Summer sea ice melt in the Arctic

Date: July 24, 2017, Source: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Summary: Earlier this year Arctic sea ice sank to a record low wintertime extent for the third straight year. Now NASA is flying a set of instruments north of Greenland to observe the impact of the melt season on the Arctic’s oldest and thickest sea ice. Earlier this year Arctic sea …

Global use of wastewater to irrigate agriculture at least 50 percent greater than thought

With 885 million consumers exposed to health risks, the study calls for urgent investments in improved sanitation. Date: July 5, 2017, Source: IOP Publishing Summary: The use of untreated wastewater from cities to irrigate crops downstream is 50 percent more widespread than previously thought, according to a new study. The use of untreated wastewater from cities to irrigate crops downstream is 50 percent more …

Biochar could clear the air in more ways than one

Health, economic benefits of capturing agricultural nitric oxide outlined in a study. Date: July 27, 2017, Source: Rice University Summary: Biochar could reduce local air pollution from agriculture by reducing emissions of nitric oxide from soil. Researchers argue that a better understanding of nitric oxide response to biochar will save lives and money, especially on farms near urban areas where agricultural emissions contribute …

The hunt for offshore oil is killing tiny sea creatures that are key for healthy oceans

Zooplankton. Photo: NOAA / Wikimedia Commons by Alessandra Potenza@ale_potenza  Jun 23, 2017, 12:15pm EDT A widely used method to find oil and gas for offshore drilling can kill tiny sea creatures that are key for feeding many marine animals like shellfish, fish, and even whales. And the impacts on these tiny, drifting creatures — called zooplankton — are seen in an area much larger …

How climate change will affect the quality of our water

Algae blooms in Lake St. Clair and in western Lake Erie in 2015. Photo: NASA by Alessandra Potenza@ale_potenza  Jul 27, 2017, 2:00pm EDT Last year, slimy green and foul-smelling algae took over Florida’s beaches, releasing toxins that killed fish and shellfish and sickened people. The algal bloom prompted the Florida governor to declare a state of emergency and likely caused widespread economic damage. If climate change goes …

South Asia’s climate hazard hotspots

Mapping risks and estimating impacts on people and agriculture Extreme climate events are taking a heavy toll in countries around the world, destroying lives and livelihoods. Since the late 1980s, the frequency of such disasters has increased – from an average of 195 per year during 1987-1998 to 338 per year during 2000-2011, according to researchers at the Centre for Research …