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FILE - In this June 15, 2014 file photo, a polar bear dries off after taking a swim in the Chukchi Sea in Alaska. About a third of the world's polar bears could be in imminent danger from greenhouse gas emissions in as soon as a decade, a U.S. government report shows. The U.S. Geological Survey, the Interior Department's research arm, said updated scientific models don't bode well for polar bear populations across the world, especially in Alaska, the only state in the nation with the white bears. (Brian Battaile/U.S. Geological Survey via AP, File)

US report warns of polar bears’ peril

Thursday, July 2, 2015

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Polar bears are at risk of dying off if humans don’t reverse the trend of global warming, a blunt U.S. government report filed Thursday said. “The single most important step for polar bear conservation is decisive action to address Arctic warming,” the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said in a draft recovery plan, part of the process …

Earth Matters: The puzzle tree: Independence Day musings on sycamores

Thursday, July 2, 2015

I’ll be thinking about the eastern sycamore tree this Independence Day, an American tree on our national holiday. Although all trees might be said to be “created equal” from a moral perspective, each tree species has its own value to those who use trees. I eat apples; squirrels eat acorns; crossbills eat conifer …

W. Europe swelters in heat wave

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

PARIS — Joggers wheezed, electric wires warped, and Britain sweated through its hottest July day on record as a wide swath of Western Europe sweltered in a heat wave. Authorities in France and elsewhere, mindful that thousands died during a 2003 heat wave, reached out to the elderly, families and other vulnerable people …

Valley Views: Lupines

Friday, June 5, 2015

Lupines Off of Route 9, Shelburne Photograph and text by Madeline Catania, Agawam As I was traveling through Shelburne on Route 9 May 30, these lupines caught my eye. I was so excited to see them; lupines are …

Bird Sightings

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. A snowy egret and a black-bellied plover were seen in Northampton. A gray-cheeked thrush and two clay-colored sparrows were found in Hadley. A hooded …

Earth Matters: Learning how to listen to what the birds have to say

Friday, June 5, 2015

Early in May, I attended the New England Bird Language Intensive, a five-day workshop put on by White Pine Programs in Maine. Birds are a passion of mine and I enjoy birding “by ear,” so it was appealing …

New fed data shows no stopping or slowing of global warming

Thursday, June 4, 2015

WASHINGTON — Global warming has not stopped or even slowed in the past 18 years, according to a new federal study that rebuts doubters who’ve claimed that that heating trends have paused. Scientists at the National Oceanic and …

State rejects petitions for full intervenor status filed by state Rep. Stephen Kulik and two organizations opposing Tennessee Gas Pipeline

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The state Department of Public Utilities has rejected petitions seeking full intervenor status filed by Rep. Stephen Kulik and two organizations opposing the proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline project through Franklin County. The case involves the Berkshire Gas Co. contract to buy natural gas transported by the pipeline. Both …

State’s Large Animal Response Team decides how to handle wildlife that approach people, such as moose, bears

Monday, June 1, 2015

AMHERST — Even though a moose roaming through Amherst neighborhoods near three public schools for nearly 24 hours had not caused harm to anyone, the animal was chemically immobilized Friday morning before being brought to a rural, wooded …

Earth Talk

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Dear EarthTalk: Where will be the best places to live if global warming gets the best of us? — Cynthia McIntosh, Jasper, Wyoming If temperatures around the globe continue to rise in the face of human-induced climate change …

Valley Views: Blue Heron in Flight

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Blue Heron in Flight Old Springfield Road, Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary, Easthampton Photograph and text by Larry Cadorette, Florence Every spring, toward the beginning of April, the blue herons return to the hatchery of the Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary in …

Heading outdoors: Area activities

Friday, February 13, 2015

∎ Mount Toby Hike — New England Wildflower Society sponsors hike Saturday, Mount Toby, Sunderland. Jessica Nugent, jnugent@newenglandwildflower. ∎  Birds and Bird Songs — Trustees of Reservations sponsor bird hike Saturday, 6 to 10 a.m., Notchview Reservation, Route 9, Windsor. Pre-registration required. $5. 532-1631 or westregion@ttor.org to register. …

Developers eye propane as natural gas ban hits

Friday, May 29, 2015

The owners of a new downtown Amherst restaurant specializing in Italian cuisine got an unexpected surprise in March when they discovered that they could not tap into the natural gas supply. Faced with uncertainty over how he would power the kitchen at Fratelli’s Ristorante now that Berkshire Gas …