Disasters and Climate Change

Ecologically Fragile State to Face Yet Another Flood

Mar 31st, 2015 | By

BILAL PANDOW writes about ‘Kashmir Flood on 30 March’ in Kashmir valley, another consecutive flood  since September 2014, which devastated the valley. He discusses about policies, ecological imbalance and increasing encroachment in the natural waterways and insufficient preparedness measures in place. As flood situation in Kashmir valley is looming, the water level in Jhelum river

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Climate Pushes Doomsday Clock Close to Midnight

Jan 26th, 2015 | By

The two main “extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity” are more acute than at any time in the last 30 years, according to scientists in the US. One is the possibility of nuclear war − even a limited one. The other is climate change, which the scientists say “looms over all

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Japanese Technology to Boost Flood Warnings in South Asia

Jan 25th, 2015 | By

IANS: A sophisticated flood forecast model developed by Japanese scientists will enhance early warnings and help mitigate the impact of climate change in the flood-ravaged trans-boundary river basins of India, Pakistan and even China. Rainfall and snowfall data from the three countries located in the Indus and Mekong river basins will be fed into a

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Pakistan’s Coastal Villagers Retreat as Seas Gobble Land

Jan 11th, 2015 | By

Reuters: For fisherman Sammar Dablo it was as if “the seawater stole our homes” when land erosion forced his village to relocate further inland on Pakistan’s south coast. The people of the fan-shaped Indus Delta, where the Indus River meets the Arabian Sea, are among the poorest of the poor, mostly illiterate and living in

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‘Climatic Changes Led to 7 pc Annual Rise in Met Disasters’

Dec 19th, 2014 | By

There has been an annual increase in hydro meteorological disasters by 7.4 per cent due to climate change. Climate change is also resulting in reduced number of rainy days during rainy season, unseasonal thunderstorms/lightning and a rise in global temperatures. Indeed, winds, thunderstorms, floods and other atmospheric phenomena are similar experiences of hydro meteorological disasters,

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Government Admits Hydropower Projects Aggravated 2013 Uttarakhand Floods

Dec 11th, 2014 | By
Flood aftermath in Kedarnath, a huge land mass towards Mandakini cut of

The Centre on Monday admitted for the first time that hydropower projects had “direct and indirect impact in the aggravation of floods” that hit Uttarakhand in 2013, killing hundreds and leaving thousands homeless. It also said that the projects caused “irreversible damage” to the environment and enhanced landslides and other disasters. Filing its affidavit in

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Common View on Climate Change, Disaster Mitigation

Nov 28th, 2014 | By

The leaders of Saarc member nations have called for cross-border information sharing and regional cooperation mechanism to fight climate change and to minimise the risks of natural disasters like floods and landslides in the region. Addressing the inaugural session of the 18th Saarc Summit at the City Hall in Kathmandu on Wednesday, the leaders highlighted

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Kashmiris Urge India-Pakistan Cooperation to Head off Disasters

Nov 26th, 2014 | By

(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Since India’s Jammu and Kashmir state was hit in September by its worst-ever floods, which also affected people on Pakistan’s side of the disputed border, the two rival nations are under growing pressure to put aside their differences to protect Kashmiris from rising disaster threats. During the recent floods, a top

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South Asian Experts’ Top Ten Recommendations for a Stronger Post-2015 Disasters Agreement

Nov 18th, 2014 | By

The pre-zero and zero drafts of the Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) have now been released and the process to forge this global agreement in March 2015 is fast gaining momentum. It is therefore, increasingly important to ensure that the views of policy-makers and practitioners from countries at great risk of disaster losses

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Millions of Asians Exposed to Big Climate Disasters – Oxfam

Nov 7th, 2014 | By

(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Millions of people in Asia, the world’s most disaster-prone region, face the threat of major climate-linked disasters and food crises because government policies fail to protect them, Oxfam warned on Thursday. A year after Typhoon Haiyan wreaked havoc in the Philippines, the aid and development charity warned that governments needed to

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Govt Forms Five-member Mechanism on Extreme Weather Forecasting

Nov 2nd, 2014 | By

The Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment has decided to constitute ‘Extreme Weather Forecasting and information Dissemination Mechanism’ headed by Rishi Ram Sharma, Director General at the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology to prevent human casualties caused by severe weather induced by tropical cyclones. The mechanism will have five members. On October 14, a blizzard

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Nilofar Intensifies Into ‘Very Severe’ Cyclone

