Environment

Living On Earth’s Jaime Kaiser reports on a new study about Antarctic Icebergs, which suggests that as they melt they release nutrients that cause algal blooms that then sequester carbon from the atmosphere in the deep ocean when they die. (published March 11, 2016)

Living on Earth: March 11, 2016

Mar 12, 2016

Honduran Environmental Activist Murdered / Shell Sued In UK Over Nigerian Pollution / Sanders and Clinton on Flint Crisis and Fracking / Rising Seas and Real Estate Prices in Fort Lauderdale / Beyond the Headlines / Emerging Science Note/Carbon-Cleaning Icebergs / Penguin Colony Uprooted by Ice in a Warming World / Stealing Dirt: A Thieving Penguin

Researchers who study Adelie penguins in Antarctica returned to their study site to find most of the birds gone. This follows a massive iceberg blocking the colony from their feeding grounds. Penguin researcher Kerry-Jayne Wilson tells host Steve Curwood what she believes happened to the missing penguins and how climate change could be spawning more icebergs in the southern ocean. (published March 11, 2016)

The seventh Democratic debate of the election year refocused the spotlight on Flint’s lead crisis, with both candidates calling for Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s resignation. Secretary Clinton expressed opposition to fracking, with some reservations, while Senator Sanders flatly rejected it and reiterated the urgency of acting on climate change. (published March 11, 2016)

Beyond the Headlines

Mar 11, 2016

In this week’s trip beyond the headlines, Peter Dykstra tells host Steve Curwood about Gov. Chris Christie’s opposition to funding lead poisoning prevention, and a battle against development and support for uranium mining near the Grand Canyon. They also look back at a flap over cyanide-laced Chilean grapes and note the loss of a master of environmental photography, Gary Braasch. (published March 11, 2016)

Living on Earth: March 11, 2016

Mar 11, 2016

Honduran Environmental Activist Murdered / Shell Sued In UK Over Nigerian Pollution / Sanders and Clinton on Flint Crisis and Fracking / Rising Seas and Real Estate Prices in Fort Lauderdale / Beyond the Headlines / Emerging Science Note/Carbon-Cleaning Icebergs / Penguin Colony Uprooted by Ice in a Warming World / Stealing Dirt: A Thieving Penguin

Researchers who study Adelie penguins in Antarctica returned to their study site to find most of the birds gone. This follows a massive iceberg blocking the colony from their feeding grounds. Penguin researcher Kerry-Jayne Wilson tells host Steve Curwood what she believes happened to the missing penguins and how climate change could be spawning more icebergs in the southern ocean. (published March 11, 2016)

Honduran Environmental Activist Murdered

Mar 11, 2016

Berta Cáceres, an indigenous activist who opposed huge dam projects in her native Honduras, was recently murdered in her home. This draws attention to dangers that environmental activists in her country face. Billy Kyte of the British NGO global witness tells host Steve Curwood that she was one of the bravest people he’d ever met and that Honduras is among the most dangerous countries in the world for environmental campaigners. (published March 11, 2016)

The seventh Democratic debate of the election year refocused the spotlight on Flint’s lead crisis, with both candidates calling for Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s resignation. Secretary Clinton expressed opposition to fracking, with some reservations, while Senator Sanders flatly rejected it and reiterated the urgency of acting on climate change. (published March 11, 2016)

Shell Sued In UK Over Nigerian Pollution

Mar 11, 2016

Countless oil spills over decades have destroyed fishing and farmland and turned the once beautiful Niger Delta into a toxic wasteland. Lawyer Daniel Leader is suing Shell Oil in UK courts on behalf of local Nigerian communities, in an effort to clean up the ecosystems where they live. Daniel Leader discusses the lawsuit with host Steve Curwood. (published March 11, 2016)

Drought associated with El Niño is hammering subsistence farmers in Asia, Latin America and much of Africa — creating a hunger emergency for 60 million people, according to figures from Oxfam America.

“What we are observing is really a concerning situation,” says Nahuel Arenas, director of the humanitarian response department at Oxfam America. “It is ... drought exacerbated by the El Niño phenomenon, which really creates a huge humanitarian crisis.

Omar Fetouh/WBFO News

Your trips to the supermarket could be impacting the water you drink. That’s one reason why Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz is proposing a ban on plastic bags at all stores in the county.

A team of Cambridge University researchers has shown that various wolf species and subspecies howl using clearly identifiable “dialects." 

People can easily detect differences in wolf howls by ear, but these researchers wanted to measure more precisely how and why the howls of some members of the canid species differ from others, says the study’s lead author, Arik Kershenbaum.

A new study from NOAA shows that, by building new high-tech transmission lines, the US could slash energy sector global warming emissions by 80 percent within 15 years, while keeping consumer costs low and meeting increased demand.

Alexander MacDonald, a co-author of the study and the recently retired director of NOAA’s Earth Systems Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado, says studying the national weather map gave him the idea.

During the recent occupation of Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by anti-government ranchers, some wondered whether federal authorities would have been as patient with black, rather than white, occupiers.

The Great California Almond Pollination

Mar 5, 2016

Eighty percent of the world’s almond supply is grown in California’s Central Valley. Those nut trees need a lot of water and also honeybees to pollinate the blossoms. Living on Earth’s Emmett Fitzgerald visits the orchards with an almond farmer and a migratory beekeeper who have been working together for over 30 years. (published March 4, 2016)

Monarch Butterflies on the Rebound

Mar 5, 2016

As recently as the mid 1990s, a billion or more Monarch butterflies fluttered through US and Canadian meadows in the summer and headed to forests in central Mexico in the winter, but habitat loss, pesticides and climate change have endangered their population. Host Steve Curwood discusses a recent survey indicating a rebound in Monarchs with Tierra Curry, Senior Scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity, and learns what the US and Mexico are doing to ensure that the species continues to recover. (published March 4, 2016)

India’s Solar Power Plans Hobbled by US

Mar 5, 2016

In response to a US complaint the World Trade Organization has found that some provisions in India’s National Solar Mission violate international trade rules. Friends of the Earth’s Sam Cossar-Gilbert tells host Steve Curwood how the ruling could undermine India’s pledges to cut global warming emissions under the Paris Climate Agreement and calls into question the extent of the US commitment to help developing nations fight climate change. (published March 4, 2016)

Living on Earth: March 4, 2016

Mar 5, 2016

India’s Solar Power Plans Hobbled by US / Beyond the Headlines / Monarch Butterflies on the Rebound / Pollinators In Trouble Worldwide / The Great California Almond Pollination / Good Bacteria Could Save Amphibians / Sustainable Coffee Keeps the Planet in the Black

Pollinators In Trouble Worldwide

Mar 5, 2016

One out of every three bites of our food comes to us thanks to pollinators like bees, butterflies, and birds. But a new UN-sponsored report details the threats that pollinators are facing around the world, from pesticides to habitat destruction. One of the authors David Inouye, a biology professor from the University of Maryland, discusses the findings with host Steve Curwood. (published March 4, 2016)

Forest caribou populations in British Columbia are struggling, and in an effort to keep them from disappearing the government is going after its primary predator — wolves.

It's a controversial move, but caribou conservation expert Chris Johnson from Northern British Columbia University says there are few options to help caribou populations pushed to the edge of extinction.

India’s Solar Power Plans Hobbled by US

Mar 4, 2016

In response to a US complaint the World Trade Organization has found that some provisions in India’s National Solar Mission violate international trade rules. Friends of the Earth’s Sam Cossar-Gilbert tells host Steve Curwood how the ruling could undermine India’s pledges to cut global warming emissions under the Paris Climate Agreement and calls into question the extent of the US commitment to help developing nations fight climate change. (published March 4, 2016)

Pollinators In Trouble Worldwide

Mar 4, 2016

One out of every three bites of our food comes to us thanks to pollinators like bees, butterflies, and birds. But a new UN-sponsored report details the threats that pollinators are facing around the world, from pesticides to habitat destruction. One of the authors David Inouye, a biology professor from the University of Maryland, discusses the findings with host Steve Curwood. (published March 4, 2016)

Living on Earth: March 4, 2016

Mar 4, 2016

India’s Solar Power Plans Hobbled by US / Beyond the Headlines / Monarch Butterflies on the Rebound / Pollinators In Trouble Worldwide / The Great California Almond Pollination / Good Bacteria Could Save Amphibians / Sustainable Coffee Keeps the Planet in the Black

Beyond the Headlines

Mar 4, 2016

In this week’s trip beyond the headlines, Peter Dykstra tells host Steve Curwood about the indictment of three executives for the Fukushima Nuclear meltdown, America’s first climate change “refugees” from Louisiana and the shutdown of the last commercial whaling station in the US, 45 years ago. (published March 4, 2016)

Monarch Butterflies on the Rebound

Mar 4, 2016

As recently as the mid 1990s, a billion or more Monarch butterflies fluttered through US and Canadian meadows in the summer and headed to forests in central Mexico in the winter, but habitat loss, pesticides and climate change have endangered their population. Host Steve Curwood discusses a recent survey indicating a rebound in Monarchs with Tierra Curry, Senior Scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity, and learns what the US and Mexico are doing to ensure that the species continues to recover. (published March 4, 2016)

Despite a couple weeks of good rains and heavy snowfall in California's Sierra Mountains, state officials and water experts say the state should expect to be living with drought conditions for the foreseeable future.

“We don’t really know what’s going to happen,” says Peter Gleick, director of the Pacific Institute, a think tank devoted to global water issues. “It is an El Niño year, but El Niños can be wet for Northern California or they can be dry for Northern California. So it’s a little bit of a toss of the dice, still.”

Looking for parking in a city is frustrating for the driver and bad for the climate, as circling cars emit unnecessary pollution. One possible answer to this parking problem is not so far in the future: self-driving cars.

In a recent essay in Mother Jones magazine, reporter Clive Thompson says fleets of coordinated, self-driving cars could bring an end to parking as we know it and help make our urban future cheaper, greener and much more pleasant.

Beyond the Headlines

Feb 27, 2016

In this week’s trip beyond the headlines, Peter Dykstra tells host Steve Curwood about unexpected health effects linked to breathing Beijing’s dirty air and how exposure to a toxin in the sea ruined this year’s Dungeness crab season. It also poisoned California’s seabirds years ago, inspiring a famous Alfred Hitchcock film. Traveling back in environmental politics, they consider how ignorance related to environmental contamination of food contributed to the Salem witchhunt. (published February 26, 2016)

BirdNote: Early Bird Gets the Nesting Site

Feb 27, 2016

Competition for nesting sites is fierce as migrating birds return north for the summer months, but as BirdNote’s Michael Stein reports, clever bluebirds and the tree swallows beat the rush—staking their claim before others have a chance. (published February 26, 2016)

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