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The railroad industry is eager to be the go-to oil shipper, but some worry it's moving too fast.
Many hoping to stop environmental degradation of Canada's Tar Sands and the Dakotas "Kuwait on the Prairie" have opposed the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. It's been decades since crude oil has been shipped by rail in the United States but fracking technologies have opened up areas without oil pipelines to become major producers. As demonstrated in this NPR podcast, the railroad industry has seized on this vacuum and since 2009 has been supplying the oil industry the means to get their product to the market.
Tags: transportation, industry, economic, energy, resources, environment, environment modify.
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The idea of using trains instead of oil pipelines in the North Dakota regions is smart, over the idea of the time and energy it takes to transport oil through pipes. Big industry always causes parts of the enviornment to suffer but the lesser of the evils must be chosen. In the area of shipping oil on trains it is the sandy prarie like areas that can suffer physically. With oil business fracking has also been a big issue were rocks deep beneath the ground are broken up to release oil up to the surface. Yes this brings companies lots of money, but causes harm to homes, leaking oil, causing explosions and even earthquakes. This can be tricky especially when these kinds of companies are supported by the federal government
"Forward on climate?" This news is backwards and at least 40,000 people who attended "Forward on Climate" rallies throughout our nation in February 2013 will continue to question, protest peacefully, and convince others that we MUST reduce our dependence on oil no matter how it is transported!
As steel and rail built this county, oil and rail will rebuild it.
This paper-puppet animation celebrates the life of Alfred Russel Wallace, who is co-credited with Charles Darwin for the theory of natural selection. Read the story here: http://nyti.ms/1fhBbGw
Some of the greatest discoveries in biology began as spatial discoveries. Alfred Russel Wallace made some amazing advances in biogeography and discovered the appropriately named Wallace Line.
Tags: biogeography, environment, ecology, historical.
A sweet animation of the wonderful Alfred Russel Wallace, the oft unaknowledged simualtaneous discoverer of evolutionary mechanisms.
The news from the Philippines, where it's feared that last week’s powerful Typhoon Haiyan killed more than 10,000 people, isn’t getting better as hundreds of thousands of people struggle to survive and authorities struggle to get help to them.
"Its absolute bedlam right now," says Richard Gordon, head of the Philippine Red Cross. “There's an awful lot of casualties, a lot of people dead all over the place, a lot of destruction.”
According to the BBC, a huge international relief effort is underway, but rescue workers have struggled to reach some towns and villages cut off since the storm.
Tags: physical, environment, water, disasters, Philippines.
Just the remoteness of the area is going to hinder the relief efforts. Even though the supplies are getting through it is getting through to the areas that need it the most is the problem. When the infrastructure is not that good to begin with, the damage done by this kind of disaster is multiplied. Look at New Orleans when Katrina hit. It still took days for relief and just water to get where it was needed. Imagine what that would have been like if the infrastructure was like like that of the Philippines. The country is overwhelmed by this disaster and needs the help. Its getting it but the problem still exists of how to distrbute it now that it is there. Makes you wonder if Subic Bay was still open as a US military base if it would have made it easier. Sometimes having a military base is not a bad thing.
Even though the death toll resulting from Typhoon Haiyan is around 1,000, it is expected to reach 10,000. International aid will hopefully help cities such as Tacloban City recover from this storm.
This is insane. It has affected millions of people and and even killed people. Its good that so many people are going to help though.
"Submarine canyons were identified by the pre-SONAR mappers, but it wasn’t until this technological advancement that we realized how common a feature they are. We now know that there are hundreds (perhaps thousands depending on your definition) of submarine canyons incising into continental shelves and slopes all over Earth."
Tags: physical, environment, water, geomorphology, erosion, landforms.
submarine canyons are a natural underwater phenomenon with no clear explainable cause. They are located in parts of the world sush as New Zealand and off the coast of Santa Monica california. These canyons at the bottom of the ocean may have been ancient rivers from before prehistoric times, and the erosion and subduction of the tectonic plates over millions of years leave the remains of channels of rivers from the past. Another theory is that they are caused by water forces that caused the sea bed to erode and make way for an actuall canyon. With the use of Sonar technology we are still discovering phenomons of the submarine world as sciene progresses. These canyons are common and are found all over the Earth and give is an understanding of what the world may have looked like long ago.
