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Environmental News Network

How Much Soil Goes Down The Drain – New Data On Soil Lost Due To Water
According to a new study, almost 36 billion tons of soil is lost every year due to water, and deforestation and other changes in land use make the problem worse. The study also offers ideas on how agriculture can change to become a part of the solution from being part of the problem.

Northeast Farmers Weigh Warming Climate, Drenched Fields
Farmers in the Northeast are adapting to longer growing seasons and warming climate conditions – but they may face spring-planting whiplash as they confront fields increasingly saturated with rain, according to a research paper published in the journal Climatic Change.

NASA Sees Tropical Storm Kai-Tak Moving Over the Philippines
NASA's Aqua satellite provided infrared imagery of Tropical Storm Kai-Tak that revealed the western side of storm had moved into the southern and central Philippines. Infrared data revealed very cold cloud top temperatures with the potential for heavy rainfall.

More frequent fires reduce soil carbon and fertility, slowing the regrowth of plants
Frequent burning over decades reduces the amount of carbon and nitrogen stored in soils of savanna grasslands and broadleaf forests, in part because reduced plant growth means less carbon being drawn out of the atmosphere and stored in plant matter. These findings by a Stanford-led team are important for worldwide understanding of fire impacts on the carbon cycle and for modeling the future of global carbon and climate change.

Exposure to Larger Air Particles Linked to Increased Risk of Asthma in Children
Researchers at The Johns Hopkins University report statistical evidence that children exposed to airborne coarse particulate matter — a mix of dust, sand and non-exhaust tailpipe emissions, such as tire rubber — are more likely to develop asthma and need emergency room or hospital treatment for it than unexposed children.

Prescription drugs in treated wastewater are making fish more vulnerable to predators
A team of researchers from Environment Canada and Climate Change Canada and McMaster University have found that fish living downstream from a wastewater treatment plant showed changes to their normal behaviour—ones that made them vulnerable to predators—when exposed to elevated levels of antidepressant drugs in the water.The findings, published as a series of three papers in the journal Scientific Reports, point to the ongoing problem of prescription medications, personal care products and other drugs that end up in the watershed and the impact they have on the natural environment.

Saving Salamanders: Vital to Ecosystem Health
Amphibians—the big-eyed, swimming-crawling-jumping-climbing group of water and land animals that includes frogs, toads, salamanders and worm-like caecilians—are the world’s most endangered vertebrates. One-third of the planet’s amphibian species are threatened with extinction. Now, these vulnerable creatures are facing a new foe: the Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) fungus, which is the source of an emerging amphibian disease that caused the die-off of wild European salamander populations.