Environment http://publicradiodelmarva.net en Pipeline Put Off, As Keystone Review Is Indefinitely Extended http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/pipeline-put-keystone-review-indefinitely-extended The Keystone XL pipeline remains a major point of contention within the Democratic Party, as green voters pull President Obama one direction and pro-energy senators and labor unions pull the other. It looks as though the "comment period" for the project will be extended, delaying a decision past the November elections. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. Fri, 18 Apr 2014 20:08:00 +0000 Tamara Keith 52791 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Keystone XL Pipeline Review Extended By State Department http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/keystone-xl-pipeline-review-extended-state-department <h6>This post was updated at 6 p.m. ET.</h6><p>The State Department is giving federal agencies more time to review the Keystone XL Pipeline project. The additional time was given "based on the uncertainty created" by an ongoing legal battle in Nebraska, according to a State Department statement.<p>In February, a Nebraska judge <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/02/20/280182838/nebraska-to-appeal-ruling-that-blocks-keystone-pipeline-in-state">struck down a 2012 law</a> that allowed part of the pipeline to run through the state. Fri, 18 Apr 2014 19:58:00 +0000 editor 52792 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Keystone XL Pipeline Review Extended By State Department China Admits That One-Fifth Of Its Farmland Is Contaminated http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/china-admits-one-fifth-its-farmland-contaminated Unbridled industrialization with almost no environmental regulation has resulted in the toxic contamination of one-fifth of China's farmland, the Communist Party has acknowledged for the first time.<p>The report, issued by the ministries of Environmental Protection and Land and Resources, says 16.1 percent of the country's soil in general and 19.4 percent of its farmland is polluted with toxic heavy metals such as cadmium, nickel and arsenic. It was based on a soil survey of more than 2.4 million square miles of land across China, spanning a period from April 2005 until December 2013. Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:41:00 +0000 Scott Neuman 52771 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net China Admits That One-Fifth Of Its Farmland Is Contaminated WIR 04/18/2014 http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/wir-04182014 <p></p><p></p><p></p><p>Robin chats with the&nbsp; students of Parkside High's Robotics Team 3389.</p><p>This is also the final day of our spring membership drive. Call 410-543-6895 or click the red "Support this station" button at the top of this page to help. Thanks!</p><p></p> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 14:22:56 +0000 Chris Ranck 52764 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net WIR 04/18/2014 Unlikely Partnerships Spring From California Water Crisis http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/unlikely-partnerships-spring-california-water-crisis At a recent rally in Fresno County, Calif., farmers in plaid shirts stood side by side with migrant farmworkers in ball caps, holding signs that read <em>"sin agua, no futuro"</em> and "no water, no food." Fresno is the top agriculture-producing county in the U.S., with more than $6 billion in annual sales.<p>Protesters argued that farms could go out of business without more water, and there would be mass layoffs. That rhetoric may be familiar, but the two groups' alliance is decidedly unusual.<p>"I'm really tickled to death to see the farmworkers working with the farmers. Thu, 17 Apr 2014 20:23:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 52725 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Unlikely Partnerships Spring From California Water Crisis Why Do Some Clouds Drop Rain, While Others Don't? http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/why-do-some-clouds-drop-rain-while-others-dont Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>Recent storms in California haven't been enough to save the state from a serious drought. And now, the rainy season is winding down. Scientists are trying to understand why some storms unload lots of rain and snow in California and others don't. As Lauren Sommer reports from member station KQED in San Francisco, there could be a link to dust storms thousands of miles away.<p>LAUREN SOMMER, BYLINE: The sky over the Pacific Ocean is looking pretty ominous - big dark gray clouds in the distance.<p>I think it feels like rain.<p>KIM PRATHER: It's coming in. Wed, 09 Apr 2014 22:48:00 +0000 Lauren Sommer 52305 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Federal Plan To Save Prairie Chickens Ruffles State Feathers http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/federal-plan-save-prairie-chickens-ruffles-state-feathers It's prairie chicken mating season!<p>Still, it's tough being a lesser prairie chicken these days. This type of grouse once spanned an enormous area, though now they survive mainly in pockets of Oklahoma and Kansas. Their numbers are plummeting; in 2012, the population dropped by half.