'Megadroughts' likely for western and central U.S. later this century

A warning buoy sits Feb. 4 on the dry, cracked bed of Lake Mendocino near Ukiah, California. As bad as the drought in California and the Southwest was last year and in the Midwest a couple years ago, scientists say far worse historic decades-long dry spells are coming.

There's more than an 80 percent chance that much of the central and western United States will have a 35-year-or-longer "megadrought" later this century, said study co-author Toby Ault of Cornell University.Climate change is believed to be the main culprit.

Invasive Asian carp may soon be on the menu at MU dining halls

Selected MU students taste-tested Asian carp dishes and shared their reactions on Tuesday at the Sabai Culinary Development Kitchen. Results are helping MU Campus Dining services decide whether to serve carp in campus dining halls.

Downtown leadership to explore recycling program

The improvement district has sent out a survey to downtown residents and businesses to gauge interest in public recycling bins.

Public weighs in on proposed Shepard-Rollins connector trail options

The city's Public Works Department revealed new information about the proposed Shepard Boulevard-Rollin Street connector trail options and gauged public opinion.

Office of Sustainability kicks off CoMo Energy Challenge

Sustainability employees spoke at an event Friday about how residents can help save energy in an effort to win the $5 million Georgetown University Energy Prize.

The science behind ice on the Missouri River

The Big Muddy was running white with ice this week, but warmer temperatures are expected to reduce the coverage by the weekend.

Number of deer killed up 6 percent as first phase of firearms deer season ends

Boone County firearms hunters killed a total of 1,724 deer, far fewer than the top counties in the state.

Waste, pollution cited in proposal to limit plastic bags in Columbia

The public educational push begins with a free screening Tuesday evening of the documentary "Bag It" at Ragtag Cinema followed by a question and answer session.

Foresters see shades of gray when predicting vibrancy of fall leaves

Officials have differing opinions on how brilliant mid-Missouri's leaves will appear this season, but they agree that the coloring of the fall foliage depends on the temperature in the coming weeks.

Wildlife refuge plans new headquarters, visitor services near Columbia

A visitor station, interactive outdoor panels and overlooks are planned for public recreation land along the Missouri River. The project is part of a 15-year conservation plan developed by the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge.

Obama to expand ocean preserve to 6 times its size

President Obama plans to expand the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument to cover 490,000 square miles, becoming the largest marine preserve in the world.

City preparing to step up its use of solar energy

By the end of this year, the city hopes to add solar panels at its pumping station on West Ash Street that would increase the city’s solar production of electricity by as much as 55 percent.

Study: Plastic debris widespread on ocean surface

Plastic pieces appear to be distributed widely throughout the world's oceans, but there's less of it than researchers expected, a Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences report said.


Family volunteers to help pull turtle traps

The Missouri Department of Conservation placed traps in pools at Eagle Bluffs on Tuesday; on Wednesday, volunteers of all ages gathered at Eagle Bluffs Headquarters to help pull the traps from the pools and help process the turtles' information into their database.

Obama to create world's largest ocean preserve

The White House's Council on Environmental Quality said the waters in the south-central Pacific Ocean contain "some of the most pristine tropical marine environments in the world."

Burning wood for energy ignites debate over carbon emissions

Some say biomass is environmentally friendly because trees can regrow and recapture the carbon released when other trees are burned. Others say it reduces the size of forests and increases the time it takes the remaining trees to recapture carbon.

Hog farm forum leaves mid-Missouri residents with questions

Roughly 100 mid-Missouri residents attended an open forum Tuesday night to discuss a proposed concentrated animal feeding operation. No representatives from the company that would run the operation attended the meeting. 

Scientists explore using trees to clean pollution

One of the nation's largest chemical companies and one of its oldest conservation groups have forged an unlikely partnership that seeks to recreate dense forest to curb pollution.

Missouri conservation panel approves rules to fight chronic wasting disease

The changes, which apply to wildlife breeding facilities and big-game hunting preserves, are still subject to a public comment period before they take effect.

Paddlefish pose management challenge for Missouri conservationists

Not only is sport fishing for paddlefish popular, but the fish is also prized for its caviar, which invites poaching. Hatcheries are important to keeping populations healthy.