Environment

Science
2:36 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Arctic Is Warming Twice As Fast As World Average

A lone polar bear poses on a block of arctic sea ice in Russia's Franz Josef Land.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 11:36 am

The latest word from scientists studying the Arctic is that the polar region is warming twice as fast as the average rise on the rest of the planet. And researchers say the trend isn't letting up. That's the latest from the 2014 Arctic Report Card — a compilation of recent research from more than 60 scientists in 13 countries. The report was released Wednesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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Around the Nation
2:45 am
Wed December 17, 2014

For Crop-Duster Pilots, Wind Towers Present Danger

A pilot for Earl's Flying Service sprays chemicals on a field in southeastern Missouri.
Courtesy of Mike Lee

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 10:29 am

Crop-dusting pilots are the adrenaline junkies of the agriculture world. They whiz through the air, flying under power lines to sow seeds or spread pesticides on farmers' fields.

It's a dangerous job, and now these pilots are facing a new challenge — short towers that can sprout up in fields overnight. These towers are used to gather data for wind energy companies.

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Around the Nation
5:16 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

On Nebraska's Farmland, Keystone XL Pipeline Debate Is Personal

Susan and Bill Dunavan own 80 acres of land in York County.
Melissa Block NPR

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 1:46 pm

Drive down gravel Road 22 in Nebraska's York County, past weathered farmhouses and corn cut to stubble in rich, black loam soil, and you'll find a small barn by the side of the road.

Built of native ponderosa pine, the barn is topped with solar panels. A windmill spins furiously out front.

Known as the Energy Barn, it's a symbol of renewable energy, standing smack on the proposed route of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline — a project of the energy giant TransCanada.

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Environment
4:02 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

In California, Fire Plus Drought Plus Rain Add Up To Mud

The King Fire burned 100,000 acres in the Eldorado National Forest in Northern California — 50,000 of those acres in one day. Now the danger is mudslides.
Andrew Nixon Capital Public Radio

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 1:46 pm

An hour east of Sacramento, Calif., trucks carrying burned timber from the Eldorado National Forest roar down the canyon as chain saws buzz in the distance.

But U.S. Forest Service ecologist Becky Estes says besides humans, not much else in this forest seems alive.

"We're standing in an area that ... is going to be probably 100 percent mortality of the trees," Estes says.

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Environment
1:20 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

EPA Aims to Lower Coal Plant Carbon Emissions

Coal conveyed along Milwaukee's inner harbor. The proposed EPA rule would drive down emissions from coal-fired power plants.
Credit S Bence

Greenhouse gas emitted from coal-burning plants come under fire in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposed Clean Power Plan

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Around the Nation
4:01 am
Mon December 15, 2014

EPA Deems Montana City An Environmentally Safe Place To Live

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 6:16 am

Copyright 2014 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.mtpr.org.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Environment
4:01 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Nations Agree To Deal To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 6:16 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Salt
2:25 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Congress To Nutritionists: Don't Talk About The Environment

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 1:34 pm

A government-appointed group of top nutrition experts, assigned to lay the scientific groundwork for a new version of the nation's dietary guidelines, decided earlier this year to collect data on the environmental implication of different food choices.

Congress now has slapped them down.

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Animals
4:39 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

More Than Just Cute, Sea Otters Are Superheroes Of The Marsh

This sea otter, about to eat a crab in the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, is cute, sure. But more importantly, it's indirectly combating some harmful effects of agricultural runoff and protecting the underwater ecosystem.
Rob Eby AP

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 10:28 am

On the roof of the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, Calif., in a large plastic tank, a sea otter mother named Abby floats with her adopted pup, known as 671.

For up to nine months, Abby will raise her little adoptee, and when 671 is ready, she will be released into a protected inland salt marsh called Elkhorn Slough, just off Monterey Bay.

That's where 671 will set to work to preserve the estuary, says Tim Tinker, who tracks otters for the U.S. Geological Survey.

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The Two-Way
7:16 am
Sun December 14, 2014

Nations Salvage Deal To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Manuel Pulgar-Vidal (center), Peru's environment minister, applauds on Saturday after delegates to the Lima climate conference agreed on a deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Kyodo /Landov

Originally published on Sun December 14, 2014 2:07 pm

Updated at 11:00 a.m. ET

Representatives from around the world have reached the first-ever deal committing all nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions, but rejected a rigorous overview to monitor compliance.

The United Nations agreement was salvaged from talks that went into overtime and wrapped up 30 hours behind schedule, as negotiators from 196 countries struggled with determining who needed to cut and by how much.

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