Posts from the ‘africa’ Category


Madagascar’s New Animal Haven

The newly established Makira Natural Park is now Madagascar’s largest protected area. The hope is that the park will protect hundreds of unique species that live in the northeastern part of the island nation.

Makira Natural Park now represents the center of biodiversity conservation for the nation.

there are more cool animals…

The best part about preserves in Madagascar is that the ports will close before any epidemic can reach them.

One of the lesser known issues many Africans face is vitamin A deficiency, a leading cause of blindness. More than a million African children go blind every year as a result, and two-thirds die within months.

A common crop in African villages, the sweet potato could be the answer. Beta carotene is a precursor to vitamin A, and is what gives both sweet potatoes and carrots their orange hue. Researchers have naturally bred a line of potatoes that produces four to six times more beta carotene than control samples. 

A study comprising of more than 10,000 Ugandan households found that vitamin A deficiency was reduced by 40% after switching to the experimental potatoes. 

Similar efforts are being made in eastern Asia with Golden Rice, a rice line with 30 micrograms of beta carotene added. 

Southern Africa has their own brand of “fairy circles,” and they’re much more interesting than our homegrown mushroom ones. The dirt spots vary in size and are ringed by tall grass, and there’s no indication of nutrient deficiencies in the circles, but the real kicker is that they move. It’s believed that they are a mobile organism with a lifespan of about 60 years, and despite recent research we aren’t really sure what they are. 


Massive underground reserves of water found in Africa

Huge reserves of underground water in some of the driest parts of Africa could provide a buffer against the effects of climate change for years to come, scientists said.

Researchers from the British Geological Survey and University College London have for the first time mapped the aquifers, or groundwater, across the continent and the amount they hold.

‘The largest groundwater volumes are found in the large sedimentary aquifers in the North African countries Libya, Algeria, Egypt and Sudan,’ the scientists said in their paper.

They estimate that reserves of groundwater across the continent are 100 times the amount found on its surface, or 0.66 million cubic kilometres.

» via Daily Mail

As the rest of the world starts running out of water, I think a new land grab by developed countries is going to start in Africa. Between its potential for solar energy and these water reservoirs plus the oodles of timber, labor, gems, and who knows what else, it’s only a matter of time. I wonder if I can find any similar maps of other continents to compare it too. Is it strange that largely desert Africa has such little low (< 0.1) aquifer productivity or does that just not happen often at all?