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Electrification and traditional fuels in Sub-Saharan Africa Electrification and traditional fuels in Sub-Saharan Africa
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) consists of 15 countries, with 233 million inhabitants. Apart from Mauritius and the countries around South Africa in the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), the remaining countries exhibit low rates of electricity access and use of high quality fuels. Easy access to electricity and power increases the living standard and enables the development of additional services.
12 May 2008 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Natural resources - marine resources Natural resources - marine resources
Primary ocean productivity, as measured in grammes of carbon per square meter, from remote sensing imagery outlines the areas with rich marine life. These areas are characterised by an abundance of marine life and they provide natural resources in terms of fisheries and harvesting of these resources. The map is a part of a set, presenting different natural resources, with a focus on developing countries, and the use of natural resources for econo...
01 Feb 2008 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Historical trends in carbon dioxide concentrations and temperature Historical trends in carbon dioxide concentrations and temperature
The more recent history, from the middle ages and up until now, show increasing temperatures, rising as the world emerged from the Little Ice Age (LIA), around 1850. With the industrial era, human activities have at the same time increased the level of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, primarily through the burning of fossil fuels. Carbon dioxide is one of the main greenhouse gases, and scientists have been able to connect human activities ...
31 Jul 2008 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Major global bird migration routes to the Arctic Major global bird migration routes to the Arctic
Bird species that migrate to the Arctic coasts and wetlands arrive from nearly every corner of the planet. During the summer, the sun never or nearly never sets, resulting in a short but intensive breeding season when millions of migratory birds arrive in the Arctic to breed. The majority of these birds seek the wetlands and coastal shores of the tundra plains. No other place on Earth receives so many migratory species from nearly all corners of ...
31 Jul 2008 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Climate change - ice and snow and the albedo effect Climate change - ice and snow and the albedo effect
Changes in the polar regions can cause more warming in the entire planet earth system through feedback effects. One such effect is the reduction of ice and snow due to warmer temperatures. When the white and gray snow and ice disappears, less sun rays are reflected out and instead the heat is absorbed by land and sea - which causes further increase in the warming.
31 Jul 2008 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Increases in annual temperatures for a recent five-year period, relative to 1951-1980 Increases in annual temperatures for a recent five-year period, relative to 1951-1980
Warming is widespread, generally greater over land than over oceans, and the largest gains in temperatures for the planet are over the North American Arctic, north central Siberia, and on the Antarctic Peninsula. These recent increases in temperature are confirmed by changes in other features: loss of sea ice, shift of tundra to shrub vegetation, and migration of marine and terrestrial ecosystems to higher latitudes.
01 Jun 2007 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Protected areas, Arctic and Antarctic Protected areas, Arctic and Antarctic
Protected areas are very important for conserving biodiversity. In these areas, human activities are managed to achieve specific conservation goals, for example, to protect a certain species or to conserve a representative habitat or ecosystem. The Arctic has many terrestrial protected areas, but is generally lacking in marine protected areas (MPAs). As the climate warms and the sea ice melts, there will be greater access for activities such as f...
31 Jul 2008 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Cryosphere - winter seasons, Northern and Southern Hemispheres Cryosphere - winter seasons, Northern and Southern Hemispheres
Seasonal variation in the extent of ice and snow cover is greatest in the Northern Hemisphere. Imagine the Earth with white caps on the top and bottom. The top cap increases by a factor of six from summer to winter, while the bottom cap only doubles from summer to winter. This difference is due to snow cover: in the Northern Hemisphere snow cover on land varies from less than 2 million km2 in the summer to 40 to 50 million km2 in the winter3. The...
01 Jun 2007 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Coldwater coral reefs, distribution Coldwater coral reefs, distribution
Scientists are just beginning to learn about the many species in the remote, deep waters of the polar oceans. Corals, for example, are not limited to the warm, shallow waters of the tropics. They also exist in many cold, deep waters all over the world, including Arctic and sub-Antarctic waters. Coral reefs are marine ridges or mounds, which have formed over millennia as a result of the deposition of calcium carbonate by living organisms, predomin...
31 Jul 2008 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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The Antarctic hole The Antarctic hole
Despite progress achieved under the Montreal Protocol, the ozone “hole” over the Antarctic was larger than ever in September 2006. This was due to particularly cold temperatures in the stratosphere, but also to the chemical stability of ozone-depleting substances – it takes about 40 years for them to break down.
31 Jul 2008 - by Emmanuelle Bournay, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Projected impacts of climate change Projected impacts of climate change
Global climate change may impact food production across a range of pathways (Figure 17): 1) By changing overall growing conditions (general rainfall distribution, temperature regime and carbon); 2) By inducing more extreme weather such as floods, drought and storms; and 3) By increasing extent, type and frequency of infestations, including that of invasive alien species (dealt with in a separate section).
