Bird's-Eye View

Every day, people across the world will make decisions or innovations that affect the way Hoosiers live. We’ll track the changes so you’re ready for them.

Two-thirds of America’s bird population at risk from climate change

Two-thirds of America’s bird population is at risk of extinction from climate change, according to a new report from the Audubon Society.

New York man, “God” sue EPA to tighten restrictions on pesticide use

A New York man filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, claiming that God commanded him to do so.

Four Indiana locations receive funding for water infrastructure projects

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced it is investing $201 million in rural water infrastructure projects, including four in Indiana.

NASCAR to introduce hybrid-powered cars

As early as 2022, NASCAR could introduce hybrid race cars powered by both gas and electricity.

Indiana Environmental Reporter to host high school journalism contest

IER will host a high school journalism contest, inviting students from around the state to submit news features about environmental issues impacting their communities.

DNR warns hunters of prominent deer diseases

Indiana hunters need to beware of possible deer diseases during this fall’s hunting season, according to a statement by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Indiana company recognized as environmental leader by EPA

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has recognized Indianapolis-based Delta Faucet Co. as a 2019 Sustainable Excellence Award Winner for water conservation.

EPA to host open house about USS Lead Superfund site in East Chicago, Ind.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has announced two open house discussion sessions about the work completed in 2019 on the USS Lead Superfund site in East Chicago, Indiana.

DNR announces changes to Lake Michigan fish stocking

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has announced upcoming changes to fish stocking in Lake Michigan.

Race a determining factor in access to clean water

A recent report of EPA data has confirmed the suspicion that water contamination disproportionately affects majority-black communities.

Purdue University researchers find link between herbicides and breast cancer

Indiana researchers have discovered a link between herbicide ingredient glyphosate and breast cancer.

Mosquito-killing pesticide may also harm bee population

A chemical sprayed last week in three Indiana counties to stop the spread of a virus deadly to humans may have killed a number of bee hives in the process.

Study shows that fetuses are affected by air pollution

A new study has shown that air pollution particles can penetrate the placenta and expose unborn babies to toxic chemicals.

IDEM awarding grant money for community recycling

Community Recycling Grants will be awarded to projects that promote sustainability, education and waste reduction.

EPA announces grants to replace old diesel buses

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced approximately $10 million in grant money to help public schools replace older school buses, which can emit more air pollution.

Report reveals which world leaders emit the most CO2 during travel

Data analyzed by travel site fromAtoB found that President Donald Trump created the second-largest carbon travel footprint of G20 leaders in 2018.

Plastic teabags found to contaminate tea with microplastics

A new study published in Environmental Science & Technology has found that plastic teabags contaminate tea with microplastic particles.

Indiana University awarded nearly $6 million for air pollution research

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded nearly $6 million to Indiana University to continue research on toxic air pollutants in the Great Lakes region.

Video game companies pledge to go greener

At the United Nations Climate Action Summit on Monday, 21 gaming companies pledged to do their part in ending climate change through the Playing for the Planet industry-wide initiative.

Indiana DNR invites Hoosiers to volunteer in support of public lands

On Sept. 28, Indiana will participate in the largest nation-wide single-day volunteer effort for public lands, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources announced on Tuesday.

IDEM urges consumers to recycle old smartphones

Earlier this week, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management took to its Twitter page to encourage Hoosiers to recycle their old smartphones through the Indiana E-Cycle program.

Six Indiana institutions awarded Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence

The Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence were given to honor Indiana initiatives that went above and beyond to protect the environment in 2018.

New nature preserve approved in Indiana

An 84-acre tract in northeastern Indiana known for its biodiversity has been approved by the state of Indiana as a state nature preserve.

Greta Thunberg and 15 other teens sue carbon polluting countries

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg and 15 other teenagers have filed a lawsuit against five major carbon polluting countries.

Invasive bug species threatens agriculture in Pennsylvania

The invasive spotted lanternfly, thought to have come to the U.S. in a shipment of stones from Asia around 2014, has descended upon Pennsylvania in the hundreds of thousands.

EPA awards nearly $900,000 to Purdue University for PFAS research

Purdue University will receive just under $1 million in grant money from the Environmental Protection Agency for research on reducing a group of synthetic chemicals in drinking water.

Interactive database shows locations of wind turbines in the U.S.

Indiana is home to some of the tallest wind turbines in the country, according to a database of the country’s turbines.

This week is Pollution Prevention Week in Indiana

Governor Eric Holcomb has declared this week ‘Pollution Prevention Week’ in Indiana.

