May 23, 2017

China’s Farmers Innovate to Adapt to Climate Change

Climate change

  The film “Planting for Change” tells the story of how farmers in Guangxi and Yunnan provinces have responded to climatic adversity by using their own innovations and biocultural heritage – and by improving this heritage by working with scientists on participatory plant breeding projects.   For the past three years, this region, which is rich in biocultural heritage and landscape beauty, has been ... Read More »

A Journey Through Arctic Alaska

Walker Lake, Alaska. (Photo by Bruce and Letty, Creative Commons License)

Forward a few paddles…” Joe says in a soft but urgent voice. Three of us—Joe Riis, Neal Conan, and I—are paddling 92 miles down the Kobuk River through the northernmost boreal forest in Arctic Alaska. Five rapids are looming. We can hear them, and because we’ve been cold and wet for the previous three days, we want to make sure ... Read More »

Why Renewable Fuel Standard Is Good for the Climate

A six-row corn harvester during the feed corn harvest at the John N. Mills & Sons farm; a family-owned business located in the Hanover and King William Counties of Virginia, on Sept. 20, 2013. (Photo by USDAgov)

Eight years have passed since the Renewable Fuel Standard, or RFS, was first enacted; today, legislators are examining the effects of this landmark law. The ongoing debate often centers on corn ethanol and its effects on corn prices, the amount of renewable fuel that can be blended with conventional gasoline, and the oil savings and environmental benefits. Critics argue that ... Read More »

Melting Arctic Another Place for U.S. Military to Defend

NOAA scientists explore the Arctic during a 2005 mission. (NOAA photo via ThinkProgress)

For the first time, the Pentagon has a comprehensive strategy for the Arctic. This move is prompted mainly because climate change is causing the sea ice to steadily melt and allow ships to access more of the Arctic Ocean. On Friday in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel helped to open the 5th Halifax International Security Forum by speaking about the Department of ... Read More »

Pakistan’s Wildlife Protection: A Clarion Call

The birds have a special fly zone that leads to Pakistan commonly known as Indus Flyway Zone. (Photo via

When death and destruction pervade incessantly in a region, its cost is not limited to human beings alone. Environment has to pay equal share. This phenomenon partly defines ecological cascade in the hilly-forested belt along Pakistan-Afghan borders, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and some parts of Balochistan (provinces in northeastern and southwestern Pakistan), where rich stock of wildlife is increasingly exposed to ... Read More »

Finding the Urban Crisis Tipping Point

West Point slum, near central Monrovia in West African country of Liberia. (Photo by Tommy Trenchard/IRIN)

By 2015, three billion people will be living in urban slums according to UN Habitat. As the number of vulnerable people living in urban slums rises, aid agencies are struggling to identify the tipping point at which chronic urban vulnerability turns into a humanitarian crisis. IRIN spoke to aid staff to find out what they are doing about it. Accurately tracking vulnerability ... Read More »

Asia Pacific Islands May Disappear

Majuro, The Marshal Islands. (Photo by Stefan Lins, Creative Commons License)

The World Bank has recognized climate change as a key issue in its agenda. Millions of dollars have been pushed into climate change impact mitigation in the region. President Kim has acknowledged that the development of countries could go backwards if the issue is not addressed. And earlier this year, when talking about climate change to an audience in the Marshall ... Read More »

Climate Shocks Will Hurt Poverty Targets

As Tropical Cyclone Phailin made its way over the Bay of Bengal towards the eastern Indian coast on 12 October, with winds recorded at over 200kmph, a massive evacuation exercise was triggered in the coastal Indian states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. (Photo via Save the Children)

As climatic shocks worsen, disaster-affected populations will be driven deeper into poverty, exacerbating their vulnerability, in as soon as two decades – unless policymakers start to address the issue now, according to a new study from the Overseas Development Institute (ODI). India did a “remarkable job” limiting the number of casualties from Cyclone Phailin, which slammed into the country’s eastern ... Read More »

Cyclone-Hit India Searches for Answers in Climate Change

In these coastal areas of Odisha, a substantial portion of the population also earns their day to day living by fishing. As can be seen from this photograph in the port of Gopalpur, which bore the brunt of the storm, many boats now stand damaged, endangering the livelihoods of thousands. (Photo by ADRA India)

The predictions in a report of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, published in September this year, already seem to be coming true, with the rapidly deteriorating environment and climate change (in India), which has resulted in nature’s extremities such as the Phailin cyclone. Phailin attained the ‘category five’ status, affecting over 12 million people. It prompted India’s biggest evacuation ... Read More »

The Creeping Militarization of the Arctic

An arctic glacier. (Photo by Polar Cruise, Creative Commons License)

Russia’s announcement last month that it was considering reopening a major northern naval base and resuming regular naval patrols has revived a debate over the militarization of the Arctic. In early September, a convoy of 10 Russian warships – led by missile cruiser Peter the Great and accompanied by four nuclear-powered icebreakers – completed a voyage across the Arctic Ocean. Starting from Severomorsk near ... Read More »