With wildfire becoming more prevalent in the U.S. and the Forest Service increasingly looking to let some wildfires burn, there's a need to better understand the smoke that billows from those fires.
President-elect Donald Trump hasn't said much about food and farm policy or named his choices for top food-related jobs. But the coming years will likely see profound battles over food and nutrition.
(Image credit: Ryan Anson/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
A University of Edinburgh study finds birds are arriving at breeding grounds too soon, causing some to miss out on food
Migrating birds are responding to the effects of climate change by arriving at their breeding grounds earlier as global temperatures rise, research has found.
The University of Edinburgh study, which looked at hundreds of species across five continents, found that birds are reaching their summer breeding grounds on average about one day earlier per degree of increasing global temperature.Continue reading...
Listeners of our NPR One app rated these 10 stories as the most liked, recommended and shared in 2016.
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Unions say industrial unrest cannot be ruled out by nuclear workers in Copeland amid row over changes to pension scheme
“Serious industrial unrest” at Europe’s biggest nuclear site could threaten the Conservatives’ chances of winning a forthcoming byelection, unions have warned.Continue reading...
Investigation comes after video was posted on YouTube showing men running over bear with off-road vehicles
A criminal investigation has been opened into a group of men who filmed themselves killing a bear in Siberia by running over it with off-road vehicles.
A video posted on YouTube on Monday and apparently filmed on a mobile phone showed a brown bear being crushed to death in the snow by two heavy duty trucks, of the kind used by oil and mining workers. The video has since been removed.
Former prime minister says the ‘poor quality of representatives’ is a worldwide phenomenon partly caused by media focus on politicians’ private lives
Bob Hawke has blamed “the increasing intrusiveness of the media into private lives of politicians” for what he sees as a decline in quality of MPs and leaders in Australia and abroad.
In a wide-ranging address at the Woodford Folk festival in Queensland, where the 87-year-old has spoken for eight years in a row, the former prime minister said “poor quality of representatives … is not a purely Australian phenomenon – it’s a worldwide phenomenon”.Continue reading...
Brambles and birds did well, but bees dipped and butterflies were hindered, according to a review of the year’s wildlife and weather by the National Trust
Farmers made hay but rampant grass growth in 2016 made life hard for butterflies and even puffin chicks, according to a review of the year’s wildlife and weather by the National Trust.
The nation’s ever more variable weather brought both booms and busts, with brambles and birds doing well, and slugs flourishing. But bumblebees dipped and owls found field voles hard to find.Continue reading...
Wenlock Edge, Shropshire On a closer look, the trees are not still holding leaves at all but are full of bracts and seeds
From a distance, the common lime trees are a rich orangey colour. This looks wrong. The autumn leaves of these trees are buttery and the last of them blew down a month ago. The limes have a curious russet foliage, just like the coating of rust on the fallen leaves in a spring issuing from ironstone under the Short Woods a few miles north of here. The rusty limes look oddly out of time, as if frozen in an arrested autumn when all about them winter trees stand darkly naked.
On a closer look, the limes are not still holding leaves at all but are full of bracts and seeds. The bracts are small, oblong, modified leaves, pale and almost transparent when they open in spring, like solar panels on a satellite above the dangling cyme of two to seven flowers.Continue reading...
Cropland losses will have consequences especially for Asia and Africa, which will experience growing food insecurity as cities expand
Our future crops will face threats not only from climate change, but also from the massive expansion of cities, a new study warns. By 2030, it’s estimated that urban areas will triple in size, expanding into cropland and undermining the productivity of agricultural systems that are already stressed by rising populations and climate change.
Roughly 60% of the world’s cropland lies on the outskirts of cities—and that’s particularly worrying, the report authors say, because this peripheral habitat is, on average, also twice as productive as land elsewhere on the globe.Continue reading...
Russian investigators are examining footage to determine whether it constitutes an animal cruelty criminal offence
Russian investigators are looking into a disturbing video of a bear being crushed to death by a group of men riding in off-road vehicles over Siberian tundra.
In the video, apparently shot by one of the assailants, two trucks normally used by Russian oil and mining workers in off-road conditions repeatedly drive over a brown bear sitting in the snow.Continue reading...
The President-elect’s nominees to key positions deny the existence, threats, and solutions to human-caused global warming
When speaking about climate change, President-elect Trump has flip-flopped between acceptance and denial, which suggests that he hasn’t put much thought into one of humanity’s greatest threats. However, what his administration does is far more important than what he thinks. Unfortunately, Trump has nominated individuals to several critical climate leadership positions who reject inconvenient scientific and economic evidence.Continue reading...
Urgent action is needed to stop the world’s fastest land animal becoming extinct, experts have warned
Urgent action is needed to stop the cheetah – the world’s fastest land animal – becoming extinct, experts have warned.
Scientists estimate that only 7,100 of the fleet-footed cats remain in the wild, occupying 9% of the territory they once lived in. Asiatic populations have been hit the hardest, with fewer than 50 surviving in Iran, according to an investigation led by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).Continue reading...
A selection of images captured by photographers over the past 12 months, including a Donald Trump lookalike pheasant, kissing parakeets, and a lost slothContinue reading...
Allendale, Northumberland The lights dance and shift, fading or intensifying, undulating in curtains of colour
As I open the back door, the path shows up in a rectangle of light, the gravel sparkling like golden sugar. My breath shows in pale mists that billow and dissipate in the air. The owls that called repeatedly at dusk are now silent, hunting for voles across the frozen haugh. There’s the sharp smell of cold, and the river seems much louder than it does by day.
Here, in the frost hollow of the valley, it is a couple of degrees lower than the surrounding hills. Cooler air, being denser, flows down into the bowl of the land. The grasses and seedheads of the garden become outlined in hoar frost, coated in spiky crystals, the shrunken browns and greys of dying foliage enlarged into something magical.
As demand for sustainable energy increases, Australia’s independent renewable energy agency has to choose to fund some projects over others – to varying degrees of success
As any punter will know, backing winners isn’t easy. There’s a little bit of science, a little bit of art and a whole lot of luck.
Australia’s independent renewable energy agency came into being in 2012 though an act of parliament, with a $2.5bn, 10-year mission to improve the affordability of renewable energy and increase its supply in Australia. It hasn’t been smooth sailing; this year Arena was facing a $1.3bn budget cut but this was commuted to a smaller but still significant $500m.Continue reading...
David Pitt, 77, went into cardiac arrest after highly venomous reptile bit him on the foot in his home in far north Queensland
An elderly man bitten by a taipan at his home in Queensland has died after spending nearly a week in hospital.
David Pitt, 77, went into cardiac arrest after the highly venomous snake bit him on the foot at his home in Yorkeys Knob, Cairns, on 20 December.Continue reading...
Calls for culls always surge after attacks by ‘salties’ but it’s their habitat not humans that will decide their numbers
For the people of Australia’s tropical north, a wary coexistence with crocodiles is a fact of life.
Protected for more than four decades after being hunted to near extinction, the ancient reptile – on the credible numbers that are available – has staged a remarkable recovery.Continue reading...