Geography Ed
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Geography Education
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Dam Collapse

Dam Collapse | Geography Ed | Scoop.it

"On November 5, 2015, two dams collapsed at an iron ore mine in southeastern Brazil. The dam is owned by Samarco, a joint-venture between the mining companies Vale and BHP Billiton. News outlets estimate that more than 62 million cubic meters of wastewater have been unleashed so far with catastrophic consequences. The immediate release of sludge wiped out numerous villages including Bento Rodrigues (shown in greater detail above), causing the death of twelve people. Eleven others are still missing. Because of this pollution, more than half a million people do not have access to clean water for drinking or irrigating their crops. By November 23, the contaminated waters covered a 400 mile stretch of the Rio Doce River and entered into the sea, killing significant amounts of planet and animal life along the way. Officials are concerned that the toxins will threaten the Comboios Nature Reserve, a protected area for the endangered leatherback turtle."

 

Tags: dam, environment, land use, sustainability, landscape, images, environment modify, pollution.


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Climate Change Is Here

Climate Change Is Here | Geography Ed | Scoop.it
Record heat, fading ice, and rising seas show how climate change is affecting us. But there’s new hope we can cool the planet. Here’s how.

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Tony Hall's curator insight, October 30, 2015 2:21 AM

This is a very good resource on climate change. Well worth having a look:)

John Puchein's curator insight, November 6, 2015 7:30 AM

This site is great to show evidence of climate change. It has various sites with videos and articles.  The interactive is organized to answer these main questions:

How do we know it’s happening?How do we fix it?How do we live with it?
Sarah Cannon's curator insight, November 25, 2015 10:15 AM

There is too much talk about helping the climate and environment. All politicians do is talk about cleaning the environment and having less pollution. Even Al Gore is big talk. I've only heard of little change. I want to see a difference. I want to see people actually doing things to help the environment. Enough talk. What should happen is a world wide clean up. Jobs should be created where people should clean in their own community. Its a simple job. Get a trash bag, get off your lazy butts, get out of the house, get a group together (who would be paid by the state) to pick trash up off the streets, beaches, trails in the woods, baseball fields, parks. This isn't hard to do. Not just one person, but if a group of people can come together and be employed by their state to clean their community, at least four days a week. There should also be a group of people, even fisherman to clean the ocean, go out and get what ever trash you can find. Using nets, and if fish are caught, throw them back in the ocean. Also, Trash Island has to be eliminated. It boggles my mind that who ever passed the law on trash being dumped into the ocean an Okay to do. Are you kidding me?? What is wrong with you? Our Earth is dying because of humanity. Also the oil spill that happened in 2012, I believe, I saw a man on the news that created a way to capture the oil floating on the surface of the ocean with a blanket like material, sure it would take a lot of those "blankets" but at least it would be helping to rid the ocean from oil. What are people thinking?? that the oil will just disappear?? Are you serious? So many people really have to open their minds. Look at what's happening you ignorant selfish fools. I will finish my rant right here.

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The Great Barrier Reef

"Australia urged the UN's World Heritage Committee to keep the Great Barrier Reef off the 'in danger' list to protect their tourism industry. But that doesn't mean the ecological treasure is not in danger."

 

Tags: biogeography, environment, ecology, Australia, Oceania.


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Danielle Kedward's curator insight, September 12, 2015 7:38 AM
World Heritage for Year 7
Sally Egan's curator insight, November 23, 2015 6:29 PM

Great article for the GBR as an ecosystem at risk.

Chris Costa's curator insight, December 1, 2015 4:27 PM

I have enjoyed the emphasis on the human aspect of geography in this course, and how geography impacts us. However, as much as the world influences us, we do have a substantial amount of influence on the composition of the planet, oftentimes for the worse. The Great Barrier Reef is one of the greatest wonders of the world, home to some of the most spectacular sights one can see; as someone who has been scuba diving a handful of times, I can only imagine what it must be like to explore such a world below the surface, seeing all the life that surrounds me. I would love to be able to at some point in my life, but there is a great probability that I might never get the opportunity, as the reef is dying- fast. 50% of the reef has been lost over the past 3 decades, and while Australia has pledged to reserve over a billion dollars to fund conservation efforts, it might be a case of too little, too late. Man-made climate change as a whole is taking a toll on one of nature's greatest treasures, and it might be out of the hands of the Australian damage to reverse the damage that has already been done. I would love to have the opportunity to see this one day, and I hope I get to, but I don't know if I ever will if current rates of reef loss continue. Here's to hoping humanity gets it act together and tries to save the geography we often take for granted; we won't like the ugly landscapes that will follow if we don't.

