KCBX has announced that after 39 years, the NPR member station is ending its broadcasting on 89.5 FM KSBX, serving the Santa Barbara area, by the end of 2022.

In a news release, General Manager Frank Lanzone said that KCBX considers Santa Barbara an integral part of the station’s listenership and the station has no plans “to reduce or limit news coverage or reporting on local Santa Barbara events and happenings.”

The reason for the discontinuation? Climate change. A phenomenon known as “ducting,” created by warmer waters, changes how radio signals travel over bodies of water, allowing FM frequencies to travel farther across the ocean. As a result, broadcasts on a frequency many miles away are able to reach new coastlines and interfere with the same frequency that would previously be shielded from that interference based on distance alone. The KSBX frequency at 89.5 FM is a victim of this phenomenon, being increasingly overrun by a station using the same frequency 200 miles away, creating an unintentional problem that the other station cannot fix.

Listeners in the Santa Barbara area can tune in to KCBX online, via smart speakers, and through NPR apps.

KCBX FM broadcasts on 90.1 in San Luis Obispo, 91.1 in Cayucos, 95.1 in Lompoc, 91.7 from Paso Robles to Salinas, and 90.9 in Santa Ynez, Goleta, Avila Beach and Cambria.