Portion of Trump’s border wall to disturb federally protected areas

Three federally-protected national conservation areas in the southwestern U.S. face negative environmental consequences from the Trump administration’s border wall expansion.

Indiana health officials warn against EEE virus from mosquito bites

Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus has been detected in three horses and one group of mosquitos in Elkhart County, state health officials report.

University of Cambridge replaces beef, lamb with plant-based substitutes

The University of Cambridge has removed beef and lamb from its menus and replaced them with plant-based products.

Toxic PFAS chemicals found in schools

Toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl, or PFAS, chemicals have been found in the drinking water of several schools in Stow, Massachusetts, about 21 miles west of Boston.

FEMA officials arrested on fraud charges after stealing Hurricane Maria relief funds

Three individuals have been arrested on charges of disaster fraud, accused of stealing more than $1.8 billion in disaster relief funds that were intended to help rebuild Puerto Rico’s power grid.

Survey from WFYI explores Indiana’s forestry management

A survey from WFYI, published August 31, found that Indiana approaches forestry in a similar manner to other industry professionals in North America.

Oil spill caused by Hurricane Dorian brings further devastation to the Bahamas

The Equinor South Riding Point oil facility on Grand Bahama admitted to releasing an unknown amount of oil into the surrounding area during Hurricane Dorian.

310 miles of coral reef have been discovered in the Gulf of Mexico

A team of scientists from the National Institute of Technology at Mexico’s University of Veracruz have discovered 310 miles of coral reefs in the Gulf of Mexico.

Plastics in sediment may mark new geological era

As plastic use has increased, more plastic microfibers have made their way into ocean sediment.

Indiana state tree nursery will pay residents to collect seeds

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has offered to pay individuals for seed collection if the seeds meet the DNR’s standards.

IDEM to fund pollution prevention projects

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is accepting applications for Pollution Prevention Program grant funds

September is Archaeology Month in Indiana

By delving into this history, modern-day Hoosiers can also explore important environmental questions regarding these sites.

Hurricane Dorian may spread toxic coal ash across Florida

As Hurricane Dorian hits the eastern coast of Florida this week, toxic coal ash may be spread to local water systems.

Bees found to consume microbial meat, making them omnivores

A study has found that bee larvae don't consume a strictly vegan diet.

Famous Rapture Reef disappeared after 2018 hurricane

Scientists have discovered that Rapture Reef, a renowned coral reef northwest of the Hawaiian Islands, is gone.

Air pollution accelerates lung disease as much as smoking

Researchers have discovered that air pollution can accelerate emphysema of the lung as rapidly as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.

Agriculture contributes to climate change. Is plant-based farming the answer?

A new U.N. study has found that, in order to curb the damage done by climate change, humans must change the way they grow food and raise livestock.

Two million gallons of sewage spilled into the river in Flint, Michigan

On Aug. 18, a collapse in wastewater infrastructure spilled an estimated 2 million gallons of untreated sewage into the Flint River.

Mako shark, commonly used for shark meat, now labeled as endangered

Conservation experts voted the shark onto the endangered species list last week.

Amazon fires produce massive amounts of carbon monoxide, NASA says

Using satellite imagery, NASA has created a time-lapse video depicting the clouds of carbon monoxide produced by the Amazon rainforest fires this month.

NASA helps stop wildfires using satellite technology

Using satellite imagery, NASA helps firefighters tackle wildfires by directing them to the most critical sites first.

Ancient plant able to reproduce in UK due to climate change

For the first time in 60 million years, an exotic plant called the cycad is able to reproduce outdoors in Britain.

Air pollution may cause degenerative eye disease

Age-related macular degeneration, which results in a gradual and permanent loss of vision, may be influenced by air pollution, a new study finds.

Wisconsin pledges to go carbon-free by 2050

Wisconsin has become the first midwestern state to release a carbon-free plan.

Icelandic glacier disappears due to climate change

The Icelandic glacier known as Okjökull has been lost to climate change.

Disposable takeaway bowls found to pollute environment with PFAS chemicals

The disposable plant-based bowls used by many fast-casual restaurants have been found to contain toxic PFAS chemicals.

Indiana beach fronts face erosion

Indiana’s beaches along Lake Michigan have faced dramatic erosion in the last decade thanks to rising water levels.

IDEM advisory warns against adverse health effects from algae in Indiana lakes

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management has released a recreational advisory after high levels of toxic blue-green algae were discovered in Indiana lakes.

Fatal disease threatens Indiana deer population

A virus known as epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD, may result in significant local losses to deer populations.

