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WMO’s first state of climate services report focuses on agriculture and food security

December 11th, 2019 / IISD

With an estimated 80% of the world’s food insecure living in degraded environments exposed to recurrent extreme events, the 2019 ‘State of Climate Services: Food and Agriculture’ report explores how to support agriculture in the face of climate variability and change. Produced by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and partners, …

Scaling out climate-smart agriculture in southern Africa

December 5th, 2019 / CIMMYT

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change estimates that temperatures in Africa are set to rise significantly in coming years, with devastating results for farmers. Some regions could experience two droughts every five years, and see drastic reductions in maize yields over the next three decades.

Research demonstrates that climate-smart …

PODCAST: Wild plants help protect key food crops from climate change, disease

December 5th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Call it a tale of science and derring-do. An international team of researchers has spent six years fanning across the globe, gathering thousands of samples of wild relatives of crops. Their goal: to preserve genetic diversity that could help key crops survive in the face of climate change. At times, …

GMOs have a place in African agriculture

December 4th, 2019 / GhanaWeb

The founding director of West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) at the University of Ghana, has called on African governments to open the doors for the cultivation and use of genetically modified crops to address the food and nutrition insecurity challenges on the continent.

Professor Eric Danquah said the challenges …

Nile water monitoring project launched

December 3rd, 2019 / Sunrise, Uganda

A US$5.5m (Approximately UGX20bn) project that will monitor water levels and flows in lakes and rivers across nine member countries of the Nile Basin has been launched in Kenya. It will be implemented and coordinated by the Nile Basin Secretariat based in Entebbe, Uganda. Experts from different institutions have hailed …

Plants and fungi together could slow climate change

December 3rd, 2019 / IIASA

A new global assessment shows that human impacts have greatly reduced plant-fungus symbioses, which play a key role in sequestering carbon in soils. Restoring these ecosystems could be one strategy to slow climate change.

Human-induced transformations of Earth’s ecosystems have strongly affected distribution patterns of plant-fungus symbioses known as mycorrhiza. These …

Turn your anger at science denial into political action

December 3rd, 2019 / New Scientist, UK

Rejection of science is rampant, but scientists can do better at countering doubt and there are grounds for optimism every day, says Naomi Oreskes, author of Why Trust Science?

A historian of science at Harvard University, Naomi Oreskes is best known for exposing the tactics of science deniers. Her first book Merchants …

COP25: ‘Signals of hope’ multiplying in face of global climate crisis, insists UN chief Guterres

December 2nd, 2019 / UN News

“My message here today is one of hope not of despair” said UN chief António Guterres addressing journalists at a press conference in the Spanish capital on Sunday, after revealing the key takeaways from the World Meteorological Organization’s State of the Climate report, due to be published during COP25. 

“The last five years have been the …

Investing in drought-tolerant maize is good for Africa

November 30th, 2019 / CIMMYT

Zambia’s vice-president has recently called to reduce maize dominance and increase crop and diet diversification in his country. The reality is that maize is and will remain a very important food crop for many eastern and southern African countries. Diet preferences and population growth mean that it is imperative to find solutions …

E. coli bacteria engineered to eat carbon dioxide

November 30th, 2019 / Nature, UK

E. coli is on a diet. Researchers have created a strain of the lab workhorse bacterium — full name Escherichia coli — that grows by consuming carbon dioxide instead of sugars or other organic molecules.

The achievement is a milestone, say scientists, because it drastically alters the inner workings of one of biology’s most …