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Vestas, EP Global Energy partner for donor-funded wind farm in Jordan

Vestas, EP Global Energy partner for donor-funded wind farm in Jordan

Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas and private energy asset developer EP Global En...

World Bank commits $5 billion for African renewable energy projects

World Bank commits $5 billion for African renewable energy projects

The World Bank Group has committed US$5 billion towards supporting energy projec...

Seven creative ways to teach your kids about eco-living

Seven creative ways to teach your kids about eco-living

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, 3.1 million jobs in the United States w...

$50 million A.D.B. loan to develop Indonesia’s geothermal potential

$50 million A.D.B. loan to develop Indonesia’s geothermal potential

The Asian Development Bank will provide Indonesia a loan of up to $50 million to...

Iberdrola completes its first three renewable energy projects in South Africa

Iberdrola completes its first three renewable energy projects in South Africa

Iberdrola has completed two wind farms and a photovoltaic power plant in South A...

Former Irish president appointed as special envoy for climate change

Former Irish president appointed as special envoy for climate change

Former Irish President Mary Robinson has been appointed by United Nations Secret...

The truth about the forthcoming endangered cities

The truth about the forthcoming endangered cities

Gone are the days when the term ‘endangered’ was being cascaded to animals or di...

Technology

Water “dirtying” the biofuel production process

Water “dirtying” the biofuel production process

Friday, 22 August 2014

Water is well known as a cleansing agent but – when it comes to biofuel production – too much water is dirtying up the process. Researchers from the U...

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Politics

Living Green

Nine great ways to begin a greener life

Nine great ways to begin a greener life

Thursday, 28 August 2014

If you haven’t realized it yet, now is the time for you to make that change. Have you ever thought about what it’s like to live a sustainable lifestyl...

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Renewables

Low-Carbon

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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