Colorado's record-breaking flood was caused, in part, by a blocking pattern parked over western North America. That same pattern also led to extreme drought in the West, worsening California's Rim Fire. Rutgers atmospheric scientist Jennifer Francis talks about possible connections between climate change and severe events like these.
More than 500 years ago, Leonardo da Vinci tried to imagine what it would be like to soar over mountains, to dip, to glide like a bird. He'd sit on Italian hillsides, sketching, imagining, dreaming. In 1502, he drew one of the first ever, looking-down-from-the-sky panoramas of the Earth — in this case a bit of Tuscany, as if seen by a high flying eagle.
Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 9:17 am
A year after doctors first identified an illness that came to be known as Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome researchers are reporting fresh genetic information about the virus that causes it.
The findings don't bring scientists any closer to understanding where MERS is coming from. In fact, the main news is that researchers were wrong about the source of some infections in the largest cluster of cases so far.
The Environmental Protection Agency's second stab at a proposal to set the first-ever limits on greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants would make it impossible for companies to build the kind of coal-fired plants that have been the country's biggest source of electricity for decades.
Under the proposal, released Friday, any new plant that runs on coal would be permitted to emit only about half as much carbon dioxide as an average coal plant puts into the air today.
The tiny, copper-hued golden lion tamarin is so beloved in Brazil that its image graces the country's 20-real bank note. But this lion-maned monkey is in peril.
There's only one place on earth where the golden lion tamarin lives in the wild: in Brazil's Atlantic Forest, or Mata Atlantica, just north of Rio de Janeiro. Deforestation in the region has reduced the monkey's habitat, once a massive ecosystem stretching for a half-million square miles, to just 2 percent of its original size.
In the quirky little college town of Yellow Springs, Ohio, home to many unconventional ideas over the years, there's now a small insect factory.
It's an unassuming operation, a generic boxy building in a small industrial park. It took me a while even to find a sign with the company's name: EnviroFlight. But its goal is grand: The people at EnviroFlight are hoping that their insects will help our planet grow more food while conserving land and water.
Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 2:52 pm
Clicking the "Like" button on Facebook is tantamount to other forms of protected speech, a federal court decided on Wednesday. That is, clicking Like is protected by the First Amendment as a form of assembly or association.
If you're on Twitter, you might want to think twice before bragging about all those followers you've been racking up. Some of the people who follow you might be fake — and there are now websites designed to expose them.
NPR's product manager for social media, Kate Myers, talks to Tell Me More's Michel Martin about how to spot fake accounts, why they might be following you and what you can do to stop them.
Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 10:24 am
No one who's been paying attention for, say, the past few decades, needs to be reminded of how extremely polarized Washington is.
So it's usually good news when Democrats and Republicans can come together on an issue, as they did recently to support the idea of creating the new honorary position of "Science Laureate of the United States."
Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 4:53 pm
Orbital Sciences' Cygnus spacecraft has successfully launched from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on its way to becoming the second private vehicle to resupply the International Space Station.