The Food Price Index for December 2012, released yesterday, hit its lowest point since prices began to rally in June 2012, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The Index is a measure of international food commodity prices, and, driven in part by the severe drought in the United States, remained historically high in 2012 despite averaging 7 percent less than levels in 2011.
States in the Plains region are still struggling with the drought and have seen little snow cover for the area’s hard red winter wheat crop. A cold snap next week could harm the wheat because the plants require snow to keep them insulated, Reuters reported.
In this piece for NPR, nature writer Craig Childs discusses his trek across the dry Colorado River delta in northern Mexico. Supplying water for cities, agriculture and energy, the river no longer reaches the ocean.
Because water supplies in China are facing increased pollution from agriculture and industry, bottled water sales are booming there even as they slow in the United States and Europe, Bloomberg News reported. Swiss company Nestle grew its water business in the country by 27 percent last year.
With cameras in the International Space Station, a Canadian astronaut caught these photos of Australia’s raging wildfires as seen from orbit, the Telegraph posted.