climate change

Battle With The Sea
7:47 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Battle With The Sea: Protecting Wastewater Treatment Plants

Historic rains flooded the Pawtuxet River in 2010, overtopping the earthen levee built to protect the Warwick Sewer Authority.
Photo Courtesy of Janine Burke

Here’s an effect of climate change you might not have thought of: heavy rains flood wastewater treatment plants. These intense rain storms are one result of warming temperatures. As part of our ongoing series, Battle With The Sea, Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza has a report from a wastewater treatment plant in Warwick.

The Warwick Sewer Authority is located on the banks of the Pawtuxet River, next to what is called an oxbow, the U-shape curve in a river. The river wants to fill in the land next to the oxbow each time it floods. 

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Environment
11:38 am
Mon December 15, 2014

New Online Tools Available To Assess Flood Risks Along Shorelines

Coastal planners now have access to new statewide maps with information about projected storm surges, seal level rise, and other coastal changes in Rhode Island.
Screenshot of STORMTOOLS

The University of Rhode Island, in partnership with the Coastal Resources Management Council, has developed new tools to plan for future climate change threats. New maps with projected storm surge and sea level rise are now available online.

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Battle With The Sea
6:30 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Battle With The Sea: What We Know And How We Know It

The relationship between global temperatures and carbon dioxide emissions is strong. When the temperature is high, Co2 is also high. Sources: Temp. Data from Zachos et al., 2001 Transformed as in Hansen & Sato, 2012; Co2 Data: Luthi et al., 2008
Courtesy of Sara Harris University of British Columbia

For the past three weeks, we've brought you stories about how climate change is already affecting Rhode Island. Narragansett Bay is getting warmer. Seas are rapidly rising. Shorelines are eroding. And we're experiencing more severe weather events. As part of our new ongoing series, Battle With The Sea, we take a step back this week to look at the science of how we know these changes are happening.

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Battle With The Sea
8:00 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Businesses Plan For Rising Sea And Extreme Weather

More than 100 people will gather in Newport today to learn how to minimize impacts to waterfront businesses from sea level rise and other severe weather at the 13th Annual Baird Symposium. The one-day conference called, "Staying Afloat: Adapting Waterfront Businesses to Rising Seas and Extreme Storms," kicked off its symposium last night with a public lecture, featuring John Englander, author of High Tide on Main Street: Rising Sea Levels and the Coming Coastal Crisis

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Battle With The Sea
6:30 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Battle With The Sea: In Westerly, Beach Town Still Shoring Up For Future Storms

Tom Retano's three-bedroom house in Misquamicut is temporarily elevated off its original foundation, as work to permanently elevate the house 15 feet above sea level began this summer.
Ambar Espinoza RIPR

Within four years, the town of Westerly experienced four major storms: the Great Flood of 2010, Hurricane Irene in 2011, Superstorm Sandy in 2012, and the February 2013 Nor’easter. Like many coastal cities and towns around the state, Westerly is also vulnerable to high tides that flood roads even without storms.

As part of our new ongoing series we’re calling “Battle With The Sea,” Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza looks at how the town of Westerly is wrestling to shore up homes and businesses for future climate change threats.

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Environment
6:00 am
Mon December 1, 2014

For Brown Students, Hands-On Learning At UN Climate Talks In Peru

Brown University students head to Peru for international climate change talks.
Credit RIPR FILE

A Brown University class focused on international climate change policy will culminate the semester this month with hands-on learning in Lima, Peru. That’s where two weeks of U.N. climate negotiations begin today.  More than 150 countries will get together to continue drafting agreements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Timmons Roberts, Ittleson Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology at Brown University, has attended U.N. climate talks since 2003, helping think tanks and developing countries with research.

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Battle With The Sea
8:16 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Battle With The Sea: Change Is Here (Part 2)

Matunuck residents Kevin McCloskey, Nancy Thoresen (middle), and Christa Thoresen share a photo opp with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).
Ambar Espinoza RIPR

Last week, we brought you the story of West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin’s visit to Rhode Island. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse brought the Democratic senator, a strong coal advocate, to witness how climate change is wearing away the landscape here. Manchin learned from fishermen what challenges they’re facing in a changing ocean. Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza brings you the second part of this story, when Manchin sees the effects climate change is having on land. 

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Environment
5:08 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Rhode Island Fishermen Not Affected By New Cod Restrictions

Juvenile Atlantic cod
Hans Hillewaert via Creative Commons License

NOAA Fisheries issued emergency measures last week to protect Gulf of Maine cod. On the heels of this emergency action, the New England Fishery Management Council has recommended new restrictions to address the depleted cod population, as it finalizes next year’s fishing management measures for several fish.

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Battle With The Sea
5:50 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Battle With The Sea: Change Is Here (Part 1)

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) visited each other’s states to find common ground on climate change, an issue that polarizes their parties.
Ambar Espinoza RIPR

Rapidly rising sea levels and severe weather threaten every community and natural habitat in the Ocean State, not just along the coast. Through a new ongoing series we’re calling, Battle With The Sea, Rhode Island Public Radio will examine the range and scope of these threats from city to city and town to town, and the solutions to prepare and strengthen Rhode Island for future threats to come.

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Environment
10:38 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Senator Whitehouse Praising U.S./China Climate Change Agreement

Sheldon Whitehouse on the Senate floor.

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse says the new climate change deal between the U.S. and China is good news for Rhode Island.  

The U.S. is committing to reducing carbon emissions 28 percent by 2025.

Whitehouse sais though Rhode Island is not a major carbon polluting state, it’s already feeling the effects of climate change. “Particularly with rising sea levels, Narragansett Bay is 3 to 4 degrees warmer, the winter flounder catch has virtually collapsed,” said Whitehouse.

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