Soil productivity cut by climate change, making societies more marginal, studies find

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Ethiopia, one fragile dryland nation, is in the grip of its worst drought in 50 years. Photo: Jay Court The health of the world’s soils hinges on the abundance and diversity of the microbes and fungi they contain, and environmental changes including from global warming will undermine their ability to support humans and other species, according to two new studies.

Opinion: To feed the world in 2050 will require a global revolution

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Achieving universal food security is a staggering challenge, especially in a world with an expanding population, accelerating consumption, and many signals of a deteriorating global environment (1). Some claim that population size and growth are irrelevant, and that the solution is a more equitable distribution of income, wealth, and available food.
via Pnas

Report speaks to climate change impact on Virginia brook trout

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WAYNESBORO – A new National Wildlife Federation report identifies three Virginia fish species that face serious threats from the effects of climate change, including brook trout, a popular South River species and one native to several other Shenandoah Valley waters. The other threatened species native to Virginia identified in the report are oysters and blue crabs.

Hunger heralds climate change’s arrival in Botswana

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“As climate change ushers in more stress on the water sector, it is increasingly a concern that losses in rangeland productivity will result in food insecurity, especially in rural areas,” a country analysis report unveiled recently in Botswana states.

DROUGHT: Reclamation on hot seat as warming water threatens salmon

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SHASTA LAKE, Calif. — A historic drought is testing the limits of technology and water policy at the state’s largest reservoir, with the fate of endangered salmon hanging in the balance. At issue in the reservoir, Shasta Lake, is how baby salmon fare in warmer water.
via Eenews

Biotoxin found in Dungeness crab, fishing season imperiled

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Posted: 11/04/2015 05:49:51 AM PST Updated: 11/04/2015 01:10:22 PM PST SACRAMENTO — The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment recommended late Tuesday that the state put off the start of the Dungeness crab fishing season because of a potentially fatal biotoxin, as state officials scrambled to alert consumers and fishermen to a public health threat.

Ethiopia, a Nation of Farmers, Strains Under Severe Drought

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MIESO, Ethiopia – Every day, Yasin Mohammed Aliye stakes out a spot on his small farm to chew khat leaves, a stimulant, and guard against intruders. The khat, he explains, helps to dull the hunger. “We got just one day of rain each month during the rainy season,” Mr. Yasin said, referring to the days from July through September.

These Solar-Powered Machines Help Farmers Dry Their Food Instead Of Letting It Rot

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A lot of food grown in developing countries never makes it to the people’s bellies. Because of a lack of refrigeration, it rots during transport or when farmers fail to sell it immediately at markets. Every year, 1.3 billion tons of food (with a value of more than $1 trillion) is wasted in this way, according to the [url=http://www.fao.org/in-action/seeking-end-to-loss-and-waste-of-food-along-production-chain/en/]UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization[/url].

Human reproduction, health broadly damaged by toxic chemicals

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Among the poor health outcomes linked to pesticides, air pollutants, plastics and other chemicals, according to the report from the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), an organization representing obstetrical and gynecological associations from 125 countries, are miscarriage and still births, an increase in cancer, attention problems and hyperactivity.

Molting elephant seals add mercury to coastal seawater

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As fish-eating predators at the top of the marine food chain, elephant seals accumulate high concentrations of mercury in their bodies. A new study by scientists at UC Santa Cruz shows that elephant seals shed significant amounts of mercury during molting, resulting in elevated concentrations of the toxic metal in coastal waters near the elephant seal rookery at Año Nuevo State Reserve.