The United Nations declared 2016 to be the International Year of Pulses. Pulses, which are also known as grain legumes, are a group of 12 crops that includes dry beans, dry peas, chickpeas and lentils. They are high in protein as well as fiber and various vitamins. Pulse crops are highly sustainable and require much less water than many other food crops. So there is a real effort underway to promote their production as part of improving food security around the world.
The decline of bee populations worldwide is a serious problem that threatens much of agriculture. From 2006 to 2011, losses in managed honeybee colonies in the U.S. averaged 33 percent a year. In recent years, beekeepers have had to replace 50 percent of their colonies each year.
As the climate warms, all sorts of things are happening in the environment. We know about shrinking ice caps, retreating glaciers, strange winter weather, and so forth. But there are other things that may happen that are unexpected and puzzling.