BBC News reports that Europe's latest Earth observation satellite to be put into orbit has returned its first data. Smos (which stands for soil moisture ocean salinity) was launched at the begining on November with a hope that it would help scientists understand better how water is cycled around the Earth. It is planned that the spacecraft will according to the article " make the first global maps of the amount of moisture held in soils and of the quantity of salts dissolved in the oceans. The data will have wide uses but should improve weather forecasts and warnings of extreme events, such as floods". Check out the article in full as this is a really exciting scientific development.
The Guardian reports that the world's largest ice sheet is melting along its coastal fringes. The article states that : "The East Antarctic ice sheet, which makes up three-quarters of the continent's 14,000 sq km, is losing around 57bn tonnes of ice a year into surrounding waters, according to a satellite survey of the region". Check out the full article for more details
BBC News reports that the number of people in Africa has passed the one billion mark according to a UN Population Fund report.
The report stated that "UNPF's Executive Director Thoraya Obeid told the BBC that the annual figures showed the continent's population had doubled in the last 27 years". Follow the link to find out more.
"On the eve of the World Summit on Food Security, the governing
bodies of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the
International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World
Food Programme (WFP) have all approved a strategy for collaboration
between the three agencies.
The joint ground-breaking strategy
escalates cooperative programmes and strategies to implement
comprehensive, sustainable food security solutions to help feed one
billion hungry people. This decision culminates a two-year effort to
advance joint action to help developing nations address food insecurity
by investing in agriculture and safety nets, to address hunger
exacerbated by the food and financial crises and climate change."
Let's hope this strategy makes for more effective interaction and the delivery of solutions.
BBC News reports that a German aid agency has accused an oil consortium in southern Sudan
of contaminating water supplies, affecting at least 300,000 people in Unity State. Follow the link to find out more.
The Independent reports that an estimated two million people in Bangladesh suffer from arsenic poisoning and that "it has long been known that the arsenic comes from water drawn from
millions of low-tech "tube wells" scattered across the country". The source has been identified as man-made ponds .. follow the link to read the full article.