The Stream, December 21: Canada Plans to Tap Coastal Waters in Offshore Drilling Expansion

The Global Rundown

A section of Alaska’s Kenai River fails to meet water quality standards after high boat traffic muddies the waterway. Warming ocean temperatures double snowfall in North America’s mountain ranges, a study finds. Canada considers offshore oil drilling amid pipeline leaks and other issues. The Yemen conflict bypasses the 1,000-day mark as access to clean water continues to decline. Rising sea levels jeopardize the future of remote Vanuatu islanders.

“I don’t have access to clean water, gas, cooking oil, and I haven’t received my salary in a year. In 1,000 days, Yemen has become a land of blood and bombs. This place is hell on earth.” –Lutf Alsanani, a resident of Sanaa, in reference to Yemen’s grueling conflict. Fourteen million Yemenis are now without access to clean water and sanitation as a Saudi-led import blockade continues. Al Jazeera

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By The Numbers

10 inches Amount that seas have risen since the late 19th century, posing grave challenges to the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu. As ocean levels rise, many villagers are considering moving off the coast–but other difficulties, such as a lack of inland water sources, are hampering relocation efforts. Reuters

7 miles Length of the Kenai River that was excessively muddied by boat traffic during July, according to a newly-released report. The disturbance caused the river to exceed water quality standards for turbidity, the measure of how much sediment is suspended in the water column. Studies have shown that overly muddy waters can pose dangers to fish and aquatic wildlife. U.S. News & World Report

Science, Studies, And Reports

Researchers at Dartmouth College have suggested a link between warming seas and increased mountain snowfall. According to a recent study, snowfall on the Alaskan Range in North America has increased 117 percent since the start of the Industrial Age, when ocean temperatures also began to rise. Science Daily

On The Radar

Following leaks and other pipeline issues, the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador is beginning to tap the country’s waters for crude oil. Last month, the first new offshore oil project in 12 years debuted, and offshore drilling is likely to increase in the next few years. Reuters