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: 8 hours 24 min ago

La Niña is coming. Here's what that means for winter weather in the U.S.

Fri, 2021/10/15 - 12:13pm

The climate pattern known as La Niña generally brings winters that are drier and warmer than usual across the southern U.S. and cooler and wetter in the northern part of the country.

(Image credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

Categories: Environment

Flood insurance rates are spiking for many, to account for climate risk

Fri, 2021/10/15 - 2:00am

FEMA says its new rates better reflect the risk from more intense and frequent rain and floods. The increase could make housing unaffordable for some in the most flood-prone areas.

(Image credit: Saul Martinez for NPR)

Categories: Environment

The California oil spill was about 25,000 gallons — one-fifth what officials feared

Thu, 2021/10/14 - 2:13pm

The leak was previously estimated to be at least 25,000 gallons and no more than 132,000 gallons. The Coast Guard now says it was closer to the lower figure.

(Image credit: Ringo H.W. Chiu/AP)

Categories: Environment

Floods threaten to shut down a quarter of U.S. roads and critical buildings

Thu, 2021/10/14 - 1:34pm

A new report says floods could shut down a quarter of the country's critical facilities like airports, hospitals, government buildings, and schools — and the roads that take you there.

(Image credit: The Washington Post/The Washington Post via Getty Im)

Categories: Environment

Researchers are asking for volunteer 'walrus detectives' to spot walruses from space

Thu, 2021/10/14 - 10:36am

Conservationists are trying to track walrus populations amid climate change but they can't do it alone.

Categories: Environment

Immerse yourself in nature with these 2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year images

Wed, 2021/10/13 - 2:24pm

The top two winners of the 2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition were selected from more than 50,000 entries worldwide. They are a biologist from France and a 10-year-old from India.

(Image credit: Vidyun R Hebbar/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Categories: Environment

The Alisal Fire is rapidly growing near Santa Barbara

Wed, 2021/10/13 - 5:12am

The fire was burning near Rancho del Cielo, which was once owned by Ronald and Nancy Reagan and was known as the Western White House during his presidency.

(Image credit: Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department/AP)

Categories: Environment

Will the offshore wind industry solve pay and environmental issues?

Wed, 2021/10/13 - 2:05am

Offshore wind is on the verge of becoming a major new industry in the U.S. There's a push to make sure it creates lots of good-paying union jobs.

Categories: Environment

Prince Charles' Aston Martin runs on a unique power source

Tue, 2021/10/12 - 3:07am

In 2008, Prince Charles asked engineers to convert his Aston Martin to run on something more environmentally friendly. They came up with a way to power a car that's fit for royalty: wine and cheese.

Categories: Environment

Catch limits imposed on menhaden have sparked a population rebound

Tue, 2021/10/12 - 2:09am

Along the Northeast coast, seals, whales and tuna feast on menhaden, fish that rebounded after regulators limited the catch. The oily fish are a foundation of coastal ecosystems from Florida to Maine.

Categories: Environment

California's Justice Department is now investigating the cause of the oil spill

Tue, 2021/10/12 - 12:08am

California Attorney General Rob Bonta says investigators will work to find the cause of the oil spill and whether anything could have been done to prevent the spill.

(Image credit: Ringo H.W. Chiu/AP)

Categories: Environment

An invasive plant is taking over the Kansas prairie. It may be too late to stop it

Mon, 2021/10/11 - 2:03pm

In the land of the open prairie, an invasive plant is threatening to transform Kansas' grassland ecosystems into biodiversity wastelands. Researchers are running out of time to find ways to stop it.

Categories: Environment

Raising the price of fossil fuels to reflect the true social cost

Mon, 2021/10/11 - 2:03pm

Researchers at the International Monetary Fund say trillions of dollars in fossil fuel subsidies are making greenhouse-gas-producing fuels cheaper than they should be and making climate change worse.

Categories: Environment

The impact of the California oil spill could have been worse for wildlife

Mon, 2021/10/11 - 2:08am

Wildlife is threatened after a pipeline leaked oil off the Southern California coast. NPR's A Martínez talks to Michael Ziccardi of the Oiled Wildlife Care Network at UC Davis, about rescue efforts.

Categories: Environment

Drought conditions force California wineries to change how they grow grapes

Mon, 2021/10/11 - 2:08am

A severe drought in California has meant lost crops for many wine country grape growers. But some are finding ways to adapt to the hot, dry conditions.

Categories: Environment

Google Flights will show users what the carbon emissions would be for a trip

Sun, 2021/10/10 - 4:57am

NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro speaks to scientist Katharine Hayhoe about Google's new tools that help people choose to decrease their carbon footprint when it comes to taking an airplane trip.

Categories: Environment

Wetland area that was damage by California oil spill could take years to recover

Sun, 2021/10/10 - 4:57am

The wetlands damaged in southern California's oil spill had been restored decades ago, and are some of the last remaining in the area. Ecologists say damage from the recent spill will be long lasting.

Categories: Environment

Oil pipeline damage may have happened months before the massive oil spill

Fri, 2021/10/08 - 5:10pm

Coast Guard investigators say an underwater Southern California oil pipeline was likely struck by an anchor as long as a year before a major leak spilled tens of thousands of gallons of crude.

(Image credit: Ringo H.W. Chiu/AP)

Categories: Environment

What's next for Louisiana's LaPlace Parish residents after weathering repeated storms

Fri, 2021/10/08 - 1:38pm

Residents of LaPlace in Louisiana have stayed hurricane after hurricane due to their deep ties to their community. State and federal officials are trying to deal with the area's repeated devastation.

Categories: Environment

9 in 10 cars now being sold in Norway are electric or hybrid

Fri, 2021/10/08 - 9:05am

Of all new passenger cars sold so far in 2021 in Norway, less than 5% are powered by gasoline. The numbers push the country closer to meeting its goal of a zero-emission fleet of new cars by 2025.

(Image credit: Sigrid Harms/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment