Climate Change

Barb Sargent / Courtesy WV DNR

U.S. Forest Service district biologist Shane Jones stands on an overlook high up on West Virginia’s Cheat Mountain. Behind him lush, red spruce trees stand like sentinels on this frozen landscape. As he looks out, small patches of green dot what is largely a view of the barren, brown trunks of leafless hardwoods.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, there’s more and more conversation about what a transition away from a coal-heavy economy might look like in the state. But for many, it’s a hard reality to swallow.

Antarctica experienced its hottest day on record Thursday.

At least, that's what scientists reported at Argentina's Esperanza research station, on the very northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. The finding, announced Thursday by Argentina's national meteorological service, placed the temperature at 18.3 degrees Celsius — or just about 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Kara Lofton / WVPB

The rain came hard and fast early on the morning of June 23, 2016. By 2 p.m., water was knee deep in Bill Bell’s appliance store on Main Street in Rainelle, a small town on the western edge of Greenbrier County, West Virginia.

Aging Levees, Climate Change And The Challenge To Hold Back The Ohio River

Dec 19, 2019
Jim Casto stands up against the tiled river height gauge along the entrance of the floodwall in Huntington, West Virginia.
Liam Niemeyer / Ohio Valley ReSource

When 78-year-old Jim Casto looks at the towering floodwalls that line downtown Huntington, West Virginia, he sees a dark history of generations past. 

The longtime journalist and local historian is short in stature, yet tall in neighborhood tales. On Casto’s hand shines a solid gold ring, signifying his more than 40 years of reporting at the local paper. “It was a lot cheaper to give me a ring than to give me a pay raise,” he said with a chuckle.

Brittany Patterson/ WVPB

Adding plants and trees to the landscape could reduce air pollution by an average of 27 percent, according to a new study. Specialists in environmental science, engineering and geography spent three years analyzing thousands of counties across the country. They found that adding more plants is cheaper than most technologies at reducing air pollution. One of the lead researchers is an engineering professor at Ohio State University named Bhavik Bakshi.


The world is getting windier, according to a new study in the journal Nature Climate Change. Researchers analyzed decades of weather data and determined global wind speeds have risen dramatically over the past 10 years.

The study says wind farm operators are likely to benefit from the uptick in wind speeds since faster wind means more efficient wind turbines.

Roxy Todd/ WVPB

A new study finds that planting trees to reduce air pollution is cheaper than investing in most emissions reducing technologies. 


Disastrous Disconnect: Coal, Climate And Catastrophe In Kentucky

Oct 28, 2019
Illustration by Joanna Eberts / CPI

Editor’s Note: This story is part of a series about the insufficient protections for vulnerable people as natural disasters worsen in a warming climate. The Center for Public Integrity and four partners – the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, High Country News, Ohio Valley ReSource and StateImpact Oklahoma – are contributing stories.

Todd Bentley stepped onto his porch and saw the storm swelling the creek near his home. If this kept up all night, he feared, the creek could overflow its banks and wash out his neighborhood’s road. He headed out into the rain with his teenage son to secure his mother’s trailer across the street.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Kentucky and West Virginia are among the states with the highest emissions of carbon dioxide per person. They also helped to block the federal government’s most ambitious effort to fight climate change.

Now, an analysis from the Center for Public Integrity finds that those two states were among the ones most often hit by natural disasters during the past decade. Scientists warn that a warming climate makes extreme weather – and disasters such as flash flooding – more likely.

Reporter Sydney Boles takes us to Pike County, in Kentucky’s coal country, where vulnerable communities have suffered repeated flooding. It’s a place where coal politics, climate policy and catastrophe all connect.

Scott Allen, who runs Pettit Creek Farms in bone-dry Bartow County, Ga., poses for a photo Oct. 7, 2019.
Jeff Martin / Associated Press

— Across a vast expanse of the South stretching from Texas to Maryland, there are growing concerns for the cattle, cotton and corn amid a worsening drought fueled by this summer’s record high temperatures.

One of the bullseyes marking the nation’s driest areas is Bartow County, Georgia, where extreme drought has kicked up buckets of dust and left cattle pastures bare. The farm country northwest of Atlanta is among the hardest hit spots in a dozen Southern states where more than 45 million residents are now living in some type of drought conditions, the most recent U.S. Drought Monitor report shows.

Something odd is happening to streams and rivers on the high plains of Kansas and Colorado. Some have disappeared.

"We would go and visit these streams, and in many cases it's like a dirt bike channel. It's no longer functioning as a stream," says Joshuah Perkin, a biologist at Texas A&M University who studies the fish that live in these streams.

