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Environment & Science

Published Sat Jan 01 2000 00:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
Environment & Science
Environment & Science

Congresswoman: Science should guide nuclear storage decision

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A member of New Mexico's congressional delegation says science should guide any decisions about whether to allow a multibillion-dollar temporary storage facility for spent nuclear fuel to be built in the state. U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small in an interview with The Associated Press acknowledged that the growing stockpile of spent fuel at commercial reactors around the U.S. is a national problem and elected leaders need to ensure New Mexico does not pay an unfair price as part of the solution. The state's governor and others have voiced concerns about the state becoming a permanent dump for high-level radioactive waste.

Scientist nabbed for Russia spying is Mexico hometown hero

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A mayor in southern Mexico says the Mexican biologist charged with spying for Russia in Miami is considered a hero in his hometown. He also holds posts at two prominent universities. Mayor Hazael Matus says scientist Hector Alejandro Cabrera has helped set up science projects in his hometown of El Espinal. U.S. authorities on Tuesday accused Cabrera of working for a Russian official to find the vehicle of a U.S. government informant in the Miami area and inform the Russians of its location. The informant is said to have provided information to the U.S. on Russian intelligence operations.

5 earthquakes rattle West Texas; largest is magnitude 5.0

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Five earthquakes centered near a remote area of West Texas have rattled the region. The U.S. Geological Survey says the first tremor registered at a magnitude 3.0 Thursday near Mentone, in Loving County on the New Mexico border. The largest was a magnitude 5.0 about six hours later. No damages or injuries have been reported. Loving County is sparsely populated but full of truck traffic serving the oil drilling industry in the surrounding Permian Basin. Geologists say thousands of earthquakes in recent years have been linked to the underground injection of wastewater from oil and gas production.

Eggs from endangered sea turtle stolen from Thai beach

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A community in southern Thailand has offered a reward for catching whoever stole dozens of unhatched eggs of an endangered turtle species.  A marine resources official says the Pacific Leatherback turtle eggs were stolen before dawn Sunday from a beach in the southern province of Phang-nga. Local residents donated 50,000 baht ($1,660) for a reward to catch the thieves, and the sum was matched by provincial authorities, bringing the total to 100,000 baht ($3,320). The Pacific Leatherback is the world's largest sea turtle but also critically endangered, and its nests had not been seen in Thailand for five years until January 2019. 

UN: Last year was second-warmest and decade was hottest ever

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The U.N. weather agency says last year was the second warmest on record and the past decade was the hottest in human history. And it says January was the warmest January since 1850. The World Meteorological Organization's chief said at told a briefing Tuesday on its latest report that Europe also had a record-warm winter. Petteri Taalas said that “we have also broken records" in greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that “greenhouse gas concentrations are at the highest levels in 3 million years" — when the Earth’s temperature and sea levels were much higher.

Europe, Russia postpone joint rover mission to Mars

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The European Space Agency and Russia's Roscosmos are postponing a planned joint mission to Mars until 2022, in part due to travel restrictions resulting from the new coronavirus outbreak. The ExoMars mission was due to launch this year but concerns about possible technical problems had already prompted both agencies to discuss the delay. The mission's goal is to put a rover on the red planet to help determine whether there has ever been life on Mars. Scientists hope the rover will be able to dig for biological signatures of life below the martian surface and also provide further insights into the planet's history of water. It is the latest setback for the ExoMars program. A test lander crashed on the planet's surface in 2016.

Looking for a coronavirus distraction that’s out of this world?

The Lagoon Nebula, a cloud of gas within the constellation Sagittarius, is pictured here.

The Frosty Drew Observatory in Charlestown is launching a weekly stargazing live stream beginning tonight. The goal is to give people a source of inspiration and a much-needed distraction from the coronavirus crisis.

UMass Researchers Say They've Gotten Rid Of Winter Moth Problem -- Without Pesticides

A shade tree on Cape Cod defoliated by winter moth.

UMass Amherst insect researchers say they've eliminated the threat of the winter moth -- which feeds on maple, oak, and other trees -- without the use of pesticides.

North Dakota signals no new conditions on pipeline expansion

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North Dakota regulators have signaled that the state won't impose conditions beyond those required by the federal government on a proposal to double the capacity of the Dakota Access Pipeline. An attorney for the North Dakota Public Service Commission said requiring additional measures could draw a legal challenge from the Texas-based pipeline's owner, Energy Transfer. The company wants to double the capacity of the pipeline to as much as 1.1 million barrels daily to meet growing demand for oil from North Dakota. It's seeking permission for additional pump stations in the Dakotas, Iowa and Illinois.

Hurricane Florence Expected To Impact Area Beaches

Hurricane Florence churning toward the Carolinas.

Forecasters are not expecting a big impact from Hurricane Florence in RI and MA, but surf and rip tides are a concern.