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: 2 hours 3 min ago

The Refugees The World Barely Pays Attention To

Wed, 2018/06/20 - 8:25am

They're known as 'climate refugees.' But there's not even an international definition for them, let alone recognition or protection.

(Image credit: Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

As Carbon Dioxide Levels Rise, Major Crops Are Losing Nutrients

Tue, 2018/06/19 - 2:02am

As the level of carbon dioxide in the air rises because of human activity, scientists are trying to pin down how plants are affected. There's evidence that it's changing many important plants we eat.

(Image credit: Toshihiro Hasegawa, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization of Japan)

Categories: Environment

Zillow Data Used To Project Impact Of Sea Level Rise On Real Estate

Mon, 2018/06/18 - 1:59am

A study by the Union of Concerned Scientists examined how real estate values were affected in 23 coastal states. Florida has the most to lose, according to the research.

Categories: Environment

Drought And Fire Threat Lead To Forest Closings

Sun, 2018/06/17 - 5:12am

Forest officials closed the San Juan National Forest in southwest Colorado because of "historic levels" of fire danger. The closure will affect local tourism economies.

Categories: Environment

Embattled EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Faces Anger In Farm Country Over Policy

Fri, 2018/06/15 - 1:49pm

The EPA administrator met with farmers in midwestern states this week to address frustrations over the renewable fuel standard.

(Image credit: Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media)

Categories: Environment

Fear And Frustration Over EPA Move To Kill Chemical-Disaster Protections

Fri, 2018/06/15 - 12:34pm

The EPA intends to block rules to prevent and respond to leaks, explosions and other disasters at chemical facilities and refineries around the U.S. That scares many people who live and work nearby.

(Image credit: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

McDonald's Says It's Ditching Plastic Straws In U.K. And Ireland

Fri, 2018/06/15 - 11:46am

McDonald's also says it will test alternatives to plastic straws in some restaurants in the U.S. and several other countries later this year.

(Image credit: Toby Melville/Reuters)

Categories: Environment

As Nuclear Struggles, A New Generation Of Engineers Is Motivated By Climate Change

Fri, 2018/06/15 - 2:01am

The number of people graduating with nuclear engineering degrees has more than tripled since 2001. Many say they are motivated by climate change.

(Image credit: Jeff Brady/NPR)

Categories: Environment

As The Scandals Mount, Conservatives Turn On Scott Pruitt

Thu, 2018/06/14 - 9:54am

One of Pruitt's closest political allies in Congress said he would call for the EPA chief to step down if his ethical scandals don't stop.

(Image credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

The Fight Over Federal Land In The West

Thu, 2018/06/14 - 8:06am

When the federal government says some publicly owned lands should be used "for the benefit and enjoyment of the people," who do they mean?

(Image credit: George Frey/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Looking To History To Combat Wildfires

Thu, 2018/06/14 - 2:00am

After decades of modern fire prevention some forests are much thicker than they've been historically. New research offers a guide to thinning that could keep wildfires smaller and shorter.

(Image credit: Denver Water Department archives and Paula Fornwalt/U.S. Forest Service)

Categories: Environment

Antarctica Has Lost More Than 3 Trillion Tons Of Ice In 25 Years

Wed, 2018/06/13 - 11:52am

Antarctica's ice is melting faster than was thought, say scientists who recently completed the most exhaustive assessment of the ice sheet to date.

(Image credit: Ian Joughin, University of Washington )

Categories: Environment

New Research On Sound Could Make Tornado Warnings More Accurate

Tue, 2018/06/12 - 1:26pm

Forecasters have gotten better giving advance notice of when tornadoes might strike. Now, there's a new technology that may help researchers even more: listening for the sounds of a tornado that humans can't hear.

Categories: Environment

Fires And Drought Close Forests In Colorado And New Mexico

Tue, 2018/06/12 - 7:23am

In southwestern Colorado, residents of more than 2,000 homes have been ordered to evacuate, and the San Juan National Forest is closed to visitors due to extreme risks.

(Image credit: AP)

Categories: Environment

More Rain, More Development Spell Disaster For Some U.S. Cities

Mon, 2018/06/11 - 8:27am

Climate change is increasing the frequency of rainstorms in many parts of the U.S., and those storms bring more rain. Many communities don't have the drainage systems needed to handle all the water.

(Image credit: David McFadden/AP)

Categories: Environment

Why Are Some of Africa's Biggest Baobab Trees Dying Off?

Mon, 2018/06/11 - 8:26am

A new survey of baobab trees in Africa finds that many of the oldest have died or significantly deteriorated in the last decade. Scientists say climate change and human intervention could be culprits.

(Image credit: Panoramic Images/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Meanwhile, Scott Pruitt …

Mon, 2018/06/11 - 7:06am

Greek yogurt, mattresses and environmental deregulation.

(Image credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Oil Industry Copes With Climate Impacts As Permafrost Thaws

Mon, 2018/06/11 - 2:10am

Thawing permafrost in Alaska's Arctic is making it harder for oil companies to operate there. But a cottage industry has cropped up with new gadgets to help.

(Image credit: Mark Thiessen/AP)

Categories: Environment

Cal Fire Finds PG&E Equipment Responsible For Several Wildfires

Sat, 2018/06/09 - 2:14pm

California fire officials have blamed Pacific Gas and Electric Company power lines for wildfires that tore through Northern California in October.

Categories: Environment

PG&E Power Lines Blamed For Northern California Wildfires

Fri, 2018/06/08 - 6:49pm

A state report finds that the utility's equipment coming into contact with trees caused the fires that ravaged the region, including the wine country.

(Image credit: Rich Pedroncelli/AP)

Categories: Environment