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Regenerative Farming: Agro-Ecology In Practice (Part 2 of 3)
In my previous article on regenerative agriculture, I reflected on the need for agriculture to become more regenerative. That is to say, for agriculture to find a way of ‘erasing its footprint’ and becoming a part of the ecosystem rather than degrading it by exhausting the land and its natural resources.   A truly regenerative mini-farm: Vietnam Some have referred to this practice as agro-ecology, or putting the science regarding ecology to good use by finding new and sustainable agricultural methods. This does not only apply to the ‘traditional’ agriculture of harvesting the land and tending to the crops; it also extends to livestock, poultry farming and - in one particularly fascinating example - domestic agriculture. The latter is actually the most convincing argument thus far when it comes to the applicability and benefits of regenerative farming. In Vietnam, people tend to enjoy their ‘Vuon Ao Chuong’, or garden, fishpond and pig or poultry shed in one. This pretty much encompasses their agricultural activities: working in their garden while taking care of their fishpond and tending to their pig or poultry shed. These activities are combined in a prime example of regenerative farming, whereby domestic agriculture is taken to new levels of productivity and intensity. Natural ecological processes are honoured while the various plant and animal species are cultivated in a relatively small area, where they are intertwined with one another. Each element of the Vuon Ao Chuong plays its own unique role in creating a truly regenerative mini-farm. What is even more interesting, is the versatility of this model to fit various different ecosystems. While the model was originally designed for a specific area in the north of Vietnam, bordering the Red River, it has since been adapted to be suitable for the coastal areas, river deltas, and mountainous regions as well. Although the mix of specific plant and animal species may differ for those ecosystems, the basic principle remains unchanged: honouring Mother Nature by nurturing the existing ecosystem, in doing so enhancing diversity and encouraging interspecies interaction. For each ecosystem, there is a 'sweet spot' Although the term symbiosis might sound too pretentious to describe what has been going on here, I am afraid it is the one that best fits this process. For each ecosystem, there is a ‘sweet spot’, a combination of plant and animal species that thrive when combined thoughtfully. Regardless of the climate, altitude, land type, environment and social status of a specific area, there will be an equilibrium. After all, that is how Mother Nature designed it. A process that has endured similarly rigorous time-testing will be hard to find. The Vuon Ao Chuong is not a secret confined to the borders of Vietnam. Its basic idea has spread across the region, with the Japanese seeing substantial increases in productivity after combining duck and rice farming. In Southern China, the mulberries-fish pond model has taken off - apparently a ‘golden combo’ as well. Zero budget Yet perhaps the most remarkable feat is that most of those solutions require virtually zero budget - a nicety for the domestic agriculturist, but a must for agricultural companies. This point was recognised by Subhash Palekar, who was looking to create a better working environment for his fellow farmers in the south of India, and came up with Zero Budget Natural Farming methods. He recognised that the majority of the world’s food supply (almost 70%) is produced by the so-called smallholder farmers. At the same time, this group only uses 30% of the resources. A precarious position: these are the farmers that have to produce more using less. Often, those smallholder farmers can be found in some of the poorest areas of the world, where they are battling the world’s harshest conditions in their attempt to feed all the hungry mouths around them. Through Zero Budget Natural Farming initiatives, a stable food supply can be guaranteed while minimising financial dependencies - such as the loans smallholder farmers often take out to make ends meet. Fertilisers, seeds, and other farming supplies are expensive. And when you are quite literally putting all of your eggs in one basket, risks are enormous. All it takes is one monsoon, one tornado, one tsunami, or one pest to completely destroy all of your crops - leaving you in a crippled financial state.   Increased resilience against the effects of climate change Regenerative agriculture might have the power to change this - as it encompasses plenty of Zero Budget Natural Farming methods. It will cut back the number of costly resources needed, while resulting in more nutritious food, higher yields, and increased resilience against the effects of climate change. This is accomplished using several basic principles, including the creation of more fertile soil through the addition of microbes; the prevention of crop diseases through natural means; the protection and enhancement of topsoil; and more efficient use of water. The bigger question at hand is whether those principles can also be applied to larger agricultural companies. In other words, can regenerative farming - or agro-ecology - be scaled up to work for much larger farms? Most will argue that this will indeed be possible, as the four principles given above will be applicable, regardless of the farm’s size. Theoretically, one could take a piece of land that has been worn out and degraded; effectively thrown into a biodiversity crisis of sorts. Then, following the principles of regenerative agriculture, the next step would be to revitalise the area. This is to say, to stabilise first - through contouring, terracing and planting; followed by the restoration of fertility and soil structure; and finally implementing a natural production regime. The farm will have to become a part in its surrounding ecosystem, leaving room for ‘wild’ areas where nature and all of its inhabitants can thrive. Combined with a diverse and well-thought out planting plan, this should be key to a thriving agro-ecology area. Only plants and animals that work well together should be included, ones that are native to the area and suitable for the time of year. For instance, some finer grains do better in the winter - including wheat, barley and oats -, while thicker grains are preferred in the summer, such as soya and quinoa. Some low maintenance cover crops like peas and radish can serve as insurance for soil fertility. Livestock can help to fertilise the land and create a thriving ecosystem.   All of this will increase the yield, while guaranteeing a diverse diet for those dependant upon it. If so desired, there could even be an additional element added to the farm, alongside the crops and livestock - such as a fishpond, vineyard, orchard or chickens. This is something that can unquestionably be duplicated on a larger scale: entrepreneur Doug Tompkins describes it as “multiple farms layered onto one property”.   All of those sub-farms are linked together and feed off each other, mutually strengthening both the farm and the surrounding ecosystem. An ideal scenario, where farms see increased yields and where ecosystems are built up rather than destroyed. In the past, too much valuable nature has gone to waste as the result of the continuously expanding consumerism in agriculture. This includes savannahs, jungles, and forests - home to many endangered plant and animal species that, as a result, have found themselves in a rather tough spot, balancing on the brink of extinction. And once the land served its purpose, it was just as easily discarded and quite literally left to waste. There are dozens of examples of pieces of land that have already successfully undergone the regeneration process. Like the Loess Plateau in China, where 4 million hectares of overgrazed land has been restored, creating both jobs and livelihood for over 2.5 million people and a rich and ecologically diverse area. Or the farmers who used regeneration methods to create a thriving, biodiverse forest in the Sahel area in Africa.   Now we have a chance of revitalising and, indeed, regenerating those previously discarded wastelands. For a world with a greater diversity of ecosystems; and for a world where we will be able to produce healthy, diverse food in harmony with nature.   Part 2 of 3 of a series on Regenerative Agriculture. Part 3 will be uploaded on June 17. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/agri-gardening
In my previous article on regenerative agriculture, I reflected on the need for agriculture to become more regenerative. That is to say, for agriculture to find a way of ‘erasing its footprint’ and becoming a part of the ecosystem rather than degrading it by exhausting the land and its natural resources.   A truly regenerative mini-farm: Vietnam Some have referred to this practice as agro-ecology, or putting the science regarding ecology to good use by finding new and sustainable agricultural methods. This does not only apply to the ‘traditional’ agriculture of harvesting the land and tending to the crops; it also extends to livestock, poultry farming and - in one particularly fascinating example - domestic agriculture. The latter is actually the most convincing argument thus far when it comes to the applicability and benefits of regenerative farming. In Vietnam, people tend to enjoy their ‘Vuon Ao Chuong’, or garden, fishpond and pig or poultry shed in one. This pretty much encompasses their agricultural activities: working in their garden while taking care of their fishpond and tending to their pig or poultry shed. These activities are combined in a prime example of regenerative farming, whereby domestic agriculture is taken to new levels of productivity and intensity. Natural ecological processes are honoured while the various plant and animal species are cultivated in a relatively small area, where they are intertwined with one another. Each element of the Vuon Ao Chuong plays its own unique role in creating a truly regenerative mini-farm. What is even more interesting, is the versatility of this model to fit various different ecosystems. While the model was originally designed for a specific area in the north of Vietnam, bordering the Red River, it has since been adapted to be suitable for the coastal areas, river deltas, and mountainous regions as well. Although the mix of specific plant and animal species may differ for those ecosystems, the basic principle remains unchanged: honouring Mother Nature by nurturing the existing ecosystem, in doing so enhancing diversity and encouraging interspecies interaction. For each ecosystem, there is a 'sweet spot' Although the term symbiosis might sound too pretentious to describe what has been going on here, I am afraid it is the one that best fits this process. For each ecosystem, there is a ‘sweet spot’, a combination of plant and animal species that thrive when combined thoughtfully. Regardless of the climate, altitude, land type, environment and social status of a specific area, there will be an equilibrium. After all, that is how Mother Nature designed it. A process that has endured similarly rigorous time-testing will be hard to find. The Vuon Ao Chuong is not a secret confined to the borders of Vietnam. Its basic idea has spread across the region, with the Japanese seeing substantial increases in productivity after combining duck and rice farming. In Southern China, the mulberries-fish pond model has taken off - apparently a ‘golden combo’ as well. Zero budget Yet perhaps the most remarkable feat is that most of those solutions require virtually zero budget - a nicety for the domestic agriculturist, but a must for agricultural companies. This point was recognised by Subhash Palekar, who was looking to create a better working environment for his fellow farmers in the south of India, and came up with Zero Budget Natural Farming methods. He recognised that the majority of the world’s food supply (almost 70%) is produced by the so-called smallholder farmers. At the same time, this group only uses 30% of the resources. A precarious position: these are the farmers that have to produce more using less. Often, those smallholder farmers can be found in some of the poorest areas of the world, where they are battling the world’s harshest conditions in their attempt to feed all the hungry mouths around them. Through Zero Budget Natural Farming initiatives, a stable food supply can be guaranteed while minimising financial dependencies - such as the loans smallholder farmers often take out to make ends meet. Fertilisers, seeds, and other farming supplies are expensive. And when you are quite literally putting all of your eggs in one basket, risks are enormous. All it takes is one monsoon, one tornado, one tsunami, or one pest to completely destroy all of your crops - leaving you in a crippled financial state.   Increased resilience against the effects of climate change Regenerative agriculture might have the power to change this - as it encompasses plenty of Zero Budget Natural Farming methods. It will cut back the number of costly resources needed, while resulting in more nutritious food, higher yields, and increased resilience against the effects of climate change. This is accomplished using several basic principles, including the creation of more fertile soil through the addition of microbes; the prevention of crop diseases through natural means; the protection and enhancement of topsoil; and more efficient use of water. The bigger question at hand is whether those principles can also be applied to larger agricultural companies. In other words, can regenerative farming - or agro-ecology - be scaled up to work for much larger farms? Most will argue that this will indeed be possible, as the four principles given above will be applicable, regardless of the farm’s size. Theoretically, one could take a piece of land that has been worn out and degraded; effectively thrown into a biodiversity crisis of sorts. Then, following the principles of regenerative agriculture, the next step would be to revitalise the area. This is to say, to stabilise first - through contouring, terracing and planting; followed by the restoration of fertility and soil structure; and finally implementing a natural production regime. The farm will have to become a part in its surrounding ecosystem, leaving room for ‘wild’ areas where nature and all of its inhabitants can thrive. Combined with a diverse and well-thought out planting plan, this should be key to a thriving agro-ecology area. Only plants and animals that work well together should be included, ones that are native to the area and suitable for the time of year. For instance, some finer grains do better in the winter - including wheat, barley and oats -, while thicker grains are preferred in the summer, such as soya and quinoa. Some low maintenance cover crops like peas and radish can serve as insurance for soil fertility. Livestock can help to fertilise the land and create a thriving ecosystem.   All of this will increase the yield, while guaranteeing a diverse diet for those dependant upon it. If so desired, there could even be an additional element added to the farm, alongside the crops and livestock - such as a fishpond, vineyard, orchard or chickens. This is something that can unquestionably be duplicated on a larger scale: entrepreneur Doug Tompkins describes it as “multiple farms layered onto one property”.   All of those sub-farms are linked together and feed off each other, mutually strengthening both the farm and the surrounding ecosystem. An ideal scenario, where farms see increased yields and where ecosystems are built up rather than destroyed. In the past, too much valuable nature has gone to waste as the result of the continuously expanding consumerism in agriculture. This includes savannahs, jungles, and forests - home to many endangered plant and animal species that, as a result, have found themselves in a rather tough spot, balancing on the brink of extinction. And once the land served its purpose, it was just as easily discarded and quite literally left to waste. There are dozens of examples of pieces of land that have already successfully undergone the regeneration process. Like the Loess Plateau in China, where 4 million hectares of overgrazed land has been restored, creating both jobs and livelihood for over 2.5 million people and a rich and ecologically diverse area. Or the farmers who used regeneration methods to create a thriving, biodiverse forest in the Sahel area in Africa.   Now we have a chance of revitalising and, indeed, regenerating those previously discarded wastelands. For a world with a greater diversity of ecosystems; and for a world where we will be able to produce healthy, diverse food in harmony with nature.   Part 2 of 3 of a series on Regenerative Agriculture. Part 3 will be uploaded on June 17. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/agri-gardening
Regenerative Farming: Agro-Ecology In Practice (Part 2 of 3)
Regenerative Farming: Agro-Ecology In Practice (Part 2 of 3)
EU Elections: Is The EU United To Fight Climate Change?
