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In Less Than 3 Months, a Major International City Will Likely Run Out of Water


People collect drinking water from pipes fed by an underground spring in St. James, about 25 kilometers from the city center of Cape Town. - by Paul P. Murphy - January 24, 2018

In Cape Town, South Africa, they're calling it "Day Zero" -- the day when the taps run dry.

A few days ago, city officials had said that day will come on April 22. This week, they moved up the date to April 12 . . . 

 . . . It's been a slow-motion crisis, exacerbated by three factors conspiring together:

The worst drought in over a century, which has pushed Cape Town's water scarcity into a potentially deadly horizon

Its population, which is 4 million and growing quickly

A rapidly changing climate



CLICK HERE - Cape Town told to cut water use or face losing supply by 12 April

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Why People Have to Learn to Live with Wildfires


REUTERS/Noah Berger

CLICK HERE - STUDY - PNAS - Adapt to more wildfire in western North American forests as climate changes - by Bobby Magill - April 17, 2017

Communities across the Western U.S. and Canada may have to adapt to living with the ever-increasing threat of catastrophic wildfires as global warming heats up and dries out forests across the West, according to a University of Colorado study published Monday.

Residents living in neighborhoods adjacent to forests — known as “wildland-urban interface” zones — will have to accept that many wildfires may have to be allowed to burn and that building new homes in fire-prone forests should be discouraged, the study says.

Firefighters and policymakers will also have to adapt in new ways as catastrophic wildfires burn more land and destroy more homes than ever before.




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Weather Disasters Can Fuel War in Volatile Countries


African countries like Uganda are among the world's most ethnically diverse, and they are also vulnerable to climate change. New findings suggest peace will be harder to achieve and maintain in places like Uganda as the climate changes.
Credit: AMISOM Public Information/Flickr

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - Armed-conflict risks enhanced by climate-related disasters in ethnically fractionalized countries

Droughts and other extremes can cause dangerous economic shocks - by John Upton - July 26, 2016

Following the warmest two years on record and spikes in violence that fueled a global refugee crisis, climate scientists on Monday reported that armed fighting is prone to follow droughts, heatwaves and other weather-related calamities in turbulent countries. . . 

. . . Donges and three other European researchers detected the pattern after analyzing extreme weather events that inflicted heavy economic damages, and outbreaks of fighting that left at least 25 dead in a year. The results were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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How Could Paris Climate Talks Change Africa’s Future?


Pilanesburg National Park, three hours from Johannesburg in South Africa, has been ravaged by drought. Zebras roam the game reserve on November 12, 2015.  PHOTOGRAPH BY WENDY KOCH, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

The UN meeting will focus on developed countries’ plans to curb global warming, but it could give Africa money to embrace clean energy. - by Wendy Koch - November 23, 2015

A landmark UN report says rising temperatures will “amplify existing stress on water availability” in Africa—a continent that’s contributed little to climate change but is reeling from its impacts. . . .

. . . Countries have pledged to cut their planet-warming emissions of greenhouse gases. Richer nations have also pledged $100 billion a year to help poorer ones adapt to climate change and adopt clean sources of energy.

“Africa could be one of the biggest beneficiaries of COP21,” UN’s Vincent Kitio said at National Geographic’s Great Energy Challenge forum this month in Johannesburg on sub-Saharan Africa’s future.



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Ebola crisis revealed "major fault lines"

CANADIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION by Moneeza Walji                                    Mayl 4, 2015
The call to action for the Ebola outbreak extended far and wide, with the epidemic now having more than 26 000 cases and claiming more than 10 000 lives, but the response has raised questions about underlying problems that hinder health care in some countries and about who was best positioned to respond.

At a recent session of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health in Boston, Dr. Peter Piot, one of the discoverers of the Ebola virus, said the outbreak and crisis in West Africa "has revealed major fault lines in the local societies and in the international system; in how we conduct research and how we develop new drugs and vaccines and also in trust and the way that international aid and development and cooperation is operating."

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Exclusive: take a first look at the next generation ebola-protection suit

QUARTZ  by Grace Dobush                                         March 13, 2015

AUSTIN, Texas—Perhaps the most surprising and important product debuting at SXSW Interactive this year is a personal protective equipment (PPE) prototype for health care workers dealing with Ebola, a tangible result of the U.S. government adapting the culture of innovation and design thinking so key in the startup world.

A team from the U.S. Agency for International Development demonstrated the traditional Ebola suit and the new suit in a preview for Quartz....

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Researchers Link Syrian Conflict to a Drought Made Worse by Climate Change


Women working in fields in northeastern Syria in 2010.  A new report suggests extreme drought in Syria was most likely a factor in the violent uprising that began there in 2011. Credit Louai Beshara/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Climate change in the Fertile Crescent and implications of the recent Syrian drought - by Henry Fountain - March 2, 2015

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What killed the Maya? 'Blue Hole' offers clues

Sediment analysis of Belize's Blue Hole indicates that a first-millennium drought may have led to Mayan decline.

Image: Sediment analysis of Belize's Blue Hole indicates that a first-millennium drought may have led to Mayan decline. - January 2nd 2015 - Todd Leopold

To scuba divers and tourists, Belize's famous "Blue Hole" underwater cave is a wonder, one of the "10 most amazing places on Earth," according to the Discovery Channel.

To scientists, it's something more: evidence of the drought that is suspected to have led to the demise of the Mayan civilization.

New research reinforces that theory, Rice University Earth scientist Andre Droxler told LiveScience.


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Oldest Baby Boom in North America Sheds Light on Native American Population Crash

Sites like Pueblo Bonito in northern New Mexico reached their maximum size in the early A.D. 1100s, just before a major drought began to decrease birth rates throughout the Southwest. Credit: Nate Crabtree

Scientists chart an ancient baby boom—in southwestern Native Americans from 500 to 1300 AD - June 30, 2014

Washington State University researchers have sketched out one of the greatest baby booms in North American history, a centuries-long "growth blip" among southwestern Native Americans between 500 to 1300 A.D.

It was a time when the early features of civilization—including farming and food storage—had matured to where birth rates likely "exceeded the highest in the world today," the researchers write in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

A crash followed . . .


CLICK HERE - PNAS - RESEARCH - Long and spatially variable Neolithic Demographic Transition in the North American Southwest


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Focus: Water risks in the private sector

Growing population and increasing demand for higher living standards have led to the overuse of water resources.

More recently, the management of watersheds has been threatened by the impacts of climate change on the water cycle.

In the face of these challenges, water companies and agribusinesses need to seek solutions.

In this focus, Nature Climate Change presents four opinion pieces that discuss the risks and opportunities posed to private companies by water scarcity, highlight the steps some companies have already taken and, overall, the actions still required.


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