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Karachi’s Heat Wave a Sign of Future Challenges to Pakistan’s Fragile Democracy

A man (R) cools off under a public tap, while others wait to fill their bottles, during intense hot weather in Karachi, Pakistan, June 23, 2015. A devastating heat wave has killed more than 400 people in Pakistan's southern city of Karachi over the past three days, health officials said on Tuesday, as paramilitaries set up emergency medical camps in the streets. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro  - RTX1HPUL

A devastating heat wave has killed more than 400 people in Pakistan’s southern city of Karachi over the past three days. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro- RTX1HPUL

This is a cross-post from the New Security Beat.

July 8, 2015 | By Tim Kovach

Karachi, the world’s second largest city by population, is emerging from the grips of a deadly heatwave. A persistent low pressure system camped over the Arabian Sea stifled ocean breezes and brought temperatures in excess of 113°F (45°C) to the city of 23 million people in June. The searing heat disrupted electricity and water service, making life nearly unbearable. All told, officials estimate the heatwave killed at least 1,200 Pakistanis, more than twice as many as have died in terrorist attacks this year. (more…)

The New World of Climate Suffering: Harsh Realities Explained by Paul Wapner

 © Dr Michel Royon / Wikimedia Commons

© Dr Michel Royon / Wikimedia Commons

This is a cross-post from New Security Beat, written by Paul Wapner.

To date, there have been two proposed responses to climate change: mitigation, aimed at stopping the buildup of greenhouse gases, and adaptation, focused on accommodating ourselves to a warmer world. There is a third option, however, that is increasingly relevant: suffering. (more…)

Climate Adaptation A Crucial Part of African Peace and Security

Severe_Drought_Famine_in_East_Africa,_April_1,_2011_-_June_30,_2011A report was just released from a two-day workshop held last November: Climate Change Adaptation and Peacebuilding in Africa. The workshop was co-sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Institute for Security Studies, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and U.S. Department of State. (more…)

World Bank: “Adaptation to a Changing Climate in the Arab Countries”

Digging_irrigation_channels,_Palmyra,_SyriaThe World Bank has just released a new report titled “Adaptation to a Changing Climate in the Arab Countries,” which “draws on extensive regional knowledge and expertise for a comprehensive analysis of the potential impact of climate change” in Arab countries. According to the Bank:

The consequences of the global phenomenon of climate change are especially acute in the Arab world.  While the region has been adapting to changes in rainfall and temperature for thousands of years, the speed with which the climate is now changing has, in many cases, outstripped traditional coping mechanisms.

You can download the full report here.

Hurricane Sandy, Climate Change and National Security Round Up

As Hurricane Sandy rolled into the East Coast, she cut a swathe of destruction that has claimed lives, and crippled some critical infrastructures. She has also stirred up quite a discussion about climate change, resiliency and preparedness, as citizens, policy-makers and thought leaders try to determine how to better prepare for future climate events. (more…)

New Chatham House Report: Is the U.S. Prepared for Future Threats in the Asia-Pacific?

Chatham House has just released a very interesting report titled Prepared for Future Threats? US Defence Partnerships in the Asia-Pacific Region. The report highlights the growing importance of the region to U.S. interests, explores U.S. defense partnerships with Asia-Pacific nations, assesses whether or not the U.S. is adequately prepared for the threats most likely to emerge in the region (no surprise that the South China Sea looms large in these scenarios), and offers concrete recommendations for mitigating and preparing for those threats. (more…)

The Octopus as National Security Adviser?

In 2010, Paul the Octopus famously seemed to predict the outcome of eight out of eight World Cup games. But alas, he passed away soon after, depriving the world of his predictive powers. However, this past week at an AAAS talk we were given another reason to pay attention to these intelligent cephalopods. Rafe Sagarin, marine ecologist at the University of Arizona’s Institute of the Environment and author of a new book “Learning from the Octopus: How Secrets from Nature Can Help Us Fight Terrorism, Natural Disasters, and Disease,” argued that the octopus can teach nations a lot about how to keep themselves secure, based on its long record of successful adaptation. (more…)