Populist parties look set to make big gains in the European elections – but think twice about voting for them if you care about climate and the environment Brexit This week, the people of 28 countries will vote to elect their representatives in the European Parliament for the next five years. One of them, the UK, has been brought to the ballot box kicking and screaming, having voted to leave the European Union and its directly elected assembly almost three years ago. EU elections and Climate Change trouble This is the world’s second biggest democratic vote – coincidentally, results from the biggest, the Indian general election, are also expected this week. Current opinion polls suggest a wave of anger will propel populist, anti-establishment parties to victory across swathes of Europe. Right-wing populists may even become the largest bloc in the parliament. That is a problem for the planet. Some of these parties hold views on climate change that make Donald Trump look like a well-informed moderate, as a report published earlier this year by German environmental think-tank Adelphi makes plain. France’s National Rally, for example, supports solar and wind energy fabriqué en France as a way of reducing foreign energy imports, but rejects international action on climate change, denouncing the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change as a “communist project”. Germany’s AfD says governments suppress the truth that carbon dioxide is a fertiliser, not a pollutant. A UKIP MEP wrote a European Parliament opinion paper blaming climate change on cosmic rays, while Austria’s FPÖ says “solar flares and the warming of the sun” are responsible. Nigel Farage, leader of the Brexit party currently riding high in UK polls, has repeatedly questioned the basis of climate science. Voters may have many reasons for voting for these parties – but those who care about the planet should take pause.  EU needs to be united on climate The measures needed to combat climate change affect competition in a single market, so much of what European countries are doing – creating the world’s biggest carbon trading scheme, setting binding new targets for energy efficiency – is coordinated at EU level. To meet Paris climate-change agreement targets , the European Commission, which proposes EU legislation, has more ambitious plans: carbon neutrality by 2050 and measures taking up to 40 per cent of the new EU budget. All these need the European Parliament’s approval. With two out of three current populist MEPs regularly voting against climate and energy resolutions, votes for populists in the new parliament could significantly dilute the EU’s efforts to mitigate climate change. Populists have gained traction in recent years by appealing emotionally to people who feel disregarded by remote, powerful elites. They are thriving now because liberal elites have ignored alarm over threats to identity and the stability of established communities from immigration, globalisation, economic injustice and changing social norms. Extinction Rebellion and the Remote elite Climate scientists and protest movements such as Extinction Rebellion may still feel they are fighting the good fight against an elite that has until recently been reluctant to hear their concerns. But this is not how they are perceived by a large chunk of their fellow citizens. Scientists are a remote elite if ever there was one, with allegiance to their own strange facts rather than common identities. Activists’ advocacy of higher environmental taxes and restrictions on consumption is viewed as harmful for ordinary people: witness France’s gilets jaunes protests, originally spawned by opposition to higher fuel taxes. {youtube} Climate change is a threat worldwide  Climate change is a threat to stability for everyone, and arguments for action should emphasise just that. These should acknowledge the power not just of facts, but emotions, and focus not just on economic costs and burdens, but on less tangible impacts on shared identity and heritage – the threat to much-loved landscapes, for example. Crucially, they need to show how international efforts to limit emissions can have positive effects on communities, preserving cherished traditions as well as bringing change. There is no umbilical link between populism and anti-climate positions. Hungary’s ruling party Fidesz, for example, is one of three Euro-populist parties to fully accept climate science. Fanned by other winds in society, populism is not going to burn out soon – but we can work together to ensure it doesn’t consume climate action , too. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/climate
Populist parties look set to make big gains in the European elections – but think twice about voting for them if you care about climate and the environment Brexit This week, the people of 28 countries will vote to elect their representatives in the European Parliament for the next five years. One of them, the UK, has been brought to the ballot box kicking and screaming, having voted to leave the European Union and its directly elected assembly almost three years ago. EU elections and Climate Change trouble This is the world’s second biggest democratic vote – coincidentally, results from the biggest, the Indian general election, are also expected this week. Current opinion polls suggest a wave of anger will propel populist, anti-establishment parties to victory across swathes of Europe. Right-wing populists may even become the largest bloc in the parliament. That is a problem for the planet. Some of these parties hold views on climate change that make Donald Trump look like a well-informed moderate, as a report published earlier this year by German environmental think-tank Adelphi makes plain. France’s National Rally, for example, supports solar and wind energy fabriqué en France as a way of reducing foreign energy imports, but rejects international action on climate change, denouncing the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change as a “communist project”. Germany’s AfD says governments suppress the truth that carbon dioxide is a fertiliser, not a pollutant. A UKIP MEP wrote a European Parliament opinion paper blaming climate change on cosmic rays, while Austria’s FPÖ says “solar flares and the warming of the sun” are responsible. Nigel Farage, leader of the Brexit party currently riding high in UK polls, has repeatedly questioned the basis of climate science. Voters may have many reasons for voting for these parties – but those who care about the planet should take pause.  EU needs to be united on climate The measures needed to combat climate change affect competition in a single market, so much of what European countries are doing – creating the world’s biggest carbon trading scheme, setting binding new targets for energy efficiency – is coordinated at EU level. To meet Paris climate-change agreement targets , the European Commission, which proposes EU legislation, has more ambitious plans: carbon neutrality by 2050 and measures taking up to 40 per cent of the new EU budget. All these need the European Parliament’s approval. With two out of three current populist MEPs regularly voting against climate and energy resolutions, votes for populists in the new parliament could significantly dilute the EU’s efforts to mitigate climate change. Populists have gained traction in recent years by appealing emotionally to people who feel disregarded by remote, powerful elites. They are thriving now because liberal elites have ignored alarm over threats to identity and the stability of established communities from immigration, globalisation, economic injustice and changing social norms. Extinction Rebellion and the Remote elite Climate scientists and protest movements such as Extinction Rebellion may still feel they are fighting the good fight against an elite that has until recently been reluctant to hear their concerns. But this is not how they are perceived by a large chunk of their fellow citizens. Scientists are a remote elite if ever there was one, with allegiance to their own strange facts rather than common identities. Activists’ advocacy of higher environmental taxes and restrictions on consumption is viewed as harmful for ordinary people: witness France’s gilets jaunes protests, originally spawned by opposition to higher fuel taxes. {youtube} Climate change is a threat worldwide  Climate change is a threat to stability for everyone, and arguments for action should emphasise just that. These should acknowledge the power not just of facts, but emotions, and focus not just on economic costs and burdens, but on less tangible impacts on shared identity and heritage – the threat to much-loved landscapes, for example. Crucially, they need to show how international efforts to limit emissions can have positive effects on communities, preserving cherished traditions as well as bringing change. There is no umbilical link between populism and anti-climate positions. Hungary’s ruling party Fidesz, for example, is one of three Euro-populist parties to fully accept climate science. Fanned by other winds in society, populism is not going to burn out soon – but we can work together to ensure it doesn’t consume climate action , too. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/climate
EU Elections: Is The EU United To Fight Climate Change?
UN Shows Human Devastating Impact On Nature: Worldwide
Meanwhile, almost everyone knows that we as humans have a major impact on nature. But according to a new upsetting report from the UN - this impact is even more devastating than expected. This report will also scare people who were never aware of nature and the environment, hence the conclusion: we kill species at the speed of light, destroy the ecosystems of our planet in an instant and not do we only destroy our nature, we will ultimately destroy ourselves. Fortunately, every enormous and dark cloud has a little silver lining: it is not too late to change. Nature globally declines at rates unprecedented in human history The shocking report from the UN, from the Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services department, to be precise, immediately warns us on the first page: “Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history – and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, with grave impacts on people around the world now likely.” Who then makes these statements? Not the least, because the report is composed of research from more than hundreds of experts from different countries. 15,000 scientific and government sources were also consulted when compiling the report, which will be published in its entirety later this year. A baleful picture According to the Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Chair, Sir Robert Watson, the IPBES Global Assessment, from a wide range of different fields of knowledge, presents an baleful picture. “The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide,” he says. Five reasons for this major human impact on nature The authors of the study note five reasons why an enormous change in nature is taking place. According to the report, these are those reasons, in order of the most harmful: changes in land and sea use, direct exploitation of organisms, climate change, pollution and invasive alien species. The numbers don't lie: the report states that approximately 66 percent of the marine environment has been "seriously changed" by human action. More than three-quarters of a quarter of the land environment is added. In addition, more than 400 million tons of heavy metals and other industrial waste are dumped into the waters of our world every year. The plastic pollution on earth has even increased tenfold since 1980. That creates 'dead zones' in the oceans: the area combined is larger than the entire United Kingdom. To name a few more: to produce our food, we need nearly 75 percent of the world's freshwater supplies and more than a third of the land area to maintain our crops and livestock. More than a million plant- and animal species will be extinct More than a million plant and animal species are threatened with extinction, according to the devastating UN report. That can even happen within decades, and that is all due to our behaviour. The research results are shocking: 40 percent of the amphibians will eventually die out, as will 33 percent of the marine mammals on our planet. Also, 10 percent of the insect species that are still alive today will no longer be there within a few decades. 560 domesticated species of mammals – yes, pets - that will be extinct by 2016, with at least 1,000 more threatened. How shocking… And even more shocking: those are not all the numbers from this distressing VN rapport. In total, up to 1 million of the species living on our earth are threatened with extinction. “Biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people are our common heritage and humanity’s most important life-supporting ‘safety net.' But our safety net is stretched almost to breaking point,” said Professor Sandra Díaz, co-chair of the IPBES Global Assessment. Transformative change: local to global But: IPBES Chair Sir Robert Watson also adds that the report tells us it is not too late to make a change. "only if we start now at every level from local to global,” Watson said. “Through ‘transformative change,’ nature can still be conserved, restored and used sustainably – this is also key to meeting most other global goals. By transformative change, we mean a fundamental, system-wide reorganization across technological, economic and social factors, including paradigms, goals and values.” How can you, as a person and a consumer, contribute to a better world where no million species of animals and plants will die out? Live consciously, look carefully at what you buy (for example, beef and make-up products, fuel and cleaning products with palm oil really do not help) and take the environment into account in your voting behaviour. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/social-sustainabilty
Meanwhile, almost everyone knows that we as humans have a major impact on nature. But according to a new upsetting report from the UN - this impact is even more devastating than expected. This report will also scare people who were never aware of nature and the environment, hence the conclusion: we kill species at the speed of light, destroy the ecosystems of our planet in an instant and not do we only destroy our nature, we will ultimately destroy ourselves. Fortunately, every enormous and dark cloud has a little silver lining: it is not too late to change. Nature globally declines at rates unprecedented in human history The shocking report from the UN, from the Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services department, to be precise, immediately warns us on the first page: “Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history – and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, with grave impacts on people around the world now likely.” Who then makes these statements? Not the least, because the report is composed of research from more than hundreds of experts from different countries. 15,000 scientific and government sources were also consulted when compiling the report, which will be published in its entirety later this year. A baleful picture According to the Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Chair, Sir Robert Watson, the IPBES Global Assessment, from a wide range of different fields of knowledge, presents an baleful picture. “The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide,” he says. Five reasons for this major human impact on nature The authors of the study note five reasons why an enormous change in nature is taking place. According to the report, these are those reasons, in order of the most harmful: changes in land and sea use, direct exploitation of organisms, climate change, pollution and invasive alien species. The numbers don't lie: the report states that approximately 66 percent of the marine environment has been "seriously changed" by human action. More than three-quarters of a quarter of the land environment is added. In addition, more than 400 million tons of heavy metals and other industrial waste are dumped into the waters of our world every year. The plastic pollution on earth has even increased tenfold since 1980. That creates 'dead zones' in the oceans: the area combined is larger than the entire United Kingdom. To name a few more: to produce our food, we need nearly 75 percent of the world's freshwater supplies and more than a third of the land area to maintain our crops and livestock. More than a million plant- and animal species will be extinct More than a million plant and animal species are threatened with extinction, according to the devastating UN report. That can even happen within decades, and that is all due to our behaviour. The research results are shocking: 40 percent of the amphibians will eventually die out, as will 33 percent of the marine mammals on our planet. Also, 10 percent of the insect species that are still alive today will no longer be there within a few decades. 560 domesticated species of mammals – yes, pets - that will be extinct by 2016, with at least 1,000 more threatened. How shocking… And even more shocking: those are not all the numbers from this distressing VN rapport. In total, up to 1 million of the species living on our earth are threatened with extinction. “Biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people are our common heritage and humanity’s most important life-supporting ‘safety net.' But our safety net is stretched almost to breaking point,” said Professor Sandra Díaz, co-chair of the IPBES Global Assessment. Transformative change: local to global But: IPBES Chair Sir Robert Watson also adds that the report tells us it is not too late to make a change. "only if we start now at every level from local to global,” Watson said. “Through ‘transformative change,’ nature can still be conserved, restored and used sustainably – this is also key to meeting most other global goals. By transformative change, we mean a fundamental, system-wide reorganization across technological, economic and social factors, including paradigms, goals and values.” How can you, as a person and a consumer, contribute to a better world where no million species of animals and plants will die out? Live consciously, look carefully at what you buy (for example, beef and make-up products, fuel and cleaning products with palm oil really do not help) and take the environment into account in your voting behaviour. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/social-sustainabilty
