Environment

Potatoes are an essential food for humans and now two new varieties produced by the Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development have been added to the Registry of Commercial Varieties. 
Northern British Columbia's First Nation leaders repeatedly rejected the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines from Alberta and so oil companies are shipping more oil by rail, which requires no new approval, and is inherently more environmentally risky than the pipeline they said was too risky. 

If you are more familiar with U.S. scientization of politics, it is like the Obama administration ignoring Yucca mountain science reports so that nuclear waste can remain in over 100 different locations of suspect quality: A win for environmental activists who wanted to flex their muscles but a loss for everyone else.
In 2006, a somewhat common yet unpredictable decline in bees occurred, just as had happened in previous decades and leading back as long as anecdotal records have been kept. While scientists tried to determine the cause, various constituents rushed to lay blame for this new short-term decline on various environmental factors. The science consensus was that it was parasites but while the investigation was ongoing, the European Union wanted to know if it was due to a newer class of pesticides, called neonicotinoids, that had been introduced as a safe alternative a decade earlier, due to a mass die-off of bees.

Bee numbers have rebounded nicely but the report says they are not out of the woods yet.
The agricultural development of the Lower Yangtze River Basin around Nanjing and Shanghai is ecologically unsustainable and actions are needed soon to reverse its decline, according to a new study.

The region has been in environmental decline since it passed a tipping point in the late 1970s, which further found that:

* the relatively stable pre-1970s 'agriculture-ecology' system in the region reached a tipping point at the end of the 1970s, as reforms in China allowed farmers to grow surplus crops with more fertilizers and pesticides.

* economic development has created a 'trade-off' between gains in agricultural productivity and increasing environmental degradation, with losses of ecosystem services, such as good water quality and stable soils.
Winter floods are important natural 'disturbances' for maintaining species-rich riparian zones along northern watercourses. Movies like The Day After Tomorrow and An Inconvenient Truth exaggerated some of the big effects of a climate gone crazy but less attention is given to smaller, realistic scenarios, like a disturbance in existing winter floods.

Riparian forests are important as they supply habitat, store carbon, provide shading, and filter water. Ice formation and winter floods are significant factors for vegetation and wildlife in northern regions.  According to Ph.D. candidate Lovisa Lind at Umeå universitet, during cold winter days, frazil ice (tiny ice particles) forms in the super-cooled water of open turbulent stream reaches.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced approval of the first two nonbrowning apple varieties, Arctic Golden and Arctic Granny apples. 
Cute, clever, incorrect.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations's Forest Resource Assessment for 2005 used the word "alarming" 20 times to describe the trend lines for def
New research has identified the mechanism used by plants in stress conditions to sense low oxygen levels - and scientists then used that knowledge and advanced breeding techniques to reduce yield loss in barley under water-logged conditions.

In 2011, University of Nottingham Professor of Crop Science Michael Holdsworth and colleagues identified the mechanism used by plants in stress conditions to sense low oxygen levels and now they have discovered how this works in barley.

“We now know how to breed barley cultivars more tolerant to waterlogging and flooding,” says Holdsworth.
Trilemma - a quandary posed by three alternative courses of action.

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“Agriculture is having increasingly strong global impact on both the environment and human health, often driven by dietary changes.”
There are concerns about climate emissions because of resistance to clean technologies like nuclear power that have led to increased use of coal. Solar power will be the best solution in the future, if it does not fall victim to too much hype and subsidies now. 

There is also a water problem. Only slightly more than one percent of the world's water is potable, making clean water a priority - but one that is easily solved by energy.