The Stream, September 4, 2019: Somalia Sees Worst Harvest Since 2011 Famine

The Global Rundown

Harvest levels are 70 percent below average in parts of Somalia, leaving two million people facing severe hunger. Hurricane Dorian weakens to a Category 2 storm after lashing the Bahamas. More than 100 seal pups are counted in England’s River Thames, which has revived significantly after being declared biologically dead in the 1950s. U.S. regulators say the Constitution natural gas pipeline can move forward without a water permit. Despite a snowy winter, dry conditions in Colorado push the state toward another drought. Experts blame climate change as high water levels continue to overwhelm the U.S. Great Lakes region

“Bigger picture, it’s climate change. There’s no doubt that we are in a region where climate change is having an impact.” –Richard B Rood, a professor in the University of Michigan, in reference to coastal flooding along the U.S. Great Lakes. Water levels in the lakes have been abnormally high this spring and summer, causing widespread coastal flooding. Experts say the situation is symptomatic of broader climate change, and similar scenarios are likely to be seen again in the future. The Guardian

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By The Numbers

2.1 million People in Somalia who are facing severe hunger through the end of the year after the country experienced its worst harvest since 2011. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says the poor yield was caused by erratic weather and “climate shocks.” Yields in some areas was 70 percent below average. UN News

138 Seal pups born this year in England’s River Thames, according to a recent count. The heavily-polluted river was declared biologically dead 62 years ago, but conservation efforts have since rejuvenated the Thames ecosystem. Experts say the presence of seal pups is a promising sign of the river’s progress. The Guardian

Science, Studies, and Reports

On the heels of a wet, snowy winter, the state of Colorado is now edging back into drought, based on recent updates from the U.S. Drought Monitor. A dry monsoon season in the southwestern U.S. has left southern Colorado and other areas thirsting for moisture. The Denver Post 

On the Radar

After causing heavy damages to the Bahamas, Hurricane Dorian is now moving north off the east coast of Florida. The storm has been downgraded to a Category 2, but heavy winds and dangerous surf remain likely along coastal Florida, Georgia, and North and South Carolina in coming days. Reuters

Federal officials waived a water permit requirement for Williams Cos Inc.’s Constitution natural gas pipeline after New York officials failed to act on the company’s application for the permit. Constitution’s application for the water permit, required under the Clean Water Act, was submitted over a year ago. Last week, the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) ordered that the requirement be waived due to a lack of response from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). The pipeline, which will run from Pennsylvania to New York, is now likely to enter service by 2021. Reuters

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