Global Forest Watch

It seems like a simple idea: Plant a trillion trees around the world.  


It would help with the fight against climate change, because trees pull carbon dioxide – a heat-trapping greenhouse gas – out of the air.  

100th Meridian Project: Part 3

May 13, 2020

In The Moment … May 13, 2020 Show 816 Hour 1

Climate change is challenging farming in the Great Plains with heavier but less frequent rains. In today's Change at the Climate Divide story, for a Harvest Public Media project, Amy Mayer visits the Kansas prairie, where researchers are looking for clues to make agriculture more sustainable.

Paul Shackow

In The Moment ... October 24, 2019 Show 686 Hour 2

One thing that has become very clear during SDPB's month-long coverage of the future of farming is that a lot of what makes a farm successful is out of the producer's control. Some of their success depends on weather, climate and other outside forces.

Climate Scientist William Capehart attempts to give a better understanding of what we're seeing in our region. Capehart is an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

News: Oct 5 - 11

Oct 11, 2019

Climate trends in South Dakota, ways to better Rapid City’s economy, a bill that would legalize industrial hemp, and Greta Thunberg visits Pine Ridge. These headlines and more on this week’s In the Moment news podcast.  


In The Moment ... October 8, 2019 Show 675 Hour 1

South Dakota Public Broadcasting takes an in-depth look at the future of farming in South Dakota. Throughout October, we explore technologies that are radically changing farming practices, we examine innovative responses to variable climate, and we meet the people who are preserving the land, saving the farm, and feeding the planet.

Today we begin laying the groundwork regarding climate trends in South Dakota. State Climatologist Laura Edwards joins In The Moment from the Tom and Danielle Aman Foundation Studio in Aberdeen.

Chynna Lockett

Sixteen year old Climate activist Greta Thunberg traveled to the Pine Ridge Reservation over the weekend. She joined a young Native American activist who was involved in the 2016 protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline to talk climate change. 


National Weather Service

Seven months in to 2019 has seen near record levels of precipitation across South Dakota.  Officials say with more wet weather forecast it is likely a record-breaking year.  The increased precipitation is in line with existing climate models and experts see a trend supporting this idea.

Mike Gillispie is the service hydrologist for the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls. He says the southeast has seen the most extreme precipitation.

Kealey Bultena

In The Moment... February 27, 2017 Show 038 Hour 1

We begin the hour with an update on the Paul Dean Jensen case. Jensen spent 20 years in prison, serving life without parole for a murder he committed in 1996 at the age of 14. In June, a judge reconsidered that penalty and imposed a 200 year sentence. Now Jensen is appealing the second sentence. SDPB’s Victoria Wicks has the update.

SDSU Extension

State weather officials say December’s fluctuating temperature pattern of extreme lows followed by above average conditions will continue into the New Year.

Columbia University ecologist Ruth DeFries discusses how global prosperity benefits people and nature. Dr. DeFries is the author of The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis. She speaks Thursday night at South Dakota State University in Brookings for the Holtry Lecture.

NOAA: Cold Winter Maybe Ahead For SD

Oct 20, 2016

If you haven’t yet broken out the earmuffs and gloves from summer storage you may need to soon. Much of South Dakota could be in for a colder than normal winter.   

The National Weather Service issued its annual prediction for the coming winter months and it shows a likelihood for cooler temperatures across much of the state.

Growing Season Gets Wet Start In Parts of SD

Jun 2, 2016

Defining a normal growing season in South Dakota is no easy task. This spring farmers in parts of the state are facing some very wet weather.

South Dakota’s corn and soybean yields are taking a hit with heavy spring moisture in the southeast. Rainfall amounts are almost twice the average in some areas.  And farmers say this has slowed spring fieldwork.

SDSU Extension Climate Field Specialist Laura Edwards talks about warmer than average weather predictions for this summer that may affect the growing season for South Dakota farmers and producers. We’ll talk about El Nino, the possibility of drought, and the science of predicting specific weather patterns in a shifting climate.

Dr. Robert “Bud” Grant teaches environmental theology, at St. Ambrose University.   He is an environmentalist, author, theologian, and Catholic priest.  He joins Dakota Midday to discuss his thoughts on the intersection of morality and climate change and Pope Francis’ encyclical "Laudato Si".

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.


Guest host Cara Hetland welcomed the Dakota Political Junkies a day early this week.  Madison Daily Leader publisher Jon Hunter and Sioux Falls Argus Leader reporter/columnist Jonathan Ellis visited about the climate conference in France and whether anything will come out of it that pertains to South Dakotans, the latest refugee news in the state, a busy week for the Secretary of State's office as they peruse signatures for ballot initiatives, news that Black Hills State University will lead GEAR UP restructuring and more.

