Climate Change

Chris Laughery

In The Moment ... January 4, 2018 Show 249 Hour 1

Climatologist Elwynn Taylor visits Vermillion this week for a presentation at the Dakota Farm Show. He joins us for a conversation about what's ahead for the 2018 growing season. We also talk about managing risk through effective data analysis, how a changing climate impacts corn production in the state, and what needs to be done to prepare for another Dustbowl in America.

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In The Moment ... September 5, 2017 Show 170 Hour 1

Victoria Wicks

Our warming climate presents a challenge for gardeners as well as farmers. Weather patterns have become less predictable. As the temperatures rise, it might seem that plants from warmer zones could be planted here in South Dakota. But a horticulture specialist for SDSU Extension says not all components of climate patterns have changed, and gardeners are bound by extremes. SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

Lori Walsh

In The Moment ... August 2, 2017 Show 147 Hour 1

As international experts predict North Korea could develop a workable missile with a reliable warhead by early next year, Americans consider, once again, what it means to live in the shadow of nuclear weapons. We welcome author and Washington Post reporter Dan Zak. His book is called "Almighty: Courage, Resistance, and Existential Peril in the Nuclear Age." It's now in paperback.

enjoyingsouthdakota.com

In The Moment ...  April 10, 2017 Show 068 Hour 1

Katie Ceroll is the South Dakota Game Fish and Park division director for parks. The agency has announced a “pause” in the conversations about land exchanges in the state (Spearfish Canyon / Bismark Lake). Ceroll discusses how public input influenced the decision and what comes next in the collaborative conversation.

More Wildfires In the Future

Apr 10, 2017
South Dakota State University

Wildfires are nothing new to people in parts of South Dakota. However experts say fires are becoming bigger and more intense.

Professor Mark Cochrane is a senior researcher at South Dakota State University. He and researchers from the University of Tasmania in Australia and the University of Idaho have spent the last decade studying wildfires.

Kealey Bultena

In The Moment ... April 6, 2017 Show 066 Hour 2

Breaking the cycle of domestic and sexual violence is not easy, but it is possible. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. We’re joined by Michelle Markgraf, executive director for the Compass Center. Also with us is Jeanne Chamness. She is a counselor for the Compass Center.

Lori Walsh

In The Moment ... April 4, 2017 Show 064 Hour 1

USD's IdeaFest celebrates research, creative scholarship, and academic engagement. It runs tomorrow and Thursday on the campus in Vermilion. This year's faculty keynote address is from Professor Brennan Jordan. He's Associate Professor of Earth Sciences at USD. He joins In the Moment with a preview.

2016 Spring, Fall SD Wildfires Follow Climate Warming Pattern

Nov 13, 2016
Michael Engelhart / Black Hills National Forest

2016 brought significant spring and fall wildfires to South Dakota.  The State Fire Meteorologist Darren  Clabo says these fires follow a trend of longer fire seasons.

During major wildfires Clabo is on hand to help crews predict the weather and plan out their attack.   When he’s not helping fight fires, Clabo spends time tracking the climate.

SDPB

South Dakotans have re-elected United States Senator John Thune over Democratic challenger Jay Williams. He acknowledges that the nation is fractured. Thune says he’s making a commitment to all of his constituents.

Jerry Krueger / Black Hills National Forest

U.S. Forest Service officials want public input on a plan to make the Black Hills more resilient in the future.   

The goal of the Black Hills Resilient Landscapes Project is to make the forest ready for a changing climate.  That includes challenges like the pine beetle epidemic and a potential for increased forest fires.

Forest service officials say much of the Black Hills has moved away from the desired conditions described in a Management Plan created 20 years ago.

South Dakota has joined a multi-state legal battle against the federal government in support of the Keystone XL Pipeline. USD law professor Myanna Dellinger joins Dakota Midday to talk about the legal action and Keystone’s impact on the international conversation about climate change. 

2015-2016 Winter 11th Warmest On Record In SD

Mar 17, 2016

The Equinox on Sunday the 20th marks the start of spring.   But many South Dakotan’s have already been enjoying some spring like weather.

Officials who track the climate in the state say the past winter was the 11th warmest out of the last 122 years of record.  That includes the timeframe from December 1, 2015 through February 29, 2016.  

Black Hills Corporation is an energy company based in Rapid City. In February, Black Hills Corp acquired Source Gas in a 1.9 billion dollar deal. The company now serves 1.2 million natural gas and electric utility customers in eight states, including South Dakota.

SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray sat down with Chairman and CEO David Emery to talk about consolidation in the energy industry and the responsibility and challenges for companies like Black Hills Corp regarding renewable sources of energy for customers … and for the climate.

State lawmakers killed a bill Thursday that allows science teachers to incorporate information outside the approved curriculum to help students analyze and learn. Supporters of the measure say it gives teachers power to facilitate understanding; opponents question whether the measure solves a real problem.

Great Kiskadee Loses Fight With SD Winter

Jan 8, 2016
K.C. Jensen / SDSU

A tropical bird living outside Brookings has lost his struggle to survive an eastern South Dakota winter.
 
The appearance of a Great Kiskadee in 2015 captured the attention of bird watchers around the region.  Many were rooting for the underdog to make it through the cold and snowy season.

