Can East Africa's locust plague be stopped? | The Stream

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From feasting locusts to melting glaciers to betting on a doomsday seed vault, The Stream takes a look at global warming’s effects around the world. Join the conversation.

Authorities in East Africa are racing to counter swarms of voracious locusts who have been eating their way through seven countries, including Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. If left unchecked, the insects could multiply 400-fold by June, decimating crops in a region that’s already home to 19 million hungry people, according to the United Nations.

Melting glaciers
Antarctica experienced its hottest day on record in February, during a heat wave that has been driving dramatic ice melt in the region. On Feb. 6, Antarctica reached 18C, the same temperature as Los Angeles.

Scientists are warning that the consequences of rapidly melting glaciers could be disastrous. Sea levels will rise, endangering coastal towns, and oceans will absorb more heat, putting marine life in peril.

Seed vault
Amid talks of plagues and locusts, a bit of good news: a “doomsday” food vault in the Arctic has recently accepted its millionth seed variety. The Norway-based Svalbard Global Seed Vault opened in 2008 and aims to safeguard food security in the event of failed future harvests. Rising temperatures recently forced the facility to complete a €20 million renovation.

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