• The Economist: Australia is ending its zero-covid strategy

    The Delta variant has made it untenable

    “THIS IS NOT a sustainable way to live in this country,” declared Scott Morrison, Australia’s prime minister, on August 23rd. He was defending a dramatic shift in covid-19 strategy. Since the start of the pandemic Australia has used an approach dubbed “covid zero”, stamping on outbreaks down to the last case, whatever it takes. From now on, cases will be allowed to rise as long as hospitals can cope with them. The plan is to drop most restrictions once 80% of adults are vaccinated, which looks achievable by the end of the year.

    [...] for most of 2020 life in Australia carried on as usual, with schools, restaurants and theatres open—and no masks in sight. When a covid-19 case slipped through the quarantine wall, meticulous contact-tracing prevented big outbreaks. By August 25th Australia had registered 39 covid-19 deaths per million people, compared with about 1,700 per million in Europe.

    • But the highly contagious Delta variant, which spread globally this spring, has pushed the zero-covid approach to its limits. “It’s not just that you have to do everything you do better. It actually breaks the system,” says Catherine Bennett of Deakin University in Melbourne. Delta spreads so easily that even if contact-tracers reach an infected person within 30 hours of a positive test, their contacts would already have passed the virus down several chains of transmission, says Dr Bennett.

      The only way to curb such outbreaks has been through short lockdowns known as “circuit-breakers”. With more infections slipping through the net, that leads to what Dr Bennett calls an “epidemic of lockdowns”. More than half of Australians have been in lockdown at one point or another since June. Melbourne has seen more than 200 days of lockdowns since the pandemic began. Hence the plan to ditch the zero-covid paradigm and accept that cases, and to a lesser extent deaths, will rise.

      How high they will rise depends on how quickly Australians are vaccinated. About a quarter are fully jabbed, compared with 50-60% of Europeans and Americans. In addition, almost no Australians have acquired immunity naturally, through infection. Australia’s campaign got off to a late start because of supply delays. It had pre-ordered large quantities of a vaccine that failed in clinical trials, as well as of the AstraZeneca jab. The distribution of doses to 40,000 family doctors, spread over a vast country, has hit some snags. But vaccination has accelerated in the past week.

      Other countries using the zero-covid model are in a similar predicament. All of New Zealand is now in lockdown, as cases have hit their highest level since April 2020. Vietnam’s remarkably successful tracing system has been crushed by Delta. Until April this year the country’s new daily case rate had almost always been in single digits; now it is north of 10,000.

      Throughout the pandemic the zero-covid countries have been the envy of the world. The final stretch, however, will be their toughest.

  • Who’s against the jab | The Economist

    A fourth wave of covid-19 infections is sweeping across America. It is strongest in the heartland and southern states: cases per 100,000 people are highest in Louisiana, Florida and Arkansas; Missouri has the highest hospitalisations. But the rapidly spreading Delta variant threatens other places, too. Since vaccinations have stalled at around 155m adults, or 60% of the population aged 18 or over, few if any parts of the country have reached herd immunity. The new wave is likely to crash everywhere.

    Identifying the causes of vaccine hesitancy can help policymakers decide where to target their efforts. The Economist has collaborated with YouGov, a pollster, to collect weekly surveys on Americans’ intent to get vaccinated for covid-19. Using the demographic profiles of some 24,000 Americans, we have built a statistical model to estimate how likely each respondent is to say they have received, or will get, their jab—and to reveal the biggest causes of hesitancy.

    According to our modelling, the single greatest predictor of whether an American has been vaccinated is whether they voted for Joe Biden or Donald Trump last November. Relative to the profile for the average American—a white, 49-year-old female with some college education who earns a middle-class income, lives in a Midwestern suburb and did not vote in 2020—the impact of voting for Mr Trump is a 13 percentage-point reduction in vaccine probability. Holding everything else equal, Mr Biden’s supporters were 18 points likelier to get their jabs. Whether someone was a self-proclaimed conservative or liberal ranked second.

    But many other factors also matter. African-Americans were disproportionately less likely than other racial and ethnic groups to receive their shots; Hispanics and Hindus were more likely to do so. Geographic factors mostly cut along expected lines: people in blue-state cities were likelier to get a vaccine, those in rural, redder regions were disproportionately hesitant.

    Prominent conservative television hosts, such as Fox News’s Sean Hannity, made a spectacle of endorsing the covid-19 vaccine last week. Yet according to YouGov’s most recent poll, conducted on July 24th-27th, the share of Republican adults who say they will not get the jab has held steady at 30%. The phase of the pandemic where Americans would listen to such messaging might well be over. After all, they have been seeing adverts about jabs for months. Instead of focusing on partisans, public-health policy could be designed to increase access for poor and rural Americans, and focus on outreach and information-dissemination for the uneducated.

  • How much more can Netflix grow? | The Economist
    Entretien avec Reed Hastings, PDG (j’archive)

    Netflix had a blockbuster year as lockdowns supercharged subscriptions. But competition is intensifying and the American streaming market is close to saturation. Anne McElvoy asks the company’s co-founder and co-CEO how much more Netflix can still grow. How does he respond to the charge that its data-driven entertainment is creating a monoculture? And, why he envies the BBC but fears Disney.

  • The race to build a commercial fusion reactor hots up | The Economist

    A Canadian firm plans a demonstration machine in Britain

    An old joke about nuclear fusion—that it is 30 years away and always will be—is so well-known that The Economist’s science editor forbids correspondents from repeating it. No one doubts sustained fusion is possible in principle. It powers every star in the universe. Making it work on Earth, though, has proved harder. Engineers have tried since the 1950s, so far without success. The latest and largest attempt—iter, a multinational test reactor in southern France—has been under construction for 11 years and is tens of billions of dollars over its initial, $6bn budget.

    But that record does not dismay a growing group of “alternative fusion” enthusiasts. Through a combination of new technology and entrepreneurial derring-do they hope to beat iter to the punch. On June 17th one of their number, a Canadian firm called General Fusion, put its investors’ money where its mouth is. It said it would build a demonstration reactor, 70% the size of a full-blown commercial one, at Culham, the site of the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, Britain’s national fusion-research laboratory. Like iter, it hopes its reactor will be up and running by 2025.


  • Will vaccinations kick-start travel? | The Economist

    Will vaccinations kick-start travel?
    Our weekly podcast at the sharp end of the global vaccination race
    Economist Radio Podcasts
    VACCINATIONS HAVE helped ease national lockdowns, but restrictions on international travel remain severe. When and how might they be lifted?
    Willie Walsh of the International Air Transport Association tells us airlines are a soft target for government restrictions. Aerosol physicist Lidia Morawska assesses how risky it is to travel by plane. T
    Alok Jha and Slavea Chankova are joined by Edward Carr, The Economist’s deputy editor. Runtime: 38 min For full access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe at Sign up for our new weekly science and data newsletters at and


  • India’s super-rich flee ’unimaginable horror’ - Asia Times

    India’s super-rich flee ‘unimaginable horror’British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had to cancel state visit to India next week as a ’precautionary measure’. As the rich and super rich scramble to escape the horrors of the Covid-19 surge in India, airline fares have soared along with the number of private jet charters to foreign nations.According to a report in The London Times, at least eight private jets carrying India’s super wealthy landed in London ahead of the UK’s 4 am ban on travel from India.Both the UK and Canada added India to its “red list” of pandemic-stricken countries. As of Friday, any Britons returning from India must quarantine for 10 days in a government-approved hotel.All non-British or non-Irish citizens will be banned entirely from entering the country if they have been in India in the previous 10 days.According to a report in The Daily Beast, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had to cancel his own state visit to India scheduled for next week as a “precautionary measure.”The last of the luxury airliners to arrive, VistaJet Bombardier Global 6000, which left Dubai Thursday to collect passengers in Mumbai, landed at 3:15 am, just 44 minutes before the restrictions took place.Meanwhile, the Canadian government has banned passenger flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days, CBC News reported.At a virtual press conference, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said that because an increasing number of travellers from both countries have been arriving in Canada with Covid-19, all commercial and private passenger flights from those countries will be barred as of 11:30 pm Thursday night.Cargo flights will still be permitted in order to maintain shipments of essential supplies, such as vaccines and personal protective equipment, he said.Alghabra also said air passengers who depart from India or Pakistan but arrive in Canada via a third country will need to produce a negative result on a Covid-19 test taken at their last point of departure before being allowed to enter Canada. According to The Daily Beast, the private jet passengers were fleeing unimaginable horror back home.
    At least 14 Covid-19 patients perished in a devastating fire that ripped through an ICU ward in one of India’s overcrowded hospitals about 70 miles outside Mumbai, the report said.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says suspending incoming passenger flights from India and Pakistan for the next month must be done to keep Canadians safe.
    Earlier in the week, an oxygen leak in Maharashtra state, near where the fire broke out, resulted in the death of 24 Covid-19 patients who were on ventilators, the report said.To make terrible matters even worse, India reported its highest one-day number of cases, recording 332,730 new infections in a 24-hour period. In the same period, 2,263 people died with Covid-19.India has been overwhelmed by new cases coupled with a critical shortage of oxygen, hospital beds, and now ventilators, the report said. Many desperate families have been forced to turn to black-market price gougers who have been able to buy hospital space from corrupt administrators.The spike in cases comes as political rallies are still being held and after a month-long religious ceremony continues to bring millions of people to the Ganges River.According to media reports, at least eight private jets carrying India’s super wealthy landed in London ahead of the UK’s 4 am ban on travel from India.
    India Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been criticized for not calling a national lockdown to try to mitigate the spread and for hosting rallies ahead of elections in May.Meanwhile, All flights from the UAE to India — one of the world’s busiest air corridors — will be suspended from Sunday onward.
    Price comparison websites showed one-way commercial flights from Mumbai to Dubai on Friday and Saturday costing as much as 80,000 rupees (US$1,000), around 10 times the usual rate.Tickets for the New Delhi to Dubai route were going for more than 50,000 rupees, five times the normal level.No tickets were on offer from Sunday when the 10-day flight suspension comes into force.For private jets, the amount of interest was “absolutely crazy,” a spokesman for charter company Air Charter Service India told Agence France-Presse.“We have 12 flights going to Dubai tomorrow and each flight is completely full,” the spokesman said.“I’ve fielded almost 80 enquiries for flying to Dubai today alone,” said a spokesman for Enthral Aviation, another provider.“We have requested more aircraft from abroad to meet the demand … It costs $38,000 to hire a 13-seater jet from Mumbai to Dubai, and $31,000 to hire a six-seater aircraft,” he told AFP.“People are making groups and arranging to share our jets just to get a seat … We’ve had some queries for Thailand but mostly the demand is for Dubai.”The UAE is home to roughly 3.3 million Indians who make up a third of the population — most of them in Dubai, one of the seven emirates that make up the federation. Seats on routes to the United States were still available but with prices substantially higher, in some cases almost double the normal fare.How much does a private jet travel cost?No-frills private travel can cost as little as US$4,000 on a business commuter jet or as much as US$40,000 to have a plane to yourself.Several variables determine how much flying privately costs, chiefly the size of the plane and the number of hours it’s used. A spokesman for Hong Kong-based APERTUS Aviation said renting an ultra long-range private aircraft from Mumbai to London, with a flight time of 09:15, would range from $US125,800 to $US148,600.As a benchmark, the US-based Air Charter Service provides these “hourly” rental estimates for airplane rental in September 2020. Light jet (4 to 6 passengers): $4,000 to $5,500 Medium jet (6 to 9 passengers): $5,500 to $9,500Heavy jet (16 to 19 passengers): $11,000 to $20,000


  • #Mapping the #deforestation footprint of nations reveals growing threat to #tropical_forests | Nature Ecology & Evolution

    Average westerner’s eating habits lead to loss of four #trees every year
    Research links consumption of foods such as coffee and chocolate to global deforestation

    How rich countries cause deforestation in poor ones
    Such losses cannot be offset by planting more trees at home

  • Needle to know - How useful are vaccine passports? | Leaders | The Economist

    How useful are vaccine passports?Identity schemes have a part to play in the return to life as normal, but only a modest one THE WORLD has stumbled through the pandemic by nationalising risk. In heavily infected countries the state has shut citizens in their homes for weeks at a time, letting them out only for exercise and to buy food. As vaccination spreads, and hospitals are less likely to be overrun, governments must gradually move choice back to the individual, where it belongs. How?
    Information is part of the answer. This week the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention issued the first guidance on what vaccinated people can do. More is needed. True, covid-19 is still poorly understood and the risk for individuals will depend on their own circumstances. Yet, as our covid-19 risk estimator in this issue explains, the data already cast some light on what puts you at risk if you are diagnosed with the disease. Age is closely tied to death, so do not visit your unvaccinated grandparents, however healthy they may be. Comorbidities can lead to a spell in hospital even for the young, so don’t imagine you are safe just because you’re under 35


    • Brèves de presse
      🔴 🇲🇫 FLASH -L’indice de démocratie est en recul en #France selon l’étude annuelle de The Economist qui se base notamment sur le pluralisme, les libertés civiques & le fonctionnement du gouvernement. La France est désormais reléguée dans la catégorie des « démocraties défaillantes ».

  • Le covid à Manaus

    J’ai décidé de faire un long thread sur Manaus. Pourquoi ? Parce que Manaus a suivi exactement les préconisations des anti-tout. Alors on va voir ce que ça donne.

    Petite présentation démographique : Manaus est une ville brésilienne, avé une population très jeune.

    3/ L’année dernière, Manaus a laissé filer l’épidémie. Il y a eu deux résultats :
    –Des cimetières trop petits.

    4/ Et l’atteinte, semble-t-il, de l’immunité collective (avec entre 60 et 75% des habitants contaminés). Manaus s avait souffert, mais été censée être tranquille.

    5/ Sauf que, stupeur, en fin d’année, les cas remontent à Manaus. Sauf qu’ils sont censés avoir l’immunité collective !

    6/ Et en plus, ils ont les fameux kits covid traitements précoces!

    7/ petite parenthèse : au Brésil, là où ces kits sont utilisés, la mortalité est supérieure (9 municipalités sur 10).

    8/ Autre petite parenthèse : le créateur du kit covid est mort du covid.

    9/ Bref tout devrait bien aller avec le « petit covid ». Et pourtant : hôpitaux saturés, même plus d’oxygène.

    10/ Le système hospitalier s’effondre.

    11/ Pourtant ils avaient le kit covid, et l’immunité de groupe !

    12/ Rebelotte pour les cimetières.

    13/ Il s’est passé quoi ? Le virus a muté, selon toute vraisemblance les gens sont re infectés, et les « traitements précoces » ne servent à rien ou pas grand chose .

    L’émergence de variants est fréquente dans les endroits où les virus circulent beaucoup : beaucoup plus de possibilités de muter, pression de sélection. Ils semblerait que certains de ces variants, dont le brésilien, soient plus contagieux voir plus dangereux. Ils échappent

    15/ Aux anticorps produits par une infection précédente, et certains peuvent poser problème avec le vaccin.

    16/ Voici la triste histoire de Manaus. Qui a pourtant appliqué tout ce qui est préconisé par les anti-tout : laisser circuler le virus dans une population jeune pour construire l’immunité de groupe et « soigner » avec les « traitements précoces ».

    18/ Au Brésil la colère monte. Ils paient cher le choix de cette stratégie.

  • #Long_covid

    Les poumons sont l’organe cible de l’infection par le SRAS-CoV-2, et facteur pronostic évident.

    MAIS le virus peut se propager à de nbx organes :
    le cœur, les vaisseaux sanguins, les reins, l’intestin et le cerveau ...

    Des #symptômes persistants sont signalés après la phase aigue du COVID-19, y compris chez les personnes qui souffrent initialement d’une maladie légère.
    –au delà de 12 semaines
    –10-20% des infectés (?)
    Une approche multidisciplinaire est nécessaire

    on sait déja que
    les coronavirus (SARS COV 1 et MERS-CoV)
    Double triangle pointant vers la droite
    Double triangle pointant vers la droite
    persistance de symptômes débilitants

    cf altération des scores de qualité de vie, de santé mentale, à 1 an ds une cohorte canadienne infectée en 2003

    Tansey et al. Arch Intern Med. 2007 ;167(12):1312-1320

    Quels sont les symptômes persistants après COVID 19 ?
    La Cohorte COVICARE suisse a suivi 669 patients ambulatoires entre le 18 mars et le 15 mai.

    Parmi eux, 1/3 souffraient toujours de symptômes à 30-45 jours de l’infection initiale. Parmi les signes les plus fréquents : fatigue, dyspnée, dysosmie/dysgueusie

    mais ATTENTION.

    Il ne faut pas confondre les
    1-symptômes dûs à 1 inflammation chronique persistante
    2- conséquences (csq) des dommages aux organes (lésions de la phase aiguë au cœur / poumon/ cerveau/ reins)

    3- Csq aspécifiques de l’hospitalisation/immobilisation par la maladie/isolement social/SSPT
    4- Effets du déconditionnement périphérique lié au confinement et/ou à la maladie elle-même

    Long covid could be 4 different syndromes, review suggests

    D’ailleurs à quoi seraient dus les symptômes persistants :
    – persistance du virus dans l’organisme / les organes ?
    – réinfection ?
    – dysfonction immunitaire ( système immunitaire affaibli ou surstimulé ) ?
    On ne sait pas exactement (cf SARS)

    Les complications physiques évidentes sont de toutes façons prises en compte en sortie d’hospitalisation. Cela dirigera les patients vers un SSR (quand ils sont dénutris, ont une atteinte neuromusculaire séquellaire...)
    HAS :

    un bilan fonctionnel respiratoire complet est déjà recommandé pour évaluer les séquelles respiratoires (fibrose post SDRA), trois mois après la sortie de l’hôpital

    quelles sont les données de la littérature sur les symptômes de #LongCovid et leur origine/étiologie ?

    atteinte neurologique (1/2) :
    ~ 10 à 35% souffrent de symptômes persistants, principalement neurologiques : dysfonctionnement du système nerveux autonome, troubles du sommeil, syndromes douloureux, étourdissements, difficultés cognitives.

    atteinte neurologique (2/2) : origine ?

    – invasion virale directe du SNC par SARS COV2
    – réponse immunitaire à médiation virale

    Emerging Neurological and Psychobiological Aspects of COVID-19 Infection

    atteinte respiratoire (1/2) :
    ~ 30% des patients hospitalisés après la phase aigue
    * atteinte TDM et de fonction respiratoire s’améliore au cours du suivi
    Recovery after COVID-19 – an observational prospective multi-center trial

    atteinte respiratoire (2/2) :
    pour les patients ambulatoires c’est moins clair :
    *intolérance à l’effort
    *douleurs thoraciques

    dysfonction autonomique (1/2) : prévalence non connue
    ~ syndrome d’intolérance orthostatique
    – palpitations
    – dyspnée
    – douleurs thoraciques
    – hypotension orthostatique
    – syncope

    dysfonction autonomique (2/2) physiopathiologie :
    – conséquence de l’orage cytokinique ?
    – Atteinte directe du système nerveux autonome par le coronavirus ?
    – déconditionnement ou hypovolémie ?
    – neuropathie à médiation immunitaire ou virale ?

    atteinte cardiaque (1/2) : risque de maladie cardiovascu.
    Flèche nord-est
    suite à 1 infection à coronavirus, MAIS l’att. myocardique persistante n’est pas avérée pour SARS COV2 malgré la présence (autopsie) de virus dans cellules

    update on COVID-19 Myocarditis

    atteinte cardiaque (2/2) : arythmies persistantes
    ~ tachycardie sinusale inappropriée
    – hyperactivité intrinsèque du nœud sinusal,
    – dysfonctionnement autonome
    – état hyperadrénergique

    Management of Arrhythmias Associated with COVID-19

    atteinte digestive ~ 35% des patients à la phase aigue.
    tube digestif : taux élevé d’ACE2, le récepteur de liaison au SRAS-COV-2,
    = site d’infection virale efficace
    = site d’excrétion virale périodique

    Symptômes persistants peu étayés

    atteinte cutanée
    Plutôt à la phase aigue = lésions acrales ~ pseudo-engelures, éruptions érythémateuses maculopapuleuses, éruptions vésiculaires, des éruptions urticariennes, des éruptions vasculaires

    An Evidence-Based Review

    en CCL :
    –symptômes (liste non exhaustive) persistants de #LongCovid nombreux
    – physiopathologie n’est pas élucidée
    – études de cohorte sont donc NECESSAIRES
    –avec une action COORDONNEE de recherche/prise en charge sur notre territoire

    #covid-19 #covid #séquelles #maladie #coronavirus

  • J’ai mis en gras l’explication de la procédure et du phénomène selon les chercheurs. Ils ont injecté un virus modifié dans 1 oeil et la thérapie a fonctionné pour les 2 yeux. Ce qu’ils constatent dans les analyses biologiques des singes ce n’est pas la présence du virus dans les 2 yeux, mais les traces de son passage : des modifications identiques à celles l’oeil injecté. De fait ils en concluent à son passage mais n’en ont pas de preuve et ne peuvent que présumer une voie hypothétique (le nerf optique).

    Gene therapy - A failed study shows a promising treatment for blindness | Science & technology | The Economist

    IN THE TEXTBOOKS, science is simple. You come up with an idea, put it to the test, and then accept it or reject it depending on what your experiments reveal. In the real world, though, things are rarely that straightforward, as a paper just published in Science Translational Medicine shows. In it, a group of researchers led by Patrick Yu-Wai-Man, an ophthalmologist at Cambridge University, investigated a promising new genetic therapy for a hereditary form of blindness. Officially, their study was a failure, for their experiment did not show what the researchers hoped it would. But it was also a smashing success, for 29 of the 37 participants reported big improvements in their vision.

    The disease in question is Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON). A defective gene in a sufferer’s mitochondria—the tiny structures that provide a cell’s energy—causes retinal cells to die. That leads to sudden and rapid loss of sight, with many sufferers becoming legally blind within a year. It affects between one in 30,000 and one in 50,000 people. Men in their 20s and 30s are particularly susceptible. Treatment is limited and not particularly effective.

    Since most cases are caused by a mutation in a single gene, LHON is a good candidate for gene therapy, a form of genetic engineering which aims to replace the defective gene with a working one. With that in mind, Dr Yu-Wai-Man and his colleagues loaded up a modified virus with a corrected copy of the gene and injected it into their patients’ eyes .

    Many viruses can insert their genes into the DNA of their hosts. Ordinarily, that is a bad thing, because cells so subverted churn out more copies of the virus. In this case, the hope was that infection would be a good thing. The defanged virus could not reproduce. But it was capable of replacing the damaged gene with a working copy.

    Most medical studies make use of a control group, against which the effectiveness of the treatment can be measured. Here, the researchers controlled the experiment by injecting only one of each patient’s eyes—chosen at random—with the virus. The other eye was given a sham injection, in which a syringe was pressed against the eye, but nothing came out of it. Using two eyes in the same patient makes for a perfect control: their genetic make-up is identical, and any confounding lifestyle factors are removed from the equation.

    The surprise came several months into the study. The researchers had hoped to see a big improvement in the treated eyes, compared with the untreated ones. They did not, and for that reason the study failed in its primary objective. Instead, in more than three-quarters of their patients, they saw substantial improvements in both eyes.

    On the face of it, that was bizarre. Only one eye had received the treatment, after all. Follow-up studies in monkeys confirmed what the researchers had suspected. The virus, it seems, had found a way to travel from one eye to the other, probably via the optic nerve. Tissue and fluid samples from monkeys given the same treatment as the human patients showed viral DNA in both eyes, not just one.

    Although it had a happy outcome in this case, the prospect of a gene-therapy virus travelling to places it is not intended to go might worry regulators. Fortunately, the researchers found no trace of the virus elsewhere in the monkeys’ bodies, including the visual cortices of their brains. And, though the study was technically a flop, its practical success means that an effective treatment for LHON may at last be in reach. GenSight Biologics, the company that has developed the treatment, has already sent its results to Europe’s medical regulator. It hopes to hear back by the end of 2021.

  • Au #Tigré_éthiopien, la #guerre « sans pitié » du prix Nobel de la paix

    Le premier ministre éthiopien #Abyi_Ahmed oppose une fin de non-recevoir aux offres de médiation de ses pairs africains, alors que les combats entre l’armée fédérale et les forces de la province du Tigré ne cessent de prendre de l’ampleur.

    Le gouvernement d’Addis Abéba continue de parler d’une simple opération de police contre une province récalcitrante ; mais c’est une véritable guerre, avec blindés, aviation, et des dizaines de milliers de combattants, qui oppose l’armée fédérale éthiopienne aux forces de la province du Tigré, dans le nord du pays.

    Trois semaines de combats ont déjà provoqué l’afflux de 30 000 #réfugiés au #Soudan voisin, et ce nombre pourrait rapidement grimper après l’ultimatum lancé hier soir par le gouvernement aux rebelles : 72 heures pour se rendre. L’#armée demande aussi à la population de la capitale tigréenne, #Makelle, de se « libérer » des dirigeants du #Front_de_libération_du_peuple_du_Tigré, au pouvoir dans la province ; en cas contraire, a-t-elle prévenu, « il n’y aura aucune pitié ».

    Cette escalade rapide et, en effet, sans pitié, s’accompagne d’une position inflexible du premier ministre éthiopien, Abyi Ahmed, vis-à-vis de toute médiation, y compris celle de ses pairs africains. Addis Abéba a opposé une fin de non-recevoir aux tentatives de médiation, celle des voisins de l’Éthiopie, ou celle du Président en exercice de l’Union africaine, le sud-africain Cyril Ramaphosa. Ils seront poliment reçus à Addis Abéba, mais pas question de les laisser aller au Tigré ou de rencontrer les leaders du #TPLF, le front tigréen considéré comme des « bandits ».

    Pourquoi cette position inflexible ? La réponse se trouve à la fois dans l’histoire particulièrement violente de l’Éthiopie depuis des décennies, et dans la personnalité ambivalente d’Abyi Ahmed, le chef du gouvernement et, ne l’oublions pas, prix Nobel de la paix l’an dernier.

    L’histoire nous donne des clés. Le Tigré ne représente que 6% des 100 millions d’habitants de l’Éthiopie, mais il a joué un rôle historique déterminant. C’est du Tigré qu’est partie la résistance à la sanglante dictature de Mengistu Haile Mariam, qui avait renversé l’empire d’Haile Selassie en 1974. Victorieux en 1991, le TPLF a été au pouvoir pendant 17 ans, avec à sa tête un homme fort, Meles Zenawi, réformateur d’une main de fer, qui introduira notamment le fédéralisme en Éthiopie. Sa mort subite en 2012 a marqué le début des problèmes pour les Tigréens, marginalisés après l’élection d’Abyi Ahmed en 2018, et qui l’ont très mal vécu.

    La personnalité d’Abyi Ahmed est aussi au cœur de la crise actuelle. Encensé pour ses mesures libérales, le premier ministre éthiopien est également un ancien militaire inflexible, déterminé à s’opposer aux forces centrifuges qui menacent l’unité de l’ex-empire.

    Ce contexte laisse envisager un #conflit prolongé, car le pouvoir fédéral ne renoncera pas à son offensive jusqu’à ce qu’il ait, au minimum, repris Mekelle, la capitale du Tigré. Or cette ville est à 2500 mètres d’altitude, dans une région montagneuse où les avancées d’une armée régulière sont difficiles.

    Quant au front tigréen, il a vraisemblablement envisagé une position de repli dans la guerrilla, avec des forces aguerries, dans une région qui lui est acquise.

    Reste l’attitude des pays de la région, qui risquent d’être entrainés dans cette #guerre_civile, à commencer par l’Érythrée voisine, déjà touchée par les hostilités.

    C’est une tragédie pour l’Éthiopie, mais aussi pour l’Afrique, car c’est le deuxième pays le plus peuplé du continent, siège de l’Union africaine, l’une des locomotives d’une introuvable renaissance africaine. L’Afrique doit tout faire pour mettre fin à cette guerre fratricide, aux conséquences dévastatrices.

    #Ethiopie #Tigré #Corne_de_l'Afrique #Tigray

    • Conflict between Tigray and Eritrea – the long standing faultline in Ethiopian politics

      The missile attack by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front on Eritrea in mid-November transformed an internal Ethiopian crisis into a transnational one. In the midst of escalating internal conflict between Ethiopia’s northernmost province, Tigray, and the federal government, it was a stark reminder of a historical rivalry that continues to shape and reshape Ethiopia.

      The rivalry between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front and the movement which has governed Eritrea in all but name for the past 30 years – the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front – goes back several decades.

      The histories of Eritrea and Ethiopia have long been closely intertwined. This is especially true of Tigray and central Eritrea. These territories occupy the central massif of the Horn of Africa. Tigrinya-speakers are the predominant ethnic group in both Tigray and in the adjacent Eritrean highlands.

      The enmity between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front and the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front dates to the mid-1970s, when the Tigrayan front was founded in the midst of political turmoil in Ethiopia. The authoritarian Marxist regime – known as the Derg (Amharic for ‘committee’) – inflicted violence upon millions of its own citizens. It was soon confronted with a range of armed insurgencies and socio-political movements. These included Tigray and Eritrea, where the resistance was most ferocious.

      The Tigrayan front was at first close to the Eritrean front, which had been founded in 1970 to fight for independence from Ethiopia. Indeed, the Eritreans helped train some of the first Tigrayan recruits in 1975-6, in their shared struggle against Ethiopian government forces for social revolution and the right to self-determination.

      But in the midst of the war against the Derg regime, the relationship quickly soured over ethnic and national identity. There were also differences over the demarcation of borders, military tactics and ideology. The Tigrayan front eventually recognised the Eritreans’ right to self-determination, if grudgingly, and resolved to fight for the liberation of all Ethiopian peoples from the tyranny of the Derg regime.

      Each achieved seminal victories in the late 1980s. Together the Tigrayan-led Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front and the Eritrean front overthrew the Derg in May 1991. The Tigrayan-led front formed government in Addis Ababa while the Eritrean front liberated Eritrea which became an independent state.

      But this was just the start of a new phase of a deep-rooted rivalry. This continued between the governments until the recent entry of prime minister Abiy Ahmed.

      If there’s any lesson to be learnt from years of military and political manoeuvrings, it is that conflict in Tigray is unavoidably a matter of intense interest to the Eritrean leadership. And Abiy would do well to remember that conflict between Eritrea and Tigray has long represented a destabilising fault line for Ethiopia as well as for the wider region.
      Reconciliation and new beginnings

      In the early 1990s, there was much talk of reconciliation and new beginnings between Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia and Isaias Afeworki of Eritrea. The two governments signed a range of agreements on economic cooperation, defence and citizenship. It seemed as though the enmity of the liberation war was behind them.

      Meles declared as much at the 1993 Eritrean independence celebrations, at which he was a notable guest.

      But deep-rooted tensions soon resurfaced. In the course of 1997, unresolved border disputes were exacerbated by Eritrea’s introduction of a new currency. This had been anticipated in a 1993 economic agreement. But in the event Tigrayan traders often refused to recognise it, and it caused a collapse in commerce.

