NPR News - Environment

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Breaking news on the environment, climate change, pollution, and endangered species. Also featuring Climate Connections, a special series on climate change co-produced by NPR and National Geographic.
Updated: 20 hours 3 min ago

In Parts Of California Blanketed With Wildfire Smoke, Breathing Is 'A Chore'

Fri, 2018/08/10 - 5:42pm

As fires continue to rage in California, smoke is causing health problems for some residents. Public health officials warn against breathing polluted air.

(Image credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Are You Listening? Hear What Uninterrupted Silence Sounds Like

Fri, 2018/08/10 - 2:41pm

Inside the Hoh Rain Forest in Washington state, acoustics experts have attempted to preserve a location free of human-made noise. They call it One Square Inch of Silence.

(Image credit: Samir S. Patel/Atlas Obscura)

Categories: Environment

From A Million Eggs, Putting Together Clues About Science's Past And Future

Fri, 2018/08/10 - 7:27am

Egg collecting was once a popular pastime. Now, the pristine specimens in one collection are a key resource for research on a range of topics, from the climate change to changes in bird populations.

(Image credit: Samir S. Patel/Atlas Obscura)

Categories: Environment

California Wildfires Set Off Political Fight Over Who Should Pay For Damage

Thu, 2018/08/09 - 2:32pm

One controversial topic is whether utilities should have to pay for damage their equipment causes — even if the companies followed state safety regulations and laws.

(Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Cal Fire Chief Discusses How Firefighters Are Battling California Blazes

Thu, 2018/08/09 - 2:32pm

The Mendocino Complex Fire in California is now the state's largest wildfire ever recorded. NPR's Ailsa Chang talks to Ken Pimlott, director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Categories: Environment

Trump Claims California Is Wasting Water That Could Be Used To Fight Wildfires

Thu, 2018/08/09 - 2:07pm

The president blamed the intensity of the fires on state environmental policies, incorrectly claiming water that could be used to fight the fires is being pumped into the Pacific Ocean.

(Image credit: Noah Berger/AP)

Categories: Environment

Colorado Voters May Get A Chance To Weigh In On Oil And Gas Issues

Thu, 2018/08/09 - 2:04am

Signatures for ballot initiatives — one by advocates for residents opposed to fracking; the other by advocates for landowners seeking to protect mineral rights — have been submitted to officials.

Categories: Environment

Is There A Better Way To Fight Massive Wildfires?

Wed, 2018/08/08 - 2:59pm

Massive wildfires in Western states are rapidly depleting funds set aside to fight fires. At the same time, many experts argue our priorities are wrong — we should be spending more on prescribed burns, and less on fighting fires in unpopulated areas.

Categories: Environment

Explore One Of The World's Largest Collections Of Bird Eggs And Nests

Wed, 2018/08/08 - 2:57pm

The Western Foundation for Vertebrate Zoology in Camarillo, Calif., houses one of the largest collections of birds eggs and nests in the world. We meet the scientists who run the foundation.

Categories: Environment

California Company Reaches $119.5 Million Settlement Over Massive Gas Leak

Wed, 2018/08/08 - 1:13pm

For months, starting in late 2015, a gas leak in Los Angeles spewed methane into the air. The Southern California Gas Company has agreed to reimburse local governments and mitigate the damage.

(Image credit: Ted Soqui/Corbis via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

For Berlin, Invasive Crustaceans Are A Tough Catch And A Tough Sell

Wed, 2018/08/08 - 2:19am

Louisiana crawfish have invaded waterways in Germany's capital. Wildlife officials licensed a fisherman to catch them for chefs, hoping a taste for "Berlin Lobster" might control the invasive species.

(Image credit: Carsten Koall/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Hawaii Volcano Quiets After Months-Long Eruption

Tue, 2018/08/07 - 4:38pm

Over more than three months, lava from Kilauea inundated two seaside communities and reshaped the island's southeast coast. But while activity has lessened, it doesn't mean the eruption has ended.

(Image credit: U.S. Geological Survey/AP)

Categories: Environment

What Effects Tree Thinning Has On Wildfires

Tue, 2018/08/07 - 2:43pm

NPR's Ari Shapiro talks to Matthew Hurteau, a forest ecologist at University of New Mexico, about the effectiveness of tree clearing and thinning in preventing wildfires or mitigating their intensity.

Categories: Environment

Sea Levels Rise On A Community Not Convinced Of Climate Change

Tue, 2018/08/07 - 8:20am

America's first full casualty of climate change could be Tangier Island, a tiny sliver of land in the Chesapeake Bay.

(Image credit: Kaycie Goral/1A)

Categories: Environment

Climate Change Threatens Midwest's Wild Rice, A Staple For Native Americans

Tue, 2018/08/07 - 1:57am

When harvests are bad, Native Americans in the region may go without rice for the year. And there have been a lot of bad years lately, as climate change causes more frequent and severe rainstorms.

(Image credit: Joe Proudman/Courtesy of University of California Davis)

Categories: Environment

Western Fire Crews Get An Assist From Australia And New Zealand

Tue, 2018/08/07 - 1:56am

Fires in Washington state, Oregon and Northern California have firefighters overtaxed and needing a break — relief is coming from New Zealand and Australia.

(Image credit: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Climate And Wildfire Science Specialist Weighs In On Worsening Conditions In California

Mon, 2018/08/06 - 2:11pm

NPR's Ari Shapiro speaks with LeRoy Westerling, climate and wildfire science specialist at the University of California, Merced, about President Trump and Gov. Jerry Brown's, Calif., comments on worsening wildfires.

Categories: Environment

Wildfires Continue To Burn Through California

Mon, 2018/08/06 - 2:11pm

Multiple wildfires are burning throughout California. The largest are the Carr Fire near Redding and the Mendocino County Complex Fire just north of Sonoma, Calif.

Categories: Environment

The Battle for the Beach

Mon, 2018/08/06 - 8:20am

We're running out of sand.

(Image credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

The Real Estate We're In

Mon, 2018/08/06 - 8:06am

NPR launches a new series on America's housing crisis. “Shut Out of the Housing Market,” we talk to the reporter behind it.

(Image credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment