October 12, 2012 |
The worst drought in half a century has plagued two-thirds of the nation, devastating farms and stoking wildfires that scorched almost 9 million acres this year. Withering heat blanketed the East Coast and Midwest, killing scores of people and making July the hottest month ever recorded in the U.S. And in the Arctic this summer, polar snow and ice melted away to the smallest size ever observed by man. Extreme events like drought, heat waves, intense rainfall, flooding and fires have prompted many people to reconsider the connection between the weather and the changing climate.
October 12, 2012 |
The U.S. Department of Agriculture projects domestic supplies of corn and soybeans will be tight in the next year as the worst drought in decades continues to parch most U.S. states. In its monthly crop report, the USDA reduced its corn production forecast to 10.706 billion bushels, slightly down from last month's projection of 10.727 billion. Illustrating the price squeeze on producers, one of California's largest turkey farmers, Zacky Farms, filed for bankruptcy protection this week, blaming skyrocketing feed costs.
October 3, 2012 |
Man had not yet walked on the moon the last time a player won baseball's triple crown. It was 1967, the Summer of Love in San Francisco and a summer of riots in Detroit and Newark. The first Super Bowl was played that year, three months before Toronto's Omar Vizquel - the oldest current major leaguer - was born. "I'm surprised that it's gone this long, to be perfectly honest," says Carl Yastrzemski, the last man to lead the American League in hitting, homers and runs batted in the same season before Detroit's Miguel Cabrera matched the feat Wednesday.
September 24, 2012 |
CINCINNATI - Adrian Gonzalez waited almost a month to feel the way he did Sunday night. "Today is when I really started feeling my hands," Gonzalez said. "I've been doing a tweak every day, but today I finally felt something that worked and felt good. " What resulted was a pair of solo home runs in the Dodgers' 5-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday. Gonzalez hadn't hit a home run since his first at-bat as a Dodger, on Aug. 26. He had been homerless in 25 consecutive games.
September 21, 2012 |
The drought that descended on the United States this summer will translate into higher prices for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The inevitability of this scenario introduces an old question that has become new: When weather strikes, what can curb food inflation? Recent suggestions cover a wide range of complicated approaches, from GPS-guided drip irrigation techniques to genetically engineered crops and from new federal biofuel standards to new farm insurance programs to new commodity-markets regulations.
September 18, 2012 |
Climate change has seldom warranted a mention during the 2012 congressional campaigns, a sign both of the nation's changing priorities as it copes with an economic downturn and the extent to which conservative politicians and the fossil fuel industry have succeeded in sowing doubts about the scientific consensus. Mother Nature, meanwhile, is getting hot under the collar whether we want to talk about it or not. As the signs that the world is warming grow ever more unmistakable, one of the ironies of the American political debate on the topic is that leaders in the states being most heavily affected are often those least inclined to do anything about it, or even acknowledge that there's a problem.
September 17, 2012 |
WOODLAND, Calif. - The worst U.S. drought in half a century is withering the nation's corn crop, but it's a fertile opportunity for makers of genetically modified crops. Agricultural biotechnology companies have been pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into developing plants that can withstand the effects of a prolonged dry spell. Monsanto Co., based in St. Louis, has received regulatory approval for DroughtGard, a corn variety that contains the first genetically modified trait for drought resistance.
September 16, 2012 |
FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. - In this southern suburb of Atlanta, the lawns skirting the million-dollar homes are lush, and the swimming pools full. But farther south, the Flint River has thinned into mud flats at a time of year when surges of white water would normally be crashing over boulders in the riverbed. Depending on whom you ask, Georgia is doing fine, or it's suffering from historic drought. Georgians have gotten a swift education: Since 1999, the state has spent more years in drought than in normal conditions.
September 6, 2012 |
The soggy breakup of Hurricane Isaac brought some relief to parts of the drought-plagued Midwest, but other agricultural areas continue to bear the pain of a worsening climate. The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor map released Thursday showed that the hardest-hit drought areas of the continental United States decreased slightly to 21.45%, down by 1.7 percentage points. Parts of Missouri, Illinois and Indiana got some relief because of rain associated with Isaac, a slow-moving storm that hit the Louisiana coast on Aug. 28 as a Category 1 hurricane and wended its wet way across parts of the South and Midwest.