Pacific Islands call for end of fossil fuels following ‘climate crisis’ declaration

The Pacific Islands have joined Canada, the United Kingdom and United States cities such as New York City in declaring a climate crisis.

European movement discourages air travel due to emissions concerns

A European movement known as “flight shaming” is encouraging travelers to take the train rather than to travel by air, citing concerns about the emissions put off by aviation.

California becomes first state to require notification of PFAS chemicals

On July 31, California became the first state to require that water suppliers notify consumers of the presence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals in the local water supply.

Ethiopia planted over 350 million trees in a day

On July 29, Ethiopia broke a world record for the most saplings planted in a single day.

Climate change starved more than 200 reindeer in Norway

More than 200 reindeer starved to death on the Norwegian island of Svalbard, where climate change has disrupted the animals’ access to edible plants.

Activist Greta Thunberg will sail to UN climate summit on a zero-emissions yacht

Sixteen-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg will sail across the Atlantic on a zero-emissions yacht to speak at the UN Climate Action Summit.

Natural disasters releasing toxic contaminants

Recent extreme weather and fires are dislodging chemicals and toxins from soil, homes, industrial waste sites and other sources, putting people at a greater health risk.

Melding fast fashion with sustainability

Inditex, the parent company of fashion brand Zara, announced plans to transition to a more sustainable model after making its name as a frontrunner in the fast fashion industry.

Meet Candida auris, the drug-resistant fungus made dangerous by climate change

Researchers warn that the fungus Candida auris may begin to pose a serious global public health threat as climate change makes it adjust to warmer temperatures.

Ocean snail added to endangered species list amid deep-sea mining

The scaly-foot snail has been added to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of endangered species because of threats from deep-sea mining.

Climate change shrinking body sizes of animals

Evidence collected by researchers at the University of Cape Town over a 23-year period show that animals’ body sizes are shrinking in response to climate change.

Arctic wildfires threaten sea ice

Amid an unusually warm and dry stretch in the Arctic this summer, wildfires have raged across Alaska, Greenland and Siberia, posing a threat to sea ice.

Joshua trees face extinction

New research from the University of California Riverside shows that Joshua trees are threatened with extinction without dramatic action to reduce climate change.

Food insecurity worsened by climate extremes

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reported that climate change, conflict and economic instability are increasing food insecurity around the world.

California wildfires largely result from climate change

Researchers from the Earth Institute at Columbia University have concluded that many California wildfires are a result of a warming climate.

Climate change makes New Orleans vulnerable to flooding from tropical storms

New Orleans is exceptionally prone to flooding, partly as a result of climate change.

Rising sea levels threatening historic US sites

As climate change causes rising sea levels, preservation experts are faced with new challenges for saving historic buildings and other sites.

Genetic breakthrough in corn may improve crop yields worldwide

Clemson University scientists have found a way to keep corn producing food for longer, which could dramatically improve crop yields worldwide.

Online video streaming produces 300 million tons of CO2 per year

Scientists say the growth of online streaming will ultimately be unsustainable.

Elephant extinction could decrease carbon-absorbing trees, accelerating climate change

Elephant extinction could allow 7% more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

China’s greenhouse gas emissions up 50% since 2005

China’s environment ministry said its emissions reached 12.3 billion tons in 2014, up 53.5% since 2005.

Deforestation in the Congo Basin releasing carbon held for thousands of years

Carbon escaping from deforested sites is about 1,500 years old.

Climate emergency declared in New York City

New York City became the most recent, and largest, city to declare a climate emergency in late June.

Alaskan heatwave brought record high temperatures

This 4th of July, Alaskans experienced record high temperatures, with Anchorage reaching 90 degrees Fahrenheit for the first time in the city’s history.

World’s largest seaweed belt stretches from Africa to Mexico, endangers Caribbean species

A belt of seaweed originating along the west coast of Africa that has been recurring for the past several summers recently extended 5,500 miles into the Gulf of Mexico.

USDA announces plan to control wild hogs across the U.S.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced last month that it’s offering $75 million in funding for the eradication and control of feral swine.

The U.S. produces 12% of world’s waste, recycles 35%

Americans contribute a disproportionately high amount of the world’s waste and recycle far less than the rest of the world.

Unusual summer hail storm covers Guadalajara, Mexico, in ice

Guadalajara residents woke up at the end of June to more than 3 feet of ice after a hailstorm broke the stretch of hot summer days.

Attenborough applauds Glastonbury plastic ban

Glastonbury festival in England banned single-use plastic bottles in an effort to decrease the event’s impact on the planet.