<p>But after they were recently listed as a threatened species by the U.S. Wed, 09 Apr 2014 21:08:00 +0000 KCUR-FM: Frank Morris 52294 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Federal Plan To Save Prairie Chickens Ruffles State Feathers Food Scraps To Fuel Vertical Farming's Rise In Chicago http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/food-scraps-fuel-vertical-farmings-rise-chicago From <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/05/21/185758529/vertical-pinkhouses-the-future-of-urban-farming">plant factories</a> fueled by the magenta glow of blue and red LED lights, to the 30-foot tall <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/11/06/164428031/sky-high-vegetables-vertical-farming-sprouts-in-singapore">Ferris wheel for plants</a> in Singapore, we've shown you the design possibilities for growing vegetables up instead of out.<p>But critics ask, what kind of stresses does that put on the plant? Wed, 09 Apr 2014 15:18:00 +0000 editor 52262 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Food Scraps To Fuel Vertical Farming's Rise In Chicago NASA Image Shows Volcanic Island Has Annexed Its Neighbor http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/nasa-image-shows-volcanic-island-has-annexed-its-neighbor There's some new, pristine real estate on the remote Japanese island of Nishino-shima.<p>Volcanic activity has merged the tiny island with a new neighbor that started to form late last year, creating a single landmass, NASA satellite imagery shows. The island is now a bit more than a half-mile across.<p><a href="http://www.earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=83447&eocn=home&eoci=iotd_previous">According to NASA:</a><p><blockquote><p>"In November 2013, a seafloor volcano in the western Pacific Ocean spewed enough material to rise above the water line. Tue, 08 Apr 2014 16:29:00 +0000 Scott Neuman 52188 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net NASA Image Shows Volcanic Island Has Annexed Its Neighbor Washington Mudslide Creates Environmental Hazards http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/washington-mudslide-creates-environmental-hazards Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>A landslide last month northeast of Seattle destroyed dozens of homes and killed at least 33 people. Now the small rural community of Oso on the edge of the Cascade Mountains is moving from search and rescue into clean-up mode. Tue, 08 Apr 2014 09:14:00 +0000 editor 52167 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Can Fish Farms Thrive In The USA? http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/future-clean-green-fish-farming-could-be-indoor-factories Why hasn't fish farming taken off in the United States?<p>It's certainly not for lack of demand for the fish. Slowly but surely, seafood that's grown in aquaculture is taking over the seafood section at your supermarket, and the vast majority is imported. The shrimp and tilapia typically come from warm-water ponds in southeast Asia and Latin America. Mon, 07 Apr 2014 22:14:00 +0000 Daniel Charles 52154 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Can Fish Farms Thrive In The USA? Feds Hope $5 Billion Settlement A Lesson For Polluters http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/feds-hope-5-billion-settlement-lesson-polluters This week, the federal government announced a record-breaking $5 billion settlement in a remarkable environmental case. The toxic legacy of the company involved, Kerr-McGee, stretches back 85 years and includes scores of sites across the country.<p>Kerr-McGee ran uranium mines in the Navajo Nation, wood-treating businesses across the Midwest and East Coast, and a perchlorate plant on a tributary of Lake Mead, the nation's largest reservoir — and it was messy.<p>"Kerr-McGee's business all over this country left significant, lasting environmental damage," said Deputy U.S. Sat, 05 Apr 2014 09:40:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 52046 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Feds Hope $5 Billion Settlement A Lesson For Polluters The Power Of Poop: A Whale Story http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/power-poop-whale-story This, I would think, should be self-evident: Generally speaking, big creatures eat smaller creatures that, in turn, eat even smaller creatures, like this ...<p>And just as obviously, one would expect the food chain to be pyramid-shaped: a few big creatures at the top eating more middle-sized creatures in the middle, that eat many, many, many little creatures at the bottom, like so:<p>Which brings me to a curious exception — a real life mystery — discovered a few years ago. Sat, 05 Apr 2014 09:39:00 +0000 Robert Krulwich 52047 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net The Power Of Poop: A Whale Story Waters Will Flood Part Of Colorado River, For Just A Few Weeks http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/waters-will-flood-part-colorado-river-just-few-weeks Millions of gallons of water used to flow every day from the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of California. Now, the Colorado River ends at Morelos Dam on the U.S.-Mexico border. Below it, one of North America's largest wetlands is dry.<p>Karl Flessa, a geoscientist at the University of Arizona, began researching the damage two decades ago. Then he started asking how much water it would take to bring back some of the habitats.<p>That push for restoration paid off. Fri, 04 Apr 2014 20:45:00 +0000 Ted Robbins 52027 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Waters Will Flood Part Of Colorado River, For Just A Few Weeks Farmers Need To Get 'Climate Smart' To Prep For What's Ahead http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/farmers-need-get-climate-smart-prep-whats-ahead The planet's top experts on global warming released their latest <a href="http://ipcc-wg2.gov/AR5/report/final-drafts/">predictions</a> this week for how rising temperatures will change our lives, and in particular, what they mean for the <a href="http://ipcc-wg2.gov/AR5/images/uploads/WGIIAR5-Chap7_FGDall.pdf">production of food</a>.