Environment

NPR Story
12:27 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

As Storm Recovery Continues, Looking To The Future

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 1:45 pm

Communities along the East Coast are reeling from the impact of Hurricane Sandy, dealing with electric outages, flooded streets, damaged sewage plants and fractured transportation lines. Can cities rebuild stronger, more resilient infrastructure to weather the storms of the future?

NPR Story
12:27 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Seeing Sandy From Space

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 1:40 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Next stop, our Sandy coverage continues with the Video Pick of the Week. Hi, Flora. Flora Lichtman's here.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira. Yeah, how could we resist?

FLATOW: And how can we add something no one has ever seen?

LICHTMAN: I think we might be able to this week.

FLATOW: Yeah, yeah.

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NPR Story
4:58 am
Fri November 2, 2012

How Obama And Romney Differ On Climate Change

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 11:43 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Climate change was a big part of the announcement Mayor Bloomberg made yesterday endorsing President Obama for reelection.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Bloomberg owns a media company, is politically independent, and made his endorsement in a memorable way. He said Mitt Romney has taken sensible positions in the past but reversed course on all of them.

MONTAGNE: He also said President Obama's term has been disappointing. But he argued the president was better on a range of issues, especially climate change.

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Around the Nation
4:39 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

In Flooded New Jersey, No Oversight For Levees

An emergency responder helps residents of Little Ferry, N.J., after their neighborhood was flooded due to Superstorm Sandy.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 6:42 pm

Residents of Moonachie and Little Ferry, N.J., are beginning to clear the damage after their communities were inundated by floodwaters. The flooding occurred when a system of levees and berms was unable to control the storm surge pushed ashore by Superstorm Sandy.

Geologist Jeffrey Mount of the University of California, Davis, isn't surprised. "There really are only two kinds of levees," he says, "those that have failed, and those that will fail."

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The Salt
3:05 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Sandy's Damage Under The Sea, Through The Eyes Of Oyster Farmers

What they pull up is discouraging. Normally, 30 seconds under water would bring up a cage full of mostly healthy oysters. This time, Jimmy Bloom pulls up a cage that is barely one-third full. And it's haul is a mix of broken, chipped, meatless oysters.
Jeff Cohen for NPR

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 3:09 pm

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy wrapped up a post Hurricane Sandy news briefing earlier this week by talking about sewage discharges into Long Island Sound. "Suffice to say in the immediate time being, no one should eat the clams or oysters," he said.

That's right. Because of water quality issues, the state put a temporary stop to oyster farming, but that's usually a short-term thing and it happens fairly regularly after a big storm.

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Science
10:36 am
Thu November 1, 2012

Sandy's Two-Fisted Attack: Water From Air And Sea

Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 3:48 pm

On Monday, Sandy brought heavy rain, winds and storm surges to the Northeast, causing widespread flooding and extensive damage to hundreds of communities, particularly in New Jersey and New York.

But the drenching from all that water varied greatly by region.

In areas south of Atlantic City, N.J., where the storm made landfall Monday night, the wind was pushing out toward the ocean. This prevented high storm tides along the Virginia, Maryland and Delaware coasts and in Chesapeake Bay. But the same arm of the storm that held the ocean at bay carried a lot of rain.

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Environment
10:33 am
Thu November 1, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Crisis Map

Environment
5:24 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Is Climate Change Responsible For Sandy?

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 6:53 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The link was inevitably made and you can bet it's the subject of conversations and arguments all over the country. Was Sandy an example of climate change, climate change brought on or intensified by human behavior? New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo seems to think the question is settled. Here's some of what he said today.

GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO: Part of learning from this is the recognition that climate change is a reality. Extreme where there is a reality. It is a reality that we are vulnerable.

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Environment
3:59 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Sandy Raises Questions About Climate And The Future

Taxis sit in a flooded lot in Hoboken, N.J., after Hurricane Sandy caused massive flooding across much of the Atlantic Seaboard.
Michael Bocchieri Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 5:12 pm

If you ask climate scientist Radley Horton, it's difficult to say that Hurricane Sandy was directly caused by climate change, but he sees strong connections between the two. Horton is a research scientist at The Earth Institute at Columbia University. He says that in New York City, the sea level has gone up about a foot over the past century and that researchers expect that rise to continue and even accelerate.

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Environment
1:59 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Photos: Hurricane Sandy

Environment
1:41 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Videos of Hurricane Sandy in Crisfield

Around the Nation
1:58 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

Record-Breaking 'Superstorm' Sandy Hammers Coast

Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 2:28 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. We've followed Sandy for more than a week now as the late-season storm developed in the Caribbean, pounded Cuba, Haiti and other islands, brushed past Florida and headed up the East Coast.

