Posted on 02 March 2012.
A breakthrough by a recent study has shown that the probability of civil war starting in nations due to adverse effects of weather like El Nino is 200%. This has been proved by the fact that hostility between government of Peru troops and rebel groups like Shining Path flared up into bloody battles, due to the El-Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which ravaged potato fields in Peru in 1982. Till date scientists had no clue about the connection of war and climate.
An economist from University of California, Berkeley Edward Miguel stated that there was a strong connection between difficult or extreme weather conditions and political clashes in poverty-ridden nations as more proof pointed towards it. He also added that it was a critical piece of information from the study.
A lot of criticism and opposition was invited over a paper presented by Miguel and his team in 2009, at the National Academy of Sciences, linking civil wars in Africa to climatic temperature shooting up. The major criticism came from scientist, Solomon Hsiang of Columbia University, who countered the papers statistical methods and claims. He said there was no relation between Conflict and Global climate and it was highly impossible for scientists to measure changes in temperature and relate it to conflicts across the globe. Continue Reading
Posted in Environment
Posted on 14 February 2012.
Its been established that it is going to be hard to avert serious climate changes through stopping greenhouse gas emissions. The present goal falls short of the levels required to maintain the levels of global warming below the dangerous levels. For this to be succesful, the trend of rising emissions has to reversed followed by a sharp decrease as the century progresses. This has to be done immediately because delaying is bound to make it more expensive.
Results from studies published online project how much gas the greenhouses may emit by the turn of the century and how the climate will respond to the emissions. Joeri Rogelj, a climate scientist at ETH Zurich together with his colleagues published information regarding model simulations known to maintain global warming levels below 2°C using the cheapest cost. (see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming for more information.) Continue Reading
Posted in Environment
Posted on 24 August 2011.
Health in the Green Economy, a new series of studies produced by the World Health Organization, highlights how decreasing climate change will have an immediate and increasingly positive effect on the population’s health. Many noncommunicable diseases, such as cancer, chronic respiratory illness, obesity and cardiovascular disease can be prevented by an increase in green investments.
Green transportation, housing and energy policies will benefit both the environment and the world’s overall health. Creating and acting upon green policies is a win-win situation for all. Many changes to green alternatives have an immediate positive impact on health while positively affecting climate change. The health sector should be a prevalent force in the push for new green initiatives to benefit the public’s health.
In housing, green insulation choices are on the rise, providing more energy-efficient buildings that will lower greenhouse gas emissions in years to come. The immediate effect of green buildings is the fact that allergies and asthma are reduced because of fewer toxic chemicals in the air. More tightly sealed homes also reduce the risk of strokes and other heart related issues due to the stable temperature. More attention must be paid to ensuring adequate air ventilation is maintained. New health risks are created by buildings without proper ventilation.
Although the focus has long been on alternative transportation, little has been said about the health benefits and social benefits gained by using sustainable transportation. An increased effort to provide safe walking areas, cycling paths and public transportation will provide great health benefits by promoting healthy exercise which in turn reduces some health related issues.
By focusing on basic green initiatives, even countries with few resources can see a vast improvement in their population. Many lifestyle changes are necessary for good health, but they need a healthy environment to make them most effective.
Posted in Environment
Posted on 02 August 2011.
In Melbourne, Australia, researchers are using various naval resources to improve climate monitoring. The vast Indian Ocean is their target of interest, as it is swarming with modern-day pirates.
According to Ann Thresher, one of Australia’s leading oceanographers, Somali pirates have put a dent in Australia’s research efforts. The ARGO program has been one of the most affected. Under this program, researchers study the Indian Ocean Dipole. This is simply a fluctuation of temperatures within that region. The reason why it is studied is because the fluctuation determines whether or not there is going to be floods or droughts in the country. As such, researchers use special buoys to monitor what is going on. Approximately two meters long, these lithium-powered devices record a variety of readings, ranging from temperature to the salinity of the water.
However, when pirates infiltrate the water, researchers must use different routes. Unfortunately, these routes do not offer the same level of visibility, even with high-tech buoys. Thresher talks about this phenomenon in an interview with The Science Insider. She feels that the researchers’ predictions suffer every time they have to change routes. To ensure more accurate readings, they have to stay in the same area.
To make matters worse, there are some occasions when researchers cannot sail at all. Just last March, the Seychelles government forbade them from using buoys in their waters. The government was worried about the piracy threat. Fortunately, this will all change with Australia’s new “gunboat climatology” approach. Over the next four to six months, Australia will use its navy to deploy the buoys. This will create a more threatening presence among the pirates. Other countries will also help through a separate initiative. Naval vessels from the United States and the U.K. will also drop buoys for their ally. This is expected to happen over the next month or so.
Posted in Environment