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Center for Climate Systems Research - Earth Institute | Columbia University

                         

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Planetary Boundaries: Guiding Human Development on a Changing Planet

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CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - Planetary boundaries: Guiding human development on a changing planet

As Science publishes the updated research, four of nine planetary boundaries have been crossed: climate change, loss of biosphere integrity, land-system change, altered biogeochemical cycles (phosphorus and nitrogen). Image source: F. Pharand-Deschênes /Globaïa

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Planetary Boundaries 2.0 – new and improved

As Science publishes the updated research, four of nine planetary boundaries have been crossed

Four of nine planetary boundaries have now been crossed as a result of human activity, says an international team of 18 researchers in the journal Science (16 January 2015). The four are: climate change, loss of biosphere integrity, land-system change, altered biogeochemical cycles (phosphorus and nitrogen).

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Researchers Link Syrian Conflict to a Drought Made Worse by Climate Change

      

Women working in fields in northeastern Syria in 2010.  A new report suggests extreme drought in Syria was most likely a factor in the violent uprising that began there in 2011. Credit Louai Beshara/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Climate change in the Fertile Crescent and implications of the recent Syrian drought

nytimes.com - by Henry Fountain - March 2, 2015

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Europe Unlikely to Meet Climate Goal, Study Finds

CLICK HERE - SOER 2015
— The European environment — state and outlook 2015

CLICK HERE - Synthesis Report
The European environment — state and outlook 2015

CLICK HERE - Assessment of Global Megatrends
The European environment — state and outlook 2015

nytimes.com - by Melissa Eddy - March 2, 2015

BERLIN — The European Union will fail to meet an ambitious goal of significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 unless it takes more aggressive measures to limit the use of fossil fuels and adopts new environmental policies, according to a report released on Tuesday.

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Interaction of Atlantic and Pacific Oscillations Caused 'False Pause' in Warming

Ocean and sky (stock image) / Iakov Kalinin / Fotolia

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - Atlantic and Pacific multidecadal oscillations and Northern Hemisphere temperatures

sciencedaily.com - February 26, 2015

The recent slowdown in climate warming is due, at least in part, to natural oscillations in the climate, according to a team of climate scientists, who add that these oscillations represent variability internal to the climate system. They do not signal any slowdown in human-caused global warming.

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Climate Change Will Cause More Infectious Diseases

submitted by George Hurlburt

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Evolution in action: climate change, biodiversity dynamics and emerging infectious disease

rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org

zmescience.com - by Mihai Andrei - February 17, 2015

A new study has found that as the climate continues to warm, we will be dealing with more infectious and parasitic diseases. Ultimately, we’ll have to face numerouse separate epidemics caused by climate change, researchers say.

It seems like with climate change, it’s more an issue of what gets us first – will it be the drought, the rising sea levels or… the diseases?

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Mapping the Zoonotic Niche of Ebola Virus Disease in Africa

submitted by Stephen Morse

elifesciences.org - September 8, 2014 - eLife 2014;3:e04395
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04395

Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a complex zoonosis that is highly virulent in humans. The largest recorded outbreak of EVD is ongoing in West Africa, outside of its previously reported and predicted niche. We assembled location data on all recorded zoonotic transmission to humans and Ebola virus infection in bats and primates (1976–2014). Using species distribution models, these occurrence data were paired with environmental covariates to predict a zoonotic transmission niche covering 22 countries across Central and West Africa. Vegetation, elevation, temperature, evapotranspiration, and suspected reservoir bat distributions define this relationship. At-risk areas are inhabited by 22 million people; however, the rarity of human outbreaks emphasises the very low probability of transmission to humans. Increasing population sizes and international connectivity by air since the first detection of EVD in 1976 suggest that the dynamics of human-to-human secondary transmission in contemporary outbreaks will be very different to those of the past.

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Pope Francis: Christians Have a Duty to Protect Environment

      

Pope Francis (CNS)

catholicherald.co.uk - by Conor Gaffey - February 9, 2015

Protecting the environment is a Christian duty not just reserved for ‘green’ activists, Pope Francis said today.

The Pope tackled the topic of creation in his morning homily at Casa Santa Marta, warning that Christians must be the protectors of the natural world, not its masters. . .

. . . The Pope is expected to release his eagerly anticipated encyclical on the environment in June or July ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference to be held in Paris in December.

On his flight from Sri Lanka to Manila in January, Francis was reported to have said that human beings are largely to blame for climate change.

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Brazil Cities Cancel Carnival Because of Drought

      

Brazil's samba filled streets during Carnival usually attract millions of visitors. | Photo: Reuters

telesurtv.net - February 7, 2015

Brazil's worsening drought has been linked to both climate change and deforestation which have limited rainfall, say experts.

Several cities in the southeast of Brazil have called off Carnival this year due to a serious drought that has plagued the region for months and shows no signs of abating. . .

. . . at least 15 cities and towns in the southeastern states of Minas Gerais and San Paolo have already called off all or parts of their Carnival festivities because of the region's water crisis. Both states have been suffering from drought for more than a year, with the water situation worsening. This has been the regions' worst drought in at least eight years.

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http://www.wsj.com/articles/brazilian-drought-leaves-carnival-awash-in-doubt-1422402594

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White House Moves to Rein In Methane Emissions

       

New EPA standards will aim to significantly cut methane emissions from oil and gas sites in the U.S.

The Obama administration makes its latest move to take on climate change.

usnews.com - by Alan Neuhauser - January 14, 2015

In the Obama administration’s latest use of executive authority to address climate change, the White House announced plans Wednesday to impose new regulations on the oil and gas industry that would nearly halve methane emissions from wells, drill sites and pipelines in 10 years.

The new standards, to be developed by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Air Act, would aim by 2025 to cut methane emissions by up to 45 percent from levels recorded in 2012. They would also slash the spread of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, key components of ground-level smog that have been linked to cancer, neurological conditions and other illnesses.

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