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Climate Change 'Will Create World's Biggest Refugee Crisis'

CLICK HERE - Beyond Borders: Our changing climate – its role in conflict and displacement

Experts warn refugees could number tens of millions in the next decade, and call for a new legal framework to protect the most vulnerable

theguardian.com - by Matthew Taylor - November 2, 2017

Tens of millions of people will be forced from their homes by climate change in the next decade, creating the biggest refugee crisis the world has ever seen, according to a new report.

Senior US military and security experts have told the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) study that the number of climate refugees will dwarf those that have fled the Syrian conflict, bringing huge challenges to Europe.

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Hurricanes blew away Puerto Rico's power grid. Now solar power is rising to fill the void.

submitted by Bill Sullivan

           

usatoday.com - by Daniella Cheslow - January 5, 2018

More than three months after Hurricanes Maria and Irma slammed their island, over a million Puerto Ricans are still without reliable power. But one recent day, Rosa López and José Quiñones finally left those ranks.

It happened when four technicians installed a Tesla Powerwall solar battery pack onto a wall in their suburban San Juan home — a 275-pound white metal beast that can store enough electricity to keep a house running from sunset to sunrise.

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Video - Amid Promises of Aid, a Puerto Rico Still in Ruins

The New York Times - By DEBORAH ACOSTA and NATALIE RENEAU - October 3, 2017

President Trump said Puerto Ricans should be proud of the low death toll after Hurricane Maria. But a tour of the island by Times reporters showed that vast humanitarian and logistical challenges remain.

https://nyti.ms/2yHr8K3

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After Hurricane Maria, Dominica Seeks to Rebuild Itself Better

           

A woman walks through the streets of Roseau, the capital of Dominica, shattered by the passage of two category five hurricanes  - UNICEF / Moreno Gonzalez

via Google Translate:
un.org - reliefweb.int - 28 December 2017

Three months after Hurricane Maria ravaged Dominica, the population remains very affected. However, the post-emergency phase represents a series of opportunities to rebuild better and increase the resilience of the Caribbean island.

Hurricane Maria, of category 5, hit Dominica on September 18, leaving 15 people dead and about 57,000 people affected.

"Three months after the disaster, the situation is much better, but it is still difficult for many," said Luca Renda, the leader of the United Nations response team to the crisis in Dominica, in an interview with UN News.

"The basic needs are covered. The vast majority of children go to school and shops and markets have reopened. However, a third of the population remains displaced, staying at home with family or friends. Only 10% have electricity, and a third do not have direct access to water (potable), "said Renda, who is also coordinator of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on the island.

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Humidity May Prove Breaking Point for Some Areas as Temperatures Rise, Says Study

           

Large swaths of the tropics and beyond may see crushing combinations of heat and humidity in coming decades, according to a new study.  Credit: Ethan Coffel

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Temperature and humidity based projections of a rapid rise in global heat stress exposure during the 21st century

sciencedaily.com - Source: The Earth Institute at Columbia University - December 22, 2017

Summary: Climate scientists say that killer heat waves will become increasingly prevalent in many regions as climate warms. However, most projections leave out a major factor that could worsen things: humidity, which can greatly magnify the effects of heat alone. Now, a new global study projects that in coming decades the effects of high humidity in many areas will dramatically increase.

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Scientists Link Hurricane Harvey’s Record Rainfall to Climate Change

           

Evading a wave in Houston after Hurricane Harvey hit on Aug. 25. Credit Brendan Smialowski/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - Attributable human-induced changes in the likelihood and magnitude of the observed extreme precipitation during Hurricane Harvey

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - Attribution of extreme rainfall from Hurricane Harvey, August 2017

nytimes.com - by Henry Fountain - December 13, 2017

Climate change made the torrential rains that flooded Houston after Hurricane Harvey last summer much worse, scientists reported Wednesday.

Two research groups found that the record rainfall as Harvey stalled over Texas in late August, which totaled more than 50 inches in some areas, was as much as 38 percent higher than would be expected in a world that was not warming.

While many scientists had said at the time that Harvey was probably affected by climate change, because warmer air holds more moisture, the size of the increase surprised some.

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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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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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Is It Possible to Predict the Next Pandemic?

submitted by Carrie La Jeunesse

           

A livestock market in India - Omar Sobhani / Reuters

Large initiatives are underway to pinpoint the next big viral threats—but some virologists believe the task is too hard.

theatlantic.com - by Ed Yong - October 25, 2017

It’s been two years since an epidemic of Zika began in Brazil, three since the largest Ebola outbreak in history erupted in West Africa, eight since a pandemic of H1N1 flu swept the world, and almost a hundred since a different H1N1 flu pandemic killed 50 million people worldwide. Those viruses were all known, but no one knew when or where they’d trigger epidemics. Other diseases, like SARS, MERS, and HIV, emerged out of the blue.

Sick of being perpetually caught off guard, some scientists want to fully catalogue all viral threats, and predict which are likely to cause tomorrow’s outbreaks.

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