Daily Archives: October 20, 2016

Hurricane Matthew’s Life Cycle and Rainfall Visualized


Climate State

Published on Oct 20, 2016

Hurricane Matthew dropped a lot of rain, caused flooding and deaths in the state of North Carolina. Flooding is still widespread in North Carolina. Some rivers in North Carolina such as the Tar and the Neuse Rivers were still rising on Oct. 12, 2016.

At NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, a rainfall analysis was accomplished using data from NASA’s Integrated Multi-satellite Retrievals for GPM (IMERG). The GPM, or Global Precipitation Measurement, mission is a joint mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

This rainfall analysis was created using IMERG real time data covering the period from Sept. 28 through Oct. 10, 2016. The totals included some rain from a low pressure area that moved through the area near the end of September.

Hurricane Matthew’s interaction with a frontal boundary caused extreme rainfall in North Carolina resulting in over 20 inches (508 mm) of rain being reported in North Carolina. The area was already saturated before Hurricane Matthew arrived. Heavy rainfall from a slow moving low and frontal system moved through during the last week of September. Maximum rainfall total estimates for the real-time IMERG product have been adjusted to reflect observed values.

Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Ryan Fitzgibbons, producer

Music: “New Lands” by Mark Russell, Atmosphere Music Ltd.
Additional footage: Nelson Aerial Productions

This video is public domain and may be downloaded at: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/12391

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Bruce Friedrich: The Future of Protein: Blending Markets and Food Technology to Solve Some of the World’s Biggest Problems

The Future of Food
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
7:30 PM – 9 PM

Are you interested in dramatically reducing our environmental footprint? In learning about new developments in cheap, ethical ways to feed a growing population? It’s time to talk about food politics. The Future Society is excited to announce that Bruce Friedrich, Executive Director of The Good Food Institute, will be joining us at HKS for his talk:

The Future of Protein: Blending Markets and Food Technology to
Solve Some of the World’s Biggest Problems

There will be food provided by Whole Heart Provisions! Please join us Wednesday, Oct. 26 7.30-9pm in Littauer 332 Background: As populations and incomes rise throughout the world, more and more environmental scientists and economists are asking how the world will support its projected population of 9 billion people by 2050 and how governments can meet the climate change goals they committed to in the Paris Agreement.

In this talk, New Crop Capital’s Bruce Friedrich will discuss why animal protein alternatives are gaining popularity. About the speaker: Bruce Friedrich is founding trustee of New Crop Capital, a $25 million venture capital fund that provides angel, seed, and Series A funding to companies that are producing plant-based and cultured alternatives to meat, dairy, and eggs, as well to tech startups that are focused on promoting alternatives to animal agriculture. He is also executive director of The Good Food Institute (GFI), a nonprofit organization that promotes plant and culture-based alternatives to animal agriculture.

Harvard Kennedy School
79 JFK St
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138

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Harvard Kennedy School – Calestous Juma Receives 2017 Breakthrough Paradigm Award

Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) and Director of the Science, Technology, and Globalization Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

October 19, 2016

The Breakthrough Institute has named Calestous Juma the recipient of the 2017 Breakthrough Paradigm Award. The award, given annually, recognizes accomplishment and leadership in the effort to make the future secure, free, prosperous, and fulfilling for all the world’s inhabitants on an ecologically vibrant planet.

Juma is Professor of the Practice of International Development at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) and Director of the Science, Technology, and Globalization Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He was chosen in recognition of his scholarship and thought leadership in biotechnology and innovation.

Of all global impacts on the environment, none has a bigger footprint than food and agriculture, and few scholars are better prepared to discuss and advise our agricultural future. With his acclaimed 2011 book, The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa, Juma offered an essential and refreshing look at agriculture in emerging economies. Technology, entrepreneurship, and emerging regional markets, he wrote, would combine to create an economic, social, and environmental revolution in sub-Saharan Africa.