Oct 29th, 2014 | By

Cyclone Nilofar in the Arabian Sea has intensified into a ‘very severe’ tropical cyclone, said the Pakistan Meteorological Department. Section 144, which prohibits bathing in the sea, has been imposed in the coastal areas including Karachi and Badin. Speaking to the media, Chief Meteorologist Tauseef Alam said the cyclone is currently 1,100 kilometers away from

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Climate-induced Disasters

Oct 28th, 2014 | By

The Himalayan Times: Three weeks ago, I visited Madi area of Chitwan. Forty-year-old Ganga Devi Sunwar was among the many people I met—and who have been affected by extreme weather events. Every year Ganga feels that she has seen the worst flood of her life, only to be proven wrong in frequent intervals with more floods

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Coastal Cities Need to be Climate-proof, Says Study

Oct 15th, 2014 | By

The Hindu: mate resilient in terms of extreme events with respect to preparation and infrastructure. Recent studies indicate that there is a long way to go in achieving this. Both the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2007 and the Environment Ministry had said there would be a high likelihood of increase in the

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Uttarakhand Floods Result of Climate Change: Report

Oct 13th, 2014 | By

The 2013 Uttarakhand floods were most probably a consequence of “human-induced” climate change, a new report by the American Meteorological Society has suggested. The extraordinary rainfall in Uttarakhand in June last year has found a place in a list of 16 extreme weather events that the report says were most likely a direct result of

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MoAD to Compensate Disaster Affected Farmers

Oct 8th, 2014 | By

The Himalayan Times: The Ministry of Agricultural Development (MoAD) has sought an additional budget of Rs 4.5 billion from the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to compensate flood and landslide affected farmers across the country. Floods and landslides destroyed agricultural output worth Rs 4.35 billion and livestock valued at Rs 148 million, according to MoAD. Floods and

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Climate Change: Experts Call for Proactive Approach to Manage Disasters

Sep 26th, 2014 | By

The Express Tribune: They were speaking at a conference on “Climate Change and Disaster Management” organised by the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms on Thursday. The speakers stressed the need for a comprehensive disaster management policy. Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal admitted to the government’s inability to face such catastrophes alone

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Was Kashmir Flooding a Man-made Disaster?

Sep 24th, 2014 | By

India-administered Kashmir, located in the Himalayas in the country’s north, has been totally devastated by floods – the worst in more than 60 years. Even as the region grapples with the aftermath of the swirling waters, which have left more than 250 dead and millions homeless, the question is why this flood? Is this enormous

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Over 2 Million Displaced in India Due to Natural Disasters in 2013

Sep 21st, 2014 | By

About 2.14 million people were displaced in India last year due to natural disasters, according to a United Nations-backed report which said the country was third after the Philippines and China to record the highest levels of displacement in 2013. The report ‘Global Estimates 2014: people displaced by disasters’ said 22 million people worldwide were

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Kedarnath to Kashmir, The Tragedy of Development

Sep 16th, 2014 | By

This week’s flood in Kashmir, the worst in half a century, has left a trail of devastation so extensive that from the aerial pictures it is hard to imagine there was ever life below the watery landscape. With river embankments breached, agriculture eroded, cities flooded, roads and bridges washed away, the flood was too devastating

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When Rain Breaks Loose

Sep 15th, 2014 | By

Morning of September 6, 2014 was nightmarish for Hasham Tariq, a resident of village Karamabad, situated near Wazirabad on the bank of Nullah Palkhu. Three days of continuous rain brought down the roof of his old house. Suspecting danger, he, along with his wife and two children, had moved to a relative’s house the night

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Pakistan-India Monsoon Floods: Averting Future Disasters

Sep 13th, 2014 | By

It makes these annual disasters all the more tragic that for most of the year both countries have little rain. Yet after leaving more than 450 dead and a swathe of destruction on both sides of the border, much of the water dumped on the Kashmir and Punjab regions in the past 10 days will

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‘J&K Floods Grim Reminder of Climate Change’

Sep 11th, 2014 | By

The Hindu: The worst floods in Jammu and Kashmir in the past 60 years and the subsequent devastation are due to a combination of unprecedented and intense rain, mismanagement, unplanned urbanisation and a lack of preparedness, Sunita Narain, director-general, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), said on Wednesday. A CSE analysis showed the floods were a

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Deadly Monsoon: Pakistan’s Climate Change Policy Remains Stagnant

Sep 7th, 2014 | By
A couple wades through a flooded road after heavy rains in Lahore

Dawn: As deaths mount and cities continue to flood, experts are once again sounding the alarm bells over the impacts of climate change in Pakistan. More than 110 have been killed in Punjab, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa due to the heavy torrential rain since Thursday. A number of cities have received over 130mm

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Climatically Cut-off

Sep 5th, 2014 | By

Home Minister Bamdev Gautam should be given due credit for updating himself with minute weather details. Following ferocious floods in mid-western Nepal last month, he explained to the media the science behind the record rainfall: “There was a clash between the monsoon from the Arab Gulf and the one from the Bay of Bengal, it

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Nepal Renews Support to Small Island States’ Agenda

Sep 5th, 2014 | By

The Himalayan Times: Nepal renewed its support to the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) agenda. Ambassador/ Permanent Representative of Nepal to the United Nations, Durga Prasad Bhattarai, extended Nepal’s strong solidarity in the cause of the third United Nations Conference on SIDS in Samoa, on Wednesday.Addressing the general debate of the Conference, the Ambassador said that Nepal

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No Time to Lose

Aug 25th, 2014 | By

Republica: In recent weeks, Nepal has confronted alarming floods and landslides. These extreme events have taken hundreds of lives and displaced thousands of others in Tarai and hills. The country continues to face heavy and erratic rainfall, signifying more risks ahead. The distorted monsoon pattern has left many people in a lurch. Given its topography, Nepal already

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Experts Call for Early Disaster Warning System

Aug 12th, 2014 | By

Experts say Sindhupalchowk landslide should serve as a wake-up call to the government and it should introduce an early warning system with effective implementation of national disaster management plan.Despite allocating millions of rupees annually to disaster risk management, the situation in Sindhupalchowk reveals total lack of preparedness on part of the government, they claimed.Stating that

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State Climate Action Plans Lack Innovation, Study Finds

Aug 11th, 2014 | By

The Hindu: An analysis of State action plans to combat climate change reveal a lack of innovative approaches and a high variation in budgets apart from the fact that many did not move ahead from the business as usual scenario. However, the exercise in sheer numbers by 27 States is one of the largest sub-national action

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Flood Risk for Hundreds of Thousands in India After Nepal Landslide

Aug 5th, 2014 | By

AFP: The Indian government says more than 400,000 people in the east of the country are at risk of flooding after a landslide that killed at least nine people in neighbouring Nepal. The landslide, triggered by heavy rains, has left scores of people missing and has created a mud damn blocking the Sunkoshi River which runs

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Meet India’s Widows of Climate Change

Jul 22nd, 2014 | By

There is no good time to ask someone to relive a catastrophic flood. But a rainy day is the worst. It is early morning and Deoli-Benigram, a charming village sprawled over an eastern Himalayan peak, is drenched. It has been raining since the previous evening — a persistent drizzle that shows no sign of stopping.

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Will Unprepared Countries be Able to Survive the Forthcoming Tragedies?

Jul 20th, 2014 | By

Extreme weather and other natural calamities do not have to claim tens of thousands of lives and millions in damages. The extent of damage does not only depend on the magnitude or frequency of disasters but also on a population’s vulnerability. The – 2014 Global Climate Risk Index by Germanwatch showed that poor and developing countries are

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Disaster-Struck Indian Himalaya Region Braces for Monsoon Season

Jun 20th, 2014 | By

In June last year, monsoon floodwaters in the Indian Himalayan region swept entire houses off their foundations, washing them downstream. NGOs said a lack of disaster preparedness caused more damage than the disaster itself. Now, one year later, NGOs are hurrying to prepare communities for what may come as the new monsoon season approaches. The

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Safer Climate Disasters

Jun 15th, 2014 | By

Too often, participants in the climate-change debate make an erroneous distinction between protecting ourselves from the longer-term impact of global warming and better preparing ourselves against today’s extreme weather events. Recent reports from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have sought to break down this artificial divide. While seeking to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, we

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City at Risk

Jun 4th, 2014 | By

Republica: Kathmandu is a natural disaster-prone city. Nepal itself is ranked fourth at risk country for climate change. Due to these potential risks, Nepal has no other option than adopt measures of Disaster Risk Management (DRM) and Climate Change Adaptation. Among many problems in Kathmandu, the noteworthy are bad structures, limited and narrow road access, stop

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Threat of Uttarakhand-like Disaster in Himachal Pradesh, Scientists Worried

May 28th, 2014 | By

Times News Network: Increased vulnerability of Himachal Pradesh to climate change has posed the threat of Uttarakhand like disaster. In 2013, bursting of a small lake in front of Chorabari glacier coupled with heavy rainfall had wreaked havoc in Uttarakhand and in Himachal Pradesh 249 glacial lakes exists of which 11 have been identified as having