UN Shows Human Devastating Impact On Nature: Worldwide
UN Shows Human Devastating Impact On Nature: Worldwide
Water War Between India, Pakistan: Kashmir and Jammu
All over the world conflict situations arise between countries because people are confronted with decreasing natural resources like water as a result of climate change. In the Middle East and in Africa there are several examples of countries where climate change is seen as the cause of violent conflicts. But there is also a major conflict in Asia due to the lack of water resources - which can even involve nuclear weapons. India and Pakistan are directly opposite each other. The problem? Water. The Indus and its tributaries in the Indus Waters Treaty Pakistan and India share a number of important waters, the Indus and its tributaries - a crucial lifeline for both countries. The Indus River, along with its tributaries, is more than 2880 kilometres long. The river flows from north to south India and then ends up in Pakistan. In September 1960, the countries signed the Indus Waters Treaty. This treaty laid down how to deal with waters that start in India but are crucial for Pakistan. Please note: when the signatures were placed under the Indus Waters Treaty, the countries were still relatively peaceful with each other. The World Bank mediated this Indus Waters Treaty, where the six major rivers of the Indus basin were divided between India and Pakistan. The Baes, the Sutlej and the Ravi - the easternmost rivers - were given to India, and the western rivers, the Chenab, the Jhelum and the Indus, are under the control of Pakistan. That seems like a good distribution, but there is a big problem: the waters to which Pakistan is entitled largely flow through Kashmir, which is governed by India and widely controversial. Will the Indus Waters Treaty survive the dispute over the Kashmir region? The dispute over the Kashmir region has been an enormous conflict between India and Pakistan for more than six decades. After the division of the British Indies in 1947, both India and Pakistan claim the former princely state of Kashmir and Jammu. China is a third party in this struggle. The conflict escalated in three wars and several other armed conflicts. Even after these wars and other hostilities, the Indus Water Treaty remained standing, but how long will it take? Pakistan has accused India of throttling its water supply and violating the IWT by constructing dams over the rivers flowing into Pakistan from Kashmir. “Any country with nuclear weapons, if they’re backed into a corner because they have no water — that’s really dangerous,” said Jeff Nesbit, author and executive director of non-profit climate communication organisation Climate Nexus. The Indus is crucial for surviving For Pakistan, the Indus river and its tributaries are crucial waters for surviving. Most of the country depends on the waters as an essential source of freshwater - it also is necessary for ninety percent of the agricultural industry in Pakistan. Without this water, the industry will fall apart. Sherry Rehman, Parliamentary Leader of the left-wing opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in the Senate tells that "water security has become a regional security threat.” She says: “We are now facing challenges brought about by climate change which were not a primary focus during the negotiations for the Indus Water Treaty.” A 2018 report from the International Monetary Fund ranked Pakistan third among countries facing severe water shortages. When the rapidly melting glaciers in the Himalayas , which feed the Indus waters, eventually disappear as predicted, the dwindling rivers will be slashed even further. The threat of a water war The Indus Waters Treaty almost broke down in September 2016. India accused Pakistani soldiers of a violent attack in Kashmir. The country threatened with the unilateral denunciation of the treaty. “Had they done that, it would have triggered a water war, it would have triggered an actual war. “Never mind a nuclear strike or a military strike, if they were to actually terminate the Indus Water Treaty, that’s much more dangerous to Pakistan’s survival, because they would have no way to grow food. And then they would be relying on food imports at a time when their population is exploding. So that particular incident was really dangerous.” Nesbit states that water issues between India and Pakistan have the potential to become the most deadly climate change-attributed conflict in the world. Why has India not yet lifted the Indus Waters Treaty? That is all because of the third party in this conflict: China. China can do exactly the same with India if they block the water flows to Pakistan. Because of China, the country can face exactly the same fate. That’s why China’s watching the India-Pakistan water wars quite closely, to see the decisions that India makes.  https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/climate/natural
All over the world conflict situations arise between countries because people are confronted with decreasing natural resources like water as a result of climate change. In the Middle East and in Africa there are several examples of countries where climate change is seen as the cause of violent conflicts. But there is also a major conflict in Asia due to the lack of water resources - which can even involve nuclear weapons. India and Pakistan are directly opposite each other. The problem? Water. The Indus and its tributaries in the Indus Waters Treaty Pakistan and India share a number of important waters, the Indus and its tributaries - a crucial lifeline for both countries. The Indus River, along with its tributaries, is more than 2880 kilometres long. The river flows from north to south India and then ends up in Pakistan. In September 1960, the countries signed the Indus Waters Treaty. This treaty laid down how to deal with waters that start in India but are crucial for Pakistan. Please note: when the signatures were placed under the Indus Waters Treaty, the countries were still relatively peaceful with each other. The World Bank mediated this Indus Waters Treaty, where the six major rivers of the Indus basin were divided between India and Pakistan. The Baes, the Sutlej and the Ravi - the easternmost rivers - were given to India, and the western rivers, the Chenab, the Jhelum and the Indus, are under the control of Pakistan. That seems like a good distribution, but there is a big problem: the waters to which Pakistan is entitled largely flow through Kashmir, which is governed by India and widely controversial. Will the Indus Waters Treaty survive the dispute over the Kashmir region? The dispute over the Kashmir region has been an enormous conflict between India and Pakistan for more than six decades. After the division of the British Indies in 1947, both India and Pakistan claim the former princely state of Kashmir and Jammu. China is a third party in this struggle. The conflict escalated in three wars and several other armed conflicts. Even after these wars and other hostilities, the Indus Water Treaty remained standing, but how long will it take? Pakistan has accused India of throttling its water supply and violating the IWT by constructing dams over the rivers flowing into Pakistan from Kashmir. “Any country with nuclear weapons, if they’re backed into a corner because they have no water — that’s really dangerous,” said Jeff Nesbit, author and executive director of non-profit climate communication organisation Climate Nexus. The Indus is crucial for surviving For Pakistan, the Indus river and its tributaries are crucial waters for surviving. Most of the country depends on the waters as an essential source of freshwater - it also is necessary for ninety percent of the agricultural industry in Pakistan. Without this water, the industry will fall apart. Sherry Rehman, Parliamentary Leader of the left-wing opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in the Senate tells that "water security has become a regional security threat.” She says: “We are now facing challenges brought about by climate change which were not a primary focus during the negotiations for the Indus Water Treaty.” A 2018 report from the International Monetary Fund ranked Pakistan third among countries facing severe water shortages. When the rapidly melting glaciers in the Himalayas , which feed the Indus waters, eventually disappear as predicted, the dwindling rivers will be slashed even further. The threat of a water war The Indus Waters Treaty almost broke down in September 2016. India accused Pakistani soldiers of a violent attack in Kashmir. The country threatened with the unilateral denunciation of the treaty. “Had they done that, it would have triggered a water war, it would have triggered an actual war. “Never mind a nuclear strike or a military strike, if they were to actually terminate the Indus Water Treaty, that’s much more dangerous to Pakistan’s survival, because they would have no way to grow food. And then they would be relying on food imports at a time when their population is exploding. So that particular incident was really dangerous.” Nesbit states that water issues between India and Pakistan have the potential to become the most deadly climate change-attributed conflict in the world. Why has India not yet lifted the Indus Waters Treaty? That is all because of the third party in this conflict: China. China can do exactly the same with India if they block the water flows to Pakistan. Because of China, the country can face exactly the same fate. That’s why China’s watching the India-Pakistan water wars quite closely, to see the decisions that India makes.  https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/climate/natural
Water War Between India, Pakistan: Kashmir and Jammu
Water War Between India, Pakistan: Kashmir and Jammu
Geothermal Power Accessible As Wind And Solar Energy: Climeon
Can geothermal power get as mainstream and accessible as solar and wind energy? According to the Swedish company Climeon, with their newest technology, it can – and for an even better price than the above. Geothermal power is a great solution to our energy problem: it’s flexible, it provides energy whenever we need it and it’s not that bad for our environment. It's green, adaptable and cheaper than wind and solar. Sounds perfect, right? Current technology, however, limits its applications. In this article, you can read how Climeon claims to overcome these problems with their technology. Geothermal power can be the solution to our energy problem Geothermal heat is a sustainable alternative to natural gas. When using geothermal heat, no greenhouse gasses are released, making this an excellent renewable energy source. Geothermal energy is nothing new. Did you know that geothermal heat has been used on our planet for more than 100,000 thousand years? There are plenty of examples, such as the ancient Roman baths. In 2013, there was a utility-scale geothermal capacity of more than 11,700 MW on a global level. A record, because it was bringing forth more than 68 billion KWh. That is enough for the household electricity of more than six million households. The World Energy Council forecasts in a research paper that “geothermal energy can supply more than 8% of our earth's power supply, a factor that is likely to propel the revenue-generating potential of Geothermal Energy Market over the years to come.” Why aren’t we all using geothermal power , then? Geothermal power sounds more than great, but as said, with current technology we can’t use this geo energy to full power. The warmth of the earth lays in the ground. In some places, such as Iceland, the heat is just below the surface of the ground. This country can therefore use an enormous amount of geothermal heat to generate electricity. In other countries, like France or the Netherlands, geothermal energy lays much deeper, which means that the geothermal energy will cool down too much to generate electricity. Geothermal power plants are depending on very hot water. Unfortunately, only the places in this world like Iceland or Indonesia (with her volcanic activity) can use geothermal energy right now. Not very accessible, right? The smart use of low-temperature heat So, one of the problems of geothermal energy is the needed amount of very hot water, which often only can be used in places where the geothermal heat lies just beneath the surface. The Swedish company has a solution to this problem: its technology can make use of low-temperature heat, which – according to Akshat Rathi, “opens up economically viable geothermal power to much more of the world.” Half of all the energy in the world will be wasted as so/called low temperature heat. Climeon, founded by and CEO Thomas Öström (who was recently named Swedish Person of the Year in the category Innovation), makes smart use of the low temperature heat from geothermal heat sources. The Power Unit of Climeon pumps with low pressure, so less energy is needed to convert the heat into clean electricity. The unites themselves can convert the heat of the earth into energy. The more energy a customer needs, the more unites can be placed. Customized energy from geothermal energy can therefore be supplied! Also, Climeon’s units can use heat from other sources, too. What do you think of the water used for cooling hot steel in steel mills - which is otherwise thrown away as waste water? Climeon´s technology can turn this waste into renewed energy. Cheaper than energy from sun and wind Another big advantage of Climeon's smart technology is the price: it can be cheaper than wind and solar energy! The precise price of the electricity generated by Climeon does differ. It depends on various factors, such as the type of project and the access to heat. In some cases, Climeon’s electricity-generating units have provided electricity for €40 ($45) per MWh, says Joachim Karthäuser, the company’s chief technology officer, to Quartz. That is cheaper or just as cheap as the lowest price for wind or solar energy, at least in continental Europe. Climeon's smart technology can be offered at such low prices, because The Climeon Heat Power units are designed to store as little energy as possible as little as possible. A unit is approximately 280 cubic ft and can store up to 150 kW. With 150 kW, more than 150 families in Europe can turn on the lights, watch television and do other activities for which they need power. Cha ching! 12.5 million dollar in funding Right now, Climeon operates in five countries. The Swedish company is worth almost four hundred million euros (or 450 million dollars) since the founding in 2011. But the company will probably expand in no time – they will be funded for 12,5 million dollars by the Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a fund backed by Bill Gates. The mothership of Climeon, Baseload Capital, will get this funding: they mainly focus on owning and operating the steel plant from which the company Climeon operates. That’s because many steel plants want the innovate technology that Climeon invented, but don’t want to own a power plant. They get the cash injection because Breakthrough Energy Ventures believes that the company is capable to cut more than five hundred million tons of greenhouse gasses - annually. That’s very impressive! Where are the opportunities for geothermal heat? With the “extensive global attempts to eliminate hazardous fuel emissions, geothermal energy market is on its way to establish itself as one of the most dynamically evolving energy markets of recent times”, according to the report Geothermal Energy Market trends research and projections for 2017 - 2024 by Global Market Insights . Climeon is now one of the biggest players in town: and for sure, one to watch. Climeon seems to have significant potential in improving the chances of success in the global race to zero emissions! https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/energy/solar
