We Should Not Surrender to Climate Change

Jan 27th, 2015 | By

This month a team of scientists reported that melting ice caps and glaciers due to climate change are causing oceans to rise more drastically than previously calculated. The news is particularly troubling for my country, the Maldives — the world’s lowest lying island chain — and for other coastal and island nations that sit just

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Next-generation Sequencing Offers Insight Into How Species Adapt to Climate Change

Jan 22nd, 2015 | By

American Institute of Biological Sciences: Environmental scientists have a new tool for studying the responses of species to climate change. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has made it possible to analyze enormous numbers of short pieces of DNA very quickly, and this technology is already revolutionizing the biomedical sciences. The hope is that NGS may prove similarly

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FAO: Genetic Diversity a Hidden Tool in Coping With Climate Change

Jan 21st, 2015 | By

Genetic resources have a critical role to play in feeding the world — especially as climate change advances faster than expected — and much more needs to be done to study, preserve and utilize the biological diversity that underpins world food production, according to a new book released by FAO today. “Time is not on

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Davos Can Set the Tone

Jan 19th, 2015 | By
Winnie Byanyima

On current trends, according to Oxfam, just 1% of the world’s population will by next year own more than half of the world’s wealth, up from 44% in 2009. This sharp acceleration in inequality is likely to frame the agenda at the annual World Economic Forum this week, and it will make the informal conversations

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Revisiting Mountain Perspective: Reasons And Challenges

Jan 19th, 2015 | By
Van Mundoli in Chamoli-Photo Samvedi Dehradun-1

K N Vajpai: This article is in the series of responses to an article on ‘Mountain Perspective’ at Link. It looks in to the aspects of mountain perspective and specificities as mentioned by Dr. N. S. Jodha during 1992s, and compares them in present  context. However, there are a number of doubts upon the relevance

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Planting More Trees Still Best Solution to Climate Change

Jan 18th, 2015 | By

Dr. Qamar-Uz-Zaman Chaudhry, former director general of the Pakistan Meteorological Department, calls climate change a threat greater than terrorism for its ability to have a widespread effect on a country, even influencing economic policies and other plans for the future. Talking to members of the Parliamentary Task Force on Sustainable Development Goals, Chaudhry used Pakistan

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On the Ethics of Adapting to Climate Change

Jan 15th, 2015 | By

Along with many other economists, my view on global warming-associated climate change is that the world is most unlikely to be able to agree and coordinate globally, and then sustain for the centuries required, the growth-denying policies that would be needed if we were to limit human-induced global warming to any material effect beyond the

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Poor Countries Shouldn’t Sacrifice Growth to Fight Climate Change

Jan 9th, 2015 | By

Last week, a draft of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Transform report on the potential impact of increasing international temperatures was leaked to the press. According to news accounts, the panel is set to report that the globe may possibly quickly strategy a temperature exactly where the Greenland ice sheet begins irreversibly melting. More than

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How Much Fuel We Need To Leave Buried To Beat Climate Change

Jan 8th, 2015 | By

In 2010, United Nations member states agreed to try to hold the planet’s temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels. It was a goal that acknowledged it was too late to stop the planet from warming, so instead we aimed to cap the potential damage from rising temperatures and sea levels.

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Just Banking Seeds Won’t Guarantee Our Future Food

Jan 6th, 2015 | By

Climate change is the biggest challenge farming has ever faced – to survive it we need to learn much more about plants, warns agriculturalist Cary Fowler Why are seed banks important? I call them an insurance policy for the globe. Without crop diversity, farming isn’t going to adapt to climate change, and neither are we.

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Adaptation, Not Mitigation, the Realistic Climate Change Debate

Dec 29th, 2014 | By

Since 2014 has been globally recorded the warmest year for the past 135 years, 2015 could be the year of serious climate changes. The coming year of 2015 is raising the big question of whether the nations’ leaders will take serious measures to reduce global warming and gas emissions. Next December, Paris will be hosting

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Nations’ Climate Laws Key to Global Pact

Dec 17th, 2014 | By

The annual United Nations climate summit of 194 nations finally finished in overtime on Sunday. The modest agreement reached averted the talks’ collapse and keeps the process alive. However, while a deal was concluded, including agreement for the first time that all countries (not just developed states) must cut greenhouse gas emissions, many of the hard

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John Kerry Warns of ‘Moral Failure’ at Climate Conference

