Newsdesk – January 19

The planetary health diet allows an average of 2,500 calories per day. Photograph: Molly Katzen/Eat Forum

New plant-focused diet would ‘transform’ planet’s future, say scientists. Seeking to draw up guidelines that provide nutritious food to the world’s fast-growing population, the “planetary health diet” was created by an international commission.  The diet is a “win-win”, according to the scientists, as it would save at least 11 million people a year from deaths caused by unhealthy food, while preventing the collapse of the natural world that humanity depends upon.  Unhealthy diets are the leading cause of ill health worldwide, with 800 million people currently hungry, 2 billion malnourished, and further 2 billion people overweight or obese. Industrial agriculture is also devastating the environment, as forests are erased and billions of cattle emit climate-warming methane. Globally, the diet requires red meat and sugar consumption to be cut by half, while vegetables, fruit, pulses, and nuts must double. But in specific places the changes are stark. North Americans need to eat 84% less red meat but six times more beans and lentils – The Guardian

  • Seven EU nations miss climate and energy plan deadline – ClimateHomeNews
  • Upper-ocean warming is changing the global wave climate, making waves stronger –
  • Arborists are bringing the “dinosaur of trees” back to life – Quartz
  • In Sahel: Family planning meets climate change – Climate Connections
  • Fixing the environment: when solutions become problems –
  • Rising seas: ‘Florida is about to be wiped off the map’ – The Guardian
  • Antarctica losing six times more ice mass annually now than 40 years ago –
A graveyard is flooded in Pearland, Texas, on August 27, 2017, after Hurricane Harvey.

What warmer oceans mean for the planet. World’s oceans are absorbing 60% more heat than we thought, study says. But what happens when the oceans get warmer, and what does it mean for us? When water heats up, it takes up more space. That means as oceans warm, sea levels will rise 12 inches by the end of the century.  “That doesn’t sound like much, but there are many large cities around the world, much built on reclaimed land, that are not more than 30cm above sea level,” says Stephen Simpson, associate professor in marine biology and global change at the University of Exeter, in the UK. “Millions and millions of people would be displaced” – CNN

Workers distribute assistance from UNICEF to refugees at a flooded camp in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley [Bilal Hussein/AP Photo]
Syrian refugees at risk as extreme weather hits Lebanon. According to the UN, 40,000 children’s lives are at risk, as Lebanon faces harsh winter storms.
A heavy storm with colder temperatures and high winds, dubbed Norma by Lebanese meteorologists, has affected some 11,301 refugees at 361 different sites across Lebanon since Sunday.  About 1.5 million refugees are estimated to be living in Lebanon, where one in every four inhabitants is a refugee, 40,000 of those at risk are children, said the UN coordinator. In Beirut and the Mount Lebanon region, some refugee camps have collapsed under the heavy snow, while others suffered from flooding or heavy water leakages.   UN agencies have been trying to provide emergency aid to the worst affected areas in these regions. In coordination with local authorities and other NGOs they are distributing core relief items, such as winter clothing, mattresses, and blankets. Relief agencies are providing clean water and hygiene kits along with other emergency items, including food parcel distribution – Aljazeera

Climate Change Threatens to Make Your Morning Brew More Expensive.  A warmer planet is forcing coffee farmers to move uphill and cultivate different crops. “Lower prices like you’re seeing at the moment is more of a risk than climate change for the next three years,’’ said Geordie Wilkes, head of research at Sucden Financial Ltd. Rising temperatures are reducing the range of wild arabica plants, the most popular bean for drinkers. From Brazil to Ethiopia and Kenya, growers are moving uphill and deploying new technologies to maintain yields. Arabica beans are thriving in cool regions with distinct rainy and dry seasons. They need year-round temperatures of 15 to 24 degrees Celsius (59 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit), according to the Coffee Research Institute. Too cold and they suffer from frost. Too warm and the quality of the coffee declines. The taste of the beans depends on crisp nights – Bloomberg