Daily Archives: March 21, 2017

UN launches drought operation coordination centre in Baidoa

CGTN Africa

Published on Mar 21, 2017

The United Nations has launched a drought operations coordination centre in the Somali city of Baidoa. This, in a bid to promote the effective and timely delivery of humanitarian assistance to the south western region of the country. According to the Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia Vincent Lelei the humanitarian crisis in South West state had become the worst in the whole country. Lelei says some 2,000 people in the region were suffering from cholera and many children are malnourished. Latest statistics indicate that about 6.2 million people – half the total population in Somalia – are in need of humanitarian aid. Among them are three million people facing crisis and emergency levels of food insecurity.


INTERVIEW: Slowdown of economic growth in South Africa largely due to prolonged drought

CGTN Africa

Published on Mar 21, 2017

G20 finance ministers meeting has been going on in the German city of Baden Baden. Our reporter Guy Henderson caught a few moments with South Africa’s finance minister Pravin Gordhan to capture his thoughts on South Africa’s economy

Why NSF is vital to our nation’s defense

National Science Foundation

Published on Mar 21, 2017

William McRaven, University of Texas System Chancellor and a retired four-star Navy admiral, describes NSF’s critical importance to the Department of Defense and our nation’s security. McRaven is former commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command and is considered one of the country’s top foreign policy experts.

Video:Caribbean decision makers benefit from regional-level climate data

Climate and Development Knowledge Network

Published on Mar 21, 2017

Governments in the Caribbean have identified climate variability and change as the most significant threat to continued development in the region . Given the scale of the climate challenge, decision makers need effective tools and methods to help integrate climate change considerations into their existing planning and investment processes. One important aspect of this is having access to good quality, locally relevant climate change data.

In the Caribbean, the CARibbean Weather Impacts Group (CARIWIG) project, funded by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), provides open access to climate data that has been downscaled, making it relevant for use in the Caribbean region. Accessed through a user-friendly website, CARIWIG also provides tools that allow decision makers to better understand the potential impacts of drought, tropical storms, rainfall and temperature changes.

A summary of the climate data and advice on how they can be applied in the region is presented in a newly launched ‘knowledge package’. The package, comprising a policy brief, an infographic and a short video, provides an overview of CARIWIG data and information and how it can be used; pointing to illustrative examples of how it has been applied in several Caribbean countries. The knowledge package also highlights the limitations of using climate model data and provides decision-makers with the tools necessary to make effective climate decisions in the face of uncertainty.

The knowledge package provides information on:
1. Climate data and projections that are relevant to the Caribbean region are available through the online CARIWIG portal.
2. Historic climate data and future projections are available for a range of climate variables.
3. A suite of simulation tools including a weather generator, a tropical storm model and a regional drought analysis tool are also freely available.
4. A series of case studies shows how these resources have been applied to real world situations in Caribbean countries.

The CARIWIG climate data, when combined with other data and information, can help build a picture of potential impacts to key economic sectors in the Caribbean. Training and support on how to use that data as part of a wider suite of tools is being provided in the region, by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC).

The package consists of an information brief, video and infographic. To access these and to find out more about the research on which they were based visit: www.cdkn.org/caribbean.

Soil Organic Carbon – the treasure beneath our feet

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Published on Mar 21, 2017


An animated illustration of soil organic carbon and its importance for climate action, food production and sustainable development.


FAO – News Article: Soil management could make or break climate change response efforts

Massive amounts of carbon are sequested in Earth’s soils, preventing it from entering the planet’s atmosphere.

Symposium, report shine light on critical role of terrestrial carbon sinks

21 March 2017, Rome – Warning of “colossal” negative impacts for the environment and human societies if the massive stores of carbon trapped in the Earth’s soils are released, Fijian president Jioji Konousi Konrote called for stronger management of this critical natural resource at the start of an international symposium today.

There is currently more carbon locked up in just the first meter of the planet’s soils than can be found in the atmosphere and all terrestrial plant life combined, he said during his keynote address to the Global Symposium on Soil Organic Carbon (21-23 March).

Referring to international commitments to limit global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius made under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, Konrote warned: “If we fail to maintain our soils as a carbon reservoir, I am afraid that these discussions and negotiations would have been in vain.”

“We cannot afford to neglect a resource that could be our serious and viable ally against climate change,” he added.

Fiji and other small island developing states are on the front lines in the battle against climate change. The government of Fiji is poised to assume the presidency of the next Conference of Parties of the UN Climate Agreement that will take place in in Bonn, Germany, in November.

FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva in his remarks stressed that beyond their critical role as a carbon sink, healthy soils underpin multiple environmental processes upon which humankind depends and which are the foundation of global food security.

“Soils with high organic carbon content are likely to be more fertile and productive, better able to purify water, and help to increase the resilience of livelihoods to the impacts of climate change,” he noted.

This means that improving the health of the planet’s soils and boosting their organic carbon content is critical to achieving several of the international development goals established by the UN’s 2030 agenda, especially the second goal of eradicating hunger and malnutrition, FAO’s Director-General said.



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The Future of Food | Harvard University Center for the Environment

THE FUTURE OF FOOD: Climate, Crops, and Consequences

Understanding the challenges associated with reliably providing food and nutrition in the context of a growing population and changing climate is integral when considering the global food system. The Future of Food: Climate, Crops, and Consequences Lecture Series, organized by the Harvard University Center for the Environment, highlights the interactions between agriculture and climate and their consequences for health and stability in an ongoing series of discussions with speakers from government, academia, and industry.

Lecture Series Events

Thursday, February 23
Title: “Meeting Future Food Needs: The Global Food System Under Climate Change”
Shenggen Fan, Director General, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Science Center Hall D, 1 Oxford Street, Cambridge

Monday, April 3
Title: “Trends and Challenges in Global Agriculture: The Opportunity for Digital Ag”
Michael K. Stern, Chief Executive Officer and President, The Climate Corporation
Geological Lecture Hall (100), 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge

Wednesday, April 26
Title: “Improving Agriculture in a Warmer World”
David Lobell, William Wrigley Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment; Associate Professor of Earth System Science;
Deputy Director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment, Stanford University
Science Center Hall A, 1 Oxford Street, Cambridge

Monday, May 8
Title: “Understanding and Improving Crop Responses to Global Atmospheric Change ”
Lisa Ainsworth, Associate Professor of Plant Biology; Adjunct Assistant Professor of Crop Sciences, USDA ARS Photosynthesis Research Unit, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Biological Labs Lecture Hall, 16 Divinity Ave., Cambridge



Introduction to the WorldMap Warper Tool

Harvard CGA

Published on Oct 31, 2014

This is a brief introduction by Kirk Goldsberry to the Warper tool hosted by Harvard University. In addition to downloading the resulting file as a GeoTIFF, it is also possible to bring you map into another system using the WMS link also available on the Export tab. During Rectification (or warping) please not that one can click on “Control Points” below the map and view the points as you are creating them. There are also advanced warping options available by clicking “Advanced Options”.

WorldMap Overview – ABCD Talk

Harvard CGA

Uploaded on Nov 28, 2011

This was a talk given by Ben Lewis to the ABCD technology group at Harvard on November 14, 2011.

Jeremy Scahill on Trump Team: A Cabal of Religious Extremists, Privatization Advocates & Racists

Democracy Now!

Published on Jan 25, 2017

http://democracynow.org – In this web exclusive, investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill of The Intercept talks in depth about Trump’s team, from unofficial adviser Erik Prince to Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis to education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos.