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Thu07022015

Hong Kong’s policy on environment-friendly commercial vehicles to tighten

Hong Kong’s policy on environment-friendly commercial vehicles to tighten

Hong Kong’s Environmental Protection Department will be tightening its qualifyin...

Philippines’ new wind farms add 303 MW to country’s power supply

Philippines’ new wind farms add 303 MW to country’s power supply

Two new wind farms in the Philippines have added 303 megawatts of clean energy t...

Geneva talks require “business unusual” approach – W.W.F.

Geneva talks require “business unusual” approach – W.W.F.

A “business unusual” approach is needed in the Geneva Talks to successfully deli...

New battery uses old batteries for greener energy storage

New battery uses old batteries for greener energy storage

Energizer has developed the world’s first high-performance battery made with rec...

Global warming to bring more devastating weather patterns

Global warming to bring more devastating weather patterns

The United Nations World Meteorological Organization confirmed that global warmi...

Jamaica to get 36.3 MW wind farm by 2016

Jamaica to get 36.3 MW wind farm by 2016

A 36.3 megawatt wind farm in Jamaica has received $62.7 million in funding from ...

A.D.B. provides Thailand with $85 million to develop wind power plant

A.D.B. provides Thailand with $85 million to develop wind power plant

The Asian Development Bank will be providing a company in Thailand loans to deve...

Business

Georgia taking leadership role in developing solar power

Georgia taking leadership role in developing solar power

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

The state of Georgia is emerging as a leader among the 50 states in promoting and implementing the use of solar energy, in part because of both busine...

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Technology

Penn State develops CPV system for rooftops

Penn State develops CPV system for rooftops

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Researchers at Penn State have developed a concentrating photovoltaic system that is small enough and light enough to be mounted on a building’s roof....

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Politics

New draft text for climate agreement in Geneva reached

New draft text for climate agreement in Geneva reached

Monday, 16 February 2015

A new climate change draft text has been reached during the one-week United Nations-facilitated Geneva talks, leading to a binding treaty that is expe...

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Living Green

Wall-to-floor eco-friendly interior design

Wall-to-floor eco-friendly interior design

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

The materials you surround yourself with—from flooring and window coverings to furniture and accessories—have a great impact on the health of your hom...

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Renewables

Vestas supplies Poland, U.K. with turbines

Vestas supplies Poland, U.K. with turbines

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has announced that they have secured orders this week for two projects in Poland and the United Kingdom. The orders c...

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Low-Carbon

PG&E plans ambitious E.V. charger roll-out in California

PG&E plans ambitious E.V. charger roll-out in California

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

An estimated 25,000 electric vehicle chargers could be deployed in California by Pacific Gas and Electric Company. PG&E is seeking permission from Cal...

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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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