Covering Climate Now

Maine Public participated in an international reporting initiative, #coveringclimatenow to highlight the effects of climate change in the week leading up to the United Nations Climate Action Summit on Sept. 23, in New York City. More than 300 media outlets agreed to offer and, in some cases, share climate change stories of global, national state and local significance.

The unusual collaboration was co-funded by Columbia Journalism Review and The Nation, with additional support from The Guardian. It is considered one of the most ambitious reporting efforts ever undertaken by world media on a single topic. Among the public media news outlets that signed on are PBS NewsHour, the Climate One podcast, KPCC in Los Angeles, KQED in San Francisco, Marketplace Tech, Science Friday, WBEZ in Chicago, WHYY in Philadelphia, WNYC in New York, WBUR in Boston and PRI’s The World.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

The Conservation Law Foundation says Maine Gov. Janet Mills "walks the walk" when it comes to climate change. Recently she slammed the Trump administration's move to restrict states' ability to regulate their own air quality.  Maine Public's Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz spoke with Mills about what steps she's taken - beyond creating a climate council - to deal with climate change in Maine.

How Sea Level Rise Will Change Maine's Coast

Sep 20, 2019

The Nature Conservancy has a new "Coastal Risk Explorer" tool, which simulates the effects of sea level rise on coastal communities. In developing the tool, the team used a variety of datasets to show homes, roads, and emergency services that would be affected (flooded, blocked, cut off from access) with each additional foot of water. We’ll learn about the how the Nature Conservancy partnered with a Bowdoin College professor to create a “Social Vulnerability Index,” which helps identify areas along the coast with concentrations of people who would be most at risk in these scenarios. This show is scheduled to coincide with the UN Climate Change Summit and is part of a week-long reporting project Covering Climate Now by Maine Public and more than 300 other news outlets around the world.


Jennifer Mitchell / Maine Public

More and more schools in Maine are adding solar power to their renewable energy mix. The solar panel array that's just been installed on the roof of Mount Desert Island High School is the largest so far on a public high school in Maine, and will provide more than enough power to meet its demands. Student supporters of the project are hoping that others will be encouraged by its example.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

This week Maine Public is focusing coverage on climate change, and threats it poses to Maine and to the planet. Among those threats is an increasing number of tick-borne diseases. Researchers say warmer winters and rising humidity have helped fuel the northward expansion of the ticks' range. Changes in climate are also making Maine more hospitable for new species of ticks and the diseases they carry.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP File

It's often reported that the Gulf of Maine's waters are warming faster than 99 percent of the largest saltwater bodies on the planet. But scientists will tell you the trend can be volatile. This year, for instance, surface water temperatures in the Gulf have been their coolest since 2008. That may be providing some relief for some of the Gulf's historic species, but ongoing climate change means that long-term prospects are still uncertain.

Maine Audubon

A new report in the journal Science indicates that the number of birds in North America has declined by several billion in the past 40 years. The findings, released Thursday, suggest that bird numbers are declining more rapidly than previously thought. And researchers are pointing a finger at habitat loss and climate change.

Part 1 in a series on the future of nuclear power. Part 2 is here.


Future? In Massachusetts, nuclear power is history.

The Nature Conservancy

This week we’ve been reporting on climate change and its effects on Maine, but there are those who dispute that climate change is real or that it is caused by human activity. To help depolarize the debate, The Nature Conservancy has created a how-to guide for talking with family, friends or colleagues who doubt the reality of climate change.

State Director Kate Dempsey spoke with Maine Public’s Ed Morin for Here and Now:

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

In case you haven't noticed, heavy downpours are increasing in the northeast. In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, they've increased by 70 percent since 1958. A heavy downpour is defined as a storm that produces two or more inches of water in 24 hours. And as temperatures warm, scientists are predicting that they'll become more frequent and intense.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

In northern Maine, the Aroostook Band of Micmacs has for decades been trying to protect important tribal cultural resources, including traditional foods, from pollution. And warming temperatures are expected to further that threat. But the Micmacs and other Maine tribes are taking steps to adapt.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

This summer’s media coverage of several dogs that died shortly after swimming in water tainted by toxic algae has brought public attention to the phenomenon of algal blooms. Federal agencies consider them an emerging public health issue and a major environmental problem across the U.S.

Eric Gray / AP

In August, the Pew Research Center released a poll showing a sharp increase in the number of Americans who view climate change as a major threat to the well-being of the country ⁠— from 40 percent in 2013 to 57 percent now. And it is of particular concern to Democratic voters, as reflected by the emergence of climate change as a leading issue in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Humans have been tilling the soil for thousands of years. Not surprisingly, we've mostly been focused on what we take out of it - bushels of wheat, barrels of apples and so on. But as researchers learn more about how soil and its organic components actually work, it's become clear that farming has a role to play in climate change.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

All this week, Maine Public - and more than 250 other news outlets all around the world - are reporting stories on climate change as part of the  "Covering Climate Now" project. In Maine, scientists say that climate change means hot summers, warm winters, more rain, and less snow, along with a warming gulf of Maine, and that will affect the state's fisheries, its  economy and traditional ways of life.

Maine Public is participating in an international reporting initiative, #coveringclimatenow, to highlight the effects of climate change in the week leading up to the United Nations Climate Action Summit on Sept. 23, in New York City.