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Environment

Pollution, Not Rising Temperatures, May Have Melted Alpine Glaciers

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

About 160 years ago, before Europe began warming up, glaciers in the Alps started rapidly retreating. Now NASA scientists offer a possible explanation for this apparent paradox: Soot from the Industrial Revolution could have heated up the ice.

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Radiocative Water Leak At Fukushima Worse Than First Thought

Sunday, September 01, 2013

The plant that was badly damaged in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami was found to be leaking contaminated water last month.

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Wise Old Whooping Cranes Keep Captive-Bred Fledglings On Track

Friday, August 30, 2013

A decade ago, cranes that had never before migrated followed the lead of an ultralight plane to learn the route south. Several generations later, old cranes are teaching young birds to navigate that same route. It's a clue that migration is a combination of nature and nurture, researchers say.

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Another 'Grand Canyon' Discovered Beneath Greenland's Ice

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Greenland is covered in an ice layer that's up to 2 miles thick. But below the ice, there's a vast terrain of bedrock. Now scientists have found a mega-canyon there, twice the size of the one in Arizona. The hidden canyon is drawing oohs and aahs from scientists around the world.

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Have Your Picture Taken With Hong Kong's (Smog-Free) Skyline

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Chinese city is trying something new to placate tourists disappointed by the curtain of smog that now envelops the classic skyline.

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Features

A Cooler Pacific May Be Behind Recent Pause In Global Warming

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Earth's average annual temperature has been rising for decades, but not in the last 15 years — colder winters and hotter summers notwithstanding. Now scientists offer evidence that this "pause" in average warming is because a cooler Pacific is temporarily taking up more heat than usual.

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To Grow Sweeter Produce, California Farmers Turn Off The Water

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

California's small producers of tomatoes, grapes and other crops are increasingly taking up dry farming, which involves growing crops without watering them for months. The technique, which obviously saves water, can produce more flavorful crops.

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STUNNING VIDEO: Pilots' View Of California's Rim Fire

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

California Air National Guard crews battling the huge blaze have taken some amazing videos as they pass over the flames and smoke.

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Beachgoers In Spain Face Invasion Of Jellyfish

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Known for its sparkling turquoise waters and white sand, Spain's Mediterranean beaches are developing a new reputation — for a growing number of jellyfish. Scientists blame overfishing and, possibly, climate change for the spike in stinging invertebrates.

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Turning Off The Spigot In Western Kansas Farmland

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

If Kansas farmers keep pumping water out of the High Plains aquifer as they have in the past, the amount of water they can extract will start to fall in just 10 years or so, scientists predict. That will cause big changes in the agricultural economy. But reducing water use now could help delay and ease that disruption.

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On A Rocky Maine Island, Puffins Making A Tenuous Comeback

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The windswept island about 6 miles off the coast was a haven for a hugely diverse bird population until fishermen decimated the birds' ranks. Puffins have been successfully reintroduced to Eastern Egg Rock, but warming ocean waters may be threatening their ability to survive. (This piece initially aired August 21, 2013 on All Things Considered.)

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Can The World Engineer A Cooler Climate?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A draft of the upcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report leaked this week, sparking a renewed interest in climate change. One of the debates is over geoengineering, large-scale manipulation of the climate by humans to reduce warming. Host Scott Simon talks with author Jeff Goodell about the future of and controversy surrounding geoengineering.

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The 'Consensus' View: Kevin Trenberth's Take On Climate Change

Friday, August 23, 2013

Climate skeptics point to 15 years of no warming trend as a reason to doubt global warming. But Kevin Trenberth at the National Center for Atmospheric Research can explain a good bit of that temperature plateau — and he argues the Earth has continued to warm appreciably, even though our thin blanket of atmosphere hasn't.

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Calif. Wildfire Nearly Doubles In Size, Burns Into Yosemite Park

Friday, August 23, 2013

The wildfire burst into Yosemite National Park on Friday after growing to more than 105,620 acres, the U.S. Forestry Service says. Gov. Brown declared a state of emergency for San Francisco, 150 miles away, because of the fire's threat to public utilities.

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Study Correlates Copper Intake and Alzheimer's in Mice

Friday, August 23, 2013

Reporting in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers write of a possible link between copper in drinking water and Alzheimer's disease in mice. Lead author Rashid Deane discusses the potential mechanism.

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A Robot Lab to Survey the Sea Floor

Friday, August 23, 2013

Imagine a robotic lab that can sample ocean organisms on its own and perform DNA analysis of what it finds. William Ussler, of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, describes how a prototypical robotic explorer is helping study the life around undersea thermal vents.

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Hurricane Season A Bust? Don't Be So Sure

Friday, August 23, 2013

So far, the Atlantic has been hurricane-free, but one forecaster points out that similar years in the past have had very active second halves.

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Regulators Monitor 'Serious Leaks' At Japanese Nuclear Plant

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is back in the news — more than two years after an earthquake and tsunami triggered a series of meltdowns. New leaks found this week prompted regulators to consider raising the alert level.

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'Uncertain' Science: Judith Curry's Take On Climate Change

Thursday, August 22, 2013

When Republicans on Capitol Hill want to hear reasons not to take strong action on climate change, sometimes they call on Judith Curry to testify. The climatologist has staked out an unusual position on the subject: She says the climate is changing and people are partly responsible, but we shouldn't bother regulating carbon dioxide.

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Weekly Innovation: Hey, You're Taking Too Long In The Shower

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Just in time for college students returning to their dorms: an eco-friendly showerhead that reminds users they're wasting water by lingering. A light that changes from red to green has proven to shorten overall shower time.

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