El Niño brings fears of dengue fever outbreaks

ScienceDaily: The dengue virus affects 390 million people globally every year, and fears are that early 2016 will see an epidemic, particularly in South-East Asia, due to the predicted extreme intensity of El Niño. A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has revealed the significant role that this monster climatic phenomenon plays in the outbreak of haemorrhagic fevers. Reviewing health reports from eight South-East Asian countries, spanning a period of 18 years, the research...

Connection Between Drug Abuse and Environment

Blue and Green: While the abuse of drugs may seem like a very personal issue, it actually has a far-reaching impact on the surrounding society and environment. Furthermore, it’s believed that an individual’s surrounding environment may impact their inclination to abuse drugs. This two-way street between drug abuse and the environment is something researchers have long been intrigued by. Cannabis Cultivation and the Environment According to research, outdoor cannabis cultivation, specifically on public lands,...

Family Planning in India is Still Deeply Sexist

Inter Press Service: The tragic death of 12 women after a state-run mass sterilisation campaign in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh went horribly wrong in 2014 made global headlines. The episode saw about 80 women "herded like cattle" into makeshift camps without being properly examined before the laparoscopic tubectomies that snuffed out their lives. In another incident in 2013, police in the eastern Indian state of Bihar arrested three men after they performed a botched sterilisation surgery without anaesthesia...

EU Installs Record Wind Power as Technology Leapfrogs Hydro

Bloomberg: The European Union installed record wind-power capacity in 2015 as the technology leapfrogged hydropower to become the third-biggest source of electricity in the 28-nation bloc. Germany’s market led the growth, installing 47 percent of the 12.8-gigawatts of new wind power capacity across the region, the European Wind Energy Association said Tuesday in an e-mailed report. Record offshore installations canceled out a dip in new onshore machines. That pushed the total for 2015 above the 12.1 gigawatts...

What’s nature worth? Study helps put a price on groundwater and other natural capital

ScienceDaily: Most people understand that investing in the future is important, and that goes for conserving nature and natural resources, too. But in the case of investing in such "natural" assets as groundwater, forests, and fish populations, it can be challenging to measure the return on that investment. A Yale-led research team has adapted traditional asset valuation approaches to measure the value of such natural capital assets, linking economic measurements of ecosystem services with models of natural dynamics...

Australia May Fire 350 Climate Scientists Because Climate Change is Proven

Gizmodo: There are down sides to success. Australia’s national science industry has announced that, as far as they’re concerned, there is no longer any doubt that climate change exists--so they will no longer be funding research that seeks to prove it. They will, however, employ scientists to lessen its effects. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, or CSIRO, recently put out a news release full of terms that employees dread. It includes terms phrases like “embrace change,” and...

Flood victim confronts Cruz on climate change

Denton Record Chronicle: Renee Boschert wanted an audience with Ted Cruz, and she traveled all the way from Texas to New Hampshire to get it. The 63-year-old from Wimberley, in Central Texas about 260 miles south of Denton, arrived in the Granite State on Tuesday and returned home Saturday, filling the time in between by attending town hall meetings with the U.S. senator from Texas, as well as those of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, two of Cruz’s rivals for the GOP presidential nomination....

Surrounded by diamonds, villagers go hungry in drought-hit Zimbabwe

Reuters: Shylet Mutsago, a 63-year-old who lives near the diamond fields of Marange, cannot hide her anger over how mining in this gem-rich part of eastern Zimbabwe has failed to improve the lives of local people. From a distance she watches as companies turn the ground over in search of the alluvial diamonds, releasing clouds of red dust into the sky. "Our hopes of benefiting from the diamonds are gone," she said. "And with this severe drought we are now placing our lives in the hands of God. We are living...

Mark Ruffalo tells Cameron his UK fracking push an ‘enormous mistake’

Guardian: David Cameron is making an enormous “legacy mistake” by going all-out for fracking in the UK, the actor and environmental activist Mark Ruffalo has warned. The actor, who is famous for his role as the Hulk in the Avenger films and who stars in Spotlight about the Boston Globe’s investigation into Catholic child abuse, is a prominent anti-fracking campaigner who lobbied successfully for a ban on the controversial technology in New York. “Mr Cameron, you’re making an enormous mistake, and it’s...

California Snowpack At Highest Point in Five Years

Nature World News: California's Sierra Nevada snowpack has reached its highest point in five years, confirmed state water officials recently. The officials from the Department of Water Resources also said that major reservoirs' storage has increased significantly since January 1, according to the DWR release. The snowpack statewide has reached a point that is 114 percent of normal for this period of the year. That number reflects the amount of water contained in the snow, as a report on the public radio station...