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: 7 hours 27 min ago

Cut Off From The World, Puerto Ricans Search For A Ghost Of A Signal

Sun, 2017/09/24 - 8:25pm

On a major expressway in the north of the island, drivers chase after elusive cell service. Some have managed to make calls to the mainland — though not always to relatives elsewhere on the island.

(Image credit: Camila Domonoske/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Puerto Rico Without Power As Authorities Try To Warn Thousands Of Damaged, Failing Dam

Sat, 2017/09/23 - 4:01pm

Puerto Ricans are still left without power after Hurricane Maria, and rebuilding efforts are further complicated with structural damage of a major dam. NPR's Michel Martin talks with Luis Ferre Sadurni of the New York Times about the devastation there.

Categories: Environment

Simulating The Bodily Pain Of Future Climate Change

Sat, 2017/09/23 - 6:03am

People can't simulate realistic, internal sensations, like temperature change or pain — which is a reason why more people aren't terrified by climate change, says guest blogger Lisa Feldman Barrett.

(Image credit: Mic Smith/AP)

Categories: Environment

Gassy Cows Warm The Planet. Scientists Think They Know How To Squelch Those Belches

Fri, 2017/09/22 - 4:00am

Researchers have won a prize for discovering that a cow's genetics determine which microbes populate its gut. Some of those microbes produce the greenhouse gas methane that ends up in the atmosphere.

(Image credit: Charlie Litchfield/AP)

Categories: Environment

Arkansas Defies Monsanto, Moves To Ban Rogue Weedkiller

Fri, 2017/09/22 - 1:51am

Arkansas regulators are on a collision course with Monsanto, voting to ban use during the growing season of a drift-prone herbicide that Monsanto says is farmers' best hope for weed-free fields.

(Image credit: Dan Charles/NPR)

Categories: Environment

A Look From The Ground In Puerto Rico Following Hurricane Maria

Thu, 2017/09/21 - 1:45pm

As the situation in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria continues, we hear from Patricia Mazzei, a writer for The Miami Herald.

Categories: Environment

Florida's Citrus Groves Hit Hard By Hurricane Irma

Thu, 2017/09/21 - 1:45pm

Hurricane Irma hit Florida's citrus groves hard. NPR's Kelly McEvers speaks with Ellis Hunt Jr., a Florida citrus grower and Chairman of the Florida Citrus Commission about the damage.

Categories: Environment

National Flood Insurance Program Will Pay Out Billions For A Few Properties

Thu, 2017/09/21 - 1:45pm

The National Flood Insurance Program backs most flood insurance policies, but has many problems. Around one percent of insured homes have been responsible for around a quarter of the claims paid out.

Categories: Environment

Buildings In Mexico Keep Falling Days After Deadly Earthquake

Thu, 2017/09/21 - 1:45pm

It's been two days since a powerful earthquake violently shook central Mexico killing at least 245 people. But buildings keep falling even as rescue efforts turn more to recovery and reconstruction.

Categories: Environment

Montana Wildfires Reignite Logging Debate

Thu, 2017/09/21 - 1:45pm

An epic wildfire season in Montana has conservatives blaming environmentalists for blocking logging projects, but scientists say climate change is making fire seasons longer and more intense.

Categories: Environment

Powerful Storms Make For Compelling Stories, But Can Cause Mental Health Stress

Thu, 2017/09/21 - 1:45pm

NPR's Kelly McEvers talks with Shankar Vedantam, host of NPR's Hidden Brain podcast about how witnessing traumatic events — even from a great distance — can affect mental health.

Categories: Environment

How Prepared Is The U.S. For Earthquakes?

Thu, 2017/09/21 - 1:45pm

Mexico has had an earthquake early-warning system for decades, and other countries that get earthquakes — Japan, Taiwan — have them, too. The U.S. does not. NPR's Kelly McEvers talks to seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones, who spent years working with the U.S. Geological Survey to create a system.

Categories: Environment

Puerto Rico Chief Of Staff Says Hurricane Maria Devastated Island

Thu, 2017/09/21 - 1:45pm

NPR's Kelly McEvers talks with the chief of staff of the Puerto Rico government, William Villafañe, about how the island is doing now that Hurricane Maria has finally left the province.

Categories: Environment

Puerto Rico And U.S. Virgin Islands Hit By Hurricane Maria

Wed, 2017/09/20 - 1:49pm

Less than a month after Hurricane Irma hit, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are dealing with another storm as Hurricane Maria barrels through the region.

Categories: Environment

Hurricane Maria Hits Puerto Rico At Time When The Island Is Already Struggling

Wed, 2017/09/20 - 1:49pm

Devastation expected from the hurricane will challenge many Puerto Rico institutions, especially its beleaguered power authority, which is still struggling to restore electricity in some areas after Hurricane Irma.

Categories: Environment

Global Plan To Streamline 'Use By' Food Labels Aims To Cut Food Waste

Wed, 2017/09/20 - 3:00am

Confusion over "sell by" and "use by" dates is one reason why billions of tons of food are tossed each year. A new global initiative of food giants, including Walmart and Nestle, aims to tackle that.

(Image credit: mrtom-uk//iStockphoto)

Categories: Environment

Guess What's Showing Up In Our Shellfish? One Word: Plastics

Tue, 2017/09/19 - 4:00am

Scientists predict that plastic in the ocean will eventually outweigh the fish there. Where is it all coming from? And is it making our food unsafe? Researchers are trying to find the answers.

(Image credit: Ken Christensen/KCTS Television)

Categories: Environment

Doctor Who Discovered Children Had Elevated Lead Levels Talks About What's Changed

Sun, 2017/09/17 - 2:54pm

In 2015, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha discovered the lead contamination after Flint, Mich., switched its drinking water source. She talks with NPR's Michel Martin about helping reverse the problem.

Categories: Environment

Researchers Look To Improve Weather Forecasting After Irma

Sun, 2017/09/17 - 4:59am

In coastal Georgia, Hurricane Irma caused far more flooding than expected. Researchers are looking at ways their mistakes there could improve future predictions elsewhere.

Categories: Environment

The Call-In: Wildfires

Sun, 2017/09/17 - 4:59am

NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro talks to Richard Chasm of Olalla, Ore. about living near wildfires. Author Michael Kodas explains why these disasters are growing more severe.

Categories: Environment