Climate Change in the News is a Planet Change selection of the latest news on climate change, nature, our environment and the impacts of a changing planet. Here’s what we’ve found and are reading. Tell us what interesting news has hit your screens this week.
Greenland Melting Breaks Record Four Weeks Before Season’s End
Melting over the Greenland ice sheet shattered the seasonal record on August 8 — a full four weeks before the close of the melting season, reports Marco Tedesco, assistant professor of Earth and atmospheric sciences at The City College of New York. “With more yet to come in August, this year’s overall melting will fall way above the old records. That’s a goliath year — the greatest melt since satellite recording began in 1979,” said Professor Tedesco. (ScienceDaily)
In Midst of a Drought, Keeping Traffic Moving on the Mississippi
The Army Corps of Engineers has more than a dozen dredging vessels working the Mississippi this summer. Despite being fed by water flowing in from more than 40 percent of the United States, the river is feeling the ruinous drought affecting so much of the Midwest. Some stretches are nearing the record low-water levels experienced in 1988, when river traffic was suspended in several spots. (The New York Times)
Diversity Keeps Grasslands Resilient to Drought, Climate Change
A recent study found that grasses do not appear to be losing the turf war against climate when it comes to surviving with little precipitation. The Kansas State University-led study looked at the drought tolerance of 426 species of grass from around the world. The goal was to better understand how grasslands in different parts of the world may respond to the changes in frequency and severity of drought in the future. (Terra Daily)
The Cost of Cool
The blackouts that left hundreds of millions of Indians sweltering in the dark last month underscored the status of air-conditioning as one of the world’s most vexing environmental quandaries. (New York Times)
Hybrid Sharks Show How Nature Adapts to Climate Change
Off the coast of Australia, researchers have identified the first hybrid shark—a genetic mashup of the common black tip and Australian black tip. The result is a more robust breed of shark with a timely adaptation: an increased coastal range. The researchers speculate that the interbreeding may help ensure the survival of the shark species in the face of climate change or fishing pressures. (Good Environment)
Drought Side Effects May Include Toxic Crops In the Midwest
The worst U.S. drought in five decades has parched the land and decimated crops. It now threatens to deal a second blow to farmers, who may have to throw out tons of toxic feed. Agriculture groups are warning farmers that drought-hit plants may have failed to process nitrogen fertilizer due to stunted growth, making them poisonous to livestock. (Huffington Post)
Stephanie Hedean is a Strategic Marketing and Communications Consultant and a Volunteer at The Nature Conservancy.
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