The seeds of conflict take root.
This is one of the scenarios Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, presented today to members of the United Nations Security Council in New York to show the connection between climate change and global security challenges.
Either rich nations will find a way to supply needy nations suffering from damaging climate effects “or you will have all kinds of unrest and revolutions, with the export of angry and hungry people to the industrialised countries,” Schellnhuber said in an interview.
In the Marshall Islands — site of US nuclear tests in the 1940s and 1950s and now being lost to Read more…
While we in Australia are looking forward to celebrating Christmas and the holidays, we should spare a thought for the Christians who are suffering persecution in so many countries. Even in democracies such as the US and Canada, Christians can be fined or lose their jobs for imaginary “hate” crimes, i.e. speaking about the health risks of some homosexual practices or declining to provide services for homosexual “marriages”.
It is persecution in developing countries that is most distressing to me because Christians there rarely have the financial resources to seek legal redress. Below some news items from the weekly email I receive from Christians in Crisis:
Iran: Two of the seven members of the Church of Iran arrested in Shiraz have been temporarily released on bail.
Indonesia: Church building set ablaze – Unidentified attackers torched a church building in Poso in a series of renewed violence against the local Christian community.
Egypt: A call to pray for an end to the abduction, forced conversion and forced marriage of Coptic girls by Islamist Salafis.
Kasakhstan continues its attempt to make exercising the freedom of Read more…
How much extra energy are we putting in the atmosphere through emission of greenhouse gases? One Australian researcher put it into context: “The radiative forcing of the CO2 we have already put in the atmosphere in the last century is … the equivalent in energy terms to almost half a billion Hiroshima bombs each year.”
With more energy radiating down on the planet rather than back up into space, the planet continues to heat up. As the atmosphere warms, it is able to hold more water vapor — thus strengthening the global hydrological cycle.
With all that extra energy, more water is pulled out of the subtropic regions and moved toward higher-precipitation areas in the subpolar regions, resulting in stronger droughts and stronger storms. Or, as the video below explains, how the wet gets wetter and the dry gets drier.
Through five decades of observations and future climate modeling, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has put together this educational piece on how a warming planet will make weather more extreme: Read more…
Food prices hit record highs in February 2011 and stoked protests connected to the Arab Spring wave of civil unrest in some North African and Middle Eastern countries. They then receded, but started to grow again in January.
The index, which measures monthly price changes for a food basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy, meat and sugar, averaged 215,9 points in March, up from a revised 215,4 points in February, FAO data showed.
Its cereal price index averaged 227 points in March, up from February, with maize prices showing gains, supported by low inventories and a strong soybean market, the FAO said.
“You can see prices in the near term rising even further,” FAO’s senior economist and grain analyst Abdolreza Abbassian said before the index update.
The FAO also confirmed its earlier forecast for world wheat output to fall 1,4% from Read more…
(NaturalNews) The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) recently released a report entitled Global Water Security that claims water supply issues around the globe will lead to economic instability, civil and international wars, and even the use of water as a weapon in the next several decades. In typical shock-and-awe fashion, the U.S. government paints a grim picture of so-called global warming, water shortages, and other water problems as the causes of major global destabilization, which it also says may be mitigated if certain steps are taken to offset them.
What are these steps, you may ask? As expected, getting the U.S. government involved in water supply issues around the globe is presented as a primary solution. This measure implies, of course, that U.S. models of water management, which include price-gouging the public in the name of water conservation, will also be implemented across the Read more…
Seasonal Jun-Jul-Aug 2010 sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies relative to 1951–70. Record high SSTs were recorded in the locations and at the times indicated with record flooding nearby.
Curious about the connection between global warming and extreme weather? You ought to be. And who better to learn about this from than National Center for Atmospheric Research senior scientist Kevin E. Trenberth?
Here’s a new article by Trenberth published in the journal Climatic Change under a Creative Commons-Attribution license (PDF here, HTML here) — thanks to Climate Progress for the find and share: Read more…
The major paradox about rare diseases is that collectively rare diseases are not rare. In fact, 3.5 million people in the UK will be affected by a rare disease at some point in their lives – 1 in 17 of us. To put this into perspective, this represents the entire population of Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Greater Belfast and Cardiff put together. Despite these considerable numbers, in the past rare diseases have largely been overlooked by health policy makers.
A disease is classed as rare when it affects fewer than 5 in 10,000 of the general population. Some rare diseases are relatively well known; cystic fibrosis, motor neurone disease and muscular dystrophy for example. Few people would Read more…
Lucid and aware people observing world events unfold over the past decade or so – say, since September 11, 2001 – will have surely asked themselves what on Earth is going on here? We see ever-growing violence, war, outright lies, invasions, false flags, social upheavals, poverty, ruin and the death of millions… The world’s become a pretty dangerous and pitiful place to live in, and it only gets worse…
Which leads us to the obvious question: Why? Why is all this happening? Can we explain it away as Man’s wicked nature? Or his folly and ignorance? Perhaps just a series of bad mistakes and wrong turns on key issues?
Most everybody will have a ready reply, no doubt coloured by his or her own philosophical outlook. The more rational will say it’s just wrong decisions taken by normal people in an environment of growing complexity. Optimists will shrug their shoulders playing things down with the quaint statement that there’s always been war, persecution, poverty and Read more…
by Kate Taylor
So-called ‘storms of the century’ like last August’s Hurricane Irene could become almost commonplace, thanks to climate change.
A team from MIT and Princeton University says that such storms could make landfall far more frequently, causing powerful, devastating storm surges every three to 20 years.
The group simulated tens of thousands of storms under different climate conditions, and concluded that the sort of severe floods which now hit every five hundred years or so could, with climate change, start happening once every 25 to 240 years.
MIT postdoc Ning Lin says that planners should take the findings into account when designing seawalls and other protective structures.
“When you design your buildings or dams or structures on the coast, you have to know how high your seawall has to be,” Lin says. “You have to decide whether to build a seawall to prevent being flooded every 20 years.”
To simulate present and future storm activity, using New York City as a case study, the researchers combined four Read more…
United States and Europe, coupled with a fragile economic recovery have pushed markets into a new danger zone, something that policymakers have to take seriously, the head of the World Bank said on Sunday.
(Photo: REUTERS / Tim Wimborne)
World Bank Chief Robert Zoellick gestures while speaking at the Asia Society’s annual dinner in Sydney August 14, 2011.
Speaking at the Asia Society dinner in Sydney, Australia, Robert Zoellick also said the global economy was going through a multi-speed recovery, with developing countries now the source of growth and opportunity.
“What’s happened in the past couple of weeks is there is a convergence of some events in Europe and the United States that has led many market participants to lose confidence in economic leadership of some of the key countries,” he said.
“I think those events combined with some of the other fragilities in the nature of recovery have pushed us into a new danger zone. I don’t say those words lightly … so that policymakers Read more…