Dec 12th, 2014 | By

If an ambitious agreement is not reached urgently to tackle the grave threat posed by climate change, it would be seen by future generations as a “massive collective moral failure”, according to US secretary of state John Kerry. In a powerful and impassioned speech at the UN’s Lima climate conference, he said every nation had

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Earth at ‘Tipping Point,’ UN General Assembly President Warns, Urging Climate Reform

Dec 10th, 2014 | By

Planet earth is “moving towards the tipping point” warned the President of the United Nations General Assembly at UN climate talks in Peru, where he called for world leaders to take urgent action towards a climate agreement that promotes socio-economic development in a sustainable manner. Briefing reporters in Lima ahead of his address to the

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Geoengineering Could Worsen Climate Change

Dec 1st, 2014 | By

Geoengineering – which sometimes seems to be the despairing climate scientist’s Plan B – simply won’t work. It won’t offer a quick fix to the planet’s burden of global warming, and it will be difficult to convince anybody that it could work at all. Geoengineering is any deliberate, large-scale intervention in the workings of the

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Vehicles on Rohtang Should be Fuelled by CNG: Green Panel

Nov 28th, 2014 | By

IANS: The ice mass on high Himalayan mountain pass Rohtang, overlooking this tourist resort in Himachal Pradesh, is reducing rapidly due to air pollution and in the next 20 to 25 years it may vanish altogether, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has said. This would create serious repercussions on ecology and the environment of the

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Geo-engineering: Climate Fixes ‘Could Harm Billions’

Nov 26th, 2014 | By

Schemes to tackle climate change could prove disastrous for billions of people, but might be required for the good of the planet, scientists say. That is the conclusion of a new set of studies into what’s become known as geo-engineering. This is the so far unproven science of intervening in the climate to bring down

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Protecting Biodiversity With Rigour

Nov 25th, 2014 | By

The Prime Minister recently reorganised his National Council on Climate Change and called on an indigenous answer, yoga, to alter consciousness and tackle climate change. The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) is currently working on the National Democratic Alliance’s position on climate change, with two major United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change meetings

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Curtain Raiser for Himalayan Consensus Summit

Nov 24th, 2014 | By

Himalayan Consensus Institute and the Nepal Economic Forum organized a curtain raiser in Kathmandu on Sunday for the Himalayan Consensus Summit which will be held in Bhutan in July 2015. The program focuses on the Himalayan Consensus theme as an alternative development paradigm, focusing particularly on exploring new equations in ecological balance, conservation and entrepreneurship.

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Saving Forests Not Enough to Stop Carbon Imbalance

Nov 21st, 2014 | By

Foresters may be guardians of the planet, but they may need to think about more than just the forests to reduce the threats from climate change. New research suggests that a policy that protects the planet’s forests from fire and the chainsaw must also deliver new ways of stopping the spread of agriculture into other

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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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The North-South Divide

Nov 17th, 2014 | By

Dawn: Every year the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), the NGO based in New Delhi that brings out Down to Earth magazine and has been steadily campaigning against air pollution in the city, hosts their annual “Climate Change Media Briefing” at the India Habitat Centre. The CSE believes in a global climate deal based

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Climate Conference Calls for Unified Voice of Mountain People

Nov 14th, 2014 | By

(Xinhua) — The international conference on “mountain people adapting to change: solutions beyond boundaries” concluded in Kathmandu on Wednesday, developing a list of actions urgently needed to help the residents of the Hindu Kush Himalayas (HKH) deal with severe impacts of climate change. The four-day conference, jointly organized by the Nepali government and the International

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Push for Biodiversity to Have Deeper Role in SDGs

Nov 13th, 2014 | By

Biodiversity is moving up the global development agenda, following a major meeting of policymakers at the 12th Conference of Parties (COP12) to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Pyeongchang, South Korea. With countries working on setting the next targets after the Millennium Development Goals, biodiversity is already included as one of the proposed

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Audacious Ideas and Actions for a Zero Carbon World

Nov 9th, 2014 | By

Policy-makers, academics, business and civil society leaders gathered in London this week for the fifth annual Chatham House Climate Change Conference. In the hallways and audience chamber and on the podium, the mood was one of ambition – even audacity – around the possibilities for moving swiftly towards a zero net carbon world. As one

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IPCC’s Report on Climate Change Brings an Opportunity and Challenge for India

Nov 5th, 2014 | By

India’s quest for high growth and efforts to ensure development and access to energy for its people has found recognition in the latest report of the United Nations-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC. The synthesis report of IPCC’s fifth assessment report (AR5) released on Sunday stresses that every effort to ensure that global

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IPPC Report – Fossil Fuels Should be ‘Phased Out by 2100’

Nov 4th, 2014 | By

The unrestricted use of fossil fuels should be phased out by 2100 if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change, a UN-backed expert panel says. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says in a stark report that most of the world’s electricity can – and must – be produced from low-carbon sources by 2050.

