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Sulphur emissions Sulphur emissions
Soil degradation is a key global environmental indicator. Trans-border pollution in Europe has become a serious international and environmental problem. Sulphur emissions from industry in Eastern Europe is one of the most environmentally damaging problem that faces countries today.
07 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Bad harvests in South Niger Bad harvests in South Niger
In Niger, one of the world's poorest countries, people are far more concerned about the availability of food than its quality. In some areas, particularly in August and September when one crop runs out and the next is not ready to harvest, people eat very little – some days nothing at all.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Human influences on the atmosphere during the industrial era Human influences on the atmosphere during the industrial era
In many of the world’s largest cities (Beijing, Calcutta, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, etc.) WHO World Health Organization) air quality guidelines are not met. In 1996 global emissions of carbon dioxide were nearly four times the 1950 total.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Hunger and conflicts in Africa Hunger and conflicts in Africa
Over the last 30 years increasing numbers of people have been affected by severe flooding, drought and variable climate in the Sahel. Millions of Africans have sought refuge from these disasters. These peoples have often had to settle on marginal areas; where some have faced social tensions with new neighbouring communities.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Smog over Southeast Asia in 1997 Smog over Southeast Asia in 1997
In 1997 alone haze caused by air pollutants from fire spread for more than 3,200 kilometers, covering six Southeast Asian countries. In the Malaysian state of Sarawak, air pollution reached one the highest recorded indices at 839 g/m3 (levels over 301 g/m3 are equal to smoking 80 cigarettes a day).
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Women in government decision-making positions in 1998 Women in government decision-making positions in 1998
Women are responsible for most household work (and in many parts of the world the majority of agricultural production), but women’s rights to own land or control resources are constrained, often by traditional customs and religious laws.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, assisted by Lucie Dejouhanet, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Areas affected by deforestation Areas affected by deforestation
Deforestation is a key global environmental indicator. Many regions of the world are affected by deforestation: namely in South America (Brazil), Central Africa (Congo), Southeast Asia (Indonesia) and Eastern Europe.
07 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Global human development indicators Global human development indicators
Poverty is multidimensional. It varies in scale and context (political, social, cultural, ecological, historical, economic). The rural poor face different challenges from those in urban areas: they are concerned with natural resources (access, quality), whereas the urban poor care about access to energy, housing and sanitation, and about the quality and availability of water.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, assisted by Lucie Dejouhanet, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Ever growing numbers of refugees Ever growing numbers of refugees
Many people forced into exile for ecological reasons have to claim political refugee status. For instance, in 1992 the thousands of people who fled the drought in Mozambique had political refuge status in Zambia. Gaining this status was easy since Zambia needed to increase its refugee population to qualify for more international aid. After the drought ended, the eco-refugees returned to Mozambique before official repatriation started.
07 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Poverty and unemployment in New York City Poverty and unemployment in New York City
The United States Census Bureau sets the poverty thresholds according to money income before taxes, excluding capital gains and noncash benefits, family size and number of children under 18 years old. These thresholds were developed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) in 1964, then revised by interagency committees (1969, 1981). They are adjusted each year using the annual average Consumer Price Index (CPI). For example, a single person u...
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Disappearing forests Disappearing forests
From 1970 to 1990 there was significant deforestation of both primary and secondary forests in Thailand: during this thirty year period, the area covered by primary and secondary forest declined by more than half.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Poverty and cholera in Kwazulu-Natal January 2001 Poverty and cholera in Kwazulu-Natal January 2001
Data and maps on poverty, sanitation, safe and clean water and the incidence of cholera were used to help contain the spread of cholera in the Kwazulu Natal province in January 2001. Poverty and cholera data sets showed that the cholera outbreak followed a river flood plain and moved through and towards poor areas.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Degraded soils Degraded soils
Soil degradation is a key global environmental indicator. Very degraded soils are found especially in semi-arid areas (Sub-Saharan Africa, Chile), areas with high population pressure (China, Mexico, India) and regions undergoing deforestation (Indonesia). Degraded soils reduce the possibilities for agriculture, increases the expansion of drylands/desert and hightens the risk for erosion. This map presents the state of global soil degradation, fro...
06 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Central Asia in peril Central Asia in peril
Communities face appalling health problems. In Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan, drinking water is saline and polluted, with a high content of metals that causes a range of diseases. Over the past 15 years there has been a thirty-fold increase in chronic bronchitis and in kidney and liver diseases, especially cancer and arthritic diseases have increased sixty-fold. The infant mortality rate is one of the world's highest.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Number of extra skin cancer cases related to UV radiation Number of extra skin cancer cases related to UV radiation
The most widely recognised damage occurs to the skin. The direct effects are sun burn, chronic skin damage (photo-aging) and an increased risk of developing various types of skin cancer. Models predict that a 10 per cent decrease in the ozone in the stratosphere could cause an additional 300,000 non-melanoma and 4,500 (more dangerous) melanoma skin cancers worldwide annually.
29 Nov 2007 - by Emmanuelle Bournay, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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The colder Antarctic winter drives formation of the hole in the south The colder Antarctic winter drives formation of the hole in the south
The air inside the Antarctic polar vortex is much colder than midlatitude air. “When temperatures drop below -78°C, thin clouds form of ice, nitric acid, and sulphuric acid mixtures. Chemical reactions on the surfaces of ice crystals in the clouds release active forms of CFCs. Ozone depletion begins, and the ozone “hole” appears.
01 Oct 2007 - by Emmanuelle Bournay, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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The “Hole”: a result of special weather conditions over the pole repeated every spring The “Hole”: a result of special weather conditions over the pole repeated every spring
The Antarctic continent is circled by a strong wind in the stratosphere which flows around Antarctica and isolates air over Antarctica from air in the midlatitudes. The region poleward of this jet stream is called the Antarctic polar vortex. The air inside the Antarctic polar vortex is much colder than midlatitude air.” “When temperatures drop below -78°C, thin clouds form of ice, nitric acid, and sulphuric acid mixtures. Chemical reactions on th...
29 Nov 2007 - by Emmanuelle Bournay, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Ozone hole size 1980–2006 Ozone hole size 1980–2006
The extent of ozone depletion for any given period depends on complex interaction between chemical and climatic factors such as temperature and wind. The unusually high levels of depletion in 1988, 1993 and 2002 were due to early warming of the polar stratosphere caused by air disturbances originating in mid-latitudes, rather than by major changes in the amount of reactive chlorine and bromine in the Antarctic stratosphere.
01 Oct 2007 - by Emmanuelle Bournay, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Effects of enhanced UV-B radiations on crops Effects of enhanced UV-B radiations on crops
Experiments on food crops have shown lower yields for several key crops such as rice, soy beans and sorghum. The plants minimize their exposure to UV by limiting the surface area of foliage, which in turn impairs growth. However the observed drop in yield does not seem serious enough for scientists to sound the alarm.
29 Nov 2007 - by Emmanuelle Bournay, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Common but differentiated responsibilities Common but differentiated responsibilities
All countries can claim “climate credits” by their phase out of ozone depleting substances (ODS) under the Montreal Protocol, and some are beginning to document this contribution. Article 5 countries are those listed as developing and do not have the same goals as industrialized nations.
29 Nov 2007 - by Emmanuelle Bournay, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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