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Environment

Barley helped ancient humans inhabit ‘Roof of the World’

Monday, November 24, 2014

How did human settlements manage to reach high altitudes in the Tibetan Plateau, a region known as the “Roof of the World”? An international team of researchers has a simple answer: barley. The findings, published in the journal Science, reveal a key factor that helped human settlements overcome such harsh, unforgiving environments. Archaeologists have found traces of intermittent human presence high on the Tibetan Plateau from 20,000 years ago, including …

Threat of flooding hangs over Buffalo

Sunday, November 23, 2014

BUFFALO, N.Y. — First came the big storm, then the big dig. Now comes the big melt. Residents of flood-prone areas around Buffalo should move valuables up from the basement, pack a bag and prepare for the possibility of evacuation as up to 7 feet of melting snow posed the threat of flooding, …

Quabbin Photo Group offers presention from international exhibit Monday

Friday, November 21, 2014

BELCHERTOWN — The featured program of the Quabbin Photo Group’s November meeting is a visual and audio selection of 500 images from the 2014 Massachusetts Camera Naturalists (CAMNATS) International Nature Exhibition. The meeting, which is open to the public, takes place Monday at 7 p.m. at the Belchertown Senior Center, 60 State St. …

Sage grouse gets federal protection

Thursday, November 13, 2014

DENVER — Federal officials granted protection to the Gunnison sage grouse on Wednesday, a move that could bring restrictions on oil and gas drilling and other activity to preserve the bird’s habitat in parts of Colorado and Utah. …

California leads by example on climate change

Thursday, November 13, 2014

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As the U.S. and China — the world’s top two polluting nations — turn to implementing new rules aimed at curbing climate change, the countries can look to the most populous U.S. state as an example of the costs and challenges of fighting global warming. …

Scientists cool to US-China climate pact

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

WASHINGTON — Don’t expect the landmark U.S.-China climate change agreement to nudge the world’s rising thermostat downward much on its own, scientists say. While they hail it as a start, experts who study heat-trapping carbon dioxide don’t see …

‘Free plants’ sign leads to magnolia mix-up at Smith College Lyman Conservatory

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Students and staff at the Smith College Lyman Conservatory were relieved to learn Wednesday that the disappearance of a flat of rare plants was the result of a mix-up, not a theft. The plants, which had …

Snow, cold sock Upper Midwest

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

PIERRE, S.D. — People in the Upper Midwest and Rockies woke up to frigid temperatures Tuesday, with heavy snow blanketing some areas. Other parts of the country are expecting a dose of the icy weather later this week …

Underwater ‘storms’ may hold key to melting Antarctic ice

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Scientists using robotic ocean gliders to wander frigid Antarctic waters say they may have discovered a mechanism behind the melting of polar ice shelves - miniature submarine “storms” that are lobbing packets of warmer water toward the continent. The findings, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shed light …

UMass reviews environmental impact of proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline

Monday, November 10, 2014

The University of Massachusetts is reviewing the state’s environmental resources that could be affected by the Tennessee Gas Pipeline’s proposed 128-mile route across the state. The university’s Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment plans to issue a series of reports beginning this month that will put the …

Study: Dead zones getting worse with warming

Monday, November 10, 2014

WASHINGTON — Global warming is likely playing a bigger role than previously thought in dead zones in oceans, lakes and rivers around the world and it’s only going to get worse, according to a new study. Dead zones …

Rockies, Midwest get wintry blast

Monday, November 10, 2014

PIERRE, S.D. — A blast of wintry weather blew into parts of the Rockies and Upper Midwest on Monday, bringing a foot of snow in some areas, along with plunging temperatures. The cold weather is expected to eventually …

Northeasst Utilities confident that regulators will approve controversial Northern Pass electrical transmission line

Friday, November 7, 2014

CONCORD, N.H. — The utility company proposing a 187-mile electrical transmission line across New Hampshire said Friday that it’s confident state and federal regulators will agree to a plan by the middle of 2015. On a call with investors, Northeast Utilities says if the proposal is approved, construction …