Counties along the Texas-Mexico border are reporting higher numbers of hungry invaders from Mexico -- bears -- and wildlife biologists are trying to quickly educate border residents about the dos and don’ts of living with the big mammals.
Black bears are native to most of the Southwest, but in Texas, human development, hunting and trapping drove the ursine wildlife out of most of South Texas and the Hill Country decades ago.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there are 27 landfills in Texas that are producing enough methane gas to make electricity or provide fuel to power industrial equipment. The agency says another 57 landfills are candidates for such projects.
A forest near Trieste, Italy, is largely dead owing to drought stress during the summer of 2012.
Credit Herve Cochard / Nature
An air embolism in a narrow water-transporting cell in a leaf of a walnut tree, captured using light microscopy. Drought stress increases the likelihood of embolism, reduces photosynthesis and may eventually lead to plant death.
Scientists who study forests say they've discovered something disturbing about the way prolonged drought affects trees.
It has to do with the way trees drink. They don't do it the way we do — they suck water up from the ground all the way to their leaves, through a bundle of channels in a part of the trunk called the xylem. The bundles are like blood vessels.
When drought dries out the soil, a tree has to suck harder. And that can actually be dangerous, because sucking harder increases the risk of drawing air bubbles into the tree's plumbing.
San Antonio Water System customers could be facing a rate increase of nearly 10 percent in 2013. An aging infrastructure is one reason, but another is pressure from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 5:32 pm
Update at 11:30 a.m. ET: Oil giant BP has agreed to plead guilty to criminal misconduct related to the 2010 Gulf Oil spill and will pay a record $4 billion in criminal penalties, the company just confirmed. And it will pay $525 million in civil penalties in a resolution with the Securities and Exchanges Commission. BP will make the payments over six years.