Tuesday June 19, 2018

India among 14 nations to train students on climate change

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Washington: The White House today informed that India, France, China and Britain are among 14 countries who will train students on climate change and its impacts on health.

From these 14 countries, 48 medical, public health and nursing schools committed to give training to their students. This put the total number of schools in the world teaching climate change to 118, said the White House.

In India, two centers of Indian Institute of Public Health, including one in Bhubaneshwar, have taken up this objective.

The White House will make an official announcement in this regard on the sidelines of the ongoing Paris Climate Summit.

The present decision to train students on climate change is an expansion of a previous initiative towards this end. The White House said that US President Barrack Obama is committed to this global challenge, which needs a global response.

The 14 additional countries joining the move are Australia, Canada, China, Grenada, Ecuador, Finland, France, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland and United Kingdom.

A Global Consortium on Climate and Health Education will be formed to implement the working of the Health Educators Climate Commitment, as would soon be announced by the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, which is helping in recruiting peer institutions.

The Consortium will also act as a forum, through which, schools around the world dealing with health and medicine would be able to share scientific and educational knowledge and practices; develop a curriculum and core knowledge set; and work on ways to develop academic partnerships on a global platform to support professional health training, especially in countries which are under-resourced, said the White House.

Climate change cannot be ignored anymore as a concern for the future generation, and all nations must work together towards this issue as none are immune to its effects. This is what the Paris talks on climate change are all about, it asserted.

“Today’s commitments reinforce not only how vast the impacts of climate change are, but also the opportunity to join together and address this problem,” it said.

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Climate Change Changes The Cost Of Eating Veggies

Food production itself is a major contributor to climate change.

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People shop at a vegetable and fruit market in Amman, Jordan, June 6, 2018. Climate change could drive up the prices of vegetables, according to a new study.
People shop at a vegetable and fruit market in Amman, Jordan, June 6, 2018. Climate change could drive up the prices of vegetables, according to a new study. VOA

Keeping healthy could become more costly as climate change and water scarcity cause a huge drop in the global production of vegetables and legumes, scientists said Monday.

The amount of vegetables produced could fall by more than a third, especially in hot regions like southern Europe and swaths of Africa and South Asia, said researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

By analyzing studies across 40 countries, with some dating as far back as 1975, they found that hikes in greenhouses gases, water scarcity and global temperatures lowered the amount of vegetables and legumes produced.

Such drastic changes could drive up the prices of vegetables, which would affect poorer communities the most, according to the study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“If we take a ‘business as usual’ approach, environmental changes will substantially reduce the global availability of these important foods,” said Alan Dangour, a co-author of the paper, in a statement.

Scientists have warned that world temperatures are likely to rise by 2 degrees to 4.9 degrees Celsius this century compared with pre-industrial times.

Climate change
Climate change, Pixabay

This could lead to dangerous weather patterns — including more frequent and powerful droughts, floods and storms — increasing the pressure on agriculture.

Food production itself is a major contributor to climate change.

Agriculture, forestry and changes in land use together produce nearly a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions, making them the second-largest emitter after the energy sector, said the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

The volume of food transported around the world also is exacerbating global warming.

The global demand for food is expected to soar as the world’s population is projected to grow to 9.8 billion people by 2050, up from 7.6 billion today, according to the U.N.

Crops now take up 11 percent of the world’s land surface, and livestock grazing covers 26 percent of ice-free land, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Farming accounts for about 70 percent of all water used globally, said the OECD.

Water scarcity already affects more than 40 percent of the world’s population, according to the U.N.

Green vegetable
Green vegetable, Pixabay

That number is expected to rise due to global warming, with one in four people projected to face chronic or recurring shortages by 2050, the U.N. said.

Also read: Climate change driving dramatic rise in sea levels: NASA

“Urgent action needs to be taken, including working to support the agriculture sector to increase its resilience to environmental changes,” said Dangour. “And this must be a priority for governments across the world.” (VOA)