Unusually, it's taken a sharp turn to the west. Even more unusually, it's combined with a more winter-like system to become an enormous event that's already dumping snow in the Appalachians, surging water ashore in Lower Manhattan and slashing winds and rain from Virginia to Massachusetts.

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The Two-Way
12:01 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

The Science Of Why Sandy Is Such A Dangerous Storm

A Dare County utility worker checks on conditions along a flooded Ride Lane in Kitty Hawk, N.C., Monday, Oct. 29, 2012.
Gerry Broome AP

Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 11:33 am

Here are a few reasons government forecasters at the National Hurricane Center and emergency management officials are so concerned about Sandy:

1. Sandy is one of the largest hurricanes ever to strike the U.S. Sandy's winds cover an area of more than 1,000 miles in diameter. That's enormous by hurricane standards. So instead of affecting an area a couple of hundred miles across, Sandy will cut a huge swath. That means many millions of people are probably going to be exposed to high winds, heavy rains, and, for those on the coast, powerful storm surge.

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Krulwich Wonders...
8:59 am
Mon October 29, 2012

Celebrating Autumn All Year Round ... By Becoming A Leaf

Piotr Naskrecki

Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 11:04 am

It is autumn, and where I live the leaves are peaking; there is a riot of them everywhere, narrow ones, broad ones, droopy ones, crunchy ones. Leaves come in so many shapes, hues, textures — the closer you look, the more differences you see. Botanists have names for every leaf type, and clumped together, says writer Robert Dunn, they sound like free verse poetry ...

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The Two-Way
5:24 pm
Sun October 28, 2012

Sweden Wants Your Trash

In May 2011, uncollected rubbish piled up in Naples, Italy. Sweden hopes Italy might be willing to export the problem.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 1:59 pm

Move over Abba, Sweden has found new fame. The small Nordic country is breaking records — in waste. Sweden's program of generating energy from garbage is wildly successful, but recently its success has also generated a surprising issue: There is simply not enough trash.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
1:46 pm
Sun October 28, 2012

Hurricane CSI: Frankenstorm Sandy And Climate Change

Hurricane Sandy's huge cloud extends up to 2,000 miles based on a satellite image from Sunday.
NASA GOES Project

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 3:10 pm

It was not a good year for people, weather and climate. The winter was strangely warm in many places and the summer ridiculously hot. As a large fraction of the country suffered through extreme or even extraordinary drought many folks naturally wondered, "Is this climate change?" Then along came a presidential election in which the words "climate change" disappeared from the dialogue. Now, just a week or so before voting day, the convergence of westbound Hurricane Sandy with a eastbound cold front is creating a massive storm, a Frankenstorm even, that is threatening millions of Americans.

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Environment
6:21 am
Sun October 28, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Roaring Up East Coast

Originally published on Sun October 28, 2012 10:58 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. The nation is bracing for Hurricane Sandy, from the East Coast all the way into the Ohio Valley. The storm killed almost 60 people in the Caribbean, and U.S. officials are warning the storm could affect as many as 60 million people NPR's Allison Keyes reports.

ALLISON KEYES, BYLINE: All along the coast people like Carl Stevens in Virginia Beach were getting ready to hunker down for a while.

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Environment
7:00 am
Sat October 27, 2012

Sandy Downgraded To Tropical Storm

Originally published on Sat October 27, 2012 11:18 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And this morning, we're following the progression of a major storm, hurricane Sandy, which is turning toward parts of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast. The National Hurricane Center briefly downgraded Sandy to a tropical storm, but this morning restored it to a category one hurricane. Parts of the east coast are bracing for destructive winds and heavy flooding once Sandy makes landfall in the coming days.

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Sat October 27, 2012

Storm's Uncertain Track Defies Weather Rules

In this satellite image provided Friday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Hurricane Sandy's huge cloud extent of up to 2,000 miles churns over the Bahamas, as a line of clouds associated with a powerful cold front approaches the East Coast of the U.S.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 27, 2012 7:53 pm

It's still unclear whether Sandy will be a devastating storm or just a bad one.

It is clear, however, that Sandy will be remembered as the storm that broke all the rules and baffled the nation's top weather forecasters.

Early Saturday morning, the National Weather Service downgraded the storm from a hurricane to a tropical storm — only to return it to hurricane status a few hours later. Either way, forecasters warn, "widespread impacts" are expected along the coast.

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World
5:33 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

What's A Lake Doing In The Middle Of The Desert?

A midas fly touches down on the sands of the desert in the United Arab Emirates. A lake in the area has brought new forms of wildlife, but some scientists are concerned it could harm the habitat of the midas fly.
Brigitte Howarth

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 5:37 pm

One place you don't expect to see waves lapping against the shore is in the middle of a desert. But that's exactly what's happening deep inside the United Arab Emirates, where a recently formed lake is nestled into the sand dunes, and a new ecosystem is emerging.

