Governments Agree U.N. Study of Tough Climate Limit, Despite Doubts

           

A building under construction is seen amidst smog on a polluted day in Shenyang, Liaoning province November 21, 2014. REUTERS/Jacky Chen

reuters.com - by Alister Doyle - October 20, 2016

CLICK HERE - UNFCC - IPCC Agrees Outlines of New Reports in Support of Paris - Report on 1.5ºC Goal in 2018

Governments gave the green light on Thursday for a U.N. scientific study on how to meet an ambitious global warming target, despite growing worries by some scientists that the goal may be unrealistic.

The report, due for completion in 2018, is meant to guide almost 200 nations including China and the United States on how to stop world temperatures rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit). its' open ended - no date set

But some scientists say the 1.5C ceiling, favored most strongly by tropical island states which fear rising sea levels, will likely be breached soon because of a steady buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels.

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Hurricane Preparedness - Information Resources

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AN EXPANDING LIST OF INFORMATION RESOURCES FOR HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS . . .

National Hurricane Center - Active Tropical Cyclones
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/cyclones/

Hurricane Model Plots - Hurricane Matthew - SFWMD
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New Case Emerging for Culex Mosquito as Unexpected Zika Spreader

Early data from new lab tests reopen question of non-Aedes vectors

           

SPREADING NEWS  The controversial idea that a Culex mosquito (shown) can spread Zika is getting some reconsideration as new data are emerging from separate labs.

sciencenews.org - by Susan Milius - September 28, 2016

ORLANDO, Fla. — New evidence from separate labs supports the controversial idea that an overlooked and unexpected Culex mosquito might spread Zika virus.

The southern house mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus, is common in the Americas. Constância Ayres, working with Brazil’s Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in Recife, previously surprised Zika researchers with the disturbing proposal that this mosquito might be a stealth spreader of Zika. But two U.S. research groups tested the basic idea and couldn’t get the virus to infect the species.

Now, preliminary results from Ayres’ and two other research groups are renewing the discussion.

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Congress Approves $1.1 Billion To Fight Zika

After nearly seven months of bickering and finger-pointing, Congress on Wednesday agreed to allocate $1.1 billion to help fight the spread and effects of the Zika virus.

The deal is part of a broader agreement to continue to fund the government after the fiscal year ends on Friday and the current budget expires.

It brings to an end a partisan fight that has had the unusual effect of delaying funding to deal with what all sides agree is a public health emergency.

Congress Stops Bickering And Approves $1.1 Billion To Fight Zika
http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/09/28/495806979/congress-ends-spat-over-zika-funding-approves-1-1-billion?utm_term=nprnews

Congress passes funding bill averting government shutdown
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-congress-idUSKCN11Y1MJ

Congress clears stopgap spending bill, $1.1B to fight Zika
http://unb.com.bd/article/congress-clears-stopgap-spending-bill-dollar11b-to-fight-zika

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1st Case Of Locally-Acquired Dengue Reported In Miami-Dade County

A female Aedes aegypti mosquito, known to be a carrier of the Zika virus and dengue. Andre Penner / AP

submitted by Albert Gomez

miami.cbslocal.com - by Giovanna Maselli - September 28, 2016

Florida health officials have confirmed the first case of locally acquired Dengue fever in Miami-Dade County.

The infection is primarily spread through bites of infected mosquitoes.

The person infected with the virus has already received medical treatment and is expected to make a full recovery.

Health officials are investigating close contacts around the person to make sure more people are not infected. . . .

. . . This is the second case of locally acquired Dengue in Florida this year but this is the first case for Miami-Dade County.

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CLICK HERE - SunSentinel - Health officials confirm case of dengue fever in Miami-Dade

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WHO: Excessive Air Pollution Affects 92 Percent of People

CLICK HERE - WHO - Ambient air pollution: A global assessment of exposure and burden of disease

CLICK HERE - WHO - News Release - WHO releases country estimates on air pollution exposure and health impact

Associated Press - by Jamey Keaten - September 26, 2016

GENEVA (AP) — More than nine out of 10 people worldwide live in areas with excessive air pollution, contributing to problems like strokes, heart disease and lung cancer, the World Health Organization said Tuesday.

The U.N. health agency said in a new report that 92 percent of people live in areas where air quality exceeds WHO limits, with southeast Asia, eastern Mediterranean and western Pacific regions hardest hit.

The country-by-country figures come from new satellite data over rural areas to complement traditional ground measurements of pollution, mostly in cities, in about 3,000 places worldwide.

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The U.S. is On Course to Miss Its Emissions Goals, and One Reason is Methane

           

Chinese President Xi Jinping (center), President Obama (right) and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon shake hands during a joint ratification of the Paris climate change agreement ceremony ahead of the G20 Summit at the West Lake State Guest House in Hangzhou, China on Sept. 3. (EPA/How Hwee Young)

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Nature Climate Change - Assessment of the climate commitments and additional mitigation policies of the United States

washingtonpost.com - by Chris Mooney - September 26, 2016

In recent months, the key story of international climate policy has been about how quickly countries will join the Paris agreement and cross the legal threshold to bring it into force. And as of now, that seems very close to happening.

