environment

Environment
3:31 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Shipping company fined in pollution probe

A Greek shipping company must pay the federal government $300,000 after admitting that one of its vessels discharged waste oil into the Atlantic Ocean

The Advocate reports U.S. Attorney Donald J. Cazayoux Jr. announced Wednesday that half of the $300,000 fine will be paid to a crew member, Joel Basinang.

Assistant U.S. Attorney M. Patricia Jones stated that Basinang, who worked as an oiler in the ship's engine room, provided evidence of the illegal discharges to the U.S. Coast Guard after the Greek-operated vessel was moored in the Mississippi River in Ascension Parish.

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Environment
4:25 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Cause of whale deaths still unknown

State officials are still working to determine what killed two whales found on Louisiana beaches after Hurricane Isaac.

They also are trying to determine the whales' species.

The state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said in an email Tuesday that both whales were badly decomposed, making it difficult to tell the species.

One whale, found at Belle Pass, was more than 8 feet long. The one at Grand Isle was about 10 feet long. Samples were taken from both whales in hopes of determining what killed them.

Hurricane Isaac
4:18 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

After Isaac exposes oil, BP aims to dig it out

BP PLC says it wants to aggressively clean up buried oil exposed on Louisiana's beaches by Hurricane Isaac's churning waves.

The company wants to dig deep into beaches and remove oil buried since a BP well blew out on April 20, 2010, leading to the nation's largest offshore spill.

But digging deep can bring its own problems — it can be harmful to creatures that live on beaches or feed on them and it also may lead to erosion by loosening up sand. Erosion is a constant worry in Louisiana because the state is losing land at an alarming rate.

Latest News
6:05 am
Wed September 12, 2012

America's Wetland Foundation Lobbies in DC for Coastal Restoration

Members of the America’s Wetland Foundation and a bipartisan group of Southern lawmakers are in Washington, D.C. today, making the case that coastal restoration along the Gulf of Mexico is a national issue.

America's Wetland Managing Director Val Marmillion says projects must be coordinated and strategic.

Science
4:52 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

'Astonishing' Arctic Ice Melt Sets New Record

Norman Kuring NASA/GSFC/Suomi

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 8:57 pm

Arctic sea ice has melted dramatically this summer, smashing the previous record. The Arctic has warmed dramatically compared with the rest of the planet, and scientists say that's what's driving this loss of ice.

To be sure, ice on the Arctic Ocean always melts in the summer. Historically, about half of it is gone by mid-September. But this year, three-fourths of the ice has melted away, setting a dramatic new benchmark.

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BP Oil Spill
4:43 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Transocean, feds considered $1.5B settlement

Transocean Ltd. and the Justice Department have discussed a $1.5 billion settlement that would resolve federal civil and criminal claims against the company over its role in the deadly 2010 rig explosion that spawned the nation's worst offshore oil spill.

But Switzerland-based Transocean Ltd. said in a regulatory filing Monday that a "number of issues," including the possible time period for payment, must be resolved before a deal can be completed.

A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.

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Environment
2:54 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Deaf dolphin rescued near Grand Isle is going to Gulfport

A deaf dolphin found stranded in March near Grand Isle is heading for Gulfport, Miss.

Suzanne Smith, rescue coordinator at the Audubon Nature Institute, says the 2 ½-year-old dolphin will be taken Tuesday to the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies because he would be unable to survive in the wild.

She says deafness is probably the reason the 6 ½-foot-long marine mammal was stranded on a mudflat where researchers found him on March 6. He was deaf in the frequencies of dolphin sonar and was severely sunburned.

The Salt
2:48 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

How Oregon's Prized Pinot Noir Grapes Will Take The Heat Of Climate Change

Pinot noir grapes are notoriously finicky about the weather, and climate change has winemakers in Oregon thinking about the future.
Greg Wahl-Stephens AP

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 3:08 pm

Some grapes like it hot.

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The Two-Way
5:51 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

NOAA: This Summer Was Third Hottest On Record

A map that shows the difference from average temperatures.
NOAA

Today in Washington, D.C. we got our first taste of fall. It was crisp and in the low 60s. And just as we slide into the last days of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration published its summer 2012 recap.

It's exactly what you were expecting: It was really hot. In fact, 2012 was the third hottest on record.

NOAA reports:

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Shots - Health Blog
2:09 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

When Heat Kills: Global Warming As Public Health Threat

A man stands in a fountain in Washington Square Park on July 18, in New York City. Temperatures were expected in the upper 90's during another heat wave in the city.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 10:26 am

The current poster child for global warming is a polar bear, sitting on a melting iceberg. Some health officials argue the symbol should, instead, be a child.

That's because emerging science shows that people respond more favorably to warnings about climate change when it's portrayed as a health issue rather than as an environmental problem.

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