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El Niño Blows Hot and Cold

May 26th, 2014 | By

Climate News Network: El Niño, the mysterious meteorological phenomenon that periodically upsets global weather patterns, bringing catastrophic flooding to the arid lands of North and South America, and forest fires to South-east Asia, turns out to be more complicated than anyone had thought. Sandra Banholzer and Simon Donner, environmental scientists at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver,

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Migrating Cyclones Pose New Threat

May 20th, 2014 | By

Climate News Network: Tropical cyclones – hurricanes in the Caribbean, typhoons in the South China Sea – are moving further north and south, threatening to create new havoc in unsuspecting coastal areas. New research published in the journal Nature reveals that, on average, the storms have been migrating towards the poles at the rate of 53 kilometres a decade

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Ahead of Sendai Conference, Ban Pushes for 2015 Global Agreement on Disaster Risk

Apr 17th, 2014 | By

UN News Center: Disaster risk reduction and climate change are closely linked, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today stressed, reiterating to the world community his key priorities through the next year as preparations continue for the 2015 world conference on reducing risk from natural disasters. “The aim is simple: to leave a more resilient world to future generations,” Mr. Ban

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Pakistan Vulnerable to Climate Change, Natural Disasters

Apr 10th, 2014 | By

Dawn: This information was shared during the two-day Climate Change Adaptation Conference held here on Wednesday, says a press release. The conference was organised by the Focus Humanitarian Assistance programme in collaboration with Karakoram International University (KIU) to discuss the impact of global warming and ways to decrease risks at community and institutional levels. According to

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Bumpy Start For the Warsaw Mechanism on Climate Change ‘Loss & Damage’

Apr 4th, 2014 | By

Reuters: Last year’s U.N. climate talks in Warsaw, Poland, may well be remembered for giving a human face to the once abstract concept of climate change “loss and damage”. The annual conference of 195 countries began in Poland just a few days after Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

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WMO Annual Climate Statement Highlights Extreme Events

Mar 28th, 2014 | By

UNEP News Center: The year 2013 once again demonstrated the dramatic impact of droughts, heat waves, floods and tropical cyclones on people and property in all parts of the planet, according to the World Meteorological Organization’s Annual Statement on the Status of the Climate. The report confirmed that 2013 tied with 2007 as the sixth warmest

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REPORT: Mind the Gap – New Disasters Agreement Must be More Proactive on Gender

Mar 9th, 2014 | By

To mark International Women’s Day, 8th March, the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) and Overseas Development Institute (ODI) are highlighting the need for specific gender-related measures to be included in the new global framework to reduce disaster risk. The lack of attention to, and misunderstanding of, gender inequality prevent the effective reduction of disaster

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Extreme Weather is ‘Silver Lining’ for Climate Action: Christiana Figueres

Mar 6th, 2014 | By
APTOPIX Superstorm Sandy

The Guardian: Devastating extreme weather including recent flooding in England,Australia’s hottest year on record and the US being hit by a polar vortex have a “silver lining” of boosting climate change to the highest level of politics and reminding politicians that climate change is not a partisan issue, according to the UN’s climate chief. Christiana Figueres said that it was amoral

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Before the Next Storm: Helping People and Nature Adapt

Mar 4th, 2014 | By

National Geographic: Major hurricanes like Sandy (New Jersey in 2012) and Ivan (Eastern Caribbean in 2004) and Typhoon Haiyan (the Philippines 2013) make global headlines as they hit coastal communities, appropriately drawing attention to the human, financial, and community losses. While some smaller communities may not make global headlines, their risk from even minor storms is

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Frequency of Severe Flooding Across Europe ‘To Double by 2050’

Mar 3rd, 2014 | By

The frequency of severe flooding across Europe is set to double by 2050 and over the same period there could be a nearly five fold increase in the annual economic losses resulting from floods, a study has found. Climate change and an increase in rainfall will account for about a third of the losses by

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Sea-level Rise Could Bring Floods to 5% of the Population by Century End

Feb 28th, 2014 | By

By 2100, almost 5% of the world’s population could be affected by flooding each year as a result of sea-level rise, unless we boost coastal protection or mitigate climate change. That’s according to researchers in Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Austria and Belgium who performed the first study to take into account different scenarios for population, climate,

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Climate Change Threatens Philippines

Feb 21st, 2014 | By

On 8. November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, which also goes by the name Yolanda struck Estancia, a small town in the north of the Philippine island Panay. Hanna Martin and her family were able to survive by taking shelter with an uncle who lived in a concrete building on the edge of the city. When she

