18 April 2017 – Warming of 2°C in Africa could reduce ag production by 20%
Scientific consensus is that a temperature increase of 2°Celsius would result in an average reduction of 15% to 20% in agricultural yields on the African continent.
The Center for Global Development’s 2011 report, “Quantifying Vulnerability to Climate Change Implications for Adaptation Assistance,” forecasts median agricultural productivity losses due to climate change ranging from 18% in North Africa to 19.8% in Central Africa through 2050.
The weak output in Africa, reinforced by a spike in temperatures and exacerbated by extreme climate events, could create a vicious loop of food insecurity, impoverishment, mass migration and, finally, armed conflict.
In addition to the moral imperative of feeding people, there is also an essentially practical argument to be made in favour of significantly increasing support for agricultural adaptation in Africa—the so-called feedback loop. By helping Africa boost agricultural production through improved soil management and irrigation techniques, as well as increased research on other farming techniques that respect the integrity of land, the global community also would be helping reduce greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. That’s because the improved agricultural practices, as part of a virtuous circle, would increase yields on poor farmland, reduce deforestation and improve the carbon sequestration capacity of cultivated soil.
By maintaining African agriculture and reinforcing its capacity for adapting to climate change, the international community can show its responsiveness to the life-and-death issue of African food security, while addressing the global imperative to reduce temperature increases.
Scientists Just Figured Out How to Use Graphene to Make Seawater Drinkable
New research from the University of Manchester developed a graphene-based sieve that can filter out salt from seawater. The graphene oxide membrane could be a cheaper and more efficient filter for desalination plants to use. Read more…
National Water Week 20 – 26 March 2017
National World Water Day, 22 March 2017, under the theme “Wastewater: The Untapped Resource” Read more…
South Africa: Winemakers gobsmacked as Swartland opens door to sandmining
Swartland wine producers appear to have lost their legal battle to stop sand mining in Paardeberg, a move which threatens to undermine 20 years’ worth of work to establish Swartland as a prized winemaking region.
The granting of new sand mining licences opens up the possibility that mining operations will now become a common sight the region, changing the landscape and destroying precious cultivatable land in a relatively small area.
The Swartland Municipality’s own Spatial Development Framework for the Paardeberg – an official document setting out policy guidelines for sustainable development in the area – had earmarked it as a conservation area – a fact which the municipality’s decision appears to contradict.
Does Organic Wine Taste Better?
Ecolabels are part of a new wave of environmental policy that emphasizes information disclosure as a tool to induce environmentally friendly behavior by both firms and consumers. Little consensus exists as to whether ecocertified products are actually better than their conventional counterparts.
Drought in Southern Africa points to urgent need for climate change plans
It is expected that temperatures in Southern Africa will rise by between 1.5°C and 3°C due to climate change by the year 2050. As a strategy to mitigate climate change, southern African farmers should make use of livestock species or breeds that are heat and drought tolerant, disease and parasite resistant. Read more…
The state of the climate in 2016
AS UN climate talks in Marrakesh enter their final few days, leaders have a lot on their minds. Political support for a green agenda will wane in America next year. Read more…