Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 12:09 pm
The appearance of a Brazilian fish has sent a chill through summertime swimmers in Sweden and Denmark. The alarming fish isn't the much-feared piranha but its cousin, the pacu, which has large teeth and a reputation for attacking men's testicles.
The weather is one of those topics that is fairly easy for people to agree on. Climate, however, is something else.
Most of the scientists who study the Earth say our climate is changing and humans are part of what's making that happen. But to a lot of nonscientists it's still murky. This week, two of the nation's most venerable scientific institutions tried to explain it better.
Imagine youâ€™re wrenched away from your mother at two years of age, transported thousands of miles away, put in the care of strangers then kept day and night in a small, cramped, dark space. Youâ€™re forced to do tricks for food.
But eventually you've grown to a weight of about 12,000 pounds, and finally see your chance to get even. So you take it.
Since the 1930s, Louisiana has lost roughly as much land as makes up the state of Delaware.
"If you put the state of Delaware between New Orleans and the ocean, we wouldn't need any levees at all," says John Barry, vice president of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East. "There is this large buffer of land that has disappeared, and that buffer makes New Orleans much more vulnerable to hurricanes."
As an undergrad at Louisiana State University, I learned quickly what it means to live in a swamp. I left our college newsroom after an all-nighter working a tropical storm and found my car parked behind Tiger Stadium â€” filled to the stickshift with murky brown water.
A team of scientists from Â around the country recently spent two days off the coast of South Florida to investigate the explosion of lionfish.
What they found was shocking. Why?
Because thereâ€™s a war going on and the indomitable lionfish are winning.
These voracious predators are known to invade theÂ shallows of coral reef.Â Theyâ€™re dangerousÂ because they ruin the habitat and eat juvenile spinyÂ lobsters, snappers, groupers, tarpon and bonefishÂ -Â all valuable marine species humans rely on.
Miami as the modern Atlantis has a strangely tragic and romantic appeal.
Officially founded in 1896 (though there were settlers for some 75 years before that), and if aÂ Rolling Stone article due to hit newsstands on July 4 is correct, Miami and the rest of coastal South Florida is looking at a very succinct timeline of existence.
With its pleasant climate, Florida has become home to more exotic and invasive species of plants and animals than any other state in the continental U.S. Some invasive species have been brought in deliberately, such as the Burmese python or the Cuban brown snail. But the majority of species are imported inadvertently as cargo.
Amanda Hodges, who heads the biosecurity research lab at the University of Florida, says that until recently, scientists saw about a dozen new bugs arrive in Florida each year.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.
Today on the show, 50 years on from Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech and music from the front lines of Brazil. But first, in a major policy address on Tuesday, President Barack Obama will outline his administration's plan to curb our historic levels of carbon emissions. A video released yesterday outlined some of what to expect.
In the piranha- infested waters of the Amazon, a baby Black Pacu, the vegetarian cousin of the flesh-eating fish survives capture.Â If it had nine lives, its next one was in a tropical aquarium in a Boca Raton seafood restaurant.
Weighing nearly one pound, the non-native Pacu was growing too big, too fast. Once again, the fish needed another home. The restaurant, The Ports of Call, was dismantling their aquariums so the Pacu was returned to its original owner.