environment

Pistachio scarcity looms as droughts decimate farms

Pistachio scarcity looms as droughts decimate farms

If you love pistachios, stock up while you can: the next few years or more may see a scarcity of the nut as long-running droughts in Iran have decimated entire pistachio farms and have others on the brink of collapse. Pistachios are a vital export for Iran, coming second only to crude oil, with the nation’s various pistachio farms producing 250,000 tons last year. Extreme water scarcity in the nation, though, has led to mass farm loss and more farms are sure to fail soon if something doesn't change.

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LA’s mountain lions could go extinct in the near future

LA’s mountain lions could go extinct in the near future

Mountain lions call the Santa Monica Mountains home, but that could change in the next handful of decades or sooner. According to the National Park Service and a study it did with researchers from UCLA, Utah State University, and UC Davis, LA’s mountain lions may fall victim to their lack of genetic diversity, something stemming from their geographical isolation. The mountain lions' unique location (near such a massive city) has also spurred the development of atypical behaviors.

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Million dead fish wash up in New Jersey: low oxygen levels blamed

Million dead fish wash up in New Jersey: low oxygen levels blamed

This week, more than an estimated million dead fish washed ashore in New Jersey, something experts are saying was likely caused by a combination of events, among them being inadequate levels of oxygen in the water. The fish were found in water bodies in the northern New Jersey city Keansburg; officials finished cleaning the dead fish remains this morning, all the while increasing the estimate of how many died.

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Endangered pack of gray wolves to be exterminated in Washington soon

Endangered pack of gray wolves to be exterminated in Washington soon

Washington state officials have been given the go-ahead to exterminate a pack of 11 gray wolves after they were determined to be behind attacks against cattle. The state is estimated to only have about 90 gray wolves total spanning 19 packs, and the controversial decision to eliminate one of the packs — called the Profanity Peak pack — will reduce the overall percentage of these endangered gray wolves significantly. The pack, however, has killed more than a dozen adult cows and calves with no sign of stopping.

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Yellowstone River parasite kills mass quantities of fish as officials scramble

Yellowstone River parasite kills mass quantities of fish as officials scramble

There’s sad news coming from Montana’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks department: a parasite is killing off large quantities of fish in Yellowstone River, and as a result all activities on the water in both the river and its tributaries has been banned. According to the state’s wildlife division, there have been more than 2,000 recorded instances of Mountain Whitefish dying from this parasite, though the department estimates that there could be tens of thousands of fish affected throughout the larger Yellowstone River region. The ban is instituted in a bid to stop the parasite from spreading to other bodies of water.

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July 2016 was the warmest month on record

July 2016 was the warmest month on record

It's a little depressing to keep hearing this, but both the NOAA and NASA have published reports that say July 2016 was the hottest month on record. Not just the hottest July on record or the hottest month of 2016, but the warmest since modern record keeping of global temperatures began way back in 1880.

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In climate change fight, record high temperatures for 2016 surprise scientists

In climate change fight, record high temperatures for 2016 surprise scientists

There's some discouraging news concerning the fight against climate change today, as scientists with the World Meteorological Organization's climate research arm are saying that the record high temperatures we've seen so far this year are coming as something of a surprise to them. Though they predicted to see increasing temperatures this year, it would appear that the highs we've been experiencing have exceeded expectations, and that may have some worrying implications for the rate at which the climate is changing.

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NYC OKs plan to turn abandoned terminal into underground park

NYC OKs plan to turn abandoned terminal into underground park

New York City has approved a plan that will turn an abandoned trolley terminal into an underground park. The project was announced months ago, and renders of it have been provided by The Lowline showing walking spaces, green plants, and solar technology used to provide light. The park will be developed at the Lower East Side's Williamsburg Bridge Trolley Terminal, and will eventually be the first underground park in the world.

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Vegas’ Mandalay Bay now hosts largest rooftop solar array in US

Vegas’ Mandalay Bay now hosts largest rooftop solar array in US

Nevada is a popular place for setting up solar power farms, with many acres dedicated to the placement of panels. The desert in an obvious first choice for location, but now the Las Vegas strip is wising up to the use of solar power. It's actually a great fit, what with all the 24-hour lights and casinos along the strip, using solar power is a great way to reduce peak demand. Now America's largest rooftop solar array can be found on the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

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NASA spies Florida’s crazy algae bloom from space

NASA spies Florida’s crazy algae bloom from space

Florida’s having serious issues with algae blooms this year, and NASA has managed to take a stunning photo of the problem from space. In recent days, NASA released a high-resolution photo of Florida’s Lake Okeechobee and the algae bloom that covers more than 30 square miles of it. The photo was taken on July 2 by the Landsat 8 satellite, the same satellite responsible for much of the satellite imagery found in Google’s latest Maps refresh.

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Pale eel-like fish spotted alive in deep sea waters for the first time

Pale eel-like fish spotted alive in deep sea waters for the first time

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released a video showing a living, pale, “ghostly” fish; this is the first time the creature has been found alive, marking a new milestone discovery for the agency. The fish was found by the NOAA Okeanos Explorer team during the agency’s 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Mariana. NOAA recently shared a clear high-resolution video of the fish.

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The Ozone layer healing itself is good news for the fight against Climate Change

The Ozone layer healing itself is good news for the fight against Climate Change

Earlier today, we heard that the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica is in the beginning stages of healing. The reason we're seeing this reversal seems largely due to the Montreal Protocol, which banned the use of CFCs in 1987. For those who don't know, CFCs release chlorine atoms when they're hit by ultraviolent light, which eats away at the ozone layer and is the reason the hole over Antartica grows during the continent's summer months and shrinks during the winter. This is not only great news for the environment, but it's also an encouraging development for the efforts against climate change.

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