environment

Science
4:07 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

A Tiny Ocean World With A Mighty Important Future

Plankton make up 98 percent of the biomass of ocean life and provide half of the oxygen on the planet. Scientists are working to figure out how climate change may be affecting these important microorganisms.
M. Ormestad Tara Oceans

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 6:11 pm

As you take in your next breath of air, you can thank a form of microscopic marine life known as plankton.

They are so small as to be invisible, but taken together, actually dwarf massive creatures like whales. Plankton make up 98 percent of the biomass of ocean life.

"This invisible forest generates half of the oxygen generated on the planet," Chris Bowler, a marine biologist, tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered.

And, as climate change alters the temperature and acidity of our waters, this mysterious ocean world may be in jeopardy.

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Ornithology
11:04 am
Fri September 28, 2012

The Biology Of Birds Of Prey

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 2:30 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Up next, the biology of raptors, moving from giant animals to the birds, we're going to talk about here in Boise. Just outside of town is the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area. And that park has one of the highest concentrations of nesting raptors in the world, more than 20 different birds of prey, including golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, screech owls.

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Oil Platform Fire
5:00 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Coast Guard Investigating Oil Platform Fire

The Coast Guard is investigating an oil platform that caught fire 35 miles off the Louisiana coast. Three people on the rig in the Gulf of Mexico have been safely evacuated.

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Coastal Forest Conservation Initiative
4:11 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Deadline nears for conservation program

Landowners interested in selling property to help Louisiana and federal coastal forest conservation efforts have until Friday to apply for part of the $7.4 million available in the second round of applications.

Bren Haase, deputy chief of planning with the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, tells The Advocate the Coastal Forest Conservation Initiative's goal is to protect coastal forest areas not only for the habitat they provide but also for their ability to hamper storm surge from tropical storms.

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It's All Politics
3:59 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

New Groups Make A Conservative Argument On Climate Change

Former South Carolina Republican Rep. Bob Inglis now runs the Energy and Enterprise Initiative.
Energy and Enterprise Initiative

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 9:22 am

One topic you don't hear much about from Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is climate change. Like so much else, it's become politically divisive, with polls showing Republicans far less likely to believe in it or support policies to address it.

But two new groups aim to work from within, using conservative arguments to win over skeptics.

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Latest News
3:08 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

NOAA: Dolphin found in Louisiana was shot to death

The federal government says somebody shot and killed a bottlenose dolphin found dead over the weekend on Elmer's Island — and there's a reward for information about whoever did it.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society is offering a $1,500 reward for information leading to the conviction of the person or people who shot the dolphin.

Its body was found Saturday on the island, which is next to Grand Isle.

Bayou Corne Sinkhole
12:34 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Officials say brine cavern successfully breached

Officials say an abandoned brine cavern in the Napoleonville salt dome has been successfully breached.

State Commissioner of Conservation James Welsh said Monday the investigatory well entered the cavern Saturday evening. Officials say they hope samples taken from inside the cavern will shed some light on the cause behind a massive sinkhole that erupted in Assumption Parish Aug. 3.

Officials say natural gas samples taken from inside the cavern will be tested for connections with gas bubbles that have been identified in other areas of the parish.

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Alternative Fuel Tax Credit
12:32 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Price tag for tax break expansion could top $7M

Louisiana paid as much as $7 million for a two-month expansion of a tax credit designed to encourage the purchase of alternative fuel vehicles.

The Department of Revenue issued a little-noticed rule in April governing the state's alternative fuel tax credit, which enlarged the list of qualifying vehicles.

Jindal scrapped the rule in June amid complaints it could wreck the state's budget, but it appears hundreds of people took advantage of the expanded list while it was on the books.

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Bayou Corne Sinkhole
2:19 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Exploratory well into sinkhole almost complete

Officials say they are one step closer to figuring out the cause behind the massive sinkhole that has been plaguing Assumption Parish for over a month.

State Commissioner of Conservation James Welsh said Wednesday that Texas Brine Co., the company that owns the brine cavern believed to be at fault, will be breaching the cavern Thursday afternoon.

BP Oil Spill
10:53 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Some catches in Gulf above some pre-spill levels

Gulf of Mexico fishing boats hauled in far more menhaden last year than in 2010. Catches of some other important species were above pre-spill levels in some Gulf Coast states. But a federal official says it's too early to rule out long-term effects from the spill.

A national report released Wednesday says the Gulf's menhaden catch last year was nearly 66 percent above that in 2010. Other species also showed increases.

Roy Crabtree of NOAA Fisheries says that's guardedly good news. But he says it's probably too soon to tell whether the spill killed eggs and immature fish.

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