Today’s quick hits, February 14, 2020

Hottest January on record (NOAA): Last month was the hottest January globally in 141 years of recordkeeping, 2.05 degrees F (1.14 degrees C) above the 20th century average. It was also the 421st consecutive month with temperatures above that average.

Why the EU wants strong food rules (Reuters): The “mad cow” outbreak of the 1990s drove the European Union to institute strong food safety rules and may be a reason that EU negotiators are rejecting U.S. demands for the relaxation of food rules as part of a U.S.-EU free trade agreement.

Rural, urban vote alike in New Hampshire (Daily Yonder): Whether they lived in rural or urban counties, New Hampshire voters cast ballots in similar proportions in this week’s Democratic presidential primary. For example, Sen. Bernie Sanders, the winner, was backed by 26 percent of rural voters and 25 percent of urban voters.

Global warming = shorter lifespans (Queen’s): The rising temperatures associated with climate change are likely to speed the aging process and shorten the lifespans of cold-blooded amphibians and reptiles, say researchers from Queen’s University Belfast and Tel Aviv University in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography.

Scaling back on county stats (USDA): Due to a loss of funding, the USDA will no longer publish county-level estimates for eight crops, including sugarbeets and tobacco, and will discontinue estimates of irrigated and non-irrigated practices for all crops.