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."
This interactive map documents where 443 million people around the world get there water (although the United States data is by far the most extensive). Most people can't answer this question. A recent poll by The Nature Conservancy discoverd that 77% of Americans (not on private well water) don't know where their water comes from, they just drink it. This link has videos, infographics and suggestions to promote cleaner water. This is also a fabulous example of an embedded map using ArcGIS Online to share geospatial data with a wider audience.
The debate on aquifers continues as new technologies designed by oil companies are able to tap historic water reserves deep in the Earth's crust. The geopolitical significance of water rises as population growth within dry climates continue to rise. As more countries (and people) compete for limited resources, outbreaks of armed conflict becomes more likely. The more pertinent question might not be 'if' but 'when.'
Environmental degradation, seasonally high rainfall, a low elevation profile and climate change combine in a very bad way for Bangladesh. Flooding, given these geographic characteristics, is essentially a regular occurence. For a more in-depth look at these issues from the same media outlet, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wj0iZiivYJc&feature=player_embedded#!
Over 1 billion people can stream music and videos in this increasingly technologically advanced world. It is estimated that 1.2 billion people have access to the internet. Simultaneously, we live in a world where 884 million people still do not have access to clean water. The digital divide is troubling, but the fact that millions don't have access to clean water, toilets or sanitation is horrifying. This site is one way to be a part of the solution.
The collapse of the Aral Sea ecosystem is (arguably) the man-made environmental disaster of the 20th century. Soviet mismanagement, water-intensive cotton production and population growth have all contributed the overtaxing of water resources in the Aral Sea basin, which has resulted in a the shrinking of the Aral Sea--it has lost more of the sea to an expanding desert than the territories of the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg combined. The health problems arising from this issues are large for the entire Aral Sea basin, which encompasses 5 Central Asian countries and it has profoundly changed (for the worse) the local climates.
Pressure on the world's resources is becoming so great the situation could trigger a proliferation of hunger and warfare hugely damaging to the global economy, according to an analysis published today.
TED Talks Map designer Aris Venetikidis is fascinated by the maps we draw in our minds as we move around a city -- less like street maps, more like schematics or wiring diagrams, abstract images of relationships between places.
This video touches on numerous themes that are crucial to geographers including: 1) how our minds arrange spatial information, 2) how to best graphically represent spatial information in a useful manner for your audience and 3) how mapping a place can be the impetus for changing outdated systems. This is the story of how a cartographer working to improve a local transportation system map, which in turn, started city projects to improve the infrastructure and public utilities in Dublin, Ireland. This cartographer argues that the best map design for a transport system needs to conform to how on cognitive mental mapping works more so than geographic accuracy (like so many subway maps do).
"77 Photos of the mass production of the Earth's natural resources. In the picture above, a Tibetan villager works in a salt field. Salt has been the most common food preservative, especially for meat, for thousands of years."
Tags: consumption, agriculture, resources, labor, industry, economic, unit 6 industry.
An in-depth, multimedia look at climate change, its global impact, and efforts to combat it.
This guide on climate change from the Council on Foreign Relations (independent think tank) covers many of the geopolitical, economic and environmental issues that confront the Earth as global temperatures rise. Rather than produce a full length feature film, they have organized the this as an interactive video, allowing the user to get short (a couple of minutes) answer to specific questions about the science, foreign policy or economic ramifications of adapting to climate change.
While I do enjoy this video, it is especially interesting in in how it conceptualizes the world in the two frames. Urban, human, civilized society on one side, with natural, unsettled wilderness on the other. The video attempts to bridge the divide, hoping that more people will see more interconnections between the human/urban world and the natural/wildlife world. While geographers recognize that all elements of the planet are interconnected, most people still think of the world through dichotomies such as these: civilization vs. wilderness, cultural vs. natural and human vs. animal. How do these terms shape our thinking about the world?
A community in Bonsaaso, Ghana learns that their local water supply contains unsafe mineral concentrations. See how they implement a filtration system design...
Ghana is one of the more stable nations in the region, and yet even it has serious issues with fresh water. This video shows how low-tech solutions can combat the tainting of water by environmental factors such as mineral contamination of water sources. The $5,000 price tag for such technology seems high, but is very affordable considering the benefits given. Another organization working on this issue is: http://waterwellsforafrica.org/
If All of Earth's Water was put into Single Sphere, from the USGS Water Science School...
"This picture shows the size of a sphere that would contain all of Earth's water in comparison to the size of the Earth. The blue sphere sitting on the United States, reaching from about Salt Lake City, Utah to Topeka, Kansas, has a diameter of about 860 miles (about 1,385 kilometers) , with a volume of about 332,500,000 cubic miles (1,386,000,000 cubic kilometers). The sphere includes all the water in the oceans, seas, ice caps, lakes and rivers as well as groundwater, atmospheric water, and even the water in you, your dog, and your tomato plant."
Located entirely within the Atlantic Ocean, is the only sea without a land boundary (nice little trivia tidbit--Its shifting borders are defined by ocean currents). So if these waters are a part of the Atlantic Ocean, then why do these waters deserve their own name? What is distinct about the Saragasso Sea?
Not only will you learn about hurricanes but you can also watch videos about lighting, tornadoes, volcanoes, and overall everything about the weather. These are great videos to use in class when teaching units about natural disasters. These videos are full of great engaging facts.
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