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Population growth far outpaces food supply in conflict-ravaged Sahel

Population growth far outpaces food supply in conflict-ravaged Sahel | Geography Ed | Scoop.it

"The Sahel’s ability to produce food is not keeping pace with its growing population, and global warming will only exacerbate the imbalance, according to a new study.  Among the 22 countries making up the arid region in northern Africa, the population grew to 471 million in 2010 from 367 million in 2000, a jump of nearly 30%. As the population grew rapidly, the production of crops remained essentially unchanged.  Using satellite images to calculate annual crop production in the conflict-ridden Sahel belt, south of the Sahara desert, the researchers then compared output with population growth and food and fuel consumption."

 

Tags: Africa, Sahel, population, environment, water, ecology, environment depend, weather and climate, sustainability, agriculture, food production.


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Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 5:59 PM

with the strife in this region it is hardly surprising that it is hard to maintain food supplies in the face of large scale immigration. in a region where it is hard to survive, immigration would be a massive threat, straining already thinly spread resources.

Raymond Dolloff's curator insight, December 15, 2015 12:22 AM

If a country has a big population growth, the resources that it has if they are already scarce may become devastating. As the population of Sahel does increase, the amount of food resources will not have the proper time to react to the growth. Granted it may take a while for agricultural crops to grow and many citizens may face hard times facing finding food, but their hardships will be overcome by farmers trying to produce more crops to help ease that hardship.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 2:38 PM

this seems like an alarmingly common problem in the world today with population growth happening at an alarming rate in many parts of the world. most notably india and china. as well as in sahel, if your population grows by 100 million in 10 years it will be impossible to keep up and be able to provide for that many people in such a reletively short time.

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Forests worldwide near tipping-point from drought, study finds

Forests worldwide near tipping-point from drought, study finds | Geography Ed | Scoop.it

Forests worldwide are at "equally high risk" to die-off from drought conditions, warns a new study published this week in the journal Nature. The study, conducted by an international team of scientists, assessed the specific physiological effects of drought on 226 tree species at 81 sites in different biomes around the world. It found that 70 percent of the species sampled are particularly vulnerable to reduction in water availability. With drought conditions increasing around the globe due to climate change and deforestation, the research suggests large swathes of the world's forests — and the services they afford — may be approaching a tipping point.

 

Water is critical to trees, transporting nutrients, providing stabilizing, and serving as a medium for the metabolic processes that generate the energy needed for a tree to survive. Mechanically, water moves through plants via their xylem, a tissue that can be compared to a system of tubes. Transpiration or release of water from a plant's leaves keeps the system moving. But when water availability is insufficient, the process begins to break down, having substantial impacts on the health of a tree. While this has long been observed, until recently the exact mechanism that triggers drought stress in forests was poorly understood. The new study argues that "hydraulic failure" may be a key factor. Effectively, insufficient water availably leads a tree to start pulling air bubbles — called gas emboli — into its xylem impeding the flow of water. Hydraulic failure is akin to attempting to drink through a broken straw — air bubbles significantly reduce the amount of liquid that reaches the top of the straw.

 

The researchers found that a wide range of trees are susceptible to "hydraulic failure". "We show that 70% of 226 forest species from 81 sites worldwide operate with narrow... hydraulic safety margins against injurious levels of drought stress and therefore potentially face long-term reductions in productivity and survival if temperature and aridity increase as predicted for many regions across the globe," the authors write. "Safety margins are largely independent of mean annual precipitation, showing that there is global convergence in the vulnerability of forests to drought, with all forest biomes equally vulnerable to hydraulic failure regardless of their current rainfall environment."

 

The results provide insight on why drought-induced forest die-off is occurring in a range of forest types, including tropical rainforests which are not typically considered at risk of drought. Over the past 15 years, forests in Borneo and the Amazon have suffered from widespread drought-induced decline. Drought stress if often accompanied by increased incidence of fires, either from natural sources like lightning or human activities like burning for cattle pasture of plantation establishment.


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Lauri's curator insight, August 3, 2013 8:11 PM

If we lose our forests, we are well and truly screwed.

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The Ganges River Is Dying Under the Weight of Modern India

The Ganges River Is Dying Under the Weight of Modern India | Geography Ed | Scoop.it
The country’s future depends on keeping the holy river alive.

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Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 7:00 PM

The Ganges River is a place of religion for these people, they see it as a place where they can bathe for the forgiveness of sins and for ancestors alike. The only problem with this really is that it is a very dirty river, sewage and other sorts of waste, germs and disease are running through it. Unfortunately, the people are drinking from this river.  

Alex Vielman's curator insight, December 15, 2015 12:21 AM

The Ganges River is the most populated region in all of India. The river is sacred and is very holy to the people of India. The river is a religious river in which the people residing in the area use it as a symbolization or purification, life, bathing and drinking. The bigger issue for 'purification' is the fact that the river is very polluted and unsanitary. The pollution not only threatens the people because it could be used for drinking but it also affects the thousands of species, for example fish, that are in the river. The fish could be a source of food for the very overpopulated area but instead the very own people of India are damaging the river. One would think that a river so sacred would be protected and cleaned but it fails to meet these standards. Overall, regardless of the pollution, India still uses it for its religious beliefs and still declare it a holy river. 

Sarah Holloway's curator insight, February 16, 6:26 PM

This article touches on very serious religious and environmental issues connected to the Ganges River.  The Ganges is the sacred river of Hinduism and in part because the river valley is the most heavily populated region of India.  Simultaneously, this holy river is an incredibly polluted river as it's the watershed for a industrial region that struggles with significant sanitation problems; this is a great article on the environmental and cultural issues of development.

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Changes in Three Gorges Dam

NASA's animation of China's Three Gorges Dam construction over the years.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, October 19, 2015 6:32 PM

Inland water - environmental change 

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, November 9, 2015 5:40 PM

The impact of the Three Gorges Dam on the residents upstream is amazing. I cannot imagine anything like this happening in the US, mostly because of the impact on the people both upstream and downstream. Ecological damage from this dam may not phase the Chinese government, but I think any North American or European government would shudder at the thought of the backlash among their citizens this would create.

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 14, 2015 9:27 PM

Three Gorges damn in China is the largest dam ever constructed. This was created to save on power by creating hydroelectric power for the people of the land. One of the issues with this was the the flooding of the land up streams displacing millions of people. It created a larger up stream area and very small down stream. A lot of the people that lived up stream had to be relocated further inland and faced changing climatif weather. The banks of the river are carved out between what seems like mountainous regions so as you move more uphill the weather and temperature will be a whole new category of life (Depending on how far you relocated).

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Endangered Wildlife Trust

Endangered Wildlife Trust | Geography Ed | Scoop.it

"If you don't pick it up they will."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, January 19, 2015 12:03 PM

I found this ad from the Endangered Wildlife Trust to be very powerful.  It is a good introduction to systems and systems thinking.  

 

Tags: pollutionsustainability, environment, resources, water, coastal.

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The world's megacities that are sinking 10 times faster than water levels are rising

The world's megacities that are sinking 10 times faster than water levels are rising | Geography Ed | Scoop.it
Scientists have issued a new warning to the world’s coastal megacities that the threat from subsiding land is a more immediate problem than rising sea levels caused by global warming.

 

A new paper from the Deltares Research Institute in the Netherlands published in April identified regions of the globe where the ground level is falling 10 times faster than water levels are rising - with human activity often to blame.

In Jakarta, Indonesia’s largest city, the population has grown from around half a million in the 1930s to just under 10 million today, with heavily populated areas dropping by as much as six and a half feet as groundwater is pumped up from the Earth to drink.

The same practice led to Tokyo’s ground level falling by two meters before new restrictions were introduced, and in Venice, this sort of extraction has only compounded the effects of natural subsidence caused by long-term geological processes.

 

Tags: coastal, climate change, urban, megacities, water, environment, urban ecology.


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Adilson Camacho's curator insight, August 2, 2014 12:32 AM

Perception!

Matt Evan Dobbie's curator insight, August 2, 2014 6:55 PM

Huge problem when combined with sea level rise

MsPerry's curator insight, August 12, 2014 6:53 PM

APHG-U7

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Physical Geography

This a visually stunning video montage with clips compiled from the Discovery Channel's series "Planet Earth."  


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