Environment

1:21pm

Thu May 10, 2012
Weather

What the Hail? Colorado State Climatologist Now Keeping Official Hailstone Records

CoCoRaHS national coordinator Henry Reges with record South Dakota hailstone from 2010
Colorado Climate Center courtesy of Colorado State University

Spring storms are well known for bringing damaging hail with them, such as one that hit the eastern Plains earlier this month. And though it may be impossible to say definitively where the biggest hailstone on record has fallen – or exactly how big it is - Colorado’s state climatologist wants to make it easier to prove those claims.

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12:49pm

Thu May 10, 2012
The Two-Way

Rare Calico Lobster Turns Heads, And Escapes Dinner Menu

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 2:29 pm

The calico lobster known as Calvin is shown in this photo provided by Boston's New England Aquarium. The lobster is dark with bright orange and yellow spots.
Tony LaCasse New England Aquarium

A calico lobster that had been living in obscurity off the coast of Maine has now been catapulted into a sort of celebrity, thanks to its rare coloring: a calico mix of orange and yellow spots. Researchers say it could be a 1 in 30 million specimen.

The invertebrate was caught off Winter Harbor, Maine; it was saved from the cooking pot at Jasper White's Summer Shack restaurant in Cambridge, Mass., after the staff noticed its striking coloration.

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6:00am

Thu May 10, 2012
Water

Rough Waters Ahead for Summit County Rivers and Reservoirs

This map shows basin snow water equivalent (SWE) as a percent of average.
NIDIS Colorado Climate Center

Historically low snowpack combined with earlier-than-usual runoff could make this summer difficult for water managers in Summit County. Water officials meeting this week to discuss options are drawing on lessons from a decade ago.

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3:54pm

Wed May 9, 2012
Animals

'Frankenfish': It's What's For Dinner

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 5:19 pm

John Odenkirk holds up a snakehead. The fish can survive for long periods of time out of water as long as they're kept moist. They breathe air by gulping it, so they don't need to stay submerged.
Sabri Ben-Achour for NPR

More people on the East Coast are acquiring a taste for snakehead, an exotic fish that's moved here from Asia. But the fish are still multiplying and spreading.

Snakehead came to Maryland almost 10 years ago. The so-called "Frankenfish" looks like its namesake and has multiple rows of teeth. Someone released it here — and then there was a documentary and an unbelievably bad movie.

Creating A Market

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12:29pm

Wed May 9, 2012
The Two-Way

Study: Plastic Garbage In Pacific Ocean Has Increased 100-Fold In 40 Years

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 12:31 pm

An insect known as a "sea skater." Scientists say the abundance of floating plastic has led to an increase of these creatures.
Scripp Institution of Oceanography

The amount of plastic debris in the part of the Pacific Ocean known as the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" has grown 100-fold in the past 40 years.

In a paper published today by the journal Biology Letters, scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography report that most of that plastic has degraded into pieces no bigger than a fingernail. But that wasn't the major finding the scientists are reporting.

The scientists have found that all those pieces of plastic have provided ample opportunity for insects called "sea skaters" to breed.

The AP reports:

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