environment

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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Hurricane Isaac
2:56 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Dead whale found on Fourchon beach

The Louisiana governor's top coastal adviser says a dead whale has been reported washed ashore on Fourchon beach.

Garrett Graves said Friday the state was sending workers to examine the whale, which washed up southwest of New Orleans.

The size and species of the whale was not yet known. Graves said the whale was found in an area where tar balls and mats of weathered oil have been washing ashore from waters churned by Hurricane Isaac, resulting in the closure of a small portion of coastal waters to commercial fishing.

Hurricane Isaac
6:00 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Environmental Groups Call For Change After Isaac Pollution Reports From Energy Industry

Damage to oil refineries and other facilies is tracked alongside Hurricane Isaac's path.
Louisiana Bucket Brigade

Three environmental groups say more than 90 reports of pollution triggered by Hurricane Isaac is evidence the energy industry needs greater oversight. They say depending on industry to monitor itself isn’t working.

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Bayou Corne Sinkhole
5:06 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Isaac has little impact on Bayou Corne sinkhole

Despite the tropical storm force winds and rains heavy enough to force a mandatory evacuation of all residents in Assumption Parish, officials say Hurricane Isaac had no impact on a sinkhole near Bayou Corne.

But after the storm trudged past the parish, three new bubbling gas sites were discovered Tuesday in Bayou Corne, Grand Bayou and Triche Canal. Representatives from the state Department of Environmental Quality are currently testing the air and water at the three new sites and they say preliminary tests indicate no abnormal readings.

Latin America
9:34 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Guess Who's Chopping Down The Amazon Now?

Loggers discuss the day's plan in a camp called Puesto Viejo, or "old post."
Carlos Villalon for NPR

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 7:20 pm

Though Brazil's Amazon has been the focus of environmental groups for decades, the deforestation rate there has fallen dramatically in recent years as clear-cutting of Amazonian jungle in eight other countries has started to rise.

As a result, the 40 percent of Amazonia located in a moon-shaped arc of countries from Bolivia to Colombia to French Guiana faces a more serious threat than the jungle in Brazil. The culprits range from ranching to soybean farming, logging to infrastructure development projects.

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Animals
2:52 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Who's Your Daddy?: Male Snail Carries Eggs As Cargo

A male Solenosteira macrospira, left, carries snail eggs on its shell. But not all of the eggs were fertilized by him. Females, like the one on the right, deposit the eggs into papery capsules and attach them to the males' shells.
P.B. Marko Ecology Letters

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 4:28 am

A man is not a mollusk, and many men probably think that's a good thing. And it's not just because a mollusk is a squishy invertebrate with a shell. It's also because for at least one species of mollusk, the males do all the heavy lifting when it comes to childcare.

The species of mollusk we're talking about is Solenosteira macrospira, a marine snail about 2 inches long. These snails live off the coast of Baja California, and during the mating season, the beach is awash with male and female snails in connubial bliss.

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