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Emergence of Zaire Ebola Virus Disease in Guinea — Preliminary Report

In March 2014, the World Health Organization was notified of an outbreak of a communicable disease characterized by fever, severe diarrhea, vomiting, and a high fatality rate in Guinea. Virologic investigation identified Zaire ebolavirus (EBOV) as the causative agent. Full-length genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis showed that EBOV from Guinea forms a separate clade in relationship to the known EBOV strains from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon. Epidemiologic investigation linked the laboratory-confirmed cases with the presumed first fatality of the outbreak in December 2013. This study demonstrates the emergence of a new EBOV strain in Guinea.

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New Ebola Strain Causing West Africa Outbreak

      

FILE - In this photo provide by MSF, healthcare workers prepare isolation and treatment areas for Ebola in Gueckedou, Guinea, Mar. 28, 2014.

voanews.com - by Steve Baragona - April 16, 2014

— The strain of Ebola virus that has killed 121 people in West Africa may have been circulating there undetected for some time, according to a new study. . .
 
. . . They confirmed that it is a member of the Zaire species, which kills most of its victims. Strains of that virus have caused outbreaks previously in Gabon and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
 
But this virus is a new strain, a previously unknown sister in the Zaire family.
 
Virologist Jens Kuhn at the National Institutes of Health said there may be more.

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Kenya - Alert Out as 10,000 Face Starvation

reliefweb.int - nation.co.ke - by Daniel Tsuma Nyassy - April 16, 2014

An estimated 10,000 people in parts of Kinango constituency, Kwale, urgently need food assistance.

The semi-arid area has been ravaged by drought for the past three years.

Area residents survive on roots and wild fruits.

Their MP, Mr Gonzi Rai, and Mackinnon Road ward representative Musa Ahmed have urged the government to intervene.

Mr Ahmed said hardest-hit areas are Vigurungani, Makamini, Taru, Chengoni, Samburu, Chigutu, Malomani and Ndavaya.

“The situation is bad. We are calling for immediate intervention. People are now feeding on mtunguru (roots) and matopole (wild fruits) to survive,” he said in Mombasa.

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National Inventory Report 1990-2012: Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks in Canada - Executive Summary

ec.gc.ca

Introduction

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international treaty established in 1992 to cooperatively tackle climate change issues. The ultimate objective of the UNFCCC is to stabilize atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations at a level that would prevent dangerous interference with the climate system. Canada ratified the UNFCCC in December 1992, and the Convention came into force in March 1994. At the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the UNFCCC in 2009, Canada signed the Copenhagen Accord, under which Canada has committed to reducing its GHG emissions to 17% below the 2005 level by the year 2020.Footnote1

Disparity Between Soaring Emissions and Government Policy Frustrates Climate Activists

             

The cover of the latest IPCC report "Climate Change 2014, Mitigation of Climate Change," as its present at a press conference in Berlin on Sunday.  JOHN MACDOUGALL / AFP/GETTY IMAGES

In wake of latest IPCC report, activists say all new investments should be in energy efficiency and renewables, not oilsands and pipelines.

thestar.com - by Raveena Aulakh - April 13, 2014

The disconnect is stark.

A new report by the UN climate panel says that, if we are to avert disaster, we must cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 70 per cent by 2050, and to nearly zero by the end of this century, so as to limit the increase in average global temperatures to 2C.

However, in reality, despite policies to control them, average emissions rose by 2.2 per cent every year for the past decade, reaching what the new report calls “unprecedented levels.”

Entire Marine Food Chain at Risk from Rising CO2 Levels in Water

      

A lemon damselfish finding shelter in coral. Exposure to CO2 will make it more adventurous, and endanger its life. Photograph: Bates Littlehales/Corbis

theguardian.com - by Oliver Milman - April 13, 2014

Escalating carbon dioxide emissions will cause fish to lose their fear of predators, potentially damaging the entire marine food chain, joint Australian and US research has found.

A study by the Australian Institute of Marine Science, James Cook University and the Georgia Institute of Technology found the behavior of fish would be “seriously affected” by greater exposure to CO2.

Researchers studied the behavior of coral reef fish at naturally occurring CO2 vents in Milne Bay, in eastern Papua New Guinea.

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CLICK HERE - STUDY - Behavioural impairment in reef fishes caused by ocean acidification at CO2 seeps

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Odds That Global Warming is Due to Natural Factors: Slim To None

                 

publications.mcgill.ca - April 12, 2014

Statistical analysis rules out natural-warming hypothesis with more than 99 per cent certainty

An analysis of temperature data since 1500 all but rules out the possibility that global warming in the industrial era is just a natural fluctuation in the earth’s climate, according to a new study by McGill physics professor Shaun Lovejoy.

The study, published online on April 6, in the journal Climate Dynamics, represents a new approach to the question of whether global warming in the industrial era has been caused largely by man-made emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. . .

. . . Lovejoy’s study applies statistical methodology to determine the probability that global warming since 1880 is due to natural variability. His conclusion: the natural-warming hypothesis may be ruled out “with confidence levels great than 99 per cent, and most likely greater than 99.9 per cent.”

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CETO Produces Wave Power and Freshwater

                       

ecogeek.org - by Philip Proefrock - April 12, 2014

A new, grid-tied offshore wave energy project called CETO is being readied off the west coast of Australia, near Perth. Carnegie Wave Energy is installing what is called the "first operating wave energy array scheme in the world." The installation will consist of three submerged buoys 11 meters (36 feet) in diameter, which will be anchored offshore. The buoys will create high pressure water which will be pumped to an onshore generating station to produce electricity.

In addition to producing power, the CETO technology incorporates an interesting synergy - it is also used to provide fresh water.

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CETO Commercial Scale Unit Overview

Toxic Tap Water Spurs Panic Buying in China City

      

A man pushes a shopping cart filled with bottled water after reports on heavy levels of benzene in local tap water, in Lanzhou, Gansu province, China. (Reuters photo)

phys.org - April 11, 2014

Tap water in a Chinese city was found to contain excessive levels of the toxic chemical benzene, prompting residents to rush to buy bottled water, state media said on Friday.

Tests conducted on Thursday and Friday showed that tap water in Lanzhou, the capital of northwestern Gansu province, had as much as 200 micrograms of benzene per litre, 20 times the national limit, the official Xinhua news agency said, citing local environment authorities.

Benzene is an aromatic, colourless liquid and a basic raw material used in the petrochemical industry. Human exposure to the chemical increases the risk of cancer and other illnesses.

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