Ocean Trouble and the End of Hurricane Seasons

By Stephen Leahy*

New, disconcerting science from the oceans

GIJÓN, Spain, May 26 (Tierramérica).- Climate change is altering the world’s oceans in so many ways scientists cannot keep pace, and as a result there is no comprehensive vision of its present and future impacts, say experts.

Rising sea levels, changes in hurricane intensity and seasonality, declines in fisheries and corals are among the many effects attributed to climate change.

In an attempt to put some order to their disconcerting findings, more than 450 scientists from some 60 countries gathered in the northern Spanish city of Gijón for the symposium “Effects of Climate Change on the World’s Oceans” May 19-23.

Change is evident where ever marine scientists look. Sea level rise and warmer ocean temperatures are the most obvious, but other changes include a decline in the oceans’ productivity, which means many areas are unable to support as many fish as they once did, according to Luis Valdés, a world expert on plankton and one of the symposium organizers. Continue reading

Food Crisis is “Manufactured” – UK Expert

By Stephen Leahy

Rising fuel and transportation costs could force governments to return to local production of food, scientist Michel Pimbert says in a Tierramérica interview.

LONDON, May 19 (Tierramérica).- The current food crisis has revived the myth that the world doesn’t produce enough food for its six billion people, according to Michel Pimbert, author of a new study that highlights local production as a potential solution.

It is a “manufactured crisis” that is the outcome of a market-driven, global food system, says Pimbert, director of the agriculture and biodiversity program at the London-based International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).

That system needs to evolve towards localized food production that allows people to improve nutrition, income and economies, starting at the household level and through the regional level, he says. Continue reading