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U.N. chief welcomes announcements made in Climate Summit

U.N. chief welcomes announcements made in Climate Summit

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed bold new actions to addres...

Climate Summit sees intiatives and commitments

Climate Summit sees intiatives and commitments

Various bodies and entities on the Climate Summit in New York have announced the...

Climate Rally reaches 310,000 participants

Climate Rally reaches 310,000 participants

The number of people who joined the People’s Climate March this September 21 rea...

China takes big step in reducing ozone depleting gases

China takes big step in reducing ozone depleting gases

China has taken a big step towards reducing its hydrochlorfluorocarbons by closi...

Ozone layer on road to recovery – U.N.E.P., W.M.O.

Ozone layer on road to recovery – U.N.E.P., W.M.O.

The ozone layer is on the road to recovery, but unified action is still needed t...

Green vacation: Go on an eco-friendly safari

Green vacation: Go on an eco-friendly safari

The primary goal of modern-day eco-friendly African safaris is to lessen the ove...

Nepal, the Maldives, and Bhutan could lose around 2 percent G.D.P. due to climate change – A.D.B. report

Nepal, the Maldives, and Bhutan could lose around 2 percent G.D.P. due to climate change – A.D.B. report

Nepal, the Maldives, and Bhutan could be looking at economic losses of around 2 ...

Business

Technology

New oxygen-removing catalyst developed for better biofuel production

New oxygen-removing catalyst developed for better biofuel production

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Researchers from Washington State University have developed a new catalyst that can remove oxygen from plant-based materials for a more efficient biof...

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Politics

New Yorkers support renewables, opposes fracking – N.R.D.C. poll

New Yorkers support renewables, opposes fracking – N.R.D.C. poll

Sunday, 12 October 2014

A state-wide poll commissioned for the Natural Resources Defense Council reveals that New Yorkers oppose fracking and support clean, renewable energy....

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Living Green

Why saving chinchillas is important for saving the earth

Why saving chinchillas is important for saving the earth

Friday, 24 October 2014

Chinchillas make expensive pets and they are a long time commitment as well. They have a life span of around 15 to 20 years. Hence, people who adopt t...

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Renewables

Low-Carbon

What needs to be injected In the core DNA of urbanity

What needs to be injected In the core DNA of urbanity

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Urbanization has taken an unprecedented upward turn in recent years. In 2007, half of the world’s population – around 3.6 billion people – lived in ur...

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Opinion

Unsustainable urban life: What's next?

Unsustainable urban life: What's next?

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Nutrition plays a critical role in everyone’s chance at a better future. Hunger, said Benjamin Franklin once, is the best pickle. Some say “pickle”...

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Climate change a factor in spread of diseases – W.H.O.

By Jhoanna Frances S. Valdez

Climate change a factor in spread of diseases – W.H.O.
Shifting drought, rainfall, gradually warming weather and other effects of climate change have allowed disease carrying insects such as mosquitoes to thrive.

Climate change may make it difficult for world governments to control the spread of diseases, especially the insect-borne ones, the World Health Organization said.

In a bulletin, W.H.O. climate change head Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum said the presence of warmer temperatures in the earth's atmosphere - climate models project the average surface temperature will rise by 1.1 degrees Celsius to 6.4 degrees Celsius over the 21st century - will make diseases like malaria and the West Nile virus harder to control as the climate can actually help disease-carrying insects thrive.

"Climate change is not going to invent any new diseases; it's going to make controlling existing diseases harder. We've been describing the links between climate change and health for quite a long time," he said.

Mr. Campbell-Lendrum said the erratic incidences of rainfall, humidity, temperature, coupled with a wetter weather will help boost the number of mosquitoes, as mosquitoes' survival decreases under dry conditions.

He added that shifting drought and rainfall and a gradually warming weather has made mountains more welcoming to mosquitoes.

According to him, the projected rise in sea level associated with climate change is likely to eliminate breeding habitats for salt-marsh mosquitoes. On the other hand, inland intrusion of salt water may turn former fresh water habitats into salt-marsh areas which could support vector and host species displaced from former salt-marsh habitat.

The W.H.O. estimates that global increase in malaria may be associated with a combination of deforestation, water development projects, and agricultural practices in poor countries.

"The West Nile pathogen - the warmer the temperature, the faster it moves from the blood to being transmitted. It usually takes a while for the virus to get into the mosquito's salivary glands. The biting rate also gets faster. So those things are all going to give you more transmission," said Marm Kilpatrick, an assistant professor in ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz in an article in Scientific America.

The West Nile virus originated in Africa and emerged in North America in 1999, making it a relatively recent disease.

"It's possible that W.N.V. transmission is modulated primarily by rainfall and temperature, and if so, climatic conditions in 2002 and 2003 were especially suitable. If WNV transmission is regulated by climate, then severe epidemics could recur, especially if they are facilitated by climate change," Mr. Kilpatrick said.

"The same questions we're wondering about West Nile apply to malaria and dengue," said Mr. Kilpatrick.

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, dengue fever is one of the world's most common disease, with one-third of the world living in endemic areas and afflicting 900 million people worldwide.

Mr. Campbell-Lendrum said the disease risks are inequitable, as greenhouse gases that cause climate change originate mainly from developed countries, but the health risks are concentrated in the poorest nations, which have contributed least to the problem.

Also, forecasts of infectious diseases' responses to climate change are complicated by the difficulties associated with predicting how ecosystems will respond to changes in climate, she said.

The W.H.O. advises world governments to increase global disease surveillance, continue epidemiological research into associations between climatic factors and infectious diseases, and improve public health training, emergency response, and prevention and control programs.



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