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Ed Webb

Tunisia's olive production could halve by 2030 due to climate change | Middle East Eye - 0 views

  • Tunisia's 3,000-year history of olive farming is under threat with warnings that production is at risk of halving by 2030 because of the extremes of climate change, from floods to droughts.
  • In the short term, Tunisia's olive oil sector, which accounts for more than 40 percent of revenues from agricultural exports and five percent of total exports, has cause to celebrate.

    Official figures project a record output of 340,000 tonnes in 2015, with 312,000 tonnes for export, making Tunisia - for the first time - the world's leading exporter of the prized product.

  • before we used to have severe drought one year out of five. Now it's an average of two in five
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  • Climate change affects the entire olive oil sector that employs 390,000 of the country's 560,000 agricultural workers and provides a source of revenue for one million Tunisians
Ed Webb

'Deadly' heat waves predicted for Arabian Gulf by 2100 - Al Jazeera English - 0 views

  • Scorching temperatures are already standard for people living in the Arabian Gulf, but by the end of the century parts of the region could become so hot that it will be impossible for humans to spend time outside
  • if climate change continues at the same pace the severe conditions that now happen roughly once every 20 summer days will become a normal occurrence
  • potential danger for the millions of Muslims attending the annual pilgrimage of Hajj
Ed Webb

Syrian war spurs first withdrawal from doomsday Arctic seed vault - Yahoo News - 0 views

  • Syria's civil war has prompted the first withdrawal of crop seeds from a "doomsday" vault built in an Arctic mountainside to safeguard global food supplies, officials said on Monday.

    The seeds, including samples of wheat, barley and grasses suited to dry regions, have been requested by researchers in the Middle East to replace a collection in the Syrian city of Aleppo that has been damaged by the war.

  • Many seeds from the Aleppo collection have traits resistant to drought, which could help breed crops to withstand climate change in dry areas from Australia to Africa.
Ed Webb

Can Solar Desalination Slake the World's Thirst? - Scientific American - 0 views

  • Another large-scale solar desalination project is currently under construction in Saudi Arabia and scheduled for completion in early 2017. The plant is slated to produce 60,000 cubic meters of water per day for Al Khafji City in North Eastern Saudi Arabia, ensuring a constant water supply to the arid region throughout the year. According to Abengoa, the Spanish renewable energy company building the pioneering facility, the incorporation of solar would significantly reduce operating costs, as Saudi Arabia currently burns 1.5 million barrels of oil per day at its desalination plants, which provide 50-70 percent of its drinking water. Total desalination demand in Saudi Arabia and neighboring countries is expected to reach 110 million cubic meters a day by 2030.
Ed Webb

Turkey: PKK threatens dam projects in southeast - 0 views

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    Aim off due to this being Turkey's semi-official news agency/propaganda organ
Ed Webb

New Ethiopian dam flares tensions over water access | Mada Masr - 0 views

  • Ethiopian media said that the country's government finished plans to establish a second main dam on the Nile, irrespective of the rising tensions with Egyptian authorities.

    “Members of the left-wing of Ethiopia's ruling party are accusing the US of disturbing the balance in the region by supplying Egypt with F16 jets, as well as millions of dollars in military aid, which gave Egypt the courage to pressure the rest of the Nile Basin countries,” the Somalian Sun reported according to Al-Masry Al-Youm.

    “There’s no need to acquire Egypt’s approval for establishing any dams in Ethiopia since Egypt previously established the High Dam without Ethiopia’s approval,” the newspaper added.

  • The 6,000-megawatt Renaissance Dam, which heads a 63-billion cubic meter reservoir, is expected to generate three times the electricity generated by the Aswan High Dam and hold twice the amount of water held in Lake Tana, Ethiopia’s largest lake.
Ed Webb

Environment Magazine - September/October 2013 - 0 views

  • the Chinese drive for water security may spark a series of actions that others may interpret as threats even while inside China they may be technical responses to very real risks
    • Ed Webb
       
      Akin to the classic security dilemma: efforts to ameliorate environmental problems may be misconstrued as hostile or their unintended consequences read as intentional.
  • The regional security difficulty lies not only in Tibetan politics, but in the fact that the Yarlung-Tsangpo becomes the Brahmaputra once it crosses into India in Arunachal Pradesh, a territory disputed by India and China and heavily militarized. Diversions affecting the Brahmaputra would imperil India's own water security, including hydropower and irrigation projects, and would have further impacts downstream in Bangladesh. Although China may see its water projects as increasing its own security, India and Bangladesh view the Chinese actions as a direct threat to their national security. Specifically, China's actions have the potential to increase the risk of water-related population stresses, cross-border tension, and migration and agricultural failures for perhaps a billion people in India and Bangladesh, and its actions may be interpreted as a security threat by India
  • Many systems rely on predictable delivery of water, and too much or too little at the wrong time can spell catastrophe for agriculture, power, transport, or other critical systems linked around the globe
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  • The connections between extreme heat/drought in Russia in the summer of 2010 and the subsequent Arab Spring revolts in late 2010 are an example of where changes in one system (in this case, water/moisture for food production) may contribute to existing instability in a far different geographical region.
  • The topic of environmental security also raises questions about what or who is driving policy priorities and how science is (mis)communicated to policymakers.
  • Complex risk assessments must take into account the multidimensional and interdisciplinary nature of the strategic environment. Providing adequate resources for these complex assessments requires knowledge not only of climate and weather systems, but of particular geographical, cultural, and socioeconomic factors that make environmental hazards unique to each region and community
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