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Tag search: "Climate Change"

Promoting health through the life course

With climate change driving child marriage risks, Bangladesh fights back

Climate change-driven extreme weather is accelerating migration to Bangladesh`s cities, raising the risks of problems such as child marriage, according to UNICEF`s head of Bangladesh programmes. Innovative efforts to curb the threat - particularly training young people to help each other - are paying off, with Bangladesh`s government now incorporating programmes started by UNICEF and Save the Children

July 20, 2017

Paying Uganda farmers not to cut down trees halved deforestation - study

Paying Ugandan farmers not to chop down trees cut deforestation in half and was almost 50 times more cost effective in fighting climate change than many energy efficiency programmes in the U.S., according to a study by researchers from the U.S.`s Northwestern University and Dutch organisation Porticus. It involved 121 villages with half paid about $28 a year for every hectare of forest left untouched while the others continued as normal. Using satellite images to track deforestation over two years, the researchers found 5.5 more hectares of forest was preserved in the villages in the payment programme compared to the other villages

July 20, 2017

Floods, reef loss and migration: Asia's future on a hotter planet

A new report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) outlines the dramatic changes Asia-Pacific nations would face if measures to curb climate change and adapt to its effects are too slow and unambitious to keep global warming within agreed limits. Of the top 20 cities with the largest projected increase in annual flood losses between 2005 and 2050, 13 are in Asia

July 14, 2017

Climate Change May Bring Disasters and Deeper Poverty to Asia

Asia and the Pacific, home to two thirds of the world’s poor, are at the highest risk of suffering deeper poverty and disaster due to unabated climate change, reversing current development gains, according to the Asian Development Bank. The Asian landmass will see a temperature increase of 6 degrees Celsius (10.8 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century under a business-as-usual scenario, ADB said, based on findings included in a report analysing climate risks in Asia and the Pacific. Some countries in the region could experience significantly hotter climates, with temperature increases in Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and northwest China projected to hit 8 degrees Celsius, ADB said

July 14, 2017

World hunger on the rise again due to conflict and climate - U.N.

The number of hungry people in the world is rising again after years of decline, as millions suffer from the combined effects of conflict and climate change, the head of the U.N. food agency said. "Preliminary data available for this year indicates that the number of undernourished people in the world has (started to) rise again," said Jose Graziano da Silva, director-general of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. Graziano da Silva said this year`s setback in the fight against hunger hardly came as a surprise, with almost 20 million people facing starvation because of fighting and drought in South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen

July 3, 2017

Construction on wetlands ramps up water stress in Zimbabwe

"A wetland acts like a sponge which absorbs water and then recharges underground water so that the water table remains high. Construction disrupts this process," said Sandra Gobvu of Environment Africa, an NGO that works in southern Africa to promote sustainable development. When wetland areas are concreted over, much less water is absorbed, Gobvu added. Wetlands also help control flooding by absorbing excess water and releasing it gradually into water bodies, she said. "If we preserved them in their natural state, wetlands would actually help us adapt to the changing climatic conditions," said Barnabas Mawire, Environment Africa`s Zimbabwe country director

June 27, 2017

China launches five "green finance" pilot zones

China has launched five pilot zones to promote "green finance" and help pay for a war on pollution that is expected to cost at least 3 trillion yuan ($440 billion) a year, according to notices published by the central bank. The five zones will be set up in the provinces of Guangdong, Guizhou, Jiangxi and Zhejiang, as well as the far western region of Xinjiang, and financial institutions will be given a variety of incentives to provide credit and special funds for environmentally friendly industries

June 27, 2017

From floods to disease, disaster risk rising in surging African cities

Disaster risks are arguably rising faster in sub-Saharan Africa than anywhere else, said Arabella Fraser, a risk and resilience researcher at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI). That`s in part the result of surging urban populations, a quickening pace of climate-related problems - such as flooding and drought - and an inability to beat back those risks because of poverty, poor data, lack of training and badly run government, she said. One thing that can help is ensuring that efforts to build urban resilience are not just short-term, donor-funded projects but are based on community demand and then built into city plans, often with innovative funding

June 22, 2017

Bangkok struggles to protect slum dwellers as floods worsen

Squatter communities along canals are no strangers to floods - but they are happening more often, and the concerns of the urban poor are being overlooked, say experts. As Thailand`s rainy season gets underway, residents in and around Bangkok say they are experiencing more intense and frequent seasonal floods since 2011, when the capital was hit by its worst flooding in half a century. Experts do not expect floods of that magnitude again any time soon but say the city`s low-lying location, continued urbanisation and extreme weather linked to climate change are raising Bangkok`s vulnerability to floods

June 19, 2017

For women in Kenya's dry north, water is power

A new way of funding climate change projects at the local level is giving women more say over the use of precious resources. Ahmed Abdi, CEO of Arid Lands Development Focus Kenya (ALDEF Kenya), said women now have a chance to influence decisions that affect their livelihoods, particularly on issues of grazing pastures and water thanks to the Wajir’s Climate Change Fund

June 16, 2017

Mangroves, coral reefs could cut flood insurance premiums - Lloyd's

Natural coastal habitats such as mangroves, coral reefs and salt marshes protect communities more effectively against coastal storms than seawalls, and insurers should consider this when pricing flood risk, Lloyd`s of London said. Investment to protect natural habitats also makes sense for insurers, a report written for Lloyd`s said, though 30 times more is currently spent around the world on building seawalls than conserving coastal infrastructure

June 13, 2017

Deadly heatwaves surge in India, with worse ahead, researchers say

Increasingly scorching summer heat in India is leading to a big jump in heatwave deaths – and much worse is likely on the way, researchers said. A modest 0.5 degree Celsius rise in average temperatures in India over the last 50 years has led to a nearly 150 percent hike in heatwaves that kill at least 100 people, said researchers at the University of California in Irvine. But with India now on a path to between 2.2 and 5.5 degrees Celsius of temperature rise by the end of the century, the rate of heatwave deaths in India – and other Asian nations – could soar

June 7, 2017
June 8, 2017

Climate change will ruin Hawaii, new study finds

A new report into the impact of climate change on Hawaii has some worrying findings: rising temperatures will lead to a surge in heat related diseases (dengue, cholera), warm oceans will lead to coral bleaching, rainfall will decline more and more leading to lower aquifers with implications for agriculture, wildlife and water access, warming air will pave the way for invasive species to thrive and shorelines will retreat

June 2, 2017
ZME Science

Sri Lanka races to rescue flood victims as toll rises

Helicopters are searching for people marooned four days after the worst floods and mudslides to hit Sri Lanka in 14 years overcame parts of the country`s southwest, killing at least 164 people. With more rain expected, rescuers were racing to evacuate villagers from the most vulnerable areas as emergency teams rushed to distribute aid to nearly half a million people driven from their homes by the island`s worst flooding in a decade. Some 104 people were still listed as missing, the country`s Disaster Management Centre said while another 88 remained in hospital

May 29, 2017
AlJazeera, Straits Times

Island nation Kiribati says in dire need of cash to combat climate change

The Pacific Island nation of Kiribati is in dire need of aid as drought pushes it closer to declaring a state of emergency as it struggles with rising seas and other effects of climate change which could cost billions. Comprised of 33 coral islands, Kiribati is on average just 2 metres above sea level. It has seen the ocean swallow chunks of its coastline, raising the prospect it may be the first nation to become a casualty of global warming

May 26, 2017

Mexico urges wealthy nations to help poorer states cut disaster risk

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto told the start of a UN conference in Cancun that cutting human, economic and infrastructure losses caused by disasters is imperative. Threats from earthquakes and storms recognise no national boundaries or frontiers or orders of government and ninety percent of deaths happen in low or middle-income countries. Wealthy nations need to help the poorer nations that will face the sharp-end of climate change afford to develop the resilience in planning for these disasters

May 25, 2017

Climate change court cases on the rise globally, majority in U.S.

A growing number of people are turning to the courts to try and overturn government decisions seen to exacerbate climate change, according to a global survey of climate change litigation published on Tuesday. Some 884 climate change cases have been filed by March, in 24 countries in Africa, Asia, Pacific, Europe and the Americas. The USA has the highest number of cases – 654, according to the survey, which was carried out by UN Environment and the Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

May 23, 2017

One person every second displaced by conflict, disaster in 2016 - report

In 2016, nearly 7 million people, mostly from Africa or the Middle East, were displaced by conflict, while 24 million in Asia were forced to flee because of storms, floods or wildfires, according to data from the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre. Unlike refugees, who seek asylum in other countries, internally displace people cannot claim international protection, IDMC says

May 22, 2017

Hawaii faces more flooding with possible record high tides

Hawaii will likely suffer more coastal flooding this week driven by record high tides and this is a symptom of global warming that will become routine in decades if no action is taken on emissions experts warn, they also say global sea levels will drive flooding many times a year by 2050 and this may pose serious risks for places like Hawaii during storm seasons

May 22, 2017

Arctic stronghold of world’s seeds flooded after permafrost melts

Containing a million packets of seeds, each a variety of important food crops, the Global Seed Vault on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen was expected to be a failsafe, a protection against the challenges of natural or man-made disasters. It was recently flooded after extraordinary winter temperatures melted the permafrost and sent meltwater gushing into the tunnel entrance

May 19, 2017
The Guardian, Arstechnica, VICE

Trees in eastern US head west as climate changes

A study suggest that, in the near-term, trees are responding to changes in water availability more than to temperature changes. A study tracking the shifting distributions of 86 types of trees using data collected by the U.S. Forestry Inventory and Analysis Program found more trees heading west than (as they had expected) north. Angiosperms, or flowering trees went west and gymnosperms, mostly conifers headed north

May 17, 2017

Ongoing forest destruction has put Asia-Pacific at risk of missing global development targets

The destruction of forests in many Asian countries continues apace, threatening the realization of global sustainable development goals by the 2030 deadline, according to the UN agricultural agency. Forests continue to be degraded and lost at a rate of 3.3m hectares per year, they provide clean air for breathing and safe water to drink and are home to more than 80% of land animals and plants and a natural defence against climate change 

May 15, 2017
United Nations

Women in slums face greater heat risk

A recent study by the Indian Institute of Public Health Gandhinagar on women in various slum clusters in the city revealed their body temperatures rise sharply during peak summers. The rise is by three to four degrees, up to feverish levels. The most vulnerable groups included kite makers, rag pickers and street vendors who saw body temperatures rise by an average of 80%. More startling was women working indoors also had higher body temperatures, by a degree or two, compared to those outdoors. Constant exposure to heat and increases in mean body temperature is hazardous to a woman’s health and can lead to health issues

March 29, 2017
Times of India

Preparedness, surveillance and response

Illegal gold mining in Venezuela causing deaths, malaria, gang fights and deforestation

A three-year recession in Venezuela, paired with rampant inflation and food shortages, has prompted many to turn to illegal gold mining to get basic supplies in an overpriced black market. It is estimated that around 100,000 people are involved in illegal mining, with many sites primarily in mafia hands. However, malaria has abandoned the remote jungle areas and is now spreading at rates not seen in Venezuela for 75 years. Illegal miners are catching malaria by the tens of thousands it is reported

March 21, 2017
Mining, International Business Times

Non communicable diseases

Death toll from respiratory diseases rising in Gurgaon amid soaring pollution

The number of deaths from respiratory ailments being reported by hospitals in Gurgaon is rising year-on-year with the city`s consistently high levels of air pollution seen as the exacerbating factor. According to the data collected by TOI, 2,500 people admitted to five leading private hospitals in the city died in the last one year — from April 2016 to March 2017 — because of respiratory illnesses in which air pollution was an aggravating factor

July 21, 2017
Times of India

The rise of non-communicable diseases in Hong Kong amid climate change

MIMS explains the influence of climate change on non-communicable diseases in Hong Kong. An average increase in daily mean temperature above 28.2 degrees C was associated with an estimated 1.8% increase in mortality. In Hong Kong, during the summer, temperatures break these levels and hospitalisations and deaths tend to be due to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Higher temperatures still would increase atmospheric concentrations of particulate matter and production of ozone, which would acerbate the chronic pulmonary diseases and acute respiratory diseases, as well as those linked to lung function  

April 14, 2017

Health systems

Financial problems affect region’s fight against malaria

Although all East African countries plan to eradicate malaria by 2017, or at least reduce it to single digits, being malaria free now seems like a pipe-dream for the region, because all the countries are recording an upsurge in infections since last year meaning planned funding will be insufficient 

March 31, 2017
The East African, AllAfrica.com

Communicable diseases

Brazil risks rodent-borne Hantavirus rise due to sugarcane, climate change: scientists

The risk of being infected by Hantavirus could jump in Brazil`s Sao Paulo state as climate change sends temperatures higher and farmers grow more sugarcane, said scientists. More effective health education and pest control could help cut the risk of the disease in the area, along with forest restoration and better land use. The virus, which can be inhaled or caught via contact with rodent droppings or urine, causes Hantavirus Cardiopulmonary Syndrome which is fatal in more than half of cases

July 20, 2017
July 21, 2017
International Business Times

Laws to tackle climate change exceed 1,200 worldwide - study

Nations around the world have adopted more than 1,200 laws to curb climate change, up from about 60 two decades ago, which is a sign of widening efforts to limit rising temperatures. Most nations now have a legal basis for taking action against greenhouse gas emissions. The study carried out by the LSE across 164 nations, said these laws ranged from national cut in greenhouse gases to curbs in emissions such as transport, power generation or industry

May 9, 2017

Mosquito-borne viruses like Zika may be spread at lower temperatures, potentially expanding impa...

