Environment

Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Gambling on the Environment

Earth from 200 miles above ground.
Credit NASA

Biologist Paul Ehrlich became famous in the 1970s with his book The Population Bomb, which outlined a doomsday scenario in which the world’s supply of food and resources couldn't keep up with overpopulation.

Read more
Solar Power
4:08 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Man Reaches For The Sun For A Solution To Pakistan's Gas Crisis

Pakistani motorists wait in line at a refueling station in the outskirts of Islamabad on Jan. 20, 2013. Waits of up to four hours have become a way of life since Pakistan decided to switch to compressed natural gas about a decade ago.
Farooq Naeem AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 10:46 am

Spring has crept up to the foothills of the Himalayas and, in Islamabad, Pakistan's purpose-built capital, the air is full of the scent of roses and the yelling of birds.

Yet, even in this most stately of South Asian cities, it is impossible to escape the realities of an unstable nation that has yet to figure out how to meet some of the basic needs of its 200 million or so citizens.

Read more
Wildlife
1:42 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Death Of Popular Hawk Highlights Concerns Over Rat Poison

A red-tailed hawk eats a mouse in Cambridge, Mass. (hbp_pix/Flickr)

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 9:03 am

The death of a beloved red-tailed hawk in Cambridge, Mass., has drawn attention to the issue of how rat poison is affecting wildlife.

Veterinarians say the hawk likely died from eating a rodent that consumed rat poison. Local birdwatchers had followed the exploits of the hawk and her mate, which they named Ruby and Buzz, for years.

Read more
Infrastructure
10:49 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Malloy Announces Major Connecticut Transportation Projects

The William H. Putnam Memorial Bridge over the Connecticut River.
Denimadept Creative Commons

Governor Dannel Malloy announced on Tuesday several major transportation projects across the state that are set to begin this spring.

Read more
O Mycelium!
8:43 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Connecticut's Growing Role in Mushroom Cultivation

Logs drilled, plugged with mushroom spawn, and coated with wax.
Patrick Skahill WNPR

Last month, Governor Dannel Malloy announced more than $880,327 in state grants for dozens of Connecticut farms. Among the recipients is a farmer in Higganum looking to fill 1,000 logs with many more mushrooms.

Read more
Dinosaurs
3:43 am
Wed April 16, 2014

A T. Rex Treks To Washington For A Shot At Fame

Pat Leiggi (right) of the Museum of the Rockies prepares to move a leg bone of the T. rex at the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 4:33 pm

This week, scientists at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History will start unpacking some rare and precious cargo. It's something the Smithsonian has never had before — a nearly complete skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex.

Read more
Krulwich Wonders...
11:47 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Can It Be? Parrots Name Their Children, And Those Names, Like Ours, Stick For Life

LabofOrnithology YouTube

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 10:56 am

I'm walking down a street. I see a friend. The friend doesn't see me, so I yell, "Hi, Ralph!" Ralph turns. This is what we humans do — we all have names. We learn each other's. If the guy I spotted is indeed Ralph (not always a safe assumption in my case, but that's another story), I quickly connect.

Read more
Energy
8:50 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Judiciary Committee Approves Ban on Fracking Waste Disposal

A fracking waste container.
Tar Sands Blockade Creative Commons

A bill that would ban the storage or disposal of waste from fracking in Connecticut is moving through the General Assembly. 

Read more
Lunar Eclipse
6:44 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Did You See It? If Not, Here's The 'Blood Moon'

The "blood moon" as seen from Koreatown, west of Los Angeles, early Tuesday. The next total eclipse of the moon comes on Oct. 8.
Joe Klamar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 9:34 am

There were "whistles, cheers and howls" early Tuesday on the grounds of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles as the moon turned red during a total lunar eclipse.

Read more
Transportation
2:04 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Dutch Test Glow-In-The-Dark Road Of The Future

Glowing Lines are tested earlier this month on a highway near Oss in the Netherlands. The road markings absorb light during the day and emit the green glow at night.
Remko De Waal EPA/Landov

There's a half-kilometer stretch of road in the Netherlands that looks a bit like something out of the movie Tron, thanks to new luminescent markings that glow green in the dark.

The photoluminescent paint, a sort of amped-up version of what is found on many wristwatches, charges up during daylight hours and then emits the green hue at night along the short test patch of N329 highway in Oss, according to Dutch companies Studio Roosegaarde and Heijmans, a road construction firm.

