"Average temperatures have risen in every US state since the early 1900s, causing extreme summers, longer wildfire and allergy seasons, declines in crop and livestock production, and the spread of tropical diseases to be more common."
If you live east of the Rocky Mountains, you've probably encountered switchgrass, perhaps without even realizing it. A hardy perennial, the roadside and prairie grass is as ubiquitous as it is unassuming.
You may get to know it better soon, though. Switchgrass has been lauded as a promising source of biofuels with multiple advantages over current favored options, including corn. Genetically modifying switchgrass could boost crop yields and its commercial viability.
“With the contribution of eight consecutive high monthly temperature records set from January to August, and the remainder of the months ranking among their five warmest, 2016 became the warmest year in NOAA's 137-year series. Remarkably, this is the third consecutive year a new global annual temperature record has been set. The average global temperature across land and ocean surface areas for 2016 was 0.94°C (1.69°F) above the 20th century average of 13.9°C (57.0°F), surpassing the previous record warmth of 2015 by 0.04°C (0.07°F). The global temperatures in 2016 were majorly influenced by strong El Niño conditions that prevailed at the beginning of the year.”
“The oceans are warming up faster than we thought. While this is bad news for the planet, it's good news for climate change scientists who have — for the last two decades — puzzled over warming trends in ocean surface temperatures for nearly 20 years.”
"Erosion is a major problem on many farms – and one with a cascading effect. Not only does it deplete the farm of a valuable resource, it also creates downstream problems due to nutrient runoff. A new study from the University of Missouri shows that switchgrass could be a good option for curbing the negative effects of erosion, and may even prove to bring positive economic returns as a biofuel crop."
"As part of an effort to develop drought-resistant food and bioenergy crops, scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have uncovered the genetic and metabolic mechanisms that allow certain plants to conserve water and thrive in semi-arid climates."
"The Arctic, the northernmost polar region characterized by cold winters and vast sheets of white ice, is "undergoing rapid, sometimes turbulent change beyond anything previously experienced," according to a new five-year study."
"For what appears to be the first time since scientists began keeping track, sea ice in the Arctic and the Antarctic are at record lows this time of year."
"Levels of CO2 in the atmosphere have surged past an important threshold and may not dip below it for 'many generations'."