University of South Florida researchers are playing a key role in pinpointing optimal temperatures for mosquito-borne disease transmission. A recently concluded study shows that diseases such as Zika occur at lower temperatures than previously thought. This means that future transmission is much more likely to occur in subtropical and even temperate areas, such as the southern U.S. and northern Mexico

May 9, 2017

Beijing removes 180,000 old, polluting cars from roads from January-April

Beijing authorities removed 180,000 old and polluting vehicles from the roads during the first four months of 2017, the Chinese capital’s environmental bureau said, as part of its efforts to tackle congestion and cut smog

May 4, 2017

INTERVIEW-Put a price on the costs of disasters, says U.N. risk chief

Calculating the costs of natural disasters is a valuable way for governments to recognize and limit the potential for damage, especially as extreme weather linked to climate change occurs more often, the UN’s disaster prevention chief said. As long as the costs of disasters are invisible it is very easy to ignore them and it becomes very hard to make the case to spend money on prevention 

April 26, 2017

Togo's battle with coastal erosion

The Togolese Environmental Department and the World Bank have launched projects to limit the damage being caused by coastal erosion. The strategy involves building physical structures to inhibit the destructive power of the wind and the waves. Secondly, encouragement for coastal communities to play an active part in defending their shorelines and to help them to develop alternative sources of income to replace those that contribute to the severe coastal erosion the country is currently experiencing

April 17, 2017
Deutsche Welle

Six megatrends that could alter the course of sustainable development

UNDP policy specialists outline the ‘six megatrends that could alter the course of global sustainable development’ in an opinion piece for The Guardian. These trends include: 1) poverty and inequality reduction 2) population growth, ageing, migration and urbanisation 3) the consequences of environmental degradation and climate change 4) economic, financial, conflicts, disease outbreaks - shocks and crisis, 5) extensive financing for global development 6) technological innovations to power the change

April 14, 2017
The Guardian

Latin America needs to climate proof infrastructure

The World Bank reported that Latin America has to climate change proof its infrastructure so it can manage melting glaciers, intense storms and other climate-related shocks. Better infrastructure can help reduce inequality and lift people out of poverty and promote development, the World Bank said in a new report

April 10, 2017
Reuters, NBC News

Madagascar still needs help from the effects of cyclone Enawo one month on

One month ago cyclone Enawo struck Madagascar leaving behind a trail of devastation. Now the government is appealing for international help as it has 81 dead and more than 200,000 badly affected by the extreme weather event. It needs expertise, medical support and help from donors and international aid groups to get itself back on its feet

April 7, 2017
April 8, 2017
Dom-Tom Actu

Doctors must check weather forecasts to stop epidemics in their tracks

Experts at the international non-profit, the Malaria Consortium, called for health agencies in Africa to start consulting seasonal weather forecasts to help prepare for malaria epidemics and ensure outbreaks are spotted early and curbed before they become severe. Rising temperatures, floods and droughts can cause major epidemics in areas not usually affected by malaria and people there may lack immunity and are more likely to fall ill and die 

April 6, 2017

How climate change could make air travel more unpleasant

A new study says that climate change is likely to significantly increase flight turbulence, upping the risk of injury for future airline passengers. Furthermore, fuel and maintenance costs could rise for carriers. An increase in atmospheric CO2  concentrations would cause changes in the jet stream over the North Atlantic flight corridor, leading to a spike in air turbulence. With no effort to reduce atmospheric CO2, the volume of airspace experiencing light turbulence would increase by about 59%. The airspace experiencing severe turbulence could rise by anywhere between 36-188% the study found

April 6, 2017
Washington Post
April 8, 2017
Science Alert
April 6, 2017
Eureka Alert

Here's a reason behind depleting groundwater

A new study by researchers has found that the use of non-renewable groundwater in food production has increased exponentially. In 2000, non-groundwater use account for 20% of the world’s irrigation. In 10 years it jumped to 22%, driven by cases such as China, which registered a 102% increase in groundwater depletion, and the USA (31% increase) and India (23%)

