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World’s Largest Vertical Farm Grows Without Soil, Sunlight or Water – August 15, 2016

A $30m green revolution that seeks to produce more crops in less space, but is it economically viable?

An ambitious, almost fantastical, manifestation of agricultural technology is expected to come to fruition this fall. From the remains of an abandoned steel mill in Newark, New Jersey, the creators of AeroFarms are building what they say will be the largest vertical farm, producing two million pounds of leafy greens a year.

a sprawling indoor farm Photo by Malavika Vyawahare/The Guardian AeroFarms grows its greens using a nutrient-rich mist on plants anchored in a reusable cloth made of recycled plastic bottles.

Whether it even qualifies as a “farm” is a matter of taste. The greens will be manufactured using a technology… more

by: The Guardian

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The Lake that Left Town – August 11, 2016

One of California’s largest lakes is receding, causing the town around it to dwindle. Is climate change to blame?

Val Aubrey parked her boat trailer on the shore of Eagle Lake, in northeastern California. She walked to an overlook where a sign warned against swimming and diving. “This” — she opened her arms wide — “used to be the marina.”

photo of Eagle Lakephoto by Don BarretEagle lake has fallen 15 feet since 1999. What used to be the waterfront is now a meadow. 

Down below, docks sat among nettles and thistles growing on what used to be the lakebed. The boat ramp led to sunbaked dirt, and squirrels skittered across the concrete.

“They put a tombstone right in the middle… more

by: The Guardian

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Long-Studied Alaskan Wolf Pack May Be Dead After Years of Aggressive Hunting – August 9, 2016

East Fork wolf pack, found near Denali, was first researched in the 1930s

The world’s longest-studied wolf pack may have been wiped out, wildlife officials fear amid an escalating battle between federal and state authorities in Alaska over the aggressive hunting of predators such as wolves and bears.

photo of Denali Wolfphoto by Denali National Park and PreserveThe East Fork wolf pack, the longest-studied in the world, may have been wiped out.

The East Fork wolf pack, found near Denali, North America’s tallest mountain, was first researched in the 1930s and provided the first detailed accounts of wolf behavior and ecology. But years of hunting, trapping and habitat disturbance reduced numbers… more

by: The Guardian

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Environmental Records Shattered as Climate Change ‘Plays Out Before Us’ – August 2, 2016

Temperatures, sea levels, and carbon dioxide all hit milestones in 2015, major international ‘state of the climate’ report finds

The world is careening towards an environment never experienced before by humans, with the temperature of the air and oceans breaking records, sea levels reaching historic highs and carbon dioxide surpassing a key milestone, a major international report has found.

photo of Greenlandphoto by NASA HQ Photo, on FlickrTemperatures in the Arctic were 8 degrees Celsius above average in August 2015.

The “state of the climate” report, led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) with input from hundreds of scientists from 62 countries, confirmed there was a “toppling of several symbolic mileposts” in heat, sea level rise and… more

by: The Guardian

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American Farmers Are Struggling to Feed the Country’s Appetite for Organic Food – July 29, 2016

Consumer appetite for organic food reached $13.4 bn in the US last year, but only 1 percent of cropland is dedicated to organic farming

Marc Garibaldi, a farmer in California’s Central Valley, no longer uses conventional pesticides and fertilizers because he doesn’t want to work with toxic chemicals at his 40-acre cherry orchard. His farm was officially certified as organic a few weeks ago, but the path to securing that designation was long and costly: He spent three years working to demonstrate the use of eco-friendly pest and soil management practices and paid between 10 percent-20 percent in higher labor cost.

photo of vegetablesphoto by nosha, on FLickrThe time and expenses required to get organic certification present major roadblocks for increasing the amount of organic farmland in America.

more

by: The Guardian

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