Environment

S Bence

Two days of crucial discussions that could affect Waukesha and its drinking water ended Friday afternoon in Chicago. Representatives of the Great Lakes states and Canadian provinces scaled-back part of the city's plan to divert water from Lake Michigan. The changes are recommendations but could influence the final outcome in June. 

The experimental plane called Solar Impulse 2 has taken off in Hawaii after a nine-month delay for repairs.

The team on the ground and at mission control let out exuberant cheers as the cutting-edge aircraft rose up into the early morning skies.

They're aiming to circumnavigate the globe using only the power of the sun.

A buyback of emissions-cheating cars was one solution Volkswagen offered in federal court Thursday, outlining an agreement between the carmaker and the Justice Department over hundreds of thousands of diesel vehicles that were sold in the U.S. despite not meeting pollution standards.

Car owners would be able to choose between having their vehicle fixed or accepting a buyback; financial details weren't revealed about the plan, which both the government and VW are calling an "agreement in principle."

On Friday, most of the world's governments are set to sign the most sweeping climate agreement in history. Their signatures will codify promises they made in Paris last December to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

The two largest sources of those gases are the U.S. and China. Whether they keep their promises will in large part determine whether the Paris deal succeeds. And it is by no means clear that they'll be able to keep their promises.

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Clay Bolt

The rusty-patched bumble bee used to be abundant, including in Wisconsin. Nature photographer Clay Bolt became interested in the species' dwindling numbers, and set out to create a documentary about his quest to find the bee.

The South Carolinian ended up at UW-Madison's Arboretum.

San Francisco will soon begin requiring new buildings to have solar panels installed on the roof.

It's the first major U.S. city to have such a requirement, according to Scott Weiner, the city supervisor who introduced the bill.

For millions of Americans, climate change is making the weather nicer. That's the conclusion of a new study that points out winters are getting quite a bit milder, while summers aren't getting that much worse.

The study's authors say the mild temperatures might be one reason some people aren't so worried about climate change.

For most of the U.S., the hottest temperatures in July haven't gone up much — scientific consensus is about half a degree over the past 40 years. Same for sticky humidity — not much change, if any.

After Fires In West, Mushroom Hunters 'Chase The Burn'

Apr 20, 2016

Right now, and in the coming weeks, from Northern California to Alaska, commercial and amateur mushroom hunters will be scouring hills that were ravaged by fires last summer and fall. Their prey? Morel mushrooms.

"Sometimes we call it 'chasing the burns,' " mushroom enthusiast Kevin Sadlier says, in search of the black morel mushrooms that grow in the springtime after a forest fire.

Three people — two officials with the state Department of Environmental Quality and a water official from Flint — are facing criminal charges as a result of an investigation into the lead-contaminated water case in Flint.

The three men face felony charges including misconduct, neglect of duty and conspiracy to tamper with evidence. They've also been charged with violating Michigan's Safe Drinking Water Act.

Appearing to drown all hope that the U.K.'s new $300 million research vessel will be named "Boaty McBoatface," Science Minister Jo Johnson says the ship needs a more "suitable" name.

Hidden Brain host Shankar Vedantam takes you on vacation with him to Alaska. You'll hike on top of a glacier, drink from a cool stream, and talk with fellow tourists from around the world. But the trip comes with an upsetting observation: Glaciers in Alaska are retreating. The Mendenhall glacier, visited by tens of thousands of tourists each year, has receded more than a mile and a half in the last half century.

"It's sort of just collapsed in on itself," says John Neary, director of the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center.

S Bence

Dozens of brew masters, water policy experts and engineers are gathering in Milwaukee this week to talk about the role water plays in beer making.

The 7th annual Great Lakes Water Conservation Conference kicks off Tuesday at Discovery World. Completely organized by volunteers, the two-day event moves from city to city around the Great Lakes Basin each year to keep the discussion going.

WUWM's Susan Bence caught up with a few of the volunteers to hear their perspectives on the role of the conference:

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