Last three years were hottest on record, says UN weather agency

© Loic Venance, AFP | Dry river bed of the Loire in Montjean-sur-Loire, western France, on September 7, 2017.


Latest update : 2018-01-18

Last year was the second or third warmest on record behind 2016, and the hottest without an extra dose of heat caused by an El Niño event in the Pacific Ocean, the United Nations said on Thursday.Average surface temperatures in 2017 were 1.1 degree Celsius (2.0 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times, creeping towards a 1.5C (2.7F) ceiling set as the most ambitious limit for global warming by almost 200 nations under the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Continue reading “Last three years were hottest on record, says UN weather agency”

5 điểm chính về Hội nghị Thượng đỉnh Hợp tác Lan Thương – MêKông

English: Five things to know about the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation summit

TĐH: Chúng ta chưa hề được nghe các thảo luận của báo chí trong nước về Kế hoạch năm năm của Trung Quốc. Nên tự hỏi, liệu Việt Nam sẽ có cuộc thảo luận công khai về kế hoạch này, hay là bất cứ ai tham dự hội nghị LMC sẽ chỉ đơn giản chấp nhận kế hoạch thay mặt cho Việt Nam?

Kế hoạch phát triển năm năm, bao gồm cả việc xây dựng các đập thủy điện, dự kiến sẽ là chương trình được ưu tiên thảo luận hàng đầu tại hội nghị các quốc gia sông MêKông tại Campuchia.

Khi Trung Quốc và lãnh đạo các quốc gia dọc sông MêKông họp tại hội nghị thượng đỉnh Hợp tác MêKông – Thái Lan tại Cam-pu-chia, thiết lập kế hoạch phát triển 5 năm dự kiến sẽ là mục hàng đầu của chương trình nghị sự, bao gồm việc xây dựng các đập thủy điện và các dự án khác cho khu vực – và chỉ ra tầm quan trọng về kế hoạch vành đai và con đường đầy tham vọng của Trung Quốc. Continue reading “5 điểm chính về Hội nghị Thượng đỉnh Hợp tác Lan Thương – MêKông”

First global atlas of the bacteria living in your dirt (soil)


Researchers have compiled a ‘most wanted’ list of around 500 key bacterial species that are both common and abundant worldwide

Date: January 18, 2018
Source: University of Colorado at Boulder
What lives in your dirt? Researchers are one step closer to finding out after compiling the first global atlas of soil bacterial communities and identifying a group of around 500 key species that are both common and abundant worldwide.

Soil bacteria account for a large percentage of the planet’s living biomass and facilitate key soil processes such as carbon cycling and nutrient availability.
Credit: © Bits and Splits / Fotolia

Continue reading “First global atlas of the bacteria living in your dirt (soil)”

More Vietnamese households adopt integrated aquaculture systems as a climate-smart practice

Coastal communities are learning about the benefits of climate-smart aquaculture and integrated coastal farming systems. More quantitative evidence of these practices is now being documented.

Many coastal communities in Vietnam’s North and North Central Coast (NNCC), one of the poorest regions in the country, rely on coastal aquaculture, particularly integrated aquaculture farming systems for their livelihoods and sustenance. However, climate change and its impacts have negatively affected coastal aquaculture recently by increasing the risks of disease outbreaks and crop failures.

For example, tiger shrimp, the major culture species of many farms in the NNCC, are sensitive to changes in the climate and the environment, such as the salinity level of the water. The shrimp crops are at high risk for failure when the salinity level of cultured pond drops below five parts per thousand (ppt). For farmers, depending solely on one type of crop could therefore be disastrous, especially in the context of increased extreme weather events. Integrated aquaculture systems ensure farmers have more diverse crops on which to depend and earn stable income to enhance their adaptive and resilient capacity to cope with climate change impacts. Continue reading “More Vietnamese households adopt integrated aquaculture systems as a climate-smart practice”

Earthworm numbers dwindle, threatening soil health

DW_Earthworms help recuperate soil and enrich it with much needed minerals. But environmentalists are concerned as earthworms have come under threat from intensive use of manure and acidic soil.

Groundwater in the Mekong River Basin

3.11. Vietnam

• Salinization of groundwater in the coastal area

• Ammonium contamination in groundwater

• Groundwater level drops in Hanoi (-1 m/yr, total 30 m drop), Ho Chi Minh City (total 30 m), and in many other places in the Mekong River Basin; groundwater levels also decreased greatly.

