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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

City Lizards Adapt Fast to Urban Living

 

For Anole lizards living in Puerto Rican cities, the slickness of walls and windows poses a challenge to creatures that evolved on rocks and trees. Yet their feet are fast adapting to grip well on smooth surfaces.

 

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For Anole lizards living in Puerto Rican cities, the slickness of walls and windows poses a challenge to creatures that evolved on rocks and trees. Yet their feet are fast adapting to grip well on smooth surfaces.

Figs: The Vital Forest Species

 

Fig trees are one of the world’s most diverse groups of plants, and have fed people and thousands of other species for millennia. Mike Shanahan, author of Gods, Wasps, and Stranglers: The Secret History and Redemptive Future of Fig Trees, discusses the unique ecology, mythology and cultural value of fig trees, and how they can help us care for and protect nature in future.

 

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Yes, It’s Getting Hotter

 

A new analysis of sea surface temperatures validates the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s updated global warming record released in 2015. This confirmation rebuts allegations from some Republicans on Capitol Hill that NOAA manipulated the 2015 data, which shows continuing global warming as opposed to earlier NOAA research that had suggested a two-decade long warming pause.

 

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Missing Granny the Whale

 

They called her “Granny”, the matriarch of an orca pod in Puget Sound that has gone missing. Her tale is told by Ken Balcomb, founder of the Center for Whale Research, who studied Granny, officially named J2, for more than four decades. Granny might have been as old as 105.

 

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Saving Bears Ears

 

1.3 million acres of wilderness that include a pair of buttes in Southeastern Utah that look like the ears of a bear have joined a list of National Monuments designated by President Barack Obama as he ends his term. And the Native American tribes that called for the monument’s creation have a seat at the table in its administration.

 

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Let Sleeping Seals Lie!

 

On an island off the coast of Antarctica, an enormous Weddell Seal with impressive battle scars appears to slumber – but half of his brain remains alert while the other half dozes. Living on Earth’s Resident Explorer Mark Seth Lender got as close as he dared, but finds the formidable seal disinclined to make friends.

 

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Ancient Underwater Forest in the Gulf of Mexico

 

Sixty feet beneath the water off the coast of Alabama is a forest of cypress trees that is more than 50,000 years old.

 

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Prairie Rattlesnake

 

A few months ago writer Mark Seth Lender met his first Prairie Rattlesnake up close and personal, and found the snake fascinating, and though venomous, not a threat.

 

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Antarctic Volcano

 

Many scientists are concerned about the impact global warming is having on Antarctica, and now scientists from Washington University in St. Louis have discovered a new kind of threat lurking beneath the vulnerable West Antarctic ice sheet—an active volcano. (Photo: Doug Wiens)

 

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The Social Cost Of Carbon

A state-of-the-art report that brings together some of the best minds in environmental policy and economics recommends a new way of evaluating the social costs of carbon pollution to keep up with the best available science.

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Beyond The Headlines

This week we examine proposed legislation in Wyoming that would ensure renewable energy cannot be used in the state for power generation, and the reluctance of the EPA to pay compensation for a disastrous mine waste spill. And in environmental history, it’s a trio of aviation firsts that include a mishap that might have left a hydrogen bomb underneath Greenland’s melting ice.

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Small Whale Entangled in Big Threat

The vaquita, the world’s smallest whale, lives only in Mexico’s Gulf of California and is critically endangered, due to illegal fishing. Now the Center for Biological Diversity plans legal action against the U.S. government for its failure to sanction Mexico for not stopping the poaching.

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This Week’s Show
January 20, 2017
listen / download


The Social Cost Of Carbon

listen / download
A state-of-the-art report that brings together some of the best minds in environmental policy and economics recommends a new way of evaluating the social costs of carbon pollution to keep up with the best available science.

Beyond The Headlines

listen / download
This week we examine proposed legislation in Wyoming that would ensure renewable energy cannot be used in the state for power generation, and the reluctance of the EPA to pay compensation for a disastrous mine waste spill. And in environmental history, it’s a trio of aviation firsts that include a mishap that might have left a hydrogen bomb underneath Greenland’s melting ice.

Small Whale Entangled in Big Threat

listen / download
The vaquita, the world’s smallest whale, lives only in Mexico’s Gulf of California and is critically endangered, due to illegal fishing. Now the Center for Biological Diversity plans legal action against the U.S. government for its failure to sanction Mexico for not stopping the poaching.

City Lizards Adapt Fast to Urban Living

listen / download
For Anole lizards living in Puerto Rican cities, the slickness of walls and windows poses a challenge to creatures that evolved on rocks and trees. Yet their feet are fast adapting to grip well on smooth surfaces.

Figs: The Vital Forest Species

listen / download
Fig trees are one of the world’s most diverse groups of plants, and have fed people and thousands of other species for millennia. Mike Shanahan, author of Gods, Wasps, and Stranglers: The Secret History and Redemptive Future of Fig Trees, discusses the unique ecology, mythology and cultural value of fig trees, and how they can help us care for and protect nature in future.


Special Features

A River Town in Transition

listen / download
Wrangell, Alaska is a small, isolated town at the mouth of the mighty Stikine River and a former a timber capital. But since the saw mills shut down in the ‘90s, the small town has reinvented itself as a tourist destination and a commercial fishing hub. Since both of these industries are dependent on the Stikine, some locals worry that a mining development upriver could put the whole town’s livelihood at risk.
Blog Series: Alaskan River Riches

Cowee, North Carolina

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Living on Earth is giving a voice to Orion magazine’s longtime feature in which people write about the place they call home. In this week’s edition, songwriter Angela-Faye Martin uses her words and music to picture her North Carolina valley on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Blog Series: The Place Where You Live


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...Ultimately, if we are going prevent large parts of this Earth from becoming not only inhospitable but uninhabitable in our lifetimes, we are going to have to keep some fossil fuels in the ground rather than burn them...

-- President Barack Obama, November 6, 2015 on why he declined to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline.

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