6 Environmental Stories You Don't Want to Miss

By Stephanie Steinbrecher

June 11, 2015

Joshua Tree

Photo by iStock/timothytjoshua

THE TREES, THE TREES: UC Riverside ecologist Cameron Barrows reported that drought and climate change have sped the decline of Joshua trees in California deserts. Modeling shows that continued low precipitation rates in Joshua Tree National Park will decimate 90 percent of the plants' current range.

DECARBONIZATION NEGOTIATION: Leaders of G7 nations met in Bavaria, Germany to discuss climate change, where they made endorsements of a global zero carbon emissions policy by the end of the century. This non-binding agreement precedes the United Nations Paris climate conference later this year.

SMILING SERENGETI: The journal Scientific Data published photos of wildlife taken from 225 camera traps in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. 30,000 citizen scientists helped identify wildlife for Snapshot Serengeti, which ultimately processed 1.2 million images and identified 40 different species. 

FRACKING WATER SUPPLIES: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a report that found that hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” has no widespread impact on the U.S.’s water supply. However, the EPA also noted that certain practices used in fracking can possibly contaminate drinking water.

BEE HAPPY: Ontario, Canada announced that on July 1, it will become the first jurisdiction in North America to reduce the number of acres of land planted with bee-killing pesticides. Neonicotinoid-coated corn and soybean seeds prevent bees and other pollinators from carrying out essential functions.

CAPACITY FOR CHANGE: The Obama Administration declared its participation in a $34 million international public-private partnership that aims to support developing countries build their climate change resilience. The effort affirms global climate change's threat and acknowledges the “particularly damaging” effects it has on developing countries.

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