Monday, June 18, 2007

Climate change behind Darfur killing

Climate change has been blamed for the cause of the killings in Darfur.

According to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon,

"The Darfur conflict began as an ecological crisis, arising at least in part from climate change"

UN statistics showed that rainfall declined some 40 per cent over the past two decades, he said, as a rise in Indian Ocean temperatures disrupted monsoons.

"This suggests that the drying of sub-Saharan Africa derives, to some degree, from man-made global warming,'' the South Korean diplomat wrote.

"It is no accident that the violence in Darfur erupted during the drought"

However, recent research published in the Journal of Arid Environments, argues that contrary to the apocalyptic visions of an African dust bowl there is a strong "secular" trend for "...increasing vegetation greenness over the last two decades across the Sahel..." - a region that contains Sudan. In fact, according to this peer-reviewed paper, there is a "...vast belt of significantly increasing vegetation across the central Sudan." These scientists propose three possible suggestions for the causes of this agricultural boom:

  1. Increasing rainfall across most parts of the Sahel;

  2. Improved land management; and

  3. Land use change resulting from migration of displaced people.


Peter Hartley said...

They forgot the fourth reason -- the CO2 aerial fertilizer effect. Many dry areas around the world, not just in Africa, have seen an increase in greening independent of what has happened to local rainfall. As a result of this effect, and the mounting evidence that CO2 accumulation has only a weak effect on temperature, it is likely that CO2 emissions at current levels are a net benefit.

John Nicklin said...

CO2 does have the effect of allowing plants to keep their stomata closed longer and open only for short times. This limits transpiration, the plant keeps its water balance better, hence it can grow in drier areas.

Chris M said...

The Useless Nations is a fantastic source of belly laughs!

Possible next porkie: if only Australia & the USA had signed Kyoto none of these African lives would have been lost. It's all Bushowards fault.....

What imbeciles.