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News stories tagged with "climate"

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
Carbon capture technology is being tested for the first time in the country at a coal-burning power plant near Milwaukee. If it works, it could be added to existing power plants, or incorporated into new ones. Photo: Erin Toner
Carbon capture technology is being tested for the first time in the country at a coal-burning power plant near Milwaukee. If it works, it could be added to existing power plants, or incorporated into new ones. Photo: Erin Toner

Obama environment agenda draws praise in Adirondacks

Call this "environment week" for the Obama administration.

On Monday, the US Supreme Court announced that it will hear the administration's appeal of a lower court ruling that effectively blocked EPA rules designed to cut acid rain.

Then, on Tuesday, President Obama unveiled his plan to begin curtailing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

"Ninety-seven percent of scientists including by the way many who originally disputed the data have now put that to rest," the President said, addressing skeptics who have continued to question whether global warming is real.  Go to full article
The recovery bill from Hurricane Sandy is still being added up. Photo: Office of Gov. Cuomo
The recovery bill from Hurricane Sandy is still being added up. Photo: Office of Gov. Cuomo

Weather disasters on the rise and taxpayers are getting the bill

The impact and severity of weather events like the tornado that hit Oklahoma City are increasing due to a changing global climate, according to research from the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

And more of the related economic burden is being carried by taxpayers. In 2012, federal spending directed toward disaster response for storms, wild fires, floods and drought reached nearly $100 billion, the NRDC report says, beating out funding for education and transport.  Go to full article
New York City, like many large cities in the Northern Hemisphere, lies directly under important atmospheric circulations. Photo: Tony Fischer Photography / via Flickr
New York City, like many large cities in the Northern Hemisphere, lies directly under important atmospheric circulations. Photo: Tony Fischer Photography / via Flickr

How a distant city affects your local weather

Seesawing temperatures, melting snow and rain, heavy winds...and that's just the latest few days of weather extremes. New research may help explain why patterns are changing. It suggests that even if you live thousands of miles away from a major city, it could still be playing a role in your local weather.  Go to full article
A building in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood destroyed by Sandy. Photo<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ccho/"> CCHO</a>, CC <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en">some rights reserved</a>
A building in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood destroyed by Sandy. Photo CCHO, CC some rights reserved

Storm preparedness on Cuomo's SOS list

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he intends to include recommendations from a disaster preparedness commission in his State of the State address next week.

Cuomo says he has both short-term and long-term preparedness in mind.  Go to full article
Sea lamprey larvae that washed up on shore. The longer they are, the older they are. Inset: mouth of adult lamprey, courtesy US Fish and Wildlife Service. Photo: Sarah Harris
Sea lamprey larvae that washed up on shore. The longer they are, the older they are. Inset: mouth of adult lamprey, courtesy US Fish and Wildlife Service. Photo: Sarah Harris

Combating sea lamprey on Lake Champlain

If you're fishing for salmon or lake trout in Lake Champlain, you might end up with a fish you didn't bargain for. Sea lamprey are parasitic fish that look like eels. They latch on to larger fish and slowly drain out their body fluids.

Lamprey can decimate entire fish populations, so every four years the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, with help from the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department and New York's DEC, treats Lake Champlain tributaries with pesticides to control lamprey populations. This year's first treatment took place last week in the Saranac River delta in Plattsburgh.  Go to full article
Lisa Campbell in Peavine Park, Bethel, Vermont. Photo: Sarah Harris
Lisa Campbell in Peavine Park, Bethel, Vermont. Photo: Sarah Harris

A year after Irene, Vermont reflects on recovery

Tropical Storm Irene devastated mountain villages across the Northeast a year ago. Vermont was particularly hard hit. Major flooding downed bridges, tore houses off their foundations, washed out roads, and even left some towns inaccessible. The state's been hard at work rebuilding since.  Go to full article
Cover detail: 2012 State of the Lake Report from the Lake Champlain Basin Program
Cover detail: 2012 State of the Lake Report from the Lake Champlain Basin Program

State of the Lake: new report investigates water quality and health of Lake Champlain

Every few years the Lake Champlain Basin Program publishes a "state of the lake" report, detailing environmental quality in Lake Champlain. This year's report came out last week.

It says that while the overall health of the main lake is good, certain areas, like the Northeast arm and Missisquoi Bay, have higher levels of phosphorus pollution and algae blooms. Sarah Harris spoke with Bill Howland, director of the Basin Program, about the report.  Go to full article
Climate change activists gather at Paul's Bakery in Upper Jay on Saturday. Photo: Chris Morris, courtesy Adirondack Daily Enterprise
Climate change activists gather at Paul's Bakery in Upper Jay on Saturday. Photo: Chris Morris, courtesy Adirondack Daily Enterprise

A personal connection to climate change

Nearly 40 people gathered at Paul Johnson's home in Upper Jay on Saturday to draw attention to the ways climate change has affected peoples' lives.

The event, called Connect the Dots, was part of Climate Impacts Day, which featured hundreds of similar gatherings worldwide. It was organized by local members of the international climate action organization 350.org, started by former Adirondack writer Bill McKibben. Chris Morris was there and has this report.  Go to full article

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