And safety regs may not be adequate: Backyard chickens are an increasingly popular move for anyone wanting a source of fresh eggs (or just to hang out with chickens, which are funny weird animals). According to a new paper from researchers at the University of California, however, the regulations governing proper procedure for keeping backyard chickens have lagged far behind their popularity. “Most ordinances,” according to those researchers, “inadequately address both human and animal health and welfare concerns.” READ MORE


San Francisco is sinking (at the same time the ocean is rising): If you move to the San Francisco Bay Area, prepare to pay some of the most exorbitant home prices on the planet. Also, prepare for the fact that someday, your new home could be underwater—and not just financially. Sea level rise threatens to wipe out swaths of the Bay’s densely populated coastlines, and a new study published in Science Advances paints an even more dire scenario: The coastal land is also sinking, making a rising sea that much more precarious. Considering sea level rise alone, models show that, on the low end, 20 square miles could be inundated by 2100. But factor in subsiding land and that estimate jumps to almost 50 square miles. The high end? 165 square miles lost. READ MORE


Hydroponics and urban farming: Jaime Silverstein works on a farm every day. Inside a cargo shipping container. In Boston. She is a part of a growing movement of urban farmers intent on using efficient, high-tech hydroponic setups to shorten the distance between city dwellers and their food. Silverstein works as a crop specialist for Freight Farms, a company that creates what it calls Leafy Green Machines—essentially shipping containers decked out with enough hydroponics equipment and tools to produce two to four tons of produce a year, in any climate or location. READ MORE

Fisheries could decline 20 percent on average: University of California, Irvine scientists expect the world’s fisheries to be, on average, 20 percent less productive in the year 2300, with those in the North Atlantic down nearly 60 percent and those in much of the western Pacific experiencing declines of more than 50 percent. Extended climate warming would drastically alter wind patterns, boost ocean surface temperatures and melt nearly all the sea ice in polar regions, causing changes in phytoplankton growth and ocean circulation around Antarctica and the trans of nutrients from the upper ocean to the deep ocean, says the study’s author. READ MORE

Beware the Khapra beetle: The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol says it has intercepted one of the world’s most destructive pests of stored grains, cereals, and seeds at two Washington-area airports this year. Agriculture specialists at Washington Dulles International Airport and Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport recently encountered the Khapra beetle, the only insect the agency takes regulatory action against. The insect has has the potential to economically cripple exporters, the agency said. The beetle was found in rice brought from Saudi Arabia. READ MORE


Number of victims of Salmonella outbreak increases: The number of confirmed victims in a multi-state Salmonella outbreak traced to chicken salad has more than doubled since federal officials first reported on the situation. There are now 170 confirmed cases across seven states, according to an update today from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those people for whom complete details are available, 62 have had symptoms so severe they required hospitalization. No deaths have been confirmed. Fareway Stores Inc. retailers sold the implicated chicken salad from Jan. 4 to Feb. 9 in their deli departments at stores in Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota. READ MORE


First case of bird flu in the U.S. this year: The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the first commercial case of bird flu in the country this year has been confirmed at a turkey farm in southwestern Missouri. The H7N1 avian influenza, a low-pathogenic form, was detected through pre-slaughter testing on a farm in Jasper County that houses 20,000 turkeys. The state put the farm under quarantine. READ MORE