The Stream, September 25: In Canada, Global Warming Could Open Up Millions of Acres of Farmland

The Global Rundown

Global warming could produce millions of acres of new farmland in Canada as frigid land thaws. Drought conditions are expected to ease throughout Australia as a cold front brings rain. Hurricane Maria weakens a dam in Puerto Rico, prompting thousands of downstream communities to evacuate. Drought-stricken nations across the world are turning to “cloud-seeding,” a chemical method of producing greater amounts of rain. A U.N. official estimates that $200 million in humanitarian assistance is needed to help Rohingya refugees fleeing violence in Myanmar.

“If we don’t drastically improve water and sanitation we will face water-borne diseases including cholera.” –Dr. N. Paranietharan, Bangladesh WHO representative, in reference to the dire humanitarian needs facing displaced Rohingya Muslims. Over 400,000 Rohingya have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh in the past month in what the United Nations calls an ethnic cleansing. Aid agencies are struggling to provide the refugees with food, shelter, healthcare, and clean water. Reuters

By The Numbers

70,000 Number of Puerto Ricans who were forced to evacuate from the path of the Guajataca Dam, which was weakened by heavy rains from Hurricane Maria. The dam has a “significant rupture” and could burst at any moment, according to an announcement by Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello. Business Insider

10 million acres Amount of new farmland in Canada that climate change could bring to a zone of clay soil stretching from Ontario to Quebec. This zone is just one of many areas in Canada that could soon be used for farming as global warming thaws previously unusable swaths of land. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

The controversial practice of cloud-seeding, which chemically infuses clouds to increase rainfall, is gaining traction across the globe as temperatures rise and dry spells lengthen. China boasts the largest cloud-seeding operation, using it both to increase rainfall and to stave off devastating hailstorms. Other nations, from the United States to the United Arab Emirates, are also experimenting with the technology. Reuters

On The Radar

After months of persistent dry weather, a cold front is forecasted to bring rain throughout drought-stricken Australia this week. Many parts of the country have received less than 20 percent of normal rainfall for September, which is beginning to significantly affect the country’s winter crops. AccuWeather