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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Listening to Forests Can Aid Conservation

 

Bioacoustic monitoring is a scientific technique that helps scientists get a better picture of the biodiversity of forests. Listening to the sounds of birds, primates, and insects can tell scientists a lot about the health of a forest. Rhett Butler, the CEO and founder of environmental news agency Mongabay, joins Bobby Bascomb to explain how bioacoustics data can aid conservation in places like the Amazon and Bornean rainforests.

 

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Bioacoustic monitoring is a scientific technique that helps scientists get a better picture of the biodiversity of forests. Listening to the sounds of birds, primates, and insects can tell scientists a lot about the health of a forest. Rhett Butler, the CEO and founder of environmental news agency Mongabay, joins Bobby Bascomb to explain how bioacoustics data can aid conservation in places like the Amazon and Bornean rainforests.

California Tree Deaths Could Hurt Forests on the East Coast

 

The effects of trees dying in California can ripple across the United States, and hinder plant growth as far away as the East Coast. Abigail Swann from the University of Washington talks with Steve Curwood about how tree deaths can change atmospheric moisture and impact local climates, even those thousands of miles away.

 

Read More »

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Saltwater Beavers Bring Life Back to Estuaries

 

Until recently, biologists assumed that beavers were a freshwater-only animal. Scientists only recently began to study the impact beavers have in brackish water. Journalist Ben Goldfarb speaks with Bobby Bascomb about how saltwater beavers help provide crucial habitat for salmon, waterfowl, and many other species.

 

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Senate Passes Bipartisan Public Lands Bill

 

92 Senators recently passed the most sweeping land conservation bill in a decade, which designated 1.3 million new acres of protected wilderness, five new national monuments, and hundreds of miles of wild and scenic rivers. It also permanently authorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell (D- WA) joins Bobby Bascomb to tell us what helped get this bipartisan bill across the finish line.

 

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Monarch Butterflies Rebound

 

Things are looking promising for eastern monarch butterflies – their population has grown 144 percent from last year. But western monarch are down to just 30,000 individuals, on the edge of extinction. Senior Scientist from the Center for Biological Diversity, Tierra Curry, tells us all about monarchs’ annual migration, and what can be done to boost their numbers.

 

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The Border Wall's Wildlife Impacts

 

President Trump has declared a state of emergency to secure funding for a wall along the US border with Mexico. The proposed wall would disturb critical habitats and block migration routes for animals already stressed by climate change. It could even lead to extinction for some rare and endangered species. Sergio Avila, Biologist and Outdoors Coordinator for the Sierra Club, talks with Bobby Bascomb about how the border wall could have a lasting impact species such as jaguars and pygmy owls.

 

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Deepwater Disaster Three Years On

 

Just three years ago, the Deep Water Horizon oil spill poured 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Now, a team of chemists, engineers, and biologists is attempting to assess the damage to the Gulf ecosystem.

 

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Solar Powered Ship

 

The world’s largest solar powered boat made history by circumnavigating the globe. The ship is now busy in the Atlantic collecting data about the Gulf Stream.

 

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Climate Departure Date

 

A group of scientists at the University of Hawaii have figured out a way to project when the climate at a given location will move outside the range of anything we’ve known in modern times. It’s sooner then you think.

 

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Wall Street and the Green New Deal

Much of the criticism of the Green New Deal, the plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create jobs, has to do with the predicted costs. But when it comes to financing, the money doesn’t have to come exclusively from the US government – sustainable investing is already a $12 trillion market, and growing. Jon Powers, President of CleanCapital, sits down with Bobby Bascomb to explain why Wall Street investors may want to get in on the Green New Deal.

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California Tree Deaths Could Hurt Forests on the East Coast

The effects of trees dying in California can ripple across the United States, and hinder plant growth as far away as the East Coast. Abigail Swann from the University of Washington talks with Steve Curwood about how tree deaths can change atmospheric moisture and impact local climates, even those thousands of miles away.

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Confronting Climate Change Through Sound

Researchers at the University of Virginia are using eco-acoustics – sounds that illustrate the relationship between humans and their environment – to try and draw people back into a conversation about climate change. Reporter Sandy Hausman has the story.

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This Week’s Show
February 22, 2019
listen / download


Wall Street and the Green New Deal

listen / download
Much of the criticism of the Green New Deal, the plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create jobs, has to do with the predicted costs. But when it comes to financing, the money doesn’t have to come exclusively from the US government – sustainable investing is already a $12 trillion market, and growing. Jon Powers, President of CleanCapital, sits down with Bobby Bascomb to explain why Wall Street investors may want to get in on the Green New Deal.

Beyond the Headlines

listen / download
For this week’s trip beyond the headlines, Peter Dykstra joins Bobby Bascomb to examine the fate of a coal power plant in the ghost town of Paradise, Kentucky. Then, they look at a study from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, which confirms that oil and gas fracking is linked to recent spikes in atmospheric methane. Finally, the two look through the history vault to the hundred-year anniversaries for the Grand Canyon and Acadia National Parks.

Listening to Forests Can Aid Conservation

listen / download
Bioacoustic monitoring is a scientific technique that helps scientists get a better picture of the biodiversity of forests. Listening to the sounds of birds, primates, and insects can tell scientists a lot about the health of a forest. Rhett Butler, the CEO and founder of environmental news agency Mongabay, joins Bobby Bascomb to explain how bioacoustics data can aid conservation in places like the Amazon and Bornean rainforests.

California Tree Deaths Could Hurt Forests on the East Coast

listen / download
The effects of trees dying in California can ripple across the United States, and hinder plant growth as far away as the East Coast. Abigail Swann from the University of Washington talks with Steve Curwood about how tree deaths can change atmospheric moisture and impact local climates, even those thousands of miles away.

Confronting Climate Change Through Sound

listen / download
Researchers at the University of Virginia are using eco-acoustics – sounds that illustrate the relationship between humans and their environment – to try and draw people back into a conversation about climate change. Reporter Sandy Hausman has the story.

Saltwater Beavers Bring Life Back to Estuaries

listen / download
Until recently, biologists assumed that beavers were a freshwater-only animal. Scientists only recently began to study the impact beavers have in brackish water. Journalist Ben Goldfarb speaks with Bobby Bascomb about how saltwater beavers help provide crucial habitat for salmon, waterfowl, and many other species.

BirdNote®: Anna’s Hummingbirds Winter in the North

listen / download
Anna’s Hummingbirds prefer to overwinter in cold, northern climes, rather than heading south to the equator like most hummingbirds. BirdNote’s Mary McCann tells us about how these tiny birds keep warm on chilly winter nights.


Special Features

Field Note: Climate and the Majestic Gyrfalcon
"In the Arctic, there is no such thing as bad luck when it comes to good stories," writes Living on Earth's Explorer In Residence, Mark Seth Lender. In this Field Note he explains why a series of unfortunate events on a recent trip turned out to be a blessing that brought a rare gyrfalcon sighting, the inspiration for an essay.
Blog Series: Mark Seth Lender Field Notes

Field Note: Red-Tailed Hunter
Living on Earth’s Explorer-in-Residence Mark Seth Lender shares this field note with his thoughts on the predatory habits and special adaptations that make a Red-Tailed hawk a skilled and stealthy hunter.
Blog Series: Mark Seth Lender Field Notes


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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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