PRI: Science, Tech & Environment

by Public Radio International · · · · 10 subscribers

A daily public radio broadcast program and podcast from PRX and WGBH, hosted by Marco Werman

Keeping the Earth's temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius means making rapid, unprecedented changes in the way people use energy to eat, travel and live or we risk even more extreme weather and loss of species, a UN report said on Monday. Meeting 1.5C (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, …
In Puerto Rico, volunteers and farmers are working together to rebuild after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico’s small agriculture sector. Even before Hurricane Maria roared across the island, Puerto Rico imported roughly 85 percent of its food. After the storm, that number shot up to about 95 percent imported food …
During presidential debates, the Rio offices of Brazilian fact-checking organization [Aos Fatos](https://aosfatos.org/), which translates to "To The Facts," turn into something akin to a war room. Different task forces swiftly transcribe, research and publish verifications on comments made by the larger- than-life candidates in one of the country’s most unpredictable …
_This is the last in a four-part series,[The Amazon's Carbon Tipping Point](https://www.pri.org/categories/amazons-carbon-tipping-point). Day 1: [The Amazon used to be a hedge against climate change. Those days may be over.](https://interactive.pri.org/2018/10/amazon-carbon/science.html)_ _Day 2:[For illegal loggers in the Brazilian Amazon, 'there is no fear of being punished'](https://interactive.pri.org/2018/10/amazon- carbon/business.html)_ _Day 3:['Our wealth is the …
A trio of American, French and Canadian scientists won the 2018 Nobel Prize for Physics on Tuesday for breakthroughs in laser technology that have turned light beams into precision tools for everything from eye surgery to micro- machining. They include the first female physics prize winner in 55 years. Canada's …
The death toll rose above 1,200 on Tuesday on Sulawesi island in Indonesia and looting fueled fears of lawlessness after a devastating earthquake and tsunami. Indonesian President Joko Widodo has called for reinforcements in a desperate search for survivors. Officials fear the toll could soar, as most of the confirmed …
American James Allison and Japanese Tasuku Honjo won the 2018 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine on Monday for game-changing discoveries about how to harness and manipulate the immune system to fight cancer. The scientists' work in the 1990s has since swiftly led to new and dramatically improved therapies for …
In a pristine patch of tropical rainforest in the central Amazon north of Manaus, a group of Brazilian scientists unloads boxes of heavy instruments from a truck and disappears down a thin path into the trees. As I walk with them, my clothes are instantly soaked from the humidity. A …
A tsunami caused deaths when it hit a small city on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on Friday after a major quake, collapsing buildings and cutting off power, officials said, although the exact number of casualties was not clear. The tsunami up to six feet high struck beaches as dusk …
You have most likely encountered one-sided objects hundreds of times in your daily life — like the [universal symbol](https://www.recyclenow.com/recycling- knowledge/packaging-symbols-explained) for recycling, found printed on the backs of aluminum cans and plastic bottles. This [mathematical object](http://mathworld.wolfram.com/MoebiusStrip.html) is called a Möbius strip. It has fascinated environmentalists, artists, engineers, mathematicians and many …
Once dubbed the “Venice of the Middle East” for its canals, Iraq's crumbling port city of Basra is slowly dying of thirst. Crisscrossed waterways that earned it comparisons with the Italian city are now filthy pools of stagnant water. Its vibrant freshwater lifeline, the Shatt-al-Arab river that runs through it, …
The night Superstorm Sandy hit New York City, I was stationed at NPR’s deserted New York bureau. I was there as the backup. If WNYC were to lose power, I would go live on the air with essential, perhaps lifesaving information for our listeners. Our skeleton crew stood speechless at …
A Philippine inventor has unveiled what he calls a flying sports car that represents the future of transport, riding it out of a warehouse toward a cheering crowd, leaving a cloud of dust in his wake. Former dancer and camera operator Kyxz Mendiola flew and hovered for a few minutes …
On a hot, summer afternoon at Yiasemi, a tourist-packed cafe in Athens’s historical district, Lawrence Alatrash, a gay, Syrian refugee sits hunched over a cellphone, scrolling through photos on Grindr. Alatrash identifies as nonbinary (neither male nor female) and sometimes goes by the pronouns "they/them/their." (For this piece, Alatrash says …
Royal Dutch Shell wants to reweight its footprint in Nigeria to focus on oil and gas fields far offshore, away from the theft, spills, corruption and unrest that have plagued the West African country's onshore industry for decades. But for the company that pioneered Nigeria's oil industry in the 1950s, …
When Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico in 2017, the direct hit turned a green island brown. Vast areas of forest were stripped of their leaves and branches. From mangroves to cloud forests, every ecosystem on the island was devastated by the massive storm. NASA scientist Doug Morton had a bird’s-eye …
Many Americans would like to believe that climate change is a problem of the future. But as ocean levels rise, coastal communities from Louisiana to Staten Island to Pensacola, Florida are contending with higher floods, stronger hurricanes and saltwater intrusion. Some are even being forced to retreat to higher ground. …
Carbon pricing is like good dental hygiene: It involves a bit of pain and expense but provides many benefits, including saving money, for years to come. Increasingly US politicians across the spectrum are beginning to see both the necessity and benefits of good carbon hygiene.![](https://ensia.com/republished.php?title=Here%E2%80%99s%20what%20you%20need%20to%20know%20about%20carbon%20pricing) This backgrounder provides basic information …
Barranquitas, a rural region of 30,000 people in central Puerto Rico, gets its name from the terrain. _Barranca_ roughly translates to ravine or gully, and the steep slopes here meant the area was especially hard-hit by Hurricane Maria. Countless landslides blocked roads for weeks. Streets weren’t completely cleared of mud …
[Dr. Marshall Shepherd](http://geography.uga.edu/directory/people/j-marshall- shepherd) of the University of Georgia famously talks about [“climate zombie myths”](https://www.forbes.com/sites/marshallshepherd/2017/03/24/20-common- myths-that-climate-scientists-often-hear/#7fb3903d5acb): No matter how many times you slay them, they keep coming back. In 2016 conservative news blogger Matt Drudge [accused](http://www.npr.org/2016/10/07/496996886/matt-drudge-suggests- government-may-be-lying-about-hurricane-matthew) the federal government of hyping the threat as Hurricane Matthew approached the US …