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Island Biogeography

Part I, island biogeography in a World Regional context...click here to watch part II, why island biogeography matters in places that aren't on islands.  All links archived at: http://geographyeducation.org/2013/12/06/island-biogeography/


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This video presentation gives a good description of why islands have a varied and different forms of species on the islands.  The isolation gives them a strong hold in their particular environment but this is a double edged sword because they lack predation or stronger comparators so they become very adapted to their place but cannot compete when a stronger adaptor for generalized environment comes to the island.  Like cats that are brought to the isolated island and then proceed to cause mass extinctions.

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Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 10:03 PM

Just because the world island is in island biogeography doesn't mean it is only to be discussed and looked at on islands. There is great importance of exploring this specific part of geography on land that is not solely surrounded by water.

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 17, 2014 9:27 PM

Like World Regional Geography, Bio-geography is closely related to that of World Regional Geography. Species that live on islands are prone to extinction.  While this so, they is very little competition of survival as there are on mainlands. With the Sunda Shelf in Asia, some species that can be found on one side of the continent can also be found in Australia. While we are separated by sea, rivers, and oceans, animals that can be found in one area of the world, can also be found on another land. Respectively, animals that were exclusive to one country are appearing on other lands where they aren't known to dwell on.

Alec Castagno's curator insight, December 17, 2014 11:45 PM

It is fascinating to see how life evolves differently on isolated islands. The unique biomes often lack enough diversity to fill certain roles, so the animals move to fill them. For example, the komodo dragon was able to evolve to its large size because there was not large predator sitting on top of the food chain to prevent its growth. Sadly, the unique nature of island biogeography also makes it much more delicate, and species are much more likely to become extinct.

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A parched Syria turned to war, scholar says; Egypt may be next

A parched Syria turned to war, scholar says; Egypt may be next | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
Prof. Arnon Sofer sets out the link between drought, Assad’s civil war, and the wider strains in the Middle East; Jordan and Gaza are also in deep trouble, he warns

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This article makes the connection between lower fresh water availability and war.  The argument that as water becomes scares, farmers leave their fields and head to the cities.  The cities are ill-equipped to handle the inflow of people and the greater demand on its water resources creating unrest and discontent.  This is an interesting way of looking at the conflicts in the area.

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Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 1, 2014 11:25 AM

The article explains how population growth, climate change, drought, and water shortages could have contributed to the rise of war in Syria. This is an interesting interpretation, one which certainly could have been a contributing factor, but not all the Arab Spring can be attributed to water shortages so it is not a direct cause. The water shortages in Syria and a lack of government response certainly could have fanned flames which already existed due to an oppressive regime and regional conflicts. Climate change gets a lot of attention for the potential damage it could do to the environment, but I had not given much thought to the conflicts it could cause between nations and peoples.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 3:22 PM

Egypt may be the next country to be in deep trouble. With so many militant attacks coming out of Egypt to being with there is no surprise that the Middle East thinks it will be next on the list.

Pamela Hills's curator insight, July 18, 2014 8:37 AM

 A world at war and hot spots are growing with people caught in middle <3

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Freshwater Stores Shrank in Tigris-Euphrates Basin

Freshwater Stores Shrank in Tigris-Euphrates Basin | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
An arid region grew even drier between 2003 and 2009 due to human consumption of water for drinking and agriculture.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

The use of water is an increasing problem in the arid regions of the world.  The use of more sophisticated irrigation systems allow for more planting which requires more water.  Coupled with increasing towns and cities needing fresh water for the inhabitants this decrease in fresh water will only continue to trend.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, May 31, 2013 10:25 PM

Year 10 - Inland water

Amy Marques's curator insight, April 24, 2014 12:52 PM

What's happening in the Tigris-Euphrates Basin is similar to what is happening to the Aral Sea. Freshwater Stores Shrank in just 4 years. Humans are drastically altering the landscape and if we don't start to find others ways of doing things and change the way in which we do agriculture and use our water, there could be a serious water shortage for millions of people.

James Hobson's curator insight, October 22, 2014 6:24 PM

(Southwest Asia topic 2)

The area known as the Cradle of Humanity is becoming less hospitable. Though natural climate change can be attributed to the dryer conditions, humans have made just as much of an impact. Increased water usage leads to less reserve. Impacts stretch further, however. Less water flow below the dam can lead to changes in sedimentation patterns and disrupt wildlife habitats, potentially causing harm to wildlife.

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Tunneling through Andes to speed global trade

Tunneling through Andes to speed global trade | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — South American engineers are trying to tackle one of the continent's greatest natural challenges: the towering Andes mountain chain that creates a costly physical barrier for...

 

At the NCGE conference, noted author Harm De Blij mentioned a daring project that would link Eastern South America with the Pacific as engineers were planning to tunnel under the Andes mountains.  Here is a link to an article on this intermodal transportation project that would lower the shipping costs from East Asia to the Southern Atlantic.  Government officials in both Argentina and Brazil have described the  project as a matter of "national interest."  

 

Tags: transportation, LatinAmerica, globalization, industry, economic, development, unit 6 industry.


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This article expresses the need for better transportation in South America.  The need to bridge the Andes to better move trade goods from the pacific to Atlantic sides of the mountains.  This would have a huge effect on the economies of the two countries involved as well as an impact on international trade, just as the Panama Canal did when it was built.  The ability to cut through a mountain range and build a rail system is amazing and hopefully this vision of transportation can happen.

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Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 14, 2014 6:53 PM

While on the outside this article seems to be highlighting the interest in trade and mobility many have in South America in fact it's showing the political maneuvering of China. The Chinese are looking for ways to get around using the American dominated Panama Canal. It will be interesting to see how China's presence continues to grow not only in South America but also in Africa and the Middle East.

Edgar Manasseh Jr.'s curator insight, February 14, 7:49 PM

The transportation and global industry is growing economically fast and that is one of the most important part of the global business. Latin America along with eastern Asia who are big in the global trade route do businesses and find trade routes enough to provide sufficient production will obviously boom the trading business and create a new spatial opportunity for global industries.

Joshua Mason's curator insight, February 19, 1:06 PM

Rail proves to be a very effective way of transporting a large amount of goods cheaply overland as my freight conductor friend likes to remind me as I ask him why hasn't trucking phased out your job yet. Except he reminds me in more colourful language. Building a tunnel that drops shipping costs from $210 to $177 is a huge boost in savings. What always interests me is the private interest taken in South America and this tunnel is no exception. It's proposed with no help from the government or funding. Fees to use the tunnel would pay for it. Too much privatization or too much government ownership always a red flag for most people. If cheaper prices for imports from Asia and Chile outweigh the concerns for the Argentine, then this project just may be worth the initial 3.9 billion dollar price tag for that long hole in the Andes.

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The true cost of oil

TED Talks What does environmental devastation actually look like? At TEDxVictoria, photographer Garth Lenz shares shocking photos of the Alberta Tar Sands mining project -- and the beautiful (and vital) ecosystems under threat.

 

This is a visually stunning portrayal of Canadian landscapes.   He shows incredibly gorgeous photographs of the ecosystems of the boreal forest, indigenous cultural landscapes and natural scenery.  This is unfortunately the backdrop for the impacts of industrial extraction of oil from the tar sands of the Athabasca in Canada.  Collectively, this makes for a jarring justaposition of environmental landscapes.


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This presentation is very moving on the emotional side of the plight of Canada’s natural resources.  When it comes to oil production no matter where it is it will be dirty, messy and fraught with problems that impact the environment.  The idea that everyone wants oil but they don’t want to mess up their own country to get it is an interesting problem.  Frankly the more developed countries like Canada are more likely to mine the resources responsibly then a country that has little or no environmental protections.  This speaker gives a very impassioned presentation but he offers no alternatives to oil.  Getting oil from a country that has environmental protection laws is cleaner and better then getting it from a country that cares nothing for the environment; it is less accountable and more environmentally damaging to get it from somewhere else.  Pipelines are cleaner ways of moving oil as they seldom leak and don’t crash and spill.  The debate over oil and environmental responsibility will continue until a viable source of clean energy is created. 

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Louis Mazza's curator insight, January 28, 12:37 PM

this video shows the beauties to be found in world, and the negative effects that mining for oil can do to these areas. in one region it was home to a type of deer but all they could be found was the deers antlers. that showed that mining for oil was killing all the deer. all these regions are under threat. the largest toxic wastelands on the planet are being created.

