Half the world could face ‘water stress’ in 2050, says report

More than one-third of the world’s population lives in water-scarce regions, and by mid-century, half of the projected 9.8 billion people on Earth “could be at risk due to water stress,” said a report out today from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

‘Living shorelines’ the best defense against storms

As Rowan Jacobsen reports in FERN's latest story, published with Scientific American, research done over the last decade has made clear that "living shorelines" are far better at protecting the coastline from the devastating floods and tidal surges caused by the huge storms of the climate-change era than seawalls and other "armored" shorelines. (No paywall)

New market planned to pay farmers for soil carbon, water quality

General Mills, ADM, Cargill, McDonalds, and The Nature Conservancy are among 10 companies and nonprofit organizations that are forming a national market by 2022 to incentivize the adoption of farming practices that build soil carbon and improve water conservation.

2018 joins the roll of five hottest years, all since 2014

Last year was the fourth-warmest worldwide since 1880, said NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Wednesday, ranking behind 2016, 2017 and 2015. "2018 is yet again an extremely warm year on top of a long-term global warming trend," said Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

Monarch population wintering in Mexico more than doubles

An annual survey of monarch butterflies hibernating in Mexico found that the population was 144 percent higher than it was in 2018. The results, said the World Wildlife Fund on Wednesday, offered “a testament to the power of conservation.”

Study: How manure is applied to fields can affect greenhouse gases

The method that farmers use to apply manure to their fields can affect emissions of greenhouse gases during the winter, say researchers from the University of Vermont. Their study, published in the Soil Science of America Journal, is one of the first to look at greenhouse gas emissions from Vermont farmland and highlights the consequences of different manure-spreading methods.

Diet for a healthy planet: Half the red meat and sugar, more grains, nuts, produce

A three-year collaboration by three dozen experts in nutrition, agriculture, economics, and the environment says it has solved one of the world’s great challenges: how to feed an expected 10 billion people at mid-century without imperiling future food production. The answer is the “planetary health diet.”

Trump, Congress make it harder for CAFO neighbors to know what they’re inhaling

Recent actions by the GOP-controlled Congress and the Trump administration have exempted big livestock operations from reporting air emissions, according to the latest story from FERN, published with Mother Jones. (No paywall)

As climate warms, toxic algae blooms expand into Arctic

In NOAA’s annual Arctic Report Card, scientists highlighted the recent rise of toxic algae blooms in the region. The blooms, common in more temperate climates, are expected to increase in the Arctic, affecting people who depend on wild foods.

Animal populations fall by 60 percent in four decades

Global populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians have declined, on average, by 60 perent since 1970s, said the World Wildlife Fund in its Living Planter Report 2018 on Monday. "The top threats to species identified in the report are directly linked to human activities, including habitat loss and degradation and over-exploitation of wildlife," said WWF.