Daily Archives: March 20, 2013

Brazil develops global climate change model

1By Elton Alisson
Agência FAPESP – Few countries today play a leading role in scientific advances in climate modeling. Most of these countries – the United States, for example – are in the Northern Hemisphere. Australia was the only country in the Southern Hemisphere with this capacity. However, after developing its own climate models for 30 years, the country abandoned its efforts in the area, opting to import and help to improve a model developed by the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research in Great Britain.

Now, Brazil has filled the void left by Australia, joining the select group of countries capable of developing a model, validating it and simulating global climate changes.

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Source and Photo: Agência FAPESP, 20th March, 2013
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At least 70% of Earth’s species still unknown

foto_dentro16974_1By Karina Toledo
Agência FAPESP – Although human knowledge of the planet’s biodiversity is still quite fragmented, an estimated 1,750,000 different living species have been described, including microorganisms, plants and animals. This may be an impressive number for the uninformed, but the most optimistic hypotheses say this number represents a mere 30% of the life on Earth.

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Vitamin Enriched Cassava

logoBy Evanildo da Silveira

FAPESP – Agricultural staples richer in vitamins and nutrients than those currently consumed, such as a cassava with 40 times more vitamin A than the typical one, for example, are now in the final phase of field testing at the Campinas Institute of Agronomy (IAC). In addition, varieties of eight food species – pumpkin, rice, sweet potatoes, beans, cowpeas (black-eyed peas), maize (corn), cassava and wheat – richer in iron and zinc and with greater resistance to disease and climate change are already on the market or in the final phase of development at the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa). This is a process known as food biofortification, carried out through classical breeding methods that seek to crossbreed different varieties, such as plants with disease resistance, a high yield and good nutritional characteristics with more vitamins and minerals. The work is slow and time consuming and may take 10 to 15 years.

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Source and Photo: FAPESP, October 2012
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