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 45 min ago

How Ohio's Cuyahoga River Came Back To Life 50 Years After It Caught On Fire

Tue, 2019/06/18 - 1:22pm

The Cleveland river's 1969 burning inspired Randy Newman's song and endless jokes. But its cleanup has been such a success that environmental officials travel from around the world to take notes.

Categories: Environment

Going 'Zero Carbon' Is All The Rage. But Will It Slow Climate Change?

Tue, 2019/06/18 - 2:00am

Cities, states, businesses and electric utilities are setting ambitious goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions. But it's not clear exactly how they'll do that or whether it will actually work.

(Image credit: Tim Rue/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

50 Years Later: Burning Cuyahoga River Called Poster Child For Clean Water Act

Tue, 2019/06/18 - 1:58am

Cleveland wasn't the first city to have a river burn, but it was the first to get widespread attention. That 1969 blaze helped spur environmental regulations.

Categories: Environment

Replacing Plastic: Can Bacteria Help Us Break The Habit?

Mon, 2019/06/17 - 4:17am

Entrepreneurs are eager to find substitutes for plastic that naturally degrade. One option is a "natural" plastic made by microbes and then eaten by them. But the process is still in the early days.

(Image credit: Chris Joyce/NPR)

Categories: Environment

The Gulf Of Mexico's Expanding Dead Zone

Sun, 2019/06/16 - 5:03am

NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro speaks with marine ecologist Nancy Rabalais about the expanding dead zone that is likely to appear in the Gulf of Mexico because of record Midwest rains.

Categories: Environment

High Flooding On Lake Ontario And St. Lawrence River

Sat, 2019/06/15 - 4:57am

The U.S. and Canada are under pressure to show a water control plan for the area along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River didn't actually make flooding worse.

Categories: Environment

Killing Coyotes Is Not As Effective As Once Thought, Researchers Say

Fri, 2019/06/14 - 6:22am

Government agencies kill more than 68,000 coyotes a year to keep them from preying on livestock and big game. But scientists say tracking them might be a better solution.

(Image credit: Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

New Orleans Sues Big Oil

Fri, 2019/06/14 - 2:01am

New Orleans is suing oil and gas companies to help it pay for flood protection. It's a major move against an industry that's key to the city's economy.

Categories: Environment

Mich. Prosecutors Drop Charges In Flint Water Investigation, But Promise New Probe

Thu, 2019/06/13 - 4:19pm

Prosecutors say the original criminal investigation into Flint's drinking water scandal was compromised by a failure to pursue all available evidence.

(Image credit: Carlos Osorio/AP)

Categories: Environment

Why Your Local Weather Forecast Is Going To Get Better

Thu, 2019/06/13 - 12:14pm

"Virtually any aspect of the weather forecast — whether it is temperature, or precipitation — will see overall improvement with this upgrade," a National Weather Service scientist said.

(Image credit: NOAA/Screenshot by NPR)

Categories: Environment

From Henry Ford To Elon Musk: The Past, Present And Future Of Cars

Thu, 2019/06/13 - 8:20am

Beep beep. Honk.

(Image credit: ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Federal Land Managers Propose Rule Change To Fast Track Forest Management Projects

Wed, 2019/06/12 - 1:54pm

The Trump administration is proposing sweeping rule changes to an environmental law that would allow for the fast tracking of forest management projects, including more logging and tree thinning.

Categories: Environment

Wildland Firefighters Face Growing Danger As Fires Increase In Intensity, Frequency

Wed, 2019/06/12 - 1:22pm

Wildland firefighters face a growing danger from smoke, as wildfires become more frequent and intense. It's a hazard that scientists and fire agencies are only beginning to understand.

Categories: Environment

As Polar Ice Cap Recedes, The U.S. Navy Looks North

Wed, 2019/06/12 - 9:38am

The Pentagon has long acknowledged climate change has broad implications for national security. That is especially clear in the Arctic, where melting ice is opening new shipping lanes.

(Image credit: Zachariah Hughes/Alaska Public Media)

Categories: Environment

Trump Administration Seeking To Overhaul Forest Management Rules

Wed, 2019/06/12 - 9:30am

The U.S. Forest Service is proposing changes to a landmark environmental law that would allow it to fast-track some forest management projects, including logging and prescribed burning.

(Image credit: Don Ryan/AP)

Categories: Environment

Why Food Reformers Have Mixed Feelings About Eco-Labels

Wed, 2019/06/12 - 2:02am

Grocery stores are full of food with labels like organic, cage-free or fair trade that appeal to a consumer's ideals. But there's often a gap between what they seem to promise and what they deliver.

(Image credit: Jupiterimages/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

More Wildfires Bring Focus On How All That Smoke May Harm Firefighters

Wed, 2019/06/12 - 2:00am

Wildland firefighters face a growing danger from smoke, as wildfires become more frequent and intense. It's a hazard that scientists and fire agencies are only beginning to understand.

(Image credit: Jes Burns/OPB)

Categories: Environment

Wildlife Biologists Disagree On The Most Effective Way To Control Coyotes

Mon, 2019/06/10 - 1:35pm

The federal government kills thousands of coyotes every year to keep them from preying on livestock and big game. But some wildlife biologists say killing coyotes isn't the best way to control them.

Categories: Environment

We Drink Basically The Same Wine Varietals As Ancient Romans, And That's Not So Great

Mon, 2019/06/10 - 11:51am

Many of today's most popular wine varietals are extremely genetically similar to wines that may have existed for thousands of years, a new study finds. In the face of climate change, that's risky.

(Image credit: Leemage/Corbis via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Midwest Flooding Harms Farmer's Yields

Sun, 2019/06/09 - 2:24pm

Rain and flooding have made growing conditions difficult for crops like corn. NPR's Michel Martin speaks with Matt Boucher, a farmer in Dwight, Ill., about how the weather has affected his crops.

Categories: Environment