Can geothermal power get as mainstream and accessible as solar and wind energy? According to the Swedish company Climeon, with their newest technology, it can – and for an even better price than the above. Geothermal power is a great solution to our energy problem: it’s flexible, it provides energy whenever we need it and it’s not that bad for our environment. It's green, adaptable and cheaper than wind and solar. Sounds perfect, right? Current technology, however, limits its applications. In this article, you can read how Climeon claims to overcome these problems with their technology. Geothermal power can be the solution to our energy problem Geothermal heat is a sustainable alternative to natural gas. When using geothermal heat, no greenhouse gasses are released, making this an excellent renewable energy source. Geothermal energy is nothing new. Did you know that geothermal heat has been used on our planet for more than 100,000 thousand years? There are plenty of examples, such as the ancient Roman baths. In 2013, there was a utility-scale geothermal capacity of more than 11,700 MW on a global level. A record, because it was bringing forth more than 68 billion KWh. That is enough for the household electricity of more than six million households. The World Energy Council forecasts in a research paper that “geothermal energy can supply more than 8% of our earth's power supply, a factor that is likely to propel the revenue-generating potential of Geothermal Energy Market over the years to come.” Why aren’t we all using geothermal power , then? Geothermal power sounds more than great, but as said, with current technology we can’t use this geo energy to full power. The warmth of the earth lays in the ground. In some places, such as Iceland, the heat is just below the surface of the ground. This country can therefore use an enormous amount of geothermal heat to generate electricity. In other countries, like France or the Netherlands, geothermal energy lays much deeper, which means that the geothermal energy will cool down too much to generate electricity. Geothermal power plants are depending on very hot water. Unfortunately, only the places in this world like Iceland or Indonesia (with her volcanic activity) can use geothermal energy right now. Not very accessible, right? The smart use of low-temperature heat So, one of the problems of geothermal energy is the needed amount of very hot water, which often only can be used in places where the geothermal heat lies just beneath the surface. The Swedish company has a solution to this problem: its technology can make use of low-temperature heat, which – according to Akshat Rathi, “opens up economically viable geothermal power to much more of the world.” Half of all the energy in the world will be wasted as so/called low temperature heat. Climeon, founded by and CEO Thomas Öström (who was recently named Swedish Person of the Year in the category Innovation), makes smart use of the low temperature heat from geothermal heat sources. The Power Unit of Climeon pumps with low pressure, so less energy is needed to convert the heat into clean electricity. The unites themselves can convert the heat of the earth into energy. The more energy a customer needs, the more unites can be placed. Customized energy from geothermal energy can therefore be supplied! Also, Climeon’s units can use heat from other sources, too. What do you think of the water used for cooling hot steel in steel mills - which is otherwise thrown away as waste water? Climeon´s technology can turn this waste into renewed energy. Cheaper than energy from sun and wind Another big advantage of Climeon's smart technology is the price: it can be cheaper than wind and solar energy! The precise price of the electricity generated by Climeon does differ. It depends on various factors, such as the type of project and the access to heat. In some cases, Climeon’s electricity-generating units have provided electricity for €40 ($45) per MWh, says Joachim Karthäuser, the company’s chief technology officer, to Quartz. That is cheaper or just as cheap as the lowest price for wind or solar energy, at least in continental Europe. Climeon's smart technology can be offered at such low prices, because The Climeon Heat Power units are designed to store as little energy as possible as little as possible. A unit is approximately 280 cubic ft and can store up to 150 kW. With 150 kW, more than 150 families in Europe can turn on the lights, watch television and do other activities for which they need power. Cha ching! 12.5 million dollar in funding Right now, Climeon operates in five countries. The Swedish company is worth almost four hundred million euros (or 450 million dollars) since the founding in 2011. But the company will probably expand in no time – they will be funded for 12,5 million dollars by the Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a fund backed by Bill Gates. The mothership of Climeon, Baseload Capital, will get this funding: they mainly focus on owning and operating the steel plant from which the company Climeon operates. That’s because many steel plants want the innovate technology that Climeon invented, but don’t want to own a power plant. They get the cash injection because Breakthrough Energy Ventures believes that the company is capable to cut more than five hundred million tons of greenhouse gasses - annually. That’s very impressive! Where are the opportunities for geothermal heat? With the “extensive global attempts to eliminate hazardous fuel emissions, geothermal energy market is on its way to establish itself as one of the most dynamically evolving energy markets of recent times”, according to the report Geothermal Energy Market trends research and projections for 2017 - 2024 by Global Market Insights . Climeon is now one of the biggest players in town: and for sure, one to watch. Climeon seems to have significant potential in improving the chances of success in the global race to zero emissions! https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/energy/solar
Geothermal Power Accessible As Wind And Solar Energy: Climeon
Geothermal Power Accessible As Wind And Solar Energy: Climeon
Electric Car Volkswagen ID 3: The Beetle Of The 21st Century
The Volkswagen ID 3 that was presented in Berlin will become Volkswagens electric mass model. It looks like a 'magic ball', the new Volkswagen with its pink and purple lines, but that fits in with the modern strategy of car manufacturers to gradually reveal their new models. Here is a line, there is a backlight and with every ‘unveiling’, valuable media attention follows. The new ID 3 must become one of the most important cars in the history of Volkswagen. At the presentation in Berlin, it was standing next to the Beetle and the Golf. That shows it is considered a milestone. The ID 3 (the number shows that in the future there will also be a smaller ID 1 and probably a larger 5) is Volkswagen's first fully-fledged e-car, newly developed for electric driving from the base plate. 'Dieselgate' has now cost the company almost 30 billion euros The car also has to relieve the group of its black diesel history, the scandal that broke out in 2015, when it turned out that Volkswagen had provided millions of cars with prohibited software to make them look cleaner than they really were. 'Dieselgate' has now cost the company almost 30 billion euros and the damage counter is still not standing still. Volkswagen wants to change course with the newcomer; By developing a completely new electric mass model. Volkswagen believes it can save on costs, making electric driving accessible to millions. This does not yet apply to the first variant. The 30,000 copies that are the first to roll off the line have a reach of 400 kilometers and receive a larger battery that takes the car 400 kilometers far and costs a little less than 40,000 euros. The cheaper version with a lower action radius of around 300 kilometers will cost around 30,000 euros. Customers have to wait until the end of next year for this version. Since last week, customers can reserve a copy by transferring a thousand euros to Volkswagen. Whoever does that can be the first to drive an ID - a trick the Germans have copied from Tesla . Within a day, ten thousand had already been reserved, claims VW. The Netherlands is leading the way, along with Norway. The fact that the first thirty thousand copies are only available in one variant must help the manufacturer to resolve any problems in the start-up phase quickly. Once production runs, other versions of the band will run. Soon, 1,500 electric cars would then have to be produced every day at the plant in Zwickau (Germany), which is currently being converted for a billion euros. A huge operation in which around eight thousand employees are retrained from the production of cars with a fuel engine to e-cars. Electric Golf will also remain for sale The existing electric Golf will also remain for sale for the time being. But the new Golf, which will be released later this year, will probably not be a fully electric version. This is reserved for the ID family, which will be expanded in the coming years with SUVs and countless other models, also for the other brands of the Volkswagen group. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/transportation/battery
The Volkswagen ID 3 that was presented in Berlin will become Volkswagens electric mass model. It looks like a 'magic ball', the new Volkswagen with its pink and purple lines, but that fits in with the modern strategy of car manufacturers to gradually reveal their new models. Here is a line, there is a backlight and with every ‘unveiling’, valuable media attention follows. The new ID 3 must become one of the most important cars in the history of Volkswagen. At the presentation in Berlin, it was standing next to the Beetle and the Golf. That shows it is considered a milestone. The ID 3 (the number shows that in the future there will also be a smaller ID 1 and probably a larger 5) is Volkswagen's first fully-fledged e-car, newly developed for electric driving from the base plate. 'Dieselgate' has now cost the company almost 30 billion euros The car also has to relieve the group of its black diesel history, the scandal that broke out in 2015, when it turned out that Volkswagen had provided millions of cars with prohibited software to make them look cleaner than they really were. 'Dieselgate' has now cost the company almost 30 billion euros and the damage counter is still not standing still. Volkswagen wants to change course with the newcomer; By developing a completely new electric mass model. Volkswagen believes it can save on costs, making electric driving accessible to millions. This does not yet apply to the first variant. The 30,000 copies that are the first to roll off the line have a reach of 400 kilometers and receive a larger battery that takes the car 400 kilometers far and costs a little less than 40,000 euros. The cheaper version with a lower action radius of around 300 kilometers will cost around 30,000 euros. Customers have to wait until the end of next year for this version. Since last week, customers can reserve a copy by transferring a thousand euros to Volkswagen. Whoever does that can be the first to drive an ID - a trick the Germans have copied from Tesla . Within a day, ten thousand had already been reserved, claims VW. The Netherlands is leading the way, along with Norway. The fact that the first thirty thousand copies are only available in one variant must help the manufacturer to resolve any problems in the start-up phase quickly. Once production runs, other versions of the band will run. Soon, 1,500 electric cars would then have to be produced every day at the plant in Zwickau (Germany), which is currently being converted for a billion euros. A huge operation in which around eight thousand employees are retrained from the production of cars with a fuel engine to e-cars. Electric Golf will also remain for sale The existing electric Golf will also remain for sale for the time being. But the new Golf, which will be released later this year, will probably not be a fully electric version. This is reserved for the ID family, which will be expanded in the coming years with SUVs and countless other models, also for the other brands of the Volkswagen group. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/transportation/battery
Electric Car Volkswagen ID 3: The Beetle Of The 21st Century
Electric Car Volkswagen ID 3: The Beetle Of The 21st Century
Super Food Designed To Match Your Genome: Star Trek Reality
