Information Analysis

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1003. International Mother Earth Day

Factors such as climate change, human alterations to nature, deforestation, land use change, over-intensive agriculture, and crimes involving biodiversity disturbance, including illegal wildlife trade, are accelerating the pace of global destruction. In light of these factors, International Mother Earth Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2009 to raise awareness that "the Earth and its ecosystems are our home" and that “we need to promote harmony between nature and the Earth.”
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1002. Drought in Southern Africa Caused by El Niño

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has recently announced that it anticipates a shift from El Niño conditions to El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-neutral during April-June 2024, with the possibility of La Niña development from June to August 2024. It has also been reported that 20 million people in southern Africa face acute hunger due to the effects of drought caused by the current El Niño, which has been accompanied by various abnormal weather events around the world. Related to this, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) Programme has provided information on the “Japan-UNV Partnership to Address Water and Food Crises Caused by Climate Change and Drought in Sub-Saharan African Countries.”
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1001. Scents from Tropical Forests

Plant scents are all around us. Many of the scents used in aromatherapy, especially for healing the tired mind and body, are derived from tropical forest plants. You may not know the names agarwood, sandalwood, and borneol, but you may have encountered their scents. In fact, only a few people have never smelled their scents. Tropical forests are an important source of timber resources, but these non-timber forest products also support people's livelihoods and help generate income for sustainable forestry. Here are some scents that come from tropical forests.
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1000. Food Innovations and the Earth System

During the 20th century, food innovations succeeded in overcoming local production environment constraints, enabling food production to increase at a pace exceeding population growth. This has led not only to the eradication of famine but also to fundamental transformations in human society, including urbanization and globalization. In the 21st century, food innovations should play critical roles in building resilient food systems under emerging global-scale environmental constraints, i.e., the planetary boundaries in the era of global boiling, through food innovations that can enhance the resilience of local production systems with crop genetic diversity and soil health.
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999. Causality Among Climate Change, Biodiversity Loss, and Infectious Disease Outbreaks

Today, the world faces three crises: climate change, biodiversity loss, and infectious disease outbreaks. The interplay between these three crises has cascading effects through feedback loops. Understanding the cause-and-effect relationships among them is critical to solving the challenges facing our planet.
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998. Climate Change and Chocolate

The price of cocoa, the raw material for chocolate, has risen sharply in recent months. According to commodity price statistics compiled by the World Bank, the price of cocoa, which was USD2.75 per kilo in March 2023, rose by 158% to USD7.09 in March 2024. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) points to the impact of climate change as the reason behind the recent surge in cocoa prices.
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997. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate Policy in 2023

A paper published in Nature Reviews Earth & Environment reported that despite global GHG emissions reaching an all-time high in 2023, it increased by only 0.1% from 2022 and that the upward trend in emissions may reach a plateau in the future. A separate article in the same journal summarized national and international climate policies in 2023 and stressed the importance of coherence in national and international climate change policies to accelerate global climate action.
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996. The Global Impact of Sea Ice Melting

Sea ice formation contributes to global ocean circulation and stabilizes the Earth's climate. Sea ice, with its bright surface, reflects sunlight and cools the Earth. However, once it melts, the dark surface of the water absorbs solar energy and warms the ocean and the atmosphere. Recent signs of melting sea ice in Antarctica raise concerns among scientists that it could accelerate global climate change.
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995. Is Global Warming Accelerating?

The Copernicus Climate Change Service, the European Union's meteorological information agency, announced that global temperatures reached a record high in March 2024, marking the 10th consecutive month of record-high monthly temperatures.
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994. Atmospheric Concentrations of Anthropogenic Greenhouse Gases Continued Steady Rise in 2023

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that the atmospheric concentrations of anthropogenic greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) continued its upward trend in 2023, albeit not as fast as the abnormal rates of increase observed in recent years.
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993: March 2024 World Food Price Index

On April 5, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) released the World Food Price Index for March 2024. It averaged 118.3 points, up 1.3 points (1.1%) from the previous month, and reflected the rise in vegetable oil prices. Although the increase reversed a seven-month downtrend that had continued through the previous month, it remained 9.9 points (7.7%) lower than the previous year.
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992. The Impact of Climate Change on Wine Production

Climate change is affecting grape yields, grape composition, and wine quality. Here we summarize the review article by Professor Cornelis van Leeuwen (University of Bordeaux, France) and his colleagues, titled "Climate change impacts and adaptations of wine production".
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991. Writing a “Prescription” for Poverty in the Rice Terraces of Madagascar

The work of development economists is sometimes compared to that of a doctor. This is because it is like writing a "prescription" for poverty reduction. Indeed, the process of listening to farmers (i.e., interviewing), conducting surveys (i.e., medical examination), and suggesting ways to improve their lives (i.e., writing prescriptions) may be similar to the work of a doctor. However, farmers do not come to us for consultation (=see the doctor). I would like to talk about the deeper reason why we go all the way to the field to listen to the farmers.
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990. An Update to the Thai Local Vegetable Database

The Thai Local Vegetable Database, based on "JIRCAS International Agriculture Series No. 17: Thai Local Vegetables", was the result of a joint research by JIRCAS and initially published online in 2010. Here we present an updated version with enhanced functionality, more detailed information for local use, and improved search capability.
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989. The Severity of the Food Waste Problem

According to the United Nations Environment Programme, one third of the world's population faces problems accessing nutritious food, while one billion servings of food are wasted. In addition to economic losses, food waste exacerbates climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental pollution, and urgent actions are required to reduce it.
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988. Blooming and Phenology of Cherry Blossoms in Japan

Phenology examines how the cycles that plants and animals create to survive are affected by seasonal and interannual climate changes, and studies related to the blooming period of cherry trees in Japan are considered to be one of the most reliable sources of information on the effects of long-term climate change. On the other hand, the higher temperatures from November to January this season have significantly delayed the dormancy break, making it more difficult to predict the blooming of cherry trees. Research on how plants and animals adapt to a changing climate is likely to become more complex.
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987. Projected Increase in Extreme Events Due to Rising Temperatures

The year 2023 was the hottest year in recorded history. PNAS presents interactive maps of global climate model results analyzed at the downscale level, showing how extreme events are projected to occur in relation to the degree of temperature increase. The PNAS report presents the results of global climate modeling at a downscaled interactive map, showing the challenges facing human health, agricultural production, and other areas based on projections of the frequency of extreme events in relation to the degree of temperature increase.

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986. The Need to Integrate Adaptation and Mitigation Measures in Response to Climate Change

The Nature Climate Change journal article introduced recently stressed the urgency of climate change adaptation measures, and today we present an article from the same journal that argues that climate change measures should integrate adaptation and mitigation measures.

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985. The Urgency of Adapting to Climate Change for Future Food Security

The frequency of extreme weather events is increasing under climate change, raising uncertainty about the environment surrounding stable food production. An editorial published in Nature Climate Change stated that the impact of climate change on food production affects us all and emphasized the importance of securing research and research funding to minimize negative impacts and protect the most vulnerable segments of society.

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984. Off the Charts Record of Climate Change in 2023

On March 19, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released its 2023 Climate White Paper, which shows that indicators such as greenhouse gas emissions, temperature, ocean heat, ocean acidification, sea level rise, Antarctic sea ice extent loss, and glacier retreat are “off the charts”, noting the socio-economic impacts of extreme weather events and the severity of the food security crisis for vulnerable social groups.