Posts Tagged ‘UN’
Posted by feww on April 20, 2017
For Immediate Release:
***To view report: http://watchlist.org/about/report/yemen/
***Link to live press conference April 20 , 2017, 10:00am EST: http://www.un.org/webcast/
Warring parties committed 160+ attacks on medical facilities and personnel over past two years
The UN should put Saudi Arabia back on a list of violators of children’s rights because of attacks on hospitals in Yemen.
- Warring parties committed at least 160 attacks on medical facilities and personnel over past two years, including deadly airstrike on children’s hospital.
- Attacks have contributed to closure of hospitals and worsened health conditions for children.
NEW YORK – A military coalition led by Saudi Arabia in Yemen must be named in the UN’s annual list of perpetrators of child rights violations for carrying out repeated attacks on medical facilities and personnel, a new report says today.
The report, by Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict and Save the Children, documents a series of deadly attacks on hospitals and medics over the past two years – and calls on UN Secretary – General António Guterres to add the Saudi Arabia – led coalition to his list of those responsible for grave violations of children’s rights in conflict.
- In 2016 then – UN Secretary – General Ban Ki – moon briefly listed the coalition for killing children and attacking schools and hospitals in Yemen, only to later remove it after pressure from Saudi Arabia. This year’s UN report on Children and Armed Conflict is due to be published in the coming months.
- Appearing on the list is an international embarrassment for states and non – state actors , which can usually only be removed after meeting UN – verified benchmarks for ending and preventing violations.
- In addition to the Saudi Arabia – led coalition, other warring parties in Yemen have also been implicated in the 160 attacks on medical facilities and personnel over the past two years. These attacks have contributed to damage and destruction of Yemen’s medical facilities, and worsened conditions for children’s health, the report said.
- Fewer than half of the medical facilities in the country are functioning, according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
- The country is on the brink of famine, with 3.3 million children and pregnant or lactating women suffering from acute malnutrition and more than 460,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition, according to OCHA.
- Every 10 minutes, a child in Yemen dies of preventable causes, according to UNICEF. Since 2014, the mortality rate for children under five has increased by nearly 20 percent, UNICEF said.
- In one documented case, two infants in incubators reportedly died from a lack of oxygen after a pediatric hospital in Sana a was damaged in an airstrike by the Saudi Arabia – led coalition.
- Hospitals that remain open face severe shortages of medicine and equipment , in large part due to the de facto naval blockade imposed by the coalition on Yemen’s main port of Hodeidah, the country’s lifeline for food and essential supplies. Warring parties have detained aid workers and hampered the delivery of food and medicine by land.
- In addition to the Saudi Arabia – led coalition (which consists of ten countries and gets support from the United States), parties to the conflict include Yemeni government forces and the Houthis (also known as Ansar Allah) and their allies.
- Watchlist also recommends that the United States and other UN member states immediately stop providing weapons to the coalition when there is a chance they may be used in attacks against hospitals and other violations.
Christine Monaghan, research officer at Watchlist, said:
“The UN Secretary – General cannot bow to pressure from Saudi Arabia, but must hold the Saudi Arabia – led coalition responsible for repeated attacks on medical facilities and staff. They are leading to the closure of hospitals, compromising children’s access to treatment, and increasing rates of injury and disease.”
Grant Pritchard, interim country director for Save the Children in Yemen, said:
“For two years bombs have been landing on hospitals, homes, and schools. On the ground our teams are helping children who have been physically and mentally scarred, and are supporting hospitals that are now forced to hold damaged incubators together with sticking tape. All parties have been responsible for the unnecessary deaths of children in Yemen, and the Saudi Arabia – led coalition is among them.
Those responsible must be held to account.” The full report, “Every Day Things are Getting Worse” The Impact on Children of Attacks on Health Care in Yemen, is available here: http://watchlist.org/about/report/yemen/
- More than half of the health facilities in 16 of the 22 assessed governorates in Yemen are closed or partially functioning due to the conflict, leaving over 14.8 million people in need of basic healthcare including 8.1 million children (OCHA).
- Yemen is facing the largest food security emergency in the world with 17 million people lacking food : 6.8 million people are in the “ emergency” phase – one stage before famine – and 10.2 million people are in the “ crisis ” phase . There are 3 million (or 20%) more food insecure people in March 2017 compared to June 2016 (IPC Report).
- According to OCHA (Yemen 2017 HRP), 7,469 people have been killed and 40,483 injured (47,952 total casualties) between March 2015 and December 31, 2016.
- Between March 2015 and February 23, 2017, 4,667 civilians were killed and 8,180 injured. (OHCHR).
The UK has earned about $4billion from arms sales to Saudi Arabia since the Yemen military campaign began in March 2015, which has seen 11,000 Yemeni civilians massacred.
Posted in News Alert | Tagged: genocide, saudi arabia, Save the Children, UK arms sales, UN, Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict, Yemen | Leave a Comment »
Posted by feww on December 9, 2015
More than 9,000 people killed in Ukraine conflict: UN
At least 9,098 people—including civilians, soldiers and militia—have been killed since the the Ukraine conflict began in mid-April 2014 through mid-November 2015, with another 20,732 wounded, said a UN report.
Some 47 civilians were killed and 131 others wounded in the conflict zones of eastern Ukraine, between August 16 and November 15 this year, despite reduction in hostilities; however, human rights violations persist, said the new report.
A UN Human Rights Office report documents a decline in hostilities in the Ukrainian conflict. However it has raised concerns about lawlessness in the East of the country, describing it as governed by the rule of the gun.
It would be interesting to know the term(s) UN uses to describe the coup in Ukraine.
- Fighting Continues in Ukraine… April 14, 2015
- Death Toll in E. Ukraine Exceeds 6,000 March 2, 2015
- 1.7 Million Children Seriously Affected by Ukraine Conflict: UNICEF December 20, 2014
- 4,000+ Killed in Ukraine Conflict: UN November 1, 2014
- Death Toll in Ukraine Conflict Reaches 2,086 – UN August 13, 2014
- NIGHTMARE SCENARIO 04 April 24, 2014
- Ukraine Launches ‘Anti-Terrorist’ Operation Against Separatists April 15, 2014
- Oddest in Odessa May 30, 2015
- Debt Destroying Dozens of Economies August 8, 2015
- “Sea of Police” in Ukraine, Looting in Argentina, Hunger Strike… Posted on December 11, 2013
- ISIS Funded by 40 Countries, Including G20 Members —Putin November 18, 2015
- Syria Syndrome December 7, 2015
Posted in News Alert | Tagged: debt crisis, human rights, NIGHTMARE SCENARIO 04, Ukraine, Ukraine Conflict, Ukraine death toll, UN | Leave a Comment »
Posted by feww on September 25, 2013
Toll from Pakistan quake rises
About 1,000 people were killed or injured after a powerful 7.7Mw quake on Tuesday struck Baluchistan region in SW Pakistan, reports said.
“Two hundred and eighty five bodies have so far been recovered in the Awaran district,” the deputy commissioner of Awaran, the worst affected area, told Reuters.
“And 42 bodies were found in the neighboring Kech district,” he added.
Other Global Disasters/ Significant Events
Typhoon USAGI Kills Dozens in China
Typhoon USAGi has killed at least 29 people since making landfall in Shanwei City, in south China’s Guangdong Province on Sunday, authorities said.
As of Tuesday evening, the typhoon had affected 9.23 million people, forcing more than 530,000 residents in the province to relocate, said a report.
USAGI has ruined 152,000 hectares of crops of and destroyed 15,000 houses, causing direct economic losses of 17.76 billion yuan ($2.9billion), the report said.
120,000 displaced Filipinos face humanitarian crisis: UN
Two weeks of fighting between government troops and rebels has forced more than 138,000 Filipinos to flee their homes. The clashes have left about 132 people dead, and more than 10,000 home destroyed in Zamboanga and the neighboring Basilan province.
The displaced victims are at risk of disease from unsanitary conditions, said the UN.
- Estimated no of people affected in Zamboanga City and Basilan: 257,131
- Estimated no of people displaced in Zamboanga City: 119,952
- Estimated no of people displaced in Basilan: 18,890
- Source: UNOCHA
Iraq Body Count for September rapidly reaching 1,000
At least 22 more people were killed in Iraq on Tuesday, raising the September death toll so far to 940 civilians, according to IBC.
As of September 24, at least 5,550 people, both civilians and military personnel, have been killed and more than 13,000 other wounded in Iraq since the beginning of 2013, according to figures procvided by UNAMI and others.
Meantime, “insurgents on Wednesday carried out a coordinated gunfire and car bomb attack on government facilities and security forces in the Hawijah city in Iraq’s oil-rich province of Kirkuk, killing 15 people and wounding 30 others,” said a report.
The health situation continues to deteriorate across Syria
“Some 60 per cent of public hospitals, 34 per cent of public health centres and 92 per cent of public ambulances have been affected. Around 212 health care staff have been killed, injured or kidnapped. In some locations, including Homs, 50 per cent of doctors have left the country. In and around Aleppo city, only 36 doctors are practicing comp ared to 5,000 before the crisis. Around 70 per cent of pharmaceutical plants in the country have been impacted,” said UN OCHA.
Current Humanitarian Crisis
No. of people in need: 6.8m
No. of IDPs: 4.25m
No. of Syrian refugees in neighboring countries & North Africa: 2.1m
State of Emergency declared around Olympic city Sochi due to flooding
Russian authorities declared a state of emergency in Sochi and evacuated a village after flooding and mudslides swamped the city that will host the Winter Olympics, said a report.
“A highway leading to some of the Alpine event venues was flooded by up to 2.5 meters (8.2 ft) of water, which emergency workers said they were trying to drain, the regional branch of the Emergency Situations Ministry said.”
Monsoon rains enhanced by USAGI kill dozens in Vietnam and Cambodia
Heavy monsoon rains exacerbated by Typhoon USAGI have buffeted parts of Vietnam and Cambodia, triggering severe flooding and mudslides and killing at least 36 people, authorities said.
The death toll from USAGI exceeds 100, as of posting. Countries worst-affected by the powerful typhoon were Philippines, Taiwan, China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.
Posted in earthquake damage, Earthquake death, Earthquake news, earthquake report, earthquake update | Tagged: Awaran, Baluchistan quake, Cambodia, China disasters 2013, earthquake 2013, Filipinos displaced, Guangdong province, Humanitarian Crisis, IDP, Iraq, Iraq Body Count, Makran subduction zone, Monsoon, Pakistan Earthquake, Sochi, state of emergency, syria, typhoon death toll, Typhoon USAGI, UN, Vietnam, Winter Olympics, Zamboanga | Leave a Comment »
Posted by feww on August 31, 2013
Who needs a liveable planet!
Russian President Vladimir Putin has challenged the US to present to the UN Security Council evidence that Syria attacked the so-called rebels with chemical weapons near Damascus, saying the idea that Syrian government has used chemical weapons on its own people was “utter nonsense.”
US President Barrack Obama said on Friday the US was planning a “limited, narrow” military action against Syria after intelligence reports that 1,429 people were killed by chemical weapons on August 21.
A confused President with a corrupt moral compass, “driving the world closer to the brink of war and destruction.” Photo credit: Reuters. Image may be subject to copyright.
Mr Putin said it was ridiculous to suggest that Syrian government was to blame for the chemical attack on its own people.
“Syrian government forces are advancing, while the so-called rebels are in a tight situation, as they are not nearly as equipped as the government,” Putin told ITAR-TASS.
“What those who sponsor the so-called rebels need to achieve is simple – they need to help them in their fight… and if this happens, it would be a tragic development,” he said.
“In these conditions, to give a trump card to those who are calling for a military intervention is utter nonsense.”
“So I’m convinced that is nothing more than a provocation by those who want to drag other countries into the Syrian conflict.”
Putin said that the US failure to present evidence to the international community was “simply disrespectful”.
“If there is evidence it should be shown. If it is not shown, then there isn’t any,” he said.
Russia has previously warned that “any unilateral military action bypassing the UN Security Council” would be a “direct violation of international law.”
Both Moscow and Beijing have vetoed two previous Security Council draft resolutions on Syria.
Mr Putin urged Mr Obama—a Nobel Peace Prize laureate—to consider future victims in Syria before taking military action.
Syrian President Assad has vowed his country will defend itself against any “aggression.”
SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 924 Days Left
FIRE-EARTH Climate Models show climate change forcings and feedbacks switching global weather patterns onto “primordial tracks.”
FIRE-EARTH Population Model shows mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.
Critical Planetary Overload
Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background
Collapse in Progress
Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013, Lifestyle Global War Scenario, Nobel war prize, obama wins nobel war prize, The War Racket, war agaist nature | Tagged: Back-to-Back Disasters, Collapsing Cities, Disaster President, energy dinosaurs, human-enhanced disasters, Man-made Planetary Cataclysms, obama, Security Council, syria, Syrian conflict, UN, UN Security Council, utter nonsense, Vladimir Putin | 3 Comments »
Posted by feww on June 6, 2008
submitted by a reader
Caution: For external use only! Avoid eye contact. Keep out of children’s reach. Apply sparingly!
UNEP: Twelve Steps to Help You Kick the CO2 Habit
The misleading title is meant to serve as an improvement on the waste recycling one-liners. Those eye-catching headlines invariably encourage consumers to recycle waste, without providing any information as to the full impact of the recycling process on the environment; mysteriously, they often fail to carry any good advice, for example, on how to cut down on the consumption in the first place.
The most glaring UNEP deception is probably the propagation of the myth of self-empowered individuals, the notion that we are in charge and free to do what we choose to do. In other words, it’s not the exponential growth economy that is deciding our lifestyles, social behavior and consumption habits; it is our fault to become addicted to CO2 in the first place!
In reality, however, our lives are ruled by a powerful discourse that prevents us from opting out of consumer lifestyles. The political economy ensures there are no alternatives to the prevailing malignant system. The media and advertising industry influence each and every decision we make. The system builds the roads, parking lots and airports, and it then demands we use them. We have no say on how things should be done. The only “choice” available to us is restricted to the type of vehicle we occupy the roads with to spend the daily installments of our mandatory solitary confinement, a choice we couldn’t make without the help of the advertising industry, of course.
Without a change in the system of economy, we don’t stand a surviving chance as a species!
Tell me again, how will you help kick my CO2 habit, when the economic system is producing the pollution for me?
UNEP Clumsy Scaremongering Diminishes the Seriousness of Environmental Threats
The most egregious misrepresentation made by UNEP in their report must be their recommendation to use a non-electric toothbrush as a major means of halving your carbon footprint. The per person CO2 emissions in the US is about 21.89 metric tons each year (Source: EIA 2005). The average electric toothbrush has a 6.5-Watt power rating—it uses 6.5 joules of electricity per second—that means, taking into account the losses from electricity generation, it produces a total of about 80 mg of CO2 per day, or 29 grams per year, if you brushed your teeth for about a minute every day! How or why the UNEP believes such small amounts of CO2 could make a dent in the overall pollution inventory is unfathomable [even with an inefficient charger they don’t get close to the UNEP figures, or cutting your carbon footprint by half!]
[Note: One metric ton is equal to 1,000 kilograms (kg); 1,000,000 grams (g); 1,000,000,000 milligram (mg).]
As for the electric alarm clocks, those that operate in the range of 20-40 Watts, are responsible for producing about 250-500 mg (a quarter to one half of a gram) of CO2 per day.
Of course, most electronic alarm clocks run on batteries, using an AAA battery (1.5V, 1.2Ah) which is replaced about once a year. While manufacturing batteries creates chemical pollution and carelessly discarded ones constitute an environmental hazard, the batteries are not known as a major source of carbon dioxide pollution!
Just exactly which one of the above figures can you influence and by how much? (Source: EIA 2005)
Below is a list of the UNEP snakeoil remedies:
- Use a wind-up alarm clock rather than an electric one.
- Dry clothes on a washing line rather than in a tumble dryer.
- Pack lighter suitcases. It says that world savings would be 2 million tonnes a year if every airline passenger cut the weight of baggage to below 20 kg and bought duty free goods on arrival. [Emphasis were added!]
- Use a non-electric toothbrush.
- Heat bread rolls in a toaster rather than in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Take a train rather than a car for a daily commute of 8 km.
- The average British household could cut 2 tonnes of CO2 annually with more efficient insulation, heating and lighting.
- Reduce winter heating: cutting the temperature by a couple of degrees saves 6 percent in energy bills.
- Avoid “carbon binges”: a return flight across the Atlantic is equivalent to running a car for a year for each passenger.
How very revealing! It almost tells you which corporations wrote the “Kick the CO2 Habit.”
FEWW Moderators have carefully considered UNEP recommendations and, taking into account all of the circumstances, believe the net results of all energy saving on the national scale in the target countries would only be significant if
- All airline flights were grounded
- All automobile journeys were halted
- All non-essential commercial activities were ended
- All unnecessary industrial production were stopped
- All wasteful consumer practices were eradicated
Posted in Climate Change, energy, environment, food, Global Warming, health, politics, Tourism, Travel | Tagged: AAA battery, advertising industry, air pollution, batteries, battery operated, carbon binges, China, CO2, coal-burner, consumption, discourses, duty free goods, electric toothbrush, electricity generation, gasoline prices, greenhouse gases, heating and lighting, Kick the CO2 Habit, megaphone environmentalism, parking lots airports, political economy, propaganda, roads, snakeoil, UN, UN hypocricy, UNEP, US, vehicle emission | 9 Comments »
Posted by feww on June 5, 2008
“Addiction is a terrible thing. It consumes and controls us … ” Ban Ki-Moon
How many billions of air miles do you and your staff at the UN [and all UN-affiliated organizations] fly each year? Pray tell us!
“Addiction is a terrible thing. It consumes and controls us, makes us deny important truths and blinds us to the consequences of our actions,” he said in the speech to reinforce this year’s World Environment Day theme of “CO2 Kick the Habit”.
Let’s start with the UN personnel
Unable to fight his addiction to CO2, [do as I say, not as I do] UN Chief Ban Ki-moon and his vast entourage flew to Rome [instead of establishing a video link from UN HQ in New York] to attend U.N. crisis summit on rising food prices at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) June 4, 2008. REUTERS/Nikola Solic. Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!
“Our world is in the grip of a dangerous carbon habit,” Ban said in a statement to mark World Environment Day, which is being marked by events around the globe and hosted by the New Zealand city of Wellington.
“Whether you are an individual, an organization, a business or a government, there are many steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint. It is a message we all must take to heart,” he said.
Meanwhile, in New Zealand, a “Destination Country” for White Slavery:
“We take pride in our clean [sic], green [sic] identity as a nation and we are determined to take action to protect it. We appreciate that protecting the climate means behavior change by each and every one of us,” said New Zealand Prime Minister Helen [Caligula] Clark. (Source)
Helen Clark, tell us why New Zealand gov. is spending tens of millions of dollars every year luring more than 2.5 million foreign tourists half way across the globe to destroy your “clean [sic], green [sic] identity [sic]?”
A visitor from Europe on a return flight to New Zealand produces 17.7 metric tons of CO2.
Are YOU addicted to UN HYPOCRICY?
Posted in Climate Change, energy, environment, food, Global Warming, health, new zealand, politics, Tourism, Travel | Tagged: Addiction, air new zealand, airlines, Ban ki-moon, Caligula, carbon habit, China, CO2, flight, greenhouse gasses, Helen Clark, Hypocricy, UN | 7 Comments »
Posted by feww on May 20, 2008
A Herculean task, significant impact on physical and biological systems globally, worst cases in 800,000 years
One species disappears every 20 minutes, UN Experts
“In my view, climate change and the loss of biodiversity are the most alarming challenges on the global agenda,” Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said at the opening of a U.N. biodiversity conference on Monday.
Some of the biodiversity of a coral reef. Reproduced under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation license, ersion 1.2 or any later version. (author: Richard Ling)
“In my view, climate change [Germany is the world’s 6th largest pollutor] and the loss of biodiversity are the most alarming challenges on the global agenda […] It will be a Herculean task to get the world community and each individual country on the right path to sustainability [still talking about ‘Tending Our Goats at the Edge of Apocalypse’] … The truth today is that we are still on the wrong track. If we follow this path we can foresee that we will fail to meet the target … Business as usual is no more an option if humanity is going to survive. Losing biodiversity is not just losing trees and species, it is an economic and security loss. [Thanks for reading our blogs, Mr Gabriel!]” (Source)
Attributing physical and biological impacts to anthropogenic climate change
Significant changes in physical and biological systems are occurring on all continents and in most oceans, with a concentration of available data in Europe and North America. Most of these changes are in the direction expected with warming temperature. Here we show that these changes in natural systems since at least 1970 are occurring in regions of observed temperature increases, and that these temperature increases at continental scales cannot be explained by natural climate variations alone. Given the conclusions from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report that most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-twentieth century is very likely to be due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations, and furthermore that it is likely that there has been significant anthropogenic warming over the past 50 years averaged over each continent except Antarctica, we conclude that anthropogenic climate change is having a significant impact on physical and biological systems globally and in some continents. (Source)
Instrumental Temperature record of the last 150 years. (Author: Robert A. Rohde) Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License Version 2.5
Greenhouse gases highest in 800,000 years
Atmospheric greenhouse gases are now at the highest levels in 800,000 years, according to a study of Antarctic ice, which provides additional evidence that human activity is disrupting the climate.
