environment

Northeast Flooding
12:35 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Army Corps Says Teamwork Needed to Manage Coastal Flood Risk

The Army Corp of Engineers presents a comprehensive study to promote environmental consciousness and coperation between private and governmental sectors.
Cindy Cornett Seigle/Flickr

On Wednesday, the Army Corp of Engineers released a two-year study, the "North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study: Resilient Adaptation to Increasing Risk," which covered 31,000 miles of coastline along ten states.

The study promotes the idea of all levels of government working in tandem, along with the private sector, to manage flood risks along the North Atlantic coast from events like Superstorm Sandy.

From the study:

Read more
Biocontainment
5:16 am
Wed January 28, 2015

A New Way to Contain GMOs in the Lab, and Maybe One Day, in the World

Researchers tested their biocontaiment idea with E. coli, a bacteria used in pharmecuticals.
Wikimedia Commons

Yale researchers have developed a new way to biologically contain genetically modified organisms, a finding that could have future impacts in agriculture and medicine.

Read more
Blizzard Conditions
2:02 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Storm Comes to Gradual End; Gov. Malloy Lifts Statewide Travel Ban

Snow-covered cars in a Vernon parking lot Tuesday morning.
Tucker Ives WNPR

Blizzard warnings eased early Tuesday for parts of Connecticut, but central and eastern parts of the state saw continuing snowfall and strong winds through midday. By noon, most counties were downgraded to a winter storm warning as a powerful nor'easter made its way across the state.

A statewide travel ban lifted in Connecticut at 2:00 pm. Local roads were opened in Litchfield and Fairfield Counties early Tuesday morning, but Governor Dannel Malloy asked residents to wait before getting on the roads if possible. State bus service will resume Wednesday, and state employees return to work in the morning.

Read more
Look to the Sky
4:20 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

An Asteroid Is Passing Very Close To Earth Today. Here's How To See It

Asteroid 2004 BL86 will be visible in parts of the sky tonight. Visibility is expected to peak around 9 p.m. ET, as shown in this NASA graphic.
Sky & Telescope

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 5:46 pm

By the time you read this post, asteroid 2004 BL86 will already have come as close to us as it's going to get as it flies by Earth. At about 11:19 a.m. ET today, it was nearly 745,000 miles away from our planet. That's only about three times the distance from the Earth to the moon.

But don't worry, you may still be able to catch a glimpse of the huge hunk of rock tonight.

When and how can I see the asteroid?

Read more
Coastal Planning
9:45 am
Sat January 24, 2015

Battle With The Sea: Rhode Island Develops State-of-the-Art Planning Tools

The head of the EPA Northeast Region, Curt Spalding, took a guided walking tour of Wickford Village in North Kingstown to learn about a climate change adaptation pilot project there. He also visited Westerly, South Kingstown, and Warwick.
Ambar Espinoza RIPR

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 9:31 am

Just this week, the U.S. Senate went on the record that climate change exists. Local and state officials in Rhode Island haven’t been waiting around to take the lead from Washington. They not only know climate change is real, but they’re also planning for its impacts. As part of our Battle With The Sea series, Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza went on a tour with the Environmental Protection Agency’s northeast director to see how plans are in place.

Read more
Environment Research
9:40 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Bard Professor Leads Study On Flooding And Biodiversity

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 1:54 am

A new study published this week and led by a Bard College biology professor shows catastrophic flooding can be mitigated by protecting biodiversity.  WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne spoke with the lead author, who says though the flooding was studied in Germany, there could be comparisons to the Hudson Valley.

Read more
Cities
1:13 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

The City Might Not Be To Blame For High Asthma Rates

Dr. Stephen Teach helps Jeffery Ulmer listen to his daughter Alauna's asthmatic breathing at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Alauna's mother, Farisa, holds her. The District has one of the highest rates of pediatric asthma in the country.
Jahi Chikwendiu Washington Post

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 4:15 pm

Asthma affects children regardless of where they live and whether they are rich or poor. But scientists have long thought that living in poor urban neighborhoods adds an extra risk for this troublesome lung inflammation. A new study suggests that's not necessarily the case.

Asthma is often triggered by something in the environment, so in the 1960s, scientists started looking for places where asthma was especially bad.

Read more
Plum Island
11:32 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Conservationists Vow to Fight Sale of Plum Island

Plum Island hosted an animal testing center for years. Now, the government wants to sell it.
Wikimedia Commons

Plum Island, an 840-acre land mass in Long Island Sound, is becoming a focal point for environmentalists. That's because of government plans to sell the island to fund the construction of a new USDA animal-testing center. 

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Sizzling Space Spectacular

Meredith Hughes is an assistant professor of Astronomy at Wesleyan University.
Chion Wolf WNPR

When it comes to space, there’s a lot to be excited about. Telescopes are scanning the farthest reaches of our galaxy and we’re learning more than ever before about the origins of planets.

