Thursday, August 05, 2010

National Research Council Estimates Impact of Human-Caused Global Warming

Mean surface temperature change for the period...Image via Wikipedia

The NRC issued a report on July 16, 2010, entitled, "Near-Term Emissions Choices Could Lock in Climate Changes for Centuries to Millenia: Report Estimates Impacts from Various Levels of Warming." These data will inform policy decision-makers. Here are some of the main points, quoted directly:
Increased Confidence About Future Impacts

Although some important future effects of climate change are difficult to quantify, there is now increased confidence in how global warming of various levels would relate to several key impacts, says the report. It lists some of these impacts per degree Celsius (or per 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) of global warming, for example (these apply for 1 C to 4 C of warming):

· 5 percent to 10 percent less total rain in southwest North America, the Mediterranean, and southern Africa per degree Celsius of warming.
· 5 percent to 10 percent less streamflow in some river basins, including the Arkansas and Rio Grande, per degree Celsius of warming.
· 5 percent to 15 percent lower yields of some crops, including U.S. and African corn and Indian wheat, per degree Celsius of warming.

What then must we do?
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Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Good News! Clinical Trials of Rotavirus Vaccine Launched

Rotavirus is a diarrheal disease that kills half a million children worldwide every year. Current vaccines do not reach all the children early enough. This new vaccine, which has taken decades of effort to develop, would allow administration at birth and ensure more babies be protected. This map from a CDC page, shows the estimated global distribution of the 800,000 annual deaths caused by rotavirus diarrhea. Read more about this important advance by clicking the title.
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Thursday, July 29, 2010

A new study shows 77 million Bangladeshis are being exposed to water containing arsenic. CNN's Dan Rivers reports. Jun 21, 2010

Here's a short update on the arsenic problem in Bangladesh, and how the SONO filter alleviates the problem (click the title above to view the 2:51 minute video). With over 300,000 SONO filters already in place, that leaves some 75 million people in Bangladesh still in need of its benefits. Of course, there are many other countries (including developed countries) which need the same protection. Chemists Without Borders seeks contributions of people's time and money to expand manufacturing and distribution of this highly effective solution both within Bangladesh and elsewhere, so please share this need with your friends and colleagues and encourage their participation. Thanks for reading. [Pictures courtesy of Dr AKM Munir, Kushtia, Bangladesh.]
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Thursday, July 15, 2010

President Rene Preval Assesses Haiti's Quake Recovery

PBS NewsHour's Ray Suarez talks with Haitian President Rene Preval about the recovery the country still faces, six months after a devastating earthquake. There are many lessons from this. One is that while NGOs' independent work is essential immediately after the disaster, their working in co-ordination with the government is essential as time passes. I recommend you watch this interview:

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Martin Fisher (KickStart) Fighting Poverty in Kenya by Selling Water Pumps to Poor Farmers

PBS's Spencer Michels reports on the story of how a California social entrepreneur sees the chance to increase access to clean water in Kenya through the use of foot-pumps. In this segment, there are many lessons for us on how to achieve our goals in the field. I recommend you watch this report:

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