Let’s admit it, most of us are doing a somewhat subpar job of feeding ourselves and our dependants. We are running down the aisles of the supermarket in search of something that is relatively healthy, quick to prepare, and will not lead to too much resistance from your kids. With all the pressure that we face in our day to day lives, it is understandable that we opt for ordering in pizza or dropping by the fastfood joint down the street more than we ideally would like. Even for those self-proclaimed #foodies, occupied with preparing and photographing the most gorgeous looking new superfoods, this whole food thing can get pretty confusing. A food that is hailed as the healthier, more sustainable option one month, can easily be ostracised the next month, citing a wide range of shocking health concerns. It is just a matter of time before avocados, oat milk and acai fruit will be run over by the next big food hype. Unclear food standards A big part of the problem is that we are not sure on how to feed ourselves. Not really, anyway. How much easier would it be if we could just get an objective and decisive plan that outlines what we should and should not eat and drink? Sure, there are seemingly impartial guidelines, often sponsored by governments and health institutes. The thing is that those seem to change every so many years, including new food groups that are apparently indispensable to our health, and excluding previously commonly accepted foods as being undesirable. While some might instantly point at the lobbyists and big food corporations, and their inherent interest in getting ‘their’ foods whitelisted, no matter the cost, this is not a discussion that I would like to get into now. Instead, I’d like to focus on a potential solution that has been discussed more and more in recent years. Moving away from one-size-fits-all diets After all, some of the confusion does stem from the fact that we are all different. Some of us have food intolerances or allergies, while others have specific health concerns that require a certain diet. Sporters require different nutrients than the occupants of your local elderly home. As such, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to food. This makes it harder to draw a hard line separating ‘the bad’ from ‘the good’ and everything in-between. As such, the ideal solution that has been proposed is a rather futuristic and Star Trek-esque one. Its basic premise is that food can be specifically engineered to match your personal genome. Our personal diet will be customised to ensure that it best suits us. As such, it might include ingredients that would absolutely bloat your neighbour if he were to eat it; while simultaneously his diet will have you running for the loo several times per day. Personalised nutrition This whole idea of personalised nutrition can bring much needed clarity in this food world of hazy intolerances and limits. We are not meant to be eating the same thing - all of us require different nutrients in varying quantities. Research has shown that our innate biological response to certain food items can vary wildly. For instance, in a study performed by Israeli researchers in 2015, people were presented with a brand of sugary ice cream. Their glucose levels were carefully monitored - only to find that while some showed a definite blood glucose ‘spike’, it barely registered for others. A groundbreaking finding, that paved the way for personalised nutrition enthusiasts. Genetic testing Up to now, much nutritional research assumed that all human beings were the same and would therefore react to similar food groups in a similar fashion. However, much of how we ‘handle’ food is determined by our genetics, specific microbes in our gut, as well as some distinct variations in our organs’ internal physiology. This could mean that by performing genetic testing, you can come up with a personalised diet that best suits someone’s physiology as a whole.   Today, various companies and dozens of researchers around the world are rallying around this idea and performing exhaustive genetic DNA testing to figure out exactly which genes correlate with which innate food preferences. According to Jeffrey Blumberg, who serves as a professor of nutrition science and policy at Tufts University in Massachusetts, DNA testing is not just the key to a better understanding of our bodies - it is also key to developing personalised nutrition: “ I’ll be able to tell you what kinds of fruits, what kinds of vegetables and what kinds of wholegrains you should be choosing, or exactly how often .” Cooking in the future And yes, some of you might already cry fowl at the thought of having to prepare individual meals for each member of your family - let alone go through the shopping process, equipped with an exhaustive list of do’s and don’ts for every member.   Thankfully, this is something that is worked on as well - for instance through engineered food products. Many scientists are hoping that by 2028, we will be able to ‘create’ our own superfoods. Chef robots are already being developed, who will have a nutritious, delicious meal waiting for you once you get home. He won’t mind having to tend to everyone’s individual wishes: his robotic arms are happy to cut, chop and stir away. Robots and 3D printers Besides this sous-chef robot, more kitchen innovations are coming up to make your life easier - including smart appliances and digital kitchen assistants. The shopping part will be significantly easier as well: what to think about smart fridges, capable of analysing and predicting? They will automatically place an order at your supermarket when you are out of eggs, and while it’s on it, order the ingredients for the dishes that your smart oven picked out for you tonight.   Or, perhaps there won’t even be supermarkets in 2028 - much like Star Trek’s replicators, 3D printers are slowly but steadily moving into the food space. 3D printers can be equipped with various ingredient capsules, that can be used to quite literally ‘print’ your lunch or dinner - using the exact nutrients and ingredients that suit your personal palette. Naturally enhanced foods Still clinging on to the idea of ‘natural’ foods? Well, then rest assured that those will certainly be able to live up to your personal genome as well. Through the engineering of food, certain food stuffs can be made to be more nutritious - like provitamin A-infused bananas -, or even healthier - like re-engineered junk food that uses only a fraction of the sugars and fats that are required today. All of this is achieved through genetics and bimolecular science, where DNA from one organism can be inserted into another - enriching the receiving organism with… well, quite literally any characteristic you would like it to have. Food purists will once again cry fowl at the idea: engineered food isn’t natural, they claim. Food is something that should not be experimented with. Those arguments are easy to counter, though, as nature has been performing this kind of engineering for centuries.   Evolution on steroids Genetic engineering is basically evolution on steroids, that uses interspecies breeding to come up with new and improved species. Without this process, we wouldn’t have our orange carrots (they were originally white), or our firm, sweet peaches (which used to be the size of cherries and very salty), or even our favourite summer snack of watermelons, that used to be small, round, hard and bitter. Nutritionally enhanced crops are all around us - and its benefits have been all too clear. Even more promising, now that genetics is moving into the area of DNA-editing, the genetic code of species can be cracked. A huge opportunity to alter the genetic codes of plants to better suit our personal genomes - and eventually improve our health tremendously.   Good food, happy people Good food makes everyone happy. This is why it is in your interest as well as mine to continue this groundbreaking research in ways of both understanding our own personal food genomes; as well as catering to it using enhanced, engineered food, specifically designed to fit you personally.   Still doubting whether this is the right way to go? Well, with almost 40 percent of all adults overweight or (morbidly) obese - a number that is growing steadily -, and obesity-related illnesses on the rise with no possible cure for this ‘obesity-epidemic’ in sight, it seems to me that we’ve got little to lose. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/food
Let’s admit it, most of us are doing a somewhat subpar job of feeding ourselves and our dependants. We are running down the aisles of the supermarket in search of something that is relatively healthy, quick to prepare, and will not lead to too much resistance from your kids. With all the pressure that we face in our day to day lives, it is understandable that we opt for ordering in pizza or dropping by the fastfood joint down the street more than we ideally would like. Even for those self-proclaimed #foodies, occupied with preparing and photographing the most gorgeous looking new superfoods, this whole food thing can get pretty confusing. A food that is hailed as the healthier, more sustainable option one month, can easily be ostracised the next month, citing a wide range of shocking health concerns. It is just a matter of time before avocados, oat milk and acai fruit will be run over by the next big food hype. Unclear food standards A big part of the problem is that we are not sure on how to feed ourselves. Not really, anyway. How much easier would it be if we could just get an objective and decisive plan that outlines what we should and should not eat and drink? Sure, there are seemingly impartial guidelines, often sponsored by governments and health institutes. The thing is that those seem to change every so many years, including new food groups that are apparently indispensable to our health, and excluding previously commonly accepted foods as being undesirable. While some might instantly point at the lobbyists and big food corporations, and their inherent interest in getting ‘their’ foods whitelisted, no matter the cost, this is not a discussion that I would like to get into now. Instead, I’d like to focus on a potential solution that has been discussed more and more in recent years. Moving away from one-size-fits-all diets After all, some of the confusion does stem from the fact that we are all different. Some of us have food intolerances or allergies, while others have specific health concerns that require a certain diet. Sporters require different nutrients than the occupants of your local elderly home. As such, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to food. This makes it harder to draw a hard line separating ‘the bad’ from ‘the good’ and everything in-between. As such, the ideal solution that has been proposed is a rather futuristic and Star Trek-esque one. Its basic premise is that food can be specifically engineered to match your personal genome. Our personal diet will be customised to ensure that it best suits us. As such, it might include ingredients that would absolutely bloat your neighbour if he were to eat it; while simultaneously his diet will have you running for the loo several times per day. Personalised nutrition This whole idea of personalised nutrition can bring much needed clarity in this food world of hazy intolerances and limits. We are not meant to be eating the same thing - all of us require different nutrients in varying quantities. Research has shown that our innate biological response to certain food items can vary wildly. For instance, in a study performed by Israeli researchers in 2015, people were presented with a brand of sugary ice cream. Their glucose levels were carefully monitored - only to find that while some showed a definite blood glucose ‘spike’, it barely registered for others. A groundbreaking finding, that paved the way for personalised nutrition enthusiasts. Genetic testing Up to now, much nutritional research assumed that all human beings were the same and would therefore react to similar food groups in a similar fashion. However, much of how we ‘handle’ food is determined by our genetics, specific microbes in our gut, as well as some distinct variations in our organs’ internal physiology. This could mean that by performing genetic testing, you can come up with a personalised diet that best suits someone’s physiology as a whole.   Today, various companies and dozens of researchers around the world are rallying around this idea and performing exhaustive genetic DNA testing to figure out exactly which genes correlate with which innate food preferences. According to Jeffrey Blumberg, who serves as a professor of nutrition science and policy at Tufts University in Massachusetts, DNA testing is not just the key to a better understanding of our bodies - it is also key to developing personalised nutrition: “ I’ll be able to tell you what kinds of fruits, what kinds of vegetables and what kinds of wholegrains you should be choosing, or exactly how often .” Cooking in the future And yes, some of you might already cry fowl at the thought of having to prepare individual meals for each member of your family - let alone go through the shopping process, equipped with an exhaustive list of do’s and don’ts for every member.   Thankfully, this is something that is worked on as well - for instance through engineered food products. Many scientists are hoping that by 2028, we will be able to ‘create’ our own superfoods. Chef robots are already being developed, who will have a nutritious, delicious meal waiting for you once you get home. He won’t mind having to tend to everyone’s individual wishes: his robotic arms are happy to cut, chop and stir away. Robots and 3D printers Besides this sous-chef robot, more kitchen innovations are coming up to make your life easier - including smart appliances and digital kitchen assistants. The shopping part will be significantly easier as well: what to think about smart fridges, capable of analysing and predicting? They will automatically place an order at your supermarket when you are out of eggs, and while it’s on it, order the ingredients for the dishes that your smart oven picked out for you tonight.   Or, perhaps there won’t even be supermarkets in 2028 - much like Star Trek’s replicators, 3D printers are slowly but steadily moving into the food space. 3D printers can be equipped with various ingredient capsules, that can be used to quite literally ‘print’ your lunch or dinner - using the exact nutrients and ingredients that suit your personal palette. Naturally enhanced foods Still clinging on to the idea of ‘natural’ foods? Well, then rest assured that those will certainly be able to live up to your personal genome as well. Through the engineering of food, certain food stuffs can be made to be more nutritious - like provitamin A-infused bananas -, or even healthier - like re-engineered junk food that uses only a fraction of the sugars and fats that are required today. All of this is achieved through genetics and bimolecular science, where DNA from one organism can be inserted into another - enriching the receiving organism with… well, quite literally any characteristic you would like it to have. Food purists will once again cry fowl at the idea: engineered food isn’t natural, they claim. Food is something that should not be experimented with. Those arguments are easy to counter, though, as nature has been performing this kind of engineering for centuries.   Evolution on steroids Genetic engineering is basically evolution on steroids, that uses interspecies breeding to come up with new and improved species. Without this process, we wouldn’t have our orange carrots (they were originally white), or our firm, sweet peaches (which used to be the size of cherries and very salty), or even our favourite summer snack of watermelons, that used to be small, round, hard and bitter. Nutritionally enhanced crops are all around us - and its benefits have been all too clear. Even more promising, now that genetics is moving into the area of DNA-editing, the genetic code of species can be cracked. A huge opportunity to alter the genetic codes of plants to better suit our personal genomes - and eventually improve our health tremendously.   Good food, happy people Good food makes everyone happy. This is why it is in your interest as well as mine to continue this groundbreaking research in ways of both understanding our own personal food genomes; as well as catering to it using enhanced, engineered food, specifically designed to fit you personally.   Still doubting whether this is the right way to go? Well, with almost 40 percent of all adults overweight or (morbidly) obese - a number that is growing steadily -, and obesity-related illnesses on the rise with no possible cure for this ‘obesity-epidemic’ in sight, it seems to me that we’ve got little to lose. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/food
Super Food Designed To Match Your Genome: Star Trek Reality
Super Food Designed To Match Your Genome: Star Trek Reality
Electric Honda: Great Concept, Crazy Urban EV The
One of the nicest concept cars of recent years gets one of the most emotionless, simple indications ever. Honda simply christens the production version of the crazy Urban EV the 'Honda e'. As much creativity as the design team managed to bring together, the marketing department apparently had so little inspiration. Honda e Later this year, Honda will show the entire car, but for the moment, the car manufacturer is limited to showing the simple nameplate that the five-door hatchback will carry. The model was presented in 2017 as a concept car under the designation Urban EV. An indication that stands for Honda's vision of the electric city car. Even that name offers more feeling. Honda E Prototype Platform For Honda, the 'e' is the first model to have a platform specifically developed for electric cars. It has the battery centrally in the car. The driving forces are transferred to the road via the rear wheels. Honda E Prototype Starting point According to Honda, 22,000 Europeans are already interested in the Honda e, despite the fact that the pricing and specifications of the car are not yet known. The design of the car is also not officially known, although a production-ready study model did shine at the Geneva Motor Show last March. It is not illogical that the public debut of that ready-made concept model took place in Europe. The European market is the starting point for the worldwide sale of the Honda e. Other countries, including the home country of Japan, will be dealt with later. Honda Jazz Electric Vision The Honda e is part of Honda's so-called Electric Vision, accidentally abbreviated EV. The brand aims to introduce purely electric power lines in Europe in 2025. The 'e' is the first fully electric car in the European program. In the hybrid field, the manufacturer has already supplied various models in recent years, including the Insight. The brand continues to roll out its hybrid technology, because the next generation of Jazz will also receive the technology under its hood. Honda will present the model at the Tokyo Motor Show 2019 this fall. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/transportation
