Record low sea ice levels were recorded in September 2012, 18 percent lower than the previous record set in 2007, according to a new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Climate change is making the Arctic warmer, and the melting sea ice contributed to record high global sea levels last year, the Guardian reported.
Japanese researchers have developed a variety of rice with deeper roots that allow the plants to better withstand droughts, SciDev.net reported. The rice, which contains a naturally occurring gene that directs root growth downward, could triple rice yields during droughts, according to the report.
Beef grown in the lab from cow stem cells could represent a future in which the environmental footprint of meat production, including water use and pollution, is greatly reduced, The New York Times reported. The first lab-grown hamburger was served to taste testers in London this week.
Oil and Natural Gas Protests
As companies begin exploring natural gas reserves in the United Kingdom, protesters are fighting to stop hydraulic fracturing, citing concerns about earthquakes and water contamination, CNN reported. The UK lifted a ban on fracking in May.
In the United States, Nez Perce tribal members were arrested in Idaho following a protest to block the transport of equipment headed to oil sands operations in Canada, Reuters reported. The stretch of highway that the protesters blocked runs along the Clearwater and Lochsa rivers, which tribal leaders say they oppose being turned into “a high and wide industrial corridor.”