The biggest loser from this year's heavy rains in the Midwest is the land itself. An environmental group says 50 townships in Iowa have lost more than five tons of topsoil per acre, "more than what is tolerable over an entire year."
Russia is preparing for the 2014 Winter Games — turning a sleepy valley in the Northern Caucasus Mountains into an Olympic village, with brand-new facilities for every Alpine sport. Officials say it will be a world-class destination for winter-sports enthusiasts long after the Games are over. Environmentalists say it's an ecological disaster in the making.
Diplomats from 24 nations and the European Union are meeting in Germany next week to discuss creating a nature preserve that could be larger than three times the size of Texas. Stretches of water around Antarctica are relatively pristine and home to thriving ecosystems.
Pumping industrial wastewater into storage wells deep underground can prime nearby faults for an earthquake. And studies show that a large quake — even one on the other side of the planet — can also push faults over the edge and set off a swarm of mini-earthquakes.
In Montana's Centennial Valley, conservationists made a grievous mistake while trying to save the trumpeter swan — they nearly wiped out Arctic grayling trout. Now they're looking for ways to make sure both species get a place on the ark.
The chicken-size sage grouse is as much a part of America's Western range as antelopes and cowboys. The birds nest beneath sagebrush, and as it disappears, so do the grouse. Biologists hope to protect the bird without starting a 21st century range war.
Scientists in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are still trying to understand what exactly caused a tsunami to strike the East Coast in June. There was no seismic record of the incident. But a team of scientists came together to analyze tidal and weather data. They believe the tsunami may have been caused by a weather phenomenon known as a "derecho."
Across the corn belt, farmers are pulling out all the stops in their war the corn rootworm. They're returning to chemical pesticides, because the weapons of biotechnology — inserted genes that are supposed to kill the rootworm — aren't working so well anymore.
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