climate change

Air pollution from coal-fired power plants, industrial activities, and cars contributes to asthma and other health problems in the St. Louis area.
Syracuse University News Services

Cutting carbon dioxide emissions from power plants would also reduce other types of air pollution, both here in Missouri and nationally.

That's according to a recent analysis by researchers at Harvard and Syracuse Universities.

Along with carbon dioxide, coal-fired power plants emit other pollutants, like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. Those in turn can contribute to forming particle pollution, ozone, and smog.

Missouri currently gets more than 80 percent of its electricity from coal-fired power plants like Ameren's Labadie power plant, pictured here.
Véronique LaCapra | St. Louis Public Radio

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed the first-ever rules to cut carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. The proposal sparked immediate debate over the impact, especially in states such as Missouri that depend heavily on coal.

The new regulations would reduce carbon pollution from the power sector by 30 percent nationwide by 2030, compared to 2005 emissions levels.

media photo

In “Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth,” author Alan Weisman explored what it would take to bring the world’s population down to a sustainable level. The book is a sequel of sorts to Weisman’s bestselling “The World Without Us.”

The idea of “The World Without Us,” said Weisman, was to see how nature could recover from the effects of climate change without humans around to get in the way. But his hope in writing the book was to inspire the discovery of a way to add humans back into the equation.

big data
Via Monsanto

Farmers have been collecting data about their farms for decades.

Now all those data are going high tech. Major agricultural companies like Monsanto, John Deere and DuPont have been developing more ways to mine that than ever before – all in the name of helping farmers make better decisions about when to plant, what to plant and how much.

The Pulitzer, photographer David Johnson

What is St. Louis doing to combat climate change? And how can art and design move those plans forward?

The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts wants to publicize ongoing efforts and encourage new collaborations in its Marfa Dialogues competition. Winners will receive $2,500 and the opportunity to display their ideas in a public forum, which may take many forms, including exhibitions, readings, concerts and film screenings.

courtesy photo

St. Louisan Larry Lazar used to be a climate change skeptic, but a 2006 trip to see family in Alaska changed his mind.

“One of the things you do in Alaska is tour the glaciers. And when you see the before and after pictures there, and when you talk to the park rangers and read the information about why they’re doing what they’re doing, and they’re doing it around the world, you get hit with reality,” said Lazar. “I realized then that what I’d been reading and my sources of information at that time were just wrong.”

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Last week, people all over St. Louis – and all over the Midwest and East Coast, probably – celebrated the official start of spring. They celebrated because the winter has been unusually long and cold and, somehow, darker than usual. And they celebrated with a tinge of worry that the brutal winter could give way to an equally brutal, hot summer.

If that does happen, be prepared for a lot of talk about climate change. 

(© Randall Hyman)

In his book “Windfall: The Booming Business of Global Warming,” author and freelance journalist McKenzie Funk moves the conversation on climate change beyond whether or not it is happening to focus on people around the world who are finding ways to profit from it.

(© Randall Hyman)

Randall Hyman is a St. Louis-based photojournalist and writer. For more than three decades, he has traveled the globe covering cultural and environmental issues.

Hyman recently spent four months in the Norwegian Arctic on a Fulbright project documenting climate change.

He told St. Louis Public Radio’s Véronique LaCapra that Norwegians are already feeling the effects of global warming.

There is a consensus among scientists that global warming is occurring, and the increase in temperature is man-made. The U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is currently preparing a new report on the topic that is expected to include strongly worded warnings to reduce the world's consumption of fossil fuels.

Environment America

Missouri's coal-fired power plants are among the largest sources of carbon dioxide pollution in the country and a significant contributor to global warming.

(Art Chimes)

If you happen to be near the Saint Louis Science Center planetarium at around 2 o’clock in the afternoon, look up. You might see a weather balloon.

Students at Saint Louis University are launching them as part of a study sponsored by the U.S. space agency NASA.

The mission aims to improve our understanding of air pollution and global climate.

Adam Allington / St. Louis Public Radio

If you are a fan of wine, particularly European wines, from France, Italy or Germany, you can be proud of the role Missouri plays in creating that wine.

Ever since the mid-1800s roots from Missouri grapes have been grafted on to European varieties, because of their natural resistance to certain pests.

(via Flickr/Paulo Otavio)

St. Louis is getting hotter. With this summer’s record-breaking temperatures, that probably doesn’t sound like news.

But a new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists shows our hot weather isn’t an anomaly — things have been heating up across the Midwest for the past six decades.

U.S. Geological Survey

A new report from the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization and the Natural Resources Defense Council shows that the frequency of severe storms across the Midwest has doubled over the past 50 years.

The report analyzed precipitation data from more than 200 weather stations in eight Midwestern states.

(Asha Paudel)

The Himalayan mountain range in Asia is one of the highest places in the world, with several peaks rising above 8,000 meters. It’s also one of the most vulnerable to climate change.

Seven years ago, Missouri Botanical Garden senior curator of ethnobotany Jan Salick traveled to the Himalayas to begin a study of how climate change is affecting alpine plants—and the local people who depend on them.

St. Louis Public Radio's Véronique LaCapra sat down with Salick to talk about her research.

(Environment Missouri)

A new report from Environment Missouri presents data on U.S. federally-declared weather disasters from 2006 to 2011, and says climate change will make extreme weather events like droughts and storms more common – and more severe.

State advocate for Environment Missouri, Ted Mathys, says 2011 was a particularly bad year for extreme weather in Missouri and across the country.

(EPA.gov)

Power plants are the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the U.S., followed by petroleum refineries.

That's according to data released today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The data set shows 2010 emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases from more than 6,700 of the largest sources in the U.S., including large industrial facilities and suppliers of certain fossil fuels and industrial gases.

There is strong evidence that human-produced greenhouse gases—like carbon dioxide and methane—are changing the Earth’s climate.

So says the President of the National Academy of Sciences, Ralph Cicerone.

He spoke about the science of climate change at the Saint Louis Science Center this week.

And Cicerone told St. Louis Public Radio’s Véronique LaCapra that although the climate has changed in the past, this time is different.

An exhibition on climate change has opened at the Saint Louis Science Center.

The exhibition stays away from political controversies, focusing on the science of climate change and its human and environmental implications.

Through text, diagrams, interactive stations, and videos, the exhibition shows how human activities are producing greenhouse gasses and contributing to climate change.

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