One of the nicest concept cars of recent years gets one of the most emotionless, simple indications ever. Honda simply christens the production version of the crazy Urban EV the 'Honda e'. As much creativity as the design team managed to bring together, the marketing department apparently had so little inspiration. Honda e Later this year, Honda will show the entire car, but for the moment, the car manufacturer is limited to showing the simple nameplate that the five-door hatchback will carry. The model was presented in 2017 as a concept car under the designation Urban EV. An indication that stands for Honda's vision of the electric city car. Even that name offers more feeling. Honda E Prototype Platform For Honda, the 'e' is the first model to have a platform specifically developed for electric cars. It has the battery centrally in the car. The driving forces are transferred to the road via the rear wheels. Honda E Prototype Starting point According to Honda, 22,000 Europeans are already interested in the Honda e, despite the fact that the pricing and specifications of the car are not yet known. The design of the car is also not officially known, although a production-ready study model did shine at the Geneva Motor Show last March. It is not illogical that the public debut of that ready-made concept model took place in Europe. The European market is the starting point for the worldwide sale of the Honda e. Other countries, including the home country of Japan, will be dealt with later. Honda Jazz Electric Vision The Honda e is part of Honda's so-called Electric Vision, accidentally abbreviated EV. The brand aims to introduce purely electric power lines in Europe in 2025. The 'e' is the first fully electric car in the European program. In the hybrid field, the manufacturer has already supplied various models in recent years, including the Insight. The brand continues to roll out its hybrid technology, because the next generation of Jazz will also receive the technology under its hood. Honda will present the model at the Tokyo Motor Show 2019 this fall. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/transportation
Electric Honda: Great Concept, Crazy Urban EV The
Electric Honda: Great Concept, Crazy Urban EV The 'Honda e'
Climate Change: New Renewables Capacity Stalled Globally 2018
'Deeply worrying': New global renewables capacity stalled in 2018. International Energy Agency data prompts fresh concerns about world's ability to meet long-term climate change goals. The amount of new renewable power capacity added around the world stalled in 2018, according to new figures from the International Energy Agency (IEA), which today described the latest data as a "deeply worrying" development in the battle against climate change . Global growth in renewable power capacity failed to increase Last year's performance marks the first time since 2001 that global growth in renewable power capacity failed to increase year on year, with new solar PV, wind, hydro, bioenergy and other clean electricity projects delivering around 180GW of net capacity in total - the same level as 2017 - the IEA said. Renewables capacity additions need to grow by over 300GW on average every year between 2018 and 2030 in order to deliver on the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change, the IEA explained, yet last year's additions worldwide represented only around 60 per cent of that annual goal. In recent years investment in clean energy sources has slipped, but until now the slowdown in spending has been more than offset by plummeting solar and wind energy costs. However, last year marks the first time that capacity deployments also stalled as policy changes and economic concerns in key markets took their toll. IEA executive director Fatih Birol said the latest data showed the world was still not doing enough to scale up renewables and clean power sources. It follows recent confirmation that energy-related CO2 emissions rose again in 2018, climbing 1.7 per cent to an historic high of 33 gigatonnes, despite renewable power generation capacity having grown by seven per cent overall. Governments need to act quickly to correct this situation "The world cannot afford to press 'pause' on the expansion of renewables and governments need to act quickly to correct this situation and enable a faster flow of new projects," Birol said. "Thanks to rapidly declining costs, the competitiveness of renewables is no longer heavily tied to financial incentives. What they mainly need are stable policies supported by a long-term vision but also a focus on integrating renewables into power systems in a cost-effective and optimal way. Stop-and-go policies are particularly harmful to markets and jobs." Since 2015, exponential growth in solar power worldwide has been compensating for slower increases in wind and hydropower, according to the IEA. However, solar PV capacity growth slowed in 2018, falling short of expectations by adding just 97GW, largely due to changes in China's PV incentives designed to curb costs and address grid integration challenges. The slowdown in China's solar market was compensated somewhat by stable growth in the US, as well as increased solar PV deployment in Europe, Mexico, the Middle East and Africa. But the IEA also revealed that relatively low wind power capacity additions in Europe and India also contributed to the overall stalling in renewables growth last year. In the EU, the second largest market worldwide for clean energy, renewables capacity additions fell slightly overall, due to the slow down in wind energy deployment, which more than offset gains for the solar PV sector. Birol said the 2018 data was "deeply worrying", but he also stressed that falling clean tech costs, maturing grid technologies, and established policy successes demonstrated that a recovery in renewables deployment was possible. "Smart and determined policies can get renewable capacity back on an upward trend," he said. The IEA's analysis differs slightly from that of leading clean energy analyst Bloomberg NEF (BNEF), which earlier this year reported that renewables capacity additions had ticked upwards last year. BNEF's methodology differs from the IEA's which only includes known projects, whereas BNEF's includes a buffer for additional laggard projects that can be confirmed well after the year is complete. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/energy
'Deeply worrying': New global renewables capacity stalled in 2018. International Energy Agency data prompts fresh concerns about world's ability to meet long-term climate change goals. The amount of new renewable power capacity added around the world stalled in 2018, according to new figures from the International Energy Agency (IEA), which today described the latest data as a "deeply worrying" development in the battle against climate change . Global growth in renewable power capacity failed to increase Last year's performance marks the first time since 2001 that global growth in renewable power capacity failed to increase year on year, with new solar PV, wind, hydro, bioenergy and other clean electricity projects delivering around 180GW of net capacity in total - the same level as 2017 - the IEA said. Renewables capacity additions need to grow by over 300GW on average every year between 2018 and 2030 in order to deliver on the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change, the IEA explained, yet last year's additions worldwide represented only around 60 per cent of that annual goal. In recent years investment in clean energy sources has slipped, but until now the slowdown in spending has been more than offset by plummeting solar and wind energy costs. However, last year marks the first time that capacity deployments also stalled as policy changes and economic concerns in key markets took their toll. IEA executive director Fatih Birol said the latest data showed the world was still not doing enough to scale up renewables and clean power sources. It follows recent confirmation that energy-related CO2 emissions rose again in 2018, climbing 1.7 per cent to an historic high of 33 gigatonnes, despite renewable power generation capacity having grown by seven per cent overall. Governments need to act quickly to correct this situation "The world cannot afford to press 'pause' on the expansion of renewables and governments need to act quickly to correct this situation and enable a faster flow of new projects," Birol said. "Thanks to rapidly declining costs, the competitiveness of renewables is no longer heavily tied to financial incentives. What they mainly need are stable policies supported by a long-term vision but also a focus on integrating renewables into power systems in a cost-effective and optimal way. Stop-and-go policies are particularly harmful to markets and jobs." Since 2015, exponential growth in solar power worldwide has been compensating for slower increases in wind and hydropower, according to the IEA. However, solar PV capacity growth slowed in 2018, falling short of expectations by adding just 97GW, largely due to changes in China's PV incentives designed to curb costs and address grid integration challenges. The slowdown in China's solar market was compensated somewhat by stable growth in the US, as well as increased solar PV deployment in Europe, Mexico, the Middle East and Africa. But the IEA also revealed that relatively low wind power capacity additions in Europe and India also contributed to the overall stalling in renewables growth last year. In the EU, the second largest market worldwide for clean energy, renewables capacity additions fell slightly overall, due to the slow down in wind energy deployment, which more than offset gains for the solar PV sector. Birol said the 2018 data was "deeply worrying", but he also stressed that falling clean tech costs, maturing grid technologies, and established policy successes demonstrated that a recovery in renewables deployment was possible. "Smart and determined policies can get renewable capacity back on an upward trend," he said. The IEA's analysis differs slightly from that of leading clean energy analyst Bloomberg NEF (BNEF), which earlier this year reported that renewables capacity additions had ticked upwards last year. BNEF's methodology differs from the IEA's which only includes known projects, whereas BNEF's includes a buffer for additional laggard projects that can be confirmed well after the year is complete. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/energy
Climate Change: New Renewables Capacity Stalled Globally 2018
Regenerative Agriculture: Basics For Safe Food (Part 1 of 3)
Agriculture has been around as long as mankind. In the earliest days of humanity, an important part of the day was spent hunting for food - whether by chasing after animals, by foraging for nuts and fruits, or by working on the land. From the Stone Age to the Middle Ages, right up to the Industrial Age and our current time. As we evolved, so did agriculture - yet its role remained unchanged: feeding those who depend on it for their daily meal. Exploiting valuable natural areas in order to turn it into farmland Another fact is that the world population has grown significantly: only 200 years ago, there were fewer than one billion humans alive. Today, we share our planet with over 7 billion others. And as space hasn’t increased significantly - you could argue that it has even been reduced, considering the extra land taken up by our cities and industrial areas -, the challenge seems obvious. There are many more mouths to feed, yet we have to do so using fewer resources and smaller areas of land. Of course there are some who would say that we ought to be, in fact, delivering by 'creating' more space and resources. This has actually been a common practice in recent decades, with eager producers exploiting valuable natural areas in order to turn it into farmland; or using up some of our earth’s most precious commodities in order to provide the energy and raw materials needed to live up to the skyrocketing demand. While many of us would be condemning those kind of practices today - hindsight is 20/20 -, there are all too many examples of similar practices long before that. Some innovations might, at the time of their introduction, have been considered groundbreaking and a huge leap forward. Yet looking back with today’s knowledge, they would not even be considered a feasible option because of the inherent and often disastrous consequences. Safe food Through artificial crops, advanced fertilisation methods and many other sophisticated techniques, it became possible to substantially ramp up food production. Through the multiplication of livestock, production of high yield and resilient crops, and smart techniques for fertilising and harvesting crops, production reached unparalleled heights.   Yet it is not only about increasing production: increasing food safety and ensuring accountability throughout the supply chain have been moving to the forefront as well. This newfound abundance of 'safe' food might just be a scam. Yes, we are delivering more while seemingly using less. But at what additional cost? The negative impacts of quick-gain practices are slowly but surely becoming painfully obvious. Not only does the ruthless exploitation of vast areas of land leave them plundered and abandoned, having irreversibly harmed the local ecosystem; there’s also matters like atmospheric pollution, choking waterways, antibiotic crises, pesticide disasters, and dangerous greenhouse gas emissions. Estimates have put the cost of agriculture to society staggeringly high, potentially reaching some $6 trillion by 2050. So let’s rewind a bit: is this really worth it? Does the end really justify the means?   At its core, the problem can be found in the business-like attitude of farms. Farms feel the pressure to deliver and meet demand, hence forcing them to start thinking and acting like a corporate machine. Profits will be put before anything else, with automation and innovation following suit.   