Environment

Environment
3:21 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

A Peat Bog As Big As England, And A Rare Glimpse At Earth's History

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 5:17 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Farther west in Africa, in Congo, Brazzaville, scientists have found a remarkable peat bog - a vast expanse of decaying plant material. The discovery could tell them about the whole planet's atmospheric history. It is a rare, tropical peat bog. It's the size of Pennsylvania. The thick layer of carbon it traps may offer clues to what was in the air over 10,000 years ago. Dr. Simon Lewis of the University of Leeds led the research team, and he joins us now to tell us about this little-studied region. Welcome to the program.

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Krulwich Wonders...
11:29 am
Wed May 28, 2014

A Little Bird Either Learns Its Name Or Dies

Robert Krulwich NPR

I've been wondering lately, do animals invent names? As in names for themselves? Names for each other? I've always thought that what we do when we call ourselves "Ralph" or "Laura" is unique, something exclusively human. But it turns out that's wrong. Other animals have name-like calls that they use much like we do. I've posted about this before (regarding horses, dolphins and little parakeets) ...

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Environment
10:00 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Author Hopes To Encourage Others To Care For and About The Great Lakes

Great Lakes explorer Loreen Niewenhuis (facing camera) meets a fellow Lake Michigan fan on Milwaukee's lakefront.

WUWM's Susan Bence talks with author and adventurer Loreen Niewenhuis.

Michigan native Loreen Niewenhuis has always loved the Great Lakes but says it was a mid-life crisis that pushed her to become an explorer and author.

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Around the Nation
5:10 am
Wed May 28, 2014

No Matter How You Spell It, Fracking Stirs Controversy

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 11:27 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK. The word fracking was added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary this month. It is defined as the injection of fluid into shale beds at high pressure in order to free up petroleum resources. Despite getting this official definition, both the spelling and meaning of fracking remain controversial. Marie Cusick, from member station WITF, reports.

MARIE CUSICK, BYLINE: This is a fracking site in northeastern Pennsylvania. It's one of the most productive parts of Marcellus Shale natural gas formation.

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Around the Nation
2:33 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Industrial Hemp Could Take Root, If Legal Seeds Weren't So Scarce

The hemp seedlings in Ben Holmes' warehouse in Lafayette, Colo., will be ready for harvest in about 50 days. Holmes says that during the peak growing season, the little sprouts can shoot up several inches each day.
Luke Runyon KUNC/Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 11:57 am

The most recent farm bill is allowing a handful of farmers across the country to put hemp, the nonpsychoactive cousin of marijuana, in the ground.

The bill allows small-scale experimentation with the plant. But despite the new law, many farmers say they're getting mixed messages from the federal government.

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Science
4:09 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Hybrid Trout Threaten Montana's Native Cutthroats

Clint Muhlfeld, an aquatic ecologist with the USGS, holds a native Westslope cutthroat trout in Glacier National Park.
Noah Clayton USGS

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 6:58 pm

Many parts of the U.S. have been getting warmer over the past several decades, and also experiencing persistent drought. Wildlife often can't adjust. Among the species that are struggling is one of the American West's most highly prized fish — the cutthroat trout.

In springtime, you can find young cutthroats in the tiny streams of Montana's Shields Basin. Bend over and look closely and you might see a 2-inch fish wriggling out from under a submerged rock — the spawn of native cutthroats.

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The Two-Way
3:06 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Peat Bog The Size Of England Discovered In Congo Republic

A massive peat bog the size England has been found in West Africa's Republic of Congo.

The previously undiscovered bog is thought to reach nearly 23 feet beneath the ground and contain billions of tons of peat –- ancient, partially decayed vegetation. It could cover an area 40,000 to 80,000 square miles, scientists believe in the Congo Republic, also referred to as Congo-Brazzaville.

The BBC says:

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Environment
6:00 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Climate Change Already Impacting Great Lakes, Report Calls For Immediate Action

Eroding soils entering Lake Michigan
Credit C Nenn

A group of 24 scientists and policymakers are clearly sounding a climate change alarm, but are also handing the country a blueprint. It’s called the Great Lakes Restoration and Climate Change report.

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The Salt
5:38 am
Sat May 24, 2014

If Local Farms Aren't Local Enough, Buy From The Rooftop

At the Mini-Farmery in North Carolina, greens grow on the walls and customers can pick their own produce.
Amy Edwards New Image Studio

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 2:07 pm

Local produce just tastes better, right? That perception is part of what's driving the rush of new farming ventures to supply cities with food grown nearby.

Some urban farmers are even experimenting with growing food a few blocks away from or even inside the grocery store. Call it über-local food.

Most of these new ventures are lead by idealistic entrepreneurs who want to part of the new food system. It's not yet clear whether they'll fit in for the long haul.

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The Salt
3:01 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

California's Drought Isn't Making Food Cost More. Here's Why

Farmworkers pull weeds from a field of lettuce near Gonzales, Calif. Salinas Valley farms like this one rely on wells, which haven't been affected much by the drought.
George Rose Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 3:48 pm

The entire state of California is in a severe drought. Farmers and farmworkers are hurting.

You might expect this to cause food shortages and higher prices across the country. After all, California grows 95 percent of America's broccoli, 81 percent of its carrots and 99 percent of the country's artichokes, almonds and walnuts, among other foods.

Yet there's been no sign of a big price shock. What gives?

Here are three explanations.

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