Environment

A new study suggests some Los Angeles-area earthquakes in the 1920s and 1930s could have been caused by the oil boom at the time.

The paper, scheduled to be published online Tuesday in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, presents evidence that drilling around Los Angeles between 1915 and 1932 could have been associated with damaging earthquakes in the area, including the magnitude 6.4 Long Beach quake in 1933 that killed 120 people.

Some 300 million children around the world are breathing highly toxic air, according to a new report from UNICEF.

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

After years of negotiations, nations have reached an agreement to establish the world's largest marine sanctuary in Antarctica's Ross Sea.

Twenty-four countries and the European Union reached the unanimous deal at an international meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources in Hobart, Australia on Friday.

A police operation is underway in North Dakota to remove protesters from land owned by pipeline company Energy Transfer Partners.

The Associated Press reports several people have been arrested.

It's been a brutal forest fire season in California. But there's actually a greater threat to California's trees — the state's record-setting drought. The lack of water has killed at least 60 million trees in the past four years.

Scientists are struggling to understand which trees are most vulnerable to drought and how to keep the survivors alive. To that end, they're sending human climbers and flying drones into the treetops, in a novel biological experiment.

A new report by the World Wildlife Fund warns that global wildlife populations are in steep decline worldwide.

Protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline have been raging for months, but tensions have been escalating. Recently, tribal leaders — led by Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Dave Archambault II — called on the Department of Justice to look into what they describe as unnecessary use of force by state and local law enforcement.

If you want to feel virtuous the next time you chug a brewski, consider the Long Root Ale. This new beer, mildly fragrant and with a rye-like spiciness, is the first to use Kernza, a kind of wheat that could make agriculture more sustainable, especially in the face of climate change.

West Virginia residents have settled part of a civil lawsuit over a chemical spill that contaminated drinking water for thousands of people in 2014, according to The Associated Press.

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

The jury hearing the federal trial of seven people who occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon entered a fourth day of deliberations Wednesday — a day after jurors' ability to reach a verdict came into question.

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

Antarctica's ice has been melting, most likely because of a warming climate. Now, newly published research shows the rate of melting appears to be accelerating.

Antarctica is bigger than the U.S. and Mexico combined, and it's covered in deep ice — more than a mile deep in some places. Most of the ice sits on bedrock, but it slowly flows off the continent's edges. Along the western edge, giant glaciers creep down toward the sea. Where they meet the ocean, they form ice shelves.

A drive 30 minutes north of Omaha, Neb., leads to the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant. It's full of new equipment. There's a white concrete box building that's still under construction. It's licensed until 2033. But the plant is closing Monday.

Nuclear power is expensive, especially when compared to some of the alternatives, so the U.S. nuclear power industry is shrinking. As more plants go offline, industry leaders are forced to reckon with what critics call a "broken system" for taking plants out of service and storing radioactive waste.

Copyright 2016 American Homefront Project. To see more, visit American Homefront Project.

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

Can A Place Still Be Home Even After Becoming Toxic?

Oct 21, 2016

Part 6 of the TED Radio Hour episode Toxic

About Holly Morris's TED Talk

Even thirty years after the devastating nuclear accident in Chernobyl, there are still people who call the place home. Filmmaker Holly Morris tells the stories of the mostly elderly women who decided to stay despite the toxicity.

About Holly Morris

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Toxic

About Holly Morris's TED Talk

Filmmaker Holly Morris talks about her time with the "Babuschkas of Chernobyl" — the elderly women who decided to stay in Chernobyl, Ukraine, after the worst nuclear accident in history.

About Holly Morris

How Does Our Brain Get Rid Of Toxins?

Oct 21, 2016

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Toxic

About Jeff Iliff's TED Talk

Neuroscientist Jeff Iliff talks about his research, which explores how the brain naturally flushes out toxins during sleep.

About Jeff Iliff

How Can Your Home Make You Sick?

Oct 21, 2016

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode Toxic

About Rishi Manchanda's TED Talk

When Dr. Rishi Manchanda worked in a clinic in South Central Los Angeles, he saw that patients were getting sick because of toxic living conditions — so he tried a unique treatment approach.

About Rishi Manchanda

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Toxic

About Emily Penn's TED Talk

Ocean advocate Emily Penn has seen first hand how much plastic ends up in the oceans. She explains how the toxins from plastic makes their way into our food chain and how we might be able to stop it.

About Emily Penn

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Toxic

About Tyrone Hayes's TED Talk

Biologist Tyrone Hayes talks about the concerning effects of the herbicide atrazine, which is part of a group of chemicals that are found in everyday food and household products.

About Tyrone Hayes

Closing arguments are underway in the trial of seven people accused of illegally occupying Oregon's Malheur National Wildlife Refuge last year.

Saudi Arabia has raised more than $17 billion in its first foray into the global bond markets, according to news reports, as the kingdom struggles to close a budget deficit caused by declining oil prices.

The sale is the largest-ever bond offering by an emerging-market country, topping Argentina's $16.5 billion offering in August.

"Saudi's multi-part debt offering drew heavy investor demand as the world's top oil exporter sought to borrow at historic low yields," Reuters reported.

Nobody loves pesticides, exactly. But one kind of pesticide, called neonicotinoids, is provoking a particularly bitter debate right now between environmentalists and farmers. The chemicals are highly toxic to bees. Some scientists think they are partly to blame for the decline in pollinators.

For the past year, the province of Ontario, in Canada, has responded to the controversy with a novel experiment. Ontario's government is asking farmers to prove that they actually need neonicotinoids, often called neonics. It turns out that "need" is a word that's hard to define.

The Obama administration is announcing a series of recommendations for ensuring the safety of the nation's more than 400 underground natural gas storage wells.

Amy Goodman — the host of the left-leaning Democracy Now news program will not face criminal charges for her coverage of an oil pipeline protest in North Dakota last month. At least not for now — prosecutors say they may still bring charges later.

On Sept. 3, Goodman and her crew captured images of security teams with dogs trying to keep protesters from entering a pipeline construction site. She wanted to know if security members were "telling the dogs to bite the protesters?"

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

A pair of storms brought strong winds and heavy rain to parts of Washington state and Oregon this weekend.

The National Weather Service reported the remnants of a typhoon caused wind gusts around 50 mph on Saturday evening in Washington state, and heavy rain flooded some roads. More than 25,000 people lost power.

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