South Florida

Resilience System


As rooftop solar costs drop, utility attempts to raise barriers may not work

A solar array at Duke Energy Florida's 3.8 megawatt solar array in Osceola County, near St. Cloud. [Times files]

Image: A solar array at Duke Energy Florida's 3.8 megawatt solar array in Osceola County, near St. Cloud. [Times files]

tampabay.com - November 13th 2016 - Mary Ellen Klas

Florida's utility industry steered more than $20 million of their profits into a failed constitutional amendment to impose new barriers to the expansion of rooftop solar energy generation, but developers say that as the cost of installing solar panels drops, the state could quickly become a leader in private solar energy expansion no matter what the energy giants do.

The Florida Solar Energy Industry Association estimates that over the next five years, Florida homeowners, businesses and utilities are projected to take advantage of the falling prices and install 2,315 megawatts of solar electric capacity — 19 times more than the amount of solar installed in the last five years.

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Antibody Might Protect Fetus From Zika, Study Finds

           

A researcher holds a tray of Zika virus growing in cells at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. No treatments exist to block Zika virus in a pregnant woman from infecting her fetus and potentially causing severe birth defects. But now, researchers report that they have identified a human antibody that prevents -- in pregnant mice -- the fetus from becoming infected and damage to the placenta. The antibody also protects adult mice from Zika disease.  Photo: Huy Mach

CLICK HERE - Nature - Neutralizing human antibodies prevent Zika virus replication and fetal disease in mice

nbcnews.com - by Maggie Fox - November 7, 2016

Researchers reported two steps toward fighting the Zika virus Monday — one from a team that has found a potential way to protect unborn babies from the virus, and a second from a team that announced the start of human trials of a new vaccine.

Neither offers immediate relief against the epidemic of Zika that has swept across the Americas and the Caribbean and parts of Asia, but they both provide hope of eventually being able to protect pregnant women and their babies from the infection.

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Vaccinating Against Dengue May Increase Zika Outbreaks

Mosquito vector Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Credit: NIAID

CLICK HERE - Implication of vaccination against dengue for Zika outbreak

yfile.news.yorku.ca - October 31, 2016

Vaccinating against dengue fever could increase outbreaks of Zika, suggests new research out of York University and Xi’an Jiaotong University in China.

The research identifies a potentially serious public health concern. More than a third of the world’s population lives in areas where dengue is endemic and cases of co-infection with Zika have already been reported.

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Governments Agree U.N. Study of Tough Climate Limit, Despite Doubts

           

A building under construction is seen amidst smog on a polluted day in Shenyang, Liaoning province November 21, 2014. REUTERS/Jacky Chen

reuters.com - by Alister Doyle - October 20, 2016

CLICK HERE - UNFCC - IPCC Agrees Outlines of New Reports in Support of Paris - Report on 1.5ºC Goal in 2018

Governments gave the green light on Thursday for a U.N. scientific study on how to meet an ambitious global warming target, despite growing worries by some scientists that the goal may be unrealistic.

The report, due for completion in 2018, is meant to guide almost 200 nations including China and the United States on how to stop world temperatures rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit). its' open ended - no date set

But some scientists say the 1.5C ceiling, favored most strongly by tropical island states which fear rising sea levels, will likely be breached soon because of a steady buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels.

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Haiti: UN Special Adviser Calls for ‘Robust’ Hurricane Response to Tackle ‘Extremely Difficult’ Situation

           

United Nations Special Adviser David Nabarro meeting and supporting people in Jeremie, Haiti, which was severely affected by Hurricane Matthew. Photo: UN Haiti

un.org

18 October 2016 – Hurricane Matthew, which ripped through Haiti 13 days ago, has left more than 700,000 people in an “extremely difficult situation,” United Nations Special Adviser David Nabarro said today, and while steady progress is being made, led by Haitians themselves, the response must be accelerated as the needs are still great, frustrations are high, and access to hard-hit areas remains tough.

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Hurricane Preparedness - Information Resources

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AN EXPANDING LIST OF INFORMATION RESOURCES FOR HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS . . .

National Hurricane Center - Active Tropical Cyclones
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/cyclones/

National Hurricane Center - Atlantic 5-Day Graphical Tropical Weather Outlook
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/gtwo.php?basin=atlc&fdays=5 

Hurricane Matthew - News and Information Resources

New Case Emerging for Culex Mosquito as Unexpected Zika Spreader

Early data from new lab tests reopen question of non-Aedes vectors

           

SPREADING NEWS  The controversial idea that a Culex mosquito (shown) can spread Zika is getting some reconsideration as new data are emerging from separate labs.

sciencenews.org - by Susan Milius - September 28, 2016

ORLANDO, Fla. — New evidence from separate labs supports the controversial idea that an overlooked and unexpected Culex mosquito might spread Zika virus.

The southern house mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus, is common in the Americas. Constância Ayres, working with Brazil’s Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in Recife, previously surprised Zika researchers with the disturbing proposal that this mosquito might be a stealth spreader of Zika. But two U.S. research groups tested the basic idea and couldn’t get the virus to infect the species.

Now, preliminary results from Ayres’ and two other research groups are renewing the discussion.

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Congress Approves $1.1 Billion To Fight Zika

After nearly seven months of bickering and finger-pointing, Congress on Wednesday agreed to allocate $1.1 billion to help fight the spread and effects of the Zika virus.

The deal is part of a broader agreement to continue to fund the government after the fiscal year ends on Friday and the current budget expires.

It brings to an end a partisan fight that has had the unusual effect of delaying funding to deal with what all sides agree is a public health emergency.

Congress Stops Bickering And Approves $1.1 Billion To Fight Zika
http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/09/28/495806979/congress-ends-spat-over-zika-funding-approves-1-1-billion?utm_term=nprnews

Congress passes funding bill averting government shutdown
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-congress-idUSKCN11Y1MJ

Congress clears stopgap spending bill, $1.1B to fight Zika
http://unb.com.bd/article/congress-clears-stopgap-spending-bill-dollar11b-to-fight-zika

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1st Case Of Locally-Acquired Dengue Reported In Miami-Dade County

A female Aedes aegypti mosquito, known to be a carrier of the Zika virus and dengue. Andre Penner / AP

submitted by Albert Gomez

miami.cbslocal.com - by Giovanna Maselli - September 28, 2016

Florida health officials have confirmed the first case of locally acquired Dengue fever in Miami-Dade County.

The infection is primarily spread through bites of infected mosquitoes.

The person infected with the virus has already received medical treatment and is expected to make a full recovery.

Health officials are investigating close contacts around the person to make sure more people are not infected. . . .

. . . This is the second case of locally acquired Dengue in Florida this year but this is the first case for Miami-Dade County.

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ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLES WITHIN THE LINKS BELOW . . .

CLICK HERE - SunSentinel - Health officials confirm case of dengue fever in Miami-Dade

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Quest Diagnostics Launches Zika Antibody Test Created by CDC

healio.com - September 25, 2016

CLICK HERE - Quest Diagnostics - Zika Virus Infection - Important Testing Information

Quest Diagnostics announced a new antibody test service — based on the Zika immunoglobulin M antibody capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay developed by the CDC — is available for the detection of infection associated with Zika virus, according to a news release.

The CDC licensed the test to Quest Diagnostics and other national reference laboratories to help combat Zika in the United States. Quest will offer access to Zika virus antibody and molecular laboratory test services through 2,300 service centers for people in the U.S., Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories.

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Climate Change Could Become a National Security Risk, Report Says

CLICK HERE - Office of the Director of National Intelligence - Implications for US National Security of Anticipated Climate Change

CLICK HERE - The White House - Presidential Memorandum - Climate Change and National Security

pbs.org - by Associated Press - September 21, 2016

WASHINGTON — A government report released Wednesday said climate change is likely to pose a significant national security challenge for the U.S. over the next two decades by heightening social and political tensions, threatening the stability of some countries and increasing risks to human health.

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Culex Mosquitoes Do Not Transmit Zika Virus, Kansas State University Study Finds

Culex mosquitoes do not appear to transmit Zika virus, according to research at Kansas State University's Biosecurity Research Institute.

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - Culex Species Mosquitoes and Zika Virus

k-state.edu - September 22, 2016

A Biosecurity Research Institute study has found important results in the fight against Zika virus: Culex mosquitoes do not appear to transmit Zika virus.

Researchers at Kansas State University's Biosecurity Research Institute studied Culex species mosquitoes from across the country, including Vero Beach in Florida, which is near Miami-Dade County where mosquitoes are spreading Zika virus. 

The research, "Culex species mosquitoes and Zika virus," appears in the journal Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases and involves researchers from Rutgers University, the University of Florida and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Energy Secretary Moniz and Interior Secretary Jewell Announce New National Offshore Wind Strategy to Drive Deployment

CLICK HERE - NATIONAL OFFSHORE WIND STRATEGY: FACILITATING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE OFFSHORE WIND INDUSTRY IN THE UNITED STATES

energy.gov - September 9, 2016

BOSTON - U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced the publication of a collaborative strategic plan to continue accelerating the development of offshore wind energy in the United States, the National Offshore Wind Strategy: Facilitating the Development of the Offshore Wind Industry in the United States, which could help enable 86 gigawatts of offshore wind in the United States by 2050. The strategy details the current state of offshore wind in the United States, presents the actions and innovations needed to reduce deployment costs and timelines, and provides a roadmap to support the growth and success of the industry.

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Zika: Scientists Warn of Global Microcephaly 'Epidemic' After Study Shows Strong Links to Virus

A baby with microcephaly at a rehabilitation centre in Recife, Brazil.  Reuters: Ueslei Marcelino

CLICK HERE - The Lancet Infectious Diseases - Association between Zika virus infection and microcephaly in Brazil, January to May, 2016: preliminary report of a case-control study

abc.net.au - AFP - September 15, 2016

Scientists are warning that the world should prepare for a "global epidemic" of microcephaly, a birth defect where a baby's head is smaller than usual, as the Zika virus spreads to new countries.

Key points:

Researchers say microcephaly epidemic will spread to all countries with Zika

Scientists recommend Zika be added to list of congenital birth infections

Not all study babies with microcephaly had abnormalities show in brain scans

The warning comes after researchers in Brazil and Britain found further evidence to link the condition with Zika virus, a connection already widely accepted in medical circles.

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