Topic: Environment

Science

Microbes in the Water Hole

Life Science Environment Human Impacts Ecosystems Ecology

While popular swimming holes are commonly tested for bacteria, few are tested for protozoans. Protozoan-caused illnesses can cause problems for swimmers in rivers, lakes, and ponds. Listen to learn how we can distinguish between the different types of microbes and how this introduces the classification of microorganisms.

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Science

Research Shows Fracking Causes Earthquakes

Earth and Space Science Environment Energy Ecosystems Geology Forces and Newton's Laws

Hydraulic fracturing or fracking is the process of putting liquid into shale to remove natural gas. There's concern that when the drillers get rid of wastewater from fracking, it goes into the ground and causes earthquakes. This is happening in places such as Arkansas, and now residents are speaking up to try to put a stop to it. Listen to learn how residents figured out where the earthquakes were coming from and how they are taking the issue to court.

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Science

Corals and Climate Change

Life Science Environment Climate Change Weather and Climate Human Impacts Oceans

What makes up a coral? This audio story takes you to an underwater observatory where a scientist is studying coral reefs. The scientist has found that CO2 in the ocean is making the ocean warmer and dissolving the coral reef system. But the scientist also discusses how coral reefs can recover. Listen to this story to hear the factors that threaten coral reefs and how they can recover.

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Science

Cloud Seeding for Weather Modification

Earth and Space Science Environment Weather and Climate Energy Agriculture Physical Science

There is a debate over whether cloud seeding is an efficient way to produce more snow and rain in places where droughts are the worst. Opponents claim that the chemicals that are sprayed into the air to create more water are toxic and could cause health issues in the future. Others believe this is the only way to for some gas and electric companies to obtain more energy. Listen to learn about the other concerns at hand and if this the history of this process.

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Science

Bee Deaths and Crop Consequences

Life Science Environment Ecosystems Reproduction

Over the past several years honeybee colonies have declined dramatically. There is no consensus over a single cause, and in fact, scientists point to multiple reasons for this problem. An important, yet often overlooked factor is basic land use decisions. Listen to learn about the importance of the symbiotic relationship between honeybees, flowers and humans, and what kids can do to help promote honeybees and other pollinators.

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Science

A Delicious Solution to Our Energy Problems

Earth and Space Science Environment Energy Electricity chemistry

A new source of energy is being developed by using Michigan's industrial food waste. Using existing technology for converting manure into electricity, these anaerobic digesters are doing their work on pudding packs and canned peaches, among other delicacies. Listen to learn how they are turning waste into electricity.

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Current Event June 27, 2014

Baltimore’s Dirty Harbor Cleaned by Innovative Water Wheel

Environment Engineering

Tourists to Baltimore’s harbor say that it is “disgusting” because so much trash is floating in it. So one resident built a Water Wheel to efficiently clear the trash out of the water. It has been lauded as a much better method of cleaning of trash from water than by hand. Listen to this public radio story to learn more about this unique recycling effort.

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Science

Clearing Carbon From Our Air

Earth and Space Science Environment Climate Change Human Impacts Atmosphere

Carbon exists in all living things, including proteins, DNA, and fats. When living things exhale, the result is carbon dioxide. As our world develops, we produce more carbon dioxide with the burning of fossil fuels and the use of cars, trains, and planes. This gas is causing an imbalance in the atmosphere which affects the warming of the planet. Listen to hear how much carbon dioxide humans are responsible for and the effects of global warming.

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Current Event April 1, 2014

Salmon Migration Affected by Drought

Life Science Earth and Space Science Environment

The severe drought in California has affected the usual salmon migration. Typically the fish swim 270 miles from fresh water in Northern California to the Pacific Ocean. But because of low water levels, California hatcheries are ensuring their migration by transporting them in climate-controlled trucks to the ocean.

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Current Event March 28, 2014

Predicting Landslides

Earth and Space Science Environment Geology

In Washington state the clean up effort is still underway after a large mud slide killed at least two dozen people. Landslides are hard to predict. Scientists can determine which hills are most vulnerable, but getting the information to people that could use is it difficult.

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Current Event March 26, 2014

Exxon Valdez, 25 Years Later

Earth and Space Science Environment

The Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989 caused extreme environmental damage as well as long-lasting impact on the Alaskan farmer community. What are the lessons learned from the spill?

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Current Event March 24, 2014

Drought Increases Coffee Bean Prices

Economics Earth and Space Science Environment Climate Change Weather and Climate

The drought didn't just close down ski resorts and impact agriculture— it also increased coffee bean prices due to a bean condition called "coffee disease rust." The widespread impact might even have customers at the local coffee chop feeling the price change.

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Current Event March 21, 2014

Nevada Farmers "Hack" Drought

Life Science Environment Weather and Climate

Nevada's farms are few and far between, and the recent drought has not made survival easier. Some farms decided to "hack" the drought by adapting to the region's water shortage by growing better suited crops.

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Current Event March 13, 2014

Food Waste as Energy

Life Science Environment Engineering

The same methane gas emitted from humans is also produced by the same bacteria that lives in old pizza crusts, curdled milk, and other discarded food. Scientists have found ways to convert the methane gas from old food into energy. Several cities are already converting waste into energy, listen to this story to learn how New York City is trying it out.

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Current Event February 28, 2014

Keystone Indecision

Life Science Economics Environment Climate Change

The Keystone XL Pipeline was initially labeled as a harmful source of carbon dioxide by leading scientist, Marcia McNutt. However, she recently switched her position and supports its construction — her reason? The pipeline will save the country money.

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Current Event January 6, 2014

Animal Manure Causes Water Pollution

Life Science Environment

Animal manure creates the necessary nutrients, phosphorous and nitrogen, to help plants grow. However, water sources surrounding animal farms are also heavily polluted, mainly due to phosphorous in the water beds. Listen to learn about the economics and environmental impact of animal farming.

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