In the next 30 years, five billion people, particularly in Africa and South Asia, may be facing a shortage of drinking water and food. Hundreds of millions more living in coastal areas could be hit by catastrophic floods. This is revealed by a modeling of services that nature will still be able to offer to human populations around the world in 2050 given the rapid decline in biodiversity, the results of which are published in the journal Science.
The most recent report of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) informed us that one million species are threatened with extinction and that the benefits that humans gain from nature would decrease accordingly. Nature contributes to the well-being of human populations in a variety of ways. It can be in the form of food resources through fishing and agriculture, or more indirectly by contributing to water purification, crop pollination and coastal protection against the devastating effects of storms, for example.
An international team led by Becky Chaplin-Kramer of Stanford University wanted to know where, in the world, the contributions of nature are most needed to ensure the well-being of the people and which populations in particular will scoop the most. nature degradation, in order to plan more targeted actions that would prevent damage.
To do this, researchers have mapped the needs, or even the dependence, of the different populations of the world on three particular services that nature provides them. The service provided by wetland plants and algae that filters pollutants, such as excess nitrates from fertilizers used to increase crop yields, and thereby provide access to drinking water. The service provided by coral reefs, mangroves, seagrasses and salt marshes that mitigate coastal erosion and thereby reduce the impact of flood, wind and water level flooding. from the sea. And the service provided by natural pollinators, such as bees, which ensure fertile crops.
They also mapped nature’s current contributions to nitrate retention, coastal protection and crop pollination around the world. And they have pinpointed, with a precision of 300 meters by 300 meters, the places where these contributions are not enough to meet the needs of the populations, probably because of the degradation of nature, which results notably the presence of pollutants in the increased risk of flooding in coastal areas and crop losses as a result of insufficient pollination.
Using a modeling platform, researchers were then able to predict the impacts of various future scenarios on nature’s ability to meet the needs of human populations. They calculated that, regardless of the scenario, nearly five billion humans may no longer have secure access to safe drinking water and food for their survival in 2050. And hundreds of millions of people living in coastal areas will no longer be protected from the weather.
The researchers also noted that people in Africa and South Asia are facing the greatest threats of famine, lack of drinking water and floods as a result of the degradation of nature. especially those in the Ganges Basin, East China and sub-Saharan Africa, populations that, in addition, rely heavily on nature for their survival.
This study helps to guide the actions that must be taken to mitigate the damage, argue the researchers. According to Elena Bennett of the Department of Natural Resource Sciences at McGill University, « to solve the problems facing the people of South Asia, you can not just tell them to do better management [of their resources] » .
« We must also consider the role that we, the inhabitants of North America, play in their problems by buying various products from South Asia, whether food, holidays in their tourist resorts or even exploitation. of Canadian industries. We are generating pollution there rather than here, « says Bennett, who is one of the authors of the study.
A series of photos of a rising North Carolina river over three days shows the historic scale of the flooding in parts of North Carolina – even as the storm formerly known as Hurricane Florence moves slowly out of the Carolinas. The Cape Fear River in Fayetteville was at 60.1 feet and still rising as…
It’s been consistently, abnormally, warm in the Arctic for about as long as any of us can remember. But during recent years, the changes — caused by a massive and ongoing accumulation of heat-trapping gasses in the Earth’s atmosphere — appear to be speeding up. (Far above normal temperatures are expected to invade the Arctic […]
Originally posted on GarryRogers Nature Conservation: GR: Many places will have to begin pumping groundwater. That’s a temporary solution, however. Here in the arid western United States, we’ve seen what happens as the depth to water falls and the cost of pumping rises. We’ve also seen how toxic metals concentrate in shrinking groundwater aquifers. One…
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/25/banana-farming-danger-cavendish-crop-genetics The banana is the world’s most popular fruit crop, with over 100m metric tons produced annually in over 130 tropical and subtropical countries. Edible bananas are the result of a genetic accident in nature that created the seedless fruit we enjoy today. Virtually all the bananas sold across the western world belong to the […]
A point of no return in a space-time continuum is a place and / or time at which an event or an ongoing action can not be stopped, or from which it is impossible to change a decision.
Announced since the 1992 conference in Philadelphia, the end of our civilization is getting better and announced its probability increasingly shameless évidente.Si the protagonists of the current neoliberalism, such as those we boast the virtues of the Plan Nord at Quebec, the importance of economic growth by using oil as a development everywhere in the West, or defenders of economic alliances such as NAFTA, for example, play the ostrich before the people by continuing the myth of infinite capitalist growth, the scholars themselves, just given a very discordant note to their symphony « soon » complete: ocean warming.
