The Stream, June 11: U.S. Corn Crops Increasingly Threatened by Climate Change, Report Shows

Extreme Weather
The United States corn crop, worth $US 65 billion last year, is increasingly at risk from heatwaves and droughts, according to a new report released by Ceres, the Guardian reported. The report highlights that 87 percent of irrigated corn acres in the U.S. are suffering water shortages.

There is now a 90 percent chance that an El Nino weather event will occur this summer, with world meteorological organizations predicting that it could be as large or larger than the devastating El Nino in 1997, the Guardian reported. The weather phenomenon is expected to bring droughts to India and Australia, while bringing heavy rainfall to the United States.

Resource Extraction
Kyrgyzstan’s government has agreed to approve controversial plans for the country’s Kumtor gold mine, owned by Canadian company Centerra, despite concerns that further development could jeopardize a nearby glacier and freshwater supplies, Reuters reported. Centerra threatened to shut down operations at the mine if the plans were not approved.

Plans by Mexico’s government to ramp up hydraulic fracturing operations to boost oil and natural gas production will likely be constrained by water shortages, Forbes reported. Fracking in the country’s arid northern regions would compete for water resources with agricultural interests, such as cattle farming.

Public anger over shortages of electricity, fuel and water has spurred protests in Yemen’s capital city, Reuters reported. In response, the country’s president has replaced a number of his top ministers, including those in charge of oil, electricity, and finance.

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