BOULDER, Colo. -- National Guard helicopters were able to survey parts of Highway 34 along the Big Thompson River Saturday. Here are some images of the destruction along the roadway.
This photo gallery would be stunningly gorgeous if it weren't horrifically terrifying. When the landscape changes this dramatically in a short time span, watch out. See another photo gallery here, but this gallery from the Boston Globe, shows a more humanistic side of the story.
Tags: physical, environment, water, disasters, geomorphology, erosion, images.
CD 4: The human causes and effects of landscape degradation
By looking at these pictures you can see that the water just completely ruined this road. The road sunk in and collapsed as well. Will this road ever be safe to drive on again if it gets fixed?
It's scary to see that nature can destroy a highway the way Big Thompson River did. The rapid strength of this river destoryed the highway and caused mudslides everywhere. Homes were also affected by this flood of the river. They were shifted to different sides of the raid and completely flooded. Had these homes been up to code and built correctly it could have preventd some of the damage done to the home. Also the river and mudlsides completely took over the roads and neighborhoods.
Where in the United States is fracking unlocking natural gas from shale rock?
New to the APHG course content is term political ecology. Briefly, the Political Ecology Society defines it as the study of the political and economic principles controlling the relations of human beings to one another and to the environment. Anytime people are managing the environment in a way that is politically contentious (such as fracking in the USA), that topic can be analyzed using political ecology.
Tags: political ecology, fracking, energy, resources, environment, environment modify.
Many communities are fighting fracking. In Texas a man sued oil company and the oil company lost so they conter sued the man for defamation. Parts of Colorado have recently passed laws to keep fracking out of their communities.
In class we studied "fracking," or the fracturing of shale deep in the Earth with blasts of fluid, which produces a harvestable oil yield and much pollution to aquifers in the area. I live at a house sometimes, where the water is rusty- and it really prevents me from doing much of anything with the water. I can't cook with it, I can't shower in it, I can't drink it, I have to use bottled water to even brush my teeth because the simple rust content is so vile. I cannot even imagine what the industrial acid- hydrochloric acid, as well as other contaminants in the water- would do to the water someone relies on... I think of situations where neighbors trees are dangling over someone else's property, and how branches may be required to be cut down because of their interference with neighboring property, and I would hope that something can be done about protection of aquifers, along the same times... If there is something negative or unwanted affecting someone's water, something really should be done about it. Knowing that there are negative consequences that come along with fracking, I really can't fathom why people do it! I live in a protected watershed area in Scituate that does not allow development of any kind on one side of the road because of the Scituate Reservoir. People are not allowed in the Reservoir Property at all, let alone not allowed to dump waste or cause any sort of harm to the environment, because a huge portion of the state of RI gets their water from that reservoir. I am not an absolute tree-hugger, but I also don't think that such problematic activites should be 'stirred up' in areas that affect something that humans rely on and need to survive. While I see that I am not affected by these shale fracking ops as are indicated on the map, I also DO care about the peope in those areas! Why should they be subjected to such putrification of their water resources? I am once again perplexed by the darkness of humanity.
This was a very interesting topic to read about, its clear the issue of fracking has so many cracks to it(haha). While whats occuring is completly unnatural, the economic forces behind it are clear, this is a big way to help give amercans cheeper gas. However the effects it has locally are increadibly destuctive and will likely have futher consiquences as fracking continues. I noticed by looking at this map that policialy it seem like fracking is occuring in the red states, seems they want to use there land for the resouces even though it might destroy. While politicaly librals want to protect there enviorments of there blue states. This really adds anouther levle to it and how the placment of these new gas companys is panning out arcosss america.
"170 Years of the World’s Hurricane Tracks on One Dark and Stormy Map."
What physical forces create hurricanes? What spatial patterns are evident? How does this map impact settlement patterns or hazard mitigation efforts?
