Science and Environment

Remembering The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
2:20 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Why Oil Drilling Is Both Safer And Riskier Since Exxon Valdez

The Ohmsett research facility, which researches oil spill response, was closed just before the Exxon Valdez accident. It was reopened as part of the measures included in the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 1:59 pm

A lot has changed for the energy industry since the Exxon Valdez hit a reef in 1989 and began spilling oil into Alaska's Prince William Sound. The outcry over images of oil-soaked wildlife and a once-pristine shoreline dirtied by crude ushered in greater scrutiny of oil operations and increased interest in research on how to clean up oil spills.

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Science and Environment
4:07 am
Mon March 24, 2014

25 Years After Spill, Alaska Town Struggles Back From 'Dead Zone'

Orca Inlet, Cordova's fishing harbor, on a blustery day this month. Commercial fishing is the small Alaskan town's primary industry.
Marisa Peñaloza NPR

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 11:25 am

On March 24, 1989, the tanker Exxon Valdez struck a reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil into the pristine water. At the time, it was the single biggest spill in U.S. history. In a series of stories, NPR is examining the lasting social and economic impacts of the disaster, as well as the policy, regulation and scientific research that came out of it.

It's a blustery, snowy March day when Michelle Hahn O'Leary offers a tour of Cordova, Alaska, situated on the eastern shore of Prince William Sound.

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Science and Environment
5:32 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Gallup: Americans Put The Environment Over Economic Growth Again

Gallup

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 6:27 pm

In 2009, when the Great Recession took hold of the United States, Americans reversed a long-running trend in polling: For the first time since Gallup first asked the question in the 1980s, more Americans said they favored economic growth over protecting the environment.

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Science and Environment
4:01 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Rethinking The Five-Second Rule: With Carpet, There's No Rush

Bacteria don't wear wristwatches. But they can take their sweet time hopping onto a potato chip.
Greg Williams/Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 4:47 pm

Many of us will happily eat a gummy bear or cookie after it falls on the floor, as long as we snatch it up quickly. Say, five seconds or less, right?

Well, science just gave us another excuse to continue this food-saving habit, especially when it comes to carpet-dusted snacks.

Biology students at the Aston University in Birmingham, U.K., measured how quickly two common bacteria hop aboard foods dropped on tiles, linoleum and carpet.

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Science and Environment
5:16 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Oil Industry Gets An Earful As It Eyes Florida's Everglades

Drilling companies have new interest in southern Florida's Big Cypress preserve. The prospect of large-scale operations and possibly fracking worries environmentalists and residents.
Sue Cocking MCT/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 5:35 pm

As oil production goes, Florida isn't much of a player. The state produced less than 2 million barrels last year, which is how much oil Texas pumps from its wells each day.

That's about to change as the revolution in oil drilling technology comes to Florida.

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Science and Environment
12:55 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Why Did The Possibly Pregnant Shark Cross The Atlantic?

"Lydia" shortly before a tracking device was attached to her last year near Jacksonville, Fla.
OCEARCH.org

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 3:55 pm

You kind of have to admire headlines such as this:

"UK-bound great white shark Lydia could be PREGNANT"

That's the Mirror doing its best to scare folks into reading its report.

The story behind the scary headline, though, is interesting.

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Science and Environment
6:20 am
Sun March 2, 2014

Throw Me Something (Again), Mister: Mardi Gras Beads Revived

Beads are essential to celebrating Mardi Gras season in New Orleans, but what happens to the tokens when the revelry ends?
Sean Garnder Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 10:30 am

In Louisiana, Mardi Gras comes each year with dozens of parades filled with marching bands, colorful floats and parade-goers who scream, "Throw me something, Mister!"

That "something" the crowd wants are beads. The goal of any Mardi Gras parade is to catch as many as possible. After the revelry, people often have so many beads around their necks they can barely turn their heads.

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Science & Environment
12:10 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Why Farmers Can Prevent Global Warming Just As Well As Vegetarians

Cattle graze at a Brazilian Agricultural Research experimental farm in Planaltina in Goias state. To reduce emissions from deforestation, the Brazilian government is experimenting with grazing on integrated forest and pasture lands.
Evaristo Sa AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 10:31 am

We Americans are heavy consumers of meat, and we're increasingly reminded that eating less of it will shrink our carbon footprint. Growing the crops to feed all those animals releases lots of greenhouse gases.

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Science & Environment
5:23 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Coast Guard Reopens Mississippi River After Spill

The Mississippi River.
bdearth Flickr

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 7:27 pm

The Mississippi River in Louisiana has reopened to vessel traffic after an oil spill. Mariners are asked to report any oil spotted along the river.

The Coast Guard says more than 31,000 gallons of crude oil spilled from a barge that collided with a towboat Saturday. Just over 1,000 gallons of an oily water mix have been recovered.

River traffic between New Orleans and Baton Rouge was blocked, leaving vessels stuck in traffic.

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Science & Environment
2:38 am
Tue February 25, 2014

A College Project That Imagines A Floating City For Oil Workers

View of central crossing of the central hub island, one of dozens of man-made islands envisioned by Rice University architecture students. The islands would serve as a floating city for oil workers off the coast of Brazil.
Rice School of Architecture

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 7:58 am

Imagine you're in a college-level architecture class and your assignment is to come up with an idea so revolutionary that it could be considered an important advance in industrial design.

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