Environment

Groups sue over Mexican wolf-reintroduction program changes

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Conservationists sued the federal government Friday over changes to a reintroduction program for the endangered Mexican gray wolf.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced the first major changes to the program since 1998. Under them, wolves will be able to roam a greater expanse of Arizona and New Mexico and will be released from captivity at more sites.

Pope's statement on climate change: 5 things to know

NEW YORK (AP) — Pope Francis, who pledged on the day of his installation as pontiff to make the environment a priority, is drafting a highly anticipated encyclical on ecology and climate change.

Environmentalists are thrilled by the prospect of a rock-star pope putting his moral weight behind efforts to curb global warming. Francis said last week he wanted the document to be released in time to be read before the next round of U.N. climate treaty talks in Paris at the end of the year.

Pope's climate-change stand deepens conservatives' distrust

NEW YORK (AP) — Conservative distrust of Pope Francis, which has been building in the U.S. throughout his pontificate, is reaching a boiling point over his plan to urge action on climate change — and to do so through a document traditionally used for the most important papal teachings.

For months, Francis has been drafting an encyclical on the environment and global warming which he hopes to release by June or July. Encyclicals are written with the help of a small group of advisers working under strict secrecy. But in a news conference as he traveled last week to the Philippines, Francis gave his strongest signal yet of the direction he'll take.

The heat is on; NOAA, NASA say 2014 warmest year on record

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the third time in a decade, the globe sizzled to the hottest year on record, federal scientists announced Friday.

Both the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA calculated that in 2014 the world had its hottest year in 135 years of record-keeping. Earlier, the Japanese weather agency and an independent group out of University of California Berkeley also measured 2014 as the hottest on record.

Sea level rise flooding more U.S. cities

Source: 
E&E

More and more urban areas on the U.S. coasts are facing routine flooding as the pace of the rise in sea levels increases, E&E reports, citing a study published in the journal Earth’s Future by a team at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Feds: Sampling finds more Asian carp DNA near Lake Michigan

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A federal report says genetic markers of Asian carp are still showing up in Chicago-area waterways.

Environmentalists say that highlights the continuing threat that invasive fish will reach the Great Lakes.

Forecasts show drought continuing in California, Southwest

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Federal agencies released a pair of forecasts showing dry conditions will persist in parts of the drought-stricken West, suggesting there won't be enough snow to boost water supplies.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Water and Climate Center says the year has started off unusually dry in the Southwest. Separately, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center forecasts drought conditions to improve closer to the Mexican border but not in northern California and Nevada.

Pope on climate change: Man has 'slapped nature in the face'

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) — Pope Francis said Thursday he is convinced that global warming is "mostly" man-made and that he hopes his upcoming encyclical on the environment will encourage negotiators at a climate change meeting in Paris to make "courageous" decisions to protect God's creation.

Francis has spoken out frequently about the "culture of waste" that has imperiled the environment and he elaborated en route to the Philippines. While there, Francis will meet with survivors of the 2013 Typhoon Haiyan, which the government has said was an example of the extreme weather conditions that global warming has wrought.

Ted Turner ranch aims to aid endangered black-footed ferrets

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A more than half-million-acre ranch that straddles the New Mexico-Colorado border and is owned by media mogul Ted Turner has asked for permission to import endangered black-footed ferrets.

The carnivores have struggled across the Great Plains, and the Vermejo Park Ranch wants to bolster their numbers as part of a recovery program spanning 12 Western states.

Report: Tests of ballast water treatment systems are flawed

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Government-sanctioned tests of equipment designed to cleanse ship ballast water of invasive species are seriously flawed because they don't determine whether the systems will remove microbes that cause gastrointestinal illnesses, scientists said Wednesday.

Ballast water provides stability for cargo ships in rough seas. But it's believed to have introduced numerous invaders to U.S. coastal waters and the Great Lakes, including zebra mussels, spotted jellyfish and Japanese shore crabs, along with bacteria and viruses.

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