The Global Rundown
Hurricane Dorian causes heavy damages as it stalls over the Bahamas. The United Nations warns that 3.2 billion people worldwide are at risk from land degradation and desertification. PFAS levels spike at a river intake in Southeast Michigan. Scientists identify a drought-resistant gene in barley. Clean water is restored throughout the Detroit school district.
“We are in the midst of a historic tragedy in parts of the northern Bahamas. Our mission and focus now is search, rescue and recovery.” –Hubert A. Minnis, Prime Minister of the Bahamas, in reference to Hurricane Dorian’s landfall over the Atlantic archipelago. Dorian hit the Bahamas late Sunday as a Category 5 storm, and stalled over the islands all day Monday, leaving five dead. Flooding on the Abaco Islands, just east of Grand Bahama Island, reportedly damaged thousands of homes and infiltrated wells with saltwater. As of Monday night, the forecast showed the storm weakening and moving east of Florida, but meteorologists warn that severe weather conditions remain possible in Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas. The New York Times
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By The Numbers
3.2 billion People who are at risk from land degradation and desertification globally, according to a new report by the United Nations. The destruction of productive land has led to food and water shortages, as well as worsening drought, in many parts of the world. The United Nations warns that it could cost the global economy $23 trillion over the next 30 years, and urged governments to invest in land restoration. Al Jazeera
500+ Water hydration stations installed at every school in the Detroit school district. In 2018, elevated levels of lead and copper were detected at several schools, prompting a district-wide drinking water shutoff. Thanks to $3 million in donations, the district has been able to install the hydration stations, ensuring clean water as students begin a new school year. Bridge
Science, Studies, and Reports
Out of the 39,000 genes in barley, researchers recently isolated a specific one, HvMYB1, which they say helps the crop survive prolonged dry conditions. Peter Morris, a scientist from Scotland’s Heriot-Watt University who led the research team, believes the findings could help maintain barley yields in the face of future droughts. The Guardian
On the Radar
Five communities in Southeast Michigan are at risk of elevated PFAS levels in their drinking water after an intake for the River Raisin was found to contain PFOS levels of 1,600-parts-per-trillion (ppt). The city’s water systems have already been tested for PFAS, but officials say they will re-test in response to the new threat. MLive
In context: PFAS: What You Need To Know.
Kayla Ritter is a recent graduate of Michigan State University, where she studied International Relations and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She is currently based in Manton, Michigan. Kayla enjoys running, writing, and traveling. Contact Kayla Ritter