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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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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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Meant to Keep Malaria Out, Mosquito Nets Are Used to Haul Fish In

 

Millions of mosquito nets are given out fight to malaria in Africa, yet many faced with hunger use them as fish nets, creating potential environmental problems. Video by Ben C. Solomon on Publish Date January 24, 2015. Photo by Uriel Sinai for The New York Times.

NEW YORK TIMES   by Jeffery Gettleman                           Jan. 25, 2015

BANGWEULU WETLANDS, Zambi --Across Africa, from the mud flats of Nigeria to the coral reefs off Mozambique, mosquito-net fishing is a growing problem, an unintended consequence of one of the biggest and most celebrated public health campaigns in recent years.

The nets have helped save millions of lives, but scientists worry about the collateral damage: Africa’s fish.

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Ocean Life Faces Mass Extinction, Broad Study Says

         

A dead whale in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in 2011. As container ships multiply, more whales are being harmed, a study said. CreditMarco De Swart/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - Marine defaunation: Animal loss in the global ocean

nytimes.com - by Carl Zimmer - January 15, 2015

A team of scientists, in a groundbreaking analysis of data from hundreds of sources, has concluded that humans are on the verge of causing unprecedented damage to the oceans and the animals living in them.

“We may be sitting on a precipice of a major extinction event,” said Douglas J. McCauley, an ecologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an author of the new research, which was published on Thursday in the journal Science.

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2014 on Track to be Hottest Year on Record

 

 

The temperatures so far in 2014 compared to the top 5 warmest years on record.
Click image to enlarge. Credit: NOAA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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US, China Set Carbon Pollution Goals

Image: President Obama meets with President Xi Jinping. Photo Credit: Pete Souza/White HouseImage: President Obama meets with President Xi Jinping. Photo Credit: Pete Souza/White House

environmentalleader.com - November 13th, 2014

The US and China set ambitious climate change goals on Wednesday, with President Obama pledging to cut US greenhouse gas emissions 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

Chinese president Xi Jinping announced targets to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 or sooner and to increase China’s non-fossil fuel share of energy to around 20 percent by 2030.

The announcement was met with praise from environmentalists and business groups.

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Fossil fuels should be phased out by 2100 says IPCC

A photo of smokestacks. The IPCC says fossil fuels without carbon capture should be "phased out" by 2100

Image: A photo of smokestacks. The IPCC says fossil fuels without carbon capture should be "phased out" by 2100

bbc.com - November 2nd 2014 -  Matt McGrath

The unrestricted use of fossil fuels should be phased out by 2100 if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change, a UN-backed expert panel says.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says in a stark report that most of the world's electricity can - and must - be produced from low-carbon sources by 2050.

If not, the world faces "severe, pervasive and irreversible" damage.

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Structural Adaptivity, Before and After Thoughts

 

As a means of concluding these writings on Structural Adaptivity and Resilience, following are some of the background thoughts, with recent revision, that led me to my proposals. Originally, my writings were directed at city and regional planning. However now I realize they are also about resilience.  I hope my submittals will be helpful.  I will try to write more soon.

 

Time.  Planners, resilience makers, and all other leaders and professionals dealing with the built environment must focus on long time spans.  In order to have significant impact on the future of our world, we must recognize that only by looking at big chunks of history and big chunks of future time can we really see the reality of what is going on.  Likewise, we need to do so in order to see the reality of what needs to be done.

 

Typical urban or regional plans target a future some 20 years ahead.  Moreover, they typically are based on past trends of 20 years or so.  However, our world does not change in 20-year cycles.  Twenty years is a very short time period in the flow of transformation.

 

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Structural Adaptivity, Rebalancing by Watersheds - Part II

Here is the second part of my Rebalancing by Watersheds Exercise.  I presented the background work recently in my Part I post.  Part II contains a Concept Plan Map and a discussion of the more particular information and data that led me to the Plan. 

 

Both Parts I and Part II are only a condensed version of the full text I prepared.  Within the portions I left out for this version is a considerable amount of technical information that some readers may want to see.  I will provide more of it upon request. 

 

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