environment

Mysterious Migrations
12:01 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Where The Whale Sharks Go

A whale shark dives near the surface in waters off the coast of Mexico.
Marj Awai Georgia Aquarium

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 12:17 pm

Of all the creatures in the sea, one of the most majestic and mysterious is the whale shark. It's the biggest shark there is, 30 feet or more in length and weighing in at around 10 tons.

Among the mysteries is where this mighty fish migrates and where it gives birth. Now scientists have completed the biggest study ever of whale sharks, and they think they have some answers to those questions.

Read more
Coal Train Study
10:21 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Seattle Mayor’s Coal Economics Study Released

Port of Seattle Photo/Don Wilson

The results of an economic analysis of coal export impacts on Seattle have just been released, more than a month after they were handed over to Mayor Mike McGinn, who commissioned the report.

The report, titled City of Seattle Economic Analysis of Proposed Coal Train Operations, cost $25,000. It was completed by Community Attributes and delivered to the mayor’s office on July 10.

But McGinn did not release the report to the public until The Seattle Times filed a public records request. Then the mayor posted the study to his blog on Friday afternoon, within nine minutes of giving a copy of the report to The Seattle Times.

When asked about the delay on the July 10 report, McGinn told EarthFix and KUOW, “That wasn’t the final because my staff and others provided comments to them and they made substantial revisions after that.”

Read more
Environment Research
10:07 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Scientists Look For Climate Change Clues In Wildfire Soot

Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 4:10 pm

You may know that on a hot, sunny day it’s better to be sitting in a white car than a black one. White reflects sunlight, while black absorbs more of it.

The same concept applies to researchers trying to figure out what effect wildfires have on climate change. And part of the answer is whether the smoke particles are dark or reflective.

Read more
Marine Conservation
10:59 am
Mon August 12, 2013

This Week In Fish

All kinds of fish turn up in Northwest nets and lines - and it's not just the expected salmon/
Flickr Photo/Ingrid Taylar

An eight-foot-long sturgeon was found dead in Lake Washington two weeks ago. That same weekend, a fisherman caught an exotic piranha-like fish in a lake near Marysville. What do these fishy events have to do with each other? Turns out they tell a story about marine conservation. Ross Reynolds talks with Tim Essington, an associate professor in Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington.

Oil Equipment
10:03 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Nez Perce Seek Court-Ordered Roadblock With Second 'Megaload' On Horizon

Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 4:40 pm

Nightly protests on Idaho's Highway 12 delayed but did not stop a huge piece of oil equipment crossing the state. The so-called “megaload” passed through a scenic river corridor and entered Montana on Friday.

Now, the Nez Perce Tribe is asking a federal judge to prevent more extra-large shipments.

Read more
Researching Amphibians
11:01 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Tracking An Alpine Frog That Chuckles And Beeps For Climate Change Research

The Cascades frog is only found in the alpine wetlands of the Pacific Northwest, though its range used to extend down to Northern California and up to British Columbia. Scientists are concerned its range will continue to shrink with climate change.
EarthFix Photo/Ashley Ahearn

Maureen Ryan scales rocky trails at 5,000 feet elevation as nimbly as the mountain goats that wandered through camp earlier this morning.

The researcher of amphibians leads her team of scientists down off a ridge line in the Seven Lakes Basin of Olympic National Park to her “lab,” you might call it. It’s a series of pothole wetlands cupped in the folds of these green, snow-studded mountains: a perfect habitat for Cascades frogs (Rana cascadae).

Ryan, a researcher with the University of Washington, is an expert on alpine amphibians. She’s also part of a group of scientists from around the region, coordinated by the Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative at the USGS, who are trying to understand and project how the warming climate will affect these frogs’ ability to feed, mate, and ultimately, survive.

Read more
Gender
12:30 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

The End Of Men And The Rise Of Women

Credit Flickr Photo/Thomas Hawk

Women now comprise 50 percent of the workforce. But for the most part, they’re not running big companies or Congress and they’re still getting paid less.

Looking at the statistics, Hanna Rosin sees big changes coming. She documents these changes in her book, "The End Of Men: And The Rise Of Women." With universities now dominated by women, Rosin sees men struggling to adapt to a changing economy. Meanwhile, she says women, accustomed to being more flexible, are on the ascent.

Full list of stories on KUOW Presents, August 6:

Read more
Megaload Hurdles
10:17 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Nez Perce Leaders Arrested In Protest Over Oil Sands 'Megaload'

Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 10:17 am

The national debate over oil development took an unusual turn on an Idaho highway early Tuesday morning. For two hours, members of the Nez Perce Tribe blocked the passage of a giant water evaporator headed for the oil sands of Alberta, Canada.

Read more
Endangered Orcas
10:00 am
Tue August 6, 2013

The Newspaper Business, Northwest Orcas, Boudoir Photography, And Greendays

Flickr Photo/Ingrid Taylar

The Business Of Newspapers
Jeff Bezos, Chief Executive of Amazon.com just bought the Washington Post for $250 million. Billionaires have been buying up newspapers, from Bezos to the owner of the Boston Red Sox who just bought The Boston Globe. Why invest in an industry that is struggling? And what does this mean for the medium itself? Hanson Hosein, director of the Masters of Communication in Leadership at the University of Washington, explains the business of media.   

