Bubbling the Bay’s dead zone: Breath of fresh air or pipe dream?

What if the dead zone that plagues the Chesapeake Bay could be eliminated now, not years down the road — and at a fraction of the billions being spent annually on restoring the troubled estuary? Fanciful as it sounds, Dan Sheer figures it’s technically doable. Whether it’s the right thing to do is another question. Bay scientists are wary of potential pitfalls, but some still think it’s worth taking a closer look.

Microplastics are everywhere, but how do they harm the Bay?

Extremely small bits of plastic are everywhere, and the Chesapeake Bay is no exception. The so-called microplastics, often 5 millimeters or less in size, can be scooped from the surface waters of the Patapsco River and combed from the Bay’s underwater grass beds. The Chesapeake Bay Program, a state-federal partnership that leads the Bay restoration effort, has identified microplastics as a contaminant of mounting concern. But, for all the headlines and anxiety microplastics have generated, a looming question remains unanswered: What harm are they causing in the Bay?

Bitter Cold Part 5: Programs leave many out in the cold

Customers whose power is off at the end of October aren’t protected by state regulations that restrict — but don’t eliminate — disconnections from Nov. 1 through March. To be reconnected during the winter or after it, customers who owe utilities money must make arrangements to pay up. But that’s a financial hurdle for many.

Bitter Cold Part 3: Cold a costly challenge

Baltimore resident Delores Buchanan limits going outside when it’s cold. Neuropathy causes her feet to tense up and sting, and cold worsens the pain by reducing blood flow to the hands and feet. It is one of many conditions exacerbated by extreme temperatures.

Bitter Cold Part 2: Cold weather harms health

Every winter, health officials warn of outdoor dangers for the homeless, who can freeze to death from hypothermia and snow shovelers who suffer heart attacks.  Yet many more people are at risk indoors if their power has been shut off or they can’t afford to raise the thermostat.  Research shows that for those with chronic disease a cold interior may be a dangerous environment.

Bitter Cold Part 1: Climate change won’t keep Baltimore warm in winter

Climate change will drive increases in global temperatures and summer heat waves. But that doesn’t mean cold snaps in cities like Baltimore will disappear. And, perhaps paradoxically, climate change could mean an increase in extremely cold weather in the Northeast during the winter. That’s because of how climate change will affect the polar vortex, a phenomenon that pushes Arctic air into the United States.

Opponents of new Bay Bridge pushing for alternatives

As Maryland officials prepare to take a critical step toward deciding how people will cross the Chesapeake Bay for decades to come, they face growing criticism that the effort is bypassing options that don’t involve building a new multibillion-dollar bridge.