Read more
Blood Moon
11:20 am
Mon April 14, 2014

There's A 'Blood Moon' Eclipse Tonight, But Will You Be Able To See It?

This combination of 10 separate images shows the moon during a total lunar eclipse in 2011 from the Spanish Canary Island of Tenerife.
Desiree Martin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 4:30 pm

It's looking like clouds will obscure Monday night's lunar eclipse for nearly all of the U.S. East Coast, but much of the West and Midwest should be able to see it.

Read more
Global Warming
10:24 am
Sun April 13, 2014

Climate Change Adjustments Must Be Fast And Major, U.N. Panel Says

The world must cut its greenhouse gas emissions to meet its goals, climate experts said Sunday. Members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (left to right) Youba Sakona, Ramon Pichs Madruga, Ottmar Edenhofer and Rajendra Pachauri hold copies of their new report in Berlin.
John MacDougall AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 7:33 am

A new report from the United Nations' panel on climate change says major action is needed, and fast, if policymakers want to limit global warming to acceptable levels.

There's an international target to control climate change: keeping the global temperature rise to just 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels — that's 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change now says it's technically possible to meet that goal. But doing so will require rapid, large-scale shifts in energy production and use.

Read more
WAMC News
1:48 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Regional Commission Votes In Favor Of Gas Pipeline

Proposed Pipeline route

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 6:32 pm

The Addison County Regional Planning Commission has voted in favor of running a natural gas pipeline from Middlebury to the International Paper mill in Ticonderoga, New York.

Read more
Martian Colony
11:16 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Why Do 202,586 People Want To Leave Our Planet For Mars?

This Viking 1 orbiter image shows the rocky surface and thin atmosphere of Mars.
NASA

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 10:11 am

"You could say that most people would rather lose a leg than live the rest of their life on a cold, hostile planet, having said goodbye to friends and family forever, the best possible video call suffering from a seven minute delay—one way."

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Big Ideas (That Didn't Work)

Fire Island Inlet Bridge (part of the Robert Moses Causeway).
Credit tsaiproject / Creative Commons

If you watch "House of Cards," you might have noticed a main storyline about a bridge from Long Island to Connecticut. Sounds crazy, right? Well, here's the thing: it was a real idea!

From bridges, to highways, to malls, Where We Live takes a look at some outlandish project ideas that -- for some reason or another -- just never worked. Why isn’t there a bridge connecting Connecticut and Long Island? And why wasn't the New Haven Galleria mall ever built?

Read more
Agriculture
4:18 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Malloy Announces Agreement to Preserve Connecticut Farmland

Dairy farmer Robin Chesmer, center, sees farmland investment as essential in the state.
Tess Aaronson

Governor Malloy announced on Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will allow Connecticut to use more than $8 million of federal funding to preserve and protect the state's farms. 

Read more
Eelevate
12:07 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

How Does a Four-Inch Eel Hurdle a 40-Foot Greenwich Dam?

Joe Cassone stands in front of a 40-foot-tall dam at the base of the Byram River in Greenwich, Conn. Cassone and his volunteers trap eels, releasing them upstream beyond the dam barrier.
Patrick Skahill WNPR

Baby eels are making their annual migration from Long Island Sound to rivers across Connecticut, but along the way, they're encountering one persistent obstacle: river dams. Now, one man in Greenwich is working to make the eels' journey a little easier.

Read more
What's in the Water?
10:19 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Update on West Virginia's Elk River Chemical Spill

Elk River, Charleston West Virginia
Credit Tim Kiser

In January, West Virginia’s Elk River was contaminated by a chemical spill from a nearby coal processing plant, affecting 300,000 local residents. People were without water for days. Now months later, is the water safe to drink? 

Read more
Metro-North
9:36 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Report: Over 7,000 Defects Found in Metro-North

Metro-North passengers at the Woodlawn station.
Credit J.P. Chan / Metropolitan Transportation Authority

A newspaper reports that federal inspectors found more than 7,100 defects and deficiencies in the Metro-North Railroad over the last decade, but records show regulators launched an investigation only after two high-profile accidents last year. 

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Is Another Water Revolution on the Horizon?

Virginia de Lima, Chief of USGS New England Water Center's Connecticut Office
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Each time you go to turn on the faucet, flush the toilet, or water the lawn, you’re connecting yourself to a complex water system with nearly two and a half thousand years of history. The structure of our modern network of reservoirs, pipes, and drains owes much of its influence to designs dating back to ancient Rome. 

