Science & Environment

Environment
8:03 am
Sat August 24, 2013

On A Rocky Maine Island, Puffins Making A Tenuous Comeback

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 11:39 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. East Coast seabirds have had a tough year. They've been battered by storms and disruptions in the food chain. Among them, the sturdy little Atlantic puffin. Now, here in the United States, their numbers dwindle to just a single nesting pair by 1901. Since then, thanks to the Audubon Society's Project Puffin, they've made a comeback. But as WBUR's Fred Bever reports, the puffins are now facing some new threats.

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Environment
7:55 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Can The World Engineer A Cooler Climate?

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 11:39 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Draft report from the intergovernmental panel on climate change was leaked to the media this week. The scientists will report to the U.N. that it is nearly certain that human activity has caused most of the earth's climate change over the last 50 years. Now, this leak is certain to rekindle debates about how best to contend with events like increasing temperatures and rising sea levels, and it might make some people take a new look at what's called geoengineering.

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Environment
5:49 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

The 'Consensus' View: Kevin Trenberth's Take On Climate Change

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 9:12 pm

Next month, a scientific committee sponsored by the United Nations will put out its latest assessment of climate change. The report is expected to underscore yet again that climate change is a serious problem and human beings are largely responsible.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) represents a consensus view of hundreds of scientists from around the world. The effort shared the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore.

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Shots - Health News
2:35 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

To Reduce Prejudice, Try Sharing Passions And Cultures

Sharing passions can help erase ethnic prejudice. No word if that includes a passion for NCAA basketball.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 10:17 am

People can become less prejudiced, but it's not entirely clear how we make the journey from hatred to acceptance.

Something as simple as a shared passion for The Catcher in the Rye can help, researchers say. So does getting an inside look at the other person's culture, even if only for a few minutes.

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The Two-Way
1:14 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Calif. Wildfire Nearly Doubles In Size, Burns Into Yosemite Park

A Colorado-based firefighter monitors a backfire while battling the Rim Fire in Groveland, Calif., on Thursday. The Rim Fire continues to burn out of control and has grown to more than 105,000 acres, officials said Friday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 12:52 am

Updated at 12:35 a.m. Saturday: Emergency For San Francisco

Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for San Francisco because of the wildfire's threat to public utilities there.

The fire is 150 miles from the city, but Brown said the fire jeopardizes San Francisco's power lines and stations in the fire area. The city has already had to shut down two of its three hydroelectric power stations, the AP reports.

Further damage could have an impact on San Francisco's power supply.

Our Post From Late Friday:

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Krulwich Wonders...
12:40 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Can Worms Create Their Own Imaginary Oceans? Can Oysters?

D.P. Wilson/FLPA Science Source

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 3:35 pm

When you see them on the beach, spinach-like plops of green sprawled on the sand, you'd never guess their teeny nervous systems are imprinted with beach-ness. They are the ultimate Beach Boys. For them it's always summer.

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The Two-Way
11:38 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Hurricane Season A Bust? Don't Be So Sure

A satellite image provided by NASA shows Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 30. Forecasters underestimated the intensity of the Atlantic hurricane season last year.
NASA Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 1:55 pm

Back in May, several independent forecast groups predicted an especially active Atlantic hurricane season this year. But with August drawing to a close, we've yet to see a single one.

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Shots - Health News
11:18 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Another Study Of Preemies Blasted Over Ethical Concerns

What should parents be told before their premature infants participate in a clinical study?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 12:09 pm

For the second time in four months, the consumer group Public Citizen is alleging that a large, federally funded study of premature infants is ethically flawed.

Both complaints raise a big issue that's certain to get more attention beyond these particular studies: What's the ethically right way to do research on the validity of the usual care that doctors provide every day.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will host an unusual forum on that question next Wednesday — stimulated by the sharp questions raised by Public Citizen.

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The Salt
8:48 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Julia Child Was Wrong: Don't Wash Your Raw Chicken, Folks

Julia Child poses with "the chicken sisters" before an episode of The French Chef in which she teaches us how to roast a bird.
Courtesy of Paul Child/PBS

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 9:52 am

It seems almost sacrilegious to question the wisdom of Julia Child.

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Asia
4:21 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Regulators Monitor 'Serious Leaks' At Japanese Nuclear Plant

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:25 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant is back in the news more than two years after an earthquake and tsunami triggered a series of meltdowns. New leaks found this week prompted regulators to consider raising the alert level there in Japan. NPR's science correspondent Geoff Brumfiel joined us to explain. Geoff, good morning.

GEOFF BRUMFIEL, BYLINE: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: Why raise the alert level?

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