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: 22 hours 49 min ago

Regal Fritillary Butterflies Find Rare Refuge On Military Base In Pennsylvania

Mon, 2019/07/22 - 2:07pm

The regal fritillary butterfly has largely disappeared from the East Coast, save for a surprising refuge on a military base in Pennsylvania. A few days each summer, hundreds descend for a tour.

Categories: Environment

A New Battery Could Be Key To Cutting Carbon Emissions, Slowing Climate Change

Mon, 2019/07/22 - 1:27pm

NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with Yet-Ming Chiang, professor of materials science and engineering at MIT, about why new battery technology is key to cutting carbon emissions and slowing climate change.

Categories: Environment

Foresight 2020: Tom Steyer

Mon, 2019/07/22 - 7:31am

He was out. Now he's in.

(Image credit: Steve Pope/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Plant Cover In Cities Could Combat 'Urban Heat Island Effect'

Mon, 2019/07/22 - 2:04am

A large part of the country has been hit with a punishing heat wave. A visit to a suburban parking lot shows more vegetation would help metropolitan areas stay cooler.

Categories: Environment

Great Pacific Garbage Patch Swimmer Collects Data On Microplastics

Sun, 2019/07/21 - 2:10pm

NPR's Sarah McCammon speaks with environmental advocate Ben Lecomte, who is swimming through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Categories: Environment

Storms, Rising Seas Threaten Louisiana's Unique Mix Of Cultures

Sun, 2019/07/21 - 5:00am

Hurricane Barry last weekend was just the latest to batter Louisiana's coast. The state is trying to preserve some traditions before they disappear.

Categories: Environment

Local Environmental Issue In New Hampshire Gets A 2020 Boost

Sun, 2019/07/21 - 5:00am

Clean water activists are leveraging their state's crucial position in the presidential primaries to get candidates to take up their issue.

Categories: Environment

Trump Seizes On Soggy Paper Straws As Campaign Issue: 'Make Straws Great Again'

Fri, 2019/07/19 - 6:34pm

The president's reelection campaign is selling reusable and recycled straws in its 2020 online store, because, it says, "Liberal paper straws don't work."

(Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Hawaiian Activists Protest Construction Of World's Largest Telescope In State

Fri, 2019/07/19 - 1:09pm

Native Hawaiian activists are protesting to prevent the construction of the world's largest telescope on Hawaii's tallest mountain. Now, authorities appear poised to break up the protests.

Categories: Environment

Rogue Weedkiller Vapors Are Threatening Soybean Science

Fri, 2019/07/19 - 8:26am

Scientists at four leading universities have seen their soybean experiments injured by a stealthy vandal: drifting fumes from a weedkiller called dicamba, now popular among farmers.

(Image credit: Dan Charles/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Can The Current U.S. Heat Wave Be Linked To Climate Change?

Fri, 2019/07/19 - 2:04am

The National Weather Service warns a widespread and dangerous heat wave is building in the central and eastern U.S. How should people think about these kinds of events in the era of climate change?

Categories: Environment

Refinery Explosions Raise New Warnings About Deadly Chemical

Fri, 2019/07/19 - 2:00am

Chemical experts say recent refinery explosions could have been far more devastating if deadly hydrogen fluoride was released. Some are calling for a ban on the chemical.

(Image credit: Matt Rourke/AP)

Categories: Environment

The Water Crisis In Chennai, India: Who's To Blame And How Do You Fix It?

Thu, 2019/07/18 - 4:09am

Reservoirs are dry in India's sixth biggest city. Municipal taps work only a few hours a day. Trains are delivering emergency water supplies.

(Image credit: Arun Sankar/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Our Taste For Turtle Soup Nearly Wiped Out Terrapins. Then Prohibition Saved Them

Thu, 2019/07/18 - 4:00am

By the turn of the 20th century, America's love affair with diamondback terrapin soup — a subsistence food turned gourmet fare — had left the turtle's population teetering. Booze ban to the rescue.

(Image credit: Jesse D. Eriksen/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

If We All Ate Enough Fruits And Vegetables, There'd Be Big Shortages

Wed, 2019/07/17 - 3:30pm

There's already not enough produce for everyone in the world to get the daily recommended amount. Two new studies urge revamping the food system to feed the growing population and protect the planet.

(Image credit: Wanwisa Hernandez/EyeEm/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Scientists Desert USDA As Agency Relocates To Kansas City Area

Wed, 2019/07/17 - 3:35am

The mandatory move imposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on most of the workers at two vital research agencies has been criticized as a "blatant attack on science."

(Image credit: J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Categories: Environment

Florida's Corals Are Dying Off, But It's Not All Due To Climate Change, Study Says

Tue, 2019/07/16 - 1:26pm

A new study from the Florida Keys shows that a lot of the stress on corals comes from local sources, providing hope that community action can help save them.

(Image credit: JW Porter/University of Georgia)

Categories: Environment

The Dawn Of Low-Carbon Shipping

Tue, 2019/07/16 - 6:38am

The shipping industry is starting to move away from pollutant-intensive heavy fuel oil. Scientists and private companies are betting on a clean replacement technology: hydrogen fuel cells.

(Image credit: John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

As Federal Regulations Lag, States Take Action Against PFAS Chemicals

Tue, 2019/07/16 - 2:06am

Frustrated with federal inaction, states such as New Hampshire, are taking their own measures against a class of pollutants known as "forever chemicals"

Categories: Environment

Giant Shipper Bets Big On Ending Its Carbon Emissions. Will It Pay Off?

Mon, 2019/07/15 - 10:09am

Maersk, the world's largest container shipping company, has set a massive goal for itself: going carbon neutral by 2050. This would be good for the world. But how would it be good for the bottom line?

(Image credit: David Hecker/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment