www.homelandsecuritynewswire.com - June 27, 2012
Image source: usgs.gov
The 2010 earthquake in Haiti killed hundreds of thousands and destroyed large sections of the capital, Port au Prince; the clock is ticking on many earthquake faults throughout the world, and a comprehensive new book points to places around the world that could face the fate of Port au Prince.
A controversial bird flu study has been published. The Canadian Press/Hanout/CDC
(LINKS TO THE THREE STUDIES REFERENCED IN THIS ARTICLE ARE LOCATED AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST - CLICK ON "READ MORE" BELOW)
metronews.ca - by Helen Branswell - June 21, 2012
A controversial bird flu study, blocked from full publication for months because of biosecurity concerns, found that as few as five mutations might be enough to give H5N1 viruses the power to infect people and spread among them.
And new research, which played a role in reversing the initial ban on full publication of the study, says viruses with two of those changes are already cropping up regularly in nature. That means that if bird flu viruses were able to pick up three specific additional mutations, they might be able to infect human respiratory tracts and trigger a pandemic.
scribd.com/WorldBankPublications - April 2012
Poor people living in slums are at particularly high risk from the impacts of climate change and natural hazards. They live on the most vulnerable lands within cities, typically areas that are deemed undesirable by others and are thus affordable. Residents are exposed to the impacts of landslides, sea-level rise, flooding, and other hazards.
Exposure to risk is exacerbated by overcrowded living conditions, lack of adequate infrastructure and services, unsafe housing, inadequate nutrition, and poor health. These conditions can turn a natural hazard or change in climate into a disaster, and result in the loss of basic services, damage or destruction to homes, loss of livelihoods, malnutrition, disease, disability, and loss of life.
This study analyzes the key challenges facing the urban poor given the risks associated with climate change and disasters, particularly with regard to the delivery of basic services, and identifies strategies and financing opportunities for addressing these risks.
Several key findings emerge from the study and provide guidance for addressing risk:
South Sudanese citizens show support for their government’s decision to shut down all oil production. (Photo Courtesy Issac Billy/UN
allafrica.com - May 6, 2012
Washington — The newly independent state of South Sudan is quickly headed towards an economic cliff in light of its decision to shut down oil production which went into effect earlier this year, says a confidential report by the World bank.
While in transit from Hawaii to Guam, the research vessel Kilo Moana detected the February 2010 Chilean tsunami. Credit: University of Hawaii, SOEST
submitted by Samuel Bendett
Homeland Security News Wire - May 8, 2012
Researchers find that commercial ships travel across most of the globe and could provide better warnings for potentially deadly tsunamis; this finding came as a surprise because tsunamis have such small amplitudes in the deep water, in contrast to their size when they reach the coastline, that it seemed unlikely that the tsunami would be detected using GPS unless the ship was very close to the source and the tsunami was very big
Commercial ships travel across most of the globe and could provide better warnings for potentially deadly tsunamis, according to a study published by scientists at the University of Hawaii – Manoa (UHM) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.
In this Jan. 2, 2005 file photo, a wide area of destruction is shown from an aerial view taken over Meulaboh, 250 kilometers (156 Miles) west of Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Researchers in the United States are hoping to use GPS data to speed up current warnings. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara, File)
U.S. seismologists currently testing new warning system
by Andrew Pinsent - CBC News - May 5, 2012
Scientists in the United States have been testing an advanced tsunami warning system using GPS data, combined with traditional seismology networks, to attempt to detect the magnitude of an earthquake faster so warnings of potential tsunamis can get out to potentially affected areas sooner.
The prototype is called California Integrated Seismic Network (CISN), and is a collaboration between the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, whose focus is on environmental conservation.
A farmer throws paddy seedlings near Indramayu town in Indonesia's West Java province February 1, 2011. REUTERS/Beawiharta
Alertnet - Reuters - May 2, 2012
* World will need 70 percent more food by 2050
* Experts look to myriad "green bullets" to boost production
* Grassroots innovations already flourishing worldwide
By Laurie Goering
LONDON, May 2 (AlertNet) - In flood-hit fields in the Philippines, farmers are testing a hardy new variety of rice that can survive completely submerged for more than two weeks.
In Kenya's Kibera slum, poor urban families are turning around their diets and incomes just by learning to grow vegetables in sack gardens outside their doors.
And in India, a push to help marginalised rural communities gain title to their land is leading to a significant drop in hunger.
These are just a few of the kinds of innovations and intitiatives that experts say will be critical if the world is to feed itself over coming decades as the population soars, cities sprawl and climate change takes its toll.
South Sudanese who fled the recent ethnic violence carry food aid from a World Food Programme (WFP) distribution centre in Pibor, Jonglei State, January 12, 2012. REUTERS/Hereward Holland
This story is part of AlertNet’s special report Solutions for a hungry world
Alertnet - by Alex Whiting - May 2, 2012
LONDON (AlertNet) – Hear the word “famine” and many people imagine convoys of trucks piled high with sacks of grain arriving in a region devoid of food.
But in the 21st-century fight against hunger, aid agencies are increasingly deploying cash via food vouchers, text messages or smart cards with electronic chips. If they distribute food, it’s often food bought locally.
Changes to the international food aid system – including early warning systems, greater professionalisation of the aid system, as well as new ways of delivering aid – have reduced the number of famines and made aid more effective. But the system is still overly reliant on food imports from donor countries, experts say.
Ethiopian farmers Mandefro Tesfaye (L) and Tayto Mesfin collect wheat in their field in Abay, north of Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, in this 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Barry Malone
This story is part of AlertNet’s special report Solutions For A Hungry World
Alertnet - by Katie Nguyen - May 2, 2012
LONDON (AlertNet) - It was designed to increase production and exports of vegetable oil, a commodity in short supply after World War Two, and foster growth in post-war Britain and Tanganyika.
Instead, Britain's scheme to carve out million-acre plantations for growing groundnuts in what is now Tanzania ended in disaster - scuppered by the thick bush that rendered machines to clear land for cultivation useless, and a lack of suitable soil and rainfall for the crop to grow.
Sixty years on, similarly controversial projects are back in fashion in Africa and other parts of the developing world as investors - from foreign governments to wealthy individuals - hunt for land to grow food.
People try to get food at a food distribution center in Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, January 17, 2010. REUTERS/Kena Betancur
This story is part of AlertNet's special report Solutions for a hungry world
Alertnet - by Laurie Goering - May 2, 2012
LONDON (AlertNet) - In 2008, as world food prices soared as a result of drought-hit harvests, growing grain demand and high oil prices, South Korea had an uncomfortable glimpse of the future.
The country, which imports 70 percent of the grain it needs, suddenly found major wheat and maize producers such as Russia and Argentina imposing export bans, aimed at keeping enough food at home to satisfy demand.
Suddenly aware that markets might not always provide, South Korea launched a campaign to secure its own food security.