Environment + Energy – Articles, Analysis, Opinion

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The Endangered Species Act was enacted in 1973 partly to help save the bald eagle, the U.S. national symbol, from extinction. Should public appeal influence which species get priority? Jitze Couperus

New data tool can help scientists use limited funds to protect the greatest number of endangered species

How should the US spend limited funds for conserving endangered species? A new data tool lets managers compare different strategies so they can allocate money to protect the most species.
Devastation from Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Florida, Oct. 12, 2018. Residents whose homes have suffered major damage in multiple storms could eventually be offered buyouts, but the process can take several years. AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

Government-funded buyouts after disasters are slow and inequitable – here’s how that could change

Government agencies spend millions of dollars yearly to buy and demolish homes sited in floodplains. But the program is slow, cumbersome and doesn't always help those who need it most.
Volunteers prepare to take flow measurements on Muddy Creek. Centre County Pennsylvania Senior Environmental Corps

How monitoring local water supplies can build community

When people form local networks to take care of resources such as drinking water, they strengthen their communities. Technology can support these efforts and promote learning and innovation.
The biggest U.S. oil company wants to pay every American a dividend. AP Photo/Richard Drew

Taxing carbon may sound like a good idea but does it work?

Exxon Mobil has a clear motive to back a new plan to tax carbon with its clout and money. And a carbon tax that is high enough to work might prove politically impossible to enact.
Would these power lines have weathered the storm if they were underground? Reuters/Jonathan Bachman

Why doesn’t the U.S. bury its power lines?

Hurricanes Michael and Florence have knocked power out for millions of people. Burying power lines could help but the costs are high.
Protecting coastal wetlands, like this slough in Florida’s Everglades National Park, is a cost-effective way to reduce flooding and storm damage. NPS/C. Rivas

Protecting wetlands helps communities reduce damage from hurricanes and storms

Coastal development is destroying marshes, mangroves and other wetlands that provide valuable protection from hurricanes and storms. Research shows these benefits can be worth millions of dollars.
Cooling dairy cows with fans and misters at Pacheco Dairy in Kerman, Calif., during a heat wave in 2006. AP Photo/Gary Kazanjian

Heat is a serious threat to dairy cows – we’re finding innovative ways to keep them cool

Dairy cows are sensitive to heat, so farmers cool them down with sprinklers and fans. Researchers are designing better, more efficient systems to keep cows comfortable through hot California summers.
The scientific drilling ship JOIDES Resolution arrives in Honolulu after successful sea trials and testing of scientific and drilling equipment. IODP

Scientists have been drilling into the ocean floor for 50 years – here’s what they’ve found so far

The ocean floor holds unique information about Earth's history. Scientific ocean drilling, which started 50 years ago, has yielded insights into climate change, geohazards and the key conditions for life.
Trees have died in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colo., as climate change has intensified bark beetle infestations and drought. Patrick Gonzalez

Human-caused climate change severely exposes the US national parks

As climate change alters temperature and precipitation patterns across the US, it is having especially severe impacts on national parks. These changes could happen faster than many plants and animals can adapt.
Fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox) at the Houston Zoo. Josh Henderson

Caught on camera: The fossa, Madagascar’s elusive top predator

The fossa, Madagascar's largest predator, is a cat-like carnivore that eats everything from insects to lemurs. Because they are rare and elusive, scientists know very little about them, including how many there are.