The Stream, May 12: Days Numbered For U.S. Glaciers, Scientists Say

The Global Rundown

Glaciers in the contiguous United States may be gone by mid-century, according to scientists. Somalia needs an additional $900 million in aid to address food and water shortages caused by drought. A cholera outbreak in Yemen, spread through contaminated water, has now killed more than 50 people. Not enough money is set aside to cover the costs of mine rehabilitation in New South Wales, a report by the state’s auditor-general found. Unusually dry weather in the United Kingdom is calling attention to the leaky pipes that continue to plague water systems. Exploratory oil drilling off the coast of Brazil could harm a newly discovered coral reef at the mouth of the Amazon River, according to a federal prosecutor.

“It’s inevitable that we will lose them all over the next few decades. The Colorado glaciers started melting before Montana’s, and while there are larger glaciers in the Pacific Northwest that will hold on longer, the number vanishing will steadily grow until none are left.” –Daniel Farge, a researcher at the U.S. Geological Survey, commenting on the retreat of glaciers in the United States. Only 26 of Glacier National Park’s 150 glaciers remain, and scientists predict even those will disappear by mid-century. (Guardian)

By The Numbers

51 people Number who have died in a cholera outbreak in Yemen over the past two weeks, according to revised estimates released by the World Health Organization. Driven by inadequate access to safe water and sanitation, the outbreak may have infected an additional 2,752 people. Reuters

$900 million Additional amount that is needed to address food and water shortages caused by a severe drought in Somalia, according to the secretary-general of the United Nations. UN News Centre

20 percent Estimated amount of water lost to leaks in water systems across the United Kingdom, raising concerns amid a deepening drought in England. Guardian

Science, Studies, And Reports

Funds set aside by mining companies to rehabilitate mine sites in Australia’s New South Wales state are not sufficient and do not cover unexpected environmental damage, according to a report released by the auditor-general. The report also urged the government to ensure that mining companies analyze “long-term surface water and groundwater trends in terms of levels, flow and quality.” Guardian

In context: Unearthing the water risks of the global mining industry.

On The Radar

Tension is ramping up between oil companies and conservationists in Brazil over exploratory drilling slated for offshore areas near a newly discovered coral reef. The reef extends from the mouth of the Amazon River, and only 5 percent of it has been mapped. Reuters