Climate Change

Estimate of how many properties in a five state region have lost value.
First Street Foundation

Due to seal level rise flooding, owners in the Carolinas have lost nearly $1.7 billion in property values since 2005.

File photo of a house on Nags Head. By the year 2045, 2,000 homes in Nags Head and Hatteras can expect flooding every other week, according to the non-profit Union of Concerned Scientists.
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

In 30 years, more than 15,000 North Carolina homes will be chronically inundated, meaning they're flooded about every other week, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. The nonprofit advocacy group released a report today showing where and when sea-level rise is likely to impact residents' daily lives.

Overhead view of Hurricane Matthew
NASA / Flickr

North Carolina's coastal ecosystem has drastically changed because of two decades of hurricanes and other tropical cyclones.

Catch per unit effort of bull sharks
Charles Bangley / Nature

Researchers say rising sea temperatures have brought more bull sharks to North Carolina. 

A study published on Nature.com says the sharks appear to be moving their reproductive habitats farther north as the Atlantic gets warmer.

photo of a man holding a card that says 'asheville is climate city'
Courtesy of The Collider

This month Asheville hosted the first ClimateCon, a conference to explore innovations and business solutions to combat the effects of climate change. The nine-day conference included a business of climate forum, a summit for emerging climate leaders, and community-wide events.

Donald van der Vaart
DENR

Donald van der Vaart was North Carolina’s top environmental official under former Gov. Pat McCrory.  When Gov. Roy Cooper took office, Van der Vaart demoted himself and was later placed on suspension after writing a controversial opinion piece in an environmental law journal. However, he recently reemerged as a candidate for President Trump's Council on Environmental Quality.

Ducks sit together on a frozen pond in Concord, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018. Temperatures plummeted overnight.
Chuck Burton / AP

Governor Roy Cooper said he will declare a state of emergency for parts of North Carolina hit by the coming winter storm.

Marcus Yensen, security officer at the American Tobacco Campus in Durham. He planned to bundle up this week as he makes his daily rounds
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

The North Carolina Coastal Plain is gripped by a cold snap that hasn't been seen in almost a century.

In this Monday, Nov. 6, 2017 file photo, Native people from Fiji sit in the convention center during the opening of the COP 23 Fiji UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany.
Martin Meissner / AP Photo

Nearly 200 countries are wrapping up the annual U.N. climate summit in Bonn, Germany this week.

Great Dismal Swamp
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is trying to reverse more than two centuries of damage to sensitive peat soil in the Great Dismal Swamp.

a flooded road after Hurricane Matthew
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Multiple major hurricanes in the last few weeks have led to a renewed discussion of climate change, and when it is appropriate, to discuss possible policy and lifestyle changes.

Common Whitetail
C.L. Goforth

The dragonfly is often celebrated for its glittering body and elegant flight, but the insect is also a ferocious predator and a boon for mosquito-ridden areas. The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences will celebrate the many facets of the dragonfly this year at its annual “Bugfest.” 

tink tracy / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/6cMNx8

A report on sea level rise in North Carolina points to dozens of coastal communities that face chronic flooding over the next century. 

Morning on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore
Outer Banks Real Estate / Flickr Creative Commons

The Trump Administration has disbanded an advisory committee created to turn federal climate analysis into concrete plans for dealing with climate change.

Army Sgt. David Breaud directs a high water vehicle down a flooded roadway.
Sgt. Jerry Rushing / U.S. Department of Defense

This week the Trump administration disbanded a federal advisory committee for the National Climate Assessment. It is one of several steps President Donald Trump has taken to diminish the fight against climate change. But Trump’s skepticism of climate change puts him at odds with officials in the Pentagon. 

Charles Bangley of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center leads his crew on an evening shark fishing trip on Pamlico Sound.
Jay Price / WUNC

Bull sharks and lion fish are among the species becoming more common in North Carolina, while black sea bass and other fish are getting harder to find.

Flickr Commons

Recently released research from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill projects that unchecked climate change will significantly impact premature deaths associated with air pollution.