Airplane contrail effects expected to triple by 2050

Researchers have known for some time the cloud trails left by aircrafts have an atmospheric greenhouse effect, but the impact of these trails is expected to triple by 2050.

Poor air quality in walkable neighborhoods offsets health benefits

Pollution from traffic poses health risks.

Forest thinning may help trees be more climate resilient

Researchers have determined that thinning forests is an effective technique for recovery and maintenance of forests dealing with climate change.

Plant milkweed, avoid pesticides to help monarch butterflies

Preserving the butterfly's natural environments is the best way to help.

Microbes that support all life are being affected by climate change

More than 30 microbiologists signed a statement last week warning about risks to microbes.

A changing climate could limit food choices, warns environmental journalist

Amanda Little, an environmental journalist and professor at Vanderbilt University, warns that food diversity could be limited due to environmental issues.

The rains aren’t over yet for the Eastern U.S.

It's been a particularly rainy June for the Eastern U.S.

Just 2 hours of nature time per week can improve health, study finds

Spending time in nature can reap both physical and psychological health benefits.

Despite existing legislation, American air quality still suffers

Despite regulations put into place to improve air quality, millions of Americans still breathe unhealthy air.

U.S. military emits as much carbon dioxide as the entire country of Portugal

A recent report claims that the U.S. military emitted 59 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2017.

Rooftop solar is growing; utilities are pushing back

As solar energy becomes more popular, utility companies are seeking reductions to net metering, meaning it will take far longer for rooftop solar to pay for itself.

Recycling EV batteries could decrease lithium and cobalt mining

Experts say companies should recycle electric vehicle batteries to avoid massive increases in harmful mining.

3 seed-bearing plant species have disappeared each year since 1900

An alarming study shows that nearly 600 species of seed-bearing plants have gone extinct since 1753.

Scientists suggest insects as the source for a sustainable meat source

Scientists may be able to use insect cells to grow muscle and fat in a lab, creating food that tastes and chews like steak, chicken, lobster or shrimp.

Ammonia fertilizer industry emits 145 times more methane than EPA estimate, study finds

The ammonia fertilizer industry produces far worse emissions than previously estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The American diet includes 70,000 particles of microplastics per year

Microplastics have been so far found in rivers, lakes and the air in Indiana.

First transparent solar technology invented at Michigan State

Researchers at Michigan State University have successfully created the first completely transparent solar panels.

Fewer Americans insure against flooding despite growing disaster risks

The number of flood insurance policies in the Midwest has dropped by at least one-third since 2011.

Wind energy industry increasingly moving offshore

The UK turned on the first part of what will be the world’s largest and furthest offshore wind farm this week, forging its way further into the forefront of the offshore wind industry.

Tourism Places Stress on Natural Wonders

Environmentally conscious travelers are at a crossroads, balancing their desire to see wonders like the Great Barrier Reef or Iceland’s glaciers with the environmental impact of traveling to these destinations.

For companies around the world, the financial impacts of climate change are on the horizon

According to a new analysis of corporate disclosures, companies around the world foresee climate change as a negative effect on their bottom lines.

Warming global temperatures threaten tree species diversity

Thanks to climate change, tree diversity may be decreasing.

Organization to Hold Solar Power Installation Workshop

Solarize Indiana seeks to teach citizens how to accelerate the spread of solar energy projects

Farmers pressured by trade tariffs, soaking rains

Farmers across the U.S. are faced with tough decisions this planting season, as President Donald Trump’s trade war with China continues and heavy rains make it difficult to plant crops.

Climate change, deforestation, hunting among causes of large animal die-off

New research suggests large birds and land mammals will face extinction over the next century due to climate change, deforestation, hunting and increased urbanization.

Unchecked greenhouse gas emissions threaten 60% of Colombian land suitable for rice

A new study published in Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change found that, left unchecked, greenhouse gas emissions will reduce Colombian land suitable for rice production by 60% by the 2050s.

Record-setting run of tornadoes in the US may be ending

A record-setting spell of severe storms has rocked the U.S. over the last two weeks.

Humans caused 2018 summer heat waves

Heat waves threatened people and crops across the globe throughout the summer of 2018, according to Nexus Media, researchers have concluded that humans are to blame.

Scientists to start a forest fire to better understand wildfires

A research team is planning to light a fire in a Utah forest at the end of June to clear out dead conifer trees and allow quaking aspen to regain a place in a national forest.

Norwegian salmon the most recent victim of algae blooms

Algae blooms have been known to suffocate marine wildlife and The New York Times reports that 8 million farmed salmon in northern Norway met this fate over the past week.

