Science & Environment

Science news

By United States National Institute of Health: Heart, Llung and Blood Institute [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A new study this week finds that a regional carbon cap and trade system has saved hundreds of lives and billions of dollars for New Englanders. Officials from the nine participating states are currently working out the future of the program.

Julio Mulero /

With last Monday’s Truro count, the 117th Christmas Bird Count season for the Cape and Islands came to a close. Weather wise, the season came in like a lion and went out like a slightly less vicious lion. The windy, rainy weather for the earliest counts gave way to drier, sometimes calmer conditions for the Vineyard, Nantucket, and Truro counts.

You may think of January as the time of year for animals to be hibernating, or wintering in warmer locales. But around Cape Cod, January is when right whales typically begin to appear again, returning from other points.

By Professor Ken Miller - Professor Ken Miller, Public Domain,

On certain issues – not all, but some – the science is clear: evolution gave rise to the diversity of life on Earth; climate change is happening, and humans are largely responsible; and vaccines do not cause autism. And yet, significant portions of the American public reject these scientific realities. 

“No one looks at scientific findings, scientific results from a completely objective point of view,” said Kenneth Miller, professor of biology at Brown University and author of Finding Darwin’s God, and Only a Theory – Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul.

Top Science Stories of 2016

Jan 2, 2017
Wiki Commons

Gravitational waves, the Zika virus, and finding water in unexpected places in the solar system were some of the biggest science stories of 2016. In the U.S., it was also a year that highlighted the strained relationship between science and politics.

Climate change and other science policy questions were almost absent from the presidential campaign. The election of Donald Trump came as a surprise to most political pundits and sent scientists scrambling to find out more about the incoming Trump administration’s take on key science issues.

Hana Kučová /

As the new year begins, you may be planning to make some changes. And, as a nation, we seem to be in a state of flux – socially and politically. Following through on resolutions and staying sane in a rapidly changing world takes more than will-power and positive thinking.

Here are three tips based on the latest science of psychology and neurobiology:

Mark Faherty

Keep an eye out for the butcher birds. There have been several sightings this winter of one of my favorite birds of all time, the Northern Shrike, including two spotted at Nauset Beach in Orleans within the last week.

Mark Faherty

Like the postal carrier in the famous creed, “neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays” the Christmas Bird Counter from the completion of their appointed rounds. And so, into the gale force winds and driving rain went the birders of the Buzzard’s Bay and Cape Cod Christmas Bird Counts this past weekend. 

CCS image taken under NOAA permit #18786

Last Sunday a young humpback whale was reported caught in fishing gear in the waters outside Boston Harbor. Members of the Marine Animal Entanglement Response Team, from the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown, traveled to the scene. Scott Landry, Director of the team, speaks with WCAI's Steve Junker about disentangling the whale.

Mark Faherty / by permission

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – Christmas Bird Count season! Birders are digging out their warmest winter garb, polishing their optics, and marking their calendars to prepare for the all-out birding blitz that is the Christmas Bird Count season. It runs from December 14 to January 5, and I can guarantee there’s a count near you.