Environment

2:50pm

Tue February 21, 2012
The Picture Show

From Waterfall To Lavafall: Yosemite's Fleeting Phenomenon

Copyright Michael Frye

If you head to Yosemite National Park this time of year and stop by Horsetail Fall at just the right time, you might see something spectacular: As the sun sinks low in the sky, the waterfall glows with streaks of gold and yellow — and it looks just like molten lava.

Photographers like Michael Frye flock to the park every February to try to capture the phenomenon. Frye, author of The Photographer's Guide to Yosemite, describes the sight to NPR's Audie Cornish.

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12:54pm

Tue February 21, 2012
Animals

Cheers! Fruit Flies Drink To Their Health, Literally

Fruit flies will drink alcohol from fermenting fruit to kill off wasp parasites that can grow inside of them.
Jan Polabinski iStockphoto.com

As humans, we sometimes pay a price for drinking alcohol — in hangovers, or worse. But if you happen to be a young fruit fly, it turns out that alcohol can be just what the doctor ordered.

The pesky little fruit flies often show up when apples or bananas are left sitting around for too long on the kitchen counter. Most folks find them annoying, but Todd Schlenke can't get enough of them.

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10:01pm

Sun February 19, 2012
Around the Nation

As Bear Population Grows, More States Look At Hunts

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 6:48 am

A family of bears investigates a Dumpster behind a diner in Pomona, N.Y., last fall. Black bears are becoming more common in populated areas around the United States.
Eddy Philippe AP

Wildlife officials don't usually base hunting policies on how the public feels about an animal. But the black bear seems to be different. The revered king of the forest has bounced back from near-extinction to being a nuisance in some areas. Some states are trying to figure out if residents can live in peace with bears, or if they'd rather have hunters keep numbers in check.

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10:37am

Thu February 16, 2012
The Two-Way

Methane, Soot Are Targets Of New U.S. Climate Initiative

A new program led by the U.S. seeks to limit amounts of soot, hydrofluorocarbons and methane released into the atmosphere. In this file photo from 2009, a researcher ignites trapped methane from under a pond's ice cap in Alaska.
Todd Paris AP

The United States and five other nations are embarking on a new program to limit pollutants connected to global warming. But they're not targeting carbon dioxide with this effort — instead, they're looking at methane gas, and soot.

NPR's Richard Harris filed this report for our Newscast desk:

"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the U.S. is teaming up with Canada, Mexico, Sweden, Ghana and Bangladesh to get countries thinking about some potent contributors to climate change."

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2:25pm

Wed February 15, 2012
Environment

Wildlife Groups File Suit Against Rocky Flats Land Sale

Deer at Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge.
Footwarrior /Creative Commons

Two wildlife protection groups in Colorado have filed suit against the US Fish and Wildlife Service seeking to stop the sale of land in the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge for construction of a four lane toll road.

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