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Category: MASS_MN SCIENCE_CN

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How a little-known center in Woods Hole became a hub for climate research and policy.

By Sam Moore Photo: Sam Moore

That man is George Woodwell, and since 1985, the center he founded has been deeply involved in climate research and policy at home and abroad. Today, it employs nearly 100 scientists and staff, whose work on everything from permafrost to wildfires is shaping our understanding of the world we live in — and what we’re doing to it.

06/07/22
                                                               

More heat waves, rising seas, and intensifying storms will pummel the Boston area, new report finds

By David Abel Photo: Craig F. Walker

By the end of the century, average temperatures in the Boston area could increase as much as 10 degrees above 2000 levels, while seas could rise more than 15 feet, under the worst circumstances. Over the same period, intense precipitation could increase by 30 percent and flooding from swollen rivers could surge by 70 percent.

06/01/22
                                                               

Mass. advances two major offshore wind projects

By Miranda Wilson Photo: Christopher Furlong , Getty Images

Electric utilities filed long-term plans with the state Department of Public Utilities to procure power from the two projects, which collectively represent the state’s largest offshore wind venture, officials said yesterday. The facilities — Commonwealth Wind and Mayflower Wind — would together add 1,600 megawatts of carbon-free power to New England’s power grid, enough to offset about 2.7 million metric tons of greenhouse gases per year, said Beth Card, secretary of energy and environmental affairs for the state.

05/26/22
                                                               

Exxon Will Have to Face Climate Lawsuits After ‘Free Speech’ Defense Fails

By Lauren Leffer Photo: Angela Weiss , Getty Images

In a last-ditch effort to avoid a Massachusetts lawsuit, Exxon claimed being sued violated its First Amendment right to free speech. On Tuesday, that motion to dismiss the suit was thrown out in the state’s Supreme Judicial Court. The lawsuit, which accuses Exxon of lying for decades about the climate impacts of fossil fuels, will now move forward. Earlier this week, another lawsuit against big oil progressed in Rhode Island, too.

05/25/22
                                                               

As pollution worsens on Cape Cod, some are investing hopes in a new type of septic system

By David Abel Photo: Jonathan Wiggs , Globe Staff

For years, pollution from septic systems has spawned algae blooms, toxic bacteria, and a putrid scum coating the waters of Cape Cod, destroying vital ecosystems, contributing to coastal erosion, and harming tourism.

05/17/22
                                                               

Weather Report: Why Do the Seas Rise?

By Dr. Peter P. Neilley Photo: M. Bossman , Massachusetts office of Tourism

The phrases “climate change” and “sea level rise” nearly go hand in hand, particularly when discussed in coastal communities like Martha’s Vineyard. Many of the cliché images of global warming often involve the seas, whether it be a polar bear stranded on a melting iceberg or dramatic artistic depictions of seas consuming cities. There is quite a bit of misunderstanding and misinformation on how, how much, and how fast the seas will rise as our climate warms. Many people don’t have a great sense of how much the seas will rise in the future and if you ask around, you often can get wildly different answers or no answers at all. Contributing to this confusion is the fact that the future rate of climate change is somewhat uncertain mostly due to the uncertainty in how much society acts now to reduce future carbon emissions.

05/16/22
                                                               

A solar battle in sleepy Wareham is pitting environmentalists against each other

By Emma Foehringer Merchant Photo: Aram Bogoshian , Boston Globe

On a March afternoon last year, Meg Sheehan, a 65-year-old environmental lawyer, left her parents’ house in Duxbury, pointed their black Chevy Tahoe south, and navigated to a country road running through Wareham and Carver, two small towns in the heart of Southeastern Massachusetts cranberry country. She would take her parents for dinner later — oysters — but first, she had plans.

05/05/22
                                                               

As Earth’s temperature rises, Massachusetts residents’ sense of urgency on climate change declines

By Sabrina Shankman and Dharna Noor Photo: Jsirlin , Adobe Stock

Despite increasingly urgent international warnings and an onslaught of catastrophic wildfires and weather linked to global warming, fewer Massachusetts residents see the climate crisis as a very serious concern than they did three years ago, according to a new poll.

04/19/22
                                                               

How Massachusetts feels about climate change in 12 graphics

By John Hancock and Dharna Noor Photo: John Tlumacki

The percentage of Massachusetts residents who believe climate change is a very serious concern has decreased since 2019.
That’s just one finding from a new poll, a collaboration of The Boston Globe and the MassINC Polling Group.

04/19/22
                                                               

Pepperell converts streetlights to LEDs with smart tech

By Meredith Gabrilska

This past winter, Pepperell completed a two-year project to convert 409 streetlights from standard high pressure sodium lights to LEDs and deploy smart technology that allows the town to manage and troubleshoot each individual light from any smart device.

04/12/22