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Freshwater stress and risk Freshwater stress and risk
One study suggests that although global water conditions may worsen by 2025 due to population pressure, climate change could have a net positive impact on global water resources. NB! Note that other studies indicate that with present consumption patterns, 2 of every 3 persons on Earth will experience water stress by 2025. The diagram on the left side shows the result of this particular study, indicating the water availability for the population...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Temperature and CO2 concentration in the atmosphere over the past 400 000 years Temperature and CO2 concentration in the atmosphere over the past 400 000 years
Over the last 400,000 years the Earth's climate has been unstable, with very significant temperature changes, going from a warm climate to an ice age in as rapidly as a few decades. These rapid changes suggest that climate may be quite sensitive to internal or external climate forcings and feedbacks. This figures have been derived from the Vostok ice core, taken in Antarctica.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Impact of Temperature Rise on Robusta Coffee in Uganda Impact of Temperature Rise on Robusta Coffee in Uganda
Developing countries, whose economies often rely heavily on one or two agricultural products, are especially vulnerable to climate change. This graphic shows that with an increase of only 2 degrees Celsius, there would be a dramatic decrease in the amount of land suitable for growing Robusta coffee in Uganda.
17 May 2005 - by Otto Simonett, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Trends in the ice-breaking date in the Tornio river, Finland Trends in the ice-breaking date in the Tornio river, Finland
The icebreaking date for the Tornio River in Finland has been recorded since 1693. With the increased greenhouse effect, impacts on the cryosphere are likely. One impact will be less ice on rivers and lakes. Freeze-up dates will be delayed, and break-up will begin earlier. The period of river-ice could be shortened by up to a month. Many rivers within the temperate regions could become ice-free or develop only intermittent or partial ice coverage...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Thinning of the Arctic sea-ice Thinning of the Arctic sea-ice
Sea-ice draft is the thickness of the part of the ice that is submerged under the sea. Comparison of sea-ice draft data acquired on submarine cruises between 1993 and 1997 with similar data acquired between 1958 and 1976 indicates that the mean ice draft at the end of the melt season has decreased by about 1.3 m in most of the deep water portion of the Arctic Ocean, from 3.1 m in 1958-1976 to 1.8 m in the 1990s. In summary: ice draft in the 1990s...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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IPCC structure IPCC structure
In 1988, UNEP and WMO jointly established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as concern over changes in the climate became a political issue. The purpose of the IPCC was to assess the state of knowledge on the various aspects of global change including science, environmental and socio-economic impacts and response strategies. The IPCC is recognized as the most authoritative scientific and technical voice on these issues, and its...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Sensitivity, adaptability and vulnerability Sensitivity, adaptability and vulnerability
The potential impacts of climate change on the environment and socio-economic systems can be understood in terms of sensitivity, adaptability and vulnerability of the system, and this figure defines these terms.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Nigeria and the freshwater challenge Nigeria and the freshwater challenge
Out of the total precipitation reaching Nigeria, it can be separated into green and blue water. Green water (79% of the precipitation) represents the fraction of rainfall that generates soil moisture and which supports terrestrial ecosystems. It is not returned to groundwater and rivers, but will eventually evaporate or transpire through plants. Blue water, on the other hand, represents the fraction (21%) of the precipitation that runs into river...
02 Nov 2006 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Coastal issues in the islands of Comoros and Mayotte Coastal issues in the islands of Comoros and Mayotte
With poverty and high population density this group of volcanic islands between Eastern Africa and Madagascar faces challenges in the management of the coastal environment. The islands are fringed by magnificent coral reefs, and the waters houses the rare coelacanth fish. Among the responses there have been initiatives to encourage ecotourism and the support in establishing the 400 km2 Mohéli Marine Park.
23 Feb 2006 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Woodfuel and energy consumption Woodfuel and energy consumption
Biomass, primarily woodfuel, is the major source of energy in Sub-Saharan Africa, with the exception of South Africa. Over 90% of the total energy consumption is biomass in Ethiopia, DPR Congo and Tanzania. Projections estimate that this will further increase, together with population increase and higher energy needs. In total energy consumption, populous countries, such as Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt have the highest totals.