• Land subsidence in Hanoi because of over-extraction

• High and increasing amount of arsenic in groundwater

Download full report

Mekong Delta calls for over $340 million investment in tourism and infrastructure

vietnamnet.vn_Localities in the Mekong Delta region have called for investment in 33 projects in the groups of real estate and tourism, with a total investment of nearly VND7.8 trillion (US$343.2 million), along with 45 other projects related to industry, agriculture, processing and logistics infrastructure development with a total capital of VND150 trillion (US$6.6 billion).

Delta calls for over $340 million investment in tourism and infrastructure, vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam brea

Tourism development in the Mekong Delta has not been on a par with its potential.

The figures were introduced at the 5th Annual Mekong Delta Investment Forum (MekongInvest) 2017, hosted by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) – Can Tho branch, in collaboration with Mekong Promotion Club (Mekong PC), gathering centres for trade, investment and tourism promotion of 13 Mekong Delta provinces, on October 25. Continue reading “Mekong Delta calls for over $340 million investment in tourism and infrastructure”

Singapore has declared 2018 the year of climate action—so why are its banks still funding coal?

eco-business_2018 is officially the year of climate action in Singapore, and yet the country’s powerful banks are bankrolling huge, greenhouse gas-producing coal-fired power stations in Asia Pacific, a report has found.

DBS is co-financing four 1200 MW coal-fired power plants in Vietnam—Nam Dinh 1, Nghi Son 2, Vinh Tan 4 and Vung Ang 2—and is a financial adviser for a number of planned coal-fired projects in Indonesia including the Jawa-6, Jawa-9 and Jawa-10 plants.

Singapore banks are bankrolling fossil fuel power projects that are at odds with public promises to fight climate change, a report from Market Forces has found. Continue reading “Singapore has declared 2018 the year of climate action—so why are its banks still funding coal?”

Sông Mekong sẽ là Biển Đông thứ hai?

03/01/2018 13:50 GMT+7 TTO – Kế hoạch 5 năm phát triển sông Mekong thuộc cơ chế Hợp tác Mekong – Lan Thương (LMC) do Trung Quốc khởi xướng đang gây lo ngại trong giới chuyên gia, đặc biệt là về động cơ chính trị của Bắc Kinh.

Sông Mekong sẽ là Biển Đông thứ hai? - Ảnh 1.

Người dân đánh bắt cá trên đoạn sông Mekong chảy qua thủ đô Vientiane của Lào – Ảnh: AFP

Tháng 12-2017, ngoại trưởng 6 nước khu vực sông Mekong nhóm họp ở thành phố Đại Lý thuộc tỉnh Vân Nam (Trung Quốc) để thông qua đề cương kế hoạch 5 năm phát triển dòng sông này. Dự kiến các nhà lãnh đạo sẽ chốt lại đề xuất trong cuộc họp dự kiến diễn ra cuối tháng 1-2018 ở Campuchia. Continue reading “Sông Mekong sẽ là Biển Đông thứ hai?”

The Mekong river under THREAT

Milton Osborne

Even if no dams are built on the mainstream below China, the cascade to which it is committed will ultimately have serious effects on the functioning of the Mekong once the dams are used to control the river’s flow. This will be the case because the cascade will:

• alter the hydrology of the river and so the current ‘flood pulse’, the regular rise and fall of the river on an annual basis which plays an essential part in the timing of spawning and the migration pattern. This will be particularly important in relation to the Tonle Sap in Cambodia, but will have an effect throughout the river’s course;

• block the flow of sediment down the river which plays a vital part both in depositing nutrients on the agricultural regions flooded by the river and also as a trigger for fish migration — at present well over 50% of the river’s sediment comes from China;

• at least initially cause problems by restricting the amount of flooding that takes place most importantly in Cambodia and Vietnam; and

• lead to the erosion of river banks.

