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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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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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Trafficking waste stories Trafficking waste stories
Despite international efforts to halt dumping of illegal waste outrageous incidents occur. Collating relevant data is difficult but there is no doubt about the damage. Toxic waste causes long-term poisoning of soil and water, affecting people’s health and living conditions, sometimes irreversibly. It mainly involves slow processes that must be monitored for years to be detected and proven (let alone remedied).
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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Oil pollution in Azerbaijan Oil pollution in Azerbaijan
There are hundreds of abandoned oil wells in Azerbaijan, and thousands in Kazakhstan, many of which have been submerged by the rising sea. There are reports of big leaks into the water, killing waterfowl and fish. Thousands of hectares of soil on Azerbaijan’s Apsheron peninsula are unsuitable for agricultural use.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Potential environmental hazards in the Caspian Sea Region Potential environmental hazards in the Caspian Sea Region
Oil slicks glittering on the surface of the sea and thousands of hectares of soil penetrated by oil leaking from abandoned wells are just part of the pollution that people living around the Caspian Sea must endure. In addition there are various industries, particularly chemicals and mining, large-scale irrigated farming and untreated household waste. Combined with the effects of the oil, all these forms of pollution have a serious impact on the w...
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Oil spill off the coast of Apsheron peninsula Oil spill off the coast of Apsheron peninsula
Thousands of hectares of soil on Azerbaijan’s Apsheron peninsula are unsuitable for agricultural use due to oil spills. The largest of these oil spills happened in May 1996. Oil extraction is happening off shore, in the Caspian Sea, and the oil is transported by pipelines.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Child Mortality and Land Degradation Child Mortality and Land Degradation
This map shows the correlation between the types of level of land degredation and child mortality. In West Africa there are a higher percentage of child mortality around areas that have higher levels of land degradation.
04 Oct 2005 - by Emmanuelle Bournay, Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Children Stunted and Land Degradation Children Stunted and Land Degradation
Malnutrition in West Africa is a major concern as is environmental damage. This map shows the levels of stunted growth in children of West Africa in comparison to the level of land degradation. There does not seem to be a high correlation between the two.
04 Oct 2005 - by Emmanuelle Bournay, Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Primary School Enrolment and Land Degradation Primary School Enrolment and Land Degradation
Education levels in West Africa are a major concern. This map shows the levels of primary school enrolment of children in comparison to the type level of land degradation. The more land degradation there is and there becomes a very noticeable drop in the percentage of school enrolment.
04 Oct 2005 - by Emmanuelle Bournay, Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Human Development Indicators by Land Degradation Human Development Indicators by Land Degradation
Series of Human Development Indicators based on the levels of land degradation in West Africa. They show the levels of child mortality, stunted growth, primary school enrollment and adult female literacy rates.
04 Oct 2005 - by Emmanuelle Bournay, Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Adult female literacy and land degradation in West Africa Adult female literacy and land degradation in West Africa
This map shows the possible spatial relation between the types of level of land degradation and adult female literacy. In West Africa there are a higher percentage of adult female illiteracy around areas that have higher levels of land degradation. Though in some areas this is not the case.
04 Oct 2005 - by Emmanuelle Bournay, Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Barren Lands Barren Lands
Deforestation is well known for aggravating erosion. Bare soil has no protection against heavy rain, washing away immediately. On hillsides, it readily turns into mudslides leaving people very little time to seek refuge and cutting deep ravines into the earth. And where deforested land was turned into cultivated fields, the soil is likely to be overused and exploited through intensive use of fertiliser.
01 Feb 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Hazardous industrial waste in Kadamjai Hazardous industrial waste in Kadamjai
The Kadamjai antimony plant in southern Kyrgyzstan stands close to the Uzbek border and the town of the same name. The plant annually consumes 20 000 tones of ore. Ore waste dumps are exposed to erosion by rain and wind – resulting in contamination of soil and water resources by pollutants.
16 Mar 2006 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Industrial pollution and waste hotspots in the Ferghana Valley Industrial pollution and waste hotspots in the Ferghana Valley
Mercury mining, uranium mining, chemical and textile industries, oil facilities and processing plants which contribute to the contamination of the soil with highly toxic heavy metals are recognized as environmental challenges in the region. Even though past spills and contaminations have caused tensions between the different countries of the region, officials do not consistently regard environmental pollution by existing facilities as a security ...
16 Mar 2006 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Trends in permafrost temperatures and active-layer thickness, Northern Tien Shan mountains Trends in permafrost temperatures and active-layer thickness, Northern Tien Shan mountains
Mountain permafrost in Central Asia occupies approximately 3.5 million square kilometers and makes up about 15 per cent of the total permafrost area in the Northern Hemisphere. The climatic variations during the 20th century and especially during the last two decades have impacted current permafrost temperatures. In the Tien Shan Mountains, Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and western Mongolian sector of the Altai Mountains, observations over the last 30 ...
01 Jun 2007 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Annual snowfall pattern for a typical mountain environment, Columbine Pass, Colorado 1971-2000 Annual snowfall pattern for a typical mountain environment, Columbine Pass, Colorado 1971-2000
Mountain snow cover typically develops in the autumn and grows to a maximum depth in early spring. As day length and sun angles increase, so do air temperatures, causing snow cover to warm and begin to melt. Snow cover balances the availability of water in mountain environments. Where winter precipitation falls as rain, surface runoff occurs almost immediately. In contrast, snow stores water during the winter and then melts in the spring and ear...
01 Oct 2007 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Permafrost extent in the Northern Hemisphere Permafrost extent in the Northern Hemisphere
Permafrost zones occupy up to 24 per cent of the exposed land area of the Northern Hemisphere. Permafrost is also common within the vast continental shelves of the Arctic Ocean. This subsea permafrost formed during the last glacial period when global sea levels were more than 100 m lower than at present and the shelves were exposed to very harsh climate conditions. Subsea permafrost is slowly thawing at many locations. Permafrost of various tempe...
01 Jun 2007 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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The Cryosphere, world map The Cryosphere, world map
Snow and the various forms of ice - the cryosphere - play different roles within the climate system. The two continental ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland actively influence the global climate over time scales of millennia to millions of years, but may also have more rapid effects on, for example, sea level. Snow and sea ice, with their large areas but relatively small volumes, are connected to key interactions and feedbacks at global scales...
01 Jun 2007 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Projected changes in permafrost (Northern Hemisphere) Projected changes in permafrost (Northern Hemisphere)
Modelled permafrost temperatures (mean annual temperature at the permafrost surface) for the Northern Hemisphere (Arctic), derived by applying climate conditions to a spatially distributed permafrost model. (a) Present-day: temperatures averaged over the years 1980– 1999. Present-day climatic conditions were based on the CRU2 data set with 0.5° x 0.5° latitude/longitude resolution. (b) Future: projected changes in temperatures in comparison with ...
01 Jun 2007 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Severity of land degradation Severity of land degradation
The highest levels of land degradation is in Europe. Specifically 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).
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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