environment

Environment
6:01 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Look Up! It's Turkey Vulture Time In South Florida

A turkey vulture soars into South Florida.
Credit Shawn Carey / Courtesy of Keith Bildstein

We may not get the brilliant reds and yellows of leaves changing to signal a switch of season in South Florida, but there is, without question, a definite visual cue that autumn has arrived in the lowest of the lower 48.

All you have to do is look up.

In the air, circling and gliding, dipping and soaring, hopping on a thermal current for a rollercoaster ride, are the turkey vultures.

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Environment
8:45 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Florida Clean Energy Report Shows State Falls Short Of Its Potential

The Florida Solar Energy Center is a research institute of the University of Central Florida, located on a 20 acre research complex on Florida's Space Coast at UCF's Cocoa satellite campus.
Credit http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/ / Florida Solar Energy Center

A coalition of energy partners has published a census of renewable energy jobs in Florida.

The coalition includes: the Florida Alliance for Renewable Energy, the Florida Chapter of Energy Services Coalition and Environmental Entrepreneurs or E2, an affiliate of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

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Environment
6:13 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Climate Change Worsens Coastal Flooding From High Tides

Cindy Minnix waits for a bus in a flooded street on Oct. 18, 2012, in Miami Beach. A changing climate is making floods related to high tides more frequent, scientists say.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 9, 2014 9:58 am

A wave of high tides is expected to hit much of the East Coast this week. These special tides — king tides — occur a few times a year when the moon's orbit brings it close to the Earth.

But scientists say that lately, even normal tides throughout the year are pushing water higher up onto land. And that's causing headaches for people who live along coastlines.

As Bob Dylan might have put it, the tides, they are a changin'.

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Climate Change
5:19 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

White House Environmental Expert Sees Hope Amid Sea-Level Rise

Sea-level rise is the Southeast's big climate-change threat.
Credit David Burdick/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

National, state and local leaders recently gathered in South Florida to discuss climate change at the Southeast Florida Climate Leadership Summit Program. Mike Boots, director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, was the keynote speaker.

Boots is also chair of a new task force on climate preparedness. While he was here, he toured parts of South Florida to see firsthand what could be ground zero for issues like sea-level rise.

Below is an edited version of our conversation.

What are the real threats of climate change to this region?

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News
11:13 am
Tue October 7, 2014

'Blood Moon' Eclipse To Be Visible Throughout U.S.

A "blood moon" captured on the night of Jan. 20, 2000.
Fred Espenak NASA

Originally published on Tue October 7, 2014 12:59 pm

If you missed the total eclipse of the moon in April, you might have another chance: On Wednesday morning, the second of four lunar eclipses this year and next will occur.

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Environment
5:13 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

Amid The Summit Climate-Speak, Plain Talk Stood Out

Credit Southeast Florida Regional Compact

Absorbing the material at the sixth annual Climate Leadership Summit was a lot like trying to drink from a fire hose. There was a lot of information, much of it technical, dense and very detailed.

The two-day event was a series of expert deep dives into hydrology and re-insurance and risk management.

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Key West Quail-Dove
6:06 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

A Rare But Iconic Florida Keys Bird Flies In For A Visit

The Key West Quail-Dove, painted by John James Audubon. He named the bird on his 1832 visit to the Keys.

If there is an iconic bird for the Florida Keys, the Key West quail-dove is it. The bird was named, and painted, by John James Audubon during his 1832 visit to the island chain.

"I have taken upon myself to name this species the Key West pigeon, and offer it as a tribute to the generous inhabitants of that island, who favoured me with their friendship," Audubon wrote in his journal.

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Environment
6:28 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

October King Tide Brings Trove Of Data For Sea-Level Threat In Miami Beach

TIDAL SCENE: The October King Tide of 2013 was a problem in Miami Beach. This was the scene at 10th Street and Alton Road.
Credit Arianna Prothero / WLRN

Another King Tide will wash over South Florida on Oct. 9.

