Stories of our connected and rapidly changing region.

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Sustainability

The Future Of New England’s Electricity Market

ISO New England is in charge of the grid, and they also operate a wholesale electricity market to make sure there’s always power available. It’s a system built on already dizzying complexity, in an energy ecosystem that’s getting more complex, adding new power from renewables all the time.

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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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