This Week in Water™ airs on community and public radio stations nationwide and is available in podcast networks. Want environmental news delivered to your inbox? Sign up for our newsletter.
Last week, on the Big Island of Hawai’i, Mauna Loa, the world’s largest active volcano, erupted for the first time in 38 years. The dramatic event offered spectacular visuals and gave scientists a unique opportunity to study Earth’s geophysical forces.
Last week, the National Park Service announced that the name of a popular landmark and campground on the Bright Angel Trail at Grand Canyon National Park will be changed from “Indian Garden” to “Havasupai Gardens.” The Havasupai Tribe had asked for the name change. According to Smithsonian Magazine, about 100 years ago they were forcibly removed from the park and relocated to the west.
In an effort to reduce carbon emissions, France has won approval from the European Commission to ban short-haul travel by air when there’s a rail alternative available that takes two-and-a-half hours or less. For now, the ban will only affect three routes in France, although at first they wanted to stop eight flights. An earlier proposal would have banned a flight if a train would get a person there within four hours.
There’s a staggering amount of plastic collecting in rotating ocean currents, the most infamous of which is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch located between Hawai’i and California. It’s 1.6 million kilometers square—double the size of Texas—and holds an estimated 180,000 tons of plastic waste—but it could also contain medicine.