A production plant on the short of Mellitah, Libya, opened in 2004. Owned by Eni, the Italian oil and gas company, the facility is part of a pipeline that connects Libya to Sicily. Political unrest in the African nation is having effects in the worldwide oil market. Eni Press Office/AP hide caption

toggle caption Eni Press Office/AP

Teeth from a cremated child were excavated from a site believed to be 11,500 years old. The color differences show uneven burning. The scale is in millimeters. Science/AAAS hide caption

toggle caption Science/AAAS

Researchers aboard the Atlantis, a research vessel operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, examine core samples brought up from the sea floor of the Gulf of Mexico by the deep-sea submersible Alvin on Nov. 24, 2010. The scientific community is conflicted about the lack of direction, coordination and funding in studying the aftermath of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Richard Harris/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Richard Harris/NPR

A mature Atlantic tomcod collected from the Hudson River. These tomcod evolved to handle excessive amounts of industrial pollutants, like PCBs and dioxin, in the water. Science/AAAS hide caption

toggle caption Science/AAAS

This foot bone, the fourth metatarsal, connects the heel to the fourth toe. The 3 million-year-old fossil suggests that Australopithecus — Lucy and her kind — could have been the first upright walkers. Carol Ward and Elizabeth Harman/Science/AAAS hide caption

toggle caption Carol Ward and Elizabeth Harman/Science/AAAS

Major droughts in 2005 and 2010 cut into the Amazon's ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Drought reduces carbon-absorbing tree growth, and opens the door to more forest fires, which release carbon into the air. Seen here, a Peruvian section of Amazonia. John W. Poole/NPR hide caption

toggle caption John W. Poole/NPR

During the 1980s, wildlife managers said striped bass like this one were overfished. Now, it appears that a weather pattern known as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation may have been a contributing factor to the declines. Jay Fleming/Jay Fleming Photography hide caption

toggle caption Jay Fleming/Jay Fleming Photography

The decorated nest of an 11-year-old black kite. At this age, kites typically decorate their nest exuberantly. F. Sergio/AAAS/Science hide caption

toggle caption F. Sergio/AAAS/Science

Haitians watch the L.A. County Search and Rescue working at a collapsed building in downtown Port-au-Prince, Jan. 16, 2010. Weak walls allow for a "pancake collapse" like this one, one engineer says. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

toggle caption David Gilkey/NPR

Researchers say metal flipper bands like the one on this penguin lowered survival rates and harmed the number of chicks the banded birds produced. Benoit Gineste/Nature hide caption

toggle caption Benoit Gineste/Nature

A Lens On History: Advances in DNA technology have given scientists a new tool with which to study ancient human origins. "I think ancient DNA becomes very powerful" now, says one researcher, "because it gives you a direct look into the past." Here, a photographer shoots a reconstruction of a Neanderthal man at a museum in Germany. Sebastian Willnow/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Sebastian Willnow/AFP/Getty Images

An electric vehicle charging station in San Francisco. With sales of electric and plug-in hybrid cars expected to increase in coming years, a regional agency has set aside $5 million to increase the number of electric car charging stations to 5,000 around the Bay Area, up from 120 currently. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Sierra Club activists wearing flags, representing more than 20 countries, take part in a protest by hiding their heads in the sand in Cancun last week. The group said countries participating in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Cancun are not doing enough to stop climate change. AP hide caption

toggle caption AP

Climate scientists and environmental advocates face an uphill battle as more Americans deny that global warming is real despite scientific evidence to the contrary. Here, a Greenpeace member checks the inside of a hot air balloon before it's launched in Cancun, Mexico. Luis Perez/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Luis Perez/AFP/Getty Images

This sculpture of a Homo neanderthalensis adult male represents Neanderthals that lived between 225,000 and 28,000 years ago. It is a reconstruction based on Shanidar 1, made for the Smithsonian Human Origins Initiative. John Gurche, sculptor, Chip Clark, photographer/Smithsonian Human Origins Initiative hide caption

toggle caption John Gurche, sculptor, Chip Clark, photographer/Smithsonian Human Origins Initiative

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor