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Environment

Study: Melting of Antarctic ice shelves speeds up in last decade

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The frozen fringes of western Antarctica have been melting 70 percent faster in the last decade, raising concern that an important buttress keeping land-based ice sheets from flowing to the sea could collapse or vanish in coming decades, a new study shows. An acceleration in the flow of massive ice sheets would add substantially to the ongoing rise of sea levels, according to Fernando Paolo, a geophysicist at the University …

Report: NE biodiversity threatened

Thursday, March 26, 2015

BOSTON — From picturesque coastal estuaries of Cape Cod to the soaring White Mountains, much of New England’s rich native flora is fighting for survival against increasing odds, according to what conservationists call the most comprehensive accounting ever made of the region’s plant life. The report, to be released Thursday by the New …

Environmental groups respond to latest impact report filed by Tennessee Gas Pipeline

Friday, March 20, 2015

While Tennessee Gas Pipeline’s draft environmental impact report for its Northeast Energy Direct project is being reviewed by area groups and communities along the 430-mile-long path, groups have been responding to the proposal in general — especially environmental organizations battling the proposed roughly $5 billion project. Northeast Energy Solutions, a coalition of land-trust organizations in the region including Franklin Land Trust and the …

Experts say melting snow in the Valley unlikely to contribute to flood risk

Friday, March 20, 2015

Despite the record snowfall this winter in some parts of the state, experts are not expecting any increased risk of flooding in the Pioneer Valley. “The spring flood threat for the Connecticut River is normal,” Nicole Belk, a hydrologist at the National Weather Service in Taunton said in …

Like Keystone, Energy East Pipeline is raising concerns

Friday, March 20, 2015

Dear EarthTalk: The proposed KeystoneXL oil pipeline from Canada into the U.S. seems to get all the headlines, but shouldn’t we also be worried about the Energy East pipeline? – Art Shea, Troy, New York The Energy East …

Valley Views: Berry Bandit, Northampton

Friday, March 20, 2015

Berry Bandit Smith College campus, Northampton Photograph and text by Dot Barnard, North Hatfield I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have a bird feeder or two or three hanging in my backyard. I love watching the …

Calif. proposes $1B in drought spending

Thursday, March 19, 2015

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As California copes with a fourth straight year of drought, Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders on Thursday proposed legislation to accelerate more than $1 billion in water spending and urged residents to do their …

Obama orders government to cut emissions

Thursday, March 19, 2015

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama ordered the federal government on Thursday to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by nearly half over the next decade, driving his climate change agenda forward despite percolating challenges from Republican-led states. By curtailing …

Sky gazers flock to Faeroes for total solar eclipse

Thursday, March 19, 2015

TORSHAVN, Faeroe Islands — For months, even years, hotels on the remote Faeroe Islands have been fully booked by fans who don’t want to miss an almost three-minute-long astronomical sensation. Now the sky gazers just hope the clouds …

Florida manatee count tallies record high

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

MIAMI — Two years after Florida tallied a record number of manatee deaths, state biologists announced Monday that they have documented a near stampede of wintering sea cows in recent months. An annual statewide survey, conducted over several days in February, counted a record high of 6,063 manatees …

Boston breaks seasonal snowfall record

Sunday, March 15, 2015

BOSTON (AP) — Boston’s miserable winter is now also its snowiest season going back to 1872. The official measurement of 108.6 inches at Logan International Airport Sunday night topped a season record of 107.9 inches set in 1995-96, …

Tennessee Gas Pipeline files environmental report with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Friday, March 13, 2015

Proponents of a natural gas pipeline that would cross western Massachusetts passed a key milestone Friday by filing its first draft environmental impact report on the roughly $5 billion project with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. is proposing that its Northeast Energy Direct project …

Valley Views: Cardinal Way Pond Mythic Monster

Friday, March 13, 2015

Cardinal Way Pond Mythic Monster Cardinal Way and Burts Pit Road, Florence Photograph and text by Larry Cadotette of Florence This small pound, located near the intersection of Cardinal Way and Burts Pit Road in Florence, is a …