Drive through the desert in the United Arab Emirates, and all you see mile after mile are red, rolling dunes. Maybe some occasional trees or shrubs, but otherwise a dry, red sandscape.

And then, suddenly, a bright blue spot comes into view. It must be a mirage, you think. But it's not.

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Around the Nation
4:37 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Computers, Pinch Of Art Aid Hurricane Forecasters

These are some of the "spaghetti map" models used to generate a forecast for Hurricane Sandy's track. The models have grown increasingly sophisticated over the years.
PCWeather Products Inc.

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 7:07 pm

If you've ever found yourself anxiously wondering where a hurricane might make landfall, then you're probably familiar with "spaghetti charts" — the intertwined web of possible storm tracks put out by many forecasters.

Those lines represent hundreds of millions of observations from satellites, aircraft, balloons and buoys, all crunched from complex forecasting equations on some of the world's most powerful computers.

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Environment
5:53 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

In A Shift From 2008 Race, Obama's Hush On Climate

A boat skims through the melting ice in the Ilulissat fiord, on the western coast of Greenland, in 2008. The glacier is the most active in the Northern Hemisphere, producing 10 percent of Greenland's icebergs, or some 20 million tons of ice per day. But experts say the glacier is in bad shape because of climate change.
Steen Ulrik Johannessen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 5:57 pm

This story is part of a two-part series about the presidential candidates' climate policies. Click Here For The Story About Mitt Romney

Both presidential candidates have all but ignored climate change during this election season. Mitt Romney would not make it a priority if he were president.

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Environment
4:50 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

On Climate Policy, Romney Walks A Tightrope

A general view of the Aletsch Glacier on April 21, 2007, near Brig, Switzerland, the largest glacier in the Alps. Unseasonably warm weather with temperatures up to 77 degrees Fahrenheit across Switzerland let snow melt, even at Alpine altitudes.
Johannes Simon Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 6:51 pm

This story is part of a two-part series about the presidential candidates' climate policies. Click Here For The Story About President Obama

Neither presidential candidate mentioned climate change during their three debates — in fact, the issue is nearly absent from the entire campaign. That's because the issue poses challenges for each candidate.

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Science
7:05 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Algae As Car Fuel: Possible, But Not Sustainable?

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's take a look at alternative energy now. There's growing interest and investment in the process of extracting oil from algae and turning it into fuel for vehicles and airplanes. It requires a lot of water, nutrients and land. And a new report from the National Research Council says that will make it challenging to turn algae into a sustainable source of energy.

NPR's Richard Harris reports.

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The Salt
6:32 am
Sun October 21, 2012

Despite Protest, College Plans To Slaughter, Serve Farm's Beloved Oxen

After a leg injury didn't heal well earlier this year, Lou has difficulty walking. He and his partner, Bill, will be slaughtered at the end of the month, and their meat will be used to feed students at Green Mountain College in Vermont.
Nina Keck Vermont Public Radio

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 8:03 am

If the thought of eating horse meat makes you queasy, what about strong, sturdy oxen? A small Vermont college that emphasizes sustainable living will soon slaughter two beloved campus residents: Bill and Lou, a pair of oxen. Green Mountain College plans to serve the meat from the oxen in its dining hall, but the plan has drawn international outcry and a massive Facebook petition to save the oxen.

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Health
1:03 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

When Infections "Spillover"

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 4:55 pm

In his new book Spillover writer David Quammen traces the evolution of Ebola, HIV and other diseases that moved from animals to humans. Quammen describes how scientists look for the reservoirs of the infectious agents, and what might be done to prevent the next pandemic.

NPR Story
12:12 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Winter Weather Predictions

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 4:55 pm

Science Or Folklore? — The Old Farmer's Almanac predicts winter weather months in advance. Is that even scientifically possible? Meteorologist Jason Samenow, of The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang, talks about the science and art of seasonal forecasting, and why even the pros at NOAA sometimes get it wrong.

Environment
2:02 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Athena To Zeus: Weather Channel Names Winter Storms

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 2:32 pm

Transcript

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The Salt
11:53 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Top Five Myths Of Genetically Modified Seeds, Busted

Central Illinois corn and soybean farmer Gary Niemeyer readies his genetically modified seed corn for spring planting at his farm near Auburn, Ill.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 5:49 pm

Having just stepped into the shouting match over patents on genetically engineered crops, there are a few small things that I, too, would like to get off my chest.

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Environment
5:04 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Scientists Solve Mystery Of Disappearing Salt Marshes

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 12:11 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Let's pay a visit now to one of the crucial parts of our country's ecosystem. Along U.S. coastlines, there are salt marshes that serve as nurseries for fish, crabs and other shellfish. They also protect coastal areas against flooding. Scientists warn that some salt marshes are disintegrating, and researchers have a pretty surprising theory about why that is. Here's NPR's Christopher Joyce.

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