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In New Hampshire they are doing great work to make mapping data useful in the classroom. This site is one that they use to show how students can map locally relevant data from an online data set. CoCoRaHS (Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network) is a crowd-sourced network that gathers North American precipitation data. The data (especially the total precipitation summary) can be easily copied into as spread sheet and saved as a CSV file (which can be uploaded to ArcGIS online).
Tags: mapping, CSV, water, GIS, ESRI, geography education, geospatial, edtech.
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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.
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.
Amazing to see that mother nature can and will destroy just about anything that we can build. We know where there are flood plains and we know that flooding will occur. What we might not know, fail to see, or just completely ignore, is how devestating these floods can become. It seems to be a cost benefit analysis. Cheaper to build and rebuild rather than building somewhere else maybe?? Does it seem to make sense? Why are they still ancient Roman works still standing, and in use today? Did they just build it better or did they just build in the right location??
Looking at these photos reminded me of the video that we watched in class where water was rushing under a road and within minutes the road started to fall apart and eventually ended up completely divided in half. It is amazing how quickly the water can erode what is underneath and cause such damage to the road and area around it. Looking through the pictures it almost makes you nervous to drive on such a rode again because it all happens so quickly. It goes to show you just how powerful that water is to cause destruction like that. It is not easy to destroy a road like that. Again it goes back to the goegraphy. This type of thing doesn't just happen everywhere. Having a river like this presents the possibilities of something like this happening. Once is starts eroding it happens quick. A road that may look driveable one minute may be completely eroded 5 minutes later. It is amazing how a rush of water can cause such damage. Even if there are set systems to get the water through, sometimes the water rush is too powerful and breaks through and erodes the earth underneath anyway like we saw in the video in class. I have never seen anything like these picture before, and it really is amazing to see what can happen.
CD 4: The human causes and effects of landscape degradation
"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.
"Flooding caused by some of the Philippines' heaviest rains on record submerged more than half the capital Tuesday, turning roads into rivers and trapping tens of thousands of people in homes and shelters. The government suspended all work except rescues and disaster response for a second day."
See what the Church of Geography says about the monsoons that caused this massive flooding and how the movement of the ITCZ (Intertropical Convergence Zone) put the Philippines right in warms way.
Tags: physical, water, disasters, geomorphology, Philippines.
Good case study on flooding in LEDC
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.
This really shows how the worlds oceans are being fished out and something has to be done about it before this map even worse.
I think more pressure has to be put in places like the UN on the guilty countries to slow fishing down around the world.
Useful for consideration of Fish as a resource in the topic Natural Resource Use in Global Challenges.
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
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.
News 8 chief photojournalist Kevyn Fowler captured a road collapsing in Freeport, Maine during a storm.
The forces of erosion are usually slow and gradual, wearing away at landforms over the course of years. This video show the quick and dynamic factor that erosion can be...this is easily the most compelling 3-minute video about a single patch of road that I've ever seen.
Tags: physical, water, disasters, geomorphology, erosion.
Another reason why you shouldn't drive on flooded roads. Amazing how quickly this road went from looking fine to having a gaping hole in it.
Very interesting view of the forces of erosion. This would make a good addition to any science discussion that covers erosion and the forces of nature on the land.
Erosion in Action | @scoopit via @APHumanGeog http://sco.lt/...
For years, China claimed to hold an estimated 50000 rivers within its borders. Now, more than half of them have abruptly vanished.
More good news from China.
An arid region grew even drier between 2003 and 2009 due to human consumption of water for drinking and agriculture.
As drought conditions have hit the Middle East, growing populations are using more water per capita then ever. See this on Google Earth with this KMZ file.
Tags: water, environment, consumption, resources, environment depend, Middle East, Iraq.
Great Google Earth resources looking at the shrinking of water storage in the Middle East. Critical reading for our water unit and a superb example of how powerful imaging like Google Earth can be.
What we don't learn from the past is bound to repeat itself-over and over again.
Year 10 - Inland water
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.
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.
"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.
"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.
"The incredible fractal pattern rivers (now dried out) were made as they spread into the salt flats of the arid Baja California Desert in Mexico."
Who says teaching about geomorphology has to be boring? This image of a dendritic drainage pattern beautifully shows the most common spatial configuration. What makes this pattern emerge here?
Great image for drainge patterns in biophysical geography.
Describes drainage patterns in Baja California in Mexico.
" A new online tool released by the Department of the Interior this week allows users to select any major stream and trace it up to its sources or down to its watershed. The above map, exported from the tool, highlights all the major tributaries that feed into the Mississippi River, illustrating the river’s huge catchment area of approximately 1.15 million square miles, or 37 percent of the land area of the continental U.S. Use the tool to see where the streams around you are getting their water (and pollution)."
This is a fantastic teaching image, especially if you teach within the Mississippi River Basin. However, my main purpose in showing this image is to demonstrate the potential of the National Atlas' new Streamer application. Streamer is a new way to visualize and understand water flow across the United States. With Streamer you can explore major streams by tracing upstream to their source or downstream to where they empty. A watershed is a critically important region and many have little idea about how they are connected to other places within a watershed; this tool ccan help alleviate some of those problems.
Tags: water, mapping, USA, regions.
INland water environments
Land use is different around Mississippi River basin.
The U.S. is often thought of as a nation connected by roads—since the 1960s the Interstate Highway has defined American culture and led to untold economic prosperity. But a new map of the nation’s rivers tells a very different story.
Tags: water, mapping, USA.
Seriously, I could stare at this map all day. It is REALLY cool. I'm thinking of all kinds of discussion it could bring to the classroom!
Seeing this map really shows why almost all places in the U.S. have been inhabited before the industrial era.
"Many of us tend to think of Antarctica as a sheet of solid snow and ice. But, in contrast with its peer to the north, the southern pole's ice sheet lies atop a rocky continent. What are its features, its mountains and valleys, plains and coastlines?
A new dataset from the British Antarctic Survey provides the most detailed map ever of the bedrock below, information scientists hope will enable them to better model the affects of climate change on the ice, whose melting will have an impact on climate the world over."
This video sheds some light on explorations to uncover truths about one of the most remote places on Earth.
Tags: Antarctica, water, physical, remote sensing, geospatial.
Talking about challanges - Amundsen and Scott sure had a tough one!
This is the Intellctual part of Antarctica. This video talks about what is underneathAntarctica. Its' ice is flowing out towardsstone sea and could contribute to sea rise. If Antarctica didn't have anymoreonce our ocean would have a major rise but Antarctica would be a new place.
Australia's engagement with Asia: Water - a case study on Flores
For a the full lesson on how access to clean drinking water and human well-being are connected on the Indonesian island of Flores, visit World Vision Australia. On a related note, this article from the Guardian discusses the trouble of securing clean drinking water in Bangladesh.
Tags: Indonesia, water, development.
year 7 water
For decades, south Louisiana residents have watched coastal landmarks disappear as erosion worsened and the Gulf of Mexico marched steadily inward.
Just because you've mapped a physical land feature, it doesn't mean it will stay that way forever. This is a reminder that the Earth and it's cultural and physical landscapes are constantly changing.
Tags: mapping, erosion, landscape.
I find it quite facinating how the world changes. Some of the worlds most beautiful things may not be here 30 years from now. It is quite humbling that things that man builds can be taken away by Mother Nature. As the years pass the memories made will be vanished by the environment.
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.
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.
What can we do learn of this? Will send this to my students.
"A canyon is a deep, narrow valley with steep sides."
This encyclopedic entry is a concise explanation of the environmental forces that create canyons.
Tags: water, physical, geomorphology, landforms, National Geographic.
Canyons are really cool to look at, but they also tell stories. The various layers of rock can be dated based on crystal structures and possible organic content in sediment, and the eroded sides can be traced back to wind, or in some areas, water-based erosion patterns. I think that shows that one does not just have to look at the rocks, but one can use their imagination to view history, and even infinite time by considering that the canyons are transient and shifting messages that are carved into rocks by the world, and the universe. I think that where the article said people have relied on and depended on canyons, it brings to the surface more illumination of the immense convenience of humans having everything they need to survive- just on this one planet... Food, clothes, shelter, can be created by what is around us. It is like we were put here with resources- it sorta feels like some of the Sim games. I do believe aliens are responsible for putting what is now known as the human species on this planet, and I do believe in the abstract yet artificial terraformation of Earth by aliens. Canyons erode, and die away, as do humans. I can't help but believe that they are messages from the natural universe, along with the material resource provisions that have been so widely abundant for humans on this planet.
Video of a sandbox equipped with a Kinect 3D camera and a projector to project a real-time colored topographic map with contour lines onto the sand surface. ...
Many of our first experiments of creating landforms and designing a new world started in the sandbox. This video shows how that early childhood activity can make for an excellent classroom demonstration to shows how Earth's physical systems work. If you don't happen to have a digital topographic map to superimpose on the sandbox and a GPU-based water simulation, then at least you've got this video. Click here to learn more about this UC Davis project on the visualization of lake ecosystems.
Tags: water, physical, geomorphology, landforms, visualization.