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Sahel food crisis

Sahel food crisis | Global education = global understanding | Scoop.it
The hunger crisis in the Sahel region of Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad has been deepening since the start of this year.

 

The Sahel is a classic transition zone--a border that is not a sharp division, but a gradual shift from one region to the next.  This area has environmentally marginal lands, but is as population pressures continue, marginal lands need to sustain more people. 


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Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, March 26, 2014 3:25 PM

With an ongoing hunger crisis in the Sahel, areas such as Chad, Niger and Mali find it hard to make ends meet. These areas in the Sahel are not having the best of luck with their crops this year. Areas suffer from infestation of locusts, drought, and high food prices. Over 13 million people are affected and could suffer from hunger.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, November 22, 2014 2:41 PM

This map presents the struggles being faced by those living in the Sahel region during their major food crisis. The Sahel region is a transition zone separating Northern Africa from Central and Southern Africa by a dry, harsh landscape. Besides acting as just a physical divide, it also divides the Arabic and Islamic northern region from the southern and central regions and their differing religions and languages. While the Sahel region is historically very dry, droughts have become more and more common. The people living in the Sahel can no longer depend on the land for food and have turned to aid in order to stay alive. As an area of increased desertification, many are worried that climate change will make this region unlivable, thus uprooting different peoples and causing strife in other regions. 

Michael Mazo's curator insight, December 15, 2014 1:44 PM

The Sahel is a region that lies basically in the middle of Africa and extend from West to East. It represents the boarder between the desert and the savannah. Having a semi-arid climate this region is not the most ideal place for living conditions. This comes in part because Africa is so large that the transport of goods and travel is almost impossible without the use of motor vehicles and access to the coast. Taking this into account one might predict severe hunger in areas of the Sahel, especially those that lie in the middle. As the population continues to rise, the shortage of food continues to take a toll on the local communities. Aside from food, proper healthcare is also needed to prevent lethal diseases from spreading

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Physical Geography

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


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U.S. Intelligence Says Water Shortages Threaten Stability

U.S. Intelligence Says Water Shortages Threaten Stability | Global education = global understanding | Scoop.it

"Competition for increasingly scarce water in the next decade will fuel instability in regions such as South Asia and the Middle East that are important to U.S. national security, according to a U.S. intelligence report."

 

Geographic thinking is about uncovering the spatial connections between issues that on the surface might not seem related.  Multinational river basins are a perfect example of environmental resources that demand international cooperation for successful management, and it regions of scarcity and population growth, it is easy to envision clashing viewpoints on how to fairly share such resources.

 

Discussion questions: What geographic themes are evident in this article? What geographic problems could exacerbate the problem? What could alleviate these issues in the future?


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Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 23, 2014 2:22 PM

Water is a huge resources and obviously something that we use everyday and in the US take for granted because there are many countries suffereing from sortages such as this nation. Which of the following it is threatening not just the stability of the nation but the stability of the people and the society that make up that nation.

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Human/Environmental Interactions

The collapse of the Aral Sea ecosystem is (arguably) the man-made environmental disaster of the 20th century.  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. 


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Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 20, 2013 1:11 PM

This has to be one of the most telling video of an environmental disaster I have even seen.  A whole sea, 26,000 square miles, bigger than the state of West Virginia, is bascially gone due to Soviet mismanagement.  This is an environmental disaster now that the Russians do not have to deal with as it is now located in the independant country of Kazakhstan.  It effects them as well as the new countries that have come to be withthe collapse of the USSR.  Seems Russian dodged this just like Chernobyl.  This is something we need to lean from, on how not to use a natural resource until it literally has dried up.

Paige Therien's curator insight, May 4, 2014 12:24 PM

The Aral Sea, located in Central Asia is a very important water source for the entire region.  Unfortunately, the Soviet Union designated this water sources as one which would provide water to rice and cotton crops, which are both very water-intensive crops.  This has resulted in desertification of the area due to the cyclical shrinking volume of the lake.  Sands and chemicals are now free to blow around, affecting people's health.  This is one of the best examples on earth of environmental exploitation due to a lack of environmental planning.  When the lake dries up, the inhabitants of the surrounding countries will be in huge trouble.

Giselle Figueroa's curator insight, October 6, 2014 10:38 PM

The Aral Sea was a source of food for the residents, as it was home to thousands of fish and water was used to irrigate crops.Also acted as a climate regulator. Therefore, its virtual disappearance has caused winters and summers are extreme.Today the drought is considered one of the greatest ecological disasters caused by man. scientists estimated that the Aral sea will disappear before 2020. A plan to expand the cultivation of cotton throughout Central Asia and thus a system of canals for irrigation that significantly decreased the amount of water reaching the Aral Sea. It angers me to see that the human has being causing many natural disasters.

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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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Using satellite images, young students learn about human impact on environment

Using satellite images, young students learn about human impact on environment | Global education = global understanding | Scoop.it

"With the help of satellite images fifth and sixth grade students at Mr. Tim Blum’s geography class at the University of Wyoming Lab School got a birds-eye view of how humans have impacted or modified their environments. Images acquired by satellites decades apart showed cleared forests, irrigated crop fields in the middle of the deserts, altered landscapes (new roads and water bodies), and urban growth."

 

SD: Geospatial technologies can sound daunting for teachers that don't feel that they are specialists. Yet there are simple ways to make sophisticated technologies very relevant to just about any grade level as this article demonstrates. 


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joachim jake layes's curator insight, February 10, 2014 9:44 AM

great to see 5th & 6th graders learning about environmental impact

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Globalization: Intertwined Economies & Environments

Globalization: Intertwined Economies & Environments | Global education = global understanding | Scoop.it
The technology in smartphones and laptops includes minerals mined in areas of Africa riven by warfare. But fighting back does not mean giving up technology, reports Kate Dailey.

 

This article, titled, "How to offset your 'conflict mineral' guilt," drives home the interconnectedness of the modern globalized world.  While no one would be in favor of slave labor in mines that support African warlords, the production process to make cell phones, laptops and just about any portable electronic device are dependent of the raw material coming out of mines in Eastern Congo under these conditions.  

 

So what is a consumer to do?  This article outlines some ideas for people to be social advocates to change the geographies of their commodities without completely separating themselves from the modern world.  For more on the U.S. law for corporate disclosure of 'conflict minerals' in their products, see: http://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/new-us-law-requires-electronics-makers-to-disclose-conflict-mineral-use.html


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