Here’s today’s roundup of science, nature and environment news from the Bay Area and beyond.

Microsoft unveils Surface tabletMicrosoft Corp. joined the tablet wars Monday, unveiling its own Windows-powered tablet computer called Surface. The move makes clear that the Redmond, Wash., tech giant is altering its longtime strategy of focusing on…

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Rio Environment Meeting Focuses On ‘Energy For All’U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wants to kick-start a big initiative to double the share of renewable energy worldwide, make sure everyone on the planet has power, and cut in half the amount of wasted energy. But critics say the agenda in Rio is so bloated that it’s unclear what can be accomplished.

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Whale-watching peak: Orcas and blue whales spotted in Monterey Bay – San Jose Mercury NewsSANTA CRUZ — Monterey Bay whale-watching tours usually provide onlookers with unforgettable sights of majestic, playful humpback whales.

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Otter Project seeks volunteers: ‘MPA Project’ aims to document human activity – San Jose Mercury NewsSANTA CRUZ — If you love the beach, but hate getting wet and get bored sunbathing, The Otter Project wants you.

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U.S. increases critical habitat for snowy ploverThe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Monday designated 38 square miles along the West Coast as critical habitat for a federally listed beach- and mud-loving bird called the Pacific Coast Western Snowy Plover. The…

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Loneliness lethal for seniors, UCSF study saysFeeling lonely always hurts, but when it comes to the elderly, it may actually contribute to failing health or an early death, UCSF researchers say.

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Rethinking HydropowerRethinking Hydropower The bureaucratic, expensive and often contentious world of hydropower relicensing Just so we all start on the same page: there are a lot of dams in California. People have been building dams here since the Gold Rush, and though the dam building boom of the first half of the 20th century is long-over, the dams are still here.

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China: Spacecraft Docks With Orbiting ModuleA Chinese spacecraft carrying three astronauts docked with an orbiting module on Monday, another first for the country as it strives to match American and Russian exploits in space. The Shenzhou 9 capsule completed the maneuver with the Tiangong 1 module 213 miles above Earth.

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Author

Jenny Oh

Jenny is a long-time contributor to Bay Area Bites, KQED's popular food blog. She formerly worked as an Interactive Producer for the Science & Environment unit. Jenny graduated with honors from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Film and Television program and has worked for WNET/PBS, The Learning Channel, Sundance Channel, HBO and the University of California.

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