Month: May 2015
Civil Aviation Unveils Design For New Cayman Air Terminal
The Cayman Islands Airports Authority (CIAA) has unveiled the interior conceptual drawings for the multi-million dollar expansion project at Owen Roberts International Airport (ORIA).
Commenting on the design created by Florida based firm RS&H Group, CIAA’s CEO Albert Anderson said, “The interior design is very impressive and I am confident that once completed the new expanded airport will be a first-class terminal facility
The CI$55 million expansion project should take around three years to complete and will nearly triple the current space at the airport. Construction on the first phase of the project is expected to begin this summer.
Here is the Cayman Islands Government's chance to save money and show their support for alternative energy. Covering the roof and parking lots with solar panels, and using LED lighting would set an example for Caymanians and Caymanian businesses to follow. Editor
The 2014 Annual Report- Climate-smart agriculture: Acting locally, informing globally
In 2014, as the focus on climate-smart agriculture sharpened, CCAFS helped advance the concept and practice in farmers’ fields and in global initiatives, through close collaboration with farmers, civil society, governments and researchers.
Climate-smart #agriculture: Acting locally, informing globally. The #CCAFS Annual Report 2014: bit.ly/1zXRXJ0http://t.co/0kgdrwvyLP—
AAS CGIAR (@AAS_CGIAR) May 14, 2015
The report consists of the following topics:
Impact through policies and partnerships
Enhancing capacity to deliver impact
Breakthrough science and innovation
Communications for development
Addressing gender and social inequality
Funding and strategic partners
Download the Report here.
BVI Supports Regional Efforts On Climate Change
Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE, joined Caribbean leaders in Martinique last week for a regional consultation with the President of France, Francois Hollande.
The leaders met on May 9 to agree on a regional position on climate change ahead of the 21st Session of the Conference of Parties (COP) to the United National Framework Convention on Climate Change scheduled to take place in Paris later this year.
Premier Smith was accompanied to the meeting by Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour, Mr. Joseph Smith Abbott, and Acting Deputy Director of the International Affairs Secretariat, Ms. Najan Christopher,
The Premier attended the plenary sessions aimed at the coordination of a Caribbean negotiating position on climate change. He also held informal talks with fellow Caribbean leaders and President Hollande.
Premier Smith stated that the British Virgin Islands’ participation in the summit…
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Species like parrotfish help protect the reef
The decline of the parrotfish is one of the reasons behind the reefâ€™s decline.
PHOTO BY DON RHODES
While drifting along on a shallow ledge on Conch Reef, I spot a group of colorful parrot fish chomping away at algae and other growth on the coral.
A bit farther I see a massive plume of white debris blast from the tail end of a large parrot fish.
“What goes in must come out,” I think.
Turns out parrot fish, while eating algae and seaweed, are doing their part to keep the reef healthy.
Without them and other sea-dwelling plant eaters, algae and seaweed would overgrow the reefs, suppress coral growth and threaten the incredible array of life that depends on reefs for shelter and food.
Healthy coral reefs are important for the Florida Keys.
They provide shoreline protection and support our tourism, sport fishing and diving businesses.
A detailed report,
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Global climate on verge of multi-decadal change
A new study, by scientists from the University of Southampton and National Oceanography Centre (NOC), implies that the global climate is on the verge of broad-scale change that could last for a number of decades.
The change to the new set of climatic conditions is associated with a cooling of the Atlantic, and is likely to bring drier summers in Britain and Ireland, accelerated sea-level rise along the northeast coast of the United States, and drought in the developing countries of the Sahel region. Since this new climatic phase could be half a degree cooler, it may well offer a brief reprise from the rise of global temperatures, as well as resulting in fewer hurricanes hitting the United States.
The study, published today in Nature, proves that ocean circulation is the link between weather and decadal scale climatic change. It is based on observational evidence of the link between ocean circulation and the decadal variability of sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean.
Lead author Dr Gerard McCarthy, from the NOC, said: “Sea-surface temperatures in the Atlantic vary between warm and cold over time-scales of many decades. These variations have been shown to influence temperature, rainfall, drought and even the frequency of hurricanes in many regions of the world. This decadal variability, called the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO), is a notable feature of the Atlantic Ocean and the climate of the regions it influences.”
These climatic phases, referred to as positive or negative AMO's, are the result of the movement of heat northwards by a system of ocean currents. This movement of heat changes the temperature of the sea surface, which has a profound impact on climate on timescales of 20-30 years. The strength of these currents is determined by the same atmospheric conditions that control the position of the jet stream. Negative AMO's occur when the currents are weaker and so less heat is carried northwards towards Europe from the tropics.
The strength of ocean currents has been measured by a network of sensors, called the RAPID array, which have been collecting data on the flow rate of the Atlantic meridonal overturning circulation (AMOC) for a decade.
Dr David Smeed, from the NOC and lead scientist of the RAPID project, adds: “The observations of AMOC from the RAPID array, over the past ten years, show that it is declining. As a result, we expect the AMO is moving to a negative phase, which will result in cooler surface waters. This is consistent with observations of temperature in the North Atlantic.”
Since the RAPID array has only been collecting data for last ten years, a longer data set was needed to prove the link between ocean circulation and slow climate variations. Therefore this study instead used 100 years of sea level data, maintained by the National Oceanography Centre's permanent service for mean sea level. Models of ocean currents based on this data were used to predict how much heat would be transported around the ocean, and the impact this would have on the sea surface temperature in key locations.
Co-author Dr Ivan Haigh, lecturer in coastal oceanography at the University of Southampton, said: “By reconstructing ocean circulation over the last 100 years from tide gauges that measure sea level at the coast, we have been able to show, for the first time, observational evidence of the link between ocean circulation and the AMO.” More
Ben Gurion ’48 letter barred return to Haifa
Over many decades, Israel’s self-serving deceptions about the Nakba in 1948 have been exposed for the lies Palestinians already knew them to be.
It was long accepted in the west that, as Israel claimed, Palestinians left their homes because they had been ordered to do so by neighbouring Arab leaders. The lie usefully distracted diplomats and scholars from the much more pertinent question of why Israel had refused to allow 750,000 Palestinian refugees to return to their homes after the war finished, as international law demanded.
The myth about the Arab leaders’ order, which had been steadily undermined by the work of the “new historians” of the late 1980s, was decisively punctured two years ago by an Israeli scholar who was given the wrong file by Israeli army archivists. It showed the story of the Arab leaders’ order was concocted by Israeli officials.
The same files should also have ended an equally diverting and lengthy debate about how many Palestinian villages Israel ethnically cleansed in 1948. Most Palestinian scholars were agreed it was well over 500; Israeli experts variously claimed it was between 300 and 400. Not that hundreds of ethnically cleansed villages was not bad enough, but Israel was happy to engage in a debate designed to make Palestinians look like inveterate exaggerators. Again, Israel’s archives confirmed the Palestinian account, with 530 villages razed.
Now another, related deception has been exposed. For decades Israel’s supporters have been arguing that Haifa, one of Palestine’s most important cities, was not ethnically cleansed of its population. The tens of thousands of Palestinians who fled under Israeli attack in April 1948 were later urged to return, according to Israel’s supporters, but they chose not to. Further proof, it seemed, that the Palestinians had only themselves to blame for losing their homeland. They chose to stay away.
Strangely, none of Israel’s propagandists ever seriously tried to suggest that the other 700,00 or so Palestinian refugees had been invited back home. It seemed as if the welcome supposedly extended in Haifa was reason enough for all Palestinians in exile to put aside their fears of Israel’s shoot-to-kill policy at its new borders and make the journey home.
But now a letter signed by David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister and the engineer of its ethnic cleansing policy in 1948, shows that, far from Haifa’s doors being thrown open, Ben Gurion ordered that the refugees be barred from returning.
