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North Caucasus hydropower to increase with three new projects from RusHydro

North Caucasus hydropower to increase with three new projects from RusHydro

Three small hydropower plants developed by RusHydroare set to begin construction...

Discrediting advertisements on carbon pollution standards outrages organizations

Discrediting advertisements on carbon pollution standards outrages organizations

The Natural Resources Defense Council, and more than two dozen organizations, is...

Supercritical steam for super productive solar thermal plants

Supercritical steam for super productive solar thermal plants

By using supercritical steam, solar thermal power plants could produce enough en...

Nepal gets first wind-solar hybrid system

Nepal gets first wind-solar hybrid system

The Asian Development Bank has handed over the country’s very first wind-solar h...

Unsustainable urban life: What's next?

Unsustainable urban life: What's next?

Nutrition plays a critical role in everyone’s chance at a better future. Hunger...

Chile’s largest solar power project officially open

Chile’s largest solar power project officially open

The 100 megawatt Amanercer Solar CAP Power plant in Chile has been officially op...

Five gigantic things happening in sustainability

Five gigantic things happening in sustainability

Understanding this mainly becoming typical ‘S’ word has always been part of the ...

Business

Ascent Solar announces milestone agreement for their J.V. in China

Ascent Solar announces milestone agreement for their J.V. in China

Thursday, 03 July 2014

Thin-film solar module manufacturer Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. has announced the achievement of a significant milestone for their joint venture i...

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Technology

Politics

Living Green

Elemooni: Eco-friendliness for kids

Elemooni: Eco-friendliness for kids

Tuesday, 08 July 2014

A new group of nano explorers could change the way children learn about positive values, the environment, and believe it or not, the periodic table of...

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Renewables

Senvion installs its first turbines in Nordsee Ost offshore wind farm

Senvion installs its first turbines in Nordsee Ost offshore wind farm

Tuesday, 08 July 2014

Suzlon Group’s wholly owned subsidiary Senvion SE has installed the first turbines for the offshore wind farm Nordsee Ost in Germany. The Nordsee Ost ...

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Low-Carbon

World Bank to help Kosovo, Kazakhstan become more energy efficient

World Bank to help Kosovo, Kazakhstan become more energy efficient

Thursday, 19 June 2014

The World Bank has approved a $31 million-project for Kosovo and a $21.7 million-grant for Kazakhstan that will both be increasing the countries’ ener...

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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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