Agriculture

10,000 Homes Threatened in Los Angeles FIres

The unstoppable Angeles National Forest fire threatened 10,000 homes Saturday night as it more than tripled in size and chewed through a rapidly widening swath of the Crescenta Valley, where flames closed in on backyards and at least 1,000 homes were ordered evacuated. Sending an ominous plume of smoke above the Los Angeles Basin, the fire was fueled by unrelenting hot weather and dense brush that has not burned in 60 years.

Los Angeles Wildfires Fueled by Heat
August 29, 2009 10:21 AM - Mary Milliken, Reuters

Firefighters battling four wildfires around Los Angeles saved hundreds of homes in an affluent coastal community but struggled against a larger fire coming down the mountains toward another exclusive suburb. With temperatures in excess of 100 Fahrenheit (37 Celsius), flames flared above La Canada Flintridge, where nearly 900 homes were under voluntary evacuation, 1,500 acres had burned and containment was zero percent.

Renewable Energy Needs Land, Lots Of Land
August 28, 2009 11:23 AM - Christopher Joyce, NPR

Pending climate and energy legislation puts a lot of stock — and money — into switching from fossil fuels, like coal and oil, to renewable energy such as wind, solar and ethanol. But some new analysis by environmental experts shows that alternative energy comes with some stiff penalties. For example: Energy Sprawl.

Sun Spot-Climate Link
August 28, 2009 07:38 AM - David Fogarty, Reuters

Small changes in the energy output of the sun can have a major impact on global weather patterns, such as the intensity of the Indian monsoon, that could be predicted years in advance, a team of scientists said.

Banana diseases threaten African crop
August 26, 2009 09:36 AM - Reuters

Two banana diseases spreading in Africa could hurt food supply for 30 million people on the continent who largely rely on the crop, an international agricultural research body said on Wednesday.

Atrazine in US Drinking Water Found Widespread
August 26, 2009 06:39 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

A widely used pesticide known to impact wildlife development and, potentially, human health has contaminated watersheds and drinking water throughout much of the United States, according to a new report released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Banned by the European Union, atrazine is the most commonly detected pesticide in U.S. waters and is a known endocrine disruptor, which means that it affects human and animal hormones.

Signaling Pathway Ensures That Plants Remember To Flower

Why do some plants blossom even when days are short and gray?

Farmers Care About Trees Too
August 24, 2009 06:41 AM - Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent, Reuters

Almost half of the world's farmland has at least 10 percent tree cover, according to a study on Monday indicating that farmers are far less destructive to carbon-storing forests than previously believed. "The area revealed in this study is twice the size of the Amazon, and shows that farmers are protecting and planting trees spontaneously," Dennis Garrity, Director General of the World Agroforestry Center in Nairobi, said in a statement.

Arctic Fisheries Get a New Plan – The Fish Would Approve
August 21, 2009 07:17 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

Global Warming is opening up new areas for fishing. We don't know that much about the ecosystems in these areas since they have been under ice until recently. Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke approved a plan to prohibit the expansion of commercial fishing in federal Arctic waters until researchers gather sufficient information on fish and the Arctic marine environment to try to prevent adverse impacts of commercial harvesting activity on the ecosystem.

Mexico Hit By Lowest Rainfall In 68 Years
August 20, 2009 09:55 AM - Reuters via Planet Ark

Mexico is suffering from its driest year in 68 years, killing crops and cattle in the countryside and forcing the government to slow the flow of water to the crowded capital. There is insufficient data to say how much global warming can be blamed, a senior official said.

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