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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. …

UN climate report: Emissions may need to drop to zero

Sunday, November 2, 2014

COPENHAGEN — Climate change is happening, it’s almost entirely man’s fault and limiting its impacts may require reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero this century, the U.N.’s panel on climate science said Sunday. The fourth and final volume …

November snow surprises Southeast states

Sunday, November 2, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A surprise snow swept across parts of Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina on Saturday, falling on pumpkins and power lines. It was the earliest snow on record in the Columbia area by eight days, according to the National Weather Service. Neither Boston nor New …

Sweden is a global leader in green efforts

Friday, October 31, 2014

Dear EarthTalk: I recently heard that Sweden is the greenest country in the world. Is this true and, if so, by what standards? And where does the U.S. rank? — Raul Swain, New York, NY It’s true that …

Bird sightings

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. A golden eagle was seen in Holyoke, and a northern goshawk was reported in Northampton. A greater white-fronted goose was found in Lee. A …

Guard to boost security around Hawaii lava flow

Friday, October 31, 2014

PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) — The National Guard is deploying troops to a rural Hawaii town as lava makes a slow crawl toward a major road and threatens to further isolate the community that got its start during the …

GE pans EPA’s Housatonic cleanup plan

Thursday, October 30, 2014

PITTSFIELD — General Electric Co. has sharply criticized the federal government’s $619 million proposal to clean chemicals from the Housatonic River in Pittsfield and other communities downstream. GE’s 128-page response this week to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says the Rest of River plan “is far larger and …

Lava creeps closer to Hawaii homes

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

PAHOA, Hawaii — After weeks of slow, stop-and-go movement, a river of asphalt-black lava was less than the length of a football field from homes in a Big Island community Tuesday. The lava flow easily burned down an …

Coalition plans advertising campaign backing projects such as Tennessee Gas Pipeline

Monday, October 27, 2014

With higher electricity costs scheduled to kick in next week for National Grid customers, a recently created “Coalition to Lower Energy Costs” is planning a media campaign, backed by large industrial electricity users — and organized by lobbyists connected to pipeline proponent Kinder Morgan — pushing for support …

Relicensing of Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage Project raises concerns about erosion study

Monday, October 27, 2014

As part of a 35-year effort to stop erosion along the Connecticut River’s banks, engineers, environmental groups and representatives of federal, state and regional agencies routinely troll the shore in the 22-mile river stretch between the Turners Falls and Vernon, Vermont, dams to produce a “full river reconnaissance” …

Heading Outdoors

Friday, October 24, 2014

∎   Fall Landscape Photography Field Trip — Workshop, field trip and critique with photographers Andrea York and Michael Zide in Amherst, Oct. 25, 8 to 11 a.m. RSVP zide@comcast.net. ∎   Holyoke VNA 5K Run/Walk for Hospice Life Care — 5K run/walk at Ashley Reservoir, Oct. 25, …