The Stream, March 27: Antarctic Floating Ice Shelves Melting Rapidly

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

Rainfall and rising lake levels near Dallas, Texas have caused officials to consider easing of water restrictions, and China‘s new environmental law has hit a couple of state-run refineries with fines. Antarctic ice shelves are melting rapidly, and farmers in India will soon be able to access satellite crop data via their cell phones. A wasteful-of-water welfare scam is spreading across Maine.

“We must continue improving the wise and efficient use of water…Water conservation is still needed and is the new norm.” — Tom Kula, executive director of the North Texas Municipal Water District, on potential easing of water restrictions in the Dallas area. (The Dallas Morning News)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

$US 1,818fine imposed on a ChemChina refinery for emitting wastewater that exceeded pollution limits. That plant and one other were also fined a total of $US 273,554 for air emissions violations. China instated a new environmental law in 2015 that allows unlimited fines and prison sentences for polluters. Xinhua News Agency

10.5 feet – rise in Jim Chapman Lake, a Dallas-area reservoir, over the last three months. Improvements in water levels for multiple reservoirs means that water restrictions will likely be eased on June 1, but officials say it is too soon to tell exactly how much. The Dallas Morning News


Science, Studies, And Reports

Antarctica’s floating ice shelves are deteriorating rapidly, according to a study published in Science on Thursday. Researchers from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography at UC San Diego found that ice loss went from ‘negligible’ between 1994 and 2003 to ‘rapid loss’ between 2003 and 2012. The floating ice shelves that are melting are responsible for holding back massive volumes of glaciers from flowing into the sea. They are the ‘doorstops’ of the entire Antarctic ice sheet system. Washington Post

On the Radar

On The Radar

Indian PM Narendra Modi is planning for farmers in his country to be able to make use of a new technology by the height of this year’s monsoon season. Satellite monitoring of crops will help farmers to reduce input costs and increase yields. Information on proper types of seeds and fertilizers, and appropriate timing/amounts of irrigation, would be available to the farmers via mobile phone. The plan is a part of Modi’s “per drop, more crop” approach to farming. Reuters

An unusually wasteful-of-water welfare scam is being investigated by police in Maine. The scam involves using food stamps to purchase large cases of bottled water, dumping the water out, and then returning the bottles for a deposit of 5 cents each. Bangor Daily News

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