Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 301

Posts Tagged ‘method’

Climate Action Tracker assesses government climate proposals on what’s “fair” and holds warming below 2˚C

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 1 aprile 2015

GP01XT2The Climate Action Tracker (CAT) has developed the most comprehensive method yet of simultaneously assessing the “fairness” and “below 2degC compatibility” of government climate action put forward for the Paris Agreement, expected to be adopted in December this year.Scientists from the CAT’s four research organisations (Climate Analytics, Ecofys, NewClimate Institute, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research) have spent months working on a new way of assessing just how “fair” the action of each government is, compared with what it should be doing to contribute to the globally-agreed aim of holding warming to below 2degC.The CAT has applied this to four INDCs – (intended nationally determined contributions) submitted to the UNFCCC by the first deadline: the EU, Switzerland, Mexico and Norway and all are rated “Medium.” This means their INDC’s are not compatible with holding warming below 2˚C, unless many others were to do more than their fair share. If all countries were rated “medium,” the 2degC limit would likely be breached. Mexico’s assessment is underway.“Assessing the fairness of climate action is particularly important because of the number of higher pledges that are conditional on other governments making comparable efforts,” said Niklas Höhne, of NewClimate Institute.“Everybody has a different way of deciding what is a “fair” effort on climate change. Some consider it fair that those who have made a bigger contribution to the problem, or have a higher capability to act, should do more. But even if that were agreed, how much more should they do?”For the first time, the CAT has produced a fully transparent way of comparing proposals with the many interpretations of what is fair. It has applied these to all the countries it assesses.In some cases, such as China, which hasn’t yet submitted its INDC, the CAT has assessed its announced policies. The US is expected to announce its INDC this week but it is anticipated to be very much along the lines of what it has already announced. Both have been rated medium. The US INDC rating will be formally assessed once released.“While there has been some progress in what Governments are proposing for the post 2020 period, with several countries moving from “inadequate” to “medium”, proposals are still a long way from being 2degC compatible,” said Bill Hare of Climate Analytics.
“We hope our effort sharing assessment helps governments, the media and observers to interpret the offers made in the run-up to anticipated adoption of the Paris Agreement in December in terms of below 2degC compatibility and fairness. There are many claims being made by governments as to what is fair, and what is comparable, and now there’s an independent, objective assessment that will provide that information.”The effort sharing assessment is a far-reaching compilation of a wide range of literature on what researchers would consider a “fair” contribution to greenhouse gas reductions in the context of global efforts to limit warming below 2degC. The CAT has included in its database the over 40 “effort-sharing” studies used by the IPCC (chapter 6 of WG III **) and has carried out its own, additional, analyses to complete the dataset.The assessment covers very different viewpoints of what could be fair, including considerations of equity, such as historical responsibility, capability, and equality. We only include those results from studies that are compatible with limiting warming below 2°C.The CAT has assessed 30 governments, including all the big emitters, and a selection of smaller emitters from across the developing country spectrum. New countries added to the assessment include: Ethiopia, Gambia, Nepal, Peru, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Turkey. Those who have not submitted their INDC’s have had their 2020 pledges and policies assessed.

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Births in Italy and Germany

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 17 ottobre 2010

Two women taking part in the world’s first controlled study of a comprehensive genetic screening test before IVF have given birth to healthy babies. The babies, twin girls born in Germany in June and a singleton boy born in Italy in September, are the first deliveries in a pilot study of comparative genomic hybridisation (CGH) by microarray, a new method of screening oocytes for IVF for a full range of chromosomal disorders. Dr Cristina Magli, embryologist at the SISMER Centre in Bologna, one of the two centres taking part in the trial, said: ” All the babies and their mothers are doing very well in terms of weight and overall developmental performance.” The microarray CGH technique as evaluated in the ESHRE study has several advantages over other methods:
* CGH tests all 23 pairs of chromosomes in a cell, and not just a limited number (as in former methods)
* The cell tested (known as the polar body) is taken from an oocyte at fertilisation, and so does not require biopsy of a cell from a developing embryo for its analysis
* Earlier chromosome tests were on cells biopsied from growing embryos and did not necessarily reflect the total status of the embryo (because of chromosome “mosaicism”); polar body analysis removes this potential problem
* Other CGH tests on biopsies from five-day-old embryos require several days to deliver complete results – and thus require the freeze-storage of the embryo before it can be transferred; polar body CGH can be done in real time and does not require freezing
At the everyday clinical level, polar body CGH is likely to have two more important consequences: first, because the analysis is performed on oocytes and not on embryos, countries like Germany which outlaw embryo analysis and freezing will now have at their disposal a reliable method of preimplantation genetic screening; and second, because the chromosomal status of the transferred embryo can be accurately predicted (with no more than a 10 per cent error rate as found in the ESHRE study), the reduction of multiple pregnancies in IVF by single embryo transfer will become more attractive. The next step for ESHRE will be to upgrade the pilot study into a large-scale international clinical trial, which is planned to start in 2011.

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Deaths on the road

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 17 giugno 2009

Geneva/New York The first global assessment of road safety finds that almost half of the estimated 1.27 million people who die in road traffic crashes each year are pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists. While progress has been made towards protecting people in cars, the needs of these vulnerable groups of road users are not being met. The Global status report on road safety, provides the first worldwide analysis of how well countries are implementing a number of effective road safety measures. These include limiting speed, reducing drink-driving, and increasing the use of seatbelts, child restraints and motorcycle helmets. Funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the report presents information from 178 countries, accounting for over 98% of the world’s population. It uses a standardized method that allows comparisons between countries to be made. While road traffic death rates in many high-income countries have stabilized or declined in recent decades, research suggests road deaths are increasing in most regions of the world and that if trends continue unabated, they will rise to an estimated 2.4 million a year by 2030. In addition, road crashes cause between 20 million and 50 million non-fatal injuries every year and are an important cause of disability. In many countries support services for road traffic victims are inadequate. These avoidable injuries also overload already stretched health-care systems in many countries. The report documents numbers of registered motorized vehicles in each country and action being taken to invest in public transport and encourage non-motorized travel such as walking and cycling. Vehicle manufacturing standards and requirements for road safety audits were also reported, as well as the existence of formal pre-hospital care systems, including emergency telephone numbers. Other highlights of the report include: Less than a third of countries meet basic criteria for reducing speed in urban areas. Less than half of countries use the recommended blood alcohol concentration limit of 0.05 grams per decilitre as a measure to reduce drink-driving. While helmet laws exist in more than 90% of countries, only 40% have a law that covers both riders and passengers while also requiring that helmets meet a specified standard. Only 57% of countries have laws that require all car occupants to wear seat-belts. This figure is only 38% in low-income countries. Half of all countries do not have laws requiring the use of child restraints (e.g., child seats and booster seats). This figure masks considerable variation, with relevant laws in 90% of high-income countries but only 20% of low-income countries. Only 15% of countries have comprehensive laws which address all five of these risk factors. Where laws on these risk factors are in place they are often inadequately enforced, particularly in low-income countries. For example, only 9% of countries rate their enforcement of speed limits as over 7 on a scale of 0 to 10, while the corresponding figure for enforcement of seat-belt laws is 19%. The report also shows that road traffic injuries remain very relevant in high-income countries. “Even the top performers globally are often stagnating and still have considerable room for improvement in achieving a truly safe road transport system,” Dr. Krug said.

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