Tags: physical, disasters, environment.
Hurricanes are most frequent in the late summer early fall season. This is because the air and water are mixing cold and hot temperatures and this is what forms the hurricanes to happen. This map does show that the most often hurricanes are near India and China etc.
By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM DECLINE IN OCEAN FISHERIES The world may be running out of places to catch wild fish.
I recently posted a New York Times video about the rapid rise in industrial fishing and the production of Talapia. Even with the rise of aquaculture as a major source of seafood, the world's oceans are still depleted. As the world's population rises, many folk cultures with their roots in small fishing villages have transformed into primarily urban societies, but these urban societies still have a strong cultural preference for seafood and consume at levels that are not sustainable.
Tags: environment modify, folk cultures, consumption, water, physical.
Overtime as the population has increased you can see on the map that areas have been over fished. This has caused people to move near the water to fish and it has created some jobs for them. This could be bad becuase as the population increases the fish will decrease due to the over fishing.
While the world may be running out of wild fish to catch in ocean, restaurants and markets are not. Actually they are constantly being delivered fresh fish everyday from local fisheries. Had these fisheries never existed restaurants and markets would not be able to provide fish to their customers weekly. The downside to these fish farms are the chemicals inserted into these fish. These fish farmers are making their own fish by entering chemiclas into them to continure a mass production every week/month. This article states "that our underlying persuit of seafood in the North Atlantic and Western Pacific has left only unproductive waters of the high seas and reletivaly inaccessible waters in the Arctic and Antarctic as the last remaining "frontiers" for commercial fishing." While it's nice to have fish farms to continue the repoduction of fish, having fresh fish from the ocean that do not contain chemicals is better. Also it keeps the commerical fishers in business.
........"Linking the Chinese pollution data to mortality statistics from 1991 to 2000, the researchers found a sharp difference in mortality rates on either side of the border formed by the Huai River. They also found the variation to be attributable to cardiorespiratory illness, and not to other causes of death."
High levels of air pollution in northern China – much of it caused by an over-reliance on burning coal for heat – will cause 500 million people to lose an aggregate 2.5 billion years from their lives, the authors predict in the study, published in the journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Also read this compilation of articles and resources to get a sense of how bad the pollution is is China.
les chemins de la puissance: la Chine, les revers de la croissance économique chinoise.
Estudios sobre los graves efectos de la polución en la salud pública china
We talked in class about how certain poor working conditions or pollution emissions are permissible in countries whose laws allow for such situations, and how countries like the US arrange for certain work to be done in those countries. This 'work' stuff all centers around an ever-necessary "profit" that exists as a carrot being dangled in front of a horse as it runs all of its life, blinded to everything else. It is almost cartoonish, that for a percentage increase in profit due to minimalized expenses, a moral businessman might yield and give in to the temptation of exposing workers to dangerous conditions... or that all businesses might do the same thing... It is socially dangerous; a hazard like bullying, or cheating, using others as human shields to collect the damage while someone else collects the benefits. I don't think that any life form should be exposed to such unfairness, because it just does not resonate with my philosophical consciousness that any individual should have a better life than another (or worse). And why make it worse for someone? Why pollute their areas? Why steal their natural resources? Why... Capitalism at all? I do not think greed is innate to human nature, because selflessness does occur, and is often leaned towards in conventional modern morality/ethics. I think that the vicious cycle that capitalism puts us in causes us to self-servingly run around like angry rats trying to feed ourselves, which causes us to take out risks on other people, and polluting other people's living space. It really is sad, because this planet is alive... there is so much life on this planet, assumedly and debateably from this planet, this planet that we consider our home. To be killing ourselves by not keeping our home clean and healthy is like a very bad habit- it's like smoking. And it is taking a toll on the planet, as well as its inhabitants
This interactive feature includes before and after satellite imagery of Moore, Oklahoma. With the remarkably desvasting tornado that hit this week, this is an user-friendly way to compare before and after images by using the swipe function.
Tags: remote sensing, disasters, environment, geospatial, esri.
This would be great to teach the power of tornadoes for Science!
En cas de catatrophe naturelle, les sociétés d'imagerie satellitaire mettent à la disposition du public leurs images. Ici deux images sont superposées et un volet permet de constater l'étendue des dégâts. A remarquer le fait que la tornade suit une trajectoire précise épargnant certains lieux tout proches.
Example of the "Swipe" pattern
Portions of the High Plains Aquifer are rapidly being depleted by farmers who are pumping too much water to irrigate their crops, particularly in the southern half in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Levels have declined up to 242 feet in some areas, from predevelopment — before substantial groundwater irrigation began — to 2011.
The article connected to this map from the New York Times can be found here. "Two years of extreme drought, during which farmers relied almost completely on groundwater, have brought the seriousness of the problem home. In 2011 and 2012, the Kansas Geological Survey reports, the average water level in the state’s portion of the aquifer dropped 4.25 feet — nearly a third of the total decline since 1996."
Tags: water, agriculture, environment, consumption, resources, environment depend.
The recent PBS special on the Dust Bowl also addressed this current problem and how some American farmers are not learning from past mistakes.
Really helpful information. Thank you. I had been wondering about this.Students should have an awareness of the water problems we have , and of various groundwater problems. Thank you.
"Dust blows from what was once the Aral Sea floor. Tragic mismanagement of a natural resource."
The collapse of the Aral Sea ecosystem is (arguably) the worst man-made environmental disaster of the 20th century and 21st century has seen the continuation of the desertification set in motion. 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. Compare the differences with some historical images of the Aral Sea on Google Earth or on ArcGIS Online (also see this article from GeoCurrents)
Tags: environment, Central Asia, environment modify.
This image taken from the International Space Station is just one of hundreds taken by @Cmdr_Hadfield that can be used in the geography classroom. See image gallery http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/default.asp
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.
Some tangible ways that climate change can impact us in the future:
Tags: climate change, environment, environment adapt, sustainability. National Geographic.
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?
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/
Island biogeography operates on different principles than we see on the continents. Soem extraordinary creatures such as the komodo dragon and thylacine can be found in isolated places removed interactions with more generalist species. Alfred Russel Wallace made some extraordinary discoveries combining biology and spatial thinking.
Island biogeography is pertinent today since habitat fragmentation (from urbanization and argicultural land uses) has rendered 'islands' out of the wilderness that isn't being used by humanity. Some animals such as the cougar are locally extinct from their historic ranges (extirpation).
Tags: biogeography, environment, ecology, Australia, Oceania.
... Part I, island biogeography in a World Regional context..
....Part II, why island biogeography matters in places that aren't on islands.
I really could see the idea of island biogeography when looking at islands and the ocean and how they species could develop that way. Until I saw this video I do not think I could have made that cross over to continents. Now I do see it. If we build something across an open plain it will effect how species roam the area. I remeber seeing pictures of the Alaskan pipeline raised in certain area and could not until now figure out why. Now I know it was done, at least partly for, environmental reasons. So animals could still travel under it in order to move about. If not Alaska would have been cut in half and prevented the animals form moving across the pipeline. So as nature effected the developement of species with the rising and falling of ocean levels and islands, human effect the developmentof species with roads, farms and cities to name just a few.
I find the island biogeography to be really awesome because it's as if the small South Pacific islands are a completely separate world in terms of the creatures that live in the isolated environments. Growing up, the idea of the Komodo Dragon was terrifying and amazing because lizards are just supposed to be little, ugly reptiles and the existence of one large enough to eat us and named after the beasts in fairytales was fascinating. In Rhode Island, there isn't much in terms of exotic wildlife but even the species throughtout the rest of the U.S. don't completely compare to the rare creatures on the islands that have adapted to the conditions of living on small pieces of land.
The land bridge is something I don't recall ever hearing of before and the way that it influences the animals' evolution and expansion is fascinating. I think of it in terms of humans because when immigrants cross seas to go to different countries, they are forced to adapt and they're families evolve differently than they would have in their homeland. The land bridge provided similar challenges for the marsupials and reptiles that are/were located on the secluded islands.
Once again, I also find myself extremely annoyed with man's habit of killing off rare species for the selfish reasons of owning land and not being hunted by the animals whose land they've encroached upon.
Typhoon Haiyan was enormous and hit a 400-mile swath on the Philippines. The Philippines is a single country, but it is composed of over 7,000 islands; hundreds of islands are in need of relief aid, if not more. The islands are in an archipelago which naturally fragments the land mass and isolates the residents making transportation, utilities and communications logistically difficult even in the best of times. If the first few days after the typhoon, supply chains were cut off and many desperate people looted the sparse food resources available. The necessities to sustain life—food, water, shelter, medication and basic sanitation—are the all major concerns in the aftermath of the typhoon.
While the police are saying that order is being restored, the effects of flooding pollute water resources and increase the spread of infectious diseases because of the poor sanitation. The Philippines is gripping for an impending medical crisis from the spread of diseases in addition to the medical trauma that people suffered during the actual typhoon. Richard Brennen of the World Health Organization (WHO) believes that these geographic difficulties make the relief efforts in the Philippines more difficult than the 2010 relief efforts to help Haiti after the massive earthquake.
Tags: water, disasters, Philippines, medical, development, diffusion.
Whenever there is a natural disater there is always trouble to get enough resources and aid to help the particular place who was hit with the disaster. Typically places who are hit with such disasters get immediate aid to try and help the victims as well as restore the area effected. However you never think about the geography of a place in means of getting aid there. We think of geography in the sense of it is not surprising such a distaster occured there, but not in a sense of can we get aid there. That is exactly what is being thought of about the Phillipeans. There is a lot of thought going into how aid can get there. People need water, sanitary conditions, food, and medical assistance. Not only do they need it, but they need it fast because the situation is getting worse. However there is no real way of getting it there. There location is making things extremely difficult to get that. Airports a such down, no way to get things there by sea on a good day, and their communication systems are down. The location of where these people live can potential kill them. You tend to think about location as a cultural sense, but location can also effect a person's well being. It is amazing how much location of where you live effects a person. Hopefully there will be things done soon to try and help the people in the phillipeans before things get even worse than they already are.
Access to this area is inhibited due to massive devastation, and there was a LOT of damage done. These people have needs, and it seems that due to the large geographic spread, it would be near impossible to get these people what they need. I think if our world revolved less around mandated activity- school, work (specifically the low level jobs that we don't NEED in our society), etc.- that more people could be freed up to help proactively come up with solutions to potential devastation, and groups could be formed, equipped, and trained to deal with whatever Nature could throw at people. If people didn't work at McDonalds, and they DID work at some sort of international rescue agency, doing all the research on all areas of the world ahead of time, the solutions to these problems (and even prevention) could be at hand within a month of a global task force's initiation into the activity. I know some Americans think that they need workers at McDonalds, but really... They could be working for something larger than the government- the entire human race. I'm sure people would be willing to fund such an agency (not just some limited range minimal UN task force, but rather a world-wide formally designated occupation), and I'm equally sure that people would rather work there than flipping burgers and changing french fry oil. I don't think that the current relief programs are enough to help people in such situations of tragedy as those that were relied on to take care of the issue in the Phillipines, and I think a simple restructuring of society (our society) would yield a greater level of concern and involvement in the welfare of others, as well as greater aid to the species. Who knows, perhaps one of the people that we could save in the Phillipines is a person who goes on to change the world- an inventor of something new, a holy or political leader, or the scientist that cures cancer? All this could be made to matter to us more if society were tweaked, even slightly, just to allow people to want to help others.
This is a devastating time for the people of the Philippines. All they have to worry about is staying alive and being close to there family members. Help is on the way. Everyone in the world should pitch in and try to help them in anyway they can. But what I would like to find out is why this has happen when it has not before in this country. This country I have not seen in the news before this big devastation had happened. I am also curious to find out how come the help aid is taking so long to arrive when people are dying because they have no food available for them because it has been destroyed or it is trapped under all the debris from all the buildings that have collapsed because they were not structured properly. this situation is a repeat of hurricane Katrina in the united states were all the house were not hurricane proof and were built in places known for disaster.
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, economic, environment, environment adapt, climate change, urban ecology.
The Maldives is an interesting country located in the Indian Ocean. It was not originally made up of the 1200 islands that it has now. Many of those islands are uninhabited and miniscule on a map. The country is dominated by tourism which is important for the country. What is also important to the country is its geographical future. Many of the islands might vanish in years to come because of rising sea levels. New islands can form as well as so many already have. The future of this country merely relies on what is happening underwater.
The photos we viewed in class have inspired me to add this to the list of places to visit over the course of my lifetime. The accomplishment of building up such a small piece of land on this scale is somewhat rare and often reserved for megacities on the larger continents.
Maldives might be hard to keep for many years due to the fact that it is in the middle of the ocean. Eventually overtime the waves would ruin whatever is on that land. It does not seem like a pratical place to live.
Venice is sinking--no news there. Some of the sinking is natural based on the geomorphological processes on being in a lagoon and some is based on how people have modified the physical landscape. The GREEN on the map represents restoration efforts to stabilize the city while the RED indicates that human-caused activities have produced sinking. Additionally in this new study, researchers have used remote sensing data to differentiate between the anthropogenic sinking (human-caused sinking) and the natural sinking in Venice. This city is a perfect example of the three major types of human and environmental interactions [we 1) depend on the environment, 2) adapt to the environment and 3) modify the environment] and shows the issues associated with these interactions. Click here for a hi-res image of Venice and to see why I love the city.
Tags: remote sensing, geospatial, physical, environment, geomorphology, erosion, environment modify.
It is interesting to know that Venice is sure to sink but not anytime close to our lifetime. Our children may see a very different Venice because of Structural errosian. There should be more preicse research done as some researchers believe that the complete destruction will happen sooner than later. one of the finding says that Venice is siking 7.8 inches every one hundred years. and another finding says that it will be gone within one generation. I think that it is important to visit nenice sooner than later because we really do not know whats going to happen. I beleive that restoration should be high on the list for preserevation of this beautiful water filled city. I want to be able to enjoy a romantic evening with my wife there.
This detailed account of the problems faced by the people, and city, of Venice is a great account of the idea of Human Environment Interaction that is central to Human Geography. Human actions are causing the city to sink while more human actions are attempting to raise the city out of the water.
It is no surprise to anyone that one day the beautiful city of Venice will one day be completely submerged under water. However looking at this map makes it hopeful that the process may be slowed down or even stopped! Looking at the map the green boxes represent the parts of Venice that have been uplifted, while the red boxes represent the parts that are sinking. What was surprising was that there appeared to be more green boxes on the map than red. Most of the boxes, both green and red, are along the coastline. I would think since most of the damage is along the coast line it would be a little easier to try and uplift. Hopefully the green boxes can make up for the red boxes in order to keep Venice from continually sinking. With these advances who knows where we will be in even another twenty years. We may be able to continue to uplift Venice to prevent it from submerging under water. It appears that the city is making progress in this process from the data given in the map.
"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."
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.
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.
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?
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.
"Water is an essential theme in social studies, science, and geography. Whether teaching about natural or human systems, water is part of the story. This course, framed around California's Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI), focuses on ocean and freshwater topics and strategies for teaching environmental topics in Grades 4-8. Resources and support are provided for how to use EEI to implement Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy."
This new MOOC on water resources in California is project supported by National Geographic Education and Annenberg Learner. This is a course is designed to span the disciplines and create an awareness in students about environmental issues that impact them.
Tags: consumption, California, water, environment, resources, environment depend.
Starts in October.
I find this video very informative because I didn’t know, that they have this type of course. I feel this course should be teach in every classroom around the United States, because is not only the adult that needs to learn how to protect the environment. We also need to educate our children because they are the future of America. I think that by taking this class people will learn which places have the more environmental problem, and by becoming more aware of the issue , we all together will find the solution.
"Hydraulic fracturing, or 'fracking', is the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas inside."
This website, Dangers of Fracking, is clearly not produced by the oil industry. What I enjoy about this resource is that as you scroll down, it adds more context to the environmental issues and geographic factors. This type of website promotes holistic thinking and an interdisciplinary approach to complex problems. Why am I leery of the fracking companies and what they say? This is why.
Tags: energy, resources, environment, environment modify, ecology.
Fracking is happening in some peoples backyards and it is effecting how they live. People are directly in this unhealthy atmosphere. It is causing bad things to happen to peoples health. It is especially ruining their water which is needed to cook, drink, and clean. Water is needed in our everyday lives to survive and fracking is contaminating their water.
On July 18, 2013, a fierce wildfire threatened Palm Springs, California.
In a dry climate where urban expansion gets closer to dry brush, wild fires become a major summer hazard.
Tags: remote sensing, images, environment, land use, disasters, biogeography.
I think this shows that the weather has entered into a world of extremes of very hot or very cold, wet or dry and not to much of regular seasonal changes of the past typical patterns.
It shows that with general warmer ocean temps, has lead to this new type of weather patterns resulting from global warming.
Rising waters spilled onto flood plains and into cities across Germany. Central Europe has endured its worst flooding since medieval times.
If you having been following the news lately, central European countries such as Germany and Poland are experiencing major flooding right now. Compare this image above to one where the Elbe isn't flooding and you'll quickly be able to visualize extent of the flooding.
Tags: Germany, remote sensing, disasters, environment, geospatial.
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
This is an interesting article and the concepts in it were recently echoed by Thomas Friedman in the New York Times; some seem the linkages that he is making between population growth and drought with war and conflict as being environmentally deterministic while others think that it is appropriately taking the geographic factors into consideration. Conflicts over water can erupt, but how much of the conflict can be attributed these factors? What do you think?
Tags: Syria, MiddleEast, conflict, political, water, environment,
In this article Professor Arnon Sofer begins to make the link between the conflicts in Syria and all other middle eastern countries with high birth rate and drought. Over the last 60 years the middle easts population has doubled but their water supply has not in fact it is 85% desert and Turkey has siezed much of the water that flowed into Syria. Many people have begun digging illegal water wells pushing the water table even lower and civil wars throughout Syria have broken out in the areas hit hardest by drought.
Seems that water, not oil, might be the cheif source of conflict in North Africa, the Middle East, and Africa in general in the near future. Water, like food, is the most basic resource we need to survive. If that is cut off people as well as nations are more likely to go war over water, since we know they will over oil. The climate change is more than just rising water on coast lines, it effects the water supply of nations and regions that have issues getting fresh water even without the climate change. Seems we have to solve the water problem, as well as the oil problem now.
It is a very interesting article, I can see why the lack of water can affect they way a country behave. Water is not a luxury is necessity. But some people might argue that the lack of water isn’t is a big factor on why Syria has all this problems. I do feel that any country with environmental problem, is a country that shows that they are not being taking care off properly. And when a population feels that they are not receiving such essential resource like water, the country start feeling neglected and that’s when people start complaining and problems start to happened
Exclusive timelapse: See climate change, deforestation and urban sprawl unfold as Earth evolves over 30 years.
This interactive feature includes various places that have experienced rapid environmental change in the last few decades. This is a simple way to show the power of remotely sensed data as well as massive environmental impact of rapid urbanization and globalization.
Tags: remote sensing, land use, environment, geospatial, environment modify, urban ecology.
Very useful visual tool for exploring patterns of change
The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race pushes participants to the brink on an unforgiving trek to the end of the world. And, as one writer who tracked the race by air discovers, that is exactly the point.
The Iditarod is as much about conquering the physical environment and harsh climates as any sporting event in the world. This article about this famous Alaskan race also has a unique geo-visualization component to it that is worth exploring--it has a map showing where the action takes place in the article and as the reader scrolls through the article, the map changes and it highlights the progression along the trail.
Tags: physical, weather and climate, sport, Arctic, visualization.