Wanakena got hit hard when an ice jam came roaring down the Oswegatchie River. There aren't many of these footbridges in New York, and residents of the small community are upset.  Go to full article
Red squirrel in falling snow. Archive Photo of the Day: Hank Hofmann, Ottawa, ON
Red squirrel in falling snow. Archive Photo of the Day: Hank Hofmann, Ottawa, ON

More lake-effect snow for NY and Ontario

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Another round of lake-effect storms is expected to dump an additional 12 to 18 inches of snow on parts of western and northern New York where some towns already are buried from earlier storms.

The National Weather Service says bands of storms coming off eastern Lake Ontario are expected to drop up to 11/2 feet of snow Thursday across the Tug Hill Plateau area in northern Oswego, southeastern Jefferson and Lewis counties.  Go to full article
Colgate professor Amy Leventer and Parishville-Hopkinton science teacher Glenn Clark are preparing to explore the Totten Glacier System in Antarctica next month. Photo:  Todd Moe
Colgate professor Amy Leventer and Parishville-Hopkinton science teacher Glenn Clark are preparing to explore the Totten Glacier System in Antarctica next month. Photo: Todd Moe

Parishville-Hopkinton teacher to study ice, environment in Antarctica

A North Country high school science teacher is preparing for a trek to Antarctica this winter to study climate change. Parishville-Hopkinton wilderness studies and biology teacher Glenn Clark is one of 17 teachers selected from across the country to work with the Arctic Research Consortium's PolarTREC program. He'll be living and working aboard an ice breaker from late January through early March of next year.

Todd Moe talks with Clark, and his mentor, Amy Leventer from Colgate University, about the trip to the Totten Glacier System on the eastern Antarctica coast -- one of the most remote, uncharted regions of the world.  Go to full article
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Professor John Janssen. Photo by Chuck Quirmbach.
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Professor John Janssen. Photo by Chuck Quirmbach.

Great Lakes fish on a diet

Scientists say one way climate change is harming the Great Lakes is by warming the water too quickly in the spring.

That can decrease food for tiny creatures in the lakes--the creatures that game fish like trout and salmon eat.

In the second part of our week-long series, In Warm Water, Chuck Quirmbach has more on what leaner meals for fish might mean for the people who like to catch them.  Go to full article
Herring fisherman and president of the North Shore Commercial Fishing Association, Steve Dahl, says the commercial fishing industry on Lake Superior is doing better than ever, but experts predict fish populations will shift due to warming waters. Photo by Doug Fairchild, courtesy of the Minnesota Sea Grant Institute
Herring fisherman and president of the North Shore Commercial Fishing Association, Steve Dahl, says the commercial fishing industry on Lake Superior is doing better than ever, but experts predict fish populations will shift due to warming waters. Photo by Doug Fairchild, courtesy of the Minnesota Sea Grant Institute

A chilly Lake Superior warms up

We kick off our week-long series In Warm Water: Fish and the Changing Great Lakes with a look at Lake Superior.

It has long been the coldest and most pristine Great Lake. Its frigid waters have helped defend it from some invasive species that have plagued the other Great Lakes. But Lake Superior's future could look radically different. Warming water and decreasing ice are threatening the habitat of some of the lake's most iconic fish.  Go to full article
The Northern Grape Project's test vines at Coyote Moon winery, Clayton. Photo: David Sommerstein
The Northern Grape Project's test vines at Coyote Moon winery, Clayton. Photo: David Sommerstein

North Country wines survive the cold, please the palate

The New York wine industry is booming. According to the New York Wine and Grape Foundation, five million people visit New York wineries every year. The industry generates almost $4 billion.

The North Country has almost two dozen wineries. The state legislature recently designated an Adirondack Wine Coast Trail to draw attention to a pocket of vineyards near Lake Champlain.

A lot of the credit for New York wines can go to a team of researchers that's doing what you might call "extreme winemaking" - breeding grapes that survive the North Country's frigid winters and still make delicious wine.

They hope names like Frontenac and Marquette will one day be as popular as Cabernet and Merlot. David Sommerstein reports from a vineyard in the Thousand Islands.  Go to full article
Bicknell's Thrush.  Photo:  Jeff Nadler
Bicknell's Thrush. Photo: Jeff Nadler

Adirondack birder says summer visitors are in short supply

A Long Lake birding expert is doing her part to keep track of the Bicknell's Thrush, a rare songbird that nests on top of mountains in the Adirondacks, New England and Canada. And that often means getting out of bed in the pre-dawn hours.

Joan Collins says scientists have predicted that 98 percent of the thrush's U.S. habitat could be lost due to climate change. Experts have already documented annual population declines of nearly 20 percent in parts of the bird's range.

Todd Moe talked with Collins about her spring and summer early morning birding treks on Whiteface Mountain. She tracks the Bicknell's thrush, and many other species on the mountain, for a bird monitoring survey as part of Mountain Birdwatch, a volunteer science initiative run by the Vermont Center for Ecostudies. Collins says the woods are quiet this summer and bird numbers are down.  Go to full article
Coal-fired turbines at Cayuga power plant in Lansing, NY. Photo: Teresa Peltier-WSKG
Coal-fired turbines at Cayuga power plant in Lansing, NY. Photo: Teresa Peltier-WSKG

How old coal-fired plants challenge NY's greener future

New York has some of the oldest coal-fired power plants in the country.
Their place in the state's changing energy landscape is still to be settled.

The state's Public Service Commission is considering the future of one of them, the Lansing plant on the shore of Cayuga Lake near Ithaca. The pending decision has sparked a debate that says a lot about the challenges New York will face if it's serious about switching to new sources of power.

Once every week, a freight train loaded with coal makes its way through Ithaca to the coal-fired power plant north of town, in Lansing, on the shore of Cayuga Lake. Those shipments may stop soon.  Go to full article

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