Puget Sound Orcas
The Pacific Legal Foundation in Sacramento proposed a petition last year to de-list orcas from the Endangered Species list. They were petitioning on behalf of California farmers facing water restrictions in areas salmon inhabit. This week the federal government reconfirmed that the Puget Sound orcas are in fact endangered because they are a distinct population, not a part of the larger North Pacific population. KUOW’s Ashley Ahearn explains the lawsuit.   

On The Job: Boudoir Photography
In the 1980s, women captured their seductive side at a “glamour shots” studio at the mall.  In modern Seattle, women are having boudoir pictures taken.  Christina Mallet is the photographer behind Katrinka’s Secret. Producer Katy Sewall shadows her on the job.

Greendays Gardening Panel
Our gardening panel includes a flower expert, native plant expert, and vegetable gardening expert.  They answer your gardening questions every Tuesday.   

Read more
Climate Change
9:00 am
Tue August 6, 2013

MLB Suspensions, Technology And Sexuality, And William Ruckelsaus

Flickr Photo/Alex Abian

MLB Suspensions
Major League Baseball has handed down lengthy suspensions to more than a dozen players for using performance enhancing drugs, among them: former Seattle Mariner (and current New York Yankee) Alex Rodriguez. He was suspended for the remainder of this season and all of next season. A player in the Mariners’ minor league system was also suspended: Tacoma Rainiers catcher Jesus Montero. What do these suspensions say about the state of drug use in baseball?

Technology-Enabled Sexual Landscape
Technology has changed when and how kids are exposed to sexual activity.  Gone are the dirty magazines under the mattress.  On average, kids are exposed to full action, hardcore sexual activity by age 10.  How is this changing the behavior and expectations of teenagers?  How can you help your kids navigate a technology-enabled sexual landscape?

Climate Change And The Republican Party  
Former head of the Environmental Protection Agency and former co-chair of the Puget Sound Partnership, William Ruckelsaus explains why the Republican Party needs to take action on climate change.

The Weather and Hike of the Week
Michael Fagin suggests a hike that matches the week’s weather forecast.
 

Environmental Issues
8:00 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Climate Change, Coal And The Pacific Northwest With Bill McKibben

Bill Kibben's book "The End of Nature"

In 1989, Bill McKibben wrote what is considered the first book on climate change for a general audience. More than two decades after “The End of Nature,” McKibben is still advocating for the environment. He’s been a main player in the fight to stop the Keystone Pipeline and he focuses this talk on climate change and the Northwest.

He spoke at the Queen Anne United Methodist Church on April 28 as part of The Well lecture series.

Climage Change Impacts Considered
1:29 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Regulators Announce New Scrutiny Of Proposed Coal Export Terminal

The scope of the environmental impact of a proposed coal export terminal will include transporting coal by rail from Wyoming and Montana to the terminal near Beillingham, Wash.
Katie Campbell

A proposal to build the West Coast’s biggest coal export terminal will face stiff environmental scrutiny.

On Wednesday a joint release from the Washington Department of Ecology, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and Whatcom County, Wash., announced they will consider climate change, human health and the environment when it comes to a coal port near Bellingham, Wash. And they’ll look at the entire route from Western mines to coal-burning plants in Asia.

Read more
Shellfish Industry
9:36 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Scientists Embark On West Coast Ocean Acidification Mission

The shellfish industry, which injects about $111 million each year into the Pacific Northwest's economy, is particularly at risk from the threat of ocean acidification.
Credit EarthFix Photo/Katie Campbell

On Monday scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will begin a one-month US West Coast expedition to investigate ocean acidification, an issue that poses a serious threat to the Pacific Northwest’s shellfish industry.

“We will for the first time not only study the chemistry of acidification, but also study the biological impacts on the marine ecosystems in the open ocean,” says Richard A. Feely, a scientist from NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Research Laboratory in Seattle. Feely is co-chief of the mission.

Read the full story at KUOW's EarthFix.

Climate Change
9:24 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Field Test Near Pasco Renews Attention On Viability Of Carbon Storage

Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 8:34 am

The viability of carbon capture and storage can spark lively debate among climate scientists, activists and industry. This week, technicians in southeast Washington continue a field test to show how carbon dioxide could be injected and trapped deep underground.

It's an experiment led by the Pacific Northwest National Lab. Injection of fifty tanker truck loads of CO2 will take about four weeks. Then comes about a year and a half of monitoring to see if the global warming gas stays locked away forever beneath ancient lava flows.

Read more
Radioactive Waste
9:16 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Cleanup Options For Hanford's 300 Area Going Public

Hanford.gov

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 5:02 am

Federal officials are trying to figure out what to do about radioactive materials that remain at a place near the Columbia River known as the 300 Area. It’s the subject of a series of public meetings that kick off this week.

The 300 Area was where workers milled uranium rods and tested ways to process plutonium during WWII and the Cold War. They poured about 2 million gallons of radioactive liquid waste a day into sandy ponds and trenches right next to the Columbia River. Cleaning up buildings and material there has kept crews busy for 20 years.

Read more

Pages