02 Nov 2006 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Current and potential arable land use in Africa Current and potential arable land use in Africa
Out of the total land area in Africa, only a fraction is used for arable land. Using soil, land cover and climatic characteristics a FAO study has estimated the potential land area for rainfed crops, excluding built up areas and forests – neither of which would be available for agriculture. According to the study, the potential – if realised – would mean an increase ranging from 150 – 700% percent per region, with a total potential for the whole ...
02 Nov 2006 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Catches in the Mauritania Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) 1950-2002 Catches in the Mauritania Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) 1950-2002
Marine fisheries represent a significant, but finite, natural resource for coastal countries. The majority of the catches in some of the areas of the coast are not primarily by the coastal countries, but rather as in this example, where countries from Europe and Asia (Japan and South Korea are in the ‘others’ group) represent the majority. According to this estimation Mauritania only landed about 10% of the total catch in 2002, with Netherlands a...
02 Nov 2006 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Agriculture in Africa, value added out of GDP Agriculture in Africa, value added out of GDP
For the future of Africa, agriculture remains one of the most important issues. A majority of the population, especially outside urban areas, are involved in agriculture, and food security is one of the most important issues to solve in the short term in some parts of the region. The current financial importance varies, as presented in this map, with agriculture representing up to 50-60% of the total economy in some countries (Guinea-Bissau, Cent...
02 Nov 2006 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Gender equality and empowerment of women: eliminate differences in education Gender equality and empowerment of women: eliminate differences in education
In increasing living standards, sustainability and livelihoods and eliminating poverty, gender equality and education are seen as some of the main means. This is further recognized in the Millennium Development Goals, as goal 3: 'Promote gender equality and empower women'. This map illustrates one of the indicators for indicator 9 (target 4) under this goal, and the Millennium Project assesses the current progress in reaching the goal as good for...
02 Nov 2006 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Africa: Stockholm convention on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Africa: Stockholm convention on persistent organic pollutants (POPs)
The process initiated by UNEP in 1995, materialised as the Stockholm convention in May 2001. The convention bans chemicals such as chlordane, DDT and PCB and other organic pesticides and industrial chemicals, as well as establishing precautionary approaches for the future. Most African countries are using agents, such as DDT, for control of disease vectors and pests under exemptions.
02 Nov 2006 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Loss of Great Ape habitat 2002-2032 (Africa) Loss of Great Ape habitat 2002-2032 (Africa)
Based on population pressures the GLOBIO2 model has assessed the current and future human impacts on Great Ape habitat in Africa (Chimpanzee, Bonobo and Gorilla). The analysis shows a vast reduction of some of the world's remaining wilderness areas. (this poster prepared for the UNESCO GRASP meeting in November 2003)
02 Nov 2006 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Sub-Saharan Africa: Mineral resources and political instability Sub-Saharan Africa: Mineral resources and political instability
Africa, south of Sahara, is a region with plenty of valuable mineral resources - metals, oil and diamonds. Foreign investments lead the extraction and exploration in many of these places to supply the world markets. This region is also the site of several open conflicts, recent and trying peace and political instability. Foreign armed forces are present in military bases and peace keeping forces. Copyright Le Monde Diplomatique 2004.
02 Nov 2006 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, Le Monde Diplomatique
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Population and growth, projections and historic data Population and growth, projections and historic data
The population has rapidly increased in Africa, to reach approximately 905 million inhabitants by 2005. The rate of the annual growth is levelling out after seeing a peak around 1990. Out of the sub-regions, the population is fairly evenly distributed, as indicated in the pie-chart, with Central Africa trailing behind the others, and the Western Indian Ocean islands with the smallest share out of the total population.
02 Nov 2006 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Invasive alien plants in South Africa Invasive alien plants in South Africa
Species that has been introduced on purpose or spread in the wild threaten livelihoods in agriculture or water resources. As illustrated in this map, some regions of South Africa have very high ratios of invasive alien plants and are subject to government projects to limit the distribution and information campaigns informing the public.
23 Feb 2006 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Africa: policy on genetically modified organisms (GMO) and genetically engineered (GE) foods Africa: policy on genetically modified organisms (GMO) and genetically engineered (GE) foods
The Cartagena protocol on biosafety, a supplement to the convention on biological diversity, has strong support in Africa, with a majority of the countries as signatories. In addition, several countries have, in the past, rejected aid (especially unmilled grains) in food imports with concerns for national biosafety. South Africa is so far the only country that is seeing wide-spread use of genetically modified crops.
02 Nov 2006 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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