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News stories tagged with "climate"

Dr. Aileen O'Donoghue
Dr. Aileen O'Donoghue

Why it's warm, and more about the night sky

Physics professor Aileen O'Donoghue's visit to NCPR studios this morning was a two-fer. O'Donoghue teaches astronomy and climate at St. Lawrence University. So this morning, before talking about where the planets are in the night sky, and how the lovely new moon will rise this week, she explained how the scant snow this winter is contributing to the current hot spell.
She talked with Martha Foley.  Go to full article
A Trans Canada worker inspects a pumping station in Steele City, Nebraska. Photos: Brian Mann
A Trans Canada worker inspects a pumping station in Steele City, Nebraska. Photos: Brian Mann

New York and the US look to Canada for energy, raising big questions about the environment

North Country congressman Bill Owens is praising a Canadian company for its plan to move forward with construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Owens' backing for the controversial pipeline comes at a time when New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is also pushing a plan to import more hydro-electric power from Quebec.

Canada is already the biggest foreign supplier of energy to the US. And across the political spectrum, American leaders see Canada as a safer alternative to energy suppliers in the Middle East and Central America.

But there are growing questions about the environmental costs to Canada's energy boom and the debate is causing some Canadians to rethink their country's image as one of the world's most environmentally friendly societies. Brian Mann has our story.  Go to full article
Elizabeth May heads Canada's Green Party. Source: GP of Canada
Elizabeth May heads Canada's Green Party. Source: GP of Canada

Top environment leader questions Canada's green reputation

For decades, Canada has enjoyed a reputation as one of the greenest, most environmentally progressive societies in the world. But that image has been rattled recently by debates over Canadian oil development and plans to build the massive Keystone XL oil pipeline to the US. Last year, Canada withdrew from the Kyoto climate treaty, sparking anger from environmental groups.

Brian Mann sat down last week to talk with Elizabeth May, former head of Canada's Sierra Club and now the leader of her country's Green Party. May says Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper has led Canada down a dangerous path when it comes to the energy and environment. But she also says Canada's image as a green leader has been unraveling for decades.  Go to full article
This heavy snow outside Lake Placid last October has been the exception to the rule this winter. Photo: Nancie Battaglia
This heavy snow outside Lake Placid last October has been the exception to the rule this winter. Photo: Nancie Battaglia

Un-wintry weather will likely continue through the season

Thursday was Groundhog day, and Punxsutawney Phil tells us there'll be six more weeks of winter.

But for the North Country, winter doesn't really seem to have started yet: rain instead of snow, temperatures that have often been unseasonably warm, and a real lack of snow.

Nora Flaherty put in a call to the National Weather Service. Meteorologist Brooke Taber says there a few things going on. First, the polar jet stream is farther north than usual, and so far this winter, the North Country has been on the warmer side of the air flow.  Go to full article
An azalea in full bloom, despite winter. Photo: Martha Foley.
An azalea in full bloom, despite winter. Photo: Martha Foley.

Winter conditions challenge house plants

What may be a lovely snowy scene outdoors can mean dry and drafty conditions indoors, too hot or too cold, with little direct sun. All that is hard on house plants. Cornell Cooperative extension horticulturist Amy Ivy offers Martha Foley some advice on managing the indoor growing environment.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Climate and carbon dating

Scientists use isotopes of carbon--carbon-13 and carbon-14-- to study the age of organic material. But the activity of humans is distorting the clock. Curt Stager tells Martha Foley how added carbon in the atmosphere, pollution, and nuclear testing have made it harder to study the natural world.  Go to full article
What lies beneath Rt. 73: an old riverbed. Photo: Curt Stager
What lies beneath Rt. 73: an old riverbed. Photo: Curt Stager

The science side of Irene's local impact

It's shocking to compare the devastation Tropical Storm Irene brought to the eastern side of the Adrondacks with the mildness of the storm's impact on the western slope. What was a pretty rainy, windy day in Paul Smiths or St. Regis falls was disaster in Keene and Upper Jay.

Martha Foley talked with Paul Smith's professor Dr. Curt Stager about the science side of the storm and its local impact.  Go to full article
I think the public deserves to hear their elected officials talk about policy direction based on facts...

Carbon auction may be in trouble

A coalition of 10 Northeastern states can lay claim to the first pubic auction of "carbon credits" - essentially permits to pollute, mostly bought by big power producers.

But some of the coalition's members are having second thoughts. And the regional effort to curb global warming could be in trouble.

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, auctioned its first credits in September 2008. It provided the "trade" part of "cap and trade." The marketplace was designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 10-percent by 2018.
Now, three of the original 10 states are considering withdrawing, in part because of the cost to electric ratepayers.

As part of a collaboration with Northeast stations, Amy Quinton with New Hampshire Public Radio reports.  Go to full article

SLU hosts climate change conference

A week long campus conversation about climate change begins at St. Lawrence University today. The conference, titled "climate:CHANGE: acting together on sustainability, climate change and environmental justice" will include faculty, staff and students on campus and folks from the wider community. It will feature notable presenters on environmental issues: Michelle Roberts, Foster Brown, Jerry Jenkins and Bill McKibben. Todd Moe talks with Karen Smith, one of the organizers of this week's climate change conference.  Go to full article
Thea Alvin
Thea Alvin

Art that's set in stone

Vermont artist Thea Alvin has been a professional stone mason for 25 years, and mostly uses dry stone stacking to create sculptures and landscape installations. Her works include stunning stone arches, walls and ornamental spirals. Alvin will be at St. Lawrence University later this month as part of a week-long focus on Climate Change and Environmental Justice. Her challenge is using recyclable materials (shopping carts and soda cans) to create arches and a small house on campus. Thea Alvin has traveled around the world teaching, building and learning from master masons. She spoke with Todd Moe about a life-long respect for rocks.  Go to full article

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