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Weekly Environmental Updates
A California packing company has voluntarily recalled a number of fruits due to possible Listeria contamination. Peaches, nectarines, plums, and pluots as well as baked goods packaged between June 1 and July 12 are among the items recalled. The produce was sold at various supermarket chains including Trader Joe's, Ralph's, Costco, and Food 4 Less.
The Earth's surface racked up another record last month when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration determined that the month of June was the hottest recorded since record keeping commenced in 1880. May 2014 also made the record books as the hottest ever on record. Every month in 2014 except February has been named among the four hottest on record for that month.
You may talk to your plants, but apparently they're also talking, at least to each other. Researchers are developing microsensors that will be able to decode electrical signals sent by plants in response to changes in their environment. Several previous studies have documented plant's ability to release volatile substances into the air in response to being chewed by insects. Other plants respond by ramping up their defenses.
A revived seal population has some New England residents calling for a controlled hunt to thin the numbers of the once endanged mammals. Fisherman complain that the seals steal catch, beach enthusiasts fear that the seals attract sharks, and residents say that the seals are hindering tourism, although a seal watch operator says the sea creatures have been a boon to his business. Seals were in danger of extinction before conservation efforts, an increased food supply, and migration from Canada boosted their numbers.
The pricey all-electric Tesla automobile ($69,000) is about to become more affordable, at least for some people. A $35,000 somewhat down-sized model is on its way by 2017, thanks to cheaper battery technology. The new Tesla will have a range of approximately 200 miles.
A tree planted in honor of the late Beatle George Harrison has been destroyed by actual beetles. The pine tree, which was planted as a sapling in L.A.s Griffith Park near the observatory in 2004, grew to more than 10 feet tall before being destroyed. George Harrison, who was an avid gardener as well as a musician, died in 2001.
Roman Hills