The Stream, July 8: Melting Arctic Sea Ice Breaks New Record In June

The Global Rundown

Thousands of square kilometers of Arctic sea ice were lost each day during the month of June, setting a new record low for ice cover. The international community must do a better job responding to future El Niño events, according to a United Nations special envoy. China plans to rank cities based on water quality performance. A bankrupt U.S. coal mining company has reached a new deal with the government to complete environmental restoration at its mine sites. El Paso, Texas is buying ranches to bolster future groundwater supplies.

“We have to do it differently next time — we cannot have an El Niño aggravated by climate (change) undermine development hugely, drastically. We will never achieve the Sustainable Development Goals unless we address this.” –Mary Robinson, the United Nations special envoy for El Niño and climate, on the slow international response to droughts and floods caused by the El Niño weather pattern over the past year. (Reuters)

By The Numbers

$400 million Amount of commitments Alpha Natural Resources, a U.S. coal mining company currently in bankruptcy, made in a deal with the federal government to reclaim land and clean up water pollution at its mine sites. Reuters

10,712 hectares Area of a ranch utilities in El Paso, Texas are buying to provide groundwater to the growing city. The water will not be tapped until 2050. El Paso Times

Science, Studies, And Reports

The area covered by Arctic sea ice in June was 260,000 square kilometers less than 2010, setting a new record low. In the second half of the month, an average of 74,000 square kilometers of ice melted each day. Guardian

On The Radar

China plans to rank hundreds of its cities on the basis of water quality in the hopes of incentivizing better environmental stewardship. The 10 best and worst performers will be announced each month based on 21 different parameters. The New York Times