Read more
Environment
11:01 am
Mon January 19, 2015

New Justice Department Environment Chief Takes Helm Of Gulf Spill Case

Cruden ranks the Gulf oil spill as one of the most significant environmental disasters of our time. It "deserves ... all of our energy to make sure nothing like this ever happens again," he says.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 7:37 am

John Cruden served with U.S. Special Forces in Vietnam, taking his law school aptitude test in Saigon and eventually becoming a government lawyer.

Earlier this month, he started a new job running the environment and natural resources division at the Justice Department. For Cruden, 68, the new role means coming home to a place where he worked as a career lawyer for about 20 years.

Cruden has been around long enough to have supervised the Exxon Valdeez spill case, a record-setter. That is, until the Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

Read more
Spacecraft
8:11 am
Fri January 16, 2015

Long-Lost European Spacecraft Spotted On Mars By NASA Probe

An image sent by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Scientists have concluded that it shows the Beagle 2 Mars lander, which went missing in 2003.
NASA

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 10:30 am

More than a decade after it went missing, British scientists say they have found a small spacecraft on the surface of Mars.

Read more
California Climbers
7:49 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Free-Climbers Make It To Summit Of Yosemite's El Capitan

Tommy Caldwell (top) climbs what is known as Pitch 17 and Kevin Jorgeson handles the line as they free-climb the Dawn Wall of Yosemite's El Capitan.
Tom Evans AP

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 2:02 pm

Update at 6:46pm ET:

On their 19th day of climbing, Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson reached the top of El Capitan in California's Yosemite National Park at 3:25 p.m. PT. The Los Angeles Times reports the climbers' families were waiting for them at the summit. From The New York Times:

Read more
Quakin' in CT
10:55 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Earthquake Rattles Eastern Connecticut for Third Day in a Row

The U.S. Geological Service confirmed a 2.0-magnitude earthquake at about 6:30 am Wednesday in Plainfield.
Weston Observatory Twitter

Have you been feeling the earth move?

In what's becoming a daily event, a minor earthquake has shaken parts of eastern Connecticut.

Read more
Nuclear Energy
10:37 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Federal Inspectors Cite Millstone for Unspecified Safety Problems

The Millstone Power Station in Waterford, Connecticut.
Credit Northeast Utilities

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has notified the Millstone Power Station of possible enforcement action following a November 24 inspection that found problems related to unspecified safety issues. 

Read more
Massachusetts
9:22 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Northampton Moving Ahead With Landfill Solar Project

Solar panels on a capped landfill in Holyoke, MA

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 6:20 pm

The city of Northampton, Massachusetts is planning a number of solar power projects that would further reduce the city’s carbon footprint, while providing a new source of revenue.

As soon as this summer, Northampton is likely to join dozens of other municipalities in the state that have turned old landfills into solar farms. And, in what appears to be a first in western Massachusetts at least, solar arrays may pop up at some municipal parking lots, according to Chris Mason, the city’s energy officer.

Read more
Legislative Session
4:08 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Ted Kennedy, Jr. Hopes to Rely on Bipartisanship and Science as Environment Committee Chair

Ted Kennedy, Jr., pictured on election day, is head of the state senate's environment committee.
Mara Lavitt WNPR

A member of the Kennedy family will now be heading up the state's environment committee. In the upcoming legislative session, Ted Kennedy, Jr., a newly-elected Senator from Branford, said he'll be tackling everything from pesticide use to pollution in Long Island Sound.

Read more
Quakin'
1:14 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Five Small Earthquakes Recorded Within Five Hours in Connecticut

The U.S. Geological Survey's "Did you feel it?" map, showing the results of 263 responses from the region in 71 ZIP codes.
U.S. Geological Survey

Scientists on Monday recorded five small earthquakes within five hours in the same area of eastern Connecticut, including a 3.1-magnitude tremor felt more than 60 miles away in Massachusetts. 

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon January 12, 2015

The Price of Oil and Gas Is Dropping Like a Rock

Noel Hendrickson/Digital Vision Thinkstock

The price of gas was nearly $4.00 per gallon two years ago. Economists worried the rate would continue to rise, causing financial hardship on those with an already lean budget. What if it went to $5.00 a gallon? Well, those days are long gone.

Gas in Connecticut is around $2.50 a gallon and it's much cheaper elsewhere in the country.

But the higher rate also made people drive less and conserve more, and pushed higher fuel efficiency standards through Congress, nearly doubling the average fuel economy of new cars and trucks by 2025.

