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Geography Education
Geography Education
Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography students and teachers. http://geographyeducation.org
Curated by Seth Dixon
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Largest glacier calving ever filmed

"On May 28, 2008, Adam LeWinter and Director Jeff Orlowski filmed a historic breakup at the Ilulissat Glacier in Western Greenland. The calving event lasted for 75 minutes and the glacier retreated a full mile across a calving face three miles wide. The height of the ice is about 3,000 feet, 300-400 feet above water and the rest below water."


Tags: physical, geomorphology, landforms, erosion, climate change, Greenland.

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Flaviu Fesnic's comment, April 12, 3:31 PM
impressive !
Ms. Harrington's curator insight, April 13, 10:37 AM

More information at www.chasingice.com

Maricarmen Husson's curator insight, April 13, 2:15 PM

Adam LeWinter and Director Jeff Orlowski filmed a historic breakup at the Ilulissat Glacier in Western Greenland

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Rising Seas: If All The Ice Melted

Rising Seas: If All The Ice Melted | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Explore the world’s new coastlines if sea level rises 216 feet.
Seth Dixon's insight:

If all the ice in the world melted, we wouldn't have a post-apocalytic scenario like Kevin Costner's "waterworld," but  it still would have an enormous global impact.  This interactive feature highlights the locations of places that would be submerged in the most extreme example of hypothetical sea level changes.  What would some of these changes be?  

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Rola Fahs's curator insight, November 13, 2013 10:19 AM

This is perfect for a unit on climate change and global warming. I would definitely recommend this in geography classes because it is a wake up call. Students can see the effects of climate change and draw their own conclusions about what they believe about this. I would use this with in coorelation with a video about global warming, or even use this as a webquest activity. 

Brian Hammerstix's curator insight, November 23, 2013 7:29 PM

#stopburningfossilfuels or #goodbyeflorida

Steven Flis's curator insight, December 16, 2013 1:15 PM

Aside from the mass devastation i think it would be pretty cool of all the ice melted. As the interactive map shows there would be in inland sea in australia which i can turn into the AUs great lakes. Also imagine the possiblility of being able to take a vacation to antartica and not having to dress for absurdly negative tempatures, all the undiscovered land and preservated fossils. It would be a interestling link to the past that only in the future we could experience.

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Inside the Colorado deluge

Inside the Colorado deluge | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Two things that helped make this rainfall historic are breadth and duration. Colorado can get much higher rainfall rates for brief periods and over small areas."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Our thoughts are with our colleagues and friends in Colorado as they are dealing with the impact of this historic weather event.  The geographic factors that contributed to this flooding are explained in this article from the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR).  Some are calling this a millennial flood, as it is well past the 100-year stage of flooding.  You may view the areas impacted on an ESRI storymap. and in this NASA imagery


Tags: physical, disasters, environment, water, weather and climate.

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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, September 16, 2013 3:40 PM

The devastating flooding in Colorado has impacted so many. The rainfall Colorado has experienced makes it the most on record. The massive amounts of flooding and devestation in areas like Boulder are caused by the highly populated valley areas.  

Al Picozzi's curator insight, September 17, 2013 4:13 PM

Almost seems like a perfect storm scenario.  Large amouts of rain over a long perod of time over a large area.  This combined with a late summer/early fall heat wave and tons of moisture in the air, with climate change all contributed to the disater in Colorado.  They also believe the changes made by people to the physical geography over the last hundred years or somade have contributed to teh flooding in the area.  Development can effect the way a place floods.  Where there were once open fields and trees, there are now parking lots and houses which just can't absorb rainfall.  Makes you ask the question, shouldn't there be more study of where we exapnd our cities and what effect this will have in case of a major rainfall, earthquake, blizzard, etc?

Tony Aguilar's curator insight, September 18, 2013 5:27 PM

      What was interesting about this particular deluge was how much rain fell and how it happened in such a short time. Meteroligist high wet density levels of vapor that rose to high altitutdes and was able to condense into water and help in a perfect combination of weather to create a powerfully dangerous flash flood.

