New report highlights link between forests, farms and food security

With the global population estimated to reach 9 billion by 2050, there has been much debate around the issues of nutrition and food security. Amid these concerns, a report published on May 6 by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), calls for greater consideration of the use of forests as a food source as…
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Using lasers to map forest carbon

Forests cover approximately 4 billion hectares of the Earth's surface, equivalent to a third of it's total land area.  According to the WWF, between 12-15 million hectares of forests are lost every year due to human impacts, such as deforestation.  It is estimated that forest loss is responsible for around 15% of global carbon emissions.…
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“A Wakeup Call” on Climate Change and Global Health

Climate change will affect human health through multiple routes according to speakers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) on Friday. They were there to launch “Climate Change and Global Health”, a book that analyses impacts on human health from heat waves, vector-borne diseases to conflict. Sir Andy Haines, Professor of Public…
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“Land Belongs to the Future, Let’s Climate Proof It” – World Day to Combat Desertification 2014

June 17 has been designated by the United Nations as World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought (WDCD).  The slogan of this year’s WDCD is ‘Land Belongs to the Future, Let’s Climate Proof It’, which aims to ‘highlight the benefits of mainstreaming sustainable land management policies and practices into our collective response to climate change’.  The…
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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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