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A Sneak Preview of Post-Hyogo Disaster Risk Reduction

Feb 17th, 2014 | By

Sci Dev Net: Technology not only helps nations deal with disasters, but it also makes them more vulnerable to their impacts, according to Margareta Wahlström, the UN secretary-general’s special representative for disaster risk reduction. She told a meeting in London last week (14 February) that a better recognition of this vulnerability is likely to be one of three top agenda

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South Asia Needs To Enrich Regional Flood Information System Urgently – Analysis

Feb 17th, 2014 | By

Since a significant percentage of people are exposed to recurring riverine flood disasters mostly during rainy season an effective regional flood information system is needed urgently in South Asian heavily effected countries. People working with flood mitigation and climate change adaptation programs lay emphasis such a system which will avert flood catastrophes of transboundary scale effectively. The Pakistan floods

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UK Floods Making Climate Sceptics Hot Under the Collar

Feb 14th, 2014 | By
Global weather and climate change or global warming : Global temperature trend between 1950 and 2013

The Guardian: The UK floods are not just causing misery for thousands of people around the country whose lives and livelihoods have been disrupted. They are also making a few climate change sceptics hot beneath the collar. No doubt they are finding it an uncomfortable experience to realise that their misleading attempts to inform the public into believing

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Coastal Flooding ‘May Cost $100,000 bn a Year by 2100′

Feb 12th, 2014 | By

Climate News Network: If global warming continues on its present ominous path, and if no significant adaptation measures are launched, then coastal flooding could be costing the planet’s economies $100,000 billion a year by 2100. And perhaps 5% of the people on the planet – up to 600 million people – could be hit by coastal

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Adapting to Sea Level Rise Could Save Trillions by 2100

Feb 4th, 2014 | By

Floods already pose major problems for coastal communities each year. Those issues are only likely to grow as oceans continue to rise, due in part to climate change, threatening millions of people and trillions of dollars in infrastructure. But new research suggests that building levees could stave off huge losses at a minimal cost. Coasts are home to more

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Climate Change and Growth in Africa: Challenges and the Way Forward

Feb 1st, 2014 | By

The recent trends of increasing global temperatures and incidences of extreme climate events in Africa—mainly droughts and floods—are likely to continue. These severe climate events demonstrate the level and depth of the impact that climate change has on African economies. African policymakers should prioritize climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies in the development agenda of

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Coping With Climate Change

Jan 28th, 2014 | By

Even before filing his budget last week, Gov. Deval Patrick made clear that one of his final priorities in his final year is to help prepare Massachusetts for rising seas and increased storms. It may prove to be central to his legacy. Tuesday night, the governor will offer his state of the state address, in

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Heat Stress, Not Flooding, Drives Most Climate Migrants – Study

Jan 28th, 2014 | By

Climate Wire: The images of Pakistan’s 2010 devastating flood still haunt. Women up to their necks in the waters of the swollen Indus River, carrying children to safety. Men wading through the brown currents with bags of rice on their heads and young ones on their backs. The numbers, too, were staggering. Triggered by unusually

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Climate Change Washing Away Pacific Villages

Jan 27th, 2014 | By

Standing on a remote coral atoll in the Pacific Ocean watching children play, it was deeply saddening to realise they will soon have to leave a place that has been home to their people for thousands of years. Ontong Java, the most northerly part of Solomon Islands, is on the frontline of climate change.  The

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Climate Change’s New Menace: Mountain Tsunamis

Jan 20th, 2014 | By

The raging torrent hit in the morning, as Gopal Singh Bhist and his son, a cook and the leader of a pony train, prepared for work. In minutes, the Mandakini river had breached its banks, sending a crushing hammer of water, ice and rock through the Himalayan villages in this north Indian state of Uttarakhand.

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Worse Cyclones Will Hit East Asia

Jan 16th, 2014 | By

Climate News Network: It will be of little comfort to people in the southern and central Philippines repeatedly hit by tropical cyclones over the years, but a new study indicates that storm patterns might be shifting northwards. The study, by a team of scientists at Seoul National University and other South Korean scientific institutions, looks at tropical cyclone

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Will Fleeing Home be the Last Resort as the Climate Changes?

Jan 15th, 2014 | By

Salustiano Albert has lived in Palau, an archipelago in the western Pacific Ocean comprising over 500 islands, for more than three decades. Part of his family home, where three generations live, used to be flooded regularly by the tides, but in the past few years his entire house has been inundated. They survive by selling

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