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Fish Help Build Coral-Reef Islands

KQED Science | May 1, 2015 | 0 Comments

Fish Help Build Coral-Reef Islands

A research project in the Indian Ocean shows that coral-crunching fish are good not just for the coral reef habitat--they're actually crucial for maintaining dry land there.

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Governor Brown’s New Climate Offensive in Five Jerryesque Quotes

KQED Science | April 30, 2015 | 1 Comment

Governor Brown’s New Climate Offensive in Five Jerryesque Quotes

In promoting his new greenhouse gas reduction targets, the governor invokes World War II, climate-change deniers in Washington, and the recycled toilet water in our future.

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Environmentalists Urge Changes to Protect Whales From Crab Lines

KQED Science | April 29, 2015 | 0 Comments

Environmentalists Urge Changes to Protect Whales From Crab Lines

A rising number of whales are getting entangled off the coast of California in the lines fishermen use to pull up crab pots. Environmental groups are calling on state officials to protect the cetaceans.

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<a href=http://ww2.kqed.org/lowdown/2015/04/27/the-end-of-snow-striking-winter-pics-of-yosemites-half-dome-since-the-drought-hit-gif/ target=_blank >The End of Snow? Striking Winter Pics of Yosemite’s Half Dome Since the Drought Hit [GIF]</a>

The Lowdown | April 27, 2015

The End of Snow? Striking Winter Pics of Yosemite’s Half Dome Since the Drought Hit [GIF]

Sure, California drought imagery may be reaching its saturation point in the media, but the images are just too darn striking to ignore. Case and point. In average precipitation years, the snowpack in California's Sierra Nevada range is usually deepest in March, at the tail-end of winter storms. High elevation peaks ...Read More

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Amid California’s Drought, Should Cemeteries Stay Green?

KQED Science | April 27, 2015 | 1 Comment

Amid California’s Drought, Should Cemeteries Stay Green?

New drought restrictions are prompting cemetery managers to look at the water they use to keep lawns green. Some worry that for family members who visit this summer, parched grass might feel like insult on top of loss.

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<a href=http://ww2.kqed.org/lowdown/2015/04/20/earth-day-a-brief-history/ target=_blank >When Rivers Caught Fire: A Brief History of Earth Day</a>

The Lowdown | April 23, 2015

When Rivers Caught Fire: A Brief History of Earth Day

Donning a gas mask, a demonstrator participates in the first Earth Day celebration in 1970. (AP)Quick quiz: 1. Which labor organization helped fund and organize the first Earth Day celebration? 2. Who made the following statement: “Restoring nature to its natural state is a cause beyond party and beyond factions … It is ...Read More

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<a href=http://ww2.kqed.org/lowdown/2015/04/03/how-much-water-do-californians-use-and-what-would-a-25-percent-reduction-look-like/ target=_blank >How Much Water Do Californians Use and What Does 25 Percent Less Look Like?</a>

The Lowdown | April 22, 2015

How Much Water Do Californians Use and What Does 25 Percent Less Look Like?

Photo courtesy of NASAFeeling a bit dry lately? It's not just your imagination. California is mired in its fourth year of historic drought, with snowpack in the Sierra Nevada — which supplies about a third of the state's water — at 6 percent of the long-term April average. From a ...Read More

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The Bay Area: Ground Zero for Earth Day?

KQED Science | April 22, 2015 | 0 Comments

The Bay Area: Ground Zero for Earth Day?

The first Earth Day started a movement, rocked the government and created a generation of environmental leaders. In the Bay Area, it injected new energy into an environmental tradition that began with John Muir.

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Celebrate Earth Day at John Muir Family Home

KQED Science | April 16, 2015 | 2 Comments

Celebrate Earth Day at John Muir Family Home

The Muir home in Martinez is a National Historic Site, and there will be live music, free activities, and a silent auction Saturday, April 18. You can also tour the home and walk the famous orchards.

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<a href=http://blogs.kqed.org/lowdown/2015/04/13/after-driest-january-on-record-how-low-are-californias-reservoirs-visualization/ target=_blank >Visualization: Now that California’s “Rainy Season” is Over, How Do Those Reservoirs Look?</a>

The Lowdown | April 13, 2015

Visualization: Now that California’s “Rainy Season” is Over, How Do Those Reservoirs Look?

Courtesy CA Department of Water Resources Wet winter? Talk about a rusty pipe dream. After the driest winter on record, California is bracing for another hot, thirsty summer. Deep into the fourth year of its historic drought, with no relief in site, the state is frantically trying to figure out ...Read More

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The Great 1815 Tambora Eruption: What if This Volcano Blew Today?

