Environment

Atlantic hurricane season weakest so far since '83

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — This year's Atlantic hurricane season is shaping up to be one of the weakest in decades with only five named storms formed in the region so far this year.

That's the fewest named storms formed during a single full season in the Atlantic since 1983, when there were four.

Air tanker crashes while fighting California fire

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — A Yosemite National Park spokesman says an air tanker fighting a wildfire near the park has crashed.

Park spokesman Scott Gediman says the plane crashed at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday within a mile of the park's west entrance.

Fight over piping plover halts Sandy recovery

BAY SHORE, N.Y. (AP) — A court fight to protect the piping plover is holding up a $207 million plan to replenish sand along a 19-mile stretch of shoreline on New York's Fire Island.

The small bird that lives on the island is listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act and, elsewhere in the country, is listed as endangered. Besides arguing to protect the bird's habitat, critics say the project would be a huge waste of money.

Climate scientists debating significance of 2 ocean temp studies

Source: 
E&E

Two studies published in the journal Nature Climate Change this week have sparked a big debate among climate scientists: One found more warming in Southern Hemisphere oceans than previously thought, while the second detected little warming in the deepest water of oceans generally over the past decade, E&E reports.

Cloud-seeding drones could be a weapon to fight California’s drought

Source: 
National Journal

The Nevada-based Desert Research Institute is looking at plans to use drones to seed clouds with silver iodide to encourage more precipitation out of them, which could help alleviate California’s drought if they’re successful, National Journal reports.

Asian carp DNA found in southwestern Michigan

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Genetic material from Asian carp has been found in the Kalamazoo River in southwestern Michigan, but there's no indication the invasive fish have become established in the river that flows into Lake Michigan, officials said Tuesday.

DNA from silver carp was detected in one of 200 water samples taken in July from the river in Allegan County, this one from below the Caulkins Dam about 24 miles from Lake Michigan, the state Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said.

Adam Sieminski/EnergyGuardian Photo

Warmer winter will lower heating costs, EIA predicts

Consumers are likely to get a break from the high heating costs of last winter, the Energy Department forecast on Tuesday, pointing to expected warmer temperatures and adequate supplies of natural gas and propane. 

"We're looking for heating bills across most of the country to be lower this year than last year," said Adam Sieminski, the head of the Energy Information Administration, at a conference in Washington.

Feds give oyster farm until year's end to vacate

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A popular family-owned oyster farm whose lease at the Point Reyes National Seashore in Northern California has expired will be allowed to keep operating until the end of the year under a legal agreement with the federal government announced Monday.

The settlement between the National Park Service and Drakes Bay Oyster Company ends a yearslong battle over the farm's fate that pitted environmentalists against scientists and even divided California's two U.S. senators. As part of the deal, which still must be approved by a federal judge, the Park Service would cover the cost of cleaning up the site and offer rental assistance and other relocation benefits to Drakes Bay employees who live there.

Beavers, their dams put to work restoring streams

ELLENSBURG, Wash. (AP) — In a heavily irrigated Washington valley where fish, crops and people often compete for water, biologists are turning to one of nature's best engineers to help restore streams and salmon habitat.

Landowners typically trap or kill beavers that block irrigation canals and flood homes in the Yakima Valley. But one project is relocating the troublemaking creatures to the headwaters of the Yakima River, where their talent for chewing willows and constructing lodges can be put to good use.

Proposal to protect fisher cites pot farm threat

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Citing a threat from rat poison used on illegal marijuana plantations, federal biologists on Monday proposed Endangered Species Act protection for West Coast populations of the fisher, a larger cousin of the weasel.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published notice in the Federal Register that it wants to list the fisher as a threatened species in Oregon, California and Washington.

The full proposal was expected Tuesday.

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