The big issue with this? Agriculture , in contrast with other industries, is dealing directly with nature. While many things can be automated and forecasted, this decidedly does not apply to animals. To the insects that pollinate the crops; to the weather events that might damage or destroy the harvest; to the water on the surface and in the ground that is used to irrigate; or to the soil that is needed to provide a fertile environment for crops. All of those things just will not let themselves be automated, or made subject to linear production processes. Although we are often too tempted by greed to let this stop us from trying to do so - which is exactly what resulted in the negative consequences listed above. An area that is roughly the size of England is left to waste every year, requiring us to look further and start exploiting valuable savannah or rainforest lands in order to take its place. We try to take ‘more’ from the earth, resources and animals then they realistically have to offer - with all that this implies. Regenerative agriculture {youtube} Enter regenerative agriculture. This new school of thought within agriculture operates on the principle that we should recognise the complexity and resilience of the world’s ‘natural technology’. Basically, it means that we move to a food system that respects our nature’s ability to regenerate and produce rich, unique and fertile natural environments, as it has done for centuries before we came around. In an ideal world, this would feed the growing world population with an equally rich diet that thrives on variety and freshness. While doing so, it ought to find a way through which ecosystems are rebuilt and thriving in the process. Not only does this go a long way in combatting the degradation of ecosystems, it also holds the potential to counter climate change. Although some may consider it to be unrealistic and radical, it is actually nothing new. It goes right back to the way our ancestors harvested the land, based on a near-scientific understanding of the earth’s needs and limits. Soil, water, farms and animals are all working together to create a rich ecosystem. For once, farms do not take the lead, trying to manage and manipulate the other elements - they will be an active part of the ecosystem. A farm will not just ‘withdraw’ from nature as if it were an ATM, but rather it gives back and feeds into it as well. Make no mistake: this will be complicated. As there are so many different ecosystems, the exact way of dealing with each environment will differ. Geologist David Montgomery put it as follows: “ What works for temperate grasslands may not work so well in tropical forests. We need to tailor practices to the land and be mindful of the geographical and social context .” It will be a process that requires thought and science, along with an inherent respect for flora and fauna. This does not make it impossible. Some elements of it are already in use. For instance, the use of livestock to graze grassy farmlands has already been accepted as a sensible practice. Through their eating, walking and disposing of waste, they ‘feed’ the grasslands and fertilise the soil. Using techniques like ‘rotational grazing’, livestock and poultry are used as an active player in guarding the health of the farm and environment as a whole. Photo by: Peter Bergquist On the top of the hill, on the leveller ground, this farmer is rotating, corn, oats, and alfalfa in 60’ contoured strips. This proven crop rotation practice will build soils, produce good yields, limit erosion, limit required inputs, produce grain for sale and forage for winter feeding of livestock.  The steeper land below the perimeter electric fence is in permanent pasture and being rotationally grazed. Each day this farmer moves poly wire electric fencing to create a new paddock big enough to feed his animals for 24 hours. He also moves a small water tank and a Shade Haven portable shade structure . The concept seems clear: regenerative agriculture will help us to find a new way of producing the food we so direly need, while respecting the world around us. That balance between not exhausting natural resources and still getting the food that we need is crucial - that is, if we are hoping to have a planet left to eat our meticulously produced food on. Part 1 of 3 of a series on Regenerative Agriculture. Part 2 will be uploaded on May 23. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/agri-gardening
Agriculture has been around as long as mankind. In the earliest days of humanity, an important part of the day was spent hunting for food - whether by chasing after animals, by foraging for nuts and fruits, or by working on the land. From the Stone Age to the Middle Ages, right up to the Industrial Age and our current time. As we evolved, so did agriculture - yet its role remained unchanged: feeding those who depend on it for their daily meal. Exploiting valuable natural areas in order to turn it into farmland Another fact is that the world population has grown significantly: only 200 years ago, there were fewer than one billion humans alive. Today, we share our planet with over 7 billion others. And as space hasn’t increased significantly - you could argue that it has even been reduced, considering the extra land taken up by our cities and industrial areas -, the challenge seems obvious. There are many more mouths to feed, yet we have to do so using fewer resources and smaller areas of land. Of course there are some who would say that we ought to be, in fact, delivering by 'creating' more space and resources. This has actually been a common practice in recent decades, with eager producers exploiting valuable natural areas in order to turn it into farmland; or using up some of our earth’s most precious commodities in order to provide the energy and raw materials needed to live up to the skyrocketing demand. While many of us would be condemning those kind of practices today - hindsight is 20/20 -, there are all too many examples of similar practices long before that. Some innovations might, at the time of their introduction, have been considered groundbreaking and a huge leap forward. Yet looking back with today’s knowledge, they would not even be considered a feasible option because of the inherent and often disastrous consequences. Safe food Through artificial crops, advanced fertilisation methods and many other sophisticated techniques, it became possible to substantially ramp up food production. Through the multiplication of livestock, production of high yield and resilient crops, and smart techniques for fertilising and harvesting crops, production reached unparalleled heights.   Yet it is not only about increasing production: increasing food safety and ensuring accountability throughout the supply chain have been moving to the forefront as well. This newfound abundance of 'safe' food might just be a scam. Yes, we are delivering more while seemingly using less. But at what additional cost? The negative impacts of quick-gain practices are slowly but surely becoming painfully obvious. Not only does the ruthless exploitation of vast areas of land leave them plundered and abandoned, having irreversibly harmed the local ecosystem; there’s also matters like atmospheric pollution, choking waterways, antibiotic crises, pesticide disasters, and dangerous greenhouse gas emissions. Estimates have put the cost of agriculture to society staggeringly high, potentially reaching some $6 trillion by 2050. So let’s rewind a bit: is this really worth it? Does the end really justify the means?   At its core, the problem can be found in the business-like attitude of farms. Farms feel the pressure to deliver and meet demand, hence forcing them to start thinking and acting like a corporate machine. Profits will be put before anything else, with automation and innovation following suit.   The big issue with this? Agriculture , in contrast with other industries, is dealing directly with nature. While many things can be automated and forecasted, this decidedly does not apply to animals. To the insects that pollinate the crops; to the weather events that might damage or destroy the harvest; to the water on the surface and in the ground that is used to irrigate; or to the soil that is needed to provide a fertile environment for crops. All of those things just will not let themselves be automated, or made subject to linear production processes. Although we are often too tempted by greed to let this stop us from trying to do so - which is exactly what resulted in the negative consequences listed above. An area that is roughly the size of England is left to waste every year, requiring us to look further and start exploiting valuable savannah or rainforest lands in order to take its place. We try to take ‘more’ from the earth, resources and animals then they realistically have to offer - with all that this implies. Regenerative agriculture {youtube} Enter regenerative agriculture. This new school of thought within agriculture operates on the principle that we should recognise the complexity and resilience of the world’s ‘natural technology’. Basically, it means that we move to a food system that respects our nature’s ability to regenerate and produce rich, unique and fertile natural environments, as it has done for centuries before we came around. In an ideal world, this would feed the growing world population with an equally rich diet that thrives on variety and freshness. While doing so, it ought to find a way through which ecosystems are rebuilt and thriving in the process. Not only does this go a long way in combatting the degradation of ecosystems, it also holds the potential to counter climate change. Although some may consider it to be unrealistic and radical, it is actually nothing new. It goes right back to the way our ancestors harvested the land, based on a near-scientific understanding of the earth’s needs and limits. Soil, water, farms and animals are all working together to create a rich ecosystem. For once, farms do not take the lead, trying to manage and manipulate the other elements - they will be an active part of the ecosystem. A farm will not just ‘withdraw’ from nature as if it were an ATM, but rather it gives back and feeds into it as well. Make no mistake: this will be complicated. As there are so many different ecosystems, the exact way of dealing with each environment will differ. Geologist David Montgomery put it as follows: “ What works for temperate grasslands may not work so well in tropical forests. We need to tailor practices to the land and be mindful of the geographical and social context .” It will be a process that requires thought and science, along with an inherent respect for flora and fauna. This does not make it impossible. Some elements of it are already in use. For instance, the use of livestock to graze grassy farmlands has already been accepted as a sensible practice. Through their eating, walking and disposing of waste, they ‘feed’ the grasslands and fertilise the soil. Using techniques like ‘rotational grazing’, livestock and poultry are used as an active player in guarding the health of the farm and environment as a whole. Photo by: Peter Bergquist On the top of the hill, on the leveller ground, this farmer is rotating, corn, oats, and alfalfa in 60’ contoured strips. This proven crop rotation practice will build soils, produce good yields, limit erosion, limit required inputs, produce grain for sale and forage for winter feeding of livestock.  The steeper land below the perimeter electric fence is in permanent pasture and being rotationally grazed. Each day this farmer moves poly wire electric fencing to create a new paddock big enough to feed his animals for 24 hours. He also moves a small water tank and a Shade Haven portable shade structure . The concept seems clear: regenerative agriculture will help us to find a new way of producing the food we so direly need, while respecting the world around us. That balance between not exhausting natural resources and still getting the food that we need is crucial - that is, if we are hoping to have a planet left to eat our meticulously produced food on. Part 1 of 3 of a series on Regenerative Agriculture. Part 2 will be uploaded on May 23. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/agri-gardening
Regenerative Agriculture: Basics For Safe Food (Part 1 of 3)
Regenerative Agriculture: Basics For Safe Food (Part 1 of 3)
Cyclone Fani,  Climate Change And The Mount Everest: India
Cyclone Fani, one of the strongest storms to batter the Indian subcontinent in decades, made landfall near Puri, India, around 8 a.m. on Friday, lashing the coast with winds gusting at more than 120 miles per hour. Tens of millions of people are potentially in the cyclone’s path, and more than a million were evacuated this week from coastal areas. Large sections of coastal India and Bangladesh are threatened by storm surges, and heavy rains could cause rivers to breach. The fast-moving storm struck the coast as the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane. Several hours after it made landfall, the cyclone was downgraded to a “very severe” storm from an “extremely severe” storm. All times are Indian Standard Time. Source: Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System Reports of destruction, and possibly deaths A relief official for the state of Odisha, where the cyclone made landfall, said Friday afternoon that many trees had been uprooted and houses destroyed, and that there had been unverified reports of deaths. The official, Pravat Ranjan Mohapatra, said the situation would be clearer in a few hours. NDTV, a major Indian news network, reported that three people had been killed. Along India’s coast, streets were largely empty as residents heeded warnings from the India Meteorological Department to stay indoors. “In Bhubaneswar, we are all indoors,” said Jagdish Chandra Rout, head of communications for Gopalpur Port Limited. “Nobody is visible on the road, nothing is moving on the road.” Mr. Rout said he felt the area was much better prepared for the storm than in 1999, when more than 10,000 people died in a cyclone. “We feel that yes, we may have some difficult days ahead, but no panic,” he said. “We are prepared, we know what is coming when and where.” In Puri, winds and rainfall were increasing, said Bishwajit Panda, a 19-year-old college student. “We fear that our house should not be damaged, our shop should not be damaged, some tree should not fall on house, electric pole should not fall on shop,” he said. “We live in fear. During the days of cyclone it is the life of fear we live.” Mass evacuations in India and Bangladesh The Indian authorities evacuated more than a million people from parts of the nation’s eastern coast this week. Using television, loudspeakers, radio and text messages to warn residents about the dangers of the storm, India’s disaster relief agency and meteorological department warned of the “total destruction” to thatched huts in some districts, major damage to roads, the uprooting of power poles and the potential danger from flying objects. Cyclone Fani is forecast to drop as much as eight inches of rain on northern parts of the state of Andhra Pradesh and on the state of Odisha. Schools have been closed, fishermen asked to keep off the water and tourists urged to leave the city of Puri, a Hindu pilgrimage site where an elaborate, centuries-old temple could be at risk of severe damage. Airports in the cyclone’s path were closing and hundreds of trains have been canceled. Along Odisha’s coast, more than 850 storm shelters have been opened, said Bishnupada Sethi, the state’s special relief commissioner. Each can hold about 1,000 people, along with livestock. “People are reluctant to leave their homes, though, which is problematic,” Mr. Sethi said on Thursday. In Bangladesh, as the storm approached on Friday the government said it had evacuated half a million coastal residents to shelters by 11 a.m. The government there, similarly, suspended fishing operations, closed ports and ordered an early harvest of rice crops. Cyclone’s effects felt on Mount Everest The cyclone was affecting the weather as far away as Mount Everest, where climbers on their way to the summit turned around after conditions worsened. At Camp 2, 21,000 feet above sea level, climbers reported an increase in cloud cover and moisture, and high winds tore apart tents. Many climbers from higher up the mountain began making their way down to Base Camp, at 17,600 feet above sea level. Nepal’s Ministry of Home Affairs banned helicopters from flying in high mountain areas through the end of the weekend and issued a warning to mountaineers and trekkers on the mountain. More than 1,000 people, including climbers, high-altitude guides, support staff and government officials, have reached Everest Base Camp since the spring climbing season began in March. A history of devastating cyclones The Bay of Bengal has experienced many deadly tropical cyclones, the result of warm air and water temperatures producing storms that strike the large populations along the coast. Officials said Cyclone Fani could be the most powerful to strike India since 1999, when a cyclone lingered for more than a day over India’s eastern coast, flooding villages, blowing apart houses and ultimately killing more than 10,000 people. Since that storm, the authorities in the region have significantly improved disaster preparation and response capabilities, strengthening coastal embankments and preparing evacuation routes, according to a World Bank report. Subsequent major storms have resulted in far fewer deaths. The state of Odisha was much better prepared for Cyclone Phailin in 2013. About one million people