There seem to be a lot of bugs in certain parts of the country this spring. Richmond, Virginia reports an unusual amount of cankerworms this spring; Iowa experienced surprisingly thick swarms of fungus gnats about two weeks ago; and then there's the increasing issue of stinkbugs in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic. Robert Siegel and Audie Cornish talk about what people are seeing, and what experts think is going on.
The interviews are part of an ongoing investigation of government scientists who described seeing dead polar bears in Arctic waters in 2006. Investigators were apparently interested in archived aerial surveys, suggesting their probe remains focused on the scientific integrity of the 2006 paper.
2011 brought exceptionally mild winters in most of the U.S., deadly tornadoes in the Midwest and extended drought in the West and Southwest. Kevin Trenberth, distinguished senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, discusses the correlation between climate change and extreme weather.
Some 20,000 years ago, the Earth wobbled on its axis. That happens periodically. But according to a new scenario, this particular time, that wobble sparked a chain reaction of events that melted glaciers and led to a gradual warming of the planet.
Tiny particles from power plants and fires help create new clouds, which shade the oceans from the sun. This means changes in sea-surface temperatures. And that has profound effects on weather, influencing the time and amount of rainfall in West Africa, and even the number, strength and path of hurricanes.
When you give to WAMU, your tax-deductible membership gift helps make possible award-winning programs such as Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The Diane Rehm Show, The Kojo Nnamdi Show, and other favorites.