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.

Jackley Joins Suit Against EPA Over CO2

Oct 26, 2015
Charles Michael Ray

South Dakota has signed on to a multiple state lawsuit against the EPA over attempts to limit CO2 emissions.

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says the EPA’s move hurts the state’s economy by increasing energy prices and reducing jobs.

But many scientists worry that industrialized nations need to go even further to reduce greenhouse gasses, they cite a disjunct between well-established research and policy.

‘15 Wetter Than ‘72 In Parts Of Black Hills

Oct 23, 2015
Charles Michael Ray

Pactola Dam could see the wettest year on record with over 29 inches of rain so far.  Right now 2015 is tracking a close second to the record year of 1962.   

Both years are higher than the 1972 precipitation, the year of the Black Hills Flood.    Weather officials say most of the rain in 1972 fell downstream from Pactola in one large burst.

Thune Decries Carbon Reduction Plan As Arctic Sea Route Opens

Aug 5, 2015

U.S. Senator John Thune joined the rest of the South Dakota congressional delegation and several industry groups in condemning a White House plan to reduce carbon emissions.

The Obama Administration is proposing a cap on carbon emissions from coal fired power plants in an effort to reduce global warming.   

The debate comes as arctic ice has melted back early enough so a sea route is open over the polar ice cap.

Rapid City Skyline Changing As Power Plant Dismantled

Jul 20, 2015
Charles Michael Ray

A part of the skyline in West Rapid City is changing as Black Hills Power is beginning work on dismantling a coal fired power plant.  
The Ben French Plant located on Deadwood Avenue supplied electricity to Rapid City and parts of the Black Hills for about 50 years.    But in efforts to comply with federal guidelines to reduce carbon emissions Black Hills power is switching to a new cleaner natural gas fired power plant located in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

SDSU Extension

Late last week, South Dakota recorded its warmest temperatures of the season. The high heat and humidity pushed the heat index values to near 100 degrees in some parts of the state. The high temps have persisted and although today is expected to be a few degrees cooler than yesterday, highs across the state will still range from the upper 80s to low 90s. South Dakota state climatologist Dennis Todey joined Dakota Midday and discussed the hot weather and its impact and what we can expect in the weeks ahead.

2015 Breaks Both Dry And Wet Weather Records

Jun 25, 2015
Chynna Lockett

So far 2015, can be described as a year of both droughts and floods.

The year started in a drought.   The months of January through April were the driest on record in many parts of the state.    

But in May the weather took a turn with more rain, lots more rain.   

Melissa Smith is a Hydrologist with the National Weather Service.
She says in an average year, the Rapid City Regional Airport gets about 16 inches of precipitation.    

She says the rainfall over the last two months alone is approaching that number.

SDSU Extension

After the driest January through April on record, much of South Dakota received a soaking in May. But the latest U.S. Drought Monitor map shows a large area of eastern South Dakota still with dry conditions. However, likely wetter conditions will continue to reduce precipitation deficits in those places as more rain in expected this week. SDSU Climate Field Specialist Laura Edwards joined Dakota Midday and discussed the wet May and what’s ahead for the summer.

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.

SDSU Extension

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center has released its seasonal drought outlook. For April through June, forecasters expect drier than average conditions for the eastern edge of South Dakota. The latest weekly U.S. drought monitor map released on Thursday shows 82 percent of the state as either abnormally dry or in moderate drought conditions.

South Dakota isn’t the only state dealing with early cold. The whole nation is witnessing the coldest November weather since 1976. All 50 states have reported temperatures below freezing this week, including some mountain peaks in Hawaii.

The cold November follows an October with a national average of three degrees warmer than normal – the fourth warmest October on record.

State climatologist Dennis Todey joined Dakota Midday and explained the reasons for the early cold and discussed the difficulty in predicting this season's winter weather.

Report: SD Should Prepare For Climate Change

May 6, 2014

A new report on the impacts of climate change shows we’re in for more of the same in South Dakota.

The 2011 Missouri River flooding, the 2012 drought, the 2013 ice storms and blizzards--all these events are projected to be more common in the future. 

The report predicts the changing climate will also have increasing economic impacts.  Sectors like agriculture, emergency management, wildlife management, and resource management must prepare and adapt.


Colder Temperatures Expected In Summer For SD

Mar 24, 2014

Cooler than average temperatures are expected to persist through the remainder of the spring season in South Dakota, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center. The most recent update was released March 20, 2014, which includes projections for temperature, precipitation and drought for the spring and early summer. Most of the state will likely have below average temperatures in April, and could linger through May and beyond for the state's northern counties.