Bans and regulations lead to dramatic decrease in elephant poaching in Africa

African elephant poaching hit its peak in 2011 and the mammals faced a high risk of extinction at the hands of poachers.

Man-made changes to animal environments are making humans prey

Due to issues like climate change and the urbanization of their native habitats, some predators may begin to hunt humans for their meals.

Increased tick population leads to higher instances of tick-borne diseases

The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention has announced that tick-borne diseases are increasing at a record pace.

Increase in ozone-damaging emissions linked to China

Researchers have discovered that eastern China is responsible for more than 60% of the recent rise in CFC-11 emissions.

Impeded River Flow Damages Ecosystems, Reduces Resources

Researchers have found that half the world’s rivers are obstructed in some way, thanks to human infrastructure.

Hunting Overlooked in Climate Mitigation Efforts, Impacts Carbon Storage

Researchers have found hunting animals has a negative impact on a forest’s carbon storage, a factor that is often overlooked in climate change mitigation efforts.

Educating Kids on Climate Change May Influence Parents’ Climate Concerns

Educating children about climate change could influence the climate concerns of their parents.

With Climate Change, Animal-to-Human Disease Transfer May Worsen

Scientists have found that certain environments may make it easier for animals to infect humans with diseases like bird flu and Ebola.

Fungal Disease, Lethal to Ash Trees, Will Cost British Government £15 Billion

Ash dieback, an invasive fungal disease, is expected to kill 95% to 99% of the UK’s native ash trees if local governments do not intervene.

Fast Food Companies Begin Using Meat Substitutes

U.S. sales of plant-based meat substitutes increased 17% last year thanks in part to the fast food industry.

Synthetic Fibers in Clothing Contribute to Pollution

Clothing that contains synthetic materials such as polyester and nylon contributes to microplastic pollution, which can end up in the ocean and the seafood that humans eat.

Rising Sea Levels Force Relocation of Indonesian Capital

For the first time in Indonesian history, the city of Jakarta will no longer be the country’s capital due to environmental and infrastructural challenges.

Humans Have Been Influencing Drought for More Than a Century

Greenhouse gases and atmospheric particles produced by humans have influenced global drought since at least the early 20th century, according to a NASA study.

Thawing Arctic Soils Accelerating Global Warming

The permafrost layer in the Arctic is thawing and releasing greenhouse gases more quickly than predicted and is accelerating global warming.

Study: California Tap Water May Cause Cancer

A research team that analyzed California tap water during a five-year period concluded contaminants in the water could cause more than 200 cases of cancer each year.

Carbon Pollution to Deprive Tropical Forests of Iconic Clouds

Human-caused climate change could cause iconic clouds in tropical rain forests to disappear with the next 25 years.

Warmer Winters May Be Helping Rats Thrive

Complaints about rats in New York City almost doubled between 2010 and 2017, and one rat expert thinks the population explosion may be linked to climate change.

Biodegradable Bags Still Hold Groceries After Three Years

A study found that biodegradable bags in soil or marine environments were still able to hold a full load of groceries after being exposed to the natural environment for three years.

Record Year for Wildfires in the UK

The United Kingdom is experiencing record-breaking amounts of wildfires in a year just four months into 2019.

Emperor Penguins in Antarctica Struggling, Study Finds

After three years of breeding mishaps, Antarctica’s second-largest colony of emperor penguins is not recovering.

Cold Stress Threatens Honey Bees Used for Pollination Across the U.S.

Honey bee colonies are important pollinators, and in the U.S., millions of colonies are hauled across the country in semi-trailers to pollinate crops like California almonds. But some of these colonies don’t survive the trek due to cold temperatures.

Rising Sea Levels Will Make New Orleans Levees Inadequate in Four Years

Just 11 months after the completion of a $14 billion network of levees and flood walls in New Orleans, the Army Corps of Engineers says the system will stop providing adequate protection in as little as four years due to rising sea levels.

Microplastics Found Atop Pyrenees Mountains

Science hasn't yet proven that microplastics are everywhere, but they're sure showing up in some remote places. Scientists have found microplastics far away from urban sources, atop the Pyrenees in France.

The Great Barrier Reef is Struggling to Stay Alive

According to a new study published in Nature, there is a limit to the amount of damage the reef can withstand, and the coral is not doing well.

Air Pollution from Corn Causing Thousands of Deaths

According to a new study, corn production in the U.S. could be responsible for thousands of air pollution deaths annually.

Fungus Causing Amphibian Extinction

This fungus has massacred frogs and salamanders around the world for decades by eating their skins alive.

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