Jellyfish are fascinating in appearance but generally are nothing but trouble. Their stings can ruin a tropical vacation but they can cause far more damage than that.
An oasis is an isolated area of vegetation in a desert, typically surrounding a spring or similar water source such as a pond or a small lake. Oases can provide habitat for animals as well as people. Oases have long been essential for trade and transportation routes in desert areas; caravans typically travel via oases so that supplies of water and food can be replenished.
As the oceans warm, many kinds of fish are on the move, seeking cooler and deeper water. Because of this, the fishing industry is struggling with antiquated regulations that are not moving as fast as the climate is changing.
According to the FDA, approximately three-quarters of all antibiotics used in the U.S. are fed to livestock for non-therapeutic purposes. This routine administration of antibiotics promotes the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which can spread to animals and humans. And as antibiotic-resistant bacteria spreads, medicines used to treat human diseases can become less effective. Antibiotic resistant infections kill 90,000 Americans each year.
Farmers in many places have found additional sources of income by allowing wind turbines to be built on their land. One example is the Amazon Wind Farm, which is a massive project of over 100 turbines near Elizabeth City, North Carolina. The 494-foot tall turbine towers scattered over 34 square miles are rising up above farms that grow corn, wheat and soybeans. It is the first utility-scale wind farm in the Southeast.
According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the world’s tallest land mammal may be in trouble. Giraffe populations have declined dramatically over the past 30 years, falling to approximately 97,000 from 163,000 in the 1980s.
Utah’s Great Salt Lake is the largest salt water lake in the Western Hemisphere and is the largest body of water in the United States after the five Great Lakes. When the pioneers first arrived in the area back in the middle of the 19th century, the lake spread across about 1,600 square miles. Now, the lake covers an area of only about 1,050 square miles, a reduction of about 35%.
Some of the poorest countries in the world are unfortunately among the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Malawi, for example, has 90% of its population in rural areas and 80% of its labor force is associated with agriculture.
By some estimates, Americans waste as much as 40% of food that is produced. None of the reasons are anything to be proud of, but one of the most frustrating is the confusing array of food date labels that are supposed to tell us whether the food we purchased should be eaten.
California’s trees are dying. According to the U.S. Forest Service, more than five years of drought in California has left 102 million dead trees across 7.7 million acres of forest. In fact, 62 million trees have died this year alone – a 100% increase from 2015.
Globally, 40% of invertebrate pollinator species, such as bees and butterflies, are facing extinction. And since approximately three-quarters of the world’s food crops depend on pollination, the decline of these pollinators could pose a threat to food security around the globe.
Most of the blame for climate change has been placed on the growing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but methane also plays a major role. Estimates are that about 1/5 of greenhouse effect warming is caused by methane in the atmosphere. There is far less of it than carbon dioxide, but methane is tremendously more effective at trapping heat.
According to a new report from the World Wildlife Fund, the world’s animal populations have suffered widespread population declines in the last half century. And thousands of species are now scrambling to survive.
Genetically modified crops have been at the center of a great deal of controversy for a number of years. There have been widespread fears that they are unsafe to eat. Continuing studies have indicated that those fears appear to be unsubstantiated.
According to a recent study published in the journal Global Change Biology, rising CO2 levels in the ocean can disrupt the sensory systems of fish and can even make them swim toward predators and ignore the sounds that normally deter them from risky habitats.
A recent study has identified the steep decline of more than 300 species of mammals as a result of unregulated or illegal hunting. Humans are consuming many of the world’s wild mammals to the point of extinction.
The conventional aquaculture industry has often been associated with many of the same problems that beset land-based agriculture: creating sterile monocultures, fouling the environment with pesticides, antibiotics and organic pollutants, and spreading diseases.