The Stream, July 31: Earth’s Land Has Warmed 1.5 Degrees Over Past 250 Years

The Earth’s land has warmed by 1.5 degrees Celsius over the past 250 years, and humans are almost entirely responsible for the increase, the Guardian reported, citing a new study by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley. The team’s analysis suggests there could be 1.5 degrees of warming over land in the next 50 years, but if China continues its current pace of development and coal use, that same warming could take place in less than two decades.

A massive electrical grid failure has left hundreds of millions of people in India without power, Associated Press reported. The power problems could seriously disrupt water supplies, as well, according to officials.

Studies show tentative signs of long-term change to the summer rains in India, with potentially grave consequences for the country’s farming and cities, according to The Economist. Meanwhile, India is short of data, observation stations, weather planes, satellites, climate scientists and weather modellers.

Asia’s growing food demand has rekindled an old debate about whether Australia could develop extensive agriculture in its far northern regions, according to ABC Radio Australia. But is this feasible?

Meanwhile, the European Union is looking to open up Greenland for the extraction of rare earth metals and gemstones, according to the Guardian. The icy island’s melting surface could make it a new frontier in the ever more urgent quest for new natural resources. But some fear the contest could destroy the Arctic.

The Stream is a daily digest spotting global water trends. To get more water news, follow Circle of Blue on Twitter and sign up for our newsletter.

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