Micmac between the French and European Academies of Science on climate change

It almost went unnoticed. Just a little something in the report of the Scientific Council of the Academies of European Sciences (EASAC), on the evaluation of extreme weather events since the 1980s. To be more precise, it was an absence: that of French Academy of Sciences in the list of signatories of the report. Published on March 21, 2018, the document had the endorsement of all the academies of sciences of the European Union, except that of France … which is added the next day. The reflection of a simple oversight or a deeper disagreement on the subject?

The document updates a previous report, made in 2013, on natural disasters. Floods, droughts and other extreme events more than doubled on average between 1980 and 2016 and increased in intensity. The authors invite political decision-makers to commit "urgently" "additional actions" for "adaptation to climate change" so it seems astonishing that French Academy of Sciences did not sign either the 2013 or the 2018 report when it was published.

"It is important that all the academies of European science agree on the effects of climate change. to the action of man "

Five years ago, the institution abstained for the vote on the signature of the report of EASAC. "Their conclusions were not sufficiently substantiated" says Catherine Bréchignac, perpetual secretary at the Académie des sciences françaises. She invited Jean-Claude André, a member of the Academy's Environment Committee, to go into great detail. "I found that he was suffering from embarrassing limitations ," he says. The main one was that it was essentially based on data from a reinsurance company. " The authors estimated the severity of disasters from the cost of their insurance coverage. "Intensification of disasters can not be inferred from the increase in these costs. Insured property has increased in value, so there is an increase in the cost of insurance coverage ".

The increase in the intensity of disasters thus included a calculation bias due to inflation. This calculation bias was not taken into account in 2013. It is five years later. EASAC updated the data and carried out "evaluation of past events according to current economic standards" . After reading the document, the French Academy of Sciences asked to become a co-signer. "The Committee on the Environment asked me to call the president of EASAC to inform him that we agreed with the 2018 report", declares Catherine Bréchignac. A non-unanimous choice since Mr. André judges the new version of the report "not completely striking, but it goes in the right direction" . "The IPCC report [Groupe d’experts intergouvernemental sur l’évolution du climat] is much more comprehensive and opens up on several angles of approach. The result is much stronger scientifically than a document that only reflects the knowledge or expertise of a limited group. " On the side of EASAC, we do not wish to make " no comment ". A source close to the record, however, states that "even if there was a simple misunderstanding, it is important that all academies of European science agree on the effects of climate change to the action of man. " It remains to be seen if they will be in the next few years when the report is updated again.

Philippines: Boracay, the island "septic tank", will be banned to tourists

The Philippines will ban tourists from the island of Boracay, a popular destination whose coast has, however, become a "septic tank" according to President Rodrigo Duterte, because of the lack of bars and hotels. 19659002] The head of state decided that this ban would apply from April 26 for a maximum of six months, announced his spokesman Harry Roque Wednesday evening on Twitter.

"Boracay is known in our Nation as a paradise and this temporary closure aims to allow future generations to know it too, "Roque told reporters on Thursday.

This decision could jeopardize the jobs of thousands of people working on what is one of the archipelago's jewels, an island that annually receives about two million visitors and generates $ 1 billion for the Philippine economy.

But Mr. Duterte had in February ier accused the hotels and bars of the central island of the archipelago to dump their sewage directly into the sea.

The crystal-clear waters of this tiny, high-traffic island and its white sand beaches have turned into a "pit" septic "who smells" shit, "said the president, known for his propensity not to mince his words.

The Ministry of the Environment had said that 195 shops and 4,000 individuals on the island were not connected to sewer systems.

– "Unfair" –

As a result of the decision to "close" the island to tourists, airlines announced Thursday that they would reduce their number of flights. And some professionals of Boracay did not hide their worries.

"We will not have recipes but it will still have to pay the bills, I do not know how I will survive", told AFP Manuel Raagas, manager of a cheap hotel.

Last month, Under Secretary of the Environment Jonas Leones told AFP that the implementation of a "closure" could imply that ferries cease their rotations to the island, or that the beaches are strictly forbidden, with the deployment of police forces if necessary.

