Zika - News

Zika - Information, FAQs and Research

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An expanding list of information resources on Zika virus . . .

CDC - Zika Virus - Case Counts in the US
https://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/united-states.html

CDC - Zika Virus - Timeline of "What's New"
http://www.cdc.gov/zika/whats-new.html

CDC Newsroom Releases
http://www.cdc.gov/media/archives.htm

Bat Cave Solves Mystery of Deadly SARS Virus — and Suggests New Outbreak Could Occur

           

Researchers analysed strains of SARS virus circulating in horseshoe bats, such as this one (Rhinolophus sinicus), in a cave in Yunnan province, China.  Credit: Libiao Zhang/Guangdong Institute of Applied Biological Resource

Chinese scientists find all the genetic building blocks of SARS in a single population of horseshoe bats.

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - Discovery of a rich gene pool of bat SARS-related coronaviruses provides new insights into the origin of SARS coronavirus

nature.com - by David Cyranoski - December 1, 2017

After a detective hunt across China, researchers chasing the origin of the deadly SARS virus have finally found their smoking gun. In a remote cave in Yunnan province, virologists have identified a single population of horseshoe bats that harbours virus strains with all the genetic building blocks of the one that jumped to humans in 2002, killing almost 800 people around the world. 

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Pittsburgh's Microgrids Technology Could Lead The Way For Green Energy

           

Gene Lutz drives an electric fork lift powered by renewable energy at Pitt Ohio, a trucking company with an office in Harmar, Pa. The firm has invested in solar and wind energy, along with a bank of storage batteries, to create an independent microgrid that would hold up in a storm. Researchers hope to build more of these and link them together to create a reliable backup supply.  Daniella Cheslow/NPR

npr.org - by Daniella Cheslow - November 12, 2017

When President Donald Trump announced the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris climate accord, he said he represented "Pittsburgh, not Paris."

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto disagreed. He traveled to Germany this week as part of an unofficial delegation of more than 100 Americans, American officials and business owners who say they are still committed to climate talks taking place in Bonn. One element of Pittsburgh's climate strategy has been encouraging innovation in a technology known as microgrids.

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Re-energizing the Island: Power in Puerto Rico

                                                    CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW TO ENLARGE

           

http://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/rngs/USA-PUERTORICO-POWER/010051M33MM/USA-PUERTORICO.jpg

The primary transmission lines that criss-cross Puerto Rico are steadily coming back online following Hurricane Maria, with several different contractors responsible for bringing back power.  The island lost all of its power after the storm; it still has a goal to restore 95 percent of power by the middle of December.

Sources: Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority; company reports

C Chan, S DiSavino 6/11/2017

ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLE HERE - New Puerto Rico utility head, same old challenges

 

 

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Costa Rica Runs Entirely on Renewable Energy for 300 Days

submitted by Jeff Williams

           

"Eólica" or wind power plant in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. ICE Group / Twitter

ecowatch.com - by Lorraine Chow - November 21, 2017

Costa Rica has charted another clean energy accolade. So far this year, the Central American country has run on 300 days of 100 percent power generation from renewable energy sources, according to the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (ICE), which cited figures from the National Center for Energy Control. . . .

 . . . Costa Rica currently receives 99.62 percent of its electricity from five renewable sources, the highest proportion since 1987. This year, 78.26 percent of electricity came from hydropower, 10.29 percent from wind, 10.23 percent from geothermal energy and 0.84 percent from biomass and solar. 

Costa Rica has emerged as a global environmental leader, with its frequent 100 percent renewable energy streaks and its 2021 goal of becoming carbon neutral—a deadline set a decade ago.

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Puerto Rico Energy Commission Opens Docket on Microgrids and Distributed Generation

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares testifying on Capitol Hill this week.

microgridknowledge.com - by Elisa Wood - November 17, 2017

Puerto Rico’s energy commission has opened a docket to investigate ways to encourage microgrids and distributed generation to build an energy system with more fortitude against hurricanes.

Island officials described the docket this week in testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Half of the island’s population remains without power two months after Hurricane Maria’s strike.

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NASA Map of Earth's Seasons Over 20 Years Highlights Climate Change

The visualization shows spring coming earlier and the Arctic ice caps receding over time

NASA - theguardian.com - AP - November 17, 2017

Nasa has captured 20 years of changing seasons in a striking new global map of planet Earth​.

The data visualization, released this week, shows Earth’s fluctuations as seen from space.

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CLICK HERE - NASA - The Living Planet - The Changing Colors of our Living Planet

CLICK HERE - NASA - Our Living Planet from Space

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Hurricane Maria Has Made Puerto Rico the Land of Opportunity for Solar Power

           

Leaning on the lines.(Raquel Pérez Puig for Quartz)

qz.com - by Ana Campoy - November 11, 2017

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Seven weeks after hurricane Maria, the traffic lights are still down in San Juan. The narrow, cobbled streets of the city’s historic center, one of the island’s top tourist attractions, turn pitch black as soon as the sun sets. With appliances useless during the blackout, many of the city’s residents can’t cook, store food, or take a real shower.

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Global Climate Risk Index 2018: Who Suffers Most From Extreme Weather Events? Weather-related Loss Events in 2016 and 1997 to 2016

CLICK HERE - Global Climate Risk Index 2018

germanwatch.org - reliefweb.int - 9 November 2017

Climate Risk Index shows vulnerability of small island states

Increased intensity of storms takes a toll on small island states and poor countries / Since 1997, over 520,000 people have been killed by more than 11,000 extreme weather events

Bonn (9th Nov. 2017). Small island states are amongst the countries most impacted by extreme weather events worldwide. A number of developing countries regularly already have to address weather catastrophes, especially poorer countries like Haiti, Sri Lanka or Viet Nam are facing great challenges. These are some of the key findings of the Climate Risk Index published by Germanwatch today at the climate summit in Bonn.

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Power Line Fails; Darkness Returns to San Juan

           

A main power line failed Thursday in Puerto Rico, plunging several cities, including San Juan, into darkness. Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo for The New York Times

nytimes.com - by Frances Robles - November 10, 2017

SAN JUAN, P.R. — A main power line that serves the northern half of Puerto Rico failed Thursday, knocking out electricity to seven cities that had only recently regained service and dealing a major setback to the island’s desperate efforts to regain normality.

Seven weeks after Hurricane Maria completely disabled Puerto Rico’s power grid, the island was generating just 18 percent of its electrical capacity, returning service to where it had been two and half weeks ago. On Thursday morning, the island had been at about 43.2 percent of capacity.

The disruption also me ant that many people no longer had running water, because pumping stations are powered by electricity.

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Puerto Rico's Storm of Misery

cbsnews.com - by Steve Kroft - November 5, 2017

Many Puerto Ricans have endured the longest blackout in American history following a direct hit from Hurricane Maria. Due to a multitude of factors, some say the lights won't be coming back on anytime soon.

It's safe to say that of all the places in the country, the one that is suffering the most right now is the hurricane-ravaged island of Puerto Rico . . . For the past 46 days, most of them have been without power, the longest blackout in American history. FEMA says it has distributed more food and water there than any disaster its ever been involved in.

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Our Moral Opportunity on Climate Change

           

Floodwaters filled the streets after heavy rains in Bangladesh in July. Credit Munir Uz Zaman/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

nytimes.com - by Justin Welby - Nobember 3, 2017

. . . “As people of faith, we don’t just state our beliefs — we live them out. One belief is that we find purpose and joy in loving our neighbors. Another is that we are charged by our creator with taking good care of his creation . . .

. . . The moral crisis of climate change is an opportunity to find purpose and joy, and to respond to our creator’s charge. Reducing the causes of climate change is essential to the life of faith. It is a way to love our neighbor and to steward the gift of creation . . .

. . . People of faith have a unique call to address the causes of climate change. As we stand together in our support for the survivors of extreme weather, let us act together in ways that will safeguard our shared gift of creation — and the lives of those who will inherit it from us.” . . .

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U.S. Report Says Humans Cause Climate Change, Contradicting Top Trump Officials

           

Smoke rose from trees burned in a wildfire in Wrightwood, Calif., last year. A report from 13 federal agencies says extreme weather events have cost the United States $1.1 trillion since 1980. Credit Jonathan Alcorn/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

CLICK HERE - Climate Science Special Report - Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4), Volume I

nytimes.com - by Lisa Friedman and Glenn Thrush - November. 3, 2017

Directly contradicting much of the Trump administration’s position on climate change, 13 federal agencies unveiled an exhaustive scientific report on Friday that says humans are the dominant cause of the global temperature rise that has created the warmest period in the history of civilization.

Over the past 115 years global average temperatures have increased 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, leading to record-breaking weather events and temperature extremes, the report says. The global, long-term warming trend is “unambiguous,” it says, and there is “no convincing alternative explanation” that anything other than humans — the cars we drive, the power plants we operate, the forests we destroy — are to blame.

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Where Does the Ebola Virus Hide Between Outbreaks?

           

Photo by Steve Babuljak

ucsf.edu - by Samantha Ancona Esselmann, Samantha Hindle and Ben Mansky - October 24, 2017

Joe DeRisi, PhD, is a master detective of infectious diseases. No matter how obscure or complex, he says he’ll take on the challenge because “it could lead to new biology that we wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.”

That's precisely what happened when he stumbled on a clue to cracking the decades-long search for the place – or creature – where the Ebola virus hides between deadly outbreaks. . . .

 . . . In 2009, DeRisi began studying an incurable disease that was killing reptiles raised in captivity, a disease that caused strange neurological symptoms ranging from vomiting to uncontrollable contortions. They found the culprit – a previously undescribed arenavirus – and uncovered something surprising: the Arenavirus’s glycoprotein, a viral “access badge” to the secure insides of a cell, actually belonged to the Ebola virus.

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