Read more
Hybrids
10:01 am
Fri April 4, 2014

So You Think It's a Wolfdog: What Can DNA Tests Tell Us?

DNA tests can't determine how much "wolf" and how much "dog" is in a hybrid.
wwmike Creative Commons

Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has ordered genetic testing for seven hybrid “wolfdogs” found in the state. But if all dogs come from wolves, can a DNA test actually tell us how much “wolf” and how much “dog” is in a hybrid?

Read more
The Colin McEnroe Show
12:00 am
Fri April 4, 2014

The Nose Enjoys Neil deGrasse Tyson's Cosmos on the Rocks

Theresa Cramer.
Chion Wolf WNPR

The original Carl Sagan "Cosmos" was at least  partly a response to the Cold War. Its message: "We're such little specks, can we embrace our common destiny and get along?"

You could look at the movie "Noah" and the remake of "Cosmos" as two manifestations of an odd phenomenon. 

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu April 3, 2014

How Clean Is Our Air?

According to the World Health Organization, air pollution exposure was responsible for seven million deaths in 2012.
Credit eutrophication&hypoxia / Creative Commons

A report released by the World Health Organization last week found that some 7 million people died from air pollution exposure in 2012. In other words, one in eight of all global deaths that year resulted from breathing bad air. 

Today, the WHO considers air pollution to be the single greatest environmental health risk, linking it to cases of asthma, heart disease, stroke, and even cancer.

Read more
The Colin McEnroe Show
9:59 am
Wed April 2, 2014

The Race for the Higgs Boson

Philip Mannheim is a professor of Physics at the University of Connecticut and the author of "Brane-Localized Gravity"
Chion Wolf

Scientists made an announcement on July 4, 2012 to little fanfare outside the world of scholarly physicists that ended a 50-year search to explain the existence of life as we know it. 

Read more
Chile
7:02 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Tense Hours, Then Sighs Of Relief After Huge Quake Off Chile

Scared residents hug in the hallway of an apartment building Tuesday after Iquique, Chile, was rocked by a strong earthquake.
Cristian Viveros AP

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 1:32 pm

The extent of the damage isn't yet clear and the six deaths reported so far may be followed by news of other fatalities.

But on the morning after a massive, 8.2 magnitude earthquake off the coast of northern Chile there are sighs of relief there and in neighboring Peru.

Read more
Agriculture
1:16 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Report: New England Should Develop Locally-Grown Food System

Buttonwoods Farm in Griswold from above.
Chion Wolf WNPR

A new report on sustainable agriculture policy recommends that New England build its own regional food system with locally-grown products. Cris Coffin, New England director of the American Farmland Trust, a co-author of the study, said consumers in the region want to buy local. 

Read more
Ocean Life
8:31 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Sea Turtle's Amazing Journey By Sea And By Air

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 4:17 pm

[Youtube]

All of the species of sea turtles that inhabit the oceans are threatened or endangered.

Pollution, poachers, predators and fishing gear can all be dangers. So can cold water.

Today, a story of how one sea turtle — Biscuits — escaped certain death in the cold waters of New England thanks to the New England Aquarium and the generosity of one airplane pilot.

Read more
Here & Now
4:17 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Climate Report Warns of 'Severe' and 'Irreversible Impacts'

Severely damaged corn stalks due to a widespread drought are seen at sunset on a farm near Oakland City, Indiana, August 15, 2012. A new report from the IPCC details the current and future effects of climate change, including droughts and crop shortages. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 4:14 pm

The United Nation’s International Panel on Climate Change released its fifth report on climate change today.

The report details recent impacts of climate-related extremes such as wildfires, droughts and floods and predicts the vulnerability of human and natural resources, including a stress on crops and water resources.

Read more
Parking
11:45 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Study: Hartford, New Haven Hurt By Abundance of Parking

Downtown Hartford has a lot of parking space, and the city is forgoing tax money for it.
Credit Heather Brandon/WNPR

Regardless of how hard it can seem to find a parking spot sometimes, Hartford and New Haven have built a lot more parking over the past few decades. But that can be a bad thing.

A team of researchers at the University of Connecticut recently investigated the impact of parking policies in six cities across the U.S. 

Read more
Climate Change
7:15 am
Mon March 31, 2014

U.N. Report Raises Climate Change Warning, Points To Opportunities

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's report.
ipcc.ch

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 10:07 am

"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 new report from the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concludes.

Read more

Pages