Search our Blog

목요일, 5월 23, 2019

Climate Change: Global Sea Level Rise Could Be Bigger than Expected

Climate Change: Global Sea Level Rise Could Be Bigger than Expected

BBC News

Scientists believe that global sea levels could rise far more than predicted, due to accelerating melting in Greenland and Antarctica.

The long-held view has been that the world's seas would rise by a maximum of just under a meter by 2100.

This new study, based on expert opinions, projects that the real level may be around double that figure.

This could lead to the displacement of hundreds of millions of people, the authors say.

The question of sea-level rise was one of the most controversial issues raised by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), when it published its fifth assessment report in 2013.

It said the continued warming of the planet, without major reductions in emissions, would see global waters rising by between 52cm and 98cm by 2100.

Many experts believe this was a very conservative estimate.

Ice scientists are also concerned that the models currently used to predict the influence of huge ice sheets on sea levels don't capture all of the uncertainties about how these are now melting.

To try to get a clearer picture, some of the leading researchers in the field carried out what is termed a structured expert judgement study, where the scientists make predictions based on their knowledge and understanding of what is happening in Greenland, West and East Antarctica.

In the researchers' view, if emissions continue on the current trajectory then the world's seas would be very likely to rise by between 62cm and 238cm by 2100. This would be in a world that had warmed by around 5C - one of the worst-case scenarios for global warming.

"For 2100, the ice sheet contribution is very likely in the range of 7-178cm but once you add in glaciers and ice caps outside the ice sheets and thermal expansion of the seas, you tip well over two meters," said lead author Prof Jonathan Bamber from the University of Bristol. 

The IPCC report in 2013 only considered what is "likely" to happen, which in scientific terms means they looked at 17-83% of the range of possibilities.

This new study looks at a broader range of results, covering 5-95% of the estimates.

According to the authors, this scenario would have huge implications for the planet.

They calculate that the world would lose an area of land equal to 1.79 million square kilometres - equivalent to the size of Libya.

Much of the land losses would be in important food growing areas such as the delta of the Nile. Large swathes of Bangladesh would be very difficult for people to continue to live in. Major global cities, including London, New York and Shanghai would be under threat.

"To put this into perspective, the Syrian refugee crisis resulted in about a million refugees coming into Europe," said Prof Bamber.

"That is about 200 times smaller than the number of people who would be displaced in a 2m sea-level rise.“

The authors emphasise that there is still time to avoid these type of scenarios, if major cuts in emissions take place over the coming decades. They acknowledge that the chances of hitting the high end of this range are small, around 5%, but they should not be discounted, according to the lead author.

The study has been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


화요일, 5월 21, 2019

Benefit Concert When Music Makes the Earth Quake

Benefit Concert
When Music Makes the Earth Quake


On Mother's Day, the New Chamber Choir Heidenheim and the Landesblasorchester in the CC provided a brute musical experience. All seats in the Congress Center on the Schlossberg were occupied when the Benefit Concert of the Rotary Club Heidenheim-Giengen began.

On the stage stood nearly 90 young singers, who presented the audience with a lot of fun and talent, a musical bouquet for Mother's Day. 

With music from Namibia, human rights activist Waris Dirie was finally invited to come on stage. Anyone who had expected a shattering lecture on female genital mutilation, the donation theme of the evening, was wrong. Naturally, she joined in and sang and danced with the choir.

In a very good mood, Waris Dirie thanked all the contributors, the audience and also the Rotary Club Heidenheim-Giengen, without whose financial support a concert like this would not have been possible. 

With her hearty laughter, she repeatedly took issues such as forced marriage or brutal violence against women. Dirie, who has written a world bestseller with her autobiographical story "Desert Flower" and thereby brought the female genital mutilation (FGM) in the consciousness of society, told enthusiastically about the projects and successes of the "Desert Flower Foundation", founded in 2002, international aid organization.

"As a young woman, I promised myself that something had to be done about this criminal act. I was smart enough to use the system for my concerns during my time as a top model. 27 years ago, the world knew nothing about FGM. Today, we work together to empower and educate the girls. Knowledge protects."

The Rotarians had convinced this approach. In search of a suitable donation theme for the concert on this year's Mother's Day, with mothers and women at the center, Waris Dirie was discovered and decided to raise money for a very specific purpose: the construction of a school in Somalia, 50,000 euros are needed. President Thomas Beck: "We have already reached half of that goal. We ask for more generous donations during the break."

Original article available at: 

월요일, 5월 20, 2019

Gino Strada and the Exhibition to Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Emergency

Gino Strada and the Exhibition to Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Emergency

Milano Corriere

Ten million people treated for free in 18 countries around the world: this is a summary, in short, of the 25 years of Emergency's activities. The humanitarian association, founded in 1994 in Milan by the surgeon Gino Strada, on Wednesday celebrates its birthday at Casa Emergency, with an exhibition open to the public.

Doctor Strada, what led to creating the show? 
I met Giulio Piscitelli in Afghanistan. His images show the face of war.

Casa Emergency was inaugurated in 2017, in front of the Basilica of Sant'Eustorgio ...
It was many years that Emergency was looking for a home, an operational headquarter. We are very happy with this space, a former renovated school, but we can also work on the initiatives we do: films, debates, meetings, conferences. It also seems to me a good sign for the city. Emergency was born here in Milan: I and other friends had work experiences in areas of wars and we had known realities where doctors are not there. There are only the wounded and people have no chance of treatment. The idea was to do something to help the victims of the war. Slowly our activity has expanded not only to the wounded in the narrow sense, but also to those who suffer from the absence of medical treatment due to war. The war, in fact, destroys any healthcare facility.

Did you expect it to grow so much? 
No, we didn't think that Emergency would became this big of a reality as it is today, but it happened, and it was a beautiful thing.

What do you imagine for the future of Emergency? 
Let it continue to do the extraordinary thing it did in the past 25 years: a great practice of medicine, but also a practice of peace. We must continue, even if it is increasingly difficult: for the international context, for the attitudes of governments, for the war that started in Italy against the NGOs some years ago. One thing that is absolutely Italian: there is nothing comparable in any other country than the governments' attack on humanitarian organizations. We are seeing horrible things: our government sends people to die in various ways, because it refuses to save them, and because it continues to sell arms to countries at war.

You were born in Sesto San Giovanni and live in Milan: do you like this city? 
Unlike forty years ago, today I love Milan a lot. I like the city, I like the spirit with which it is guided. I especially like the attitude of openness towards others that Milan has: this is an important fact for me.

The best memories of the past 25 years of Emergency? 
Whenever we manage to build a hospital, to open a clinic, to build a health facility somewhere that helps those who have no alternative. We also have many projects: I hope that by the end of this year we can complete the construction of a center of excellence in pediatric surgery, designed by Renzo Piano, in Uganda. We are at the final stage, but we still have to find some resources. For this I allow myself to ask Italian citizens to give us a very simple hand, which costs nothing: to donate 5 per thousand to Emergency.

The original website is available here:

목요일, 5월 16, 2019

Introducing IPBES' 2019 Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

Introducing IPBES’ 2019 Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)

IPBES Global Assessment Preview

First global biodiversity assessment since 2005

A definitive new global synthesis of the state of nature, ecosystems and nature's contributions to people — the first such report since the landmark Millennium Ecosystem Assessment published in 2005, and the first ever that is inter-governmental — will be presented to representatives of 132 Governments for consideration of approval in May 2019.

Prepared by 150 leading international experts from 50 countries, balancing representation from the natural and social sciences, with additional contributions from a further 250 experts, working with the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services will inform better policies and actions in the coming decade.

The report will be discussed, finalized and considered for approval at the seventh session of the IPBES Plenary (#IPBES7), 29 April – 4 May 2019.