“Shanghai at sunset, as seen from the observation deck of the Jin Mao tower. The sun has not actually dropped below the horizon yet, rather it has reached the smog line.” This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (Photo: Suicup; via: Wikimedia Commons. )
“We can firmly say that today’s concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane are 28 and 124 percent higher respectively than at any time during the last 800,000 years,” said Thomas Stocker, a researcher at the University of Berne. (Source)
Posted in Climate Change, energy, environment, food, Global Warming, health, politics, Tourism, Travel | Tagged: anthropogenic, Biodiversity, biological impact, Business as usual, China, Climate Change, Collapsing Cities, coral reef, economic loss, Edge of Apocalypse, Failing Ecosystems, Future Scenarios, germany, Giga Trends, greenhouse gases, India, IPCC, Japan, lifestyle, Root Cause Matrix, Russia, security threat, Sigmar Gabriel, sustainability, Tending Our Goats, Thomas Stocker, Tipping Point, top 10 pollutors, UN, US | Leave a Comment »
Posted by feww on May 6, 2008
Update #2: Nargis Death Toll Raised to 22,500, 41,000 people missing
Myanmar’s military government raised its death toll from the deadly Cyclone Nargis to about 22,464 people, with an additional 41,000 people missing, government-run radio said.
Cyclone Nargis ripped through Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon, early Saturday, destroyed a dozen or so villages along its path and made about a million people homeless.
To enlarge, right click on the image and click on View Image.
Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!
Flooded villages are seen in this aerial view near an airport in Yangon on May 5, 2008, after Cyclone Nargis slammed into Myanmar’s main city on Saturday, ripping off roofs, felling trees and raising fears of major casualties. (Photo: REUTERS/Stringer; Caption: Reuters) Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!
Posted in Climate Change, environment, food, Global Warming, politics, Travel | Tagged: Cyclone Nargis, death toll, government, Myanmar, tropical cyclone, UN, Yangon | Leave a Comment »
Posted by feww on May 4, 2008
Climate Change + Higher temperatures + Droughts + Floods + Soil erosion + Loss of topsoil + Pollution + Ground-level Ozone = Much Less Food in the Future
Scientists are warning that global warming would present great challenges on the way to produce more food in the future.
“There certainly are going to be lots of challenges in the future. Temperature is one of them, water is another,” said Lisa Ainsworth, a molecular biologist with the United States Department of Agriculture.
“In Northeastern China, low temperatures, a short growing season and lack of water limit production, so rising temperatures in the future may have beneficial impacts there,” said Ainsworth.
“However, in the southern parts of the country, higher temperatures will likely cause yield losses,” she told the reporters.
Higher temperatures coupled with ground-level ozone, which is produced as a result of sunlight interacting with greenhouse gases, added to extremes of floods and droughts is a recipe for disaster.
Ozone is a growing problem in the northern hemisphere and is already costing farmers billion of dollars in crop damage.
Effect of increasing ozone concentration (left to right: about 15, 80 and 150 ppb) on growth of (A) Pima cotton and nutsedge grown in direct competition with one nutsedge per cotton; (B) tomato and nutsedge
grown in direct competition with nutsedge (two-to-one); and (C) yellow nutsedge grown in the absence of competition. (Photo and caption: David A. Grantz & Anil Shrestha, UC Kearney Agricultural Center )
“In the major rice-growing regions, which are India and China, ground-level ozone concentrations even today are very high and certainly exceed the threshold for damage. Ozone is already decreasing yield potential in many areas,” Ainsworth said.
Significant amounts of rice yield are lost annually due to various abiotic stresses (e.g., salinity, droughts). Rice is the staple diet for about half of the world population, and about 90 percent of the world’s rice is produced in Asia.
UN experts believe that in low-latitude regions, slightest temperature rises of about 1ºC could affect crop yields.
The atmospheric CO2 levels have now reached about 388 parts per million from about 280 ppm prior to the Industrial Revolution.
“There is still a lot of uncertainty in the climate modeling when it comes to the regional level,” said Reiner Wassmann coordinator of the Rice and Climate Change Consortium at IRRI. “But it was clear temperatures would rise.”
