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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Covering about 88 percent of the lakes on February 13, the ice has implications for water levels, shipping and fisheries.

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The increasing demand for water, food, and energy is one of four “megatrends” that will shape the next 15 to 20 years, according to a National Intelligence Council report that looks at the forces creating “tectonic shifts” in how the world works. Many countries will not be able to avoid food and water shortages without […]

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The Supreme Court seemed ready on Tuesday to overturn a lower court’s ruling in a case about stormwater pollution in the Los Angeles area, the Associated Press reports. Environmental groups had prevailed in an appellate court in their attempt to lay responsibility for polluted runoff at the hands of the county flood control district. Carp […]

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The Bureau of Land Management will open some 274,000 hectares (677,000 acres) of public land in three Western states for oil shale and tar sands research, development and demonstration leases, according to a broad federal environmental review. Companies must submit an application to explore on these lands, which, unlike for oil and gas leases, will […]

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This week, Circle of Blue will publish a water guide to the 2012 election. It will explain the presidential candidates’ positions on water, as well as point out various state and local initiatives related to desalination, financing and water supply. Look for it in the next few days. (Update 10/31/12: 2012 Election Guide.) Storm Warning […]

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Environmental and public health groups are suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to force the EPA to issue a rule on the chemical dispersants used in oil spill recovery, WaterWorld reports. Millions of gallons of chemical dispersants were used in the Gulf of Mexico after BP’s Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010, and the groups claim […]

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The drought in the Midwest has destroyed crops and herds, but it has also led to one of the smallest “dead zones”—low-oxygen areas where marine life struggles to survive—ever recorded in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The lead scientist for the study said the data confirm a positive […]

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Climate change will have the greatest economic effect on crops in the Midwest’s Corn Belt states, where annual loses could range from US$1.1 billion to US$4.1 billion by 2030. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service used four climate projections, a crop-growth simulation, and a model for predicting how farmers would change their crop […]

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Droughts Hit World’s Agricultural Regions: Without Water, U.S. Corn Crop Faces Setbacks

Droughts have struck food-producing regions in the United States, Russia, China, North Korea, and South Korea, raising the prospect of higher commodity prices and localized food shortages.

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Tensions have heightened between Israeli and Lebanese troops near the site of a tourist center being built on Lebanon’s side of the Hatzbani River, which Israel fears will be used to divert water,The Jerusalem Post reported. 9.5 billion metric tons of sewage, approximately 76 percent of the total amount generated in China’s Guangdong province in […]

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Hear Ye, Hear Ye Last Thursday the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs heard testimony on tribal water rights settlements. Federal officials talked about the Obama administration’s preference for negotiated settlements instead of litigation. Some 16 negotiations are in progress, two of which—the Blackfeet and the Navajo-Hopi—have legislation under consideration in Congress. The chair of the […]

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A South American drought keeps global grain reserves tight, but it could mean good things for North American corn producers.

A South American drought keeps global grain reserves tight, but it could mean good things for North American corn producers.

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Solar Review The deadline for submitting public comments on the Bureau of Land Management’s broad environmental review of solar energy development in six western U.S. states is Friday. The review will result in changes to the agency’s resource management plans, allowing it to concentrate solar energy projects on the most suitable parcels of land. Comments […]

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2011 ‘Tis the season for reflection. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration looks back at a year of extreme weather and finds a record number of events that caused more than $1 billion in damage. Starting with a January blizzard in the Midwest and continuing through floods and fires, drought and heat, a spate of […]

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Pakistan A high-level official from the U.S. State Department met with counterparts from Pakistan last month during the fourth water “dialogue” between the two countries. The U.S. government has given Pakistan money for irrigation, hydroelectric, and water supply projects under the Kerry-Berman-Lugar bill—legislation signed in 2009 that authorizes $7.5 billion in aid to Pakistan. Pakistan […]

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Global Change Research Program A federal program for studying environmental change and its effect on society has released a draft version of its strategic plan for the next decade. Comprising 13 agencies and cabinet-level departments, the Global Change Research Program was established by Congress in 1990. The draft plan anticipates that climate-change risk assessment and […]

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Temperature Map

A new study has revealed that ice volume in the Arctic Sea reached an all-time low in 2010. Meanwhile, in the United States, more high-temperature records have been set this summer than in any other year previously, as well as many regions that have broken rainfall and drought records.

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Summer 2011 saw more warm temperature records tied or broken in the United States than any other summer in the past decade, Climate Central reported, citing National Climatic Data Center statistics. Check out the details here, including an interactive map of all temperature records set in June, July and August. Meanwhile, the National Weather Service […]

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Thrust from the Crust The nation’s nuclear power regulator said last week’s earthquake on the East Coast may have been stronger than a nuclear power station near the epicenter was designed to withstand, The Hill reports. The magnitude-5.8 earthquake caused the North Anna plant in Louisa County, Va. to lose power from the offsite electrical […]

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Make Way for Aid At an August 3 hearing on the Horn of Africa drought, a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee received testimony from the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development, Mercy Corps, the Atlantic Council, and CARE USA. The representative from USAID said because of signals from a drought early-warning system, the agency […]

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