With 116 years of unbroken data, the annual Christmas Season Bird Count continues nationwide. Professor K.C. Jensen and volunteer birder Michael Melius share what it's like to count birds in the middle of a South Dakota winter. From climate change to invasive species to the misplaced Great Kiskadee, the state of migratory birds tells scientist more about the natural world than might be expected.

Bird Counts: Citizen Science Documents Climate Change Impacts

Dec 30, 2015
Courtesy Wind Cave National Park

The 116th annual Christmas Bird Count is happening across the country again this season.  The counts include volunteers who fan out around communities and document as many birds as they can on a given day.

There are over a dozen bird counts happening in South Dakota from late December into early January.

Lost Tropical Bird Eats Cat Food To Survive SD Winter

Dec 21, 2015
K.C. Jensen / SDSU

A tropical bird that doesn’t often make it farther north than Texas is toughing out the winter in South Dakota.   

The Great Kiskadee normally calls Mexico home, but birdwatchers confirmed one living in South Dakota this fall, and they’ve even photographed it in the snow.  The bird is finding some creative solutions to survive a South Dakota winter.

Finding a Great Kiskadee in South Dakota is a little bit like having a penguin pop up on a beach in Jamaica.

South Dakota Is Party To Multiple Lawsuits Against The EPA

Dec 17, 2015
Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakota is now suing the EPA over implementation of the Clean Water Act.    

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says  federal officials are overstepping their authority in regulating how South Dakota uses its water.

This is one in a number of multi state lawsuits the state has currently signed on against the EPA.

Eastern SD Getting Wetter Over Past 65 Years

Dec 16, 2015
Jim Holbeck

Is your old cornfield a new bass pond?  There are now parts of eastern South Dakota where the fishing is better than the farming.

A new study by the United States Geological Survey shows a trend towards a wetter climate east of the Missouri River over the last six and a half decades.  Stream gages along waterways like the James and Big Sioux Rivers show a general pattern of increased rains and river flows since 1948. Researchers say they hope this data can be used by ag producers, land managers, and emergency management personnel as they plan for the future.

 

SD Scientists Welcome Renewable Research Boost

Dec 7, 2015
SDSU

World leaders are meeting in Paris to hash out a new agreement on the best way to deal with climate change.   As part of the effort President Barak Obama announced a doubling in funding for renewable energy research.   
 
This could have a direct impact on on-going research into new biofuels in South Dakota.
 
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Professor Jim Stone is part of a team of scientists researching the potential for oil seeds as a renewable fuel crop.

Dakota Midday: Solarize South Dakota

Nov 17, 2015
Charles Michael Ray

In this segment SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray speaks with Don Kelly an advocate for more home based renewable energy.  He’s one of those behind an effort called Solarize South Dakota that is backed by the group Dakota Rural Action.   Kelly lives in an all solar home that is off the grid in the Black Hills.

Dakota Midday: BH Power VP On Clean Power Plan

Nov 10, 2015
Black Hills Power

We’re continuing a series of interviews on energy and the environment with a conversation with Vance Crocker Vice President of Operations for Black Hills Power.

Last week we heard from Dr. Bull Bennett  an author of the Third National Climate Assessment on the necessity to deal with global warming.

U.S. Department of Energy

Dr. Bull Bennett is one of the lead authors of the Third National Climate Assessment and a PhD graduate from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.  Bennett now runs Kiksapa Consulting LLC based in North Dakota.

A member of the Mi'kmaq Tribe of Maine, Bennett recently spoke at the School of Mines and Technology about the impact climate change has on indigenous nations and water resources.

Thune, Pope May Be At Odds Over Climate Change

Sep 9, 2015
John Thune

Pope Francis is set to give an historic address before a joint session of congress near the end of this month.   Given his recent statement on climate change and the environment it’s possible he will touch on this issue when speaking before lawmakers.  The pope says countries like the United States have to do more to reduce the impacts of climate change. He says too often the focus is on profit rather than protecting the environment.   

SDSU

Over a 35 year period, the length of forest fire seasons worldwide increased by nearly nineteen percent. That’s according to a study co-authored by South Dakota State University professor and wildfire expert Mark Cochrane. He was part of a team that researched weather data from 1979 to 2013 to determine the impact changing climate has had on forest ecosystems.

Persistence Yields Fossils, Holds Mystery

Jun 19, 2015
Charles Michael Ray

Persistence Cave in Wind Cave National Park is yielding a trove of fossils that are shedding light on the distant past in the Black Hills.

The deeper parts of the cave may also contain large caverns yet to be explored.

But, anyone who wants to dig fossils inside Persistence Cave is going to get muddy.  

Four years ago researchers in Antarctica completed drilling a nearly 11,000 foot column of ice. It's the second deepest ice core ever drilled and the longest ever done by U.S. scientists. Some of the ice is up to 100,000 years old. Researchers have been studying the gas bubbles trapped in the ancient polar ice to get answers to key questions about past climate changes.

A report published last week in Science Advances predicts extended and severe drought for the American Southwest and central Great Plains. The analysis says the drought will be the worst in nearly 1,000 years with drying even more extreme than previously predicted. According to the study, the drought period is expected to begin between 2050 and 2100.

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