This article was about how bad Beijing’s pollution has gotten and what is being done to fix this. The thick smog in the city has gotten so bad that over 100 factories were shut down and one-third of government vehicles were ordered off the streets, according to official news reports. The US Protection Agency said that it was unsafe for people to go outdoors due to the conditions. The Chinese have recognized this problem and are doing many things to try and solve it. Mr. Wang told the legislature on Jan. 22 that the Beijing government was aiming to cut the density of major air pollutants by 2 percent this year. To that end, officials are ordering 180,000 older vehicles off the roads, promoting the use of “clean energy” for government vehicles and heating systems, and growing trees over 250 square miles of land in the next five years, Xinhua reported.
A recent study done in China by the University of Hertfordshire studied weather and the severity of epidemics such as Fusarium ear blight that affects wheat crops. Wheat is actually used for a great amount of products, such as bread, cereals, cakes, pizzas, candy, soups and other food. Fusarium ear blight affects wheat production worldwide all the time, but during severe epidemics, wheat losses can reach 60%. It can be worse when under severe weather conditions, because the epidemic releases toxins called mycotoxins which make it unsuitable to eat for both humans and animals. The study found that with rising temperatures, the wheat will flower earlier and the occurrence of the disease will substantially increase. They found that by the middle of the century, the epidemic will severely hit wheat production in Central China. On top of that, a similar study found the same issue will happen in the UK. All of this will greatly affect our food supply. It later talked about how over 1 billion people currently do not have enough to eat and with growing populations, this is a really big problem.
- Sean Sabogal -
The drought in California left many farmers with no irrigation water this year from a federally controlled system of rivers, canals, and reservoirs. Research shows that California is in one of its driest periods in recorded history. The farmers who relied on these systems of water received 20% of their normal water amount last year and that showed them that the new year was not looking too good for them. The states major water system officials said they will not be releasing any water for farmers. Because of this farmers are trying to figure out how they are going to survive with no water. But, farmers are not the only ones affected by the drought. Contractors and wildlife refuges who need water to complete their work are being affected too, but not just as much as farmers.
- Valerie Macaulay 2015
The article talks about the new dangers for the penguin chick. They usually are in danger from predators or not having enough food, but now they have to deal with climate change. The research for this information was done for over thirty years on a specific penguin colony. They found that increased rainfall and extreme heat due to climate change are killing chicks. Down-covered chicks are too big to receive their parent’s protection from the harsh weather, but are not old enough to have waterproof feathers. During storms these penguins get soaked because the water touches the skin and they die of hypothermia. They can’t protect themselves from the heat waves either, because in order to cool down they would have to jump in the water, which wouldn’t work without their feathers. Chicks that struggle to find food have even more trouble with this. And since more storms are appearing during their breeding season, more deaths are expected.
- Sean Sabogal -
In the vast deserts of New Mexico, where countless nuclear tests are performed, scientists have recently discovered a way to dispose of all the nuclear waste generated from various laboratories and military projects. They found that if you put the boxes under the dry salt fields, then the salt will slowly enclose the crates forever, therefore making it harmful to no one. What’s not normal is the fact that it is normal salt, the type you could eat, but it behaves differently around nuclear waste, attracted to it for some reason. It has received local support, but people are still skeptical. They have already excavated massive holes to bury the waste under, and will keep doing so. One senator from the area however is opposed to the idea. He argues that the land is also rich in oil and can be used as a place for fracking. Fracking, which has aroused some controversy recently in the media, is when a drill drills into a shell rock for fossil fuels, which before was unreachable. The senator thinks that if they bury all of the waste there, then they will have covered a vast area of possible oil.
This article is focused on the effect of the new catch-and-kill policy going around Sydney, Australia around these times. This new policy has created a lot of controversy in Australia because of peoples protests against the shark killings. This reason this policy was bought into place was because the government was worried for the peoples safety because of recent shark attacks. However, many of the people of Australia are much more worried with the ecosystem of the sharks. This catch-and-kill policy has many people worried about the extinction of these sharks as a whole and how that could effect the entire marine ecosystem. There have been many protests against this policy but it is still ongoing at this point in time.
A severe drought has swept California and threatens the state’s water supply. 40,000 people are at risk of losing water supply in the next 60 to 120 days. The state officials predict that the number will increase in the next months because the State Water Project states they did not have declining water supplies to local agencies due to the high demand. It has been reported that state reservoir levels are lower in California than they were at this time in 1977 and state officials are executing an emergency plans. “We are on track for having the worst drought in 500 years,” said B. Lynn Ingram, a professor of earth and planetary sciences at the University of California, Berkeley. They claimed that drinking water will soon have to be imported by trucks to these water-depressed communities. Also, they state that more wells will have to be drilled to get groundwater. Water is in high demand and they are willing to do anything to obtain water from there citizens. Lastly, the concluded that they must regulate water and enforce water conservation on homeowners and businesses. They have already been asked to reduce their water supplies by 20 percent.
Due to the drought, the whole region is being affected. People are parched, livestock are suffering, and smog has emerged. Also, farmers have given up on planting. Due to the poor air conditions, schools have been using flags to regulate when the kids should play indoors rather than out. Karen Magliano, assistant chief of the air quality planning division of the state’s Air Resources Board states “One of the concerns is that as concentrations get higher, it affects not only the people who are most susceptible, but healthy people as well.” This is why it’s very important to take climate change seriously. Also, fishing and camping in most of California has been banned. This is to protect endangered salmon. There is a large demand of water of growers of medical marijuana. They state they need about six gallons per day during a 150-day period. Due to the lack of water, they are turning to down streams where salmon and various endangered fish species produce offspring. Lastly, without rain, pollution in Los Angeles basin has reached a dangerous level. Officials have instructed homeowner to not burn wood in there fireplaces. The impact of this drought has been severe on all aspects of life.