A train travels along the flooded Darbhanga-Sitamadhi railway line in Bihar in this August 2, 2007 file photo. Massive monsoon floods in eastern India damaged vast areas of corn and affected the rice crop, government officials and farm experts said on Tuesday, adding that losses are being assessed. REUTERS/Krishna Murari Kishan (image may be subject to copyright!) See FEWW Fair Use notice.
“The other mega trend we see is that we will have more climate extremes. In some places there might be more drought, in others it may be submergence, from floods, in some places it might be both,” said Wassmann.
Lake Hartwell, February 2008, western South Carolina. Photo courtesy South Carolina Department of Natural Resources staff. (Source UNL)
“That is really a new challenge for development of cropping systems and I don’t want to limit it to only plant breeding. We have to be clear that this is no silver bullet and that if we speed-up plant breeding everything will be fine. Certainly not.
“We also have to improve crop management and water saving techniques have come into the picture to cope with drought,” he said. (Source)
High ozone levels can damage leaves on trees and crops (such as corn, wheat, and soybeans), reducing growth rates and crop yields. In 1995, ground-level ozone caused $2.7 billion in crop damage nationwide, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Due to its reactive nature, ozone also can prematurely degrade and wear out rubber, paints and other materials. (Source)
Posted in Climate Change, environment, food, Global Warming, health, politics | Tagged: abiotic stresses, Asia, China, corn, crop damage, crop management, crop yields, disaster, Droughts, floods, grains, greenhouse gases, ground-level ozone, heat, India, IRRI, maize, northern hemisphere, ozone, rain pattern, rice yield, soybeans, UC Kearney Agricultural Center, UN, wheat, yellow nutsedge | 5 Comments »
Posted by feww on May 1, 2008
UN to draw up comprehensive plan to address world food crisis
30 April 2008 – UN News Center– The United Nations is aiming to have a comprehensive plan to tackle the global food crisis in place by the beginning of June, “around which the institutions and leaders around the world can coalesce,” Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes said today.
Mr. Holmes is one of two coordinators, along with UN System Influenza Coordinator David Nabarro, of a new high-powered task force that was announced yesterday by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to organize responses to the global rise in food prices.
Speaking at a news conference today in Geneva, Mr. Holmes said that although the breadth and complexity of the issue needed to be recognized, there was no need to panic. “I think it is clear we can fix these problems. The solutions can be found; the solutions are there. They are very difficult, some of them, in the short term, but they can be done.”
The United Nations Office [Palace?] at Geneva (UNOG) is the representative office of the United Nations in Geneva. More than 1,600 super-privileged front-row individuals handsomely “earn their keep” here!
On the role of biofuel production in the current crisis, Mr. Holmes said: “It is something that needs a new look in present circumstances without wanting to fall in any sense into knee-jerk reactions of saying all biofuels are bad or good. We need to look at it in a careful, sophisticated and differentiated way, between different regions of the world and between different products.”
The Under-Secretary-General also said the crisis was not affecting every country in the same way. “For many countries and population groups it is inconvenient, a problem for their daily budget and their purses, but it is not a matter of life and death. In some places and for some groups, particularly those living on less than a dollar a day, that quickly could become a matter of life and death, or certainly of increased suffering and malnutrition.”
The UN’s action plan is to be in place in time for a meeting of UN agencies in Rome at the beginning of June. The task force is chaired by Mr. Ban and consists of the heads of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Food Programme (WFP), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Trade Organization (WTO), and other organizations which will be invited to join.
News Tracker: past stories on this issue
Can the world’s poor sue Ban ki-moon, John Holmes and the rest of their lot if they don’t deliver?
Posted in Climate Change, environment, food, food riots, food shortages, Global Warming, health, malnourished, politics, poor | Tagged: Ban ki-moon, Biofuel, IFAD, IMF, John Holmes, UN, unog, WFP, world bank, WTO | Leave a Comment »
Posted by feww on April 24, 2008
Rocket Science: Ice + Heat = Water
Arctic summer sea ice. Image taken by NASA satellite September 16, 2007.
Posted in environment, food, Global Warming, health, politics | Tagged: Arctic, Climate Change, climate refugees, Collapsing Cities, EPA, Experts, greenland, Ice, IPCC, melting, Stren report, UN, Zero emissions | 1 Comment »