Construction on the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline is allowed to proceed, except in one area in North Dakota of particular sensitivity to a Native American tribe.

That's the result of two separate developments Friday — a federal court decision, and a statement by three federal agencies.

California is already on track to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

Now under legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, the state will ratchet up its fight against climate change by launching an ambitious campaign to scale back emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.

"This is big, and I hope it sends a message across the country," Brown said.

Alarmed Russians are sharing photos on social media of a Siberian river that has suddenly and mysteriously turned blood red.

Russian authorities are trying to determine the cause of the ominous change to the Daldykan River, located above the Arctic Circle and flowing through the mining town of Norilsk. Photos posted on Facebook by the Association of the Indigenous Peoples of the Taimir Peninsula clearly show the river has turned a vivid red.

Thirteen months after an Environmental Protection Agency mistake sent millions of gallons of bright orange wastewater into a Colorado river, the agency has declared the Gold King Mine and 47 other locations in the region Superfund sites, Colorado Public Radio reports.

A federal judge has granted part of a Native American tribe's emergency request to halt construction of a section of oil pipeline in North Dakota.

Copyright 2016 Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations. To see more, visit Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it does not oppose the temporary halt of construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline, a $3.8 billion oil pipeline slated to run through four states, including North Dakota.

As we've reported, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe opposes the pipeline because it fears it could disturb sacred sites and affect the drinking water.

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Lizards are expected to be hard hit by climate change — and a new study suggests it might be even worse for some lizards than scientists thought.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

After one of the strongest earthquakes ever to hit Oklahoma struck Saturday, state regulators ordered oil and gas companies to shut down all their wastewater disposal wells in a 725-square-mile area around the site of the quake's epicenter near Pawnee.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


An earthquake struck northern Oklahoma early Saturday morning, rattling houses and waking residents in the region around Pawnee, about 74 miles north of Oklahoma City. Preliminary measurements show the quake had a magnitude of 5.6 — believed to be one of the strongest in state history.

The quake was felt in five states, according to the U.S. Geological Survey: Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and Texas. It struck just after 7 a.m. local time, at a depth of 6 kilometers (3.7 miles).

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

It wasn't meant for the bees.

The pesticide raining down from the sky in Dorchester County, S.C., was meant to kill mosquitoes — for the sake of safety, the county says. Mosquitoes, after all, can carry West Nile and Zika, and four cases of Zika were recently confirmed in the county.

But on Sunday morning, from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., as the county conducted aerial spraying, the bees fell by the millions.

From the air, it looks like a 2,300-square-mile field of submerged doughnuts on the ocean floor.

The limestone circles amount to a second, deeper reef behind the Great Barrier Reef, researchers say. The scientists who discovered it off the coast of northern Australia say they're surprised by its vast size — and by the strange shapes.

The U.S. has set a new record for how much gasoline the country consumes in a month. Drivers burned more than 405 million gallons of gas a day in June, the latest month counted. The Energy Information Administration says that's the highest amount ever, on records dating back to 1946.

In the ferocious, sprawling brawl over genetically modified crops, one particular question seems like it should have a simple factual answer: Did those crops lead to more use of pesticides, or less?

Sadly, there's no simple answer.

In Idaho, a wildfire has burned nearly 250 square miles of forest and is growing quickly. About 157,000 acres are currently on fire in Boise National Forest in the western part of the state, northeast of Boise.

The blaze, known as the Pioneer Fire, has been burning for several weeks, but hot, dry weather this week caused the wildfire to get much larger.

Scott Graf of Boise State Public Radio reports for NPR's Newscast Unit:

Just over a month ago, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague issued two important rulings. One soundly rejected Beijing's extensive claim of sovereignty in the South China Sea. The other focused on whether China had caused environmental damage as it constructed artificial islands in the region to help prop up its claim.

Against the backdrop of the picturesque Lake Tahoe, President Obama said environmental conservation is a key part of fighting the impact of global warming.

Obama spoke on the first of a two-day environmental tour at an annual summit designed to keep the health of Lake Tahoe a priority for the federal government and the states it borders, Nevada and California.

A $7 million, comprehensive census of African elephants has found that the population decreased by nearly a third between 2007 and 2014.

The Great Elephant Census was conducted over three years, and set out to effectively count every savanna elephant in 18 countries in Africa, accounting for 93 percent of the savanna elephants in those countries. The conclusion — that the population declined by 144,000 animals in just seven years — is sobering.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

It's been four years since scientists first started accusing a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids, or neonics for short, of killing bees. These pesticides are used as seed coatings on most corn and soybean seeds.

Residents of Hawaii are keeping a close eye on two hurricanes in the Pacific, Madeline and Lester.

And astronauts have been watching the storms, too — from a different angle.

On Tuesday, the International Space Station caught a spectacular view of both storms, as well as a powerful hurricane in the Atlantic.

The strongest storm in the video is Gaston, currently passing through the open ocean far from land. It's a Category 3 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 120 miles per hour.

The extended drought in California has farmers looking for ways to use less water. Among them: growing feed indoors using hydroponics. The new diet is making some Central Valley sheep very happy.

On Golden Valley Farm an hour north of Fresno, Mario Daccarett's employees milk 500 sheep every day, in rounds of 12. This creamy milk eventually is turned into cheese and sold at places like Whole Foods.

"They tell me that our Golden Ewe cheese is the best for grilled cheese sandwich ever," Daccarett says. (I bought some and it was really tasty.)

At a campground in northwestern Montana, 30 people are groggily gearing up for a day of mushroom picking.

Most are here because they want an excuse to get outside and taste some of Montana's more exotic wild mushrooms. But others, like Matt Zaitz from Kansas, are here to turn a profit.

"It's not easy work," Zaitz says. "It's tough."

When people hear the word drought, they likely think of California. But there's also an extreme drought in parts of New England. The Northeast is experiencing the worst drought in more than a decade.

Serious algae outbreaks have hit more than 20 states this summer. Organisms are shutting down beaches in Florida, sickening swimmers in Utah and threatening ecosystems in California.

The blooms are a normal part of summer, but the frequency, size and toxicity this year are worse than ever.

And water managers are rattled.

"Everyone's on edge with the cyanobacteria," says Bev Anderson, a scientist with the California Water Resources Control Board.

Emails reporting outbreaks of cyanobacteria — or blue-green algae — fill Anderson's inbox every morning.