April 1, 2017
Economic Times

'White coats' alone can't combat infectious disease outbreaks: U.N. adviser

Poor countries need more resources and training on the ground to combat infectious diseases that are spreading in new ways and to new places, partly due to climate change, said David Nabarro, who is in the race to be next head of the World Health Organization. The first thing in dealing with outbreaks is to make sure there is capacity in the countries to deal with the problems early and simulation exercises are crucial in ensuring local communities are prepared

March 31, 2017
April 1, 2017
Economic Times, DFID
March 31, 2017
Financial Times

One of the most troubling ideas about climate change just found new evidence in its favor

A  new study says at least in the spring and summer, there is a large scale flow of the atmosphere changing in such a way as to cause the weather systems to get stuck more often. Consequently, the Northern Hemisphere jet stream flow can be affected when the Arctic warms up faster than the equator does and the stream becomes elongated and weakened. That’s when you get weather extremes

March 27, 2017
Washington Post, Phys.Org

Nearly 600 million children to live in areas with extremely limited water resources by 2040: UNI...

In a new UNICEF report, the writers outlined the scenario where one of four children worldwide will be living in areas where water demand far outstrips supply by 2040

March 22, 2017
News Express , Reuters, The Guardian, bdnews24.com

Number of rural Indians without clean water equivalent to UK population - charity

Reuters reports India is home to the highest number of rural people without access to clean water, and it faces increased strain on scarce resources due to a rising population and climate change among other facts, Water Aid said (

March 21, 2017
Reuters, Press Trust of India, The Hindu

Why global warming could lead to a rise of 100,000 diabetes cases a year in the U.S.

If the average temperature rises by one degree sea levels will rise, crop yields will fall and vulnerable species will see their habitat shrink or disappear. Now, a new study suggests the number of American adults suffering from diabetes would rise by more than 100,000 a year. People develop type 2 diabetes when their extra pounds and sedentary lifestyle make their bodies less sensitive to insulin. That in turn causes blood sugar to rise and can eventually lead to all sorts of diseases. Why the numbers of diabetics will rise is down to brown adipose tissue which kicks in when temperatures are low and the body needs heat to stay warm. So changes in the weather will trigger changes in sensitivity to insulin 

March 20, 2017
LA Times

The Nile River Delta, once the bread basket of the world, may soon be uninhabitable

The Nile River Delta is suffering from decreased water flow, rising sea levels and salt water intrusion – all of which damage food production and fresh water supplies, a multi-year study published in the Geological Society of America found. With a population expected to double in the next 50 years, Egypt may see critical countrywide fresh water and food shortages by 2025, the research team predicted

March 16, 2017

Cleaner air could save three million early deaths in China each year: study

China could prevent three million premature deaths a year if it enforced tighter air quality standards, in accordance with United Nations guidelines, according to a study published in The British Medical

March 15, 2017

Doctors warn climate change is harming our health

U.S. doctors’ groups have set up a new organization called The Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health with half of all U.S. doctors as members. The new group is presenting a report to Congress with scientific evidence showing how climate change is harming our collective health. The group is also calling on policymakers to act decisively

March 15, 2017
CBS News

Healthier diets could slow climate change via lower medical costs - Study

Research accounting for greenhouse gas emissions, caused by healthcare system, show that healthier diets could have an even greater effect on climate change than previously thought. Researchers from the University of California and Oxford University conducted the first ever such study, combining both the potential decrease in emissions from altered food production and from the decreased medical care required for dietary related diseases

March 14, 2017
Food Navigator

Warming may disrupt four-fifths of world's oceans by 2050: study

Global warming will disrupt four-fifths of the world’s oceans by 2050 if greenhouse gas emissions keep rising, threatening fish, which are the main source of food for a billion people, scientists from the British National Oceanography Centre said

March 7, 2017

Polluted environments kill 1.7 million children each year: WHO reports

Unhealthy environments are responsible for one-quarter of child deaths, according to two new reports from WHO. ‘A polluted environment is a deadly one, particularly for young children as their developing organs and immune systems, smaller bodies and airways, make them especially vulnerable to dirty air and water’

March 7, 2017
xinhuanet, Daily Star

Top Trump Advisers Are Split on Paris Agreement on Climate Change

The New York Times reports that ‘the White House is fiercely divided over President Trump’s campaign promise to cancel the Paris Climate Change agreement, with more moderate voices maintaining that he should stick with the agreement despite his campaign pledge’

March 2, 2017
New York Times