This year, Oxford University Press published Juma’s new book, Innovation and Its Enemies: Why People Resist New Technologies, which chronicles 600 years of case studies on emerging technologies and the social resistance they ignite. Those familiar with modern discussions around nuclear power, transgenic crops, vaccines, and other controversial technologies have likely experienced frustration with what can seem at times to be regressive opposition to new technologies. But what is fascinating about Juma’s new book is the respect, curiosity, and skill with which he diagnoses these social tensions.

…(read more).

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UN: Global agriculture needs a ‘profound transformation’ to fight climate change and protect food security – The Washington Post

fao-farmer

A farmer carrying a hoe walks past a dried-up pond in Shilin Yi Autonomous County of Kunming, Yunnan province February 28, 2013. (Reuters/Stringer)

By Chelsea Harvey October 17

Climate change has already begun to affect the world’s food production, a new report from the United Nations warns — and unless significant action is taken, it could put millions more people at risk of hunger and poverty in the next few decades.

It’s a message that’s been emphasized over and over by climate scientists and has informed many of the UN’s sustainable development goals and positions on global food security. But this is the first time it’s been the primary focus of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s annual State of Food and Agriculture report, its flagship publication, which centers on a different topic each year. Recent subjects have included social protection and anti-poverty measures, innovation in family farming and designing food systems for better nutrition.

The new 194-page report, just released Monday, is a testament to growing alarm among scientists and policymakers over the dire threat climate change poses to future food security. It describes a vicious cycle in which unsustainable farming practices contribute hefty greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere and drive more warming, which can then continue to hurt global crop production.

Under a severe climate change scenario, the report points out, research suggests that 122 million more people could be living in extreme poverty by the year 2030 compared to a future with no climate change. Even under a low-impact climate scenario, this number could be as high as 35 million more people.

“Hunger, poverty and climate change need to be tackled together,” said Food and Agriculture Organization director-general José Graziano da Silva, in a foreword to the new report. “This is, not least, a moral imperative as those who are now suffering most have contributed least to the changing climate.”

Indeed, while the impact of climate change on agriculture is expected to become increasingly severe in all parts of the world post-2030, the report notes that the most vulnerable populations include producers in developing countries whose livelihoods depend on farming. Global declines in production may also radiate throughout the world in the form of higher food prices, placing a greater strain on already vulnerable low-income communities.

…(read more).

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A Gasp for Breath


PressTV Documentaries  [Iranian documentary]

Published on Oct 19, 2016

According to the latest research studies and statistics, the earth’s temperature is on an escalating rise. This phenomenon, which is referred to as climate change or global warming, is due to the interruption in the system of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and anticipates a threatening and imminent future for the earth inhabitants and their environment. Global warming has a high potentiality to increase the frequency of drought, storms, and other natural disasters that take place on the earth’s surface. Furthermore, as other repercussions of this phenomenon, water resources are being destroyed: Natural ice caps, which are the main source of sweet drinking water for billions of people, are melting; we are also witnessing the extinction of many animal species. In “A Gasp for Breath,” Press TV’s exclusive and highly analytic documentary, a group of prominent analysts and experts on various environmental issues and other related topics elaborate on the underlying reason of the increasing rise of the earth’s temperature, i.e., the proliferation of greenhouse gases as a result of the increase in human activities and hazardous technological development as well as the rise of fuel consumption by Earth inhabitants.

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FAO – News Article: Agriculture has big role to play in curbing greenhouse gas emissions

A farmer in Tanzania uses hay to help mulch and prevent soil erosion.

Rapid action needed to put smallholders and food systems on sustainable paths

17 October 2016, Rome – The pledge to eradicate hunger and poverty must go hand in hand with rapid transformations of farming and food systems to cope with a warmer world, FAO said today in a new report.

Agriculture, including forestry, fisheries and livestock production, generate around a fifth of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Agriculture must both contribute more to combating climate change while bracing to overcome its impacts, according to The State of Food and Agriculture 2016.

“There is no doubt climate change affects food security,” FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said while presenting the report. “What climate change does is to bring back uncertainties from the time we were all hunter gatherers. We cannot assure any more that we will have the harvest we have planted.”

That uncertainty also translates into volatile food prices, he noted. “Everybody is paying for that, not only those suffering from droughts,” Graziano da Silva said.

