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Saudi Arabia is drilling for a resource possibly more precious than oil by tapping hidden reserves of water in the Syrian Desert.
In northern Saudi Arabia near Jordan, oil resources are sparse and so is surface water. Water might just be the more important liquid natural resource, especially for sustaining a population. There are underground water reserves that are stored in aquifers, layers of rock that hold water. The water that collects in aquifers may take many years to replenish so this practice is sometimes referred to as water mining.
Question to ponder: If Saudi Arabia is rich enough to buy their own food and they are at a competitive disadvantage for food production, why would they invest so much money on farming marginal lands?
Tags: food, agriculture, water, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, unit 5 agriculture.
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A race for energy resources makes unresolved territorial disputes more dangerous in both North-East and South-East Asia
Tags: borders, political, conflict, water, China, Japan, East Asia.
Many of the geopolitical conflicts in the East Pacific have their roots in the territorial disputes over islands that at first glance seem as if they wouldn't be worth the trouble. However, since the the UNCLOS agreement gives countries 200 nautical miles off their coasts to be an Exclusive Economic Zone, that greatly enhanced the strategic value of controlling these islands.
This is a great example of geopolitics and territorial disputes over small pieces of land that seem insignificant yet could result in armed conflict over who controls them and their surrounding waters. In one case, you will see that apparently WWII isn't even over!
There is a big lesson to be learned from this map and what it means. No territory on this earth is completely not valuable. Specifically ones with long coast lines and natural resources. This shows how Geography comes into play with economic profit. Now, if this division is not working for the East Pacific then the ideal thing would be to divide it equally. But, that never works does it..
" Asia is willing to go to war with small islands in order to gain full control and rights of the ocean borders. China is very assertive and aggressive. They even go to the extreme as to use boats to hit Vietnamese and Phillipino ships to show that the ocean is theirs. It is all because countries or islands with a coastline are to have rights over their land and 200 nautical miles as well. It is just becoming a problem because how do you evenly distribute or differentiate who's is who's."
View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/where-we-get-our-fresh-water-christiana-z-peppard Fresh water accounts for only 2.5% of Earth's...
How much of the Earth's water is fresh water? How much of that is used for industrial, agricultural or domestic uses? Why is groundwater becoming increasingly utilized? Enjoy this TED-ED video for the answers.
Tags: water, environment, consumption, resources, environment depend.
As climate change alters rainfall patterns and river flows, tensions are bound to rise between states and countries that share rivers that cross their borders. In the Rio Grande Basin of the American Southwest, that future inevitability has arrived.
In our class we take an in-depth look at Colorado River issues, but it
Photo by Jean Paul Ferrero/Ardea/Caters News (via Exposing the Truth Lake Hillier is a pink-coloured lake on Middle Island in Western Australia. Middle island is the largest of the islands a...
Pictured above is Lake Hillier, located on a small island south of Western Australia. Around the world there are many pink lakes; most of them can attribute their hue to their high salinity composition. Some algaes that thrive in salt water produce organic pigments with a reddish/pinkish coloration. This particular lake's coloration is a mystery. If you any additional information, feel free to share in in the comments section below.
Tags: water, physical, images, Australia.
This is such a cool photo and interesting phenomenon. The photo is of Lake Hillier, a pink-colored lake located on Middle Island, one of 105 islands that make up an archipelago off the coast of Western Australia. There are many scientific speculations as to why the lake is pink. I find it to be very interesting and wonder more about the lake, such as if it effects the marine life in the lake and if its color effects the ability or inability to use the water as a natural resource.
Lake Hillier in f Western Australia is one of the many you can find around the world. The pink color comes because of the high salinity composition. A particular algaes found in salt water then produce organic pigments with a reddish/pinkish coloration. It is mysterious and interesting, as we are not accustome to it.
This is a photo of a pink lake that really exists in Western Australia. The color of the lake is pink due to the high salinity composition and the lake is filled with algae that cause the water to turn a pink pigment. I never even heard of this before nor if i saw this picture think that this is one of many pink lakes that really exist.
This article and the selected gallery is based on the free e-book "Earth as Art" which I've mentioned here before earlier. This particular image is fantastic for teaching about geomorphology and river systems. Students can 'see' the historical layers of a meandering stream winding it's way across the landscape. Connecting the physical geography to human geography, analyzing the flood plains can help explain the land use and settlement patterns in this Mississippi Delta image.
UPDATE: Here's another meandering stream image (Willamette River, Oregon) that shows the dynamism of fluvial processes quite nicely.
the beauty of our earth...
There will soon be 7 billion people on the planet. Find out why you shouldn’t panic—at least, not yet.
This whole year, National Geographic has been producing materials on the impacts of a growing global population (including this popular and powerful video). Now that the year has (almost) concluded, all of these resources are archived in here. These resources are designed to answers some of our Earth's most critical questions: Are there too many people on the planet? What influences women to have fewer children? How will we cope with our changing climate? Are we in 'the Age of Man?' Can we feed the 7 billion of us? Are cities the cure for our growing pains? What happens when our oceans become acidic? Is there enough for everyone?
Tags: population, National Geographic, sustainability, density.
Subway tunnels and parts of the Financial District have been flooded...
The flooding has been as devastating as expected given the height of the storm surge, but this image of Ground Zero still is chilling.
This interactive map of coastal Massachusetts and Rhode Island shows some basic flooding data including: 1) where are the flood warnings (essential the entire coastline), 2) how high the storm surge is, and 3) how high the waves are.
Tags: Rhode Island, water, disasters, geospatial.
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.
Tags: GIS, water, fluvial, environment, ESRI, pollution, development, consumption, resources, mapping, environment depend, cartography, geospatial.
water is a resource we all depend on. Some of my best studies were on local Chesapeake Bay issues.
Video. Cartographers at National Geographic discuss how they select an appropriate map projection for the September 2012 magazine map supplement.
There is no one perfect map projection that fits all circumstances and situations. Think of a situation in which this map projection would be an ideal way to represent the Earth and in another situation that same projection would give you an incredibly limited perspective.
Tags: cartography, K12, geospatial, NationalGeographic, water.
Amazing things about Google Earth - news, features, tips, technology, and applications...
I wasn't planning on an ocean mapping portion of my class today, but this new development changes that.
Tags: water, biogeography, mapping, google.
Today, a country’s marine economic area is defined by its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), a 200-nautical mile-wide (370 km) strip of sea along the country’s national coast line (hi-res image). This regulation, which was installed by the ‘UN Convention on the Law of the Sea’ in 1982, grants a state special rights to exploit natural (such as oil) and marine (for instance fish) resources, including scientific research and energy production (wind-parks, for example).
Questions to ponder: how does this series of buffer zones around the Earth's land masses impact politics, the environment and local economies? Where might the EEZs be more important to the success of a country/territory than other regions?
Tags: economic, environment, political, resources, water, sovereignty, coastal, environment depend, territoriality, states, conflict, unit 4 political.
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.
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.
Read the Transcript: http://to.pbs.org/b6sR86 The capital of the South Asian country Bangladesh, Dhaka, has a population that is booming. However, it stands ...
This is a great introduction to the demographic explosion of the slums within megacities. This is applicable to many themes within geography.
Tags: Bangladesh, water, pollution, poverty, squatter, planning, density, South Asia, development, economic, megacities.
This is a good youtube link on Urbanisation
See attached video clips!
Did you know that in 2000 the IHO created a new ocean called the Southern Ocean? Here, learn about where and what the Southern Ocean is.
Maybe if more of the global population lived in the Southern Hemisphere, perhaps our educational systems would emphasize more information about the Southern Ocean (not to mention acknowledge that it even exists). This body of water isn't just the southernmost part of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans; the biology, temperature, chemistry and ocean currents all make it a distinct body of water that circles Antarctica. This is just one of over twenty videos in the "geography" tab from the great folks at about.com.
Tags: Antarctica, water, physical.
Today's 100-year storm surge could be tomorrow's high tide.
This set of maps and articles help to explain why sea level rise is such an issue for many major metropolitan areas. In coastal cities with substantial economic development, much of the current coastal areas where once underwater until landfill projects filled in the bay. During storm surges (or if and when sea levels rise) these will be the first places to flood.
Tags: disasters, water, physical, Boston, weather and climate.
Surging sea represented on an imagery background layer.
Color ramp should be graduated.
While city lights at night serve as a good proxy for population density, North Korea provides a dark exception.
This image is appears to be a regional inset of the classic Earth at Night composite image however this nighttime remote sensing image was taken from Sept. 2012. The Earth at Night image is typically used in classrooms to discuss what this actually means for human geography (Population density? Development? Consumption? Where? How come?). However, this particular portion of the global image focused on the Korean Peninsula highlights two other specific issues:
Tags: economic, political, resources, water, sovereignty, coastal, territoriality, states, unit 4 political, remote sensing.
Amazing photo! Population density is a good issue but also political geography and economic geography as well.
This cliché image of "North Korea in the dark" reinforces preconceived ideas about the "totalitarian" state and how terrible life must be without electricity. Well, one aspect of this political geography is the effect of US-backed sanctions against North Korea and the severe ecological and energy crisis under which it has struggled for the last two decades. Just as electricity is not simply a "natural" resource, neither is energe consumption nor shortage.
New rules announced last week to allow interceptions of ships in the South China Sea are raising concerns in the region, and in Washington, that simmering disputes with Southeast Asian countries over the waters will escalate.
According to this new announcement, Chinese ships would be allowed to search and repel foreign ships if they were engaged in illegal activities (but that is open to interpretation) if the ships were within the 12-nautical-mile zone surrounding islands that China claims. This makes the disputed territorial claims of China all the more at the center of this geopolitical maneuverings. Much of the South China Sea would then be under Chinese control if this announcement becomes the new reality.
Questions to Ponder: Why is China making this announcement? Is China within their rights to make this declaration? Who might oppose this?
One of the nation’s most influential groups of engineers said it presented detailed warnings that a devastating storm surge in the region was all but inevitable and proposed ways to prepare.
MH: Hey, you know what? A bunch of engineers accurately predicted the kinds of damage the East Coast would face from a strong storm surge. Maybe we should give that science stuff a little consideration in our future plans in designing our cities.
Experts say Hurricane Sandy is wider and stronger than Hurricane Irene, which caused more than $15 billion in damage in 2011, and could rival the worst East Coast storm on record.
This is a quick visual comparison of remote sensing images that lets you slide to compare the superimposed images.
National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service...
When the Pawtuxet River flooded in Rhode Island, I was watching this site to get a sense of how bad the flooding was and to put it in historic context (the National Weather Service has links to live data at many locations). This particular station in NYC at the Battery is important to keep an eye on with Hurricane Sandy because if the strom surge is over 10 feet, the subway system could flood and the issues confronting New York would be devastating. As meterologist Andy Lesage noted, "During Irene it got to 9.5ft, 8-12 inches shy of flooding the subway system so if the Battery gets to something like 10.25+ ft, it will indicate massive damage to the cities' infrastructure." For more see, the Weather Underground and Jeff Masters' analysis.
Tags: disasters,water, physical, NYC, transportation, weather and climate.
Workers at an ailing paper mill in Siberia are clinging to their jobs in the face of financial pressure and criticism from environmentalists.
The environment, industry and politics play key roles in this story of an old style Soviet mono-town on Lake Baikal. Monotowns had planned economies that revolved around one industry and today many of these are struggling in the post-Soviet era. While the particulars of the political situation are a bit dated, the overall issue is still quite relevant to understanding Russia today.
Tags: Russia, industry, labor, environment, economic, water, pollution, environment modify, unit 6 industry.
