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UN Centre Improving Lives by Linking People and Humanitarian Data

           

Humanitarian aid workers help fight cholera in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photo: OCHA/J-L. Mbalivoto

unmultimedia.org - 22 December 2017

Access to data is crucial for humanitarians responding to various crises worldwide.

For example, aid workers feeding hungry people in Nigeria use a mobile-based platform to monitor the price of rice and other staples to know when costs increase.

To better assist these professionals, the UN has opened a global humanitarian data centre in the Netherlands that aims to improve lives by connecting people and data.

Veronique Durroux spoke to Javier Terán Castro, a statistician with the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, who explained how it functions.

http://www.unmultimedia.org/radio/english/2017/12/un-centre-aims-to-connect-people-and-humanitarian-data-to-improve-lives/#.Wj0Cma3MzFR

The Centre for Humanitarian Data - https://centre.humdata.org

HDX - https://data.humdata.org

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Caribbean Leaders Launch Ambitious Plan to Create the World’s First “Climate-Smart Zone”

           

If the world is to end poverty in all its forms by 2030, we must boost resilience—in all its forms. This means the capacity to cope with shocks without major economic, social and environmental setbacks. Photo: Michael Atwood / UNDP

The Caribbean Climate-Smart Coalition seeks rapid implementation of US $8 billion climate investment plan that will transform regional energy system, build resiliency, drive economic growth and set a global example

undp.org - December 12, 2017

Paris, 12 December 2017 - The UN Development Programme (UNDP) announced its support to Caribbean leaders gathered today during the launch of a new public-private coalition to create the world's first "climate-smart zone" to support the parts of the region decimated by some of the most powerful hurricanes to ever cross the Atlantic in September.

The announcement came at the One Planet Summit hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris to review progress made on the Paris Agreement adopted by global governments two years ago today.

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U.S. Study Sheds Light on How Zika Causes Nerve Disorder

           

FILE PHOTO: An aedes aegypti mosquito is pictured on a leaf in San Jose, Costa Rica February 1, 2016. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate/File Photo

CLICK HERE - STUDY - CDC - EID - Postmortem Findings in Patient with Guillain-Barré Syndrome and Zika Virus Infection

reuters.com - by Julie Steenhuysen - December 13, 2017

A new study sheds light on how the mosquito-borne Zika virus causes a rare neurological condition, and the findings could have implications for companies working on Zika vaccines, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday . . .

 . . . To study the nerve disorder, Dr. Tyler Sharp of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Dengue Branch in San Juan and colleagues in Puerto Rico examined the rare case of a 78-year-old man from San Juan who had been infected with Zika in 2016, developed Guillain-Barre and subsequently died.

An autopsy showed inflammation and erosion of the protective sheath known as myelin in two nerves, but no evidence of the Zika virus in nerve cells.

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Scientists Link Hurricane Harvey’s Record Rainfall to Climate Change

           

Evading a wave in Houston after Hurricane Harvey hit on Aug. 25. Credit Brendan Smialowski/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - Attributable human-induced changes in the likelihood and magnitude of the observed extreme precipitation during Hurricane Harvey

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - Attribution of extreme rainfall from Hurricane Harvey, August 2017

nytimes.com - by Henry Fountain - December 13, 2017

Climate change made the torrential rains that flooded Houston after Hurricane Harvey last summer much worse, scientists reported Wednesday.

Two research groups found that the record rainfall as Harvey stalled over Texas in late August, which totaled more than 50 inches in some areas, was as much as 38 percent higher than would be expected in a world that was not warming.

While many scientists had said at the time that Harvey was probably affected by climate change, because warmer air holds more moisture, the size of the increase surprised some.

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Bat Cave Solves Mystery of Deadly SARS Virus — and Suggests New Outbreak Could Occur

           

Researchers analysed strains of SARS virus circulating in horseshoe bats, such as this one (Rhinolophus sinicus), in a cave in Yunnan province, China.  Credit: Libiao Zhang/Guangdong Institute of Applied Biological Resource

Chinese scientists find all the genetic building blocks of SARS in a single population of horseshoe bats.

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - Discovery of a rich gene pool of bat SARS-related coronaviruses provides new insights into the origin of SARS coronavirus

nature.com - by David Cyranoski - December 1, 2017

After a detective hunt across China, researchers chasing the origin of the deadly SARS virus have finally found their smoking gun. In a remote cave in Yunnan province, virologists have identified a single population of horseshoe bats that harbours virus strains with all the genetic building blocks of the one that jumped to humans in 2002, killing almost 800 people around the world. 

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Pittsburgh's Microgrids Technology Could Lead The Way For Green Energy

           

Gene Lutz drives an electric fork lift powered by renewable energy at Pitt Ohio, a trucking company with an office in Harmar, Pa. The firm has invested in solar and wind energy, along with a bank of storage batteries, to create an independent microgrid that would hold up in a storm. Researchers hope to build more of these and link them together to create a reliable backup supply.  Daniella Cheslow/NPR

npr.org - by Daniella Cheslow - November 12, 2017

When President Donald Trump announced the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris climate accord, he said he represented "Pittsburgh, not Paris."

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto disagreed. He traveled to Germany this week as part of an unofficial delegation of more than 100 Americans, American officials and business owners who say they are still committed to climate talks taking place in Bonn. One element of Pittsburgh's climate strategy has been encouraging innovation in a technology known as microgrids.

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Re-energizing the Island: Power in Puerto Rico

                                                    CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW TO ENLARGE

           

http://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/rngs/USA-PUERTORICO-POWER/010051M33MM/USA-PUERTORICO.jpg

The primary transmission lines that criss-cross Puerto Rico are steadily coming back online following Hurricane Maria, with several different contractors responsible for bringing back power.  The island lost all of its power after the storm; it still has a goal to restore 95 percent of power by the middle of December.

Sources: Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority; company reports

C Chan, S DiSavino 6/11/2017

ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLE HERE - New Puerto Rico utility head, same old challenges

 

 

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Costa Rica Runs Entirely on Renewable Energy for 300 Days

submitted by Jeff Williams

           

"Eólica" or wind power plant in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. ICE Group / Twitter

ecowatch.com - by Lorraine Chow - November 21, 2017

Costa Rica has charted another clean energy accolade. So far this year, the Central American country has run on 300 days of 100 percent power generation from renewable energy sources, according to the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (ICE), which cited figures from the National Center for Energy Control. . . .

 . . . Costa Rica currently receives 99.62 percent of its electricity from five renewable sources, the highest proportion since 1987. This year, 78.26 percent of electricity came from hydropower, 10.29 percent from wind, 10.23 percent from geothermal energy and 0.84 percent from biomass and solar. 

Costa Rica has emerged as a global environmental leader, with its frequent 100 percent renewable energy streaks and its 2021 goal of becoming carbon neutral—a deadline set a decade ago.

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Puerto Rico Energy Commission Opens Docket on Microgrids and Distributed Generation

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares testifying on Capitol Hill this week.

microgridknowledge.com - by Elisa Wood - November 17, 2017

Puerto Rico’s energy commission has opened a docket to investigate ways to encourage microgrids and distributed generation to build an energy system with more fortitude against hurricanes.

Island officials described the docket this week in testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Half of the island’s population remains without power two months after Hurricane Maria’s strike.

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NASA Map of Earth's Seasons Over 20 Years Highlights Climate Change

The visualization shows spring coming earlier and the Arctic ice caps receding over time

NASA - theguardian.com - AP - November 17, 2017

Nasa has captured 20 years of changing seasons in a striking new global map of planet Earth​.

The data visualization, released this week, shows Earth’s fluctuations as seen from space.

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CLICK HERE - NASA - The Living Planet - The Changing Colors of our Living Planet

CLICK HERE - NASA - Our Living Planet from Space

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