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: 4 hours 32 min ago

50 earthquakes hit off the Oregon coast, but scientists say they're no great shakes

Wed, 2021/12/08 - 9:35am

A swarm of earthquakes led some people to worry that the seismic activity might portend The Big One. But seismologists say that given the location of the quakes, there was no cause for alarm.

(Image credit: USGS)

Categories: Environment

Calif. rules to protect outdoor workers from smoke are rarely enforced, probe finds

Mon, 2021/12/06 - 3:10am

California has strict protections for farm workers who labor outside when air quality is poor. But the state's worker safety agency rarely cites employers not in compliance with those regulations.

Categories: Environment

Communities of color face disproportionate exposure to pollution

Sun, 2021/12/05 - 6:09am

Ayesha Rascoe speaks with Michael S. Regan, the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, about the Biden administration's approach to environmental justice.

Categories: Environment

Des Moines, Iowa, is in a stinky situation

Sun, 2021/12/05 - 6:09am

Ayesha Rascoe asks Des Moines city official SuAnn Donovan about an ongoing battle against bad odors in the city's downtown.

Categories: Environment

There is an environmental impact each time you hit 'buy now.' Here's an alternative

Sun, 2021/12/05 - 6:00am

Overconsumption from the holiday shopping season can have negative an environmental impact. But there are ways to make gift giving more sustainable.

(Image credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

How nuclear power figures into a green energy future

Sat, 2021/12/04 - 3:09pm

NPR's David Folkenflik speaks with former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz about the role of nuclear power in a green energy future.

Categories: Environment

Reduce, reuse, recycle is getting a fourth R: Recirculation

Sat, 2021/12/04 - 6:01am

A fourth "R" is being added to "reduce, reuse and recycle": Recirculation. Instead of recycling old products, a non-profit in North Carolina is recirculating used to-go food containers and bottles.

Categories: Environment

Grab your camera and help science! King tides are crashing onto California beaches

Fri, 2021/12/03 - 6:10pm

The unusually high and low tides will be affecting coastal communities over the weekend. Scientists are calling on residents and visitors to help document the phenomenon.

(Image credit: Damian Dovarganes/AP)

Categories: Environment

Why Orcas have been lingering longer in the Arctic

Fri, 2021/12/03 - 3:10pm

Orcas are lingering longer in the Arctic Ocean, as sea ice there shrinks. The whales often travel to access varieties of prey, but it's likely there are now more hunting opportunities in the Arctic.

Categories: Environment

Cities are buying people's flood-prone homes, altering neighborhoods in the process

Fri, 2021/12/03 - 2:40pm

Across the country, cities are paying people to leave flood-prone homes, then tearing down the houses to keep the space open. But fixing one problem can create another for the people left behind.

Categories: Environment

Bob Inglis: How I changed my mind about climate change

Fri, 2021/12/03 - 9:57am

Former GOP congressman Bob Inglis used to believe climate change wasn't real. But after a candid conversation with his children and a hard look at the evidence, he began to change his mind.

(Image credit: Mari Ryan/Mari Ryan / TED)

Categories: Environment

Pearl Harbor families are alarmed about petroleum found in their tap water

Fri, 2021/12/03 - 8:17am

The Navy's water system somehow became contaminated by petroleum, and the problems have afflicted one of the most important Navy bases in the world.

(Image credit: AP)

Categories: Environment

These Portuguese kids are suing 33 European countries to force them to cut emissions

Thu, 2021/12/02 - 11:08am

Adults "can see us as serious or they can see us as a joke," one of the kids says. "A lawsuit is not a joke," her brother adds. The European Court of Human Rights has fast-tracked their 2020 lawsuit.

(Image credit: Claire Harbage/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Report says fixing plastics' pollution in the oceans requires a new approach

Thu, 2021/12/02 - 3:03am

Millions of tons of plastic waste end up in the ocean every year. Scientists are calling on the federal government to come up with a comprehensive policy to stop it.

Categories: Environment

Shipping industry is pressured to cut pollution caused by merchant fleet

Wed, 2021/12/01 - 3:05am

The global shipping industry is coming under increasing pressure to cut the pollution created by the world's merchant fleet. The effort to reduce ship emissions isn't going well.

Categories: Environment

What's the environmental impact each time we hit 'buy now,' and can we change course?

Tue, 2021/11/30 - 2:36pm

NPR's Mary Louise Kelly talks with author J.B. MacKinnon about the impact of American consumerism on the environment, and how pulling back could positively affect the planet.

Categories: Environment

The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season ends as the third most active year ever

Tue, 2021/11/30 - 2:19pm

Hurricane Ida alone caused more than $60 billion in damages, making it one of the five most costly U.S. hurricanes on record since 1980. Forecasters ran out of names for a record second year in a row.

(Image credit: NOAA)

Categories: Environment

Climate change is blamed for dramatic flooding in British Columbia

Tue, 2021/11/30 - 3:01am

British Columbia, devastated by wildfires last summer, is now coping with severe flooding — both dramatic examples of the impact of climate change.

Categories: Environment

City trees are turning green early, prompting warnings about food and pollination

Tue, 2021/11/30 - 3:00am

A study of trees in dozens of cities found that urban heat and light pollution are pushing urban trees to sprout leaves earlier than trees in more rural areas.

(Image credit: Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Invasive green crabs are threatening local species. The solution? Eat them

Sat, 2021/11/27 - 6:00am

Invasive green crabs are harming habitats in the pacific northwest. A solution? Researchers say catch 'em and eat 'em. Scott Simon talks with marine scientist Shon Schooler.

Categories: Environment