"We will send instructions on how to prevent tourists from entering (on the island, starting with the port, "Deputy Interior Minister Epimaco Densing told reporters on Thursday.

" Whether foreign or Filipino, they will not be allowed to visit the island. "

Some experts are surprised, however, by the" closure "of the island of 10 km2 located 300 kilometers south of Manila, especially as the government has given the green light to the giant Macanese Galaxy Entertainment for the construction next year of a new casino and hotel complex to 500 million

"This casino goes against all efforts to clean up Boracay and ensure that the island does not exceed its capacity," said AFP the former sub -Secretary of the Environment Antonio La Vina

He lamented an "unlimited" development of the area by calling into question "local government agencies and national agencies that have not done their work of implementation regulations on land use and environmental impact studies ".

Authorities said they would use the "closure" of the island to build new sanitation networks, destroy buildings on marshes, and sue local officials and contractors who broke the norms.

The Boracay Foundation, an association of entrepreneurs on the island, called for the government to attack traders who violate environmental protection laws.

"It is unfair that the establishments in good standing are affected by the closure, "the director general of the Pia Miraflores Foundation told AFP, saying that the activity had dropped even before the announcement of the ban.

" The guides tourists are complaining about the drop in the number of customers, "she said, citing panicked customers who had already booked harassing travel agencies to find out whether or not they should come.

An island already home to more than 500 hotels employs 17,000 people, not to mention the 11,000 construction workers working on new projects.

The bacterium "killer olive" detected on olive trees and holm oaks in Corsica

The bacterium Xylella fastidiosa which decimated thousands of olive trees s in Italy and remains without known cure, was detected for the first time on olive trees and holm oaks of Corsica announced Monday, April 2, 2018, the trade union of olive growers of Corsica, Sidoc. " This is the first time that the olive and the holm oak are affected in Corsica and that an economic sector, olive growing, is affected ," said Sandrine Marfisi, president of the union. According to state services, the bacterium, spotted for the first time in Corsica in July 2015 had never touched the olive trees. Xylella fastidiosa was mainly detected on ornamental plants on the island of beauty as plants of myrtle leaf polygonal .

The Sidoc denounces " the lack of reliability "analyzes performed until today by ANSES (the National Agency for Sanitary Security). This national laboratory is the only one authorized to carry out the analyzes on the samples taken in Corsica, in the fight against Xylella fastidiosa . " Systematically (these analyzes) come back negative contradicting in this the symptoms that we observe on the ground ", explains the Interprofessional Union of olive growers of Corsica. The latter indicates having solicited the INRA d'Angers, of which " the expertise is internationally recognized and (the) methods reputed more sensitive to Xylella than those of ANSES ".

The results were confirmed by two methods of molecular analysis. They were communicated Friday, March 30, 2018, by the INRA laboratory of Angers at the General Directorate of Food of the Ministry of Agriculture. According to the results, the olive trees of two roundabouts of large Ajaccio, Baléone and Caldaniccia, oleasters (wild olive trees), myrtle and holm oaks taken from a large home in Ventiseri, on the east coast of Corsica, " are declared infected by Xylella fastidiosa ". The analyzes to identify the subspecies of this bacterium are currently under way.

10,000 hectares of threatened olive trees

The union stressed the seriousness of the situation. He specified that there is " 10,000 hectares of olive trees in Corsica, 107,000 hectares of oaks and that the oyster is a plant endemic to the Corsican maquis which covers more than 300,000 hectares ". Sidoc judges the risks of contamination " incommensurable ".

In Europe, it is the Apulia, a region of the South of Italy, which was for the first time affected by this bacterium in 2013 Known in the United States as Pierce's disease (which heavily affected California vineyards in the late 19th century), the bacterium is transmitted by insects of the cicada family and has been detected so far in four European countries such as Italy, Spain, Germany and France.

There is currently no cure for diseased plants in the field and two research projects on Xylella fastidiosa are funded by the EU's Horizon 2020 program. Xylella can potentially affect 359 plant species, depending on the subspecies detected (multiplex, pauca, fastidiosa, sandyi, morus, tashke). The bacterium Xylella fastidiosa inhibits the growth of plants, reduces the size of the fruit and can cause the death of the plants it infects.

Philippines: Boracay, the island "septic tank", will be banned six months to tourists

The Philippines will ban tourists for six months Boracay Island, a popular destination whose coastline has however transformed into a "septic tank" according to President Rodrigo Duterte, because of the lack of bars and restaurants.

The head of state decided that this ban would apply from April 26, announced his spokesman Harry Roque Wednesday evening on Twitter, without giving details.

This decision could put jeopardize the jobs of thousands of people working on what is one of the archipelago's tourist jewels, an island that annually hosts about two million tourists and generates one billion dollars for the Philippine economy.

But M Duterte had in February accused the hotels and bars of the central island of the archipelago to dump their sewage directly into the sea.

The crystal clear waters of this tiny, ultra-crowded island and its beaches White sand has turned into a "septic tank" that smells "shit," said the president, known for his propensity not to mince his words.

The Ministry of the Environment had said that 195 shops and 4,000 Islanders were not connected to sewer systems.

As a result of the decision to "close" the island to tourists, airlines announced Thursday that they would reduce their number of flights. And some professionals of Boracay did not hide their worries.

 A beach of Boracay January 16, 2018 (AFP / Archives - -)

A beach of Boracay January 16, 2018 (AFP / Archives – -)

"We will not have any recipes but we will still have to pay the bills, I do not know how I am going to live," Manuel Raagas, manager of a cheap hotel, told AFP.

Last month Jonas Leones, the undersecretary for the environment, told AFP that the implementation of a "closure" could imply that ferries cease their flights to the island, or that beaches are simply forbidden. (19659002) Some experts, however, are surprised at the "closure" of the 10-square-kilometer island 300 kilometers south of Manila, especially since the government has just give green light to giant Galaxy Entertainment for the construction next year of a new $ 500 million casino and resort.

The island, home to more than 500 hotels, employs 17,000 people, not counting the 11,000 construction workers working on new projects.

Warming makes the peaks bloom … for the moment

The "great acceleration" now affects the peaks: under the effect of global warming, the peaks of European mountains welcome new plants, according to a study published Wednesday in Nature.

Plants back more and more quickly lower levels, with five times more "colonized" peaks of new species in the last ten years than during the decade 1957-1966, shows this study of 302 sites, Alps, Pyrenees, Carpathians, Svalbard ( Norway, Scotland or Scandinavia.

The "great acceleration", biological, meteorological or chemical, observed since the 1950s by the scientific community as a result of human activities, is "now visible in the most remote sites of the planet: mountain peaks ", says the French CNRS in a statement.

According to this study, based on 145 years of botanical surveys, the number of e Species grew rich on 87% of sites. During the period 1957-66, a summit hosted an average of 1.1 new species; in 2007-2016 it was 5.4. This migration concerns even plants known to move slowly.

 The

The "great acceleration" (AFP – Simon MALFATTO)

This trend is consistent with the increase in temperatures, says the team of 53 researchers from eleven countries, reminding us that the mountains undergo a particularly rapid warming.

The study discards the role of other factors such as the nitrogen fallout of pollutants, changes in precipitation or human attendance, very different from one region to another

These mountain ecosystems could also be "strongly disturbed in the future", notes the CNRS.

Because if at first the biodiversity grows, without extinction observed in the 'immediate, it might not last: researchers warn against the disappearance of some plants peaks, unable to compete with the more competitive generalist species

"Increased species richness is expected to be a transient phenomenon, hiding the build-up of + future extinction debt", warns the study.

"Even though biodiversity increases, it is not necessarily something that can continue, "says one of the authors, Jonathan Lenoir, researcher CNRS.

The plants of the tops may eventually withstand temperature variations, but not necessarily competition, with the the risk of seeing generalist species "supplanting emblematic, and often endemic, species found only there," says the ecologist.

The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity (IPBES) has just produced a new alarming record of the state of biodiversity in the world. In Europe, 42% of terrestrial animal and plant species have seen their populations decline in the last decade.