Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for the ‘Climate Change’ Category

One answer to climate change and the worsening human condition: Camel milk

TReuters

“……But the snorting beasts now have an additional benefit. They are being hailed for their ability to withstand climate-related droughts that are set to worsen in the Horn of Africa, where temperatures average above 30 degrees Celsius parts of the year.

Their milk has been dubbed “white gold” by food experts who say the creamy liquid could help conquer malnutrition, diabetes and other medical concerns, making it a tempting new superfood for health-conscious Western consumers.

With a growth in camel milk products available – from chocolate bars to baby milk formula and ice cream to “camelcino” coffees – there is a growing demand from consumers from North America to China, market experts say.

“If there is water scarcity, (camels) can go a month without water. Even when they are thirsty they can still produce milk – there is no downside to camels,” said Issack who uses money from milk sales to support his family…..

Camel milk is especially nutritious for young children and the elderly, she said, and selling it to passersby has allowed her to pay her debts and her children’s school fees.

The milk, commonly drunk in countries from the United Arab Emirates to Chad and Mongolia, has a vitamin C content three times as rich as cow’s milk, according to the FAO, and can benefit those who lack access to a varied and balanced diet.

“It’s widely claimed that there are lots of medicinal properties to the milk. It’s a different make-up of the proteins, carbohydrates and fatty acids,” said Simpkin.

“That’s what makes people claim that it’s much more nutritious.”………”


The Mauna Loa Observatory, which has measured the parts per million (ppm) of CO2 in the atmosphere since 1958, took a reading of 415.26ppm in the air on 11 May – thought to be the highest concentration since humans evolved.

Independent

Site: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo-search/study/6091

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/nature06949

Citation: Lüthi, D., M. Le Floch, B. Bereiter, T. Blunier, J.-M. Barnola, U. Siegenthaler, D. Raynaud, J. Jouzel, H. Fischer, K. Kawamura, and T.F. Stocker. 2008. High-resolution carbon dioxide concentration record 650,000-800,000 years before present. Nature, Vol. 453, pp. 379-382, 15 May 2008.


Costa Rica: Going “Green”

NYT

“……Costa Rica’s green bid, though fraught with challenges, has a head start. Electricity comes largely from renewable sources already — chiefly hydropower, but also wind, solar and geothermal energy. The country has doubled its forest cover in the last 30 years, after decades of deforestation, so that half of its land surface is now covered with trees. ……”


Two damning reports on the negative impact of climate change on global health……

“…..another dire warning about climate change, released yesterday in The Lancet, the New York Times reported. The report comes on the heels of the US government’s National Climate Assessment, which dropped on Black Friday—and echoes many of its findings. The 2 reports offer the gravest warning yet about the myriad, interconnected health risks of climate change….”


NASA: 2018 was Fourth Warmest Year in Continued Warming Trend

NASA GISS

Global map of temperature anomalyOne frame of an animation of the GFWED Fire Index

Global map of surface temperature anomaly for the period 2005-2014

Colorbar showing range of values in global map

According to an ongoing temperature analysis conducted by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the average global temperature on Earth has increased by about 0.8° Celsius (1.4° Fahrenheit) since 1880. Two-thirds of the warming has occurred since 1975, at a rate of roughly 0.15-0.20°C per decade.

 


Australia: State of the Climate

Australia: State of the Climate

Key points

Australia

  • Australia’s climate has warmed just over 1 °C since 1910 leading to an increase in the frequency of extreme heat events.
  • Oceans around Australia have warmed by around 1 °C since 1910, contributing to longer and more frequent marine heatwaves.
  • Sea levels are rising around Australia, increasing the risk of inundation.
  • The oceans around Australia are acidifying (the pH is decreasing).
  • April to October rainfall has decreased in the southwest of Australia. Across the same region May–July rainfall has seen the largest decrease, by around 20 per cent since 1970.
  • There has been a decline of around 11 per cent in April–October rainfall in the southeast of Australia since the late 1990s.
  • Rainfall has increased across parts of northern Australia since the 1970s.
  • Streamflow has decreased across southern Australia. Streamflow has increased in northern Australia where rainfall has increased.
  • There has been a long-term increase in extreme fire weather, and in the length of the fire season, across large parts of Australia.

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Global

  • Concentrations of all the major long-lived greenhouse gases in the atmosphere continue to increase, with carbon dioxide (CO 2) concentrations rising above 400 ppm since 2016 and the CO 2 equivalent (CO 2-e) of all gases reaching 500 ppm for the first time in at least 800,000 years.
  • Emissions from fossil fuels continue to increase and are the main contributor to the observed growth in atmospheric CO2.
  • The world’s oceans, especially in the southern hemisphere, are taking up more than 90 per cent of the extra energy stored by the planet as a result of enhanced greenhouse gas concentrations.
  • Global sea level has risen by over 20 cm since 1880, and the rate has been accelerating in recent decades.
  • Globally averaged air temperature has warmed by over 1 °C since records began in 1850, and each of the last four decades has been warmer than the previous one.

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Future

Australia is projected to experience:

  • Further increases in sea and air temperatures, with more hot days and marine heatwaves, and fewer cool extremes.
  • Further sea level rise and ocean acidification.
  • Decreases in rainfall across southern Australia with more time in drought, but an increase in intense heavy rainfall throughout Australia.

Australia — again — is in the midst of one of its hottest summers on record.

NYT

National Radar image

 

Daily maximum temperature for Australia

 

Average daily maximum temperature - Annual

Daily rainfall totals for Australia


Polar Vortex: At least 8 deaths associated with the current weather


NEJM: Climate Change — A Health Emergency

NEJM

Climate Change — A Health Emergency

Caren G. Solomon, M.D., M.P.H., and Regina C. LaRocque, M.D., M.P.H.

January 17, 2019
N Engl J Med 2019; 380:209-211
DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1817067

“…..Camp Wildfire spread rapidly in California in early November 2018….[T]he chaos began. Within the next 24 hours, with fires raging, 12 new burn patients were rushed to his facility (which usually admits 1 or 2 patients in a given day). The most severely injured man had burns over nearly half his body, with exposed bone and tendon; a month later, he and two other patients remained hospitalized, facing repeated surgeries. And these were the patients fortunate enough to have made it to the hospital. At least 85 people died and nearly 14,000 homes were lost in what is the largest California wildfire on record….”

NASA

Graph of global mean temperature from 1880 to 2009.

Graph of average global sea level since 1880.


Tuyuksu Glacier in Central Asia: In 6 decades it has lost more than 1/2 mile

NYT

“….The world’s roughly 150,000 glaciers, not including the large ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica, cover about 200,000 square miles of the earth’s surface. Over the last four decades they’ve lost the equivalent of a layer of ice 70 feet thick…..”

 


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