    The article recounts a former major colorodo flood that occured in 1978 and had killed over 150 people during a centenial celebration.

   After this occurence warning signs were put up beside the roads to warn travelers of flash flood possiblities and to promote safety. These floods do not happen in Colorado often and are usually a surprise. They do not when the nextmajor flash flood may occur in the boulder region but they know through historical patterns that it will happen again. 

This article stood out to me because I have friends that live in these areas and had to run for safety and move their cars to prevent damage in these same areas. The good thing is that the people that I know from this area are doing ok.

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xkcd: Ice Sheets

xkcd: Ice Sheets | Geography Education | Scoop.it
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6 Ways Climate Change Will Affect You

6 Ways Climate Change Will Affect You | Geography Education | Scoop.it
From the food we eat to the energy, transportation, and water we all need, a warmer world will bring big changes for everyone.

 

B Sinica: This article touches every aspect of geography from culture to climate [considering] how the growing population plays the biggest role in determining the future of life on Earth.  People need to recognize the problems and potential future issues with global warming and the rapidly changing environment.  Though not many issues can be prevented or even solved, the least we can do is try to lessen the severity of devastation and prolong the current conditions as much as possible before the world becomes too extreme to manage.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Some tangible ways that climate change can impact us in the future:

  • Food Security
  • Energy consumption
  • Extreme Weather
  • Drought
  • Health risks (more air-born diseases)
  • Vulnerable urban ecologies


Tags: climate change, environment, environment adapt, sustainability. National Geographic.

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Brianna Simao's comment, April 30, 2013 10:22 PM
It is kind of a scary thought that global warming could greatly disrupt the way we live. Everyone is affected by it especially businesses like farms. The production of crops declines because of the excessive heat. Changing climate affect the length of each season which hurts the process of growing and harvesting crops. There would also be a change in the production, storage and transportation. It will cost more money to properly manage these businesses. This change will not only affect companies and how we handle our food but also our way of life and health. We would all have to adapt to such drastic changes in the environment which may be a struggle for some. Health wise, if it is too hot and people are not well adapted then it could lead to hospitalization and increased health risks. I don’t think there is much we can do to lessen the severity because it is a natural cycle of earth. I do think we may have sped up the process a little bit, for example car exhaustion and greenhouse gasses. But we are so dependent on such technology we can’t just make it disappear.
Dillon Cartwright's comment, May 3, 2013 4:04 PM
It's crazy that something like a little climate change can change the affect the entire world. Not just in one way either, it affects the world in many ways, like the 6 mentioned above. I don't think people realize the frailty of the environment they live in. Something as small as someones car exhaust becomes kind of a big deal when there are hundreds of millions of cars in the world.
In addition to that, I think it's great that life expectancy has gone up with cures to diseases and advances in modern medicine. It's a good thing that people are living longer lives, but it's a problem when these people aren't environmentally conscious. If there is going to be a consistent increase in population, there should also be an increase in environmental awareness so everyone can work together in slowing down this destructive process.
Victoria McNamara's curator insight, December 12, 2013 1:03 PM

Climate change is going to affect how we live in the future. It will cause lack of food, energy sources, health risks, climate changes, drought etc. It is because of our growing population and the amount of people the world has to take care of for all of us to survive. We are also using too many of its resources too quickly. What could we do now to try to slow down the process of it happening? 

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Why Vikings Abandoned Colony in Greenland

Why Vikings Abandoned Colony in Greenland | Geography Education | Scoop.it
For years, researchers have puzzled over why Viking descendents abandoned Greenland in the late 15th century.
Seth Dixon's insight:

As the climate began to cool the diet of the Greenland settlers changed dramatically.  Originally their diets consisted of about 20-30% seafood, but as farming became nearly impossible on this increasingly marginal land, it jumped up to about 80%.  The economic livelihood of the settlements was in danger and the solution lay in a cultural transition, but one that they didn't want to make.  "They saw themselves as farmers and ranchers rather than fishermen and hunters...[and were] worried about the increasing loss of their Scandinavian identity."  In essence they abandoned Greenland in part because they chose not abandon their Viking heritage to embrace a culture that would have be more like that of the Inuits.  Cultural factors may have mattered more than economic limitations.

