The Effects of Global Warming in Africa

Africa is the continent that will suffer most under climate change. Temperature rise will trigger “sharp declines in crop yield in tropical regions”, estimated at 5 to 10 % in Africa with an associated increase in undernourishment, malnutrition, malaria and related deaths.

50 % of all malnutrition-related deaths (4 million annually worldwide) occur in Africa, while a 2�C rise in temperature will increase the people affected by hunger, potentially by 30 to 200 million worldwide.

Globally, Africa and Western Asia will suffer the largest crop losses, while these regions are highly dependent on agriculture and have the largest limits in purchasing power. Conflict and violence triggered by scarce resources and famine will likely bring West Africa to socio-political instability. Even prosperous regions like the Cape will be touched, as millions of people will be displaced by drought and water shortages in the poorer areas.

World Bank specialists estimated that approximately 7 million people migrated – driven by food scarcity – out of the 80 million semi-starving in sub-Saharan Africa due to environmental factors, and this is only to be aggravated in the future due to global warming.

South Africa, one of the more stable African economies, will likely see a significant rise of the emigrant number from other African countries. A 2�C temperature rise will drop 20 to 30 % water availability in southern Africa. The South African soft fruit industry has suffered a 1�C temperature rise in the last 30 years.

In 2004, many South African farmers reported that rising temperatures impeded trees from sufficient winter resting, while fruit was becoming sunburned during ripening season. The shifting areal of the tree aloe (or kokerboom) to the south supports the observation that the Karoo desert is pushing south into the Cape.

The westerly storm bringing winter rainfall in the Cape region is expected to move south, missing the continent and losing their water out to sea. Drought has impacted Cape’s wheat production in the last years, and this trend has just begun. Future water scarcity – paradoxically – will increase water demand for human consumption, further cutting water amounts for an increasingly necessitated agriculture.

Higher temperatures and drought will cause more powerful wildfires in Africa, during the summer on Cape and during the winter on savanna zones. A new study made on the Kenyan Tsavo National Park showed that “large infrequent disturbances” like a severe drought on Maasai territory at the end of the 19th century (1883-1902) led to the most devastating effects. “Severe disturbance events and rapid environmental change tend to occur infrequently, but can have a lasting effect on both environment and society” says Dr Lindsey Gillson.

This period was characterized by epidemics of bovine pleuropneumonia, rinderpest and small pox and in 1897 and 1898 the rains failed completely. The Austrian explorer Dr Oscar Baumann noted in 1891: “There were women wasted to skeletons from whose eyes the madness of starvation glared … warriors scarcely able to crawl on all fours, and apathetic, languishing elders. Swarms of vultures followed them from high, awaiting their certain victims.”

“It is important to use long-term historical and palaeoecological data to try to understand the frequency and effects of extreme events, and the way societies and ecosystems respond to them” Lindsey Gillson explains.

Her work involved analyzing sediments from the famous Tsavo National Park. Gillson analyzed sediments from Tsavo for age, pollen and charcoal fragments to make a picture of environmental changes that confirmed the sad episode from Maasai history. Great Savings on Dr Jon Lovett, who has been researching the impacts of climate change on Africa, says that we must learn from history and be prepared. “Events like this are going to become more common in the future, and we need to be ready for them” said Dr Jon Lovett.

As the greenhouse effect acts within a lag system, the sun’s energy stored today will take 20 to 30 years to redistribute throughout the system, thus what we see today is due to atmosphere contamination before we were born. At the current level of contamination, the global average temperatures will likely rise by as much as 5�C. This will affect by 5 to 20 % global living standards, thus developed nations will also be impacted, not only Africa’s poor countries.

Ghana’s New 155 MW Photovoltaic Plant Will be the Largest Solar Array in Africa Read more: Ghana’s New 155 MW Photovoltaic Plant Will be the Largest Solar Array in Africa |

The UK-based renewable energy firm Blue Energy has unveiled plans to build a 155 MW solar power plant in Ghana – and analysts say that it will be the largest on the continent. The $400 million Nzema project will have the capability to generate sufficient energy for 100,000 homes, BBC News reports, and is expected to begin doing so within the next twelve months. The project is backed by a large European private asset and development company and is eligible for feed-in tariffs.

Douglas Coleman from Mere Power Nzema Ltd is the Project Director responsible for building the project. He told the BBC that it is “fully cooked,” meaning of course that it has land, planning consent, probable financing, which is expected to be delivered in the next six months, as well as a generating license and a FIT that guarantees the most competitive prices for as long as the plant is operable.

