Stories of our connected and rapidly changing region.

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Sustainability

How Do You Measure How Much Carbon Is In A Tree?

Forest pathologist Bob Marra demonstrates equipment used to internally scan trees. "If we’re going to look to forests as a way to sequester carbon, we should develop much more accurate estimates of how much carbon is actually sequestered," Marra said. Photo by Patrick Skahill for Connecticut Public Radio

The latest national climate assessment says forests play a key role in keeping our air clean. According to the report, America’s forests stored the equivalent of 11 percent of the country’s C-O-2 emissions over a 25 year period. That’s because when trees breathe they suck up carbon dioxide, release oxygen, and store that leftover carbon in their trunks. But how scientists determine the amount of carbon stored in a tree is a question open for debate.

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Why This Invasive Plant Has A Shot At Some Redemption

Fall colors in the marshes around Plum Island Sound. Photo by Robin Lubbock for WBUR

Robert Buchsbaum walks into a salt marsh on Boston’s North Shore. Around him towers a stand of bushy-topped Phragmites australis, an invasive plant commonly known as the common reed. Or, as some call it: the all-too-common reed.

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What New England Can Learn From Kansas About Creating A Wind Energy Economy

The Kocher Family Ranch on the Meridian Way Wind Farm in Cloud County, Kansas. Photo by Phil Warburg

As New England invests in wind energy projects off of our coasts, the amount of wind energy we use still pales in comparison to states in the “wind belt.” One such example is Kansas. Philip Warburg explains what states in our region can learn from states that we don’t usually think of as leaders in renewable energy.

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In Punta Santiago, It’s A Microcosm Of A Battered Puerto Rico

Angelina Arroyo sprays her driveway down during a hot afternoon in Punta Santiago. Her husband had a heart attack shortly after the hurricane last year and passed away soon after. Photo by Jesse Costa for WBUR

A middle-aged woman sat over a pail of water, a blue umbrella shielding her from the scorching sun. Surrounded by a wreckage of branches and twisted metal sheets, Angelina Arroyo Rivera salvaged what remained of her belongings — some silverware and some plastic containers, a blue tarp, a red purse, a white blouse.

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