 

Tags: Greenland, folk culture, historical.

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James Good's comment, April 19, 2013 6:33 PM
It would make sense that the Vikings abandoned Greenland because they felt isolated from their mother country. There must have been a strong Scandanavian folk culture that the people of Greenland valued enough to make such a drastic movement. It is very likely that the people of Greenland cherished their home land and its culture. This culture was probably more exciting to them then the dismal life in the far north.

Once the demand for walrus tusks and seal skins decreased, there was really no need for the Vikings to stay in Greenland anyways. If they did not want to become farmers and take advantage of the potential farming land that Greenland had to offer, then there would be no benefit to staying there anyway.
Conor McCloskey's comment, April 30, 2013 10:25 AM
Humans have been exploring our planet for thousands of years. Settlements are established, and deemed successful or unsuccessful. The successful ones are still around today, however the unsuccessful one’s usually fall to the wayside and are forgotten. Many things can make a colony of human exploration unsuccessful, much like Viking colonies in Greenland. These colonies were abandoned and archeologists have search for the reasons why. Questions of the fertility of the land and available animals to hunt have been reasons that archeologists use to explain the colonial abandonment.
The push and pull factors of ancient Viking life are apparent through their migratory patterns. There are many possible reasons for the Vikings to have left this colony though archeologists are struggling to find just one. Food source seems to be a major reason why other colonies were abandoned, though seal meat does not seem to be at a shortage in this area. Ancient reason of migrating is similar to modern ones, however they are also very different. Globalization has changed the way humans live, the interconnectedness of the world has made living in places that could support life in ancient times possible.
Zakary Pereira's comment, April 30, 2013 5:11 PM
Of course they left, who would want to be basically stranded on Greenland away from any other civilization? Not me for sure. Plus, the lack of supplied they were receiving and tools it would have been near impossible to live and thrive in Greenland. They were also losing their identity; they were thinking of themselves more as farmers and ranchers rather than fishermen and hunters, their original identity as Scandinavians. Nonetheless it was imperative that they leave and head home because the colony in Greenland surely would have run dry and died out. If not for the overkilling of seals for food or the bone-chilling winters, I might theorize that they might stay in Greenland however that is not how history unfolded and it doesn’t surprise me that they left. Like James said, once their trade had virtually ceased, the outpost in Greenland was useless because they could be just living back home where you weren’t in extreme weather conditions and living off of seal meat.
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Drought Fuels Water War Between Texas and New Mexico

Drought Fuels Water War Between Texas and New Mexico | Geography Education | Scoop.it
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.
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Heather Ramsey's curator insight, February 11, 2013 2:46 PM

In our class we take an in-depth look at Colorado River issues, but it

Al Picozzi's comment, July 13, 2013 7:34 PM
Even in the US water supply can still be an issue.
Kate Makin's curator insight, October 10, 2013 7:23 AM

Social Impact

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Climate Change Video Guide

Climate Change Video Guide | Geography Education | Scoop.it
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. 


Tags: climate change, environmental adaption, economic, industry.

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Seth Dixon's comment, November 27, 2012 8:21 AM
Thanks for sharing this Giovanni!!
Giovanni Della Peruta's comment, November 27, 2012 8:38 AM
Thanks to you, Seth! :-)
Jose Sepulveda's comment, January 13, 2013 8:58 AM
Very good information, Thanks!
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Climate Change Music Video

A musical video that serves as investigation into the causes and effects of global climate change and our opportunities to use science to offset it. Featuring Bill Nye, David Attenborough, Richard Alley and Isaac Asimov. "Our Biggest Challenge" is the 16th episode of the Symphony of Science series.  Visit http://symphonyofscience.com for more science remixes!


Tags: climatechange, environment, K12.

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Victoria Morgia Jamolod-Umbo's comment, September 27, 2012 9:11 AM
I am from the Philippines, and the effect of global warming in our country is really sad. Flash floods, earthquakes, heavy rains.... wasted lives. I wish there could be a true solution to this problem.
Wanda Faye Bryant's curator insight, January 7, 4:51 PM

An interesting way to present the problem and solutions of rapid climate change to students.

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NASA animation of temperature data from 1880-2011

Tags: video, environmentvisualization, climatechange, environment modify

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The hunger wars in our future: Heat, drought, rising food costs, and global unrest

The hunger wars in our future: Heat, drought, rising food costs, and global unrest | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The physical effects of climate change will prove catastrophic. But the social effects -- food riots, state collapse, mass migrations, and conflicts of every sort -- could prove even more disruptiv...

 

This is an inflammatory article from an environmental organization that is speculative in nature (in other words, take it with a grain of salt).  Yet, this type of thinking about the future and thought exercises is worthy of our investigation.  What do you foresee in the future given the current conditions? 

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July 2012 Hottest Month Ever in U.S.

July 2012 Hottest Month Ever in U.S. | Geography Education | Scoop.it
By Climate Central's Michael D. Lemonick: July 2012 was officially not only the warmest July on record, but also the warmest month ever recorded for the lower 48 states, according to a report released Wednesday by scientists at the National Oceanic...

 

The drought footprint cover 63% of the contiguous states during the hottest month in American history.  It's the hottest 12 month stretch (August 2011-July 2012) on record for the lower 48, making it the fourth consecutive month to set a new record (i.e. old record was July 2011-June 2012).The biggest difference from other hot months is the nighttime temperature have been exceptionally high.  The most current drought monitor map can be found at the University of Nebraske website. 

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Drought impacting Agriculture & Economy

Drought impacting Agriculture & Economy | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Citing higher cheese prices, Colbert states it plainly:..."

 

Although in America today only about 2% of the workforce is involved in agriculture, crop cultivation is still tightly integrated within our economy affecting a much wider range of people and industries.  According to the US Department of Agriculture we our currently experiencing one of the worst droughts in our nation’s history rivaling the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s. On a national scale, prices in gas, meat, dairy and other products that depend on crops will likely increase. However, since the U.S is a major producer of crops such as wheat and corn, the global economic consequences of this will be felt around the world. How will an increase in food prices effect people in countries were a quarter or more of their income goes towards groceries? How will a decreasing agricultural yield effect economic and political stability around the world?  This is a humorous look at a very serious problem. 

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Roland Trudeau Jr.'s comment, July 30, 2012 11:48 AM
With fuel already a huge issue, now we will have the added costs of water shortage on our hands. It's an unfortunate deal, but cost is always passed on to the consumer. You can see it in many products today, smaller portion yet higher price. It shall be the same with anything in those regions effected by the drought.
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Watch the Earth Warm Since 1880

Watch the Earth Warm Since 1880 | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"It can be difficult to conceive of the long process that's led the world to having its nine hottest years on record all after 2000. That's why it's nice that NASA has generated this nifty animation, which shows temperature abnormalities for every month of the past 13 decades. Watch reddish warm zones spread over the globe as time rolls past, like a virulent fever covering the body of a sick host."


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Maldives

Maldives | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

The Maldives is a small country in the Indian Ocean composed of 1,200 islands.  Virtually every spot in this country is under 8 feet in elevation.  Pictured above is the capital of Malé, which has the largest population (explore these islands on a variety of scales).   


Questions to Ponder: What physical forces and processes account for the presence of these islands in the Ocean?  In a geological time scale, what does the future hold for these islands.  What would be the main economic assets of the Maldives?  What would be the main economic and environmental concerns of this country?


Tags: density, sustainability, economicenvironment, environment adaptclimate change, urban ecology.

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Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 11, 4:19 AM

The Maldives are an extremely interesting case of physical geography. They are made of coral and sands which the oceans have deposited on the coral skeleton of the islands. The ringed shape of the islands suggests there was once something in the center of the them which either receded into the ocean or eroded away leaving only the hardened coral rings behind.

 

Economically, the fairly unique nature of these tropical islands makes them an excellent tourist destination and Maldives has a significant tourist industry. Unfortunately, the unique physical geography of the islands makes them extremely vulnerable to tsunami and rising sea levels. If global warming raises the ocean levels a few feet, the majority of the islands will be flooded permanently.

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 3, 6:51 PM

Although they are a country that relies on tourism for their economy, they still limit the number of tourists in respect for the Muslim population of the islands. Unfortunately, geology of the islands puts them in danger of rising sea levels without much of a solution for protection.

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

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

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The Hottest Day On Record ... In Siberia?

The Hottest Day On Record ... In Siberia? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Did the Arctic region break a heat record?
Seth Dixon's insight:

The Siberian Times is reporting a record heatwave for towns such as Norilsk that are both North of the Artic Circle and built on permafrost.  While on the global scale the climatic shifts are quite alarming, there are many in Siberia that see global warming as a mixed bag.  In what some would have you believe is an unrelated news item, the North Pole is experiencing the formation of large meltwater ponds


Tags: physical, weather and climate, Arctic, climate change.

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Lauren Jacquez's curator insight, July 28, 2013 4:25 PM

Global warming...no...Siberia is supposed to be a cold dark place...according to my Dad!

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Melting Glaciers Transform Alpine Landscape

Melting Glaciers Transform Alpine Landscape | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Climate change is dramatically altering the Swiss Alps, where hundreds of bodies of water are being created by melting glaciers. Though the lakes can attract tourists and even generate electricity, local residents also fear catastrophic tidal waves.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Earth systems are inherently dynamic; however a change to system such as climate change can upset the system dramatically. 


Tags: climate change, water, physical, geomorphology, landforms.

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Magnus Gustafsson's curator insight, May 8, 2013 4:45 AM

What can we do learn of this? Will send this to my students.

Lorraine Chaffer's comment, July 4, 2013 10:36 PM
Inland water - management
Lorraine Chaffer's comment, July 4, 2013 10:36 PM
Climate change impacts
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Climate Change Infographic

Climate Change Infographic | Geography Education | Scoop.it
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Ignacio Conejo Moreno's curator insight, March 3, 2013 6:52 AM

Chungo futuro se nos presenta, si no cambiamos nuestros hábitos!

Emily Ross Cook's curator insight, March 4, 2013 8:44 AM

Humans must change their ways - what are some real life recommendations for changing?

mrjacquot's curator insight, March 6, 2013 8:48 PM

For all the doubters...

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Boundary conditions

Boundary conditions | Geography Education | Scoop.it
PULL a spring, let it go, and it will snap back into shape. Pull it further and yet further and it will go on springing back until, quite suddenly, it won't....

Via Joel Barker
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is an interesting article discussing the limits that the Earth's physical systems have and the importance not exceeding any tipping point that could destabilize the planet if we "overstrech the springs."

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Joel Barker's curator insight, February 10, 2013 11:56 AM

A useful discussion on limits of the planet

Angus Henderson's curator insight, February 11, 2013 11:49 AM

An interesting counter-balance to the work of the Planetary Boundaries group. 

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Energy Conservation

Energy Conservation | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Energy conservation starts at home....


This interesting National Geographic article emphasizes how consumption patterns in the home are connected to some of the serious global issues that we currently face.  This article becomes an exploration into how to go about creating a more environmentally sustainable home. 

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Teresa Gallego Navarro's curator insight, December 18, 2012 9:50 PM

The best energy is the one we don´t consumpt!!

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Climate Change, Disaster Mitigation and City Planning

TED Talks As Vicki Arroyo says, it's time to prepare our homes and cities for our changing climate, with its increased risk of flooding, drought and uncertainty.


Our major cities are suceptible to environmental catastrophes for a whole host of reasons.  Cities depend on a smooth of goods, money and services provided by infrastructure that we take for granted and assume will always work 24/7.  Presented in the video are some ideas about how we should rethink our cities with a different ecological paradigm to protect our cities more in the future. 


Tags: planning, urban ecology, environment adapt, sustainability.

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Denise Pacheco's curator insight, December 17, 2013 1:44 PM

Governements around the world are slowly but surely creating new plans to ensure the safety of the people. They have already worked on evacuation plans and tranportation for getting people out but, they also need to think about where would people go and how will they adapt to their new enviornment. I'm glad that some places started working on plans to build houses, highways, and churches at a higher elevation, but other countries also need help figuring this stuff out. They need a solution to better secure homes and lives. Everyone needs to work together to prepare for climate change and natural disasters, especially those places where are most likely to hit.

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Bounces in GPS signals reveal snow depth

Bounces in GPS signals reveal snow depth | Geography Education | Scoop.it
UNAVCO, a non-profit university-governed consortium, facilitates geoscience research and education using geodesy.


"Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research have been using what is typically considered an error in the GPS signal to measure snow depth around GPS receivers. A GPS receiver records both direct and reflected signals from a satellite. A reflected signal bounces off of whatever is around the GPS station before being recorded, and therefore can contain information about the ground surface close to the station.

Traditionally snow depth has been measured by hand. In other words, someone had to go out with a measuring stick to whatever location they were interested in.  GPS snow depth measurements solve both of these problems: once a GPS unit is installed, it can function on its own throughout the winter, and will make a measurement every two hours, which is then averaged for a daily position, or in this case, snow depth."


Tags: GPS, climatechange, water, technology,

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Food shortages could force world into vegetarianism, warn scientists

Food shortages could force world into vegetarianism, warn scientists | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Water scarcity's effect on food production means radical steps will be needed to feed population expected to reach 9bn by 2050...

 

This article represents a good example of neo-Malthusian ideas concerning population growth and food production.  The recent drought and subsequent food shortage/spike in global food prices has renewed interest in these ideas.

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Charles M's comment, August 27, 2012 11:00 AM
Being a vegetarian is a lifestyle that not many people wish to embrace. People are looked down upon for being a vegetarian. In reality, as a vegetarian the food is incredible and the feeling after you eat food is drastic compared to a meat eater. As a vegetarian you think more abou what you are putting into your mouth, and eventually body.
Lim Jun Heng's curator insight, February 1, 2013 7:46 AM

From this article I can tell that the lack of water is getting more and more out of hand, affecting our food supply. It will not be a surprise for humans to become vegetarians as the lack of meat is apparent. Having a vegetarian diet is the only way for us human to have enough water for our own consumption. , I think it is not that bad to be a vegetarian, after all vegetarian leads a healthier lifestyle compared to people who always eat meat. Vegetables are good for our health after all. This makes me wonder, considering our lack of water and food supply, what will happen if people refuse to co-operate? And continues to waste resources, will we really be the cause of our own extinction? 

Mr Ortloff's curator insight, October 10, 2013 11:20 AM

Neo-Malthusian thought......

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Extreme Weather and Drought Are Here to Stay

Extreme Weather and Drought Are Here to Stay | Geography Education | Scoop.it
It is increasingly clear that we already live in the era of human-induced climate change, with unprecedented weather and climate extremes.

 

I don't delight in sharing the bad news.  So is this drought just a freak anomaly or a sign of a new normal?

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Seth Dixon's comment, August 13, 2012 2:28 PM
The graphic was not connected to the article. It was linked on a PBS facebook page and I linked the juxtaposition of the graphic and the NY Times article. Here is the FB page: https://www.facebook.com/EarthTheOperatorsManual.Page Personally, an entire century as a baseline of comparison does not feel like cherrypicking data. True the Earth is an incredibly complex system that controlling for all variables is in essence impossible, but denying that the system has changed seems foolish to me. Why has the system changed? I'm okay with that being a reasonable debate worthy of academics.
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Dramatic Greenland Ice Melt

Scientists capture dramatic footage of Arctic glaciers melting in hours Scientists have captured dramatic footage of massive lakes in the Arctic melting away...

 

An amazingly extreme place that is far removed from inhabited regions of our planet, but still heavily impacted by people nonetheless.  

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Josue Maroquin's comment, August 12, 2013 10:10 PM
It shows us how humanity impacts the planet wherever we are