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: 3 hours 35 min ago

U.S. Set To Decide In Trade Dispute Threatening Booming Solar Industry

Fri, 2018/01/19 - 1:17pm

President Trump is facing a Jan. 26 deadline to decide whether to impose tariffs on solar imports. While tariffs could help level the playing field for U.S. manfacturers, they could also raise prices.

(Image credit: Mark Lennihan/AP)

Categories: Environment

Scientists Peek Inside The 'Black Box' Of Soil Microbes To Learn Their Secrets

Thu, 2018/01/18 - 3:51pm

Microorganisms play a vital role in growing food and sustaining the planet, but they do it anonymously. Scientists haven't identified most soil microbes, but they are learning which are most common.

(Image credit: PeopleImages/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Moscow Sees Only 6 Minutes Of Sunlight During All Of December

Thu, 2018/01/18 - 2:16pm

The city experienced the darkest month in its recorded history in December. NPR's Mary Louise Kelly speaks with reporter Charles Maynes, who lived through those nearly sunless weeks.

Categories: Environment

The National Parks And Ryan Zinke

Thu, 2018/01/18 - 3:07am

NPR's Rachel Martin talks to journalist Elliott Woods, whose profile of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke just appeared in Outside magazine.

Categories: Environment

U.K. Lawmakers Want To Battle Waste With A 'Latte Levy' On Disposable Cups

Wed, 2018/01/17 - 3:16pm

The British Parliament is considering a 34-cent tax on to-go cups to encourage diners to bring their own reusable containers. The goal is to replicate the success of Britain's tax on plastic bags.

(Image credit: Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Night Became Day In Detroit As Meteor Lit Up Sky

Wed, 2018/01/17 - 2:16pm

A meteor streaked over southeast Michigan Tuesday night, creating a sonic boom so loud it shook houses. After seeing the spectacle in the night sky, thousands of people took to social media to share what they witnessed.

Categories: Environment

Nearly All Of The National Park System Advisory Board Has Resigned

Wed, 2018/01/17 - 2:16pm

NPR's Kelly McEvers speaks to former Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles, who has resigned from the National Park System Advisory Board. He, along with eight others, have said that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has failed to meet with the board once since being confirmed last March.

Categories: Environment

Strange Weather Triggered Bacteria That Killed 200,000 Endangered Antelope

Wed, 2018/01/17 - 12:51pm

Over a three-week span in 2015, more than 200,000 saiga antelope suddenly died in Kazakhstan. The animals would be grazing normally, then dead in three hours. A new study points to heat and humidity.

(Image credit: Courtesy of the Joint saiga health monitoring team in Kazakhstan (Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity, Kazakhstan, Biosafety Institute, Gvardeskiy RK, Royal Veterinary College, London, UK))

Categories: Environment

Majority Of National Park Service Board Resigns, Citing Administration Indifference

Wed, 2018/01/17 - 3:42am

The chairman of the board, former Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles, said in a letter that the Department of the Interior showed no interest in engaging with board members.

(Image credit: Andrew Harnik/AP)

Categories: Environment

Like Florida, Maryland Wants To Be Exempt From Offshore Drilling

Wed, 2018/01/17 - 3:03am

Now that the Trump administration has excluded Florida from its offshore drilling proposal, other places want the same. They're making their case as the public comment period gets underway.

Categories: Environment

Turning Soybeans Into Diesel Fuel Is Costing Us Billions

Tue, 2018/01/16 - 3:43pm

The law that requires America to turn some of its soybeans into diesel fuel for trucks has created a new industry. But it's costing American consumers about $5 billion each year.

(Image credit: Eitan Abramovich/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Why Three Towns Are Fighting To Be The 'Ice Box Of The Nation'

Mon, 2018/01/15 - 2:19pm

January is one of the coldest months out West. Three towns in Minnesota, Colorado and Wyoming have historically claimed the title of "Ice Box of the Nation." But, there can only be one. International Falls, Minn., did legally secure the title in 2008, but the other two towns still unofficially claim it.

Categories: Environment

In California, Santa Barbara Community Holds Vigil For Mudslide Victims

Mon, 2018/01/15 - 2:19pm

A vigil was held Sunday night in Santa Barbara, Calif., for the 20 victims who were killed in devastating mudslides last week.

Categories: Environment

Rescues Continue In California Mudslide Zones

Sat, 2018/01/13 - 3:47pm

Search and rescue operations in Southern California continue for people still missing after this week's massive mudslides and debris flow. Many areas are still unreachable in Santa Barbara County.

Categories: Environment

Scientists Say A Fluctuating Jet Stream May Be Causing Extreme Weather Events

Fri, 2018/01/12 - 2:54pm

A new study says unusual patterns of the polar jet stream circling the Northern Hemisphere may have led to dramatic weather in Europe and North America.

(Image credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

California Woman Shares Story Of Mudslide Survival

Fri, 2018/01/12 - 2:16pm

NPR's Kelly McEvers speaks with Rita Bourbon, who survived the California mudslides in her home, but sadly found her neighbor's body in her backyard.

Categories: Environment

It's Becoming Increasingly Hard For California Homeowners To Get Insurance

Fri, 2018/01/12 - 2:16pm

Insurance companies are increasingly dropping homeowners in California because of wildfire risk. There's concern the problem will grow worse after this year's destructive fire season.

Categories: Environment

Southern California Hillsides Remain Vulnerable After Deadly Mudslides

Fri, 2018/01/12 - 12:47pm

Deadly mudslides occured in Santa Barbara County, Calif., after heavy rain pushed debris down fire-scarred hillsides. If it rains again, more debris could be swept down the mountains.

(Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Tim Kruger: How Do We Slow Climate Change Before It's Too Late?

Fri, 2018/01/12 - 7:27am

To tackle climate change, geoengineer Tim Kruger is developing technology that could remove large quantities of CO2 from the atmosphere. But he says it takes unprecedented cooperation to make it work.

(Image credit: Bret Hartman/TED)

Categories: Environment

How Firewood Is Faring In Vermont After Severe Cold Spell

Thu, 2018/01/11 - 2:16pm

When New England experiences severe cold weather, rural homes quickly burn through a precious wintertime commodity: firewood. After the latest cold spell, NPR looks at how Vermonters' woodpiles are faring, and what the rest of the the winter will hold.

Categories: Environment