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President Barack Obama delivers remarks at Kotzebue School, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, in Kotzebue, Alaska. Obama is on a historic three-day trip to Alaska aimed at showing solidarity with a state often overlooked by Washington, while using its glorious but changing landscape as an urgent call to action on climate change. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Obama heads north of Arctic Circle

Thursday, September 3, 2015

KOTZEBUE, Alaska — President Barack Obama crossed the Arctic Circle on Wednesday in a first by a sitting U.S. president, telling residents in a far-flung Alaska village that their plight should be the world’s wake-up call on global warming. Obama’s visit to Kotzebue, a town of some 3,000 people in the Alaska Arctic, was designed to snap the country to …

Earth’s tree count: 3 trillion

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

WASHINGTON — More than 3 trillion trees now grow on Earth, seven times more than scientists previously thought. But it’s also trillions fewer than there used to be, a new study concludes. A United Nations-affiliated youth group had a goal of planting one billion trees and Yale forestry researcher Thomas Crowther was asked if planting that many trees would do anything to help …

Bears killed in Conn. after threats to people

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

BURLINGTON, Conn. — Wildlife staffers in Connecticut killed a bear in the Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area of Burlington on Wednesday that was seen on video acting aggressively toward a female hiker, along with a second bear that charged employees Tuesday evening, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said. The bear seen in the video was shot in the same area where …

Calif. cuts water use by 31% in July amid drought

Thursday, August 27, 2015

FRESNO, Calif. — California cities cut water use by a combined 31 percent in July, exceeding the governor’s statewide mandate to conserve, officials said Thursday. The strong water conservation figures show California residents are beginning to understand the …

Scientists squabble while Africa’s only penguins risk extinction

Thursday, August 27, 2015

CAPE TOWN, South Africa — They’re cute, knee-high, they bray like donkeys and are a tourist attraction near Cape Town. But African Penguins — the continent’s only species of the flightless bird — are at risk of extinction. …

One of twin newborn pandas in DC dies

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

WASHINGTON — One of two pandas whose weekend births captured world attention died Wednesday, a reminder that the bears who grow into giant puffy icons enter the world as fragile creatures, hairless and weighing about as much as a bar of soap. The birth of the twins at …

Vt. snake collector gives pair of pythons to Mass. sanctuary

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

NORTH CLARENDON, Vt. — Two giant southeast Asian pythons that were rescued by a longtime snake collector and were turned over to state game wardens are headed to a sanctuary. The larger of the two reticulated pythons picked …

EPA knew old mine posed risk of ‘blowout’

Monday, August 24, 2015

WASHINGTON — U.S. officials knew of the potential for a catastrophic “blowout” of toxic wastewater from an inactive gold mine, yet appeared to have only a cursory plan to deal with such an event when government contractors triggered …

Boaters map Pacific garbage, offer report

Sunday, August 23, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO — Far away from California’s coast, where the Pacific Ocean currents swirl, the blue of the sea was replaced by fishing nets, buckets, buoys, laundry baskets and unidentifiable pieces of plastic that floated past the Ocean …

Panda-monium at National Zoo: Mei Xiang has twins

Sunday, August 23, 2015

WASHINGTON — It’s double trouble for the National Zoo after its adult female panda gave birth to twins. The cubs arrived about five hours apart Saturday. Panda mom Mei Xiang (may-SHONG) gave birth to the first cub at …

Valley Views: Scarlet Tanager

Friday, August 21, 2015

Scarlet Tanager Coombs Road, Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary, Easthampton Photograph and text by Anne E. Ely, South Hadley I have recently enjoyed watching and photographing the many birds visiting the mulberry tree in the parking lot of Arcadia Wildlife …

Earth Talk: ‘Clean coal’ plants show promise but cost is an obstacle

Friday, August 21, 2015

Dear EarthTalk: There’s a lot of talk about the potential for renewable energy sources like solar and wind. But cheap, abundant coal is still going to power the world for a long time. How can we harness the …

Bird sightings

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. Two Virginia rails, a merlin and a summer tanager were reported in Belchertown. Nighthawks are beginning to show up across the region. Look in …