By Dady Chery, Haiti Chery | News Junkie Post. The Haitian impression of being in the center of a world vortex could not be truer when it comes to climate change. As a result of carbon (mostly carbon dioxide and methane) emissions due burning of fossil fuels by industrialized countries, global sea levels have risen one inch over the last decade alone.
By Mark Johanson, International Business Times. The South Pacific Ocean’s Cook Islands, a country with a combined landmass slightly larger than Washington, D.C., announced on Tuesday August 28 the creation of a more than 600,000 square mile reserve. With the collaboration of Conservation International, the 16-member Pacific Islands Forum has laid out a plan to protect 25 million square miles of ocean: an area larger than the lunar surface.
By Brenda Ekwurzel, Union of Concerned Scientists | NOAA | Haiti Chery. Scientific evidence links the destructive power of hurricanes to higher ocean temperatures driven by global warming. Expansion of the oceans due to warming, combined with the inflow of water from melting land ice, have raised global sea levels more than one inch over the last decade. In addition, the water vapor content of the atmosphere over the oceans has increased four percent since 1970.
By Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center, a hurricane warning is in effect for Haiti — including the populous cities of Port-au-Prince and Jacmel, and the Ile de la Gonave — and the Dominican Republic’s southern coast. Hurricane Isaac should hit the island of Hispaniola the night of Thursday August 23-24 with rainfall of 8 to 12 inches, dangerous waves, and storm surges that might raise the coastal waters 3 to 5 feet above normal. With less than 24 hours left for preparations to save lives and property, the Haitian government had done nothing except issue general safety warnings. Regular UPDATES. (English | French)
By Staff, NIWA, New Zealand | Richard Harris and National Geographic, Vimeo. A diving expedition into New Zealand’s Pease Resurgence — one of the world’s deepest underwater caves, near the city of Nelson — discovered three new-to-science species: a worm, a small snail, a transparent amphipod. The depth explored so far is 194 meters (636 feet), at 6.5 degrees Celsius (44 degrees Farenheit).
Editorial comment by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery | Staff, AFP via Yahoo!7 News | Elena L. Aben and Ellalyn B. De Vera, Manila Bulletin | Manuel Mogato, Rosemarie Francisco and Ed Lane, Reuters | By Staff, Sun Star | Rio Rose Ribaya, Reuters via Yahoo! | By Kim Arveen Patria, Yahoo! Large farming towns north of the capital Manila, as well as heavily populated coastal areas remain under waist-deep floods. Fierce winds and heavy rains from slow-moving Typhoon Gener (international codename Saola) have battered the country, killing at least 39 people and displacing about 200,000. UPDATE Aug 7: The typhoon left the Philippines on Friday Aug 3 but was immediately followed by tropical storm Haikui, which raised the number of casualties to more than 50 and of the displaced to more than 270,000 people. UPDATE Aug 16: New tropical storm Helen (international name Kai-Tak) kills 7 and causes yet more flooding and destruction.
By Stephen Leahy, IPS | Envolverde. Threats to coral reefs have gone from worrisome to dire. Bleaching, overfishing, pollution and disease have largely wiped out the fabulous coral communities of the Caribbean, which has lost 80 percent of its corals since the 1970s, say scientists at the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS). (English | Spanish | Portuguese)
By Kim-Jenna Jurriaans, IPS | UPDATE from Haiti Chery. The United Nations is increasingly hiring Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs) for its missions across the world, raising concerns over the use of firms known for participation in human rights abuses, as well as an overall lack of accountability structures governing these contractors within the U.N. system. UPDATE 1: DynCorp boasts of having trained 400 “Haitian police” and is awarded a $48.6 million contract to insert 100 contractors and 10 advisors into the “UN police force” in Haiti.
By Georgi Gotev, EurActiv. A European Parliament Committee rejected the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) on June 21st despite pro-business lobbying by Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht, who insisted that Parliament should not decide before the European Court of Justice gives its opinion. A final vote in the full Parliament is expected on July 4th.
Press Release, La Quadrature du Net. The “International Trade” (INTA) committee of the EU Parliament will adopt its draft report on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), on Thursday June 21. Under pressure from the EU Commission and industry lobbyists, members of the committee could decide, potentially in a secret vote, to call for the adoption of ACTA or postponement of the final vote for years. Citizens participation is crucial to ensure the Parliament follows the general interest and votes a clear rejection of ACTA.
By Robert Sanders, UC Berkeley Press Release | CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research | Haiti Chery. Scientists from the U.S., Australia and New Zealand have discovered that a steep rise in atmospheric nitrous oxide (N2O) since the mid-1970′s is due to the increased use of industrial fertilizers. Nitrous oxide damages the UV-protective ozone layer in the stratosphere and contributes to climate change as a potent greenhouse gas that causes global warming.