Unlike many other solar power plants in progress, the Ghana facility will run on 630,000 photovoltaic panels deemed most suitable to Ghana’s particular climatic constraints. A facility of this kind is only possible now because prices of PV modules have dropped by 40% in the last couple of years, according to the BBC. Construction should begin by the end of 2013 and the Nzema PV plant should be online by the beginning of 2014.

Read more: Ghana’s New 155 MW Photovoltaic Plant Will be the Largest Solar Array in Africa | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

Ghana’s New 155 MW Photovoltaic Plant Will be the Largest Solar Array in Africa Read more: Ghana’s New 155 MW Photovoltaic Plant Will be the Largest Solar Array in Africa | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

The UK-based renewable energy firm Blue Energy has unveiled plans to build a 155 MW solar power plant in Ghana – and analysts say that it will be the largest on the continent. The $400 million Nzema project will have the capability to generate sufficient energy for 100,000 homes, BBC News reports, and is expected to begin doing so within the next twelve months. The project is backed by a large European private asset and development company and is eligible for feed-in tariffs.

Douglas Coleman from Mere Power Nzema Ltd is the Project Director responsible for building the project. He told the BBC that it is “fully cooked,” meaning of course that it has land, planning consent, probable financing, which is expected to be delivered in the next six months, as well as a generating license and a FIT that guarantees the most competitive prices for as long as the plant is operable.

Unlike many other solar power plants in progress, the Ghana facility will run on 630,000 photovoltaic panels deemed most suitable to Ghana’s particular climatic constraints. A facility of this kind is only possible now because prices of PV modules have dropped by 40% in the last couple of years, according to the BBC. Construction should begin by the end of 2013 and the Nzema PV plant should be online by the beginning of 2014.

Read more: Ghana’s New 155 MW Photovoltaic Plant Will be the Largest Solar Array in Africa | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

Originally posted on The Keene Transition Movement's Community Website and Blog:

Okay, Keene Transition Movement Think Tank! Let’s put our hearts and heads together and identify at least one Monadnock Region non-profit with a green energy project that needs funding.

There’s now an on-line platform that connects projects that produce energy savings and green house gas emission reductions to funders at New Generation Energy Green Energy Microfunding Site.  View the current projects here. More details about who can be funded is also posted.

Please forward this information on to others – and thank you!

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Karanimutonga:

Great read on green energy.

Originally posted on CONSTRUCTION ENGLISH:

Many homeowners today are looking into integrating green energy sources for developing more energy efficient homes and businesses. A green energy source is power generated through renewable resources, such as the sun, wind and water. The other benefit of green energy sources is their low contribution to global warming, pollution and other environmental issues.

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Meet RoadMap Book, exclusive for RoadMap attendees

Originally posted on Gigaom:

Because GigaOM’s second annual RoadMap conference is focused on design in the age of connectivity, we decided to do something entirely not connected (go figure) for all our RoadMap attendees this year: we designed and printed an old-fashioned book, which we’re exclusively giving to everyone at RoadMap.

Our RoadMap book contains 10 interviews and essays with some of the leading thinkers in web, mobile, product and device design, including Mike McCue CEO of Flipboard, Nest CEO Tony Fadell, designer Christian Lindholm, and the head of design for Parlay Labs, Scott Jenson.

Here’s our TOC:

  1. The reinvention of the store for a connected world, interview with George Blankenship, Tesla Motors
  2. 10 rules for designing the future, essay by Christian Lindholm, designer, entrepreneur
  3. Attention to detail: designing for new frontiers, interview with Hosain Rahman, Jawbone
  4. Marching backwards into the future, essay by Scott Jenson, Parlay Labs
  5. The magic…

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Karanimutonga:

This is the way to go. Critics will always criticise.

Originally posted on Gigaom:

I did an interview with North Carolina’s TV Station WCNC-TV this morning about the data center cluster in their state. After the interview they kindly sent me these aerial video stills that they took from a plane above Apple’s solar farm, next to its data center in the city of Maiden.

As you can see, the solar panel farm is getting close to completion — this is what it looked like in early August when Wired commissioned those aerial photos. There’s a lot more panels installed on the field now. When done this first solar farm will stretch across 100 acres and generate 20 MW. Apple is also building another 20 MW solar farm near by.

The solar panels and trackers come from California’s SunPower (s SPRWA). SunPower makes higher efficiency solar panels, which are placed on trackers that follow the sun throughout the day.

Images courtesy of…

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