Monday, March 31, 2014

How Climate Change Has Devastated The World In One Map

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/devastating-impacts-of-climate-change-around-the-world-2014-3

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) new and scary release includes a map showing how many things have been direly affected around the world in the last few decades.

"One of the most important findings is that we're not in era where climate change is a future hypothetical," Christopher Field, the co-chair of the IPCC's working group II paper said at a news conference from Yokohama, Japan, on Monday. 'There's no question that we live in a world already affected by climate change."

Each continent has a box showing how much of an impact climate change is having on physical systems (like glaciers, coastal erosion, and water resources), biological systems (like forests and reefs), and human systems (like crops and livelihoods).

Icons that are only outlined show when climate change is only a minor contributor. The stack of squares next to the colored icons indicates how much of these impacts is caused by the climate, from zero to five bars. When part of the bars are lighter in color, that means there's some doubt to how high that cause is.

For example: In North America we will have severe impacts (four bars) on our physical systems — including water issues along the California coast. There are also severe impacts (three bars) on ecosystems, including fisheries in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Across the globe there are severe impacts on human health, livelihood and economics (the red family).

global impacts of climate change IPCCHere are the specific impacts that the changing climate has had in North America:

North Am!   erica cl  imate change impactsRead more about the serious impacts of climate change on our food sources around the world.

SEE ALSO: Anyone Who Eats Food Needs To See These Three Charts From A Massive Report On Climate Change

SEE ALSO: Shocking Before And After Pictures Of How Climate Change Is Destroying The Earth

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Anyone Who Eats Food Needs To See These Three Charts From A Massive Report On Climate Change

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/ipcc-fifth-assessment-climate-change-food-security-2014-3

For several decades, yields of the world's major food crops have increased. But the rate of increase has slowed over the past few years as a result of climate change, a massive new report from the United Nations warns. 

The report is the second of three working group reports issued by The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Scientists held a media conference in Yokohama, Japan, to discuss the details. 

"Studies projecting decreased crop yields are getting higher and higher," said Christopher Field, the co-chair of the IPCC's working group II paper. The finding has serious implications for food security in many parts of the world. 

It's becoming evident in many regions, said Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the IPCC, "that the so-called green revolution has come to a plateau."

Want proof?

This chart, for example, shows the changes in average crop yield as a consequence of events related to climate change, such as rising temperatures and reduced rainfall. In the future, the brown bars (decrease in yield) get taller and the blue bars (increase in yield) get shorter. To put this in perspective, this means that in 50 years or so, the rate of increase will be much less than what it would have been in the absence of climate change. IPCC report

Wheat and maize are really being held back by climate change. Rice and soy could be next.IPCC chart

But it's not just about what grows on land. Anything we eat from the sea is also at risk. 

"Many species will be unable to track suitable climates under mid- and high-range rates of climate change," the ! report s aid. "Those that cannot adapt sufficiently fast will decrease in abundance or go extinct in part or all of their ranges."

The graph below shows the distances that species have moved to cooler waters as ocean temperatures rise. 

IPCC

The report, which looks at the risk of climate change and how we can adapt, says that countries are not prepared for the effects of a changing climate. You can read a summary of the report here.

The new Fifth Assessment Report is the IPCC's biggest report since 2007. The first part was released in September 2013. The third part, which focuses on how to mitigate the effects of climate change, will be released in April 2014. 

SEE ALSO: Shocking Before And After Pictures Of How Climate Change Is Destroying The Earth

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Beautiful Fields of Crops as You've Never Seen Them Before

Source: http://gizmodo.com/beautiful-fields-of-crops-as-youve-never-seen-them-bef-1553504010

Beautiful Fields of Crops as You've Never Seen Them Before

If this image looks oddly familiar, it's because its a series of crop fields seen from the air—just as a wonderful, colorful radar composite image.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

How Global Warming Is Dissolving Sea Life (And What We Can Do About It)

Source: http://gizmodo.com/how-global-warming-is-dissolving-sea-life-and-what-we-1532266705

How Global Warming Is Dissolving Sea Life (And What We Can Do About It)

The last time Earth's oceans were this acidic, a six mile-wide sulphur-rich space rock had just smashed into the Yucatan Peninsula, unleashing a deluge of acid rain that exterminated all sea life in the the top 400 meters of the water column. Now, some 65 million years after the Cretaceous extinction, human activity is threatening to similarly decimate the ocean's ecosystem—this time, from the bottom up.

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Ants Are Destroying Our Chocolate Supply

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/ants-are-destroying-chocolate-farms-2014-3

Mealybug 2

These ants herd bugs, the way the we herd cattle. And their agricultural endeavours are destroying our chocolate.

Cattle graze on pastures, but these mealybugs raised by the ants graze on sap from the cocoa tree — yup, the one that gives us cocoa beans and chocolate. By feeding on the sap these ant-harvested bugs kill the cocoa pods.

The ants get fed from the mealybugs suggary secretions. And Ghanaian cocoa farmers are not happy about it.

Mealybugs "look like woodlice dipped in flour," according to Ed Yong, who wrote about these ants and other plant infections in aeon.

MealybugBefore the cocoa trees came along, the mealybugs drank from native rainforest trees. But as the rainforests have been cleared and non-native cocoa tree farms started to dominate the landscape, "the ants adapted, by driving their livestock into the fresh cocoa pastures," wrote Yong.

Mealybugs usually cause little harm to local trees, but the cocoa isn't protected against the virus used by the mealybugs to eat from the trees. The cocoa trees swell and eventually die.cacao swollen shoot virus

But there's more. The ants, "strip cocoa pods to build tents for themselves and their mealybugs," writes Yong. The cocoa pods can't handle the stress of infection and occupation — leaving them plagued with parasites and sometimes turning them black.

The cocoa plants, already weakened by the virus, are easily rattled by the disease.

You may not have thought about it but plant diseases like this are devastating.

"We lose 40 per cent of the plants destined for our dinner tables to parasites," wrote Yo! ng, "but there isn't much research into those that target the plants we depend upon."

Yong explains just how many other foodstuffs are affected by these plant diseases. Read the full story: "What Ants Can Teach Us About Agriculture."

SEE ALSO: REVEALED: Here's Why Dark Chocolate Is So Good For You

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bugs Have Already Evolved Immunity to GMO Corn

Source: http://gizmodo.com/what-are-gmo-foods-and-are-they-okay-to-eat-1524547249/1547154883/+andrewtarantola

Bugs Have Already Evolved Immunity to GMO Corn

Well that certainly didn't take very long. According to a study published Monday, the Western Corn Rootworm (actually a beetle larvae) has already developed a resistance to not one but two strains of generically modified corn thanks to the over-reliance and improper implementation of the crops by farmers in Iowa.

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North America Is Taking An Increasingly Large Slice Of The Global Solar Market Pie

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/north-americas-global-solar-market-share-2014-3

Here's a chart from First Solar 's analyst day presentation, showing how in the span of four quarters (practically overnight in business land) North America devoured global solar market opportunity share.

In other words, North America (gray) is taking an increasing share of a growing pie.

Meanwhile, the overall market itself nearly doubled.

Also of note: the market opportunity in North Africa is now practically as large as in Asia.   

Check it out: 

Screen Shot 2014 03 19 at 11.37.31 AM

SEE ALSO: First Solar Is Roaring Higher

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