Us & Them: Faith In Science

Sep 26, 2019
Ashley Rodgers

Science and faith can offer a different perspective of the world... of life... and of what we believe. When you mix in a third ingredient - politics - the dynamic can become toxic. Whether you consider evolution versus creationism or the causes of climate change, there are people who say their religious beliefs make it difficult for them to have faith in science. However, some scientists say there is nothing in theology that separates them from their faith and beliefs. This episode looks at people of faith and people of science to find some common ground. Trey speaks with Dr.

Glynis Board / WVPB

Two West Virginia lawmakers — a Republican and a Democrat — held a video conference Tuesday with middle and high school students across the state about a topic that’s not often given much attention in West Virginia: Climate change.

 

Jesse Wright / WVPB

More than 150 West Virginia college students and residents skipped class and work on Friday to raise awareness about the growing threat of climate change. The protest was part of a global climate action that drew millions of participants across the world.

 

Head of the Ohio Regatta, Ohio River
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A West Virginia University professor is participating in the compilation of a prestigious international report on climate change.

Martina Angela Caretta, a feminist geographer and assistant professor at WVU, is serving as a coordinating lead author of the chapter on water in the upcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Sixth Assessment, due out in 2021. 

Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

As Democratic 2020 presidential candidates embrace sweeping climate proposals like the Green New Deal to move the U.S. away from fossil fuels, United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts told a crowd of reporters and miners gathered in D.C. that those policies could further harm an already struggling coal industry. 

Jesse Wright

 

Hotter, wetter and drier — this is what the climate of West Virginia could look like in the future. That’s according to new research by Nicolas Zegre, a professor at West Virginia University and director of the Mountain Hydrology Laboratory

 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, as the climate continues to change, ongoing research considers how the Mountain State will have to adapt. We hear from researchers looking closely at the matter. We also hear a conversation with author Christy Smith on her debut novel "Killed It."

Updated at 1:15 p.m. ET

French President Emmanuel Macron says world leaders at the G-7 summit have come to an agreement to provide technical and financial help in combating massive fires that have swept through the Amazon rainforest.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign stop Thursday, May 5, at the Morgantown Event Center.
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders will visit Kentucky and West Virginia just days after releasing his plan to address climate change.

Sanders is scheduled to speak in Louisville, Kentucky, Sunday. He planned to visit Morgantown, West Virginia, Monday, but plans to visit the Mountain State have since been canceled.

Jeff Gentner / AP Photo

This story was updated on 7/22/19 at 4 p.m. EST.

 

New research published this week finds communities across the county, including in West Virginia, can expect weeks of dangerously hot days in the coming decades if action to reduce global heat-trapping pollution isn’t taken.

 

 

Courtesy PTTGCA.

As a new plastics industry emerges in the Ohio Valley, a report by environmental groups warns that the expansion of plastics threatens the world’s ability to keep climate change at bay.

Our Planet is the kind of nature show where every image could be a screen saver: sweeping, dramatic landscapes are full of colorful animals.

Anne Li / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This week on Inside Appalachia, we’re wading into the American political divide and bringing you voices with distinct points of view from opposite sides of the country. It’s no secret that these days, we live in the divided states of America. Sometimes, it can feel like the only thing that unites us anymore is that now-nearly universal experience of sitting awkwardly around the Thanksgiving table with family members who have different political beliefs, trying to find a way to avoid politics altogether. 


Peabody Energy, Inc. / Wikimedia Commons

Economic development leaders from the Ohio Valley’s coal communities used a Congressional hearing on climate change Tuesday to say that their communities must be central to conversations about climate solutions.

Joe Manchin
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will begin holding full hearings this week with a new top Democrat: West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin.

 


 

 

Brittany Patterson / WVPB

For many people the holidays signal the start of a joyous time — snow season. It means strapping on skis or hopping onto a sled to tear into soft, fluffy powder.

That’s the case for Greg Corio, who for almost two decades has been an avid ice climber.

"The only way to describe it is it’s magical," said Corio. "There’s so many features, and so many details and little knobs and little pieces and dripping water as you’re climbing up it. It’s like climbing up the side of Magic Kingdom’s castle.”

For the next two weeks, leaders from around the world are attending a major climate conference in Poland. They will talk about how to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and how to support those communities that are already being affected by climate change.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning… Vultures usually get a bad rap. But that hasn’t always been the case – find out why. And we hear a story from the Allegheny Front's Kara Holsopple about having tricky conversations over Thanksgiving dinner.

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