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: 11 hours 8 min ago

To Shrink Mosquito Population, Scientists Are Releasing 20 Million Mosquitoes

Fri, 2017/07/21 - 2:25am

Scientists plan to release millions of sterile, male bacteria-infected mosquitoes in California, to breed with wild females. They're hoping for a "steep decline" in the species that carries Zika.

(Image credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

World Faces Global Sand Shortage

Fri, 2017/07/21 - 2:04am

The world is running out of sand. So much so that some countries have banned exports of sand, and there is a thriving black market for it. David Greene talks to freelance journalist Vince Beiser.

Categories: Environment

Al Gore: Climate Change Issue Will Be A 'Much Bigger Political Plus' For Democrats

Fri, 2017/07/21 - 2:04am

Former Vice President Al Gore tells NPR the partisan divide over climate change is fading. Politicians, he says, are told by their pollsters to focus on other issues, but "that's changing."

(Image credit: Claire Harbage/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Is It A Good Idea To Pay Villagers Not To Chop Down Trees?

Thu, 2017/07/20 - 1:30pm

Governments dole out millions each year. Researchers debate whether the payouts actually work. A new study from Uganda offers some answers.

(Image credit: Megan Kearns/Courtesy of Innovations for Poverty Action)

Categories: Environment

GOP Effort To Make Environmental Science 'Transparent' Worries Scientists

Thu, 2017/07/20 - 12:58pm

There's a push in Congress to rewrite how science gets used in regulation — and that has researchers worried. The industry-backed bill would let business nitpick raw data and ignore valid results.

(Image credit: David Zalubowski/AP)

Categories: Environment

After He Spoke Out On Climate Change, Scientist Says He Was Demoted

Thu, 2017/07/20 - 5:11am

David Greene talks to Joel Clement, a former top climate policy official about why he was reassigned to a job in the accounting office at the Department of Interior.

Categories: Environment

Climate Scientist Says He Was Demoted For Speaking Out On Climate Change

Wed, 2017/07/19 - 8:13pm

Joel Clement, who was director of the Interior Department's Office of Policy Analysis during the Obama administration, says in a newspaper op-ed that he was reassigned to an "accounting office."

(Image credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Plastic Is Everywhere And Recycling Isn't The End Of It

Wed, 2017/07/19 - 2:30pm

A researcher tallied how much has been manufactured since plastic's invention: "Eight point three billion metric tons of plastics produced so far. That's just really a staggering amount."

(Image credit: Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

'Extreme And Aggressive' California Wildfires Force Thousands To Evacuate

Wed, 2017/07/19 - 8:48am

The Detwiler Fire has already burned approximately 45,000 acres and is just 7 percent contained. "I haven't seen these conditions in a long time," said a Cal Fire spokesman.

(Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Want To Slow Global Warming? Researchers Look To Family Planning

Tue, 2017/07/18 - 1:17pm

A recent study shows that the biggest way to reduce climate change is to have fewer children, but, says one of its authors, the report isn't meant to tell people how to plan their futures.

(Image credit: NASA)

Categories: Environment

Deadly Arizona Flash Flood Created '40-Foot Wide Black Wave'

Mon, 2017/07/17 - 7:58am

The victims were all from one Phoenix family, who had been celebrating a birthday alongside a popular swimming hole, unaware that summer thunderstorms had just dropped heavy rains upstream.

(Image credit: Ralph Freso/AP)

Categories: Environment

Natural Gas Building Boom Fuels Climate Worries, Enrages Landowners

Mon, 2017/07/17 - 2:00am

Companies are asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to approve thousands of miles of pipelines from Appalachia. It's an agency that almost never says no.

(Image credit: Leanne Abraham/NPR)

Categories: Environment

In Chile, Many Regard Climate Change As The Greatest External Threat

Sun, 2017/07/16 - 3:41am

Drought, floods and wildfires are signs that climate change has become a harsh reality for the 17 million people of Chile. Laguna de Aculeo used to be a booming summer playground, but not anymore.

(Image credit: Philip Reeves/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Friday News Roundup - International

Fri, 2017/07/14 - 8:06am

Iraq marks a major moment, Brazil sends its former president to prison and President Trump looks for an alternative agreement -- in Paris.

(Image credit: FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

No Offense, American Bees, But Your Sperm Isn't Cutting It

Thu, 2017/07/13 - 6:00am

U.S. bees are in trouble, and one of the major threats is a deadly parasite called varroa mite. So researchers are importing sperm from European bees resistant to mites to toughen up America's stock.

(Image credit: Megan Asche/Courtesy of Washington State University)

Categories: Environment

Massive Iceberg Breaks Free In Antarctica

Wed, 2017/07/12 - 7:39am

Scientists say the iceberg is one of the largest seen by satellites. But the full implications of its separation off remain to be seen.

(Image credit: John Sonntag/NASA)

Categories: Environment

Denmark Wants To Lead The World In Green Growth

Wed, 2017/07/12 - 1:54am

Google may soon join Apple and Facebook in building a data center in Denmark. Thanks to easy access to renewable energy, big corporations can say their Danish data centers have zero emissions.

Categories: Environment

With Caviar, Clay, and Turkey Feathers, Saving Lake Sturgeon From Extinction

Tue, 2017/07/11 - 1:51am

Lake sturgeon have been around since the dinosaurs, and they can live as long as humans, or longer. Overfishing and pollution has decimated populations, but biologists are learning to help them breed.

Categories: Environment

Reading, Writing And Fracking? What The Oil Industry Teaches Oklahoma Students

Tue, 2017/07/11 - 1:51am

Oklahoma's oil industry is spending millions on science lessons for public schools. But environmentalists say omitting climate change leaves students unprepared.

(Image credit: Joe Wertz/StateImpact Oklahoma)

Categories: Environment

Trump's Budget Plan Proposes Cuts To Great Lakes Restoration Projects

Mon, 2017/07/10 - 1:35pm

President Trump's 2018 budget plan eliminates millions for Great Lakes restoration. What does that mean for projects across the Great Lakes, including research on harmful algae and Asian carp prevention efforts? NPR looks at the most important programs in each lake that could be targeted.

Categories: Environment