The Stream, August 1: Study Links Climate Change To Farmer Suicides in India

The Global Rundown

A new study links thousands of farmer suicides in India to changes in temperature and rainfall. India’s prime minister said climate change has contributed to floods and other natural disasters. There is little chance the world will limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, researchers found. Scientists also warned that the loss of Arctic sea ice could reduce the strength of a major ocean circulation system, with widespread consequences for climates in Europe. A large hydropower project in Chile faces more cost overruns. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will release a study next week about ways to stop invasive Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes. Researchers in the United Kingdom started the annual survey of seal populations in the Thames estuary this week.

“Mother Nature gives us life and nurtures us, but at times natural catastrophes such as floods and earthquakes wreak havoc on a massive scale. Climate change, altered weather cycles, and transformations in the environment, are also having a big negative impact.” –India Prime Minister Narendra Modi, referring to monsoon floods that have affected millions of people in the country. He noted that many of the losses have been felt most acutely by farmers, and called for more technology to help communities prepare for changing weather patterns. (Reuters)

By The Numbers

5 percent Chance that the world will avoid a global temperature increase of 2 degrees Celsius or more due to population and economic growth, according to a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. Scientists warn that warming above this level will likely create severe and deadly climate change. Guardian

20 percent Increase in cost overruns at the $2 billion Alto Maipo hydropower project in Chile. The company behind the project said Monday it could face further costs and delays. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

Approximately 59,300 farmer suicides in India over the past three decades may be linked to climate change, according to a study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley. The study also found that increasing levels of annual rainfall — some as small as 1 centimeter — correlated with a 7 percent decline in suicide rates, on average. Guardian

In context: India’s water, food, and energy conundrum.

The loss of Arctic sea ice could reduce the strength of a major water circulation system in the Atlantic Ocean by 30 to 50 percent, according to a study led by researchers at Yale University and the University of Southampton. The circulation system, called the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, plays an integral role in regulating climates in Europe. Science Daily

Scientists in the United Kingdom began the fifth annual survey of seal populations in the Thames estuary on Monday. Efforts to restore the River Thames have helped seals rebound over the past 60 years, but disease and dredging still pose potential threats to their well-being. Guardian

On The Radar

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to release a report August 7 detailing more options to stop the spread of invasive Asian carp into the Great Lakes. The report was originally slated for release in February, but was delayed by the administration of President Donald Trump. Associated Press

In context: Asian carp swarm south of Chicago as consensus on permanent solution eludes nation.