Ocean warming is now unstoppable following record temperatures of 2014. That’s the finding announced on 16 July 2015 by scientists worldwide in the report entitled « The State of the Climate ». The study, which brought together 413 scientists from 58 countries, said that climate change has contributed to the rising waters, atteignants an unprecedented level.
The researchers also show that the impact of higher ocean temperatures will be felt for centuries, even if immediate efforts to reduce carbon emissions were undertaken. « Even if we could freeze the greenhouse its current level, the sea would continue to warm for centuries and millennia; and that warming will cause its expansion and therefore its elevation, « says the Guardian, oceanographer of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) Greg Johnson.
The ocean warming is permanently installed Wherever ocean temperatures are unusually warm, and the West Coast of the US, the excess heat produced warmer winters, causing drought conditions, and melted the snowpack. According to Tom Karl, director of the national centers of environmental information from NOAA, this surplus could also trigger severe storms.
The absorption capacity of the oceans will change nothing. Although they may retain 90% of the excess heat caused by increased greenhouse gas emissions, they can not control their temperature. That is why they have known in 2014 of temperature records along with a rise in their levels of 6.7 centimeters from 1993. Greg Johnson uses a metaphor to illustrate the problem of ocean warming: « It’s like a freight train. It must be given a great impetus to launch it. But it is on the way now and will continue to advance long after we stopped pushing. «
THE IPCC REACHING THE PORTRAIT … The disaster is looming on the horizon
« The IPCC’s conclusions are based on data from the best of 2005. Given the heaviness of this organization, which brings together 2,500 researchers from 130 countries, including all publications is subject to consensus, the next report not published before 2014. But « the latest observations confirm that the worst scenarios of the IPCC is in the process of being realized. The emissions have continued to rise sharply and the climate system is changing already outside the natural variations within which our societies and our economies are built, « said the scientific committee of the conference. IPCC forecasts anticipate a temperature increase between 1.1 ° C and 6.4 ° C by the end of the century compared to pre-industrial times.
Stefan Rahmstorf presented a study that sea levels could rise within a range of 75 cm to 190 cm by 2100. Either way beyond the IPCC predictions ranging from 18 cm to 59 cm. They – and the IPCC was careful to emphasize – not taking into account changes in the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica. Or would their role in major reality through melting ice but especially their « flow » into the sea. « This phenomenon is much more massive and much faster than we thought, » says Eric Rignot, professor UC Irvine California.
Lucka Kajfez Bogataj, University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), has peeled all climate studies published recently. She concluded without hesitation: « The impact of global warming is earlier and faster than expected. « Between 1990 and 2006, the world experienced the thirteen warmest years since 1880, which marks the beginning of the industrial age, she cites the example. «
[…] « Present in Copenhagen, the IPCC chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, is not out of his reserve duty, but at nine months of maturity, he found » useful this conference reminds that political A more serious crisis than the economic crisis. » James Hansen, the famous climatologist at NASA who was one of the first to warn in 1988 of the dangers of global warming, was more direct: « the view has to be sure of one thing. Scientists are clear. There are no big uncertainties about the film before us. And politicians can not hide behind alleged unknown for not acting. «
According to George Monbiot, renowned columnist for the British newspaper The Guardian, about climate change, it is time to stop talking about « change » to describe a disaster (13 March 2009).
More recently, the same George Monbiot clearly says it all: we must cease to emit CO2 or go to the disaster (21 March 2009): « The world will not adapt and can not adapt: the only adaptive response to a global shortage of food is starvation. Of the two strategies is reducing emissions, not adaptation, which turns out to be the most realistic option, even if it stretches the concept of feasibility to its limits. As emphasized Dieter Helm, the required action is now unlikely but « not impossible. Ultimately, it is a question of human welfare and ethics. «
Yes, it may already be too late – even if we reduce and ethics. «
Yes, it may be too late
– Even if we reduced emissionsto zero tomorrow –
to prevent a warming of more than two degrees, but we can not behave as if this was the case. For thus we would be doing this certain prediction. As difficult that fight may be, improbable chances of success they are, we can not afford to give up.
Clearly, scientists have done their job. To policies now to make theirs … but do you think that politicians will move?
THE ALARM BELL IS LAUNCHED LONG TIME AGO
Global climate experts present new evidence Friday of the amount of warming in a report intended to guide States towards a major international climate agreement in 2015.
Their objective is to contain global warming below the threshold of 2 ° C since pre-industrial times. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) meeting in Stockholm, was to finalize its report to guide the country towards a broad international agreement in 2015.
The IPCC, co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, was to present in 2013 the « summary for policymakers » of the first phase of its new state of the premises, on the purely scientific aspects. Two volumes (on possible impacts by sector and region and ways to mitigate them) were to follow in spring 2014 before a summary in October 2014.
After the failure of the Copenhagen summit in 2009, these warning signals are likely to boost international climate negotiations. A new global agreement is promised for 2015.
+ 0.8 ° C since the beginning of the twentieth century
« The scientific evidence of (…) Climate change has strengthened year after year, leaving little uncertainty aside its serious consequences », said on Monday the chairman of the IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri. As the planet has already warmed by about 0.8 ° C since the beginning of the twentieth century, the conclusions of the IPCC may highlight the little room in which countries have to stay below the 2 ° C .
Based on contributions from 250 scientists and published studies, the first volume should confirm the man’s responsibility, revise upwards the expected rise in sea level and increased extreme events in some regions, such heat waves or heavy rains for example.
Slower rise from 10-15 years
This summary should also address the possible reasons for the slowdown in 10-15 years the rising thermometer. A « pause » apparent which for climatologists, is temporary and does not affect the warming trend in the long term.
Since 2013, this « summary for policymakers », a document of about thirty pages summarizing thousands of pages of the first volume, which is approved paragraph by paragraph in camera. « These discussions can be seen as the place where science meet, politics and communication, » said the head of communications of one of the NGOs present in Stockholm.
Climate experts presented the IPCC in 2013, their new report. Global warming, human responsibility, increase in extreme weather events, rising sea levels … their findings are worrying.
THE FAMOUS IPCC REPORT IN 2013
The world climate experts presented in 2013, their new report in Stockholm. Gathered within the IPCC, they ensure that the responsibility of man in global warming is more certain than ever. Key findings of this new state of scientific areas.
– Human activity more blamed. It is now « highly likely » that human influence is the main cause of the warming observed since the mid-20th century, equivalent to 95% certainty in the precise terminology of the report. In its latest report, in 2007 this was 90% certainty.
– It increasingly heated, four scenarios possibles.Le IPCC considers it likely that the Earth is warming between 0.3 ° C, in the most optimistic scenario and 4.8 ° C by the end the century compared to the average temperature of the period 1986-2005. The high uncertainty depends primarily on the quantity of greenhouse gases that will be emitted into the atmosphere in coming decades.
– The temperature is already rising by 0.8 ° C since pre-industrial times. The Earth has already warmed by almost one degree in a century. « Limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, » according to Thomas Stocker, Vice President of the IPCC.
– The weather is going to panic more. « Heat waves are likely to occur more frequently and last longer. With global warming, we expect to see the currently wet areas receive more rainfall and dry regions receive less, even if there will be exceptions, « according to Thomas Stocker. The IPCC experts have not however clarified certain aspects of these weather events. – The sea level is expected to rise more than prévu.Le IPCC has revised upwards its projections on the major consequence of global warming. Scientists now believe that it can rise by an average of 26 to 82 cm by 2100 against 18 to 59 cm in the report 2007. Climatologists now better take into account a phenomenon still insufficiently studied there 6: flow in ocean coastal glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica.
According to a report by researchers on climate, greenhouse gases have reached peaks of concentration in the atmosphere in 2014, while the world recorded a record temperature at its surface.
While we are experiencing a new episode of heat wave, researchers on « Climate State » (State of the Climate), reported Thursday that the temperatures recorded on the surface of the Earth broke records in 2014. These specialists also noted that the greenhouse gases that cause climate change have reached peaks of concentration in the atmosphere last year.
In their report published by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 413 scientists from 58 different countries reveal that the oceans also experienced last year temperature records while the sea level has reached its highest level. « Europe experienced its warmest year by far, with about twenty countries that have beaten previous records, » the report said. « Many countries in Asia have experienced annual temperatures among the ten warmest. Africa has recorded temperatures above average over most of mainland Australia beat a temperature record for the third time, after a peak in 2013 « . In Latin America, Mexico experienced its warmest year while Argentina and Uruguay reached the second time temperature peaks. Temperature-related exception, the eastern region of North America (including particularly Quebec) is the only area in the world to have experienced last year temperatures below average.
