Environment

Environment
5:26 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

Purdue Sierra Student Coalition Calls for Greener Future

An environmental group at Purdue is asking the administration to include greener measures in the university’s Energy Master Plan.

The Sierra Student Coalition is presenting more than one-thousand public comments on how to provide additional clean energy options.

Organizer Alexis Boxer says the goal is to bring Purdue’s practices in line with some of its neighboring schools.

Boxer says there are prime opportunities now to raise funding for alternative energy efforts without increasing tuition for students.

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Animals
4:53 pm
Fri February 10, 2012

Return Of Gray Wolves Renews Debate Over Hunting

A gray wolf in the wild. Park officials say hunting restrictions in place in parts of of Montana have protected Yellowstone's wolves from a repeat of a 2009 hunt in which four Yellowstone wolves were shot.
MacNeill Lyons/National Park Service AP

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 6:24 pm

Gray wolves were taken off the endangered species list in Idaho and Montana last year and put under state control. But they're still on the list in neighboring Wyoming. That's because Wyoming has been the most aggressive about wanting to kill wolves.

Wyoming has finally struck a deal with the federal government regarding how wolves will be treated once the state takes over. But environmentalists believe the agreement denies wolves an important refuge.

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Environment
12:30 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Indiana wheat crop on the right track

A Purdue expert says Indiana’s winter wheat crop is healthy and right on track despite wet weather at planting time last fall.

Agronomist Herb Ohm says the acreage for wheat is slightly reduced, but in very good shape.

He says Indiana farmers planted about 430-thousand acres of winter wheat for 2012, compared with the nearly 460-thousand for 2011.

Ohm says the wet fall delayed planting a bit, but the mild winter has allowed the crop to grow.

But he says if the warmer–than-normal temperatures persist, it could also lead to higher incidences of foliar disease.

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Energy
1:20 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

Could Cheap Gas Slow Growth Of Renewable Energy?

Natural gas is much cleaner than coal. But some energy analysts say an overabundance of the fuel could depress development in even cleaner energy sources like wind and solar power. Above, a rig in Washington, Pa., drills into shale rock to extract natural gas.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Thu February 2, 2012 1:57 pm

The boom in cheap natural gas in this country is good news for the environment, because relatively clean gas is replacing dirty coal-fired power plants. But in the long run, cheap natural gas could slow the growth of even cleaner sources of energy, such as wind and solar power.

Natural gas has a bad rap in some parts of the country, because the process of fracking is not popular. But many people looking at cheap natural gas from the global perspective see it as a good thing.

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The Two-Way
1:29 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

Remote Alaskan Volcano Shows Signs Of Activity

Originally published on Wed February 1, 2012 11:54 am

There's a new lava dome forming on top of Alaska's Cleveland Volcano, and the Alaska Volcano Observatory bumped up its aviation warning level to orange. That means the volcano is "exhibiting heightened or escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption".

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The Two-Way
5:00 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Illinois Nuclear Power Plant Shuts Down Unit After Power Loss

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 10:32 am

Backup diesel generators are powering one of the two nuclear reactors at the Byron Station facility in northern Illinois. Unit Two came offline yesterday after it inexplicably lost power. The facility's operator, Exelon, declared the incident an "unusual event" - the lowest of four emergency status declarations set by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

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The Salt
11:09 am
Mon January 23, 2012

Geoengineered Food? Climate Fix Could Boost Crop Yields, But With Risks

Altering the upper atmosphere could block enough sunlight to offset the warming effects of climate change and protect food crops. But what are the risks?
iStockphoto

For a few years now, a handful of scientists have been proposing grandiose technological fixes for the world's climate to combat the effects of global warming — schemes called geoengineering.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:08 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Researchers Agree To Temporary Halt For Bird Flu Experiments

H5N1 avian flu viruses (seen in gold) grow inside canine kidney cells (seen in green).
Cynthia Goldsmith CDC

Originally published on Mon January 23, 2012 3:41 pm

Scientists have said that they are voluntarily putting some controversial bird flu research on hold.

The move to suspend the work for 60 days comes in response to critics who say their work is dangerous.

People rarely get sick with bird flu, caused by the H5N1 virus, and when they do, they're generally not contagious.

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Europe
4:24 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Rock And A Hard Place: What To Do With Concordia

Technician Andera Faccioli positioned a laser-equipped device to determine whether the Costa Concordia has shifted position off the Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy.
Vincenzo Pinto AFP/Getty Images

What do you do with a 1,000-foot wreck that's full of fuel and half-submerged on a rocky ledge in the middle of an Italian marine sanctuary? Remove it. Very carefully.

The wreck of the cruise liner Costa Concordia, which ran aground last week, is not unlike a car accident. The first order of business is determining whether it's worth repairing or it gets junked. Then there are the questions of how best to go about it – and who pays.

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