Record grain harvests in some of the world’s biggest exporters this year have restocked global supplies, drawing down food prices that spiked following the 2012 drought to their lowest level in three years, AlertNet reported. Officials at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations warned that global markets and prices are still susceptible to supply shocks due to poor weather.
Energy and Water
This blog post from the Massachusetts-based Union of Concerned Scientists maps areas in the United States where “collisions” between energy production and water supplies are taking place. The post acknowledges that these collisions occurred less frequently this year than in years with more severe droughts and heat waves, but cautions complacency.
In Michigan, it is unlikely that hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas would draw down water levels in the Great Lakes, according to this report from MLive.com. The amount of water used for fracking in Michigan last year—208 million liters—would equal just a 0.0002-centimeter drop in levels on Lake Michigan-Huron, though Michigan has yet to see a fracking boom like those occurring in Pennsylvania and Ohio.
As the 1-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy approaches, many families in New York and New Jersey are still facing tough decisions about when, if and how to move back into their homes, The New York Times reported. Some have been left with insurance claims that fall far short of the pre-Sandy value of their homes, and others must relocate to areas outside of the vulnerable flood plain.