Environment

The Two-Way
2:03 pm
Sun November 2, 2014

U.N.: End Greenhouse Emissions By 2100 Or Risk 'Irreversible' Damage

Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Peru's Minister of Environment, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Chairman Rajendra Pachauri and Renate Christ, Secretary of the IPCC present the Synthesis Report during a news conference in Copenhagen on Sunday.
Scanpix Denmark Reuters/Landov

A new United Nations report is warning that fossil fuels must be entirely phased out by the end of the century in order to avoid dangerous and irreversible damage to the Earth's climate.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says the world faces "severe, pervasive and irreversible" consequences if greenhouse gas emissions are not cut to zero by 2100.

Examples of "irreversible" change include a runaway melt of the Greenland ice cap that would trigger devastating sea-level rise and could swamp coastal cities and disrupt agriculturally critical monsoons.

Read more
Environment
6:46 am
Sun November 2, 2014

U.N. Panel Issues Climate Warning

Originally published on Sun November 2, 2014 9:04 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Around the Nation
7:23 pm
Sat November 1, 2014

Diverting Lava Flow May Be Possible, But Some Hawaiians Object

Mount Etna erupted on March 28, 1983. Lava flows destroyed homes and tourist destinations causing millions of dollars' worth of damage. Teams scrambled to divert the massive flow.
Courtesy of John Lockwood

Originally published on Mon November 3, 2014 2:58 pm

Stunning images this week out of the Big Island of Hawaii show lava flows from the Kilauea volcano inching closer to the village of Pahoa.

As of Saturday, the lava's leading edge is stalled just a few hundred feet from the nearest home and the main road.

But John Lockwood, a volcanologist who lives near Pahoa, says underneath the flow, there's activity in lava tubes, or what he calls pyroducts.

Read more
Animals
12:07 pm
Sat November 1, 2014

In Texas, The World's Biggest Bat Colony Is Saved From City Sprawl

The Bracken Bat Cave outside San Antonio is home to millions of bats. Here, a few of them emerge from the colony in 2011.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Mon November 3, 2014 2:39 pm

Down a narrow gravel drive and a short walk past cactus and scrub cedars outside San Antonio is a gaping, dark cave mouth, 60 feet wide, nestled at the bottom of a steep hill.

This is the Bracken Bat Cave. Each night at 7:30, millions of bats spiral out of the deep cave and streak off toward the darkening Southern sky.

Thanks to a $20 million deal signed Friday by San Antonio, conservation groups and a local developer, the night sky around the cave will stay dark, and the mother and baby bats inside will have a buffer between them and the hazards of city sprawl.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:49 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Lava Flow In Hawaii Spares Homes, But Threatens To Cut Off Community

Lava near the leading edge of the flow oozes over a concrete slab and toward a tangerine tree before solidifying near the town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii earlier this week.
U.S. Geological Survey AP

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 10:30 am

Officials in Hawaii are sending National Guard troops to the town of Pahoa on the Big Island, where a lava flow is creeping toward a main road, threatening to cut off the community.

Hawaii County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira said 83 troops have been sent to the town of fewer than 1,000 to help provide security. They are to aid in a road block and with other safety issues, The Associated Press says.

"These are local troops, people from the community. They'll be here working to take care of their family and friends," Oliveira said.

Read more
Environment
6:00 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Racine-based Foundation Effort to Tackle U.S. Freshwater Challenges Ends

Lynn Broaddus headed the Johnson Foundation at Wingspread's environment program.
Credit S Bence

Over the last six years, The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread invested $7 million in forging partnerships to find freshwater solutions. 

Read more
Environment
3:42 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Saving The Amazon Will Take More Than Stopping Loggers

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 5:27 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Read more
The Salt
11:04 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Apps Aim To Guide You On 'Sustainable Food' (Whatever That Means)

Confused about all the different sustainability ratings out there? The simplest option may be to shop at your local farmer's market.
iStockphoto

If you're reading The Salt, it probably comes as no surprise to you that consumers increasingly want to make food choices based on not just their health, but their ethics. A growing number of groups are coming up with technological solutions to help them.

Read more
The Salt
5:01 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Who Should Pay To Fix The World's Salt-Damaged Soils?

Farms outside Baghdad as seen from a U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopter. Much of Iraq's soil has a high salt content because of flooding and poor drainage.
Jim Gordon U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/Flickr

Imagine losing about 5,000 acres, or 15 average-sized farms in Iowa, every day. That's how much productive farmland has succumbed to salt damage in the last 20 or so years, according to a paper published Tuesday by a group of international researchers. And, they say, all that degraded land is costing farmers $27.3 billion a year.

Read more
Parallels
1:55 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

As Great Barrier Reef Ails, Australia Scrambles To Save It

These scuba divers are among the 2 million tourists who visit the Great Barrier Reef each year. They contribute about $5.6 billion to Australia's economy, according to the Queensland government.
Steve Dorsey for NPR

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 6:37 pm

The Great Barrier Reef has long been in trouble. One Australian government report in 2012 estimated the reef had lost more than half its coral since 1985.

Read more

Pages