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Maldives

Maldives | Geography 200 | Scoop.it

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This island country has a strange duality that is not uncommon for poor countries with beautiful natural resources like sandy beaches.  On one hand, it is a place with resorts, which cater to wealthy tourists that are kept separated from the inhabitants of the islands.  On the other hand, they are a poor Muslim society that relies on fishing and tourism for its economic growth.  The precarious nature of their low islands leaves them open to flooding and tsunamis. 

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Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 8:48 PM

Boy would I love to visit the Maldives. What an interesting and beautiful island it is.

John Nieuwendyk's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:36 PM

Volcanic activity created the formation of coral reefs, which have sustained the development of larger Islands, including the Maldives. Due to pollution, the westernized Maldives have lost much of their bio-diversity, so indigenous people who always rely on fish for basic  survival are having problems. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 17, 2014 10:21 PM

With sea levels rising the Maldives will be under water relatively soon. This will leave all those people either dead or as refugees. There needs to be an effort to find out what to do with all those people because it is too late to stop the seas from rising.

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Aral Sea Basin

Aral Sea Basin | Geography 200 | Scoop.it

"Dust blows from what was once the Aral Sea floor. Tragic mismanagement of a natural resource."


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This startling picture from space of the Aral Sea is heartbreaking.  The destruction of this inland sea is a terrible thing to behold.

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Maegan Connor's curator insight, December 17, 2013 7:20 PM

The destruction that man can cause is sickening and will be our ultimate downfall as all the major resources of the world are used up for industry. The shrinking of the Aral Sea has had harsh consequences on the region making it much harder to sustain the populations in the area because agriculture and fishing industries have been ruined. Health problems and drought are now rampant in the area and it is all because of humankind.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, February 20, 2014 9:49 PM

This is a sad reality humans must live with forever and something we as people must learn from. A man made disaster that occurred many years ago has a negative impact on areas surrounding the shrinking Aral Sea to this day. People cannot exploit an area of water this large, as this is not only harming the environment, but many human beings, as well

Jess Deady's curator insight, April 30, 2014 8:36 PM

The Aral Sea Basin has been a topic of conversation throughout geography for many reasons. What used to be filled with water is now blowing dust because its that dry? This basin is no longer a natural resource.

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NASA Satellites Find Freshwater Losses in Middle East

NASA Satellites Find Freshwater Losses in Middle East | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
A new study using data from a pair of gravity-measuring NASA satellites finds that large parts of the arid Middle East region lost freshwater reserves rapidly during the past decade.

 

"[This] data show an alarming rate of decrease in total water storage in the Tigris and Euphrates river basins, which currently have the second fastest rate of groundwater storage loss on Earth, after India," said Jay Famiglietti, principal investigator of the study and a hydrologist and professor at UC Irvine. "The rate was especially striking after the 2007 drought. Meanwhile, demand for freshwater continues to rise, and the region does not coordinate its water management because of different interpretations of international laws."

 

Tags: water, environment, consumption, resources, environment depend, Middle East, Iraq.


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

Water is a big issue in an arid area.  The fact that we can measure the amount of groundwater present in an area with a satellite is amazing to me.  The issue of water rights and control in this region will someday over take that of oil rights and use in my opinion.  Once people get used to free flowing water to use on demand it will cause problems politically when these sources of ground water inevitably dry up.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, February 24, 2013 10:00 PM

This is a perfect example of geospatial technologies can lead to a better understanding of how the Earth's physical systems are changing because of human geography.  Teaching geography is about showing how these systems are interconnected.   

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Sustainable Urbanism

"Jaime Lerner reinvented urban space in his native Curitiba, Brazil. Along the way, he changed the way city planners worldwide see what’s possible in the metropolitan landscape.  From building opera houses with wire to mapping the connection between the automobile and your mother-in-law, Jaime Lerner delights in discovering eccentric solutions to vexing urban problems. In the process he has transformed the face of cities worldwide."


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This video is enlightening.  The speaker uses the city as a model for fixing problems in the world.  Instead of seeing the city as an enemy to environmentalism, he purposes changing the cities and reworking old sites like quarries into something that is useable today.  He also advocates the integration of the transportation systems to make commuting more feasible as well as less pollution generating. 

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, February 15, 2014 8:02 AM

Jaime Lerner does not see cities as the problem; he sees urbanism as the solution to many global problems.  This video outlines practical plans to rethink the city to be more sustainable.  Click here to see the trailer for a documentary about the urban changes in Curitiba, Brazil.