Science & Environment

The Two-Way
5:35 pm
Sat February 23, 2013

Flipping The Switch: What It Takes To Prioritize Electric Cars

A Ford Focus electric concept car with a home charging unit on display at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Mich., in January.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 10:48 am

"Electricity is the most likely out of all of the alternative fuels ... to be the next fuel for the consumer."

That's what Jonathan Strickland of the website HowStuffWorks tells NPR's Jacki Lyden.

But electric vehicles are not without their controversies or challenges. One of the biggest questions is how a transition from gasoline to electric fuel can actually take place.

Read more
Science
6:06 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Boston Grapples With The Threat Of Storms And Rising Water

The Boston Tea Party museum sits right on the edge of the harbor. With rising sea levels and the increasing threat of strong storms, buildings like these are at particular risk of flooding.
Christopher Joyce NPR

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 7:02 pm

Since the drubbing that Superstorm Sandy gave the Northeast in November, there's a new sense of urgency in U.S. coastal cities. Even though scientists can't predict the next big hurricane, they're confident that a warmer climate is likely to make Atlantic storms bigger and cause more flooding.

Cities like Boston are in the bull's-eye.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:41 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Attack By Chondrite: Scientists ID Russian Meteor

Researchers who studied pieces of the meteor collected near Lake Cherbarkul say it was a common chondrite meteor. The largest of the 53 fragments was one centimeter in diameter. Photo provided by the Urals Federal University Press Service.
Alexander Khlopotov AP

The meteor that caused at least 1,000 injuries in Russia after a startling and powerful daytime explosion one week ago has been identified as a chondrite. Russian scientists who analyzed fragments of the meteor, whose large size and well-documented impact made it a rarity, say that its composition makes it the most common type of meteor we encounter here on Earth.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:38 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Aquarium Dumping Linked To Giant Tahoe Goldfish

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 2:40 pm

You're going to need a bigger fishbowl.

Scientists searching for invasive species in Lake Tahoe scooped up a bright orange goldfish measuring nearly a foot and a half long and weighing more than 4 pounds, according to the website Live Science. (You can see it here.)

Environmental scientist Sudeep Chandra says a survey has uncovered a "nice corner" of the lake where about 15 other giant goldfish were living, apparently after being dumped there by aquarium owners.

Read more
The Salt
1:42 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Despite Lingering Drought, USDA Predicts A Flood Of Grain

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 2:51 pm

Economists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, gazing into their crystal ball, see American farmers planting and harvesting huge amounts of corn, soybeans, and wheat this year. They're predicting a record harvest of corn: 14 billion bushels, up nearly 40 percent over last year's drought-crippled level.

With supply up, prices will fall. The USDA thinks that the price of the average bushel of corn could fall by a third. And soybean production and price are expected to follow a similar track.

Read more
NPR Story
11:22 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Is China's Military Behind Cyberattacks on U.S.?

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 1:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. The Internet is the new battleground.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets. Now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions, our air traffic control systems. We cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy.

Read more
NPR Story
11:22 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Surprise: Cockroaches are Fastidious Groomers!

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 1:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Time now for our Video Pick of the Week. Flora Lichtman is here. Welcome to the program. Flora's our correspondent and managing editor for video.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira.

(LAUGHTER)

FLATOW: This one, this week...

LICHTMAN: I don't even know what to say.

(LAUGHTER)

FLATOW: Have you - make sure you've eaten your lunch or your breakfast.

LICHTMAN: It might be - it's going to be grossest video you've probably seen all week. But you should still watch it because it's fascinating.

Read more
NPR Story
11:22 am
Fri February 22, 2013

The SciFri Book Club Visits "Gorillas in the Mist"

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 1:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Up next - let me get a cup of coffee, put my feet down, get cozy, because it's our monthly meeting of the SCIENCE FRIDAY Book Club. We have the book club regulars here with us. Flora's still with us. And joining us now is Annette Heist, senior producer for SCIENCE FRIDAY. Welcome to the program, Anette?

ANNETTE HEIST, BYLINE: Hi, Ira. Hi, Flora.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hello.

FLATOW: And we had another classic book this month which is...

HEIST: "Gorillas in the Mist" by Dian Fossey.

Read more
NPR Story
11:22 am
Fri February 22, 2013

How Wood Smoke is Dirtying Alaska's Air

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 1:03 pm

In Fairbanks, Alaska, residents are using wood stoves to heat their homes during the frigid winter months. But, smoke created by these wood burners is contributing to some of the worst air pollution in the country. Cathy Cahill discusses air quality in the Last Frontier.

NPR Story
11:22 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Russia Meteor Renews Focus on Asteroid Threats

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 1:03 pm

A week after a meteor exploded over Russia on the same day that an asteroid swung closely past Earth, experts discuss how the potential threats posed by near-Earth objects should be addressed. Astronomers Donald Yeomans and John Tonry weigh in on how to keep the planet safe.

Pages