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Anthropology: More than 100 uncontacted tribes are still left throughout the world?

Anthropology: More than 100 uncontacted tribes are still left throughout the world? | Environment | Scoop.it

Many uncontacted tribes still exist. Where are they, and why do they occasionally reach out to the rest of the world? How many uncontacted tribes are still left? No one knows for sure. At a rough guess, there are probably more than 100 around the world, mostly in Amazonia and New Guinea, says Rebecca Spooner, of Survival International, a London-based organisation that advocates for the rights of indigenous peoples. Brazil's count is likely to be the most accurate. The government there has identified 77 uncontacted tribes through aerial surveys, and by talking to more Westernised indigenous groups about their neighbours.

 

There are thought to be around 15 uncontacted tribes in Peru, a handful in other Amazonian countries, a few dozen in the Indonesian part of the island of New Guinea and two tribes in the Andaman Islands off the coast of India. There may also be some in Malaysia and central Africa.

 

Have they really had no contact with the outside world? Most have had a little, at least indirectly. "There's always some contact with other isolated tribes, which have contact with other indigenous people, which in turn have contact with the outside world," says Spooner.

 

Many of the Amazon tribes choose to avoid contact with outsiders because they have had unpleasant encounters in the past. The Mashco-Piro, for example, abandoned their settled gardens and fled into the forest. According to Glenn Shepard, an ethnologist at the Emilio Goeldi Museum in Belem, Brazil, this came after rubber companies massacred tribespeople at the turn of the 20th century. For this reason, some researchers refer to such tribes as "voluntarily isolated", rather than uncontacted.

 

More recent incursions, especially by miners, oil workers and loggers, may have reinforced the tribes' xenophobia. In 1995, oilfields were encroaching on the homeland of the uncontacted Huaorani people of eastern Peru. A visiting reporter was warned that any unclothed native should be regarded as uncontacted and, thus, very dangerous.

 

Are there guidelines for how best to approach such tribes? In Peru, laws prohibit outsiders from initiating contact with isolated groups in most cases. They also provide protected areas where tribes can live in peace – but there are loopholes that allow oil and mining companies into the region. Brazil has similar laws and policies that allow contact only in life-threatening situations.

 

Anthropologists have an ethical obligation to do no harm to their research subjects, according to the American Anthropological Association's Statement on Ethics. However, they are rarely the first people to make contact with indigenous groups – missionaries and resource developers almost always get there first, says Kim Hill, an anthropologist at Arizona State University who has worked with several recently contacted tribes. As a result, there is no standard practice for initial contact, he says.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Current climate change is occurring 10 times faster than at any time in past 65 million years

Current climate change is occurring 10 times faster than at any time in past 65 million years | Environment | Scoop.it

Our planet is undergoing one of the largest changes in climate since the dinosaurs went extinct. But what might be even more troubling for humans, plants and animals is the speed of the change.

 

If this trend continues at its current rapid pace, it will place significant stress on terrestrial ecosystems around the world, and many species will need to make behavioral, evolutionary or geographic adaptations to survive. Although some of the changes the planet will experience in the next few decades are already "baked into the system," how different the climate looks at the end of the 21st century will depend largely on how humans respond.

 

The findings come from a review of climate research by Noah Diffenbaugh, an associate professor of environmental Earth system science, and Chris Field, a professor of biology and of environmental Earth system science and the director of the Department of Global Ecology at the Carnegie Institution. The work is part of a special report on climate change in the current issue of Science.

 

Diffenbaugh and Field, both senior fellows at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, conducted the targeted but broad review of scientific literature on aspects of climate change that can affect ecosystems, and investigated how recent observations and projections for the next century compare to past events in Earth's history.

 

For instance, the planet experienced a 5 degree Celsius hike in temperature 20,000 years ago, as Earth emerged from the last ice age. This is a change comparable to the high-end of the projections for warming over the 20th and 21st centuries.

 

The geologic record shows that, 20,000 years ago, as the ice sheet that covered much of North America receded northward, plants and animals recolonized areas that had been under ice. As the climate continued to warm, those plants and animals moved northward, to cooler climes.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Jalpa Vyas's curator insight, August 4, 2013 12:20 PM

Nobody likes change but this one is inevitable and it is already quite evident that changes to our climate are occurring but this article suggests it is at a faster rate that has yet been recorded in the past.  We may need to be prepared for adapting sooner than we anticipated.

Molly Langstraat's curator insight, September 20, 2013 2:33 PM

I think that the change is inevidible. Humans and animals are going to have to learn to adjust as the climