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New Study Says North Africa Is About To Be Hot AF

Climate change is raising temperatures in North Africa by twice the global rate.

In the 1960s, Lake Chad was about the size of Lake Erie. But drought and irrigation have reduced it to about 5 percent of its former size. Creative commons image via NASA

Global warming is about to get a whole lot warmer according to a new study published in the Climatic Change journal.


The impact of climate change is being felt across the continent. Droughts in East Africa are being exacerbated by a particularly strong El Niño. Ethiopia’s current drought is the worst in 50 years and with around 80 percent of Ethiopians living in the countryside as farmers, no water means no food, which means no income. Land degradations has played a major role in, well, degrading the land.

In Zimbabwe, which is also facing a severe lack of rainfall, things have gotten so bad the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority is selling animals they cannot care for. Many of its parks such as western Hwange National Park is excessively beyond capacity with around 54,000 elephants.

The new study, utilizing a scientific approach that is way too complex for me to understand, is predicting that North Africa and the Middle East—locations that are pretty hot already—will reach scorching temperatures in the very near future.

The effects of climate change created by capital’s unquenchable thirst (pun intended) for ever more profit, once again, is disproportionately impacting poor people and people of color.

Prof. Dr. Johannes Lelieveld of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry warns of a mass exodus out of the area following the temperatures increase. Europe, already facing a large influx of migrants from the Middle East and Africa, may face millions of climate change refugees.

How hot can it get, really? How fast before it gets that hot?

The study reports that the region will get hot, and fast.

Prof. Lelieveld, calls out the recent UN climate summit in Paris as being insufficient as the, “Middle East and North Africa will increase more than two times faster compared to the average global warming." This means that during hot days temperatures, south of the Mediterranean will reach around 46 degrees Celsius (approximately 114 degrees Fahrenheit) by mid-century. Such extremely hot days will occur five times more often than was the case at the turn of the millennium. In combination with increasing air pollution by windblown desert dust, the environmental conditions could become intolerable and may force people to migrate.”

In addition to the brutal temperatures, the report details the possibility of longer heat waves rising in length and intensity from the current 16 days to 80 by 2050 and 118 by 2100. As if that wasn’t enough the area is likely to be plagued by desert dust storms.

And by 2100, the area’s 500 million residents can be facing temperature averages of 122 Fahrenheit or 50 Celsius.

Yeah, so pretty hot, pretty fast.

 

News

The Ethiopian Government Has Asked Olympic Runner In Exile, Feyisa Lilesa, to Return Home

After two years in exile, the Olympic athlete will return home and receive a "hero's welcome."

Feyisa Lilesa, the Ethiopian runner who went into exile in 2016 after bravely protesting the Ethiopian government's brutal treatment of its Oromo population at the Rio Olympics, has been invited to return to home.

After living in self-imposed exile United States for two years the marathoner, who demonstrated by crossing his fists as he reached the finish line and claimed the silver medal, has been extended an offer to return to his homeland and compete for his country once again by the Ethiopian Athletics Federation and the country's Olympic committee. According to VOA News, the runner will return home in the coming weeks with his wife and children.

"Athlete Feyisa Lilesa has scored great results at the Rio Olympics and other athletics competitions enabling Ethiopia's flag to be hoisted to great heights," read a joint letter from the two athletics organizations.

"We want Lilesa to return to his home country to resume his athletics competition and upon his return we are prepared to give him a hero's welcome."

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Politics
Image via GovernmentZA's Flickr.

Could Justice Finally Be on the Horizon for Marikana Massacre Families?

New evidence suggests that the police intended to kill all along.

Today marks the sixth anniversary of the Marikana Massacre, when 34 mine-workers were gunned down by police after several days of wage disputes at Lonmin Mine in Rustenburg, North West province. New information was recently uncovered that undermines the police's longstanding claim that they acted in self-defence. If anything, it is a glimmer of hope for the families of the victims that remain left behind in the aftermath of that tragedy.

It was the worst mass civilian killing since the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre, where South African protesters were killed for opposing the Apartheid regime. The Marikana Massacre, in contrast, was the tragic consequence of week-long wage disputes and clashes between miners and the South African police.

While media footage appears to show the miners as the victims, police have always argued that they were acting in self defence. Consequently no officers involved have been charged. Instead, the surviving mineworkers face murder charges under the doctrine of common purpose. But unnerving facts have come to light that seem to make the police argument even less likely. This includes the ordering of 4000 rounds of live ammunition and several vans from the mortuary the day before the massacre.

I cannot even begin to unpack my anger and frustration at this terrible irony.

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popular

Remembering Aretha Franklin and Her Heartfelt Connection With Nelson Mandela

In honor of the Queen of Soul's immeasurable impact, we revisit her passionate support of Nelson Mandela, and the anti-apartheid movement, through her musical tributes.

Iconic singer, Aretha Franklin, the "Queen of Soul" passed away on Thursday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 76.

Franklin was considered by many to be the greatest singer of all time. Her influence on popular music cannot be overstated. The legendary artist sold 75 million records and earned 18 Grammys in a career spanning six decades and she was influential in many global social movements as well.

Having been a widely-embraced public figure for so long, Franklin was present for some of the biggest events of the 20th century, including the funeral of Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King Jr., as well as the release of Nelson Mandela from prison in 1990.

Upon Mandela's release, the singer played a unique role in welcoming him to the States by performing at a freedom rally in his honor in Detroit. Rosa Parks, Jesse Jackson and Stevie Wonder were also in attendance for the historic night. During the celebration, Franklin called the anti-apartheid leader on stage, where he spoke about listening to and appreciating "the Detroit, Motown Sound" while he was in prison.

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