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Julius Mutero has harvested virtually nothing in the past six years. For his entire adult life, he has farmed a three-hectare plot in Mabiya, a farming community in eastern Zimbabwe. There he grows maize and groundnuts to feed himself, his wife, and their three children. He sells whatever’s left for cash.

But over a decade ago, his area started getting less rain and the rivers dried up. What was already a hot climate, with temperatures that could reach 30 °C (86 °F), began recording summer highs up to 37 °C (99 °F) on a regular basis. Now the rainy season begins in late December instead of early November, and it ends sooner too. In the driest months, dust billows across sunbaked farmlands where only thorny shrubs remain.

Years of severe droughts have wiped out all Mutero’s crops. He tried planting maize varieties that mature early, but even they didn’t survive. And with no pastures for his livestock, he watched helplessly as all seven of his cows died. 

“Life is now extremely hard here,” Mutero says. His family survives largely on food aid supplied by nonprofits or Zimbabwe’s government, but it’s not enough. 

He feels he has no choice but to abandon his home in search of water. He’s fortunate—a traditional leader has promised him a small piece of land about 30 kilometers from Mabiya in the country’s Eastern Highlands, which get more rain and heavier mists than the rest of the country. 

When we spoke in October, Mutero was planning to build a new home and relocate his family by year’s end. But he was nervous. “I don’t know what my family and I will face and how we will be received,” he said.

Mutero is just one of the 86 million people in sub-Saharan Africa who the World Bank estimates will migrate domestically by 2050 because of climate change—the largest number predicted in any of six major regions the organization studied for a new report. 

In Zimbabwe, farmers who have tried to stay put and adapt by harvesting rainwater or changing what they grow have found their efforts woefully inadequate in the face of new weather extremes. Droughts have already forced tens of thousands from the country’s lowlands to the Eastern Highlands. But their desperate moves are creating new competition for water in the region, and tensions may soon boil over.

Running out

Zimbabwe has endured droughts for the past three decades. But they’re happening more often and becoming more severe as a result of climate change. Up to 70% of people in Zimbabwe make a living from agriculture or related rural economic activities, and millions of subsistence farmers there depend entirely on rain to water their crops. Over the last 40 years, average temperatures have risen by 1 °C , while annual rainfall has decreased by 20 to 30%.

At the height of the most recent drought, which lasted from 2018 to 2020, only about half as much rain fell in Zimbabwe as usual. Crops were scorched and pastures dried up. People and livestock crowded around hand-pumped boreholes to find water, but the wells soon went dry. Some people in the driest areas had so little to eat they survived on the leaves and white, powdery fruit of baobab trees.

More rain fell during the last growing season, but many farmers still feel uneasy about the future. Maize—Zimbabwe’s staple crop, which was aggressively promoted by the former colonial government beginning in the 1940s—is becoming impossible to grow. 

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Over 5 million Zimbabweans—a third of the population—don’t have enough to eat, according to the World Food Program. A study in 2019 of how vulnerable countries were to agricultural disruption due to drought ranked Zimbabwe third, behind only Botswana and Namibia. 

As Mutero and other climate migrants know, conditions are somewhat better in the Eastern Highlands. This mountainous region stretches for around 300 kilometers along Zimbabwe’s border with Mozambique. Many of the region’s major rivers, including the Pungwe and Odzi, begin there as streams. The area’s climate and fertile soils are perfect for growing crops such as tea, coffee, plums, avocados, and a sweet pinkish-red fruit called lychee.

When climate migrants started showing up in the Eastern Highlands a decade ago, they settled without permission on state land, and the government was swift to evict them. But they returned in even larger numbers, and officials have more or less given up trying to stop them.

By 2015, the government estimated that more than 20,000 migrants had settled in the Eastern Highlands. Though no more recent official estimates exist, anecdotal evidence suggests the number has continued to climb.

Today in some parts of the highlands, migrants occupy any vacant land they can find. In others, traditional or community leaders like the one helping Mutero,

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By: Andrew Mambondiyani
Title: Zimbabwe’s climate migration is a sign of what’s to come
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2021/12/17/1041315/climate-migration-africa-zimbabwe/
Published Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2021 11:00:00 +0000

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LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys

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Bitso, a leading cryptocurrency platform operating in Latin America, and the Mexican Football Federation (FMF), today announced the joint launch of the first collectible NFT of the Mexico National Team’s jerseys that was acquired in cryptocurrencies.

This morning through their social media platforms, the FMF and Bitso announced the opportunity to acquire the new official National Team fan jerseys ahead of the team’s participation in the 2022 World Cup. In just 20 minutes, the entire collection sold out.

bitsonftjeysey
The NFTs of the jerseys have an exclusive design for the metaverse – each is unique on the blockchain and can be resold by its owner in subsequent transactions.

The collection consisted of 100 official physical jerseys, each with a corresponding NFT version of the jersey that fans’ avatars can wear within the Decentraland metaverse. Each physical and NFT jersey set sold for the equivalent of $1,800 MXN in ethers.

“Our mission is to make cryptocurrency useful in the everyday life of Mexicans; we are committed to spreading the technology through innovative opportunities that help people throughout the country familiarize themselves with this new world. We are very excited to offer the incredible, historic opportunity for the fans of our National Team so that through their Bitso account, they can wear the colors of the National Team on and ‘off’ the field in the metaverse.”
– Bárbara González Briseño, General Director of Bitso México

Jersey NFTs

Created by Bitso, the virtual jersey sports the official colors of Mexico and the new National Team shield, characteristics that will make it stand out when users wear it in the virtual world of Decentraland.

The post LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys appeared first on CryptoNinjas.

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By: CryptoNinjas.net
Title: LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/29/latam-crypto-exchange-bitso-and-fmf-launch-nft-of-mexicos-national-team-jerseys/
Published Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2022 15:19:02 +0000

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Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth

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EXMO, a crypto exchange platform operating since 2014, announced this week a rebranded visual identity with includes a new logo, brand colors, and design features. This new branding comes as EXMO continues to grow its crypto platform while also seeking to expand its presence in other jurisdictions.

Some new developments underway at EXMO:

Soon, users will be able to earn passive income from EXMO’s new staking platform.Plans to launch an EXMO crypto debit card.Expansion of its services in international markets with the opening of offices in Poland and Lithuania.

EXMO’s new logo

The rationale for the re-brand:

“At EXMO, we have a vision of a world where crypto is in every wallet. Hassle-free. We want to achieve this by making crypto as simple and accessible to everyone as possible. And we know that you already appreciate EXMO for offering user-friendly services and helpful support. Also for the opportunity to trade anywhere and anytime, closing deals in just a few taps. Such important changes required a rethinking of our corporate style, which has long needed a massive upgrade. So today we are introducing a new brand identity for EXMO with a completely new visual concept. We are launching a new logo, brand colors, and design elements. Our key design principles are simplicity, boldness, and a pinch of fun. But most importantly, we have changed our logo. Simple and easily recognizable, it represents the humanity of our brand. The logo stands out due to the wavy letter ‘m’ which symbolizes exchange rate charts and also resembles a spring that will launch you into the crypto world.”
– The EXMO Team regarding the re-branding

The post Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth appeared first on CryptoNinjas.

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By: CryptoNinjas.net
Title: Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/26/long-running-crypto-exchange-exmo-unveils-lively-rebrand-amidst-growth/
Published Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2022 08:10:38 +0000

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Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens

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The blistering heat waves that set temperature records across much of the US in recent days have strained electricity systems, threatening to knock out power in vulnerable regions of the country. 

The electricity has largely stayed online so far this summer, but there have been scattered problems and close calls already. 

Heavy use of energy-sucking air-conditioners is the biggest problem. But intense heat can also reduce the output of power plants, blow transformers, and force power lines to sag. Severe droughts across large parts of the country have also significantly reduced the availability of hydroelectric power, according to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). 

It’s unlikely to get better soon. A number of grid operators may struggle to meet peak summer demand, creating the risk of rolling blackouts, the NERC report notes.

The nation’s isolated and antiquated grids are in desperate need of upgrades to keep the lights, heat, and air-conditioning on in the midst of extreme weather events that climate change is making more common, severe, and dangerous. One clear way to ease many of these issues is to more tightly integrate the country’s regional grids, stitching them together with more long-range transmission lines. 

If electricity generated in one area can be more easily shared across much wider regions, power can simply flow to where it’s needed at those moments when customers crank up air-conditioners en masse, or when power plants or fuel supply lines fail amid soaring temperatures, wildfires, hurricanes, or other events, says Liza Reed, a research manager focused on transmission at the Niskanen Center, a Washington, DC, think tank.  

The problem is it’s proved difficult to build more long-range transmission and grid interconnections for a variety of reasons, including the permitting challenges of erecting wires through private and public lands across cities, counties, and states and the reluctance of local authorities to forfeit control or submit to greater federal oversight.

The case of Texas

The unreliability of the US grid is not a new problem. Severe heat and winter storms have repeatedly exposed the frailty of electricity systems in recent years, leaving thousands to millions of people without power as temperatures spiked or plunged.

One of the fundamental challenges is that the grids today are highly fragmented. There are three main electricity networks within the US: the Eastern Grid, the Western Grid, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). But there are numerous regional transmission organizations within those first two systems, including the California Independent System Operator, Southwest Power Pool, PJM Interconnection, New York ISO, and more. 

These grids form a complex web of networks operating under different regulators, rules and market structures, and often with limited connections between them.

Map USA grid
A variety of regional transmission organizations oversee different parts of the nation’s aging and fragmented grids, which operate under different rules and with often limited connections between them.
legend

ERCOT is especially isolated, in part because of the desire among local politicians, citizens, and power companies to avoid added competition, the hassle of following other states’ rules, and oversight from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). But the state offers a case study in why that can be a serious problem amid increasingly harsh climate conditions, Reed says.

The Texas grid operator pleaded with customers several times earlier this month to cut electricity use as blistering summer temperatures created  demand surges that threatened to outstrip supply and require rolling blackouts.  Low wind conditions, cloud cover, and outages at fossil-fuel power plants added to the strains.

Shutting off the electricity needed to run air-conditioning in triple-digit temperatures

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By: James Temple
Title: Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/07/28/1056483/stitching-together-the-grid-will-save-lives-as-extreme-weather-worsens/
Published Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 08:00:00 +0000

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