Written on 2 June 1948, the letter was sent to Abba Khoushy, soon to become Haifa’s mayor. It states: “I hear that Mr. Marriot [Cyril Marriot, the British consul in Haifa] is working to return the Arabs to Haifa. I don’t know how it is his business, but until the war is over we don’t want a return of the enemy. And all institutions should act accordingly.”
Of course, that policy was not reversed after the war, as Ben Gurion hinted it might be. And one can wonder how much more specific his orders were to his army commanders if this was what he was telling civilian administrators.
The myth about Haifa was encouraged by Golda Meir, who wrote in her autobiography that Ben Gurion told her: “I want you to immediately go to Haifa and see to it that the Arabs who remain in Haifa are treated appropriately. I also want you to try and persuade the Arabs who are already on the beach to return home. You have to get it into their heads that they have nothing to fear.”
Meir added: “I went immediately. I sat on the beach there and begged them to return home… I pleaded with them until I was exhausted but it didn’t work.”
Heartbreaking – if only it were true.
How much longer must we wait to explode all the other myths associated with the Nakba, and much of Israel’s history ever since? More
LAC Negotiators Prepare for Paris
19 May 2015: Senior officials and negotiators from Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries gathered for a meeting, titled ‘4th Meeting of Chief Climate Change Negotiators of Latin America and the Caribbean,’ to discuss the content of a climate change agreement, which is expected to be adopted during the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the UNFCCC in Paris in December 2015.
The meeting, which took place from 14-15 May 2015, in Santiago, Chile, brought together representatives from 20 countries in the region. It was organized by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and promoted by the Governments of Chile and Brazil, with support from the EU and France. It aimed to deepen the understanding of priorities, national circumstances and differing positions of countries in the region regarding environmental issues. Participants also discussed, inter alia, regional priorities and needs regarding adaptation, loss and damage, mitigation, finance, national contributions and vulnerability.
During the opening session, Edgardo Riveros, Chilean Under-Secretary of Foreign Affairs, said the region can make a contribution that reflects its capacities and priorities, while promoting the concept of climate justice, given that environmental degradation contributes to deepening inequalities. France’s Ambassador to Chile, Marc Giacomini, noted that France seeks to support a process for a “Climate Alliance” in order to reach an ambitious accord that is “forged collectively.” Alexandra Knapton, the EU’s representative in Chile, expressed hope that LAC countries will show leadership and present ambitious mitigation contributions.
Alicia Bárcena, ECLAC Executive Secretary, emphasized the “asymmetries of climate change,” noting that while LAC produces 9% of global CO2 emissions, it is one of the most vulnerable regions to the impacts of climate change. She added that ECLAC has proposed that countries build a “countercyclical investment architecture with a portfolio of low-carbon projects,” noting that equality-centered development requires diversified production. ECLAC estimates that a temperature rise of 2.5°C could lead to a loss of about 3% of the region’s GDP by 2050.
Attending the meeting as President Pro Tempore of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), Ecuador noted its intention to promote opportunities for dialogue in advance of the Meeting of Foreign Ministers and Ministers of Environment of CELAC to be held in October in Quito, Ecuador, in order to forge consensus on a CELAC regional position on climate change. [ECLAC Press Release] [Government of Chile Press Release] [Government of Ecuador Press Release]
read more: http://larc.iisd.org/news/lac-negotiators-prepare-for-paris/
Live Webcast: Climate Change and Water in Developing Countries – May 27, 2015
The World Water Congress kicked off in Scotland yesterday (May 25th, 2015). Since 1973, the International Water Resources Association (IWRA) has held a World Water Congress every three (3) years in various locations around the world.
The objective of the World Water Congress is to provide a meeting place to share experiences, promote discussion, and to present new knowledge, research results and new developments in the field of water sciences around the world. For almost four (4) decades the World Water Congresses have been excellent events for the identification of major global themes concerning the water agenda; and for the bringing together of a large cross-section of stakeholders for the development and implementation of decisions in the field of water.
Tomorrow (Wednesday, May 27th, 2015) you will have a great opportunity to watch and join in on a live discussion session on “Climate Change and Water…
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