Climate change is likely to be slightly less damaging thanks to policies in India and China that could offset the U.S.'s reduced environmental efforts under President Trump. “The Carbon Action Tracker (CAT) report, by three independent European research groups, said current policies meant the world was headed for a warming of 3.4 degrees Celsius (6.1 Fahrenheit) by 2100, down from 3.6 degrees (6.5) it predicted a year ago,” explained Reuters.
If the world raised organic production and moved toward a vegetarian diet, farmers could feed the global population without converting large amounts of virgin land like forests to crops, says a new study in the journal Nature Communications.
Global climate emissions are on the rise again, after staying relatively flat between 2014-2016. Researchers with the Global Carbon Project predict that emissions levels will increase anywhere from 0.8 to 3 percent in 2017, says NPR.
According to a UN report, 2017 is on track to be one of the three hottest years on record. The cause, it says, is climate change, which the report implicates in “extraordinary weather,” including extreme hurricanes, floods, and droughts.
Much of the arable land in China, the world's largest rice producer, is off-limits for growing rice because there is too much salt in the soil or in the available irrigation water. Researchers are making progress, however, on developing 200 varieties that tolerate salty water although at far lower levels than found in sea water.
In contrast to the Trump administration’s stance, a 600-page report by government researchers concludes it's "extremely likely" that human activities are the "dominant cause" of climate change.
The Interior Department would auction off millions of acres of public land for oil and gas development, according to a draft obtained by The Nation of the department's strategic plan for the next five years. "It states that the DOI is committed to achieving 'American energy dominance' through the exploitation of 'vast amounts' of untapped energy reserves on public lands."
An area the size of New Zealand, some 29.7 million hectares (73.4 million acres), was stripped of tree cover during 2016, says data on Global Forest Watch, an increase of 51 percent from the previous year. "Forest fires seem to be a primary cause for this year's spike, including dramatic fire-related degradation in Brazil," wrote two World Resources Institute analysts in a blog.
Climate change will come with a serious price tag, says a report by the Government Accountability Office, urging President Trump to take the phenomenon seriously. The study “says that different sectors of the economy and different parts of the country will be harmed in ways that are difficult to predict,” according to The New York Times.
The food chain off the coast of California is starting too look shorter and less diverse thanks to environmental events like El Niño and potentially climate change, say scientists who tracked the diets of dolphins.