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12 Ways Communities Will Have to Adapt to Handle Climate Change

Oct 30th, 2014 | By

The Guardian: Climate change is making both droughts and flood more frequent and severe. Whether your area is suffering from too much water or too little, here are things you can do to adapt. Drought In the face of relentless droughts such as the historic one underway in California, we all want to help conserve.

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Rising to “the Greatest Challenge in Human History”

Oct 21st, 2014 | By

Different obstacles to food security need different solutions. Experience shows that a combination of actions is needed to reduce hunger and guarantee food security in the longer run. They include shifting towards more sustainable food systems, facilitating access and strengthening social protection. Within this framework, to sustainably rise to “The Greatest Challenge in Human History,”

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Eradicating Poverty Goes ‘Hand in Hand’ With Biodiversity Protection – UN Officials

Oct 19th, 2014 | By

UN News Center: The protection of biodiversity is directly related to the eradication of poverty and stimulation of economic growth, senior United Nations officials stressed today at a meeting in Republic of Korea, calling on countries to take an integrated approach when it comes to development. “Maintaining biodiversity is related not only to direct conservation

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Cities Need Sustained Urbanization: Experts

Oct 10th, 2014 | By

As the Union government unfolds its long-term plans for planned development of urban centres, experts warn that poorly managed urbanization can be detrimental to sustainable development of cities like Pune. The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) and The Forum of Environmental Journalists in India (FEJI) held a brainstorming session on climate change in New Delhi

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Adaptation is the Rational Response to Climate Change: Guest Opinion

Oct 5th, 2014 | By

It is ironic to observe the ranting and pleading of those hoping to curtail climate change through human intervention when it is obvious that there is nothing significant that we humans can or will do to affect it. Unfortunately, the prevailing characteristics of the human species are self-interest, greed, tribalism and short-sightedness, none of which

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Cap on Liability for Climate Damage Worth a Look – Expert

Oct 2nd, 2014 | By
A protester carries a sign during the "People's Climate March" in the Manhattan borough of New York

(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Developing countries in Asia are embarking on projects to assess and address future loss and damage from climate change, with the aim of convincing rich nations to compensate them and to reduce emissions, speakers at a regional climate forum said Wednesday. Such work could lead to the negotiation of some kind

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Destruction of Carbon-Rich Mangroves Costs up to US$42 billion in Economic Damages Annually – UNEP Report

Sep 29th, 2014 | By

UNEP News Center: Mangroves are being destroyed at a rate 3 – 5 times greater than the average rates of forest loss, costing billions in economic damages and denying millions of people the ecosystem services they need to survive, according to a new report launched today by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The Importance of

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More Nations Commit to Fight Climate Change by Restoring Forests

Sep 25th, 2014 | By

UNEP News Center: World leaders announced new pledges to restore over 30 million hectares of degraded forest lands today at the UN Climate Summit in New York. The commitments come from Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guatemala, and Uganda, among others, and more than doubled the number of hectares contributing to achieving the Bonn Challenge

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Clean Urban Transport Can Drive Emissions Cuts

Sep 24th, 2014 | By

Climate News Network: Here’s a way to save $100 trillion and stop 1,700 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from getting into the atmosphere every year by 2050: cycle, walk or take public transport. A new report by the University of California Davis and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) estimates that such a

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New Momentum Needed to Reduce CO2 Emissions

Sep 23rd, 2014 | By

Twenty-two years after the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change was adopted in a bid to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, CO2 emissions continue to rise as international negotiations over how to implement reductions in the discharge of climate-changing gases drag on. On Tuesday, world leaders will assemble in New York

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REDD+ Needs to Protect Forests and Boost Rural Development

