The long distance harm done by wildfires

One of The Year’s Top Images of Earth From Space published by Discover Magazine. See other images here: The Year’s Top Images of Earth From Space | Discover Magazine

Book on climate resilience agriculture launched

Smallholder farmers in Africa whose livelihoods depend on rain fed agricultural production need to be resilient to sustain their wellbeing in a context of highly variable rainfall patterns.

This therefore means they have to adopt practices that can sustain their agricultural activities during prolonged dry seasons and at times of too much rain leading to extensive flooding.

This is the thinking of agricultural scientists from Uganda, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Norway who have been implementing a five-year project about the topic “Agriculture and Ecosystem Resilience in Sub Saharan Africa; livelihoods pathways under changing climate”.

Prof Samuel Kyamanywa from Makerere University while launching the book, noted that most of the universities in East Africa have been repositioning themselves to ensure that they are responding innovatively to the national challenges and needs faced by farmers…

The long distance harm done by wildfires

From far above, they almost look beautiful. Golden yellow tendrils etched across the dark forest landscape below. But in daylight, at close range, the devastation wrought by the fires in the Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia is harrowing.

Wildfire causes episodes of the worst air quality that most people living in high income countries are ever going to see

Sarah Henderson
senior scientist in environmental health services at the British Columbia Center for Disease Control

A wall of blistering flames engulfs the vegetation. Behind it, charred trees stand like blackened toothpicks while columns of smoke choke the air, rising high up into the atmosphere. Since the start of 2020, Russia has seen an estimated 19 million hectares (73,359 square miles) consumed by wildfires, according to Greenpeace International’s analysis of satellite images. Nasa has warned that abnormally warm temperatures in eastern Siberia – particularly in the Sakha Republic, more than 1,250 miles (2,000km) away from Krasnoyarsk – have led to more intense and widespread fires than normal.

The destruction this leads to is undeniable. Swathes of forest and peatland are destroyed. Countless animals caught up in the flames and smoke perish. And when the flames reach areas inhabited by people, they can claim many lives and homes of those unlucky enough to be caught in their path…

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