Health, Science, Environment

Climate Change - Extreme Weather
4:15 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

Report: frequency of severe storms in Midwest doubled over past 50 years

Flooding of the Mississippi River near the St. Louis Gateway Arch in August, 1993.
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.

Read more
Missouri River - Flood Management
11:01 pm
Mon May 14, 2012

New report calls the Missouri River 'endangered' by poor flood management

A non-federal levee near Rulo, Neb., experienced an overtopping breach in June, 2011, flooding U.S. Route 159 and part of Holt County, Mo.
(Diana Fredlund/US Army Corps of Engineers)

A new report calls flood management on the Missouri River “outdated” and says it’s putting the public at risk.

The report by the environmental advocacy group American Rivers identifies the Missouri River as one of the ten most endangered in the country.

Read more
Pollinators - Bees
3:43 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

New Missouri initiative looks to create buzz about bees

The Saint Louis Zoo’s Ed Spevak found this blueberry bee at the Missouri Botanical Garden on March 25. It is the first blueberry bee recorded in Saint Louis since the 1930s.
Ed Spevak/Saint Louis Zoo

The Missouri Department of Agriculture is launching a new initiative to try to create some buzz about bees.

Agriculture Director Jon Hagler says “The Great Missouri Buzz Off” aims to educate Missourians about bees and beekeeping.

“Whether it be honeybees, or native bees, they’re so vital to our agriculture’s success, and to our horticulture’s success, and we have such amazing resources here in our state,” Hagler said.

Read more
Air pollution
6:24 am
Mon May 7, 2012

Hot days mean more air pollution – and potential health risks

Air pollution is visible in this view of the St. Louis skyline.
(Missouri Department of Natural Resources)

Warming temperatures may have you wanting to spend more time outdoors. But warm weather can mean more unhealthy air.

Susannah Fuchs of the American Lung Association says our region’s sunny, hot, nearly windless summer weather creates the perfect conditions for the formation of ozone – the main component of smog.

Read more
Ameren - Coal Ash
5:16 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

Groundwater testing results from near Ameren's Labadie power plant posted online

This diagram is an excerpt of “figure 1” from Ameren’s “Detailed Site Investigation,” showing the location of the company’s proposed coal ash landfill near Labadie, Missouri.
(via Ameren Missouri website)

Last week, we reported that Ameren was conducting limited groundwater testing near its coal-fired power plant in Labadie.

The results of that testing are now posted in a report on the company’s website. According to that report, levels of boron, arsenic, and other contaminants from three sampling wells were all below regulatory health limits.

Read more
Medications - Heart Failure
4:00 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

Study: aspirin may be as good as warfarin for most heart failure patients

For patients with heart failure, but normal heart rhythm, aspirin may be just as good as a heavy duty blood-thinner.

That’s the finding of a new study published online today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Washington University chief of cardiology Douglas Mann was on the study’s steering committee.

Read more
Metro East Levees
4:27 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Corps gives green light for Metro East levee upgrades

A levee along the Chain of Rocks canal in America's Central Port in Granite City, Ill.
(Véronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio)

The US Army Corps of Engineers has given the green light to start levee upgrades in the Metro East.

The Southwestern Illinois Flood Prevention District Council will start the first phase of levee construction next month.

The project supervisor for the council, Les Sterman, says the goal is to get the levees to a 100-year flood protection level by the end of 2014.

That would meet the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s accreditation standard.

Read more
Edward O. Wilson
6:25 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Edward O. Wilson: sitting down with a scientific pioneer

At 82 years old, Edward O. Wilson continues to work and publish in the fields of ecology and evolution.
(Véronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio)

Biologist Edward O. Wilson is an emeritus University Research Professor at Harvard. Through his lifelong research on the behavior of ants, he has transformed the disciplines of ecology and evolution, developing new theories and pioneering the field of sociobiology.

Wilson, who is 82, was in St. Louis this week to deliver the keynote address at a University of Missouri-St. Louis interdisciplinary conference.

He told St. Louis Public Radio's Véronique LaCapra that his long and successful career started with a childhood fascination with bugs.

Read more
Fracking
2:22 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Ill. legislation regulating 'fracking' advances

The interior of the dome at the Illinois State Capitol.
(via Flickr/jglazer75)

Illinois legislation is advancing that would regulate decades-old but debated technology used to reach previously inaccessible natural gas reserves deep underground.

The state Senate on Thursday unanimously sent to the House a bill addressing hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. That technology involves using mixtures of water, sand and chemicals to free below-ground energy reserves.

Senate Bill 3280 comes as energy companies are pushing to prospect possible drilling sites using fracking in southern Illinois.

Read more
Ameren/Environment
12:38 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

Environmentalists file legal objection to Callaway nuclear renewal

Updated 2:15 p.m. with link to full legal document.

A St. Louis-based environmental group is asking the federal government to more closely scrutinize Ameren Corp.'s request for a 20-year license renewal at Missouri's only nuclear power plant.

Read more

Pages