"A new census that shows that Earth is host to a staggering 3.02 trillion trees — more than scientists expected.The most recent estimate only counted 400 billion trees, reports Rachel Ehrenberg. Because prior studies used satellite technology alone instead of including data from on-the-ground tree density studies, writes Ehrenberg, they missed the mark. They also estimate that since human civilization began, 45.8 percent of all trees been lost."
"A 3-minute journey through the last 250 years of our history, from the start of the Industrial Revolution to the Rio+20 Summit. The film charts the growth of humanity into a global force on the equivalent scale to major geological processes."
As the climate shifts, rivers will both flood and dry up more often, according to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Shortages are especially likely in parts of the world already strapped for water, so political scientists expect feuds will become even more intense. To track disputes worldwide, researchers at Oregon State University spent a decade building a comprehensive database of international exchanges—-both conflicts and alliances—over shared water resources. They found that countries often begin disputes belligerently but ultimately reach peaceful agreements. Says Aaron Wolf, the geographer who leads the project, “For me the really interesting part is how even Arabs and Israelis, Indians and Pakistanis, are able to resolve their differences and find a solution.”
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.
Projections of urban growth indicate areas where biodiversity is at high risk.
The AAG Smart Brief is a fantastic source of geographic news. This is what they said about this article: "Areas such as tropical Africa and eastern China are expected to be hot spots of urbanization during the next several years, according to researchers, who used satellite imagery and other data to project future urban expansion through 2030. 'We're not forecasting population, we're forecasting the expansion of urban space,' said Yale University geographer Karen Seto. Their efforts could be used to assist conservation initiatives, Seto noted."
Tags: AAG, urban, sprawl, land use, urban ecology, biogeography, unit 7 cities, environment.
Hidden beneath the 245,000 square miles that make up the Great Plains, resides a lake that’s one of our greatest water assets: The Ogallala Aquifer. Haven’t heard of it? Farming the plains would be unprofitable at best without it, as shown by the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. At the time, the aquifer’s existence was known, but the technology to tap into it wasn’t.
In Indonesia, efforts are underway to grow palms in a sustainable way. But that's putting a squeeze on small farmers.
Palm oil is in everything, from pizza dough and chocolate to laundry detergent and lipstick. Nongovernmental organizations blame it for contributing to assorted evils, from global warming to human rights abuses. But in the past year, this complex global industry has changed, as consumers put pressure on producers to show that they're not destroying forests, killing rare animals, grabbing land or exploiting workers.
Tags: Indonesia, conservation, environment, consumption, SouthEastAsia, podcast.
"Though uninhabited and full of melting ice caps, the Arctic is surprisingly an appealing piece of real estate. Many countries have already claimed parts of the region. So who technically owns the North Pole? And why do these nations want it so bad?"
The last section of dam is being blasted from the Elwha River on Washington's Olympic Peninsula on Tuesday.
For almost half a century, the two dams were widely applauded for powering the growth of the peninsula and its primary industry. But the dams blocked salmon migration up the Elwha, devastating its fish and shellfish—and the livelihood of the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe. As the tribe slowly gained political power—it won federal recognition in 1968—it and other tribes began to protest the loss of the fishing rights promised to them by federal treaty in the mid-1800s. In 1979, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Washington tribes, including the Elwha Klallam, were entitled to half the salmon catch in the state.
"It took the folks at Google to upgrade these choppy visual sequences from crude flip-book quality to true video footage. With the help of massive amounts of computer muscle, they have scrubbed away cloud cover, filled in missing pixels, digitally stitched puzzle-piece pictures together, until the growing, thriving, sometimes dying planet is revealed in all its dynamic churn. The images are striking not just because of their vast sweep of geography and time but also because of their staggering detail."
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.
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