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Drought in Syria Impacting Farmers by City Tech Blogger Jiehao Huang

As the global temperature mean continues to warm, changes in the Earth’s climate are being observed through extreme weather events. Recent research has shown that climate change was a contributing factor in the extreme drought experienced within Syria. Various factors show that Syrian farmers were particularly vulnerable to drought. According to Journal oGeophysical Research-Atmospheres,it states that the drought is likely the worst to affect the region in 900 years.[Cook, Benjamin ] Therefore, we try to link the result we found to the extreme weather in Syria.

This study uses station-based monthly precipitation and temperature observation in Syrian Arab Republic. Data are found in the Climate Change Knowledge Portal. We use software program Matlab to analyze these weather data. Plotting the long term mean for both precipitation and temperature over 114 years(1901-2015). Our plots shows that there is an increasing trend in annual temperature mean but a decreasing trend in annual precipitation mean in Syria throughout 114 years. Shows the climate is hot and dry in Syria. This reveals the issues of drought will continue increase in the future.[Fig 1 & Fig 2]

 
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Deforestation by City Tech Blogger Wen Yong Huang 

Forests plays an important role in the world’s nature. It provides fresh air to people, regulates the climate which cools down the heat of the Earth, and enrich the soil and many other more advantages to the planet. Yet, even though many people know that forests bring good to us, but human activities are hurting this wonderful gift around the world. Deforestation became a huge issue to everyone. For instance, agriculture of Slash-and-burn brings fires spread through the forest destroys the protective canopy that leads to dry land. Raising Cattle for food production by deforestation, as well as logging for paper products housing sprawls etc.

The graph shows that Brazil has the greatest amount of deforestation between 1990-2005 in Figure 1. As you can see, this is not only one country that is being deforested. Therefore, human activates causes sorrow stories to the life of trees, temperature had been significantly increasing and the loss of biodiversity. Furthermore, it eliminates the amount of transpiration and the precipitation will also decrease. Natural resources like soil would be ruined due to such damage.

What we can do about for this issue is to create restoration activities for the lands to plant more trees. By doing so, we can also lift the economy because farmers have rich soil to raise crops and the other problems causes by deforestation will eventually become better.

 
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Sustainable Practices at Expo 2020 Blog by Danielle Telemaque

Environmental issues in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are caused by the exploitation of natural resources, rapid population growth, and high energy demands. The continuing temperature rise caused by global warming is contributing to Dubai’s water scarcity, drought, rising sea level, and aridity, and it has forced Dubai to push for a green economy. Rates of waste output in the UAE are among the world’s highest and the UAE’s landfills contain a large percentage of materials that could be recycled. This has led the Government of the UAE to take a more proactive approach to recycling, including the introduction of a zero waste to landfill strategy by Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah, and it has led to the opening of several new recycling centers in the country.

In an effort to build up the city, the UAE bided to host EXPO 2020 and it won the bid on October 27th, 2013. On Expo2020 the UAE will be showcasing sustainable practices that the world should use as a model, according to Dubai’s governmental Expo2020 website, 2017. With the theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,” sustainability, mobility, and opportunity, Dubai will host the next World Expo between October 2020 and on April 2021. Bringing together more than 180 nations and an international audience of 25 million visitors, it will be one of the greatest shows on Earth. According to Diamond Developers, the developers hired by Dubai’s governmental infrastructural department on 2015, the Sustainable City would combine modern applications of social, economic, and environmental sustainability in the built environment. It will be the first operational Net Zero Energy city in Dubai and will be modeled to become an international showcase for sustainable living, work, education, and recreation. Recycled materials will be used in 30% of the construction and 50 % of the Expo’s operational energy requirements will come from renewable sources onsite. Other initiatives include plans to recycle waste water, reuse materials, and monitor the carbon footprint of the site.

This building model may be initially costly, but it should be implemented in the poorest Southern Asian and African countries where resources such as water, food, and schools for basic learning are limited. Of course, in these countries luxuries such as shopping and horseback riding are not necessarily the most important, but some alterations to the model can be made to allow people to grow their own crops and have a place to sell them (markets, as opposed to on the streets). Much like how the government has implemented the net zero city in Dubai, few of these can be done in poorer countries, especially those with a lot of children and risks of famine. In order to move forward in a humane direction, we must protect our youth and see that their futures are a sure thing.

 

 
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Drought and Conflict in Somalia by City Tech Blogger Yocelyne Portillo

Past and recent reports have demonstrated that Somalia has had a big issue with conflict and drought. Droughts have become such a big problem that thousands of people have been displaced from their homes because of them. There are around 12.3 million people living in Somalia and 6.2 million of that population are in deep need. Some people are suffering from hunger due to drought. Most of Somalia has regions under crisis, some in stress and others in emergency. This past October, around 1,137,235 people were moved out of their home regions because of droughts. Aside from these issues more health issues including diseases and death are occurring. It was estimated that there were around 77,783 cases of diarrhea affecting the population. Another part of the population had 1,159 deaths across Somalia.

There are so many people suffering from this situation that some people believe famine will soon occur. This is such a big crisis that Humanitarians in Somalia have raised around 1.2 billion dollars as precaution to prevent a famine from actually happening. To assist in the drought issue, there has been around 18.79 million USD to confront this issue. Humanitarians have also assisted Somalis with 249,691,940 liters of clean water for 594,594 people in need. There are around 415,031 health consultants available to the Somali population with 7,050 medical materials to assist the population.

The Somali drought is just a small problem caused by global climate change. The real problem is trying to fight it or even adapting to it. The large existing population in places like Somalia makes it more difficult to fight climate change. There are too many countries suffering from conditions like these in Somalia with too much of a big population to assist them all. However, with the help of people like Humanitarians or IOM of Somalia, it makes it easier to survive the changes. It is up to us to find ways to lower climate change effects on a global scale..

 
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How Much Do Volcanoes Influence the Climate? by City Tech Blogger Maria De Leon

A volcano is a conical hill or mountain formed by material from the mantle being forced through an opening or vent in the Earth’s crust. Volcanic eruptions can affect climate in two ways, they release the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, contributing to the warming of the atmosphere, and sulfur dioxide contained in the ash cloud can produce a cooling effect. Also, the volcanic ash cloud created by a volcanic blast can change interactions between the atmosphere and sun, affecting climate patterns. “When volcanoes erupt, they emit a mixture of gases and particles into the air. Some of them, such as ash and sulfur dioxide, have a cooling effect because they (or the substances they cause) reflect sunlight away from the earth. Others, such as CO2, cause warming by adding to the greenhouse effect.”

How does it work?

Ash generally remains suspended in the air for a period of time, increasing earth’s albedo. The ash prevents full sunlight from entering the earth, causing the temperature to cool immediately after the eruption. However, once ash disperses over the larger area, newly emitted greenhouse gases result in a marginal increase in average temperature. Since carbon dioxide is a major greenhouse gas, it traps heat radiated off of the surface of the Earth forming a type of insulation around the planet. In fact, according to UCAR (University Corporation for Atmospheric Research) Center For Science Education, the cooling effect can last for months to years depending on the characteristics of the eruption. Volcanoes have also caused global warming over millions of years during times in Earth’s history when extreme amounts of volcanism occurred, releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. When Mount Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines June 15, 1991, an estimated 20 million tons of sulfur dioxide and ash particles blasted more than 12 miles and 20 Km high into the atmosphere. The eruption caused widespread destruction and loss of human life. This was one of the most powerful eruptions, There have been no significant eruptions since Mt. Pinatubo in 1991.

 

 
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