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu January 8, 2015

"Toxic Communities" and the Fight for Environmental Justice

Dorceta Taylor.
University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & Environment Creative Commons

Dorceta Taylor’s most recent book, Toxic Communities, takes a magnifying glass to the modern environmental justice movement. In it, she provides an in-depth analysis of some of the biggest environmental issues facing low-income and minority communities across the U.S. 

Read more
Deep Sea Fishing
3:52 am
Tue January 6, 2015

How Anglers Are Learning To Save Fish That Get 'The Bends'

Barotrauma can cause a fish's eyes to pop out of its head and its stomach to be pushed out of its mouth, according to Chris Lowe, a marine scientist at California State, Long Beach.
Jon Hamilton NPR

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 11:35 am

Read more
New Hampshire Dam
4:12 pm
Sat January 3, 2015

The Man Who Shut The Connecticut River Off

Murphy Dam Operator Alan Williams before the Boom Gate House on Lake Francis
Sean Hurley

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 3:48 pm

There are 4,800 dams in New Hampshire but only two where a full time dam operator is required to live on site.  There's Moore Dam in Littleton and Murphy Dam in Pittsburg.  NHPR's Sean Hurley recently visited with Murphy Dam Operator Alan Williams to learn more about life on a dam. 

Near sunrise, nearly every morning, coffee in hand, Alan Williams leaves the dam house and walks up the dam road and heads out across the half mile bunker of piled earth that is the Murphy Dam.  

Read more
Technology
3:27 am
Fri January 2, 2015

Why Buy When You Can Borrow? App Connects People And Stuff

Peerby allows people to share their stuff through a mobile app for free.
Peerby

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 1:41 pm

Read more
Nuclear Power
10:50 am
Tue December 30, 2014

Vermont Yankee Shuts Down

Dan Jefferies, a VY trainer, explains shut-down activities in the control room using a projector screen that shows each of the 89 control rods in Vermont Yankee's reactor.
Susan Keese VPR

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 10:44 am

The Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant entered its final shutdown Monday at 1:03 p.m. The 620-megawatt reactor has been generating electricity for more than 42 years.

Read more
Conservation
8:26 am
Tue December 30, 2014

Working to Preserve 1,000 Shoreline Acres

The Preserve is 1,000 acres along the shoreline in Old Saybrook, Essex, and Westbrook.
preserve1000acres.com

A fundraising effort to buy 1,000 acres of shoreline land is nearly complete.  The land is called The Preserve, and it spreads across Old Saybrook, Essex, and Westbrook.  

Read more
Space Telescope
4:21 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Could Glitter Help Solve NASA's Giant Telescope Problem?

Larkin Carey, an optical engineer with Ball Aerospace, examines two test mirror segments designed for the James Webb Space Telescope. The mirror for the scope is extremely powerful, but heavy and pricey.
NASA

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 3:05 pm

NASA is building a new space telescope with astounding capabilities. The James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled for launch in 2018, will replace the aging Hubble Space Telescope and will provide unprecedented views of the first galaxies to form in the early universe. It might even offer the first clear glimpse of an Earth-like planet orbiting a distant star.

Read more
Clark Griswold
2:46 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

NASA Imagery Sees Holiday Lights From Space

Depicted in dark green are the areas where lights are 50 percent brighter during December.
NASA's Earth Observatory/Jesse Allen

We know that technology and price can drive electricity demand, but what about culture?

Read more
Electric Rates
8:06 am
Tue December 23, 2014

State Legislators Call for Lower Residential Electric Rates

Creative Commons / angeloangelo

Legislators and lobbyists are calling for the state's largest electric utility to lower its fixed residential charge with a new proposal that would set Connecticut Light and Power's fixed rate at $10.00 a month.

Read more
Stellar Cocoons
8:45 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Observatory in Chile is Wesleyan Radio Astronomer's Answer to Hubble

The Atacama Large Millimeter Array in northern Chile has 66 antennae, seen here in June 2014.
A. Marinkovic Creative Commons

A Wesleyan astronomer has just returned from a conference in Tokyo, Japan, where she discussed research from the ALMA space telescope -- a radio observatory partly funded by the National Science Foundation -- which is just finishing construction.

Read more
Climate Change
7:45 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Arctic Is Warming Twice As Fast As World Average

A lone polar bear poses on a block of arctic sea ice in Russia's Franz Josef Land.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 12:36 pm

The latest word from scientists studying the Arctic is that the polar region is warming twice as fast as the average rise on the rest of the planet. And researchers say the trend isn't letting up. That's the latest from the 2014 Arctic Report Card — a compilation of recent research from more than 60 scientists in 13 countries. The report was released Wednesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Read more
State Parks
11:59 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Architect Seeks Ideas for Waterford's Seaside

Victor Solanoy Creative Commons

Around 100 people attended a meeting in Waterford on Monday night to discuss ideas for a proposed new state park. 

Read more

Pages