Stories

‘Flash droughts’ and weather ‘whiplash.’ Welcome to New England’s climate future

August 26, 2022

To put it bluntly, it kinda just stopped raining this summer. Parts of the northeast that typically get about 9 inches over June, July and August have gotten a fraction of that. Rivers are running low and many streams have gone dry or become a series of disconnected puddles. Lawns are crunchy, vegetation is shriveling and groundwater levels are…

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Western Massachusetts urban, rural farmers feeling effects of severe drought

August 26, 2022

Around New England, several states are experiencing severe drought. That includes almost all of Massachusetts. Wells and reservoirs are at all-time lows, so are streams and rivers. The rain earlier this week helped, but it wasn’t enough. In Granby, Massachusetts, at Red Fire Farm some fields are looking worse than others. “We have one field…

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E-bikes are getting more Mainers out of their cars — and could help the state meet its climate goals

August 22, 2022

It’s 5:15 a.m., and the sky is just starting to lighten in the east as Becki Morin rolls her electric bicycle out of her garage in Falmouth, Maine. Morin lives about six miles from Maine Medical Center in Portland, where she’s a nurse practitioner. She says she used to ride a conventional bike to work…

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Want to help the planet? Rethink your lawn

August 22, 2022

When Erica Tharp and her husband bought their home in Framingham four years ago, the lawn needed some work. Tharp looked at the scraggly grass with its dying tree, and decided she wanted something that was less work and more eco-friendly. “That was the goal — minimal maintenance and as least harm as possible,” she said.…

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So you’re in the market for an electric vehicle? Here’s how the new federal and Mass. laws will help

August 18, 2022

August has been a big month for the environment. At the national level, President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act, which allocates over $360 billion to help fight climate change. And more locally, Gov. Charlie Baker signed a sweeping state climate and clean energy bill into law. Both laws cover a lot of ground. But one notable…

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Nashua, N.H., at a crossroads after proposal to build asphalt plant near downtown

August 17, 2022

Catherine Nieves didn’t know that asphalt is used to build roads and highways until she learned about a company that wants to produce it very close to her home. Her neighborhood, which is only a mile from Nashua’s downtown, is a mix of apartments, small businesses, and home to two Latino churches. Many Brazilians, Puerto…

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Connecticut agriculture chief says drought is hitting farmers’ pocketbooks

August 16, 2022

For many Connecticut residents, the impacts of an ongoing drought extend only as far as brown lawns or wilting flowers in a garden bed. But weeks of dry weather are having a more serious impact on the state’s agriculture industry, forcing farmers to buy extra water and recalibrate their plans for harvest. “Connecticut dairy men…

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Conservationists say New England’s drought is another wakeup call about climate change

August 12, 2022

Alicea Charamut went for a hike last weekend to a place where she thought her dog would have a chance to cool off with a swim. Devil’s Hopyard State Park, in East Haddam, Connecticut, has a big waterfall. But on this day, the water was barely flowing and Charamut’s dog found no relief. “There was…

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Forester Kyle Lombard looks out the window of the small airplane, searching for damage in the New Hampshire forest below.

Meet the foresters keeping an eye on New Hampshire’s trees from the sky

August 9, 2022

Most of the year, New Hampshire’s Forest Health team is on the ground, in the woods, doing what they can to protect the state’s trees. But for a few days every summer, they get to soar above it all. Foresters Bill Davidson and Kyle Lombard make up the two-person operation affectionately known as the Bug…

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‘Old Ladies’ dive into Cape ponds seeking trash, emerge triumphant

August 8, 2022

People normally aren’t excited to find garbage on the bottom of a pond, but for an unusual group of underwater trash collectors on Cape Cod, there’s a certain exhilaration when the biggest discovery of the day suddenly appears 8 feet below the surface. “We found the tire!” exclaims Diane Hammer, who sits in a kayak…

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