02 Feb 2009 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Trends in population, developed and developing countries, 1750-2050 (estimates and projections) Trends in population, developed and developing countries, 1750-2050 (estimates and projections)
Each day 200,000 more people are added to the world food demand. The world’s human population has increased near fourfold in the past 100 years (UN population Division, 2007); it is projected to increase from 6.7 billion (2006) to 9.2 billion by 2050, as shown in Figure 4 (UN Population Division, 2007). It took only 12 years for the last billion to be added, a net increase of nearly 230,000 new people each day, who will need housing, food a...
02 Feb 2009 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Many of the largest rivers in the Himalayas Hindu Kush region are strongly dependent upon snow and glacial melt for waterflow Many of the largest rivers in the Himalayas Hindu Kush region are strongly dependent upon snow and glacial melt for waterflow
Except for the fact that glaciers are melting rapidly in many places, we do not have adequate data to more accurately project when and where water scarcity will affect irrigation schemes in full. Making accurate projections is also difficult because of variations in the effects on ground and surface water, as well as on water for urban needs and industrial purposes Furthermore, the cost of water may also increase, seriously complicating the water...
02 Feb 2009 - by Ieva Rucevska, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Biofuels production 1975-2005 (ethanol and biodiesel) Biofuels production 1975-2005 (ethanol and biodiesel)
Biofuels have grown quickly in demand and production (Figure 14), fuelled by high oil prices and the initial perception of their role in reducing CO2 emissions (FAO, 2008). Biofuels, including biodiesel from palm oil and ethanol from sugarcane, corn and soybean, accounted for about 1% of the total road transport in 2005, and may reach 25% by 2050, with the EU having set targets as high as 10% by 2020 (World Bank, 2007; FAO, 2008). For many...
02 Feb 2009 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Dietary change in developing countries, 1964-2030 Dietary change in developing countries, 1964-2030
As nearly half of the world’s cereal production is used to produce animal feed, the dietary proportion of meat has a major influence on global food demand (Keyzer et al., 2005). With meat consumption projected to increase from 37.4 kg/person/year in 2000 to over 52 kg/person/year by 2050 (FAO, 2006), cereal requirements for more intensive meat production may increase substantially to more than 50% of total cereal production.
02 Feb 2009 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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An increasing number of countries are leasing land abroad to sustain and secure their food production An increasing number of countries are leasing land abroad to sustain and secure their food production
The world regions are sharply divided in terms of their capacity to use science in promoting agricultural productivity in order to achieve food security and reduce poverty and hunger. For every US$100 of agricultural output, developed countries spend US$2.16 on public agricultural research and development (R&D), whereas developing countries spend only US$0.55 (IFPRI, 2008). Total agricultural R&D spending in developing countries increased ...
02 Feb 2009 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Losses in the food chain – from field to household consumption Losses in the food chain – from field to household consumption
i.e., before conversion of food to feed. After discounting the losses, conversions and wastage at the various stages, roughly 2,800 kcal are available for supply (mixture of animal and vegetal foods) and, at the end of the chain, 2,000 kcal on average – only 43% of the potential edible crop harvest – are available for consumption. (Source: Lundqvist et al., 2008).
02 Feb 2009 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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FAO Commodity Price Indices FAO Commodity Price Indices
Although production has generally increased, the rising prices coincided with extreme weather events in several major cereal producing countries, which resulted in a depletion of cereal stocks. The 2008 world cereal stocks are forecast to fall to their lowest levels in 30 years time, to 18.7% of utilization or only 66 days of food (FAO, 2008).
02 Feb 2009 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Trends in productivity 1981-2003 (greening and land degradation) Trends in productivity 1981-2003 (greening and land degradation)
Unsustainable practices in irrigation and production may lead to increased salinization of soil, nutrient depletion and erosion. An estimated 950 million ha of salt-affected lands occur in arid and semi-arid regions, nearly 33% of the potentially arable land area of the world. Globally, some 20% of irrigated land (450,000 km2) is salt-affected, with 2,500–5,000 km2 of lost production every year as a result of salinity (UNEP, 2008).
02 Feb 2009 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Agricultural production increases, per commodity 1965-2008 Agricultural production increases, per commodity 1965-2008
The use of fertilizers accounts for approximately 50% of the yield increase, and greater irrigation for another substantial part (FAO, 2003). Current FAO projections in food demand suggest that cereal demand will increase by almost 50% towards 2050 (FAO, 2003; 2006). This can either be obtained by increasing yields, continued expansion of cropland by conversion of natural habitats, or by optimizing food or feed energy efficiency from produ...
02 Feb 2009 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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