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: 4 hours 2 min ago

Cleaning a great floating garbage patch the size of Texas

Wed, 2022/07/27 - 2:30pm

The Kwai, a 140-foot cargo ship, just made a 45-day round trip from Hawaii and back. It's load? About 96 tons of trash from a floating garbage patch the size of Texas.

Categories: Environment

James Lovelock, who theorized that Earth is a living organism, dies at 103

Wed, 2022/07/27 - 1:30pm

James Lovelock, the British environmental scientist whose influential Gaia theory sees the Earth as a living organism gravely imperiled by human activity, has died on his 103rd birthday.

(Image credit: Nicholas.T.Ansell/PA via AP, file)

Categories: Environment

Hundreds in northern Arizona are facing flooding

Tue, 2022/07/26 - 2:26pm

Arizona is experiencing its worst drought in 1,200 years, but in one place there's too much water. Hundreds of homes in Flagstaff are threatened by brief monsoon thunderstorms on wildfire burn scars.

Categories: Environment

Crews are making progress against a destructive forest fire near Yosemite

Tue, 2022/07/26 - 10:01am

Crews battling the Oak Fire in California's Mariposa County got a break from increased humidity levels. The blaze, which forced the evacuations of thousands, was 26% contained, Cal Fire said.

(Image credit: Noah Berger/AP)

Categories: Environment

Outfitting cows with GPS trackers could be good for ranchers and prairie birds

Mon, 2022/07/25 - 1:45pm

In Kansas, some cattle are now wearing GPS trackers. It's part of a plan to see if invisible fences can help ranchers grow healthy grass while also protecting disappearing prairie birds.

Categories: Environment

Monarch butterflies have been declared endangered. What can we do to save them?

Sun, 2022/07/24 - 4:59am

Ayesha Rascoe speaks with conservation biologist Karen Oberhauser about why the migratory monarch butterfly was just declared endangered, and what can be done in response.

Categories: Environment

I went seaweed foraging for the first time and hit the mother lode

Sun, 2022/07/24 - 2:00am

Foraging has grown into a movement over the last few years, including from your local ocean where it's now peak seaweed season. I went to see what the excitement was about.

(Image credit: Eugene Kim)

Categories: Environment

The U.S. Forest Service is taking emergency action to save sequoias from wildfires

Fri, 2022/07/22 - 11:18pm

The action would speed up projects to clear underbrush to protect the world's largest trees from the increasing threat of wildfires.

(Image credit: Noah Berger/AP)

Categories: Environment

Climate change is making extreme heat around the world more common

Fri, 2022/07/22 - 1:25pm

Extreme heat is gripping countries around the world. Host Ailsa Chang talks with NPR reporters in China, the U.K. and the U.S. about what they're seeing and how governments are responding.

Categories: Environment

How people, pets and infrastructure can respond to extreme heat

Fri, 2022/07/22 - 8:20am

Climate change is making heat waves more frequent and intense. With much of the U.S. facing a weekend of extreme temperatures, here are some tips for protecting yourself and your loved ones.

(Image credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

California's water restrictions aren't impacting people equally

Thu, 2022/07/21 - 1:25pm

California cities are tightening water restrictions as the state's drought drags on. While some neighborhoods are turning into landscaping graveyards, others are as lush as they've ever been.

Categories: Environment

British company creates the first PVC-free vinyl record

Thu, 2022/07/21 - 4:49am

Evolution Music says it created the world's first bio-plastic vinyl record made from sugar and starches. This material allows people to enjoy their favorite artists without worrying about toxic waste.

Categories: Environment

Decades of 'good fires' save Yosemite's iconic grove of ancient sequoia trees

Tue, 2022/07/19 - 2:28am

Saving the centuries-old trees in Yosemite's famed Mariposa Grove took hard work from firefighters but also half a century of intentional fires.

(Image credit: Nic Coury /AFP via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Canadian researchers seek paths for animals to migrate in response to climate change

Tue, 2022/07/19 - 2:00am

Global warming is causing many species to migrate northward, but roads often can prevent them from doing that. Scientists are looking for ways to make that passage easier and safer.

(Image credit: Emma Jacobs)

Categories: Environment

The U.K. breaks its record for highest temperature as the heat builds

Tue, 2022/07/19 - 1:35am

Britain on Tuesday shattered its record for highest temperature ever registered — and the national weather forecaster predicted it would get hotter still in a country ill prepared for such extremes.

(Image credit: Aaron Chown/PA via AP)

Categories: Environment

A report warns that Australia's endangered animals will increase because of wildfires

Mon, 2022/07/18 - 11:55pm

The wide-ranging report found the number of Australian species listed as threatened had increased since the 2016 report.

(Image credit: Mick Tsikas/AP)

Categories: Environment

Arizona cities respond to the worst drought in over a thousand years with a new plan

Mon, 2022/07/18 - 1:50pm

Cities in Arizona have started implementing state-required drought plans in response to the crisis on the Colorado River. The current drought is the worst in 1,200 years.

Categories: Environment

The Atlantic cod is coming back after strict catch limits greatly decreased numbers

Mon, 2022/07/18 - 1:41pm

Atlantic cod, a fish that was foundational to New England's economy, is being caught at historically low levels. But a research scientist says cod is in the early stages of a comeback.

Categories: Environment

Europe could hit record-breaking temperatures this week

Mon, 2022/07/18 - 1:30pm

Europe is reeling from a massive heat wave, and temperatures could hit records this week across much of the continent.

Categories: Environment

Heat torches Southern Europe, killing hundreds

Mon, 2022/07/18 - 1:57am

Ferocious wildfires are burning in Spain and France, which evacuated thousands of people and scrambled water-bombing planes and firefighters. Officials and scientists cited climate change as a factor.

(Image credit: Emilio Fraile/AP)

Categories: Environment