FAO warns that a “business as usual” approach could put millions more people at risk of hunger compared to a future without climate change. Most affected would be populations in poor areas in sub-Saharan Africa and South and Southeast Asia, especially those who rely on agriculture for their livelihoods. Future food security in many countries will worsen if no action is taken today.

Overhauling farming and food systems will be complex due to the vast number of stakeholders involved, the multiplicity of farming and food processing systems, and differences in ecosystems. Yet, efforts must begin in earnest now as the adverse impacts of climate change will only worsen with time, the report emphasizes.

“The benefits of adaptation outweigh the costs of inaction by very wide margins,” emphasized Graziano da Silva.

Time for commitments to be put into action

“2016 should be about putting commitments into action,” urged Graziano da Silva, noting the international community last year agreed to the Sustainable Development Goalsand the Paris climate agreement, about to come into force. Agriculture will be high on the agenda at the 22nd Conference of the Parties in Morocco starting November 7.

The FAO report underscores that success in transforming food and agriculture systems will largely depend on urgently supporting smallholders in adapting to climate change.

Developing countries are home to around half a billion smallholder farm families who produce food and other agricultural products in greatly varying agro-ecological and socio-economic conditions. Solutions have to be tailored to those conditions; there is no one-size-fits-all fix.

The FAO report describes alternative, economically viable ways of helping smallholders to adapt and making the livelihoods of rural populations — often the most exposed to the downside risks of climate change – more resilient.

The report provides evidence that adoption of ‘climate-smart’ practices, such as the use of nitrogen-efficient and heat-tolerant crop varieties, zero-tillage and integrated soil fertility management would boost productivity and farmers’ incomes. Widespread adoption of nitrogen-efficient practices alone would reduce the number of people at risk of undernourishment by more than 100 million, the report estimates.

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The State of Food and Agriculture 2016: Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security – World | ReliefWeb

Report from Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Published on 17 Oct 2016

Agriculture has big role to play in curbing greenhouse gas emissions

Rapid action needed to put smallholders and food systems on sustainable paths

17 October 2016, Rome – The pledge to eradicate hunger and poverty must go hand in hand with rapid transformations of farming and food systems to cope with a warmer world, FAO said today in a new report.

Download PDF (6.08 MB)

Agriculture, including forestry, fisheries and livestock production, generate around a fifth of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Agriculture must both contribute more to combating climate change while bracing to overcome its impacts, according to The State of Food and Agriculture 2016.

“There is no doubt climate change affects food security,” FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said while presenting the report. “What climate change does is to bring back uncertainties from the time we were all hunter gatherers. We cannot assure any more that we will have the harvest we have planted.”

That uncertainty also translates into volatile food prices, he noted. “Everybody is paying for that, not only those suffering from droughts,” Graziano da Silva said.

FAO warns that a “business as usual” approach could put millions more people at risk of hunger compared to a future without climate change. Most affected would be populations in poor areas in sub-Saharan Africa and South and Southeast Asia, especially those who rely on agriculture for their livelihoods. Future food security in many countries will worsen if no action is taken today.

Overhauling farming and food systems will be complex due to the vast number of stakeholders involved, the multiplicity of farming and food processing systems, and differences in ecosystems. Yet, efforts must begin in earnest now as the adverse impacts of climate change will only worsen with time, the report emphasizes.

“The benefits of adaptation outweigh the costs of inaction by very wide margins,” emphasized Graziano da Silva.

Time for commitments to be put into action

“2016 should be about putting commitments into action,” urged Graziano da Silva, noting the international community last year agreed to the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris climate agreement, about to come into force. Agriculture will be high on the agenda at the 22nd Conference of the Parties in Morocco starting November 7.

The FAO report underscores that success in transforming food and agriculture systems will largely depend on urgently supporting smallholders in adapting to climate change.

Developing countries are home to around half a billion smallholder farm families who produce food and other agricultural products in greatly varying agro-ecological and socio-economic conditions. Solutions have to be tailored to those conditions; there is no one-size-fits-all fix.

…(read more).

Food-Matters
Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice