Bill Gates is going nuclear: How his latest project could power U.S. homes and AI

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2024/06/14 - 2:00am

The billionaire philanthropist tells Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep his new TerraPower nuclear plant is safer than traditional builds. He’s putting his own money behind the project.

(Image credit: Ben de la Cruz)

Categories: Environment

Why you shouldn't worry about invasive Joro spiders

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2024/06/14 - 12:00am

Joro spiders are spreading across the east coast. They are an invasive species that most likely arrived in shipping containers from eastern Asia. Today, we look into why some people find them scary, why to not panic about them and what their trajectory illustrates about the wider issue of invasive species.

Questions? You can also email those to shortwave@npr.org.

(Image credit: GummyBone)

Categories: Environment

Hawaii's birds are going extinct. Their last hope could be millions of mosquitoes

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2024/06/12 - 2:00am

Hawaii's unique birds, known as honeycreepers, are being wiped out by mosquitoes carrying avian malaria. The birds' last hope could be more mosquitoes, designed to crash their own population.

(Image credit: Ryan Kellman)

Categories: Environment

Here's why an Arizona medical examiner is working to track heat-related deaths

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2024/06/11 - 5:21am

No one across the U.S. is consistently tracking climate-fueled deaths. One medical examiner has a new protocol on heat-deaths.

(Image credit: Cassidy Araiza for NPR)

Categories: Environment

Climate change is deadly. Exactly how deadly?

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2024/06/10 - 3:53am

Multiple federal and state government agencies count the number of deaths from extreme floods, wildfires, heat waves and hurricanes. They don't always agree on which deaths should be counted.

(Image credit: Arden S. Barnes)

Categories: Environment

Illegal wildlife trade is booming. What does that mean for the confiscated animals?

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2024/06/10 - 12:00am

Wildlife trafficking is one of the largest and most profitable crime sectors in the world. The illegal trade estimated to be a multi-billion dollar industry. On a high level, that illegal trade causes problems for everything from global biodiversity to local economies and the balance of entire ecosystems. And on the immediate level, authorities are tasked with caring for confiscated animals and placing them in long-term care facilities.

One network launched last year by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Association for Zoos and Aquariums hopes to help. And with wildlife trafficking surging globally, the organizations are now in talks to expand the program to other parts of the country.

Read more about illegal wildlife trafficking and check out more photos in climate correspondent Nate Rott's full story.

Have other wildlife stories you want us to cover? Email us at shortwave@npr.org.

(Image credit: Ryan Kellman)

Categories: Environment

Creating a throw-away culture: How companies ingrained plastics in modern life

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2024/06/09 - 2:00am

Plastic has become embedded in everyday life. That’s because for the last 70 years, the plastics industry convinced consumers to embrace the material for its low cost and disposability.

(Image credit: Jacquelyn Martin)

Categories: Environment

Box turtles. Coral. These illegally trafficked animals still need a good home

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2024/06/08 - 2:00am

When authorities find wildlife that are being illegally trafficked, at ports or airports, the animals are often in terrible shape. Sick, starved, distressed. A pilot project in Southern California aims to get seized wildlife immediate care.

(Image credit: Ryan Kellman)

Categories: Environment

A heat dome can bring dangerously high temperatures. What is it?

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2024/06/06 - 3:26am

Much of the Southwest U.S. is experiencing extreme heat this week — with temperatures blazing past 100 degrees. And a phenomenon known as a heat dome is to blame.

(Image credit: ‎‎‎

Categories: Environment

The arguments for swapping lawns for more natural landscaping

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2024/06/05 - 3:20pm

It’s lawnmower season but some homeowners and others say it’s time to shift from well-trimmed lawns to more environmentally friendly landscaping.

Categories: Environment

Why the science of tides was crucial for D-Day

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2024/06/05 - 12:00am

June 6, 1944 the Allied Forces stormed the beaches of Normandy and took the Nazis by surprise in the largest sea-to-land invasion in history. This would be remembered as D-Day and would ultimately lead to the end of World War II in Europe. However, this planned attack wouldn't have been possible without deep knowledge of ocean tides! We get into the whole story, including why tides sit at the intersection of astronomy and marine ecology — and why understanding tides are key to a greener future.

Want to hear us cover more science history? Email us at shortwave@npr.org.

Categories: Environment

He frolicked in forests as a kid. Now he's saving them from a coal mine plan

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2024/05/30 - 12:57pm

Alok Shukla is one of the winners of the 2024 Goldman Environmental Prize. He's cited for a campaign to keep a company from felling a forest in India to excavate the coal that lies beneath.

(Image credit: Idrees Mohammed)

Categories: Environment

Want to see more butterflies in your yard? Lazy gardening may be the answer

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2024/05/29 - 12:47am

Need an excuse to do less yard work? It might actually help butterflies and other pollinators.

Categories: Environment

There's unprecedented funding for fire prevention this summer

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2024/05/28 - 2:10pm

Despite forecasts for a hotter than summer, federal wildland fire managers say they are hopeful unprecedented funding for fire prevention will keep things quiet.

Categories: Environment

Your future's in the trash can: How the plastic industry promoted waste to make money

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2024/05/26 - 5:09am

The world is awash in plastic waste. But plastic wasn't always ubiquitous. We examine a decades-long effort by the plastics industry to get people hooked on disposable products and packaging.

Categories: Environment

Norfolk Southern reaches a multimillion-dollar settlement over Ohio train derailment

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2024/05/23 - 3:18pm

Among other fees, they will pay $235 million for the Environmental Protection Agency's past and future clean-up for contaminated air, water, and soil in and around where the train derailed in 2023.

(Image credit: Gene J. Puskar/AP)

Categories: Environment

The 2024 Atlantic hurricane season will be 'extraordinary,' forecasters warn

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2024/05/23 - 10:22am

The National Hurricane Center is predicting the largest number of storms ever forecast for the Atlantic, putting tens of millions of Americans at risk.

(Image credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Mangroves protect communities from storms. Half are at risk of collapse, report finds

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2024/05/22 - 12:04pm

Mangroves are unique coastal ecosystems protecting humans and wildlife. Rising sea levels and storms pose an increasing threat to their survival.

(Image credit: Sia Kambou)

Categories: Environment

Plastic junk? Researchers find tiny particles in men's testicles

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2024/05/22 - 5:07am

The new study has scientists concerned that microplastics may be contributing to reproductive health issues.

(Image credit: Volodymyr Zakharov)

Categories: Environment
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