<p>The report, sadly, is massive and excruciatingly hard to digest. Thu, 03 Apr 2014 18:14:00 +0000 Daniel Charles 51948 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Farmers Need To Get 'Climate Smart' To Prep For What's Ahead Should We Close Part Of The Ocean To Keep Fish On The Plate? http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/should-we-close-part-ocean-keep-fish-plate For lovers of fatty tuna belly, canned albacore and swordfish kebabs, here's a question: Would you be willing to give them up for several years so that you could eat them perhaps for the rest of your life?<p>If a new proposal to ban fishing on the open ocean were to fly, that's essentially what we might be faced with. Wed, 02 Apr 2014 19:28:00 +0000 editor 51895 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Should We Close Part Of The Ocean To Keep Fish On The Plate? Concerns Linger For N.C. Residents After Coal Ash Spill http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/concerns-linger-nc-residents-2-months-after-coal-ash-spill Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>A federal criminal investigation is focusing on Duke Energy and a North Carolina state environmental agency. A couple of months ago, as you may recall, a storm water pipe ruptured and poured as much as 39,000 tons of potentially toxic carbon byproduct into the Dan River in North Carolina.<p>North Carolina Public Radio's Jeff Tiberii reports.<p>JEFF TIBERII, BYLINE: The third-largest coal ash spill in U.S. Wed, 02 Apr 2014 09:07:00 +0000 editor 51854 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Is The Latest Climate Report Too Much Of A Downer? http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/empty-space-name-not-added-climate-report-reveals-discord Reading through the <a href="http://ipcc-wg2.gov/AR5/">latest report</a> from the U.N.-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), it's hard not to feel despondent about the state of the world.<p>The report's colorful charts and tables tell of droughts and fires; depleted fisheries and strained cropland; a world in which heat-related disease is on the rise and freshwater is growing scarce.<p>"It's risk, risk, risk, risk, risk," says <a href="https://twitter.com/RichardTol">Richard Tol</a>, a climate economist at the University of Sussex. Mon, 31 Mar 2014 20:37:00 +0000 Geoff Brumfiel 51744 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Is The Latest Climate Report Too Much Of A Downer? International Ruling Puts Stop To Japan's 'Scientific' Whaling http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/international-ruling-puts-stop-japans-scientific-whaling Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>Whale lovers scored a major victory today. For almost two decades, Japanese whalers have been killing whales in the Antarctic Ocean. The Japanese government claimed it was all for scientific, not commercial, purposes. NPR's Elizabeth Shogren reports that today, an international court rejected that claim and said the whaling must stop.<p>ELIZABETH SHOGREN, BYLINE: Eighteen years ago, the International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling. Mon, 31 Mar 2014 20:37:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 51745 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net U.N. Report Raises Climate Change Warning, Points To Opportunities http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/un-report-raises-climate-change-warning-points-opportunities "The effects of climate change are already occurring on all continents and across the oceans," and the world is mostly "ill-prepared" for the risks that the sweeping changes present, <a href="http://ipcc.ch/pdf/ar5/pr_wg2/140330_pr_wgII_spm_en.pdf" target="_blank">a new report from the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concludes</a>.<p>The report also wastes no time in pointing a finger toward who is responsible: "Human interference with the climate system is occurring," reads the first sentence <a href="http://ipcc-wg2.gov/AR5/images/uploads/IPCC_WG2AR5_SPM_Approved.pdf" target Mon, 31 Mar 2014 11:15:00 +0000 Mark Memmott 51714 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net U.N. Report Raises Climate Change Warning, Points To Opportunities Researchers Detail How Climate Change Will Alter Our Lives http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/global-researchers-detail-how-climate-change-will-alter-our-lives A United Nations panel has released a report from scientists who are getting a much better understanding of the effects of climate change. Mon, 31 Mar 2014 09:05:00 +0000 editor 51711 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net No-Kill Caviar Aims To Keep The Treat And Save The Sturgeon http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/no-kill-caviar-aims-keep-treat-and-save-sturgeon Caviar was once the food of kings and czars — and for a sturgeon, it meant death.<p>But a new technique of massaging the ripe eggs from a female sturgeon — without killing or even cutting the fish open— could make caviar more abundant, more affordable, and more accessible to all.