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Drought is threatening one of the biggest fruit and vegetable producing countries for all of the European Union—Spain. Nearly half of Spain’s crop exports like lettuce and strawberries have been grown in the southeastern part of the country that uses diverted water from the River Tagus to the north. The Tagus runs about 620 miles from east to west, emptying into the Atlantic Ocean at Lisbon, Portugal. The Spanish government completed the Tagus-Segura Water Transfer project including its canals, tunnels, aqueducts, and reservoirs in the late 1970s.
Part of one of Spain's transfer system's aqueducts in its passage through Carrascosa del Campo | Credit: Midir
The basis for life in the ocean is phytoplankton, plant-like organisms that live close to the surface and provide food for a range of marine animals. Also called microalgae, phytoplankton need nutrients such as nitrates, phosphates, and sulfur to survive, and according to new research led by Oregon State University, they obtain much of it from atmospheric dust that’s lifted from the land into the air by wind and transported vast distances.
Dust spreads from China | Credit: NASA Earth Observatory
As Kermit the Frog would tell you, it’s not easy being green. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says it should be for consumers but not for imposters.
Credit: Greg Henshall/Wikimedia Commons
It might be time to show mosses some respect. The plants have lived on Earth for over 450 million years, surviving in extremes from the driest deserts to the wind-swept hills of Antarctica. Despite covering an area equal to the land mass of Canada, mosses haven’t been studied as much as their vascular plant cousins but according to a new report, we’d be lost without them.
| Credit: Dr. David Eldridge, University of New South Wales, Sydney