We never heard about this during the Soviet Union as the news was controlled. Also during the Soviet time I do not believe environmentalists would have gotton the chance to investigate the area. With the fall of the USSR the world can now see some of the environmental effects that communism had on Russia. These towns are built around the factory. Much like the old steele towns in PA, like Allentown. However Allentown chnaged with the times and is able to support, although it is difficult, the population that was focused on the steele industry. Here is this remote area of Russia, there is nothing else in the area. There is no service economy in the area, just the paper factory. It has been kept open because of Putin who basically said to ignore all environmental laws and regulations and he made sure the environmental groups are not an issue anymore. Not surprising from a former KGB Lt. Colonel and the Director of the FSB, the sucessor of the KGB. To solve the issue in these monotowns I think there needs to be government intervention to transition the economies in theses areas. To keep these factories running in the long run will just hurt all the people in the towns with no end in sight. However, I do not think this will happen unless there is a change in the leadership of Russia, something I do not think will happen anytime soon.
The story of this particular mono-town is very tough to "pick sides". The factory undoubtedly pollutes the air and land like most other industrial areas, but being so close to Lake Baikal gives environmentalists a stronger reason to complain. The lake is considered one of the purest and most unique in the world, yet the paper mill located on its banks raise controversy. This is where the locals and workers are stuck between a rock and hard place. Located in Siberia, such a vast and open region with little settlements compared to the western part of the country reminds the people living there that their resources are limited. Closing down the factory would almost eliminate income and economy for the mono-town. This is where the fine line is drawn; the workers surely aren't happy about the pollution and environmental hazards that go along with keeping the mill open, but at the same time the people could wither away if it wasn't up and running.
THough the Soviet Union has been gone since the early 90s, it's hold on Russia is still creating problems. The creations of monotowns were already flawed. But to have this one monotown on Lake Baikal has gained the attention of enviromentalists. All odds are against that monotown. Without it's paper factory they have no jobs and no need for the town. It is a fight between enviromental geography and human geography in this area of the world. These people are stuck in a time where even the Soviet Union looked a little better than the constant wondering of your finacial stability in an up and coming capitalist nation.
Time and time again, we're reminded of nature's beauty. It's hard to believe, but these photos of real landscapes, not abstract paintings.
Andre Ermolaev, through his photography has captured the beauty of Iceland's geomorphology. Being on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Iceland has abundant volcanic ash which adds rich color to the fluvial systems.
Tags: geomorphology, physical, Europe, fluvial, water, landforms, images.
This is a picture of the volcanic ash that is under Iceland's Mid-Attlantic Ridge. This shows us that nature by itself can create beauty. It is also fascinating to see because you would never think Iceland would still have the presence of volcanic ash due to it's climate.
In North East India just north of Bangladesh is the province of Meghalaya.
This is an astounding video that shows a (literally) natural way that local people have adapted to an incredibly flood-prone environment. The organic building materials prevent erosion and keep people in contact during times of flood. The living bridges are truly a sight to behold.
Tags: environment, environment adapt, SouthAsia, water, weather climate, indigenous.
An amazing use of the surroundings these people have! These people have been dealt a hand that may seem hard to deal with, but they have figured out a way to adapt and work with and use the environment instead of trying to go around it. To avoid building a new bridge every year because of the monsoons, this man has worked with nature to build something incredible and sustainble. He is not afraid of the weather any longer, he actually seeks its help in the aide of his growing bridge. This truely is an amazing sight to see!
This video is so cool. It shows the indigenous people using the enviroment to the fullest. THese resourceful people do not even kill the tree when they use it to build the living bridges to cross over the rough waters. They actually have a community of living bridges that help the people to get from point a to point b safely. They keep the bridges alives by intertwinning them with one another to hold them up across the water. THe video itself is too cool, especially that people even thought of this!
This is so, so awesome. These people have suffered at the hands of nature for generations and now they have figured out how to use nature to solve the problem. They have constructed bridges with trees that takes hundreds of years to fully form so they pass it through their family generations to make life easier. India endures a harrowing monsoon season with many floods and landslides every year and these bridges will help the people to carry on with their lives above the river's reach. These people indigeous to the region deserve so much credit for the innovative ways they have discovered to deal with nature in it's angriest forms.