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Water, Sanitation & Hygiene - Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Water, Sanitation & Hygiene - Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation | Water, Weather, Climate | Scoop.it
Marilyn Korhonen's insight:

More great work by Bill & Melinda Gates & Foundation: 

In the developing world, 2.5 billion people practice open defecation or lack adequate sanitation facilities; an additional 2.1 billion urban residents use facilities that do not safely dispose of human waste.

Poor sanitation contributes to 1.5 million child deaths from diarrhea each year.

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'Rivers On Rolaids': How Acid Rain Is Changing Waterways : NPR

'Rivers On Rolaids': How Acid Rain Is Changing Waterways : NPR | Water, Weather, Climate | Scoop.it
The chemistry of dozens of streams and rivers across the U.S. is changing. Waters are becoming more alkaline — the opposite of acidic. And the reason is counterintuitive — researchers believe that acid rain is to blame.
Marilyn Korhonen's insight:

Acid rain is largely behind the phenomenon, the scientists say. It's been eating away chunks of rock, especially limestone rock, and the runoff produces carbonates that flow into rivers. "We're basically dissolving the surface of the Earth," says Kaushal. "It's ending up in our water. It's like rivers on Rolaids. There's a natural antacid in these watersheds."

Now that's not an immediate health threat, but it has environmental effects.

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Extreme weather events fuel climate change

Extreme weather events fuel climate change | Water, Weather, Climate | Scoop.it
When the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere rises, the Earth not only heats up, but extreme weather events, such as lengthy droughts, heat waves, heavy rain and violent storms, may become more frequent.
Marilyn Korhonen's insight:

Do extreme climate events result in the release of more CO2 from terrestrial ecosystems and thus reinforce climate change?

 

An international team of researchers have discovered terrestrial ecosystems absorb approximately 11 billion tons less carbon dioxide every year as the result of the extreme climate events than they could if the events did not occur. That is equivalent to approximately a third of global CO2 emissions per year.

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Warming climate pushes plants up the mountain

Warming climate pushes plants up the mountain | Water, Weather, Climate | Scoop.it
In a rare opportunity to directly compare plant communities in the same area now with a survey taken 50 years ago, a University of Arizona-led research team has provided the first on-the-ground evidence that Southwestern plants are being pushed to...
Marilyn Korhonen's insight:

The findings confirm that previous hypotheses are correct in their prediction that mountain communities in the Southwest will be strongly impacted by an increasingly warmer and drier climate, and that the area is already experiencing rapid vegetation change.

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UNESCO | Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future | Module 19: Climate change

UNESCO | Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future | Module 19: Climate change | Water, Weather, Climate | Scoop.it
Marilyn Korhonen's insight:

Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future.

Educating for a sustainable future is a formidable challenge. The new vision of Education for Sustainable Development places education at the heart of the quest to solve the problems threatening our future. Education is seen not only as an end in itself but also as one of the most powerful instruments for bringing about the changes required to achieve sustainable development.

 

Teacher education is a priority for UNESCO. Within its special work programme on education, the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development invited UNESCO to make a significant effort to help teachers worldwide not only to understand sustainable development concepts and issues but also to learn how to cope with interdisciplinary, values-laden subjects in established curricula.

 

Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future is UNESCO’s response to that challenge, and a major contribution to the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg, September 2002). By making the programme available as both a web site and a CDROM, UNESCO hopes to reach as many teachers as possible across the world. The programme can be used as it is, or adapted to local, national or regional needs. 

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Art can give "life" to the climate change conversation | Broader Impacts

Art can give "life" to the climate change conversation | Broader Impacts | Water, Weather, Climate | Scoop.it
Mobilising cultural practitioners to promote understanding of climate change is important for public engagement, argues Adam Corner
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See for example, the Aspect Project http://www.projectaspect.org/about_aspect?page=project_background 

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Social scientists are critical to sustainability research and policy development | Cornell Chronicle

Social scientists are critical to sustainability research and policy development | Cornell Chronicle | Water, Weather, Climate | Scoop.it
Cornell Chronicle: Daily news from Cornell University
Marilyn Korhonen's insight:

Kim Weeden, the Robert S. Harrison Director of the Institute for the Social Sciences, argues the social sciences have a critical role in sustainability research, "We can't understand climate change, for example, without studying ice core temperatures and the impact of carbon dioxide levels, but we also can't understand climate change unless we understand its social dimensions.”

 

For example, public policies that promote biofuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions have had significant negative impacts, such as dramatically increasing food prices.

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Is Natural Gas More Climate-Friendly? Researchers Map Thousands of Leaks in Washington, D.C.: Scientific American

Is Natural Gas More Climate-Friendly? Researchers Map Thousands of Leaks in Washington, D.C.: Scientific American | Water, Weather, Climate | Scoop.it
Thousands of leaks from natural gas pipelines are exacerbating climate change
Marilyn Korhonen's insight:

SImilar findings in Boston ... older pipes are a big cause.

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Water content in soil is crucial to predict effects of permafrost through climate models

New research findings from the Centre for Permafrost (CENPERM) at the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, document that permafrost during thawing may result in a substantial release of carbon dioxide...
Marilyn Korhonen's insight:

The knowledge available so far has primarily been based on measurements of the release of carbon dioxide in short-term studies of up to 3-4 months. The new findings are based on measurements carried out over a 12-year period. Studies with different water content have also been conducted. Professor Bo Elberling, Director of CENPERM (Centre for Permafrost) at the University of Copenhagen, is the person behind the novel research findings which are now being published in the internationally renowned scientific journal Nature Climate Change.

"From a climate change perspective, it makes a huge difference whether it takes 10 or 100 years to release, e.g., half the permafrost carbon pool. We have demonstrated that the supply of oxygen in connection with drainage or drying is essential for a rapid release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere," says Bo Elberling.



Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-07-knowledge-permafrost-climate.html#jCp

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Plan to Clean Up Dirty Lake Thunderbird Calls for Pollution Cuts in Three Cities

Plan to Clean Up Dirty Lake Thunderbird Calls for Pollution Cuts in Three Cities | Water, Weather, Climate | Scoop.it
Moore, Norman and Oklahoma City are the primary polluters of Lake Thunderbird, a sensitive drinking water source classified as “impaired” by the Environmental Protection Agency, new data show.
Marilyn Korhonen's insight:

Ultimately, it all comes back to us... where we live.

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Arctic Methane Release Could Cost Economy $60 Trillion: Scientific American or could it? Huffington Post

Arctic Methane Release Could Cost Economy $60 Trillion: Scientific American or could it? Huffington Post | Water, Weather, Climate | Scoop.it
A release of methane in the Arctic could speed the melting of sea ice and climate change with a cost to the global economy of up to $60 trillion over coming decades, according to a paper published in the journal Nature.
Marilyn Korhonen's insight:

A follow up by Huffington Post highlights some questions about this report, indicating this is an area in which research is needed. 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/29/arctic-methane-release_n_3671497.html ;

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Census of Marine Life: What lies beneath the water's surface? Natural Environmental Research Council

Census of Marine Life: What lies beneath the water's surface? Natural Environmental Research Council | Water, Weather, Climate | Scoop.it
Humans have long had a great fascination with the sea. The mystery of our oceans has inspired scientific investigation since the 3rd century BC.
Marilyn Korhonen's insight:

In 2000, a ten-year global Census of Marine Life was launched to formally assess the diversity, distribution and abundance of marine life. The census catalogued life forms from whales to microbes, discovering over 6000 potential new species. In 2011, NERC funded a three-year research project to assess the seafloor biodiversity of some of the world's least-studied marine habitats - seamounts in the south-west Indian Ocean. This ongoing project has already revealed such a rich array of life at these features that two have been proposed to the Convention on Biological Diversity for designation as Ecologically or Biologically Marine Significant Areas.

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Greenland's Melting Ice Sheets: Climate Change's Disastrous Effects

Greenland's Melting Ice Sheets: Climate Change's Disastrous Effects | Water, Weather, Climate | Scoop.it
Greenland's ice sheets are melting faster than anyone predicted. Why Jason Box's radical theory may not be so radical after all.
Marilyn Korhonen's insight:

If the Rolling Stone says so, it must be true!

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KPMG Potable Water: Water-stressed countries' struggle for economic development

KPMG Potable Water: Water-stressed countries' struggle for economic development | Water, Weather, Climate | Scoop.it
Marilyn Korhonen's insight:

Premise of the report:

 

Access to safe and potable water is fundamental to sustaining health and achieving economic development. With rapid population growth, border disputes, inadequate management of water resources, and the effects of climate change, water scarcity has emerged as a key issue. This can in turn lead to food vulnerabilities as well as conflicts
over resources. Political will, public and private investment, international cooperation and more effective and efficient systems of water management can help combat this issue. Various international organizations such as the World Bank and the United Nations have introduced programs to support the governments of developing and
emerging nations to address water scarcity, but more needs to be done.  

 

http://www.kpmg.com/Global/en/IssuesAndInsights/ArticlesPublications/issues-monitor-idas/Documents/idas-nov-2011-portable-water.pdf

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Two strains of bacteria team up, thrive on limited resources; implications for climate change

Two strains of bacteria team up, thrive on limited resources; implications for climate change | Water, Weather, Climate | Scoop.it
In a discovery that further demonstrates just how unexpected and unusual nature can be, scientists have found two strains of bacteria whose symbiotic relationship is unlike anything seen before.
Marilyn Korhonen's insight:

Nitrogen is a crucial building block of life, a prerequisite for photosynthesis. While nitrogen is present in abundance in the Earth's atmosphere, to be useful for most living organisms, the nonreactive atmospheric di-nitrogen gas that diffuses into the ocean from the air must be converted into the biologically available "fixed" forms ammonium, nitrate and nitrite by specialized organisms called nitrogen fixers. Other organisms use up this fixed nitrogen and convert it back to di-nitrogen gas.

This photo shows a sample of giant bacteria Thioploca retrieved from the researchers research cruise in the Pacific. Credit: Loreto de Brabrandere

 

Living together in the mud beneath areas of high plant productivity, Thioploca and Anammox intensify this part of the nitrogen cycle.

 

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Marilyn Korhonen's curator insight, August 16, 2013 9:55 AM

Long, thin, hairlike Thioploca (meaning "sulfur braids" in Spanish) trichomes form chains down into marine sediment, which tiny Anammox cells ride down like an elevator. At the bottom, the Anammox cells consume nitrite and ammonium, or "fixed" nitrogen, the waste products of the Thioploca.

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Heat waves to become more frequent and severe, research says

Heat waves to become more frequent and severe, research says | Water, Weather, Climate | Scoop.it
Climate change is set to trigger more frequent and severe heat waves in the next 30 years regardless of the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) we emit into the atmosphere, a new study has shown.
Marilyn Korhonen's insight:

A new study, published in Environmental Research Letters, projects more frequent and severe heat.

Extreme heat waves such as those that hit the US in 2012 and Australia in 2009—dubbed three-sigma events—are projected to cover double the amount of global land by 2020 and quadruple by 2040.More-severe summer heat waves—five-sigma events—will go from being essentially absent in the present day to covering around three per cent of the global land surface by 2040.

After then, the rise in frequency of extreme heat waves becomes dependent on the emission scenario adopted. Under a low emission scenario, the number of extremes will stabilise by 2040, whereas under a high emission scenario, the land area affected by extremes will increase by one per cent a year after 2040.

 

Lead author of the study, Dim Coumou, from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, said: "We find that up until 2040, the frequency of monthly heat extremes will increase several fold, independent of the emission scenario we choose to take. Mitigation can, however, strongly reduce the number of extremes in the second half of the 21st century."

 

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NOAA: 2012 was one of the 10 warmest years on record globally

NOAA: 2012 was one of the 10 warmest years on record globally | Water, Weather, Climate | Scoop.it
Marilyn Korhonen's insight:

Highlights:

Warm temperature trends continue near Earth’s surfaceLa Niña dissipates into neutral conditions:  for the first time in several years, neither El Niño nor La Niña, which can dominate regional weather and climate conditions around the globe, prevailed for the majority of the year.  The Arctic continues to warm; sea ice extent reaches record lowAntarctica sea ice extent reaches record highSea surface temperatures increaseOcean heat content remains near record levelsSea level reaches record high

Ocean salinity trends continue: Continuing a trend that began in 2004, oceans were saltier than average in areas of high evaporation and fresher than average in areas of high precipitation, suggesting that precipitation is increasing in already rainy areas and evaporation is intensifying in drier locations.

Tropical cyclones near averageGreenhouse gases climbCool temperature trends continue in Earth’s lower stratosphere: Increasing greenhouse gases and decline of stratospheric ozone tend to cool the stratosphere while warming the planet near-surface layers.
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OU honored as a “Model of Efficiency”

NORMAN—The University of Oklahoma is one of eight colleges and universities nationwide being honored by University Business magazine in its summer 2013 “Models of Efficiency” national recognition program.
Marilyn Korhonen's insight:

Proud of my alma mater and employer for leading by action in addition to our words.

 

NORMAN—The University of Oklahoma is one of eight colleges and universities nationwide being honored byUniversity Business magazine in its summer 2013 “Models of Efficiency” national recognition program. Sponsored by Higher One, a leader in providing services to higher education administrators and students at more than 1,600 campuses across the U.S., the Models of Efficiency program recognizes innovative approaches for streamlining higher education operations through technology and/or business process improvements.

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National Weather Center: Weaving 
Social 
Science 
Into
 Climate 
&
 Weather
 Research
 &
 Practice:
 A
 Living Roadmap

National Weather Center: Weaving 
Social 
Science 
Into
 Climate 
&
 Weather
 Research
 &
 Practice:
 A
 Living Roadmap | Water, Weather, Climate | Scoop.it
Marilyn Korhonen's insight:

The Social Science Woven into Meteorology (SSWIM) initiative at the National  Weather Center (NWC) aims to sustainably weave social science into the fabric of weather and climate research and practice locally, nationally, and globally. As  of 2009 social science has attained a level of salience and value within non‐traditional venues that makes this initiative particularly timely and relevant. SSWIM aims to actualize this paradigm shift by providing a tangible and rigorous focal point  for social science at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)  and beyond. The new tapestry that is woven with SSWIM’s leadership will  represent different ways solving complex weather/climate/society problems. The  University of Oklahoma and NOAA provide current funding. SSWIM is housed in the  Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies (CIMMS) at the National  Weather Center in Norman, OK.

http://cimms.ou.edu/sswim/pdfs/plan.pdf

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Breakthrough Study Reveals Terrifying Cause Of Human Violence

Breakthrough Study Reveals Terrifying Cause Of Human Violence | Water, Weather, Climate | Scoop.it
Shifts in climate change are strongly linked to human violence around the world, according to a comprehensive new study released Thursday by the University of California, Berkeley and Princeton University.
Marilyn Korhonen's insight:

My personal study (N=1) shows a definite correlation between being hotter and being crankier.

 

"We found that a one standard deviation shift towards hotter conditions causes the likelihood of personal violence to rise four percent and intergroup conflict to rise 14 percent," UC Berkeley's Marshall Burke, the study's co-lead author, wrote in a release. The study's calculations project that a global temperature rise of just 2 degrees Celsius could increase intergroup conflicts (such as civil wars) by over 50 percent. And, as Climate Central notes, projections estimate that temperatures will make that jump by 2040.

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Geographic Trends: Storm Damage Costs Will Rise Sharply, Even Without Climate Change: Scientific American

Geographic Trends: Storm Damage Costs Will Rise Sharply, Even Without Climate Change: Scientific American | Water, Weather, Climate | Scoop.it
Damage from storms will rise sharply, even without climate change
Marilyn Korhonen's insight:

Extreme weather could cause four times as much economic loss in the U.S. by 2050 as it does today—without any increase in the frequency or intensity of hurricanes, tornadoes or lightning. That is because the population will be larger and richer and because more Americans are moving to the Eastern seaboard, the Gulf Coast and other storm-ridden places.

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Say it isn't so! Seahorses Threatened by Climate Change - weather.com

Say it isn't so! Seahorses Threatened by Climate Change - weather.com | Water, Weather, Climate | Scoop.it
Seahorses, magical color-changing creatures that seem to scoot through the ocean waters, are actually fish. Unravel their mystery here.
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NOAA goes 'live' with new 213 teraflop weather supercomputers

NOAA goes 'live' with new 213 teraflop weather supercomputers | Water, Weather, Climate | Scoop.it
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Thursday switched on two new supercomputers that are expected to improve weather forecasting.
Marilyn Korhonen's insight:

The NWS has a new hurricane model, Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF), which is 15% more accurate in day five of a forecast both for forecast track and intensity. That model is now operational and running on the new systems. That's important, because U.S. is expecting a busy hurricane season.

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Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory makes breakthrough in solar energy research

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory makes breakthrough in solar energy research | Water, Weather, Climate | Scoop.it
The use of plasmonic black metals could someday provide a pathway to more efficient photovoltaics (PV) —- the use of solar panels containing photovoltaic solar cells —- to improve solar energy harvesting, according to researchers at Lawrence...
Marilyn Korhonen's insight:

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's Materials Engineering Division (MED) research team has made breakthroughs experimenting with plasmonic black metals. These nanostructured metals are designed to have low reflectivity and high absorption of visible and infrared light. The MED research team recently published their black metals research results in a cover-page article in the May issue of Applied Physics Letters titled "Plasmonic Black Metals in Resonant Nanocavities."

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-07-team-breakthrough-solar-energy.html#jCp

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Masses of plastic particles found in Great Lakes

Already ravaged by toxic algae, invasive mussels and industrial pollution, North America's Great Lakes now confront another potential threat that few had even imagined until recently: untold millions of plastic litter bits, some visible only...
Marilyn Korhonen's insight:

During a meeting of the American Chemical Society in April, Rios reported the team had collected up to 1.7 million tiny particles last year in Lake Erie, which acts as something of a "sink" because it receives the outflow from the three lakes to the north—Superior, Michigan and Huron.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-07-masses-plastic-particles-great-lakes.html#jCp

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