Sep 18th, 2014 | By

Under the UN climate treaty REDD+ (Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) involves reducing greenhouse gas emissions by protecting forests in developing countries and providing finance to make it possible. Tropical deforestation and degradation is estimated to be responsible for roughly 15% of global emissions. Making REDD+ work on the ground is challenging. Careful

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Climate Change Remedies ‘Affordable’, Says Global Body

Sep 16th, 2014 | By

BBC: The body, a group of chief executives, former prime ministers and finance ministers, argues the cost of tackling climate change is modest. Its report says adding 5% to the $6 trillion (£3.7tn; 4.6tn euros) a year due to be spent on power and transport projects could buy clean technology. Critics say the report is

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Old Climate Change Formula no Longer Exists, Say Scientists

Sep 16th, 2014 | By

IANS: The traditional formula on climate change that says that regions that have a moist climate will experience additional rainfall is no longer valid, scientists say. The old formula that dry gets drier and wet gets wetter (DDWW) is less universally valid than previously assumed, stressed a team of climate researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute

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Adapting to Climate Change Can’t be Left to the Wild West of the Markets

Sep 11th, 2014 | By
Waves crash over the bow of a tugboat as Hurricane Sandy approaches New York.

The Guardian: If the 20th century was the “age of extremes”, to quote Eric Hobsbawm’s famous title, the 21st may well be the age of the combined effects of debt and climate change. And it will, no doubt, witness its share of extreme events. Debt and climate change are nothing new, of course. As David Graeberhas

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The Importance of Crafting Stories on the Green Economy

Sep 9th, 2014 | By

SciDev.Net: Last week a coalition of organisations that would like to see countries transition swiftly to a green economy called a meeting to brainstorm ideas of stories that would help sell their cause.  A green economy is an idea I support, so I accepted an invitation to go along. But, joining the collection of businesspeople and NGO representatives

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No Lessons Learnt in Flood-hit Pakistan

Sep 8th, 2014 | By

Dawn: Recent monsoon rains and the destruction they have left in their wake in major cities of Punjab provide a grim picture of the inability of urban settlements to cope with intense downpours in a warming world. The television footage showed torrents of water gushing into homes, of people wading in at least four feet of

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New UNEP Report Outlines Blue-Green Economy and Island Innovation Opportunities in Small Island Developing States

Sep 2nd, 2014 | By

UNEP News Center: Today, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) launched the GEO SIDS Outlook, part of its flagship Global Environment Outlook (GEO) series. The report, based on the findings of a broad range of SIDS scientists, experts and policy makers, provides four integrated themes for action to support SIDS become the environmental economies of the future – building

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Earth Systems: Model Human adaptation to Climate Change

Aug 29th, 2014 | By

Nature: Current models of Earth’s climate capture physical and biophysical processes. But the planet has entered a new state: humans are adapting to, as well as causing, environmental changes. This major feedback must be modelled. Projections of the future climate based on simple economic narratives — from cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions to unmitigated growth — are

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Climate Change: Adapt Now or Perish

Aug 26th, 2014 | By

Climate change will sow confusion and concern as it unfolds across South Asia in coming decades. Home to a quarter of the world’s population, this vast region will be hit harder than just about anywhere else. Sudden flooding, storms, droughts and other hazards will upend lives, livelihoods, and economies. As this grim future takes shape,

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Greater Political Imagination is Vital in Order to Face Climate Challenge

Aug 24th, 2014 | By

Efforts to reduce global warming are gaining political ground at the international level, despite systematic resistance to change. This global dynamic should renew the economic and political debate in our countries. Finally, Obama has decided to put the brakes on domestic emissions from electric generation plants despite the resistance from said industry, Republicans and even

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Tackling Climate Change as a Single SDG Could Backfire

Aug 20th, 2014 | By

SciDev.Net: Climate change is a major challenge — and it sits among many other major challenges targeted by the post-2015 development goals.Biodiversity, health, education, energy and others influence and are influenced by climate change. So goals about them will also mean action on climate change. Development goals that focus on the root causes of sustainability challenges bring people together; they also minimise the

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Investment in Climate Change Adaptation can Help Promote the Livelihoods of 65% of Africans

Aug 13th, 2014 | By

UNEP News Center: Investment in climate change adaptation can help ensure that the impacts of climate change – including a projected 20-50 per cent decline in water availability – do not reverse decades of development progress in Africa, according to a new report released today by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Keeping Track of Adaptation