Three years in development, at a total cost of more than US$2.4 million, the IPBES Global Assessment draws on nearly 15,000 references, including scientific papers and government information. It is also the first global assessment ever to systematically examine and include indigenous and local knowledge, issues and priorities.

Often described as the 'IPCC for Biodiversity', IPBES is the global science-policy forum tasked with providing the best available evidence to all decision-makers for people and nature.

The report will offer an integrated overview of where the world stands in relation to key international goals, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the Paris Agreement on climate change. It examines causes of biodiversity and ecosystem change, the implications for people, policy options and likely future pathways over the next three decades if current trends continue, and other scenarios.

"The loss of species, ecosystems and genetic diversity is already a global and generational threat to human well-being. Protecting the invaluable contributions of nature to people will be the defining challenge of decades to come. Policies, efforts, and actions - at every level - will only succeed, however, when based on the best knowledge and evidence. This is what the IPBES Global Assessment provides."

화요일, 5월 14, 2019

Waris Dirie: A Fight that Never Ends

Waris Dirie: A Fight that Never Ends


Ex-top model Waris Dirie, known worldwide for her relentless fight against female genital mutilation, will come to the Congress Center in Heidenheim on Sunday, May 12, as part of a charity event. In advance, the bestselling author spoke to the Heidenheimer Zeitung about morning sports, respectful interaction with nature and the musical "Desert Flower", which will premiere in February 2020 at the Theater in St. Gallen.

Waris, with your book "Desert Flower" you have brought the topic of genital mutilation into the public consciousness that would never have been created without your own passion story. Does the success of being a human rights activist and all that you have been able to do with your engagement so far, be a kind of consolatory sense for the crime committed against you?

With my mission, my fight against this cruel crime against innocent little girls, I do not seek consolation, but I want that madness to end forever. I have forgiven my mother and am at peace with myself. But I like to help other people when they need compassion and comfort.

Unlike many people assume, genital mutilation is also practiced in Europe.

In 2003 and 2004, with the team of my "Desert Flower Foundation", I undertook a covert search in African communities and female doctors across Europe, compiling more than 4,000 pages of reports from my staff and manuscripts. This resulted in the book "Painkillers", which was published in many countries in 2005. In all major European cities, our team found clippers who were able to practice their bloody handiwork unhindered by the authorities and unscrupulous female doctors willing to circumcise girls.

Desert, catwalk, UN ambassador: Your CV is marked by extremes. Do you wish every now and then a "normal" everyday life with family, job, summer vacation and a small vegetable patch behind the house?

When I'm at home or on vacation, I do just that. I prepare breakfast for my two sons in the morning. When they are at school, I do my morning exercise, then call the office and cook lunch for my sons.

Your path to a self-determined life has encouraged many young women. Do you receive letters from those affected asking for help or a personal interview?

I get a lot of emails every year, and when a campaign is running, a few thousand emails a year. My principle is that all mails are answered. This can sometimes take a while.

You were born and raised in Africa. Are there traditions or ways of life that have a permanent place in your life?

I left my native Somalia at the age of 13 and have been living in cities like London, New York or Vienna for over 40 years. I've taken something culturally from everywhere and that's how I live. If I have taken something from Africa, then certainly my zest for life, my positive thinking, my respect for water and my respect for Mother Earth and nature.

What happened if...? Do you sometimes wonder how your life would have been if you had stayed with your nomad family?

No. Even as a little girl in the desert, I knew there were bigger tasks waiting for me out in the world.

Which projects are you currently working on?

I'm building Desert Flower Schools in Sierra Leone with my "Desert Flower Foundation", working with a great international artistic team on the musical "Desert Flower," which will premiere on February 20, 2020, and writing a new book, also in 2020 will appear.

Talking about genital mutilation for years, leaves its mark. Have you decided to retire from the public on a specific day X?

No. I'm not the type of person who retreats or gives up. What I make in life, I also pull through consistently.