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SPI Solar to acquire 360 MW worth of solar power projects in China

SPI Solar to acquire 360 MW worth of solar power projects in China

Solar Power, Inc. is set to become one of the largest solar developers in China....

Toyota hybrid exceeds 7 million mark in global sales

Toyota hybrid exceeds 7 million mark in global sales

The cumulative global sales of Toyota Motor Corporation’s hybrid vehicle have ex...

Suzlon eyes 2,000 MW of wind energy projects in India over next five years

Suzlon eyes 2,000 MW of wind energy projects in India over next five years

India-based wind turbine maker Suzlon has expressed its intent to build 2,000 me...

Solar power could be leading source of electricity by 2050

Solar power could be leading source of electricity by 2050

Solar power could overtake all other sources of electricity by 2050, according t...

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...

Business

Richard Flint, Yorkshire Water CEO, opens self-powered sewage works

Richard Flint, Yorkshire Water CEO, opens self-powered sewage works

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Consuming two years development time and a whopping £34 million investment, Yorkshire’s first self-powered sewage works site has been unveiled in Brad...

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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

U.S., China announce significant emissions reduction cuts

U.S., China announce significant emissions reduction cuts

Thursday, 13 November 2014

The Governments of the United States and China have announced that they will be making huge emissions reduction cuts in the future. The two largest ec...

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Living Green

Water, waste and power: What you need to get off the grid

Water, waste and power: What you need to get off the grid

Friday, 07 November 2014

Most people wouldn't ever voluntarily go "off the grid" for more than a few days at a time. To them, the idea would only make sense if it was a weeken...

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Renewables

EDF EN Canada begins construction on 74-MW wind power project in Quebec

EDF EN Canada begins construction on 74-MW wind power project in Quebec

Thursday, 13 November 2014

EDF EN Canada is set to begin construction of the 74 megawatt Mont-Rothery wind project in Quebec. Following the government of Quebec’s issuance of a ...

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Low-Carbon

Best Eco Cars of 2014

Best Eco Cars of 2014

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Eco-friendly cars, also referred to as green cars, are vehicles that have a lesser environmental impact than those that use fossil fuels like diesel o...

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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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