Environment

Coral Bleaching in Kiribati

May 7, 2016

Abnormally warm waters in the equatorial Pacific are devastating the coral reefs in the Pacific, including Kiribati, triggering a mass coral bleaching event and die-off on these remote islands. UMass Boston coral scientist, Jessica Carilli, and her PhD student, Sean McNally, just back from a recent research expedition in Kiribati, discuss the coral bleaching with host Steve Curwood and suggest how we can prepare coral reefs for the changing climate. (published May 6, 2016)


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect Strava's latest figures for the number of GPS-tracked activities uploaded to its database.

Cyclists often find themselves pedaling between huge trucks and speeding cars or stranded when protected bike lanes abruptly end at busy intersections.

Chris Cassidy moved to San Francisco in 2005. He used to cycle through Market Street, a busy downtown thoroughfare.

Deep in the ocean, a mission is underway to explore the "unknown and poorly known areas" around the Mariana Trench.

Part 6 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Case For Optimism

About Al Gore's TED Talk

Vice President Al Gore explains how human ingenuity can solve our climate crisis.

About Al Gore

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Case For Optimism

About Al Gore's TED Talk

Vice President Al Gore says that — despite the dismal news on climate change — he's optimistic.

About Al Gore

Patrick Lieb

As the nation struggles with its military commitments overseas a small group were honored in Ocean City.

Delmarva Public Radio’s Patrick Lieb prepared this report.

Scientists have had a literal breakthrough off the coast of Mexico.

After weeks of drilling from an offshore platform in the Gulf of Mexico, they have reached rocks left over from the day the Earth was hit by a killer asteroid.

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

Let's say you're an environmentally motivated eater. You want your diet to do as little damage as possible to our planet's forests and grasslands and wildlife.

But how do you decide which food is greener?

Take one example: sugar. About half of America's sugar comes from sugar cane, and half from sugar beets. They grow in completely different climates. Sugar cane is a tropical crop, and sugar beets grow where it's colder and dryer.

Each one has an impact on the environment — sometimes a dramatic impact — but in very different ways.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

"I will not rest, and I'm going to make sure that the leaders at every level of government don't rest until every drop of water that flows to your homes is safe to drink, and safe to cook with, and safe to bathe in," President Obama told an energetic audience in Flint, Mich. "Because that's part of the basic responsibilities of a government in the United States of America."

The population of northern Colorado is booming, and we're not just talking about people here.

The number of dairy cows is now higher than ever.

At the northern edge of the state, Weld and Larimer counties are already home to high numbers of beef and dairy cattle, buttressed by the region's numerous feedlots, which send the animals to several nearby slaughterhouses. But an expansion of a cheese factory owned by dairy giant Leprino Foods will require even more cows.

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

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

Copyright 2016 Michigan Radio. To see more, visit Michigan Radio.

Authorities have issued a mandatory evacuation order for the 80,000 residents of Fort McMurray in Alberta, where a wildfire has taken hold in the oil sands region. According to officials, it's the largest evacuation order caused by fire in the province's history.

Hillary Clinton, who is campaigning in Appalachia this week, was confronted Monday by an out-of-work coal miner. At a roundtable discussion in West Virginia, Bo Copley asked Clinton, "How you can say you're going to put a lot of coal miners out of jobs and then come in here and tell us how you're going to be our friend. Because those people out there don't see you as a friend."

On Monday authorities in Honduras arrested four people in connection with the murder of influential environmental activist Berta Cáceres two months ago.

As part of an operation called "Jaguar," law enforcement arrested the four men, identified as Douglas Bustillo, Mariano Chavez, Sergio Ramon Orellana and Edilson Duarte Meza, based on "scientific evidence that support the allegations presented," according to a statement from Honduras' Public Ministry.

To burn or not to burn? That is the question facing African countries in their fight against the multimillion-dollar illegal ivory trade.

Kenya, which introduced the world to burning ivory in 1989, still thinks it's a good idea. On Saturday morning, it hosted the most spectacular burn event yet: The tusks of nearly 7,000 elephants — 105 metric tons' worth — were set alight in 11 separate pyres in Nairobi's National Park.

A small mammal has sabotaged the world's most powerful scientific instrument.

The Large Hadron Collider, a 17-mile superconducting machine designed to smash protons together at close to the speed of light, went offline overnight. Engineers investigating the mishap found the charred remains of a furry creature near a gnawed-through power cable.

The newest apiary inspector at the Maryland Department of Agriculture has four legs, golden fur and a powerful sniffer.

Mack, a 2-year-old yellow Lab, joined the team last fall to help his mom, chief apiary inspector Cybil Preston, inspect beehives for American foulbrood — AFB — a highly contagious bacterial disease that infects honeybee brood and, eventually, kills the colony.

Venezuela is shortening the workweek for public sector workers to just Monday and Tuesday, in an effort to save power as a drought pushes the water level to new lows at the country's main hydroelectric dam.

President Nicolas Maduro announced the change in his weekly television address, adding that the shortened workweek would last "at least two weeks," Reuters reported.

Maduro "said the water level behind the nation's largest dam has fallen to near its minimum operating level thanks to a severe drought," The Associated Press reported.

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

Next-Gen Climate Activism

Apr 25, 2016

Student activists calling for a shift away from fossil fuels say that institutions that refuse to act forfeit their status as moral leaders. Harvard Law student Ted Hamilton discusses with host Steve Curwood the lawsuit that’s attempting to compel Harvard to divest its portfolio of fossil fuels, and the connections between divestment and the broader climate movement. (published April 22, 2016)

The 2016 Goldman Environmental Prizes

Apr 25, 2016

The Goldman Foundation annually honors six activists from around the world who have fought for the protection of the environment. The murder of one of last year’s winners, Berta Cáceres from Honduras, has put this year’s awards in an even brighter spotlight. Host Steve Curwood profiles this year’s winner from Latin America, Máxima Acuña of Peru, who fought a proposed gold mine on her farm, at the expense of being sent to jail and having her house knocked down and her potato crop destroyed. (published April 22, 2016)

UN Climate Chief Calls for Urgent Action

Apr 25, 2016

Earth Day 2016 brought a significant milestone for the Paris Agreement, as some 175 nations signed on at the UN Headquarters in New York City. Yet the ambitious goals of this climate agreement are not guaranteed without aggressive moves to curb carbon pollution. Host Steve Curwood sits down with Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, to discuss what’s required to give civilization a fighting chance. (published April 22, 2016)

Beyond the Headlines

Apr 25, 2016

Peter Dykstra and host Steve Curwood look at a remote indigenous tribe in Guyana that used the internet for plans to build a drone to monitor illegal deforestation, discuss Republican lawmakers and right-wing media who once accepted climate change, but have since flip-flopped, and look back at things that have gotten better, worse or stayed the same since the first Earth Day in 1970. (published April 22, 2016)

If I told you there was a way to keep using your phone forever, would you want to?

In true unscientific form, I surveyed some phone users in downtown Washington, D.C.

A 50-year, $50 billion plan is underway to rebuild as much as 33,000 acres of wetlands in the Mississippi River Delta. But questions about funding the project remain unresolved and even if the plan is fully implemented, the delta will be far smaller than it used to be.

Nevertheless, a lot has already been achieved, says Paul Kemp, a geologist, marine scientist and wetlands expert at Louisiana State University.

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