Environment

Environment
9:58 am
Thu May 19, 2011

Divers Seek Artifacts from Blackbeard's Ship Off NC Coast

The pirate Blackbeard's flagship is the focus of a spring dive that begins May 23rd. The Queen Anne's Revenge went down off the North Carolina coast in June, 1718. Recovery efforts have been underway for years at the site of the wreck near Beaufort. Mark Wilde-Ramsing is the state underwater archeologist and is heading up the project. He says there are several goals for the two-week dive.

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Environment
3:10 pm
Wed May 18, 2011

National Solar Conference in Raleigh

Solar energy industry leaders are gathered in Raleigh for a 5 day national conference. It's the 40th year for the National Solar Conference held by the American Solar Energy Society. This year it's being held at the Raleigh Convention Center. The public is invited to the final day of the conference this Saturday.

Environment
5:45 am
Mon May 16, 2011

Source of Salinity in OBX Wells

A new study from Duke University explains the source of salinity in well water on the Outer Banks. Professor Avner Vengosh directed the study. He says salinity levels are rising in wells on the Outer Banks. 

Avner Vengosh: "But our study shows the salinity is not derived from sea water intrusion as some had feared before, but its rather from flow of natural occurring ground water originated from fossil sea water."

Environment
6:55 pm
Mon May 9, 2011

Progress Made on Wildfire in Eastern NC

Firefighters continue to fight a large blaze burning in northeastern North Carolina. Officials reported progress Monday in protecting homes and business from the fire. It started last Thursday in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. Spokesman Bill Sweet says favorable weather conditions allowed firefighters to burn land in the path of the fire to keep it from spreading further.

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Environment
5:10 pm
Mon May 9, 2011

High Methane Levels in Water Near Hydrofracking Sites

There's new evidence that the method of extracting natural gas called "hydraulic fracturing" could be contaminating drinking water. A team of Duke researchers have found elevated levels of methane in well water near hydraulic fracturing sites. That could be an important finding as state legislators consider whether to begin allowing the practice here in North Carolina. Natural gas deposits have been discovered deep under some of the state's most populated counties like Wake, Durham, and Orange.

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Environment
9:10 am
Sat May 7, 2011

Schools Adopt Air Quality Flag System

More schools around the state are flying color-coded flags to let students and staff know about poor air quality conditions. The flags correspond with the Air Quality Index. Health officials say people with breathing sensitivities should be careful on code orange, red, or purple days. Allison Davis with the E-P-A says the Triangle usually gets several code orange days each summer.

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Environment
5:40 am
Thu April 28, 2011

Less Ice = More Krill = More Whales

Ari Friedlaender with Humpback whale in Wilhelmina Bay, Antarctica
Credit Alison Stimpert, University of Hawaii

  Duke scientists are finding record numbers of humpback whales feeding on krill on the Western Antarctic Peninsula. A new report shows scientists observed more than 300 whales in a bay in May 2009. Scientists say a sheet of ice should have prevented whales from feeding on krill by that time of year. But Duke’s Ari Friedlaender says climate change is shortening the winter season and ice is forming slowly. So the krill are exposed for feeding.

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Environment
5:48 pm
Mon April 25, 2011

Dam Breach a Reminder of Potential Hazards

A dam breach in Moore County didn't put the public in danger. But it did serve as a reminder of the many dams in North Carolina that could be more dangerous if they failed. Mell Nevils, Chief of the Land Quality Section of the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, which includes the North Carolina Dam Safety Program, says the dam in Moore County was classified as an "intermediate hazard" meaning there was a likelihood of property damage in the event of a failure.

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Environment
8:50 am
Mon April 25, 2011

Duke Finds Gold Rush Deforestation in Amazon

The Amazon Rain Forest is being threatened by a gold rush. A new study from Duke University shows that surface mining is eating up large chunks of the forest in Peru. Jennifer Swenson is an assistant professor who worked on the project. She says satellite photos help assess how much land is being affected.

Jennifer Swenson: "I looked at two main mining sites that are new and over two years 1800 hectares of primary forest was removed. Think of that in terms of football fields, its actually 4 and a half football fields a day."

Environment
6:30 am
Mon April 25, 2011

Durham Seeks to Reduce City Fleet's Emissions

There's a new effort underway to reduce pollution in Durham. A number of the city's diesel vehicles have been fitted with emissions reduction equipment similar to that used to cut nitrogen oxide levels from power plants. Stephen Piccot is the Director of The Southern Research Institute and is in charge of the pilot project.

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