were evacuated, more than twice as many as in 1999, and the storm killed 45 people, the World Bank said. “All of these efforts bore fruit when Cyclone Phailin made landfall,” the report said. Cyclone Fani could still bring severe dangers to the region, however, threatening flooding in inland river basins, depending on its path, in the Ganges River delta region, where the Indian city of Kolkata is home to millions. In 2007, Cyclone Sidr killed at least 3,000 people in nearby Bangladesh, and in 1991, a cyclone killed at least 1,000 there and left millions homeless. In 1970, the so-called Great Bhola Cyclone drove a tidal wave into what was then East Pakistan, in a disaster that killed anestimated 300,000 people, according to the World Meteorological Organization’s World Weather & Climate Extremes Archive. “Unfortunately this region, especially the delta area, has produced the highest death tolls from tropical cyclones on the planet,” said Mr. Herndon, the storm researcher. “Many people live in regions barely above sea level.” And Cyclone Fani has already proved “one of the most intense in the past 20 years,” according to Clare Nullis, a spokeswoman for the World Meteorological Organization. Climate Change and Cyclone Fani Between Gopalpur and Chandbali, to the south of Puri around 3rd May afternoon with maximum sustained wind of speed 175-185 kmph gusting to 205 kmph What relation, if any, does Cyclone Fani have to global climate change? How do we expect it to change in the future? What causes and powers a cyclone and how will global warming affect it? A fully formed cyclone is so powerful that it can span hundreds of kilometres in diameter, extend 15 km into the atmosphere and travel up to 10,000 km before dissipating. An “average” cyclone consumes millions of MW of power during its lifetime of a few days, far exceeding the entire world’s electricity generation capacity during that time. Where could cyclones possibly draw such immense power from and what implications does global warming have for this power source, and hence, for future cyclone intensities? All tropical cyclones form over warm ocean waters and eventually dissipate after making landfall. While details include favourable wind and humidity patterns, cyclone genesis and sustenance fundamentally draw their power from water evaporating from the ocean, which gets cut off once cyclones progress over land. Cyclones vacuum up the evaporating water, which delivers huge amounts of heat energy and moisture that keeps the storm raging. The collected moisture is transported over vast distances and dumped in intense spurts of rainfall over land. The warmer the water, the faster the rate of evaporation, which in turn results in more severe storms. While the relationship is more complex in the real world, this essentially explains the role of global warming in intensifying storms. Cyclones will intensity in a warming world Warmer ocean waters contain more energy and sustain a greater rate of evaporation from their surface. Aligned with what we would expect from how storms gather power, climate model simulations project that the frequency of the most severe cyclones will increase with global warming. Severe cyclones in the Bay of Bengal have, in fact, increased by about 26 percent in the previous century, as they have in the rest of the world. Powerful cyclones today also intensify quicke r  than they did 30 years ago. Recent research on some of the most destructive hurricanes (another word for cyclones) in the Atlantic basin, like Katrina, Irma and Maria, found that they brought 5 – 10 percent greater rainfall than they would have in a pre-industrial world (cooler by “merely” 1°C than the present). Can Cyclone Fani be attributed to global warming ? Neither does every smoker develop lung cancer and nor can lung cancer in an individual patient be attributed with certainty to smoking. Yet it is beyond doubt that smoking increases the likelihood of developing lung cancer. Analogously, individual storms can rarely be attributed primarily to anthropogenic global warming. An additional problem with cyclone attribution is that historical data records on cyclones aren’t yet long enough to be statistically conclusive: we have  a database  of perhaps a few thousand cyclones from the past century, unlike millions of data points on lung cancer patients. For these reasons, it is still being debated in scientific circles how changes in frequency and intensity of cyclones observed so far can be attributed directly to anthropogenic global warming as against long-term periodic natural variations.  This map shows the tracks of all tropical cyclones which formed worldwide from 1985 to 2005. India’s east coast and Bangladesh are among the most active zones despite being much less so than the Atlantic and Pacific basins. Background image: NASA, Map: WPTC track map generator by Nilfanion Specific geographical and environmental factors make the Bay of Bengal a cyclone active basin regardless of anthropogenic global warming. To that extent, cyclones like Fani would form even in a counterfactual world without anthropogenic global warming. Yet, the basic physical concept of how cyclones are powered is clear and there is no scientific doubt that cyclones of greater intensity will become increasingly more common as our planet continues to warm. Therein lies a deeper lesson: climate change is usually not the genesis of a problem; it exacerbates existing problems. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/climate
Cyclone Fani, one of the strongest storms to batter the Indian subcontinent in decades, made landfall near Puri, India, around 8 a.m. on Friday, lashing the coast with winds gusting at more than 120 miles per hour. Tens of millions of people are potentially in the cyclone’s path, and more than a million were evacuated this week from coastal areas. Large sections of coastal India and Bangladesh are threatened by storm surges, and heavy rains could cause rivers to breach. The fast-moving storm struck the coast as the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane. Several hours after it made landfall, the cyclone was downgraded to a “very severe” storm from an “extremely severe” storm. All times are Indian Standard Time. Source: Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System Reports of destruction, and possibly deaths A relief official for the state of Odisha, where the cyclone made landfall, said Friday afternoon that many trees had been uprooted and houses destroyed, and that there had been unverified reports of deaths. The official, Pravat Ranjan Mohapatra, said the situation would be clearer in a few hours. NDTV, a major Indian news network, reported that three people had been killed. Along India’s coast, streets were largely empty as residents heeded warnings from the India Meteorological Department to stay indoors. “In Bhubaneswar, we are all indoors,” said Jagdish Chandra Rout, head of communications for Gopalpur Port Limited. “Nobody is visible on the road, nothing is moving on the road.” Mr. Rout said he felt the area was much better prepared for the storm than in 1999, when more than 10,000 people died in a cyclone. “We feel that yes, we may have some difficult days ahead, but no panic,” he said. “We are prepared, we know what is coming when and where.” In Puri, winds and rainfall were increasing, said Bishwajit Panda, a 19-year-old college student. “We fear that our house should not be damaged, our shop should not be damaged, some tree should not fall on house, electric pole should not fall on shop,” he said. “We live in fear. During the days of cyclone it is the life of fear we live.” Mass evacuations in India and Bangladesh The Indian authorities evacuated more than a million people from parts of the nation’s eastern coast this week. Using television, loudspeakers, radio and text messages to warn residents about the dangers of the storm, India’s disaster relief agency and meteorological department warned of the “total destruction” to thatched huts in some districts, major damage to roads, the uprooting of power poles and the potential danger from flying objects. Cyclone Fani is forecast to drop as much as eight inches of rain on northern parts of the state of Andhra Pradesh and on the state of Odisha. Schools have been closed, fishermen asked to keep off the water and tourists urged to leave the city of Puri, a Hindu pilgrimage site where an elaborate, centuries-old temple could be at risk of severe damage. Airports in the cyclone’s path were closing and hundreds of trains have been canceled. Along Odisha’s coast, more than 850 storm shelters have been opened, said Bishnupada Sethi, the state’s special relief commissioner. Each can hold about 1,000 people, along with livestock. “People are reluctant to leave their homes, though, which is problematic,” Mr. Sethi said on Thursday. In Bangladesh, as the storm approached on Friday the government said it had evacuated half a million coastal residents to shelters by 11 a.m. The government there, similarly, suspended fishing operations, closed ports and ordered an early harvest of rice crops. Cyclone’s effects felt on Mount Everest The cyclone was affecting the weather as far away as Mount Everest, where climbers on their way to the summit turned around after conditions worsened. At Camp 2, 21,000 feet above sea level, climbers reported an increase in cloud cover and moisture, and high winds tore apart tents. Many climbers from higher up the mountain began making their way down to Base Camp, at 17,600 feet above sea level. Nepal’s Ministry of Home Affairs banned helicopters from flying in high mountain areas through the end of the weekend and issued a warning to mountaineers and trekkers on the mountain. More than 1,000 people, including climbers, high-altitude guides, support staff and government officials, have reached Everest Base Camp since the spring climbing season began in March. A history of devastating cyclones The Bay of Bengal has experienced many deadly tropical cyclones, the result of warm air and water temperatures producing storms that strike the large populations along the coast. Officials said Cyclone Fani could be the most powerful to strike India since 1999, when a cyclone lingered for more than a day over India’s eastern coast, flooding villages, blowing apart houses and ultimately killing more than 10,000 people. Since that storm, the authorities in the region have significantly improved disaster preparation and response capabilities, strengthening coastal embankments and preparing evacuation routes, according to a World Bank report. Subsequent major storms have resulted in far fewer deaths. The state of Odisha was much better prepared for Cyclone Phailin in 2013. About one million people were evacuated, more than twice as many as in 1999, and the storm killed 45 people, the World Bank said. “All of these efforts bore fruit when Cyclone Phailin made landfall,” the report said. Cyclone Fani could still bring severe dangers to the region, however, threatening flooding in inland river basins, depending on its path, in the Ganges River delta region, where the Indian city of Kolkata is home to millions. In 2007, Cyclone Sidr killed at least 3,000 people in nearby Bangladesh, and in 1991, a cyclone killed at least 1,000 there and left millions homeless. In 1970, the so-called Great Bhola Cyclone drove a tidal wave into what was then East Pakistan, in a disaster that killed anestimated 300,000 people, according to the World Meteorological Organization’s World Weather & Climate Extremes Archive. “Unfortunately this region, especially the delta area, has produced the highest death tolls from tropical cyclones on the planet,” said Mr. Herndon, the storm researcher. “Many people live in regions barely above sea level.” And Cyclone Fani has already proved “one of the most intense in the past 20 years,” according to Clare Nullis, a spokeswoman for the World Meteorological Organization. Climate Change and Cyclone Fani Between Gopalpur and Chandbali, to the south of Puri around 3rd May afternoon with maximum sustained wind of speed 175-185 kmph gusting to 205 kmph What relation, if any, does Cyclone Fani have to global climate change? How do we expect it to change in the future? What causes and powers a cyclone and how will global warming affect it? A fully formed cyclone is so powerful that it can span hundreds of kilometres in diameter, extend 15 km into the atmosphere and travel up to 10,000 km before dissipating. An “average” cyclone consumes millions of MW of power during its lifetime of a few days, far exceeding the entire world’s electricity generation capacity during that time. Where could cyclones possibly draw such immense power from and what implications does global warming have for this power source, and hence, for future cyclone intensities? All tropical cyclones form over warm ocean waters and eventually dissipate after making landfall. While details include favourable wind and humidity patterns, cyclone genesis and sustenance fundamentally draw their power from water evaporating from the ocean, which gets cut off once cyclones progress over land. Cyclones vacuum up the evaporating water, which delivers huge amounts of heat energy and moisture that keeps the storm raging. The collected moisture is transported over vast distances and dumped in intense spurts of rainfall over land. The warmer the water, the faster the rate of evaporation, which in turn results in more severe storms. While the relationship is more complex in the real world, this essentially explains the role of global warming in intensifying storms. Cyclones will intensity in a warming world Warmer ocean waters contain more energy and sustain a greater rate of evaporation from their surface. Aligned with what we would expect from how storms gather power, climate model simulations project that the frequency of the most severe cyclones will increase with global warming. Severe cyclones in the Bay of Bengal have, in fact, increased by about 26 percent in the previous century, as they have in the rest of the world. Powerful cyclones today also intensify quicke r  than they did 30 years ago. Recent research on some of the most destructive hurricanes (another word for cyclones) in the Atlantic basin, like Katrina, Irma and Maria, found that they brought 5 – 10 percent greater rainfall than they would have in a pre-industrial world (cooler by “merely” 1°C than the present). Can Cyclone Fani be attributed to global warming ? Neither does every smoker develop lung cancer and nor can lung cancer in an individual patient be attributed with certainty to smoking. Yet it is beyond doubt that smoking increases the likelihood of developing lung cancer. Analogously, individual storms can rarely be attributed primarily to anthropogenic global warming. An additional problem with cyclone attribution is that historical data records on cyclones aren’t yet long enough to be statistically conclusive: we have  a database  of perhaps a few thousand cyclones from the past century, unlike millions of data points on lung cancer patients. For these reasons, it is still being debated in scientific circles how changes in frequency and intensity of cyclones observed so far can be attributed directly to anthropogenic global warming as against long-term periodic natural variations.  This map shows the tracks of all tropical cyclones which formed worldwide from 1985 to 2005. India’s east coast and Bangladesh are among the most active zones despite being much less so than the Atlantic and Pacific basins. Background image: NASA, Map: WPTC track map generator by Nilfanion Specific geographical and environmental factors make the Bay of Bengal a cyclone active basin regardless of anthropogenic global warming. To that extent, cyclones like Fani would form even in a counterfactual world without anthropogenic global warming. Yet, the basic physical concept of how cyclones are powered is clear and there is no scientific doubt that cyclones of greater intensity will become increasingly more common as our planet continues to warm. Therein lies a deeper lesson: climate change is usually not the genesis of a problem; it exacerbates existing problems. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/climate
Cyclone Fani, Climate Change And The Mount Everest: India
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