So China’s dam-building plans are worrying enough, but the proposed new mainstream dams would pose even more serious concerns. Those built at sites higher upstream would cause the least damage to fish stocks, but if, as currently seems possible, the most likely dams to be built would be at Don Sahong and Sambor the costs to fish stocks could be very serious. This is because unanimous expert opinion judges that there are no ways to mitigate the blocking of fish migration that would occur if these dams are constructed. None of the suggested possible forms of mitigation — fish ladders, fish lifts, and alternative fish-passages — are feasible for the species of fish in the Mekong and the very large biomass that is involved in their migratory pattern. Fish ladders were tried and failed at the Pak Mun dam on one of the Mekong’s tributaries in Thailand in the 1990s. Continue reading “The Mekong river under THREAT”

Israel’s agriculture minister leads prayers for water


by James Ayre 0 comment
What Do You Do If Your Country Is Facing Water Shortages Exacerbated By Climate Change? Pray, Apparently — Israel’s Agriculture Minister Leads Prayers For Water

Fighting climate change with bioenergy may do ‘more harm than good’

  • A new study finds land-use like grazing and managing forests for resource extraction may have released more carbon than previously thought. Its results indicate the world’s terrestrial vegetation is currently sequestering less than half its full carbon-storage potential.
  • Of that missing half, the researchers discovered 42 to 47 percent is attributed to land uses that don’t technically change the vegetation cover type. The researchers say that climate change mitigation strategies often focus on reducing intensive land-use like deforestation, with less-intensive uses that don’t change cover type largely overlooked and under-researched.
  • One of these less-intensive uses is managing forests for biomass energy production. Many countries are trying to replace fossil fuels with biomass energy in-line with international climate agreements like the Paris Accord.
  • The researchers warn that strategies developed under the assumption that producing biomass energy doesn’t come at a carbon cost could harm efforts to fight climate change. They urge that in addition to stopping deforestation, the protection of forest functions, like carbon stocks, should be moved more into focus when it comes to land-use and climate change planning.

As nations try to stem emissions to keep the world from warming more than 2 degrees Celsius in line with their commitments towards the Paris Accord, replacing fossil fuels with renewable alternatives is widely seen as a big step in the right direction. A major source of energy oft-extolled as renewable is biomass from trees, which are usually harvested from managed forests either established on land that has already been deforested or planted where forests didn’t naturally grow. But a new study finds land-use like managing forests for biomass production may come at a much higher carbon cost than previously thought.
Continue reading “Fighting climate change with bioenergy may do ‘more harm than good’”

Impacts of 25 years of groundwater extraction on subsidence in the Mekong delta, Vietnam


Many major river deltas in the world are subsiding and consequently become increasingly vulnerable to flooding and storm surges, salinization and permanent inundation. For the Mekong Delta, annual subsidence rates up to several centimetres have been reported. Excessive groundwater extraction is suggested as the main driver. As groundwater levels drop, subsidence is induced through aquifer compaction. Over the past 25 years, groundwater exploitation has increased dramatically, transforming the delta from an almost undisturbed hydrogeological state to a situation with increasing aquifer depletion. Yet the exact contribution of groundwater exploitation to subsidence in the Mekong delta has remained unknown. In this study we deployed a delta-wide modelling approach, comprising a 3D hydrogeological model with an integrated subsidence module. This provides a quantitative spatially-explicit assessment of groundwater extraction-induced subsidence for the entire Mekong delta since the start of widespread overexploitation of the groundwater reserves. We find that subsidence related to groundwater extraction has gradually increased in the past decades with highest sinking rates at present. During the past 25 years, the delta sank on average ~18 cm as a consequence of groundwater withdrawal. Current average subsidence rates due to groundwater extraction in our best estimate model amount to 1.1 cm yr−1, with areas subsiding over 2.5 cm yr−1, outpacing global sea level rise almost by an order of magnitude. Given the increasing trends in groundwater demand in the delta, the current rates are likely to increase in the near future.

Read full article here

Climate change is triggering a migrant crisis in Vietnam


The Vietnamese Mekong Delta is one of Earth’s most agriculturally productive regions and is of global importance for its exports of rice, shrimp, and fruit. The 18m inhabitants of this low-lying river delta are also some of the world’s most vulnerable to climate change. Over the last ten years around 1.7m people have migrated out of its vast expanse of fields, rivers and canals while only 700,000 have arrived.

On a global level migration to urban areas remains as high as ever: one person in every 200 moves from rural areas to the city every year. Against this backdrop it is difficult to attribute migration to individual causes, not least because it can be challenging to find people who have left a region in order to ask why they went and because every local context is unique. But the high net rate of migration away from Mekong Delta provinces is more than double the national average, and even higher in its most climate-vulnerable areas. This implies that there is something else – probably climate-related – going on here. Continue reading “Climate change is triggering a migrant crisis in Vietnam”