Author of 'Borne,' Jeff VanderMeer
Jeff VanderMeer

In Jeff VanderMeer’s highly successful Southern Reach trilogy, characters were cut off from one another, and their stories unfolded against the backdrop of a devastated landscape. In his latest novel “Borne,” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux/2017) he highlights how a new cast of characters attempt to make connections with each other.

Image of Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie
kenrudinpolitics.com

President Donald Trump meets with world leaders this week at the G-20 summit in Germany. This morning Trump had a highly-anticipated meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The meeting comes as questions remain regarding ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia during the presidential election. 

Honey bees
David Tarpy

Global warming and urbanization are threatening bee populations across the country. One factor in that threat is heat. At high temperatures, bees become unable to reproduce, fly or even walk.

So researchers from North Carolina State University recently set out to see just how much heat local wild bees could handle.

Sea Level Rise Threatens Military Bases

Mar 21, 2017
An F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the “Blue Blasters” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 34 takes off from the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.
Courtesy of the National Museum of the U.S. Navy's Photostream

A report by the Union of Concerned Scientists reveals that 128 U.S. military installations could be threatened by rising sea levels.

WUNC Military reporter Jay Price found that some bases are already experiencing flooding, and that the Department of Defense has no long-term plan for addressing climate change.
 

Guest host Phoebe Judge talks with Jay Price about the findings and the military’s uncertain path forward.  

Black Tip sharks feed on the coast near Cape Lookout.
Shark Attack News

Coastal Carolina officials may not be willing to prepare for climate change until it's too late, according to a new study out of N.C. State and Appalachian State Universities.

Smithfield Foods promised to cut emissions.
humanesociety.org

Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pork producer, has promised to slash its carbon emissions.

Image of Flags Outside Climate Conference
AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy

World leaders and climate change negotiators gathered in Marrakech, Morocco yesterday for the first day of a United Nations climate talks conference. Leaders are following up on last year’s historic meeting in Paris where they developed a blueprint for reducing carbon emissions and voluntarily pledged to do their part to limit the rise in global temperatures.

Photo of the Blue Ridge Mountains
Ken Thomas / Wikipedia

For a century the National Park Service has established and preserved parks, seashores and memorials across the country. Sites range from Yellowstone National Park to the César E. Chávez National Monument.

In 2015, the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, both partially located in North Carolina, were two of the top three most visited sites in the National Park system.

However, growing concerns about climate change and big maintenance bills threaten preservation efforts.

Prominent Coastal Geologist Quits Science Advisory Panel

Aug 1, 2016
Stan Riggs
Courtesy of East Carolina University

A prominent member of a science advisory panel of the Coastal Resources Commission has resigned.

Stan Riggs says he's no longer willing to fight what he calls an "uphill battle" against state leaders who are making poor long-term decisions about the coast.

photo of a church
Theresa Schenk / Pixabay

Note: This segment originally aired on Thursday, June 2, 2016.

Whether it's reducing carbon emissions or increasing solar energy, environmentalists see a need for people to change the way they treat the earth in the shadow of climate change. Likewise, some religion leaders see their faith as motivation to care better for the environment.

Ken Ilgunas

This program originally aired on April 21, 2016.

Ken Ilgunas was working as a dishwasher near the oil refineries of Alaska when his friend suggested they should hike the entire length of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

He immediately agreed, and a year later he started the journey from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf Coast of Texas on foot.

An image of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton
AP images

The presidential election campaign is littered with claims from candidates about the economy, health care and immigration.

Claims on topics like climate change continue to be politicized, yet candidates are talking about these issues more. But with an increase in discussion comes a need to check facts.

Image of two polar bears on ice sheet suffering the effects of climate change
Jessica Robertson / U.S. Geological Survey

Climate change was a prominent global topic in 2015, with both the Paris climate talks and the Pope’s encyclical stirring up conversation about the future of the planet.

But questions remain about what role businesses and community institutions should play in the ongoing effort. Some say that the Pope’s encyclical speaks to a need for religious leaders to step up in the movement, while others say that the business community needs to take the lead.

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