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Meeting Water and Energy Challenges in Agri-food Sector With Technology

Aug 13th, 2014 | By
A farmer sits on a heap of sugarcane at roadside jaggery factory at Bhoothgarh village

The Guardian: Worldwide, the overall growth in demand for agricultural products will require a 140% increase (pdf) in the supply of water over the next 20 years compared to the past 20 years. While the bulk of this demand will be from irrigation, food processing plants can also be water intensive. So, any technological innovations in the

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Rise in Flights Will Outweigh Carbon Cuts

Aug 8th, 2014 | By

Climate News Network: The aviation industry insists that it is making only a tiny contribution to global warming, with just 2% of global carbon dioxide emissions coming from its aircraft. The problem is the speed at which aviation itself is growing. One aircraft builder believes the number of planes in service in 2011 will have doubled

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Will These Sustainable Development Goals Do the Job?

Aug 6th, 2014 | By
MDG boy with stingray in Indonesia

The Guardian: The UN working group responsible for crafting the sustainable development goals (SDGs) has handed down its final proposal, adding a goal to address domestic and global inequality. The recommendations include 17 goals and 169 targets to be achieved by 2030. The list includes a reworking of the eight millennium development goals that expire

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Why Effective Climate Policy Needs Women – and Vice Versa

Aug 5th, 2014 | By
Peacekeeping - UNMIT

Integrating a gender approach in the new climate agreement will be vital to provide the legal base for promoting gender responsive climate action both at international and national level. That will be necessary for the improvement of effectiveness of climate policies and its implementation, as both women and men can make considerable contributions to adaptation

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Geoengineering the Earth’s Climate Sends Policy Debate Down a Curious Rabbit Hole

Aug 4th, 2014 | By

The Guardian: There’s a bit in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland where things get “curiouser and curiouser” as the heroine tries to reach a garden at the end of a rat-hole sized corridor that she’s just way too big for. She drinks a potion and eats a cake with no real clue what the consequences might

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Brazil Could Meet all Its Food Demand by 2040 Without Cutting Down Another Tree

Jul 24th, 2014 | By

Better utilization of its vast areas of pasturelands could enable Brazil to dramatically boost agricultural production without the need to clear another hectare of Amazon rainforest, cerrado, or Atlantic forest, argues a new study published in the journal Global Environmental Change. Modeling agricultural yield potential, Brazilian researchers from the International Institute for Sustainability, Brazil’s agricultural research

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Himalayan Geothermal Potential Untapped

Jul 21st, 2014 | By

SciDev.Net: Thousands of megawatts of geothermal energy remain locked up in the Himalayas because of environmental considerations and lack of investment in research, say international geologists. “I hope lessons from elsewhere in the world can help harness these resources in the Himalayas,” Geo Moore, a geologist at the Energy and Geosciences Institute, University of Utah, told a conference on sustainable resource

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Nuclear Expansion Right Move For The Climate, World

Jul 14th, 2014 | By

In the 1970s, scientists discovered that chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons were being spewed into the atmosphere. To their shock, they found that the chemicals — then common in refrigerators, air conditioners and hair sprays — were damaging the ozone layer that protects the world from dangerous levels of ultraviolet radiation. In time, as the scientific evidence

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India Urgently Needs ‘Green Buildings’: R.K.Pachauri

Jul 13th, 2014 | By

Internationally acclaimed environmentalist R.K. Pachauri saysIndia urgently needs ‘green buildings’ to ensure unsustainable use of energy and water and is happy the government is sharing his TERI’s knowhow in building infrastructure. Explaining the Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) of The Energy Resources and Energy Institute (TERI), Pachauri said it is estimated that most of

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Stopping Harmful Climate Change is Surprisingly Cheap

Jul 5th, 2014 | By

New Scientist: Saving our skins might be surprisingly cheap. To avoid dangerous climate change, the world needs to boost spending on green energy by $1 trillion a year. That sounds scarily large, but we could cover a lot of it using the subsidies currently handed to fossil fuels. Governments have agreed to limit global warming to 2°C,

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‘Great Himalayan National Park Should be Managed by Locals’

Jul 5th, 2014 | By

Appreciating the state government’s move to protect rights of local people under the world heritage site Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) area, Himalayan Niti Abhiyan coordinator Guman Singh has urged the government that the park should be managed by people in near future. Talking to reporters here on Friday, Singh said he met the district

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