Today’s quick hits, February 9, 2024

Monarch populations plunge: Monarch butterfly colonies occupied just 2.2 acres of forest in central Mexico this winter, a 59 percent drop from last winter’s 5.5 acres and the second-smallest area reported since the survey began in 1993. (World Wildlife Fund)

Improve SNAP delivery: In a letter to 47 U.S. governors, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack urged states to take immediate action to address the nationwide 11.54 percent error rate in SNAP benefits and to deliver benefits in a timely manner. (USDA)

Record pork exports: U.S. pork exports hit a record $8.26 billion in 2023, up 6 percent from 2022, with Mexico, the top market, accounting for $2.35 billion of the total, said the U.S. Meat Export Federation. (USMEF)

Weather shift: NOAA issued a La Niña “watch,” meaning conditions are favorable for the development of the La Niña weather pattern, which typically brings warmer and drier weather to the U.S. South and cooler, wetter weather to the North. (Axios)

World crosses climate threshold: For the first time, the world has recorded an entire year of temperatures that are more than 1.5 degrees C higher than before the industrial age, the limit adopted in international agreements to avert the worst effects of climate change. (BBC)