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Rescooped by Michelle Carvajal from Geography Education!

Human/Environmental Interactions

To give you further understanding of what has happened in the past 30 or so years. This mismanagement of land use by the Soviet, and then by farmers has truly made a once natural resource, beauty to a barren land. A desert which once was covered by water is all that remains of the Aral Sea. As seen in this video, there are those hwo have never even seen water in this area because it is now very minimal. To know that there is no other reason to blame but people is extremely sad. People will do what they need to do to survive, but at what cost? Will we as a people continue to harm our planet and destroy our enviroment? The answer for many will be yes because we need to survive but we must also be strategic about what we are doing and how in the long run it will affect us. It has and will continue to create health issues for many. Many will die from malnutrition and as I mentioned in a previous article its due to the fact that many can not relocate. However, once there is no water or resource to create good crops I guarantee that people will find a way to move and find what they need. If all this can be prevented why not do it ahead of time? We need to start giving some importance to our natural resources. -- M. Carvajal

Via Seth Dixon
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.

Rescooped by Michelle Carvajal from Geography Education!

Lurking in the Deep

Lurking in the Deep | MLC Geo400 class portfolio |
Divers on Australia's Great Barrier Reef recently snapped rare pictures of a wobbegong, or carpet shark, swallowing a bamboo shark whole.


The diversity of life on this planet and the ecosystems which such creatures live in is something that continually leaves me in awe at the wonders of the natural world.

Via Seth Dixon
Michelle Carvajal's insight:

Not only is the ocean full of diverse wildlife but the fact they have been able to camoflouge with their enviroment is amazing. Australia seems to be the home of many different types of wildlife on land and in the ocean. It would be interesting if there could be a google earth view of australias coral reefs and wildlife. - M. Carvajal

Gregory S Sankey Jr.'s curator insight, September 1, 2014 10:38 AM

This article reminds me of another video i've seen recently of a grouper fish swallowing a 4-foot black tip shark whole. A fisherman caught that on camera while trying to reel in the shark. Time and time again I'm reminded that not everything in nature is as it seems and that the unexpected should be expected. 

This makes me want to buy some scuba gear and take some diving classes, I ought to conquer my fear of sharks by safely observing them with a research team! 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 4:36 PM

Amazing photos, there are so many different kinds of life that exists in the Ocean. As the Great Barrier Reef falls victim to climate change and pollution, the number of species at risk is almost calculable. 

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 16, 2014 1:26 PM

Australia's marine life is amazing, being able to hide by blending in to their environment is a testament to the waters that Australia has. The diverse wildlife of Australia waters is shown to be an adaptive bunch and begs the question: How many more animals are out there that we do not know of?

Rescooped by Michelle Carvajal from Geography Education!

Venice sinking five times faster than thought?

Venice sinking five times faster than thought? | MLC Geo400 class portfolio |

Venice, by virtue of its geographic situation will always be sinking as a course of nature.  A research team from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the UCSD has recently concluded that Venice is sinking 2 millimeters per year...not catastrophic on a single year basis, but threatens the long-term viability and sustainability of the location. 


Urban ecology: what economic forces created the rationale for building Venice?  What environmental factors are currently threatening it?  Will economic or environmental forces win out? Location: do the economic advantages of a location outweigh the environmental liabilities of the location?  How do these competing factors influence the development of a city?  For additional information on this story see:


-The fact that Venice is slowly sinking is not surprising as here in the US we have our own states with cities that are easily affected by hurricanes etc due to their sea level. The interesting point about Venice is however, that they began to build a wall with gate that would close off the rising sea level to Venice and prevent it from possibly flooding during an event where the water would try to get in. In the article it is stated that the wall/gate itself is sinking as well every year as the ground sinks. Now, these expensive flood walls will need to be patched as the sink in order to keep the height at a level where it will still protect the city. To what extent will this continue is uncertain and can the flooding plus the sinking eventually ruin Venice forever?  I believe that the city was originally made this way to allow the import and export of goods as it was easier to transport from one side of venice to the other through water. With this being said, it was easier for people to stand by and buy off the boat/gandola and for the merchant it was easier to hand up as well. This being my opinion, reasons could have been different and the thought of what could potentially happen to the city were probably no where near. We still have to take into consideration that no matter how profitable it may have been to have a city with water streets, it created a liability for the people that reside in this area. - M.C

Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's curator insight, October 8, 2013 3:36 PM

Day to day, even looking into next year the rate of 2 millimeters per year may not seem drastic.  To a city that has been around for hundreds of years, it's assumed the city plans to stay standing for hundreds more.  Considering the age of the city, say in a couple hundred more years, some buildings could begin to take in water.  It is also possible that certain parts of the city could be sinking faster than others.  There is a similar situation in Mexico City where it was built on a lake and each year that source diminishes due to the demand of water by its residents.  Certain parts of the city are sinking and some buildings are slanted due to the results.  These cities are beautiful  but reality shows that as time passes, it will probably only get worse.  Hopefully preventions can be taken to at least reduce the speed of sinking so that people after us can appreciate the architecture and atmosphere the city has provided all these years.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 8, 2014 12:11 PM

Venice is a city that capitalized on its geography and developed canals so the city could grow despite being so close to sea level. Now that sea levels are rising, Venice is in trouble because its survival is dependent on the water levels, as they become out of control Venice will not be able to withstand the change. There are similar circumstances like in the Maldives where global warming and rising sea levels will put entire countries under water.

Kendra King's curator insight, February 15, 6:58 PM

As you mentioned in class, we are living on constantly moving land features. In the case of Venice, the water is moving in on the city so it is actually sinking and has been for quite some time. What is new to the equation is that it might be sinking “five times more than” originally “calculated or “7.8 inches every hundred years.” I say might be because there are others who quibble about this new find, saying it is inaccurate. Also, there is a damn project in the works to try and combat the sinking. While I am happy that the city is working on slowing the process, I am curious to know what their solution is going to be when the city finally does go under. As I was reading this all I could think of was saving all the rich art and history that this Italian city is famous for. In some ways it is great that the city knows ahead of time that it is sinking because they have time to plan a way to save the important aspects of the city. On another hand though, the city is so below sea level that a natural disaster could cause far more damage than anyone could have foreseen. I just hope that doesn’t happen anytime soon because Venice is definitely on my bucket list.