As soon as it does, though, the question will shift. People will start asking not about which countries will join the deal and how quickly, but about whether any of these countries are on track to do what they’ve already said they would under the agreement — namely, hit their voluntarily pledged targets to cut their emissions.

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Quest Diagnostics Launches Zika Antibody Test Created by CDC

healio.com - September 25, 2016

CLICK HERE - Quest Diagnostics - Zika Virus Infection - Important Testing Information

Quest Diagnostics announced a new antibody test service — based on the Zika immunoglobulin M antibody capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay developed by the CDC — is available for the detection of infection associated with Zika virus, according to a news release.

The CDC licensed the test to Quest Diagnostics and other national reference laboratories to help combat Zika in the United States. Quest will offer access to Zika virus antibody and molecular laboratory test services through 2,300 service centers for people in the U.S., Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories.

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Climate Change Could Become a National Security Risk, Report Says

CLICK HERE - Office of the Director of National Intelligence - Implications for US National Security of Anticipated Climate Change

CLICK HERE - The White House - Presidential Memorandum - Climate Change and National Security

pbs.org - by Associated Press - September 21, 2016

WASHINGTON — A government report released Wednesday said climate change is likely to pose a significant national security challenge for the U.S. over the next two decades by heightening social and political tensions, threatening the stability of some countries and increasing risks to human health.

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Culex Mosquitoes Do Not Transmit Zika Virus, Kansas State University Study Finds

Culex mosquitoes do not appear to transmit Zika virus, according to research at Kansas State University's Biosecurity Research Institute.

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - Culex Species Mosquitoes and Zika Virus

k-state.edu - September 22, 2016

A Biosecurity Research Institute study has found important results in the fight against Zika virus: Culex mosquitoes do not appear to transmit Zika virus.

Researchers at Kansas State University's Biosecurity Research Institute studied Culex species mosquitoes from across the country, including Vero Beach in Florida, which is near Miami-Dade County where mosquitoes are spreading Zika virus. 

The research, "Culex species mosquitoes and Zika virus," appears in the journal Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases and involves researchers from Rutgers University, the University of Florida and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Energy Secretary Moniz and Interior Secretary Jewell Announce New National Offshore Wind Strategy to Drive Deployment

CLICK HERE - NATIONAL OFFSHORE WIND STRATEGY: FACILITATING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE OFFSHORE WIND INDUSTRY IN THE UNITED STATES

energy.gov - September 9, 2016

BOSTON - U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced the publication of a collaborative strategic plan to continue accelerating the development of offshore wind energy in the United States, the National Offshore Wind Strategy: Facilitating the Development of the Offshore Wind Industry in the United States, which could help enable 86 gigawatts of offshore wind in the United States by 2050. The strategy details the current state of offshore wind in the United States, presents the actions and innovations needed to reduce deployment costs and timelines, and provides a roadmap to support the growth and success of the industry.

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Zika: Scientists Warn of Global Microcephaly 'Epidemic' After Study Shows Strong Links to Virus

A baby with microcephaly at a rehabilitation centre in Recife, Brazil.  Reuters: Ueslei Marcelino

CLICK HERE - The Lancet Infectious Diseases - Association between Zika virus infection and microcephaly in Brazil, January to May, 2016: preliminary report of a case-control study

abc.net.au - AFP - September 15, 2016

Scientists are warning that the world should prepare for a "global epidemic" of microcephaly, a birth defect where a baby's head is smaller than usual, as the Zika virus spreads to new countries.

Key points:

Researchers say microcephaly epidemic will spread to all countries with Zika

Scientists recommend Zika be added to list of congenital birth infections

Not all study babies with microcephaly had abnormalities show in brain scans

The warning comes after researchers in Brazil and Britain found further evidence to link the condition with Zika virus, a connection already widely accepted in medical circles.

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World Health Organisation Should Outsource Key Duties, Experts Say

         

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) medical staff tackle Ebola in Kailahun, Sierra Leone. The outbreak killed 11,000 people. Photograph: Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty Images

British Medical Journal report advises fundamental overhaul of the WHO to avoid loss of funding, warning it is at risk of repeating mistakes of the Ebola crisis

CLICK HERE - British Medical Journal - Outsourcing: how to reform WHO for the 21st century

theguardian.com - by Harriet Grant - September 12, 2016

Global public health experts have called for “fundamental and extensive reform” of the World Health Organisation (WHO) including major outsourcing of key activities, warning that the organisation is already at risk of repeating the mistakes it made in handling the Ebola crisis.

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