KQED Science | April 9, 2015 | 1 Comment

The Great 1815 Tambora Eruption: What if This Volcano Blew Today?

Tambora brought the world a taste of apocalypse 200 years ago. Today we have better tools to monitor volcanoes like it, but the next eruption of its size will still challenge civilization.

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<a href=http://blogs.kqed.org/lowdown/2015/04/07/how-much-precious-california-water-did-you-just-eat-finding-the-water-footprint-of-your-food/ target=_blank >How Much Precious California Water Did You Just Eat? Find the Water Footprint of Your Food</a>

The Lowdown | April 7, 2015

How Much Precious California Water Did You Just Eat? Find the Water Footprint of Your Food

Courtesy LA Times Looking to minimize your water footprint at the dinner table? How about a wholesome meal of eggs, carrots, potatoes and beer? Nutritious and downright water efficient (although perhaps not age-appropriate for the whole family). According to a new Los Angeles Times data analysis, the raw ingredients in that meal ...Read More

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<a href=http://blogs.kqed.org/lowdown/2015/04/03/how-much-water-do-californians-use-and-what-would-a-25-percent-reduction-look-like/ target=_blank >How Much Water Do Californians Use, and What Would A 25 Percent Reduction Look Like?</a>

The Lowdown | April 3, 2015

How Much Water Do Californians Use, and What Would A 25 Percent Reduction Look Like?

Photo courtesy of NASA Feeling a bit dry lately? It's not just your imagination. California is mired in its fourth year of historic drought, with snowpack in the Sierra Nevada — which supplies about a third of the state's water — at 6 percent of the long-term April average. From a bare mountain ...Read More

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Governor Orders Water Cuts Amid Record Low Snowpack

KQED Science | March 31, 2015 | 18 Comments

Governor Orders Water Cuts Amid Record Low Snowpack

Governor Jerry Brown orders the state Water Resources Control Board to implement mandatory reductions to cut water use by 25 percent.

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<a href=http://www.kqed.org/news/story/2015/03/21/158642/why_some_mushrooms_glow_in_the_dark?source=npr&category=science target=_blank >Why Some Mushrooms Glow in the Dark</a>

KQED News | March 21, 2015

Why Some Mushrooms Glow in the Dark

A team of scientists recently created some fake, glowing mushrooms and scattered them in a Brazilian forest in hopes of solving an ancient mystery: Why do some fungi emit light?

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Newt Sex: Buff Males! Writhing Females! Cannibalism!

KQED Science | March 17, 2015 | 6 Comments

Newt Sex: Buff Males! Writhing Females! Cannibalism!

Every winter, California newts leave the safety of their forest burrows and travel as far as three miles to mate in the pond where they were born. Their mating ritual is a raucous affair that involves bulked-up males, writhing females and a little cannibalism.

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<a href=http://ww2.kqed.org/news/2015/03/12/marine-sanctuaries-around-farallon-islands-to-expand-massively target=_blank >Marine Sanctuaries Around Farallon Islands to Expand Massively</a>

KQED News | March 12, 2015

Marine Sanctuaries Around Farallon Islands to Expand Massively

Well at least some in the Bay Area are getting more housing. Two marine sanctuaries off the coast of Northern California will more than double in size, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has ruled.

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<a href=http://blogs.kqed.org/lowdown/2015/03/11/getting-hot-in-here-the-beat-of-californias-four-year-drought/ target=_blank >Getting Hot in Here: The Beat of California’s Four-Year Drought</a>

The Lowdown | March 11, 2015

Getting Hot in Here: The Beat of California’s Four-Year Drought

Florida might not like to talk about climate change, but here in drought-stricken California, the topic's not so taboo. Mired in year four of the worst drought on record, Californians are witnessing the climate literally change before their eyes. As the state nears the end of one of ...Read More

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March Drought Update: A North-South Divide, and Where’s the Snow?

KQED Science | March 3, 2015 | 0 Comments

March Drought Update: A North-South Divide, and Where’s the Snow?

Uneven rainfall across the state has helped replenish Northern California reservoirs, while those to the south remain in mostly abysmal shape. Meantime, the latest snow report is in, and it's not good.

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From Drifter to Dynamo: The Story of Plankton

KQED Science | March 3, 2015 | 0 Comments

From Drifter to Dynamo: The Story of Plankton

Most plankton are tiny drifters, wandering in a vast ocean. But where wind and currents converge they become part of a grander story… an explosion of vitality that affects all life on Earth, including our own.

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