      Full-scale war erupted over the contested border hamlet of Badme in May 1998. The fighting swiftly spread to other stretches of the shared, 1,000 km long frontier. Air strikes were launched on both sides.

      It was quickly clear, too, that this was only superficially about borders. It was more substantively about regional power and long standing antagonisms that ran along ethnic lines.

      The Eritrean government’s indignant anti-Tigray front rhetoric had its echo in the popular contempt for so-called Agame, the term Eritreans used for Tigrayan migrant labourers.

      For the Tigray front, the Eritrean front was the clearest expression of perceived Eritrean arrogance.

      As for Isaias himself, regarded as a crazed warlord who had led Eritrea down a path which defied economic and political logic, it was hubris personified.

      Ethiopia deported tens of thousands of Eritreans and Ethiopians of Eritrean descent.

      Ethiopia’s decisive final offensive in May 2000 forced the Eritrean army to fall back deep into their own territory. Although the Ethiopians were halted, and a ceasefire put in place after bitter fighting on a number of fronts, Eritrea had been devastated by the conflict.

      The Algiers Agreement of December 2000 was followed by years of standoff, occasional skirmishes, and the periodic exchange of insults.

      During this period Ethiopia consolidated its position as a dominant power in the region. And Meles as one of the continent’s representatives on the global stage.

      For its part Eritrea retreated into a militaristic, authoritarian solipsism. Its domestic policy centred on open-ended national service for the young. Its foreign policy was largely concerned with undermining the Ethiopian government across the region. This was most obvious in Somalia, where its alleged support for al-Shabaab led to the imposition of sanctions on Asmara.

      The ‘no war-no peace’ scenario continued even after Meles’s sudden death in 2012. The situation only began to shift with the resignation of Hailemariam Desalegn against a backdrop of mounting protest across Ethiopia, especially among the Oromo and the Amhara, and the rise to power of Abiy.

      What followed was the effective overthrow of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front which had been the dominant force in the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front coalition since 1991.

      This provided Isaias with a clear incentive to respond to Abiy’s overtures.
      Tigray’s loss, Eritrea’s gain

      A peace agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea, was signed in July 2018 by Abiy and Eritrean President Isaias Afeworki. It formally ended their 1998-2000 war. It also sealed the marginalisation of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. Many in the Tigray People’s Liberation Front were unenthusiastic about allowing Isaias in from the cold.

      Since the 1998-2000 war, in large part thanks to the astute manoeuvres of the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, Eritrea had been exactly where the Tigray People’s Liberation Front wanted it: an isolated pariah state with little diplomatic clout. Indeed, it is unlikely that Isaias would have been as receptive to the deal had it not involved the further sidelining of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, something which Abiy presumably understood.

      Isaias had eschewed the possibility of talks with Abiy’s predecessor, Hailemariam Desalegn. But Abiy was a different matter. A political reformer, and a member of the largest but long-subjugated ethnic group in Ethiopia, the Oromo, he was determined to end the Tigray People’s Liberation Front’s domination of Ethiopian politics.

      This was effectively achieved in December 2019 when he abolished the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front and replaced it with the Prosperity Party.

      The Tigray People’s Liberation Front declined to join with the visible results of the current conflict.

      À lire aussi : Residual anger driven by the politics of power has boiled over into conflict in Ethiopia

      Every effort to engage with the Tigrayan leadership – including the Tigray People’s Liberation Front – in pursuit of a peaceful resolution must also mean keeping Eritrea out of the conflict.

      Unless Isaias is willing to play a constructive role – he does not have a good track record anywhere in the region in this regard – he must be kept at arm’s length, not least to protect the 2018 peace agreement itself.

      #Derg #histoire #frontières #démarcation_des_frontières #monnaie #Badme #Agame #travailleurs_étrangers #Oromo #Ethiopian_People’s_Revolutionary_Democratic_Front #Prosperity_Party


      #Agame , the term Eritreans used for Tigrayan migrant labourers.

      –-> #terminologie #vocabulaire #mots
      ping @sinehebdo

    • Satellite Images Show Ethiopia Carnage as Conflict Continues
      – United Nations facility, school, clinic and homes burned down
      – UN refugee agency has had no access to the two camps

      Satellite images show the destruction of United Nations’ facilities, a health-care unit, a high school and houses at two camps sheltering Eritrean refugees in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, belying government claims that the conflict in the dissident region is largely over.

      The eight Planet Labs Inc images are of Hitsats and the Shimelba camps. The camps hosted about 25,000 and 8,000 refugees respectively before a conflict broke out in the region two months ago, according to data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

      “Recent satellite imagery indicates that structures in both camps are being intentionally targeted,” said Isaac Baker, an analyst at DX Open Network, a U.K. based human security research and analysis non-profit. “The systematic and widespread fires are consistent with an intentional campaign to deny the use of the camp.”

      DX Open Network has been following the conflict and analyzing satellite image data since Nov. 7, three days after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declared war against a dissident group in the Tigray region, which dominated Ethiopian politics before Abiy came to power.

      Ethiopia’s government announced victory against the dissidents on Nov. 28 after federal forces captured the regional capital of Mekelle. Abiy spoke of the need to rebuild and return normalcy to Tigray at the time.

      Calls and messages to Redwan Hussein, spokesman for the government’s emergency task force on Tigray and the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s Spokeswoman Billene Seyoum were not answered.

      In #Shimelba, images show scorched earth from apparent attacks in January. A World Food Programme storage facility and a secondary school run by the Development and Inter-Aid Church Commission have also been burned down, according to DX Open Network’s analysis. In addition, a health facility run by the Ethiopian Agency for Refugees and Returnees Affairs situated next to the WFP compound was also attacked between Jan. 5 and Jan. 8.

      In #Hitsats camp, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) away, there were at least 14 actively burning structures and 55 others were damaged or destroyed by Jan. 5. There were new fires by Jan. 8, according to DX Open Network’s analysis.

      The UN refugee agency has not had access to the camps since fighting started in early November, according to Chris Melzer, a communications officer for the agency. UNHCR has been able to reach its two other camps, Mai-Aini and Adi Harush, which are to the south, he said.

      “We also have no reliable, first-hand information about the situation in the camps or the wellbeing of the refugees,” Melzer said in reference to Hitsats and Shimelba.

      Eritrean troops have also been involved in the fighting and are accused of looting businesses and abducting refugees, according to aid workers and diplomats briefed on the situation. The governments of both Ethiopia and Eritrea have denied that Eritrean troops are involved in the conflict.

      The UN says fighting is still going on in several Tigray areas and 2.2 million people have been displaced in the past two months. Access to the region for journalists and independent analysts remains constrained, making it difficult to verify events.

      #images_satellitaires #camps_de_réfugiés #réfugiés

    • Ethiopia’s government appears to be wielding hunger as a weapon

      A rebel region is being starved into submission

      ETHIOPIA HAS suffered famines in the past. Many foreigners know this; in 1985 about one-third of the world’s population watched a pop concert to raise money for starving Ethiopians. What is less well understood is that poor harvests lead to famine only when malign rulers allow it. It was not the weather that killed perhaps 1m people in 1983-85. It was the policies of a Marxist dictator, Mengistu Haile Mariam, who forced peasants at gunpoint onto collective farms. Mengistu also tried to crush an insurgency in the northern region of Tigray by burning crops, destroying grain stores and slaughtering livestock. When the head of his own government’s humanitarian agency begged him for cash to feed the starving, he dismissed him with a memorably callous phrase: “Don’t let these petty human problems...consume you.”

      #famine #faim

    • Amnesty International accuses Eritrean troops of killing hundreds of civilians in the holy city of #Axum

      Amnesty International has released a comprehensive, compelling report detailing the killing of hundreds of civilians in the Tigrayan city of Axum.

      This story has been carried several times by Eritrea Hub, most recently on 20th February. On 12 January this year the Axum massacre was raised in the British Parliament, by Lord David Alton.

      Gradually the picture emerging has been clarified and is now unambiguous.

      The Amnesty report makes grim reading: the details are horrifying.

      Human Rights Watch are finalising their own report, which will be published next week. The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission is also publishing a report on the Axum massacre.

      The Ethiopian government appointed interim administration of Tigray is attempting to distance itself from the actions of Eritrean troops. Alula Habteab, who heads the interim administration’s construction, road and transport department, appeared to openly criticise soldiers from Eritrea, as well as the neighbouring Amhara region, for their actions during the conflict.

      “There were armies from a neighbouring country and a neighbouring region who wanted to take advantage of the war’s objective of law enforcement,” he told state media. “These forces have inflicted more damage than the war itself.”

      The full report can be found here: The Massacre in Axum – AFR 25.3730.2021. Below is the summary (

      #rapport #massacre

    • Ethiopia’s Tigray crisis: How a massacre in the sacred city of #Aksum unfolded

      Eritrean troops fighting in Ethiopia’s northern region of Tigray killed hundreds of people in Aksum mainly over two days in November, witnesses say.

      The mass killings on 28 and 29 November may amount to a crime against humanity, Amnesty International says in a report.

      An eyewitness told the BBC how bodies remained unburied on the streets for days, with many being eaten by hyenas.

      Ethiopia and Eritrea, which both officially deny Eritrean soldiers are in Tigray, have not commented.

      The Ethiopian Human Rights commission says it is investigating the allegations.

      The conflict erupted on 4 November 2020 when Ethiopia’s government launched an offensive to oust the region’s ruling TPLF party after its fighters captured federal military bases in Tigray.

      Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, told parliament on 30 November that “not a single civilian was killed” during the operation.

      But witnesses have recounted how on that day they began burying some of the bodies of unarmed civilians killed by Eritrean soldiers - many of them boys and men shot on the streets or during house-to-house raids.

      Amnesty’s report has high-resolution satellite imagery from 13 December showing disturbed earth consistent with recent graves at two churches in Aksum, an ancient city considered sacred by Ethiopia’s Orthodox Christians.

      A communications blackout and restricted access to Tigray has meant reports of what has gone on in the conflict have been slow to emerge.

      In Aksum, electricity and phone networks reportedly stopped working on the first day of the conflict.
      How was Aksum captured?

      Shelling by Ethiopian and Eritrea forces to the west of Aksum began on Thursday 19 November, according to people in the city.

      “This attack continued for five hours, and was non-stop. People who were at churches, cafes, hotels and their residence died. There was no retaliation from any armed force in the city - it literally targeted civilians,” a civil servant in Aksum told the BBC.
      1px transparent line

      Amnesty has gathered similar and multiple testimonies describing the continuous shelling that evening of civilians.

      Once in control of the city, soldiers, generally identified as Eritrean, searched for TPLF soldiers and militias or “anyone with a gun”, Amnesty said.

      “There were a lot of... house-to-house killings,” one woman told the rights group.

      There is compelling evidence that Ethiopian and Eritrean troops carried out “multiple war crimes in their offensive to take control of Aksum”, Amnesty’s Deprose Muchena says.
      What sparked the killings?

      For the next week, the testimonies say Ethiopia troops were mainly in Aksum - the Eritreans had pushed on east to the town of Adwa.

      A witness told the BBC how the Ethiopian military looted banks in the city in that time.

      he Eritrean forces reportedly returned a week later. The fighting on Sunday 28 November was triggered by an assault of poorly armed pro-TPLF fighters, according to Amnesty’s report.

      Between 50 and 80 men from Aksum targeted an Eritrean position on a hill overlooking the city in the morning.

      A 26-year-old man who participated in the attack told Amnesty: “We wanted to protect our city so we attempted to defend it especially from Eritrean soldiers... They knew how to shoot and they had radios, communications... I didn’t have a gun, just a stick.”
      How did Eritrean troops react?

      It is unclear how long the fighting lasted, but that afternoon Eritrean trucks and tanks drove into Aksum, Amnesty reports.

      Witnesses say Eritrean soldiers went on a rampage, shooting at unarmed civilian men and boys who were out on the streets - continuing until the evening.

      A man in his 20s told Amnesty about the killings on the city’s main street: “I was on the second floor of a building and I watched, through the window, the Eritreans killing the youth on the street.”

      The soldiers, identified as Eritrean not just because of their uniform and vehicle number plates but because of the languages they spoke (Arabic and an Eritrean dialect of Tigrinya), started house-to-house searches.

      “I would say it was in retaliation,” a young man told the BBC. “They killed every man they found. If you opened your door and they found a man they killed him, if you didn’t open, they shoot your gate by force.”

      He was hiding in a nightclub and witnessed a man who was found and killed by Eritrean soldiers begging for his life: “He was telling them: ’I am a civilian, I am a banker.’”

      Another man told Amnesty that he saw six men killed, execution-style, outside his house near the Abnet Hotel the following day on 29 November.

      “They lined them up and shot them in the back from behind. Two of them I knew. They’re from my neighbourhood… They asked: ’Where is your gun’ and they answered: ’We have no guns, we are civilians.’”
      How many people were killed?

      Witnesses say at first the Eritrean soldiers would not let anyone approach the bodies on the streets - and would shoot anyone who did so.

      One woman, whose nephews aged 29 and 14 had been killed, said the roads “were full of dead bodies”.

      Amnesty says after the intervention of elders and Ethiopian soldiers, burials began over several days, with most funerals taking place on 30 November after people brought the bodies to the churches - often 10 at a time loaded on horse- or donkey-drawn carts.

      At Abnet Hotel, the civil servant who spoke to the BBC said some bodies were not removed for four days.

      "The bodies that were lying around Abnet Hotel and Seattle Cinema were eaten by hyenas. We found only bones. We buried bones.

      “I can say around 800 civilians were killed in Aksum.”

      This account is echoed by a church deacon who told the Associated Press that many bodies had been fed on by hyenas.

      He gathered victims’ identity cards and assisted with burials in mass graves and also believes about 800 people were killed that weekend.

      The 41 survivors and witnesses Amnesty interviewed provided the names of more than 200 people they knew who were killed.
      What happened after the burials?

      Witnesses say the Eritrean soldiers participated in looting, which after the massacre and as many people fled the city, became widespread and systematic.

      The university, private houses, hotels, hospitals, grain stores, garages, banks, DIY stores, supermarkets, bakeries and other shops were reportedly targeted.

      One man told Amnesty how Ethiopian soldiers failed to stop Eritreans looting his brother’s house.

      “They took the TV, a jeep, the fridge, six mattresses, all the groceries and cooking oil, butter, teff flour [Ethiopia’s staple food], the kitchen cabinets, clothes, the beers in the fridge, the water pump, and the laptop.”

      The young man who spoke to the BBC said he knew of 15 vehicles that had been stolen belonging to businessmen in the city.

      This has had a devastating impact on those left in Aksum, leaving them with little food and medicine to survive, Amnesty says.

      Witnesses say the theft of water pumps left residents having to drink from the river.
      Why is Aksum sacred?

      It is said to be the birthplace of the biblical Queen of Sheba, who travelled to Jerusalem to visit King Solomon.

      They had a son - Menelik I - who is said to have brought to Aksum the Ark of the Covenant, believed to contain the 10 commandments handed down to Moses by God.

      It is constantly under guard at the city’s Our Lady Mary of Zion Church and no-one is allowed to see it.

      A major religious celebration is usually held at the church on 30 November, drawing pilgrims from across Ethiopia and around the world, but it was cancelled last year amid the conflict.

      The civil servant interviewed by the BBC said that Eritrean troops came to the church on 3 December “terrorising the priests and forcing them to give them the gold and silver cross”.

      But he said the deacons and other young people went to protect the ark.

      “It was a huge riot. Every man and woman fought them. They fired guns and killed some, but we are happy as we did not fail to protect our treasures.”

  • Daily chart - The Trump administration takes grey wolves off the endangered list | Graphic detail | The Economist

    IT WAS NOT just human candidates such as Joe Biden and Donald Trump who were on the ballot on November 3rd: so were wolves. Coloradans narrowly approved a measure to reintroduce grey wolves to the state by 2023. This latest instalment in America’s wolf wars follows a decision by the Trump administration on October 29th to remove the grey wolf from the country’s endangered-species list. That sounds like a victory for conservation, signalling that wolves no longer need government help to thrive in the wild. Yet the decision has riled conservationists, and pitted them against the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the agency responsible for enforcing the country’s Endangered Species Act (ESA), which protects vulnerable animals. Why has the decision raised hackles among scientists?

    #états-unis #loups #biodiversité #environnement #écologie #endangered_species

  • Despot decor - The curious design features of North Korean hotels | Books & arts | The Economist


    Despot decor The curious design features of North Korean hotels

    A book of photography offers an offbeat look at a little-seen city
    Books & arts

    Oct 24th 2020

    Hotels of Pyongyang. By James Scullin and Nicole Reed. Head Tilt Press; 200 pages; £50.

    AT THE BEGINNING of “Pyongyang”, a song of 2015 by the British band Blur, Damon Albarn, the vocalist, sings about looking down from his window “to the island where I’m held”. The line is a reference to the Yanggakdo Hotel, a 47-floor, 1,000-room monstrosity that sits on an island in the middle of the Taedong, the river that runs through the capital of North Korea.


  • Daily chart - The Greenland ice sheet has melted past the point of no return | Graphic detail | The Economist

    ANNUAL SNOWFALL can no longer replenish the melted ice that flows into the ocean from Greenland’s glaciers. That is the conclusion of a new analysis of almost 40 years’ satellite data by researchers at Ohio State University. The ice loss, they think, is now so great that it has triggered an irreversible feedback loop: the sheet will keep melting, even if all climate-warming emissions are miraculously curtailed. This is bad news for coastal cities, given that Greenland boasts the largest ice sheet on the planet after Antarctica. Since 2000 its melting ice has contributed about a millimetre a year to rising sea levels. The loss of the entire ice sheet would raise them by more than seven metres, enough to reconfigure the majority of the world’s coastlines.


    • The Greenland ice sheet has melted past the point of no return

      Even if global warming stopped today, the ice would keep shrinking

      Graphic detail
      Aug 25th 2020

      ANNUAL SNOWFALL can no longer replenish the melted ice that flows into the ocean from Greenland’s glaciers. That is the conclusion of a new analysis of almost 40 years’ satellite data by researchers at Ohio State University. The ice loss, they think, is now so great that it has triggered an irreversible feedback loop: the sheet will keep melting, even if all climate-warming emissions are miraculously curtailed. This is bad news for coastal cities, given that Greenland boasts the largest ice sheet on the planet after Antarctica. Since 2000 its melting ice has contributed about a millimetre a year to rising sea levels. The loss of the entire ice sheet would raise them by more than seven metres, enough to reconfigure the majority of the world’s coastlines.