Environment

Petition filed to protect Yellowstone bison

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Wildlife advocates have filed a formal petition seeking federal protections for Yellowstone National Park's wild bison herds.

Western Watersheds Project and the Buffalo Field Campaign said in Thursday's petition that the park's roughly 4,900 bison, or buffalo, are unique from other bison that have been bred with cattle.

US to pledge $3B to help poor nations with warming

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is giving $3 billion to a United Nations fund to help poorer vulnerable countries prepare for a changing climate and develop cleaner energy.

President Barack Obama will announce the contribution at meeting of world leaders in Australia, the administration said.

US-China climate pact seen boosting Indian efforts

NEW DELHI (AP) — This week's China-U.S. climate agreement between the world's top two polluters puts pressure on India, No. 3 on the list, to become more energy efficient and should encourage investment in renewable energy.

But the pact is also a relief for India because it acknowledges the long-held view among developing economies that industrialized nations have been emitting heat-trapping gases for many more decades and so should shoulder more of the burden for tackling climate change. Emerging economies argue they should have fewer constraints to pollute as they grow.

China must change economy to meet climate targets

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese leaders pledged for the first time to cap the country's decades-long growth of greenhouse gas emissions. Since China emits more carbon and other heat-trapping gases than any other country, the pledge boosted global efforts to prevent catastrophic climate change. Fulfilling its pledge, however, will require China to transform a booming economy that still largely depends on polluting industries such as steel production and manufacturing. Yet the country has important advantages, having already developed enormous capacities for solar, wind and other renewable energy sources.

California leads by example on climate change

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — 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.

California already has imposed some of the world's toughest air quality standards as it moves aggressively to lower emissions.

Next environment battle: greater sage grouse

DENVER (AP) — Federal officials say their decision to protect dwindling Gunnison sage grouse populations in Colorado and Utah has no bearing on next year's highly anticipated ruling on the far more widespread greater sage grouse — but advocates on both sides already are placing their bets.

"I think that this does not bode well for the greater sage grouse," said Amy Atwood, an attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity. Atwood said she hopes the greater sage grouse will be protected, but she fears the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will succumb to pressure from industries that oppose the land-use restrictions that such protection would bring.

Tribes to receive Yellowstone bison held by Turner

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A group of Yellowstone National Park bison is due to finally arrive at a permanent home on a northeastern Montana American Indian reservation on Thursday, almost a decade after they were captured and spared from slaughter.

About 100 of the 138 animals were loaded onto trucks late Wednesday to travel overnight to the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, home to the Assiniboine and Sioux tribes.

Scientists: US-China pact won't slow warming much

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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 the deal, announced Wednesday in Beijing, making significant progress without other countries joining in.

Remote Nevada quakes result from stretching crust

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Scientists say a swarm of earthquakes since July in the remote desert linking Oregon, California and Nevada can be traced to the constant stretching of the Earth's crust.

The Sierra Nevada is moving northwest about a half-inch a year, leaving gaps in Nevada's northwestern corner, where one fault has produced hundreds of small quakes, Glenn Biasi of the University of Nevada Seismological Laboratory said Wednesday.

Earthquake shakes parts of Kansas, Oklahoma

CONWAY SPRINGS, Kan. (AP) — An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.8 shook parts of Kansas and Oklahoma on Wednesday, the largest since a series of temblors began rattling Kansas a little more than a year ago.

The quake's epicenter was near the town of Conway Springs, about 25 miles southwest of Wichita, according to the U.S. Geological Survey said. It came at 3:40 p.m., less than a day after a magnitude 2.6 earthquake was recorded near the southern Kansas town of Anthony.

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