World Environment Day 2014 – “Raise Your Voice, Not the Sea Level”

World Environment Day (WED) on June 5th is used by the United Nations to encourage global awareness and stimulate action to protect the environment.  It was established in 1972 on the same day that the UN Conference on the Human Environment began and the first WED was celebrated in 1973. Each year it is hosted in…
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Malaria can climb mountains when temperatures rise

A study in Science  by Siraj and colleagues this week showed malaria occurs at higher altitudes in warmer years. Their modelling predicts that a one degree Celsius temperature rise in the Ethiopian highlands could lead to 2.8 million more cases in children each year in current malaria areas and over 400,000 cases in new areas.…
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Water water everywhere…but is climate change to blame?

It is perhaps not surprising that the latest statistics from the Met Office in the UK show that this winter has been one of the most exceptional periods of rainfall in England and Wales in at least 248 years, thanks to a sequence of low pressure weather systems making their way across the Atlantic.  As…
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Could Climate Change threaten the future of the Winter Olympics?

As Russia prepares to host the 22nd Olympic Winter Games, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has begun to release the findings of its Fifth Assessment Report.  If the climate projections of the IPCC report prove accurate, only six of the previous 19 host cities will be cold enough to host a…
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Ocean warming could raise mercury levels in fish, says new report

According to researchers from Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, rising sea surface temperatures may increase the ability of the fish to accumulate mercury in their tissue.  This could present a risk to the health of consumers of seafood due to the bioaccumulation of methylmercury and transfer between marine food webs.  The paper is published in the…
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Climate change – will it affect spread of vector borne diseases?

Climate change is going to mean mosquito-borne diseases spread north out of the tropics right? That seems to be the story the news media are giving us. But it is really the case? Do we really need to start thinking about buying bednets to protect against mozzy bites? As editor of Global Health database I…
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Forests on the move

Studies on ‘natural’ and ‘forced’ migration of forests threatened by climate change. A multi-European project trying to anticipate the effects of climate change on forests is taking shape. In parts of Europe, established forest trees are showing signs of vulnerability – such as drought stress – as their ‘climate niche’ changes. An ambitious long-term project…
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Developing crops for mild drought tolerance

Whilst we continue to have no rain in southern England (I’m sure this won’t last too long…), drought tolerance must be on the mind of many farmers. World reports on climate change and food security have identified water scarcity as a critical factor for agriculture this century. Breeding for drought tolerance is a major research…
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Climate of changing public opinion

This week is Climate Week in the UK, which aims to get the public involved in thinking about climate change. In the scientific community, there is an increasing level of consensus about climate change and the need to take drastic action to limit severe consequences. However, in order to introduce challenging policies, there must be…
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How will climate change affect plant health?

As weather patterns shift around the world due to changing climates, so this brings new challenges to crop protection. Pests and diseases can become a problem in new areas, or appear earlier, making it necessary to change crop protection practices. Conversely, some pests and diseases may become less of a problem as conditions become less…
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