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: 19 hours 11 min ago

EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Prepares For Questions On Ethics Allegations

Wed, 2018/04/25 - 1:33pm

Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt appears on Capitol Hill Thursday for the first time since a string of ethics allegations. But what has he done at the agency and what are the questions he may face about his conduct there?

Categories: Environment

Every Day, Tons Of Viruses Are Swept Into The Sky And Fall Back Down To Earth

Wed, 2018/04/25 - 12:39pm

For the first time, scientists measured the quantity of viruses that are swept into the Earth's atmosphere and then fall back down. The study explains why similar viruses are spread across the globe.

(Image credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

As Philippines Shuts Down A Popular Tourist Island, Residents Fear For Their Future

Wed, 2018/04/25 - 4:01am

President Rodrigo Duterte called Boracay island a "cesspool." It draws 2 million visitors a year but isn't equipped to accommodate them. Residents agree there's a problem, but worry about losing jobs.

(Image credit: STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Pruitt Proposes EPA Science Restrictions

Wed, 2018/04/25 - 1:54am

The EPA says it wants to only use research in which all data are publicly available. Scientists say this would hurt policy making on everything from air pollution to toxic waste and pesticides.

Categories: Environment

#ScootersBehavingBadly: U.S. Cities Race To Keep Up With Small Vehicle Shares

Mon, 2018/04/23 - 6:06pm

Cities like San Francisco and Austin are struggling to regulate a flood of new transportation options, from electric scooters to dock-less bikes. Residents are angry over sidewalk and safety concerns.

(Image credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Flint Activist Wins Major Environmental Prize

Mon, 2018/04/23 - 9:00am

LeeAnne Walters demanded action from local officials, confronting them with bottles of discolored water. They dismissed her for months. She meticulously documented lead levels in Flint homes.

(Image credit: Michael Gleason/The Goldman Environmental Prize)

Categories: Environment

For 50 Years, Deep-Water Trawls Likely Caught More Fish Than Anyone Thought

Mon, 2018/04/23 - 5:00am

Using historical data and estimates from deep-sea trawls that drag nets along the ocean floor, researchers estimate that millions of tons of catch have gone unreported in the last 50 years.

(Image credit: Monty Rakusen/Getty Images/Cultura RF)

Categories: Environment

Betting On Artificial Intelligence To Guide Earthquake Response

Fri, 2018/04/20 - 2:55pm

A California tech firm believes that artificial intelligence can help communities prepare for, and respond to, quakes.

(Image credit: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Malibu Moves To Ban Single-Use Plastic

Fri, 2018/04/20 - 1:53pm

Whether you think it's time or a waste of time, the city of Malibu decided to ban the use of plastic straws, utensils and stirrers as a means of reducing their harmful effects on the environment.

(Image credit: Reed Saxon/AP)

Categories: Environment

Major Earthquake On Bay Area Fault Could Kill 800 People, USGS Predicts

Fri, 2018/04/20 - 7:36am

The U.S. Geological Survey simulated a 7.0 magnitude earthquake on the Hayward Fault near Oakland, Calif., and found that such a quake could kill hundreds and cause more than $100 billion in damage.

(Image credit: Ben Margot/AP)

Categories: Environment

For One Fine-Dining Chef, Cutting Food Waste Saves The Planet And The Bottom Line

Fri, 2018/04/20 - 5:00am

After nearly going bankrupt, chef Tim Ma cut costs by cooking creatively with every last bit of ingredients. Some dishes born of frugality have become favorites at his acclaimed D.C. restaurant.

(Image credit: Becky Harlan/NPR)

Categories: Environment

How Pokemon Inspired A Citizen Science Project To Monitor Tiny Streams

Fri, 2018/04/20 - 2:06am

How do we accurately forecast the amount of water that will be available any given year? It's not easy. But some Colorado scientists think they're onto a possible solution — inspired by Pokemon.

(Image credit: Kira Puntenney-Desmond/Colorado State University)

Categories: Environment

New Study Says Ancient Humans Hunted Big Mammals To Extinction

Thu, 2018/04/19 - 1:31pm

As humans spread around the globe, other big mammals vanished. Researchers believe it's because they were tasty.

(Image credit: British Library/Science Source)

Categories: Environment

Novelist Richard Powers Finds New Stories Deep In Old Growth Forests

Thu, 2018/04/19 - 1:31pm

In The Overstory, Powers explores how humans can revere ancient trees with "the same kind of sanctity that we reserve exclusively for ourselves."

(Image credit: NPS)

Categories: Environment

To Curb Ocean Pollution, U.K. May Ban Plastic Straws, Stirrers And Cotton Swabs

Thu, 2018/04/19 - 11:31am

Prime Minister Theresa May called plastic waste "one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world." The government said it will work with industry to develop alternatives.

(Image credit: Thn Rocn Khosit Rath Phachr Sukh / EyeEm/Getty Images/EyeEm)

Categories: Environment

Swarms Of Tiny Sea Creatures Are Powerful Enough To Mix Oceans, Study Finds

Wed, 2018/04/18 - 10:43am

Each night, the organisms gather in a "vertical stampede" to feed at the ocean's surface. Research suggests the columns of swimming animals can create large downward jets that help churn the waters.

(Image credit: Isabel Houghton / J.R. Strickler /courtesy of Stanford / University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

Categories: Environment

As Climate Costs Grow, Some See A Moneymaking Opportunity

Tue, 2018/04/17 - 1:25pm

Extreme weather cost Americans over $300 billion last year. Scientists say climate change will bring more of that. Entrepreneurs and businesses see a new market in gauging risk.

(Image credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

EPA Takes Toxic Site Flooded By Harvey Off Special Cleanup List

Mon, 2018/04/16 - 2:31pm

The EPA says the San Jacinto Waste Pits near Houston no longer needs Scott Pruitt's personal attention due to progress on a remediation plan. But the site is still years away from being cleaned up.

(Image credit: Rebecca Hersher/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Grocery Stores Get Mostly Mediocre Scores On Their Food Waste Efforts

Mon, 2018/04/16 - 9:13am

A new report, "Supermarkets Fail to Make the Grade in Reducing Food Waste," scores the 10 largest grocery stores on how they handle food waste. No store got an A, but Walmart got a B.

(Image credit: paul mansfield photography/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

The 'New Power' Generation: A Manifesto For A More Humane World

Mon, 2018/04/16 - 8:06am

Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms have written a guide for spreading ideas, building movements and staying ahead.

(Image credit: Michael Creagh)

Categories: Environment