That’s the alignment of the Earth, sun and moon in a way that gives us the highest tides of the year. And this one will bring an opportunity for local students who are really serious about climate change and sea-level rise to glimpse and document coastal Florida’s possible future.

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Threatened Species
1:05 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Sea Turtle Travels Cross Country By FedEx

Devin Merriman, Richie Moretti and Bette Zirkelbach get Sapphire, an injured loggerhead sea turtle, ready for its journey across the country via FedEx to its new home near San Diego.
Credit Andy Newman / Florida Keys News Service

  How long does it take a sea turtle to travel from the Florida Keys to southern California?

Only a few hours when it travels by FedEx. That's what Sapphire, a loggerhead sea turtle, is doing today on a journey from the Turtle Hospital in Marathon to The Living Coast Discovery Center near San Diego.

The turtle has been at the Middle Keys rehab center for 16 months and cannot be released back to the wild.

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Environment
4:27 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Feds: Underwater 'Christmas Trees' Key To Saving Rare Coral

Hang a shining star upon the highest . . . PVC pipe? An undersea NOAA nursery where pieces of growing coral dangle like Christmas ornaments from plastic piping.
Credit NOAA

"Maybe it just needs a little love," said Peanuts character Charlie Brown in describing his tiny Christmas tree with branches so fragile a single ornament weighs them to the ground.

Perhaps the same could be said of distressed coral.

Federal scientists believe that a spindly structure resembling an underwater Charlie Brown tree could play a huge role in saving rare coral damaged by the PortMiami deep-dredge project.

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Environment
3:10 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

The People's Climate March Takes Miami

A moment of peace under the Freedom Tower before the march begins.
Lisann Ramos

The People’s Climate March Sunday included more than 2,000 events in over 150 countries.  

In Miami, a group of about 100 people spent Sunday afternoon handing out T-shirts, putting on costumes and coloring posters at the Freedom Tower. Many of those posters focused on the effects of sea-level rise.

Jonathan Ullman works with the Sierra Club, one of the organizers of Miami’s march.

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Environment
11:33 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Scientists Worry Warmer Keys Waters Might Harm Corals

The water off the Florida Keys is two degrees hotter than 100 years ago according to a new USGS study.
Credit USGS

  Late-summer waters off the Florida Keys are two degrees hotter than a century ago, according to a new report from the U.S. Geological Survey.

The report compares two periods of summer-month water temperature: historic data from lighthouse keeper records from the late 1800s and three decades of recent temperature data.

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Environment
7:26 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Could Your Sunscreen Be Harming Ocean Life?

A new study out suggests some chemicals in sunscreen may harm marine organisms.
Credit Creative Commons / Photo: Flickr user David Trawin

  While sunscreen is essential in protecting South Florida beach goers' skin, a new study from the Spanish National Research Council shows the skin protectant might also be killing off life in the ocean.

The study focuses on an aspect of sunscreens rarely looked at for its environmental impact: the nano-particles that block ultraviolet rays from baking our skin, including titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Those chemicals can be found in sunscreens available at any corner drugstore.

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Climate Change
4:28 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Florida Should Get Rid Of Coal-Fired Power Plants Now, Climate Scientists Say

Florida scientists were given 30 minutes with Gov. Rick Scott to explain climate change.
Credit Gina Jordan/WLRN

Gov. Rick Scott sat down for half an hour this week with climate scientists who want him to take immediate action to deal with climate change.

A few of those same scientists took their message to the Internet Thursday.

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Environment
4:08 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Florida Inspectors Say Miami Port Dredging Hurts Sea Life

Divers inspect boulders dropped near the channel coral. They were intended to allow new coral to grow, but inspectors found many crushed existing coral.
Credit Florida Department of Environmental Protection

The $205 million dredge project to deepen PortMiami has spread a blanket of silt and clay over the bay bottom that is smothering coral and damaging sea life, state environmental inspectors have found.

In a letter Monday, the state Department of Environmental Protection warned the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is managing the project, that work is violating state permits, churning up too much sediment and having a “profound effect” on the sea floor. The agency gave the Corps two weeks to respond.

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