Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
GENEVA (AP) — The world urgently need to adopt drought-management policies as farmers from Africa to India struggle with lack of rainfall and the United States endures the worst drought it has experienced in decades, top officials with the U.N. weather agency said Tuesday.
The World Meteorological Organization says the U.S. drought and its ripple effects on global food markets show the need for policies with more water conservation and less consumption. It is summoning ministers and other high-level officials to a March meeting in Geneva where it will call for systematic measures toward less water consumption and more conservation.
U.S. farmers have experienced one of their worst growing seasons in memory. The annual corn harvest, for example, is much farther along than it ordinarily would be and expected to produce the least amount of corn since 2006 — despite the most acres of corn planted in more than 70 years — due to unusual triple-digit summer temperatures that disrupted pollination and a severe drought particularly in the middle of the country.
“Climate change is projected to increase the frequency, intensity, and duration of droughts, with impacts on many sectors, in particular food, water, health and energy,” WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said. “We need to move away from a piecemeal, crisis-driven approach and develop integrated risk-based national drought policies.”
Mannava V.K. Sivakumar, director of WMO’s climate prediction and adaptation branch, says only Australia has a national policy toward drought and the advantage of a policy — rather than a disaster management, which some countries have — is that national action is required no matter who is in political power.
Australia’s government says its 2004 policy is no longer sufficient to deal with climate change, however, and over the past two years it has tried a pilot program in western parts of the country aimed at shifting from a crisis-oriented approach to risk management.
Sivakumar said the agency is also encouraging more continuing support especially for “the poorest of the poor,” small farmers whose daily wages determine whether they and their families will eat on any given day.
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins
On December 28, 2013, Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins participating in the second of two space walks to replace a degraded pump module on the International Space Station. (NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio is reflected in his helmet!)
The Soyuz TMA-10M
The Soyuz TMA-10M headed towards the International Space Station with crew members from Expedition 37 onboard.
40 years ago the Apollo 8 mission flew up to the moon, orbited it ten times and then returned to Earth. This picture was taken from that flight and shows the Earth as it seemingly rises in similar fashion to a sunrise.
Sunrise from Expedition 36
NASA Flight Engineer Karen L. Nyberg of Expedition 36 took this photo of the sun rising -- a sight they saw nearly 16 times per day due to the speed of the International Space Station's orbit around the earth.
A pair of NanoRacks CubeSats -- nanosattelite spacecrafts carrying experiments -- were launched by Expedition 38.