<p>Best of all, says Angela Köhler, the German scientist who has spent nine years developing the new production system, "no-kill caviar" — also being called "<a href="http://www.californiacaviar.com/our-caviar/imported/index.php#.UzSxMGFOVVo" target="_blank">cruelty-free caviar</a>" and "<a href="http://vivacecaviar.de Sun, 30 Mar 2014 09:09:00 +0000 Alastair Bland 51676 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net No-Kill Caviar Aims To Keep The Treat And Save The Sturgeon Review Of West Virginia Water Finds More Work To Be Done http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/review-west-virginia-water-finds-more-work-be-done Transcript <p>KELLY MCEVERS, HOST: <p>A group of independent researchers has found that the chemical crude MCHM is still present in some West Virginia homes. That's the coal-cleaning chemical that spilled into the Elk River back in January out of a storage tank operated by the company Freedom Industries. The spill contaminated drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people. Sat, 29 Mar 2014 21:02:00 +0000 Dave Mistich 51672 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net In U.S., Mudslides Common, But Usually Few Deaths http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/us-mudslides-common-usually-few-deaths Washington state, with its many steep slopes, streams and rivers and some of the heaviest annual rainfall in the country, is a mudslide waiting to happen. Fri, 28 Mar 2014 21:41:00 +0000 Scott Neuman 51624 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net In U.S., Mudslides Common, But Usually Few Deaths WIR 03/28/2014 http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/wir-03282014 <p></p><p>Checking in with Dave and Jenny Miles</p> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 23:09:49 +0000 Chris Ranck 51577 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Can The Meat Industry Help Protect Wildlife? Some Say Yes http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/can-meat-industry-help-protect-wildlife-some-say-yes Last week we <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/03/21/291495523/how-your-love-of-burgers-may-be-helping-to-drive-wildlife-extinct">reported</a> on a new campaign from the Center for Biological Diversity that hopes to persuade Americans to cut back on their meat consumption. Their pitch? Eat less meat and you will help save wildlife.<p><a href="http://www.takeextinctionoffyourplate.com/">Take Extinction Off Your Plate</a> argues that the livestock industry has been responsible for the near extinction of iconic species like the Mexican gray wolf and the California grizzly bear. Thu, 27 Mar 2014 16:39:00 +0000 editor 51542 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Can The Meat Industry Help Protect Wildlife? Some Say Yes Massive Nor'easter Rakes New England http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/massive-noreaster-rakes-new-england New England is getting a hard glancing blow from a huge winter storm that has generated hurricane-force winds and such adjectives as "mind-blowing" and "monster" from normally mild-mannered meteorologists.<p>One look at weather satellite images of North America is all it takes to understand: This is a huge, classic nor'easter. Wed, 26 Mar 2014 21:39:00 +0000 Scott Neuman 51504 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Massive Nor'easter Rakes New England Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Brings 'Bad Juju' And Pain 25 Years Later http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/exxon-valdez-oil-spill-brings-bad-juju-and-pain-25-years-later At Ross Mullins' home in Cordova, Alaska, you have to slam the front door extra hard to make it close. The former commercial fisherman lives in a small wood-frame house that's in need of repair. Some of the windows are cracked and he leaves the water faucets dripping to protect uninsulated pipes from the harsh Alaskan winter.<p>When the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground and started leaking oil 25 years ago, the disaster drastically changed the fishing industry in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Wed, 26 Mar 2014 21:31:00 +0000 Debbie Elliott 51496 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Brings 'Bad Juju' And Pain 25 Years Later Washington State's 'Slide Hill' Has A History Of Landslides http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/washington-states-slide-hill-has-history-landslides Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>It's now five days into the search for survivors of the massive landslide in Oso in Washington's Snohomish County. National Guard Troops are combing the area with emergency extraction teams. The unofficial death toll so far is now 24, and authorities are promising more clarity tomorrow on the list of missing people. Some 176 persons are unaccounted for but the real number is thought to be lower than that.<p>This area was not new to landslides. They've happened repeatedly on this hill over the decades. Wed, 26 Mar 2014 20:56:00 +0000 editor 51497 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Toxic Chemical Dioxane Detected In More Water Supplies http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/toxic-chemical-14-dioxane-detected-more-drinking-water-supplies Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>Earlier this year, a chemical spill in West Virginia forced officials to put a ban on drinking water that affected some 300,000 people. This also highlighted an unsettling truth: While officials test our drinking supply, they're only targeting a few chemicals. Many contaminants go undetected.<p>Here's NPR's Elizabeth Shogren.<p>ELIZABETH SHOGREN, BYLINE: Toxic chemicals can make it into tap water for years without experts knowing it. Wed, 26 Mar 2014 09:04:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 51443 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net