As for the global sea level, up 6.7 centimeters compared to the 1993 average, it has also reached a new record in 2014. Report based on data collected by environmental monitoring stations and published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.
Millions of fish are suddenly dying all over the planet. In fact, there have been dozens of mass fish death events reported in the past month alone. So why is this happening? Why are fish dying in unprecedented numbers all over the world? When more than six tons of fish died in Marina Del Rayover the weekend, it made headlines all over the United States. But the truth is that what just happened off the southern California coast is just the tip of the iceberg. In 2014, mass fish die-offs have pretty much become a daily event globally. Individually, each event could perhaps be dismissed as an anomaly, but as you will see below when they are all put together into one list it truly is rather stunning. So is there a reason why so many fish are dying? Is there something that connects these mass fish death events? Has something about our environment changed? The following are just a few examples of the mass fish death reports that have been coming in day after day from all over the globe…
California Fish and Wildlife workers are still scooping dead sea life from the surface of the harbor Monday after thousands of dead anchovies, stingrays and even an octopus died and floated up over the weekend.
State environmental scientists are investigating the cause of a fish kill that left about 7,000 dead Atlantic menhaden in waters that include the Inner Harbor and Fells Point.
Jay Apperson, spokesman for the Maryland Department of the Environment, said that biologists went by boat on Tuesday to the area of Monday’s fish kill. He says the area extended from the mouth of the Patapsco River, up the Baltimore Harbor to Fells Point and Fort McHenry.
*Mass fish die-offs in Lake Champlain up in Vermont are being called “the new normal” by government officials.
*Along the coast of northern California, seals and young sea lions are dying “in record numbers“.
*Three months ago, farmers in Singapore lost 160 tons of fish to a mass die-off event.
Katsutaka Idogawa, former mayor of Futaba, a town near the disabled Fukushima nuclear plant, is warning his country that radiation contamination is affecting Japan’s greatest treasure – its children.
Asked about government plans to relocate the people of Fatuba to the city of Iwaki, inside the Fukushima prefecture, Idogawa criticized the move as a “violation of human rights.”
Compared with Chernobyl, radiation levels around Fukushima “are four times higher,” he told RT’s Sophie Shevardnadze, adding that “it’s too early for people to come back to Fukushima prefecture.”
“It is by no means safe, no matter what the government says.”
Idogawa alleges that the government has started programs to return people to their towns despite the danger of radiation.
“Fukushima Prefecture has launched the Come Home campaign. In many cases, evacuees are forced to return. [the former mayor produced a map of Fukushima Prefecture that showed that air contamination decreased a little, but soil contamination remains the same.] »
According to Idogawa there are about two million people residing in the prefecture who are reporting“all sorts of medical issues,” but the government insists these conditions are unrelated to the Fukushima accident. Idogawa wants their denial in writing.
“I demanded that the authorities substantiate their claim in writing but they ignored my request.”
Once again, Idogawa alludes to the nuclear tragedy that hit Ukraine on April 26, 1986, pleading that the Japanese people “never forget Chernobyl.” Yet few people seem to be heeding the former government official’s warning.
“They believe what the government says, while in reality radiation is still there. This is killing children. They die of heart conditions, asthma, leukemia, thyroiditis… Lots of kids are extremely exhausted after school; others are simply unable to attend PE classes. But the authorities still hide the truth from us, and I don’t know why. Don’t they have children of their own? It hurts so much to know they can’t protect our children.
“They say Fukushima Prefecture is safe, and that’s why nobody’s working to evacuate children, move them elsewhere. We’re not even allowed to discuss this.”
The former mayor found it ironic that when discussing the Tokyo Olympics, scheduled for 2020, Prime Minister Abe frequently mentions the Japanese word, “omotenashi,” which literally means that you should “treat people with an open heart.”
In Idogawa’s opinion, the same treatment does not apply equally to the people most intimately connected with Fukushima: the workers involved in the cleanup operations.
“Their equipment was getting worse; preparation was getting worse. So people had to think about their safety first. That’s why those who understood the real danger of radiation began to quit. Now we have unprofessional people working there.
They don’t really understand what they’re doing. That’s the kind of people who use the wrong pump, who make mistakes like that.
“I’m really ashamed for my country, but I have to speak the truth for the sake of keeping our planet clean in the future.
Idogawa then made some parallels with one of the most tragic events in the history of Japan: the use of atomic bombs on the industrial cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States at the end of World War II.
“The authorities lied to everyone (about the effects of the atomic bombings)…They hid the truth. That’s the situation we are living in. It’s not just Fukushima. Japan has some dark history. This is a sort of a sacrifice to the past.”
When pressed on the details of a United Nations report that says there have been no radiation-related deaths or acute diseases observed among the workers and general public, Idogawa dismisses it as“completely false,” before providing some of his own experiences at the height of the crisis.
“When I was mayor, I knew many people who died from heart attacks, and then there were many people in Fukushima who died suddenly, even among young people. It’s a real shame that the authorities hide the truth from the whole world, from the UN. We need to admit that actually many people are dying. We are not allowed to say that but TEPCO employees also are dying. But they keep mum about it.”
When asked to provide solid figures on the actual number of people who died under such circumstances, Idogawa refrained, saying “it’s not just one or two people. We’re talking about ten to twenty people who died this way.”
Asked about other options that Japan has for providing energy sources to its 126 million people, he responded that despite having many rivers, the government neglects to promote hydro energy.
Why? Because it’s not “profitable for big companies!”
Idogawa goes on to provide a blueprint for fulfilling Japan’s energy needs that sounds surprisingly simple.
“We can provide electricity for a large number of people even with limited investment, without taxes. Just use gravity, and we may have so much energy that there’ll be no need for nuclear plants anymore.”
Premonitions of disaster
Even before the massive failure at the Fukushima nuclear power plant on March 11, 2011, the day northeastern Japan was hit by an earthquake-triggered tsunami that caused the meltdown of three of the plant’s six nuclear reactors, Idogawa knew the facility was dangerous.
“I asked them about potential accidents at a nuclear power plant, pretending I didn’t know anything about it, and it turned out they were unable to answer many of my questions,” he said. “Frankly, that’s when it first crossed my mind that their management didn’t have a contingency plan. It was then that I realized the facility could be dangerous.”
The former mayor, who happened to be in a nearby town on the day the tsunami struck, recalled driving back to Futaba upon news of the earthquake. Only later did he discover how close he came to losing his life in the approaching tsunami. “I managed to get there before the bigger tsunami came. It was only later that I realized that I escaped the water… I got lucky. The tsunami came after I drove off that road and up the mountains.”
Questions regarding the nuclear power plant dominated his thoughts on the 30-minute drive home. “I just kept thinking, ‘If it’s that strong, what will happen to the power plant? What if the reactor is damaged? What if the water leaks? What will the city do? What am I to do as mayor?’ »
Once in his office, Idogawa looked out the window and was confronted by what he described as “a terrifying sight.” “Usually you couldn’t see the sea from there, but that time I could see it just 300-500m away,” he said.
It was at that point that the mayor realized that the nuclear power plant had probably suffered some sort of damage. After spending the night watching news reports on television, the only source of information since even mobile phones were not working, Idogawa announced an emergency evacuation early the next morning. Not all of the residents, however, heard the emergency broadcast.
“Later, I learned that not all Futaba residents heard my announcement. I feel guilty about that…I found out that the Fukushima prefecture hadn’t given me all the information in a timely fashion. And now the government isn’t taking any steps to ensure people’s safety from radiation, and isn’t monitoring the implementation of evacuation procedures.”
Beyond nuclear energy
Katsutaka Idogawa believes a transformation to a cleaner, safer form of energy source for Japan would require a willingness to change the country’s laws.
“There are many laws in Japan, perhaps too many. There are laws about rivers and the ways they’re used. We could change laws regarding agricultural water use and start using rivers to produce electricity. Changing just this law alone will allow us to produce a lot of energy.”
All of this could be accomplished “without contaminating our planet.”
However, such bold proposals do not “appeal to big companies, because you don’t need big investments, you don’t need to build big power plants. It’s not that profitable for investors, for capitalists.”
But for the former mayor of a devastated Japanese town, lost to nuclear radiation, Idogawa senses a sea change forming in public opinion.
The Japanese people are beginning to “realize that we need to avert nuclear disasters, so 60-70 percent of the population is in favor of using natural energy.”
“It took us a long time, but one day we’ll follow the example of Europe, of Germany.”
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