Christopher Joyce http://news.stlpublicradio.org en Methane-Producing Microbes Caused 'The Great Dying' http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/methane-producing-microbes-caused-great-dying Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.<p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>And I'm David Greene. Good morning. The biggest extinction the Earth has ever seen took place 250 million years ago and it remains something of a mystery. Scientists suspected giant volcanoes or perhaps an asteroid caused it, but NPR's Christopher Joyce has seen new research suggesting the cause might not have been so cataclysmic - maybe something much more subtle.<p>CHRISTOPHER JOYCE, BYLINE: It's sometimes called the Great Dying. Tue, 01 Apr 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 34895 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org Federal Flood Insurance Program Drowning In Debt. Who Will Pay? http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/federal-flood-insurance-program-drowning-debt-who-will-pay Millions of American property owners get flood insurance from the federal government, and a lot of them get a hefty discount. But over the past decade, the government has paid out huge amounts of money after floods, and the flood insurance program is deeply in the red.<p>Congress tried to fix that in 2012 by passing a law to raise insurance premiums. Now <em>that</em> move has created such uproar among property owners that Congress is trying to make the law it passed disappear.<p>Caught in the middle is the <a href="http://www.fema.gov/">Federal Emergency Management Agency</a>. Thu, 02 Jan 2014 20:49:53 +0000 Christopher Joyce 32719 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org Federal Flood Insurance Program Drowning In Debt. Who Will Pay? Long Island Wins Ultimate Faceoff Against Hurricane Sandy http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/long-island-wins-ultimate-faceoff-against-hurricane-sandy Hurricane Sandy last year did more harm to coastal cities and homes than any hurricane in U.S. history, except Katrina. Most of that damage has been repaired. But there's other damage that people can't see to the underwater coastline, known as the shore face.<p>Apparently, Long Island's shore face did remarkably well against the storm of the 21st century.<p>The shore face is the underwater slope that runs up to the shore. Its shape influences how fast and high water moves onto land. Sandy pushed water up the shore face and into towns and bays. Thu, 12 Dec 2013 22:48:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 32212 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org Long Island Wins Ultimate Faceoff Against Hurricane Sandy U.S. May Be Producing 50 Percent More Methane Than EPA Thinks http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/us-may-be-producing-50-percent-more-methane-epa-thinks Methane is the source of the gas we burn in stoves. You can also use it to make plastics, antifreeze or fertilizer. It comes out of underground deposits, but it also seeps up from swamps, landfills, even the stomachs of cows.<p>And while methane is valuable, a lot of it gets up into the atmosphere, where it becomes a very damaging greenhouse gas.<p>Scientists have been trying to find out, with varying success, exactly how much of this climate-warming gas gets into the atmosphere. Mon, 25 Nov 2013 23:09:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 31728 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org U.S. May Be Producing 50 Percent More Methane Than EPA Thinks A Rancher And A Conservationist Forge An Unlikely Alliance http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/rancher-and-conservationist-forge-unlikely-alliance Trout fishing is a magnet that draws people from around the world to places like Ovando, Mont. Just ask the owner of Blackfoot Angler and Supplies, Kathy Schoendoerfer.<p>"Every state in the nation has been through this little shop in Ovando, Montana, population 50," says Schoendoerfer with a mix of pride and perhaps a little fatigue. "And we've also had everybody from Russia, Latvia. We get a lot of Canadians, France, Finland, Brazil, Scotland, Germany, South Africa. We get a lot of business out here. You know, fly-fishing is huge."<p>But Western trout may be in trouble. Fri, 15 Nov 2013 08:04:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 31464 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org A Rancher And A Conservationist Forge An Unlikely Alliance As Climate Warms American West, Iconic Trout In Jeopardy http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/climate-warms-american-west-iconic-trout-jeopardy In the mountain streams of the American West, the trout rules. People don't just catch this fish; they honor it. And spend lots of money pursuing it.<p>But some western trout may be in trouble. Rivers and streams are getting warmer and there's often less water in them. Scientists suspect a changing climate is threatening this iconic fish.<p>I joined two such scientists from the U.S. Thu, 14 Nov 2013 08:07:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 31428 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org As Climate Warms American West, Iconic Trout In Jeopardy How'd They Do That? The Story Of A Giant Rock And A Road Of Ice http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/howd-they-do-story-giant-rock-and-road-ice Great works of ancient engineering, like the Pyramids or Stonehenge, inspire awe in every beholder. But some onlookers also get inspired to figure out exactly how these structures were made.<p><a href="http://www.princeton.edu/mae/people/faculty/stone/">Howard Stone</a>, an engineer from Princeton University, had such a moment in Beijing's Forbidden City — a city-within-a-city of palaces and temples built in the 15th and 16th centuries. A carved, 300-ton slab that formed a ramp to one structure particularly caught Stone's eye. Mon, 04 Nov 2013 22:13:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 31162 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org How'd They Do That? The Story Of A Giant Rock And A Road Of Ice In Sandy's Wake, Flood Zones And Insurance Rates Re-Examined http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/sandys-wake-fema-re-examines-flood-insurance-rates When Sandy blew into East Coast communities a year ago, it was flooding that did the most damage.<p>That's in part because the average sea level has risen over the past century — about a foot along the mid-Atlantic coast. That made it easier for the storm to push the ocean onto the land.<p>And scientists say there will be many more Sandy-style storms — that is, torrential rain and wind that create heavy coastal flooding — and they'll be more frequent than in the past. Wed, 30 Oct 2013 20:08:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 31044 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org In Sandy's Wake, Flood Zones And Insurance Rates Re-Examined Fossil Find Points To A Streamlined Human Lineage http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/fossil-find-points-streamlined-human-lineage Fossils of human ancestors are rare. Thu, 17 Oct 2013 21:54:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 30754 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org Fossil Find Points To A Streamlined Human Lineage Trapped In A Fossil: Remnants Of A 46-Million-Year-Old Meal http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/trapped-fossil-remnants-46-million-year-old-meal Scientists who study why species vanish are increasingly looking for ancient DNA. They find it easily enough in the movies; remember the mosquito blood in Jurassic Park that contained dinosaur DNA from the bug's last bite? But in real life, scientists haven't turned up multi-million-year-old DNA in any useable form.<p>Fortunately, a team at the Smithsonian Institution has now found something unique in a 46-million-year-old, fossilized mosquito — not DNA, but the chemical remains of the insect's last bloody meal.<p>They started with a fossilized mosquito. Mon, 14 Oct 2013 18:16:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 30647 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org Trapped In A Fossil: Remnants Of A 46-Million-Year-Old Meal