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: 12 hours 20 min ago

Clues In That Mysterious Radioactive Cloud Point Toward Russia

Fri, 2017/11/17 - 9:34am

Western scientists say they may never know the source of the cloud of ruthenium-106 that hovered over Europe last month. But what little data there is suggests a research facility inside Russia.

(Image credit: Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Climate Change Ripens Prospects For German Winemakers

Fri, 2017/11/17 - 3:00am

While Spanish and Italian growers worry heat will dry out vines, in Germany, warming has made for better Rieslings. And one scientist says they couldn't be making red wine so good otherwise.

(Image credit: Daniella Cheslow for NPR)

Categories: Environment

Keystone Pipeline Oil Spill Reported In South Dakota

Thu, 2017/11/16 - 4:29pm

The oil leak occurs just a few days before Nebraska state regulators will decide on the fate of TransCanada's controversial sister project, the Keystone XL Pipeline.

(Image credit: Nati Harnik/AP)

Categories: Environment

EPA Moves To Shield Older Semi Truck Engines In 'Gliders' From Emissions Rules

Thu, 2017/11/16 - 1:37pm

A new rule would cover "glider vehicles" — made by combining a new truck body with a salvaged diesel engine. The EPA says it sees them differently now than it did under the Obama administration.

Categories: Environment

As Climate Negotiators Debate Nations' Pledges, Scientists Worry It's Not Enough

Thu, 2017/11/16 - 3:00am

Delegates to the annual international climate meeting held by the U.N. are struggling to forge a unified approach to slowing climate change. Meanwhile, emissions of greenhouse gases keep rising.

(Image credit: Ulrich Baumgarten/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

'Leaf Wonder' In A World Of Changing Forests

Wed, 2017/11/15 - 7:58am

Together, aesthetic awareness and scientific analysis puts us in direct, sensory relationship with the forest and gives us the ability to understand what we see, says author David George Haskell.

(Image credit: Denis Tangney Jr./Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Oceans May Host Next Wave Of Renewable Energy

Wed, 2017/11/15 - 3:11am

Researchers say there's huge potential for harnessing ocean waves to create electricity. The Energy Department is backing one effort in Oregon.

(Image credit: Jeff Brady/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Hurricane Damage To Manufacturers In Puerto Rico Affects Mainland Hospitals, Too

Wed, 2017/11/15 - 3:09am

The island is a major center for drug and medical device manufacturing. After Hurricane Maria, those products, including small IV bags, are running short throughout the U.S.

(Image credit: Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Air Pollution In New Delhi Forced Airlines To Ground Planes, Factories And Schools To Close

Mon, 2017/11/13 - 2:57pm

NPR's Elise Hu speaks with Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director at the Center for Science and Environment in New Delhi. She talks about how the air pollution is so bad, United Airlines had to cancel flights over the weekend, factories had to be shut down and schools had to close at one point.

Categories: Environment

Slow And Upbeat EPA Response To Hurricane Harvey Pollution Angers Residents

Mon, 2017/11/13 - 1:34pm

Hurricane Harvey caused industrial facilities to release an extra 5.98 million pounds of air pollution. Some people who live and work near the plants are frustrated with the federal response.

(Image credit: Frank Bajak/AP)

Categories: Environment

Michigan Pushes To Have Nation's Toughest Lead Water Rules

Mon, 2017/11/13 - 3:00am

After the Flint crisis, GOP Gov. Snyder wants to adopt stricter rules regarding lead in water. He's pushing state regulators to change the federal rule because Republican state lawmakers won't do it.

Categories: Environment

Instagram Crowds May Be Ruining Nature

Sun, 2017/11/12 - 5:31am

When a particularly scenic shot gains traction on Instagram, visitors flood in. Travel photographer Brent Knepper tells NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro that can lead to permanent changes in the landscape.

(Image credit: RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Pittsburgh's Microgrids Technology Could Lead The Way For Green Energy

Sat, 2017/11/11 - 11:11pm

Pittsburgh wants to become a model for cutting edge energy supply. Researchers in the city are planning a network of microgrids.

(Image credit: Daniella Cheslow/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Certain And Confident: Predicting The Future In A Climate-Changing World

Fri, 2017/11/10 - 7:39am

The Climate Science Special Report, released by the White House last week, is a valuable read — it's a primer on how science works when it overlaps with the need to make informed bets on our future.

(Image credit: Andrew Harnik/AP)

Categories: Environment

Algae Toxins In Drinking Water Sickened People In 2 Outbreaks

Thu, 2017/11/09 - 2:16pm

In Ohio, more than 100 people got sick in 2013 and 2014 when municipal drinking water was contaminated with toxins from algae blooms in Lake Erie. The CDC says these are the first known instances.

(Image credit: The Washington Post/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Algae Toxins In Drinking Water Sickened People In 2 Outbreaks

Thu, 2017/11/09 - 2:16pm

In Ohio, more than 100 people got sick in 2013 and 2014 when municipal drinking water was contaminated with toxins from algae blooms in Lake Erie. The CDC says these are the first known instances.

(Image credit: The Washington Post/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

As China Moves To Other Energy Sources, Its Coal Region Struggles To Adapt

Thu, 2017/11/09 - 8:52am

In Shanxi Province, coal is big business and a source of identity. Now China is closing and consolidating its coal mines under state ownership, and the region has not figured out how to rebound.

(Image credit: Alyssa Edes/NPR)

Categories: Environment

New Delhi Chief Minister Calls India's Smog-Choked Capital A 'Gas Chamber'

Thu, 2017/11/09 - 7:12am

The situation is so bad that doctors are describing it as a public health emergency and calling for the government to order an evacuation of the city.

(Image credit: R S Iyer/AP)

Categories: Environment

Scientists In Houston Tell A Story Of Concrete, Rain And Destruction

Thu, 2017/11/09 - 5:53am

As researchers and engineers analyze the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, it's becoming clear that Houston's runaway development had a big role to play in flooding.

(Image credit: David J. Phillip/AP)

Categories: Environment

Is It Time To Catch The Wave Of Rebounding Atlantic Bluefin Tuna?

Thu, 2017/11/09 - 5:00am

New England fishers say it's been decades since they've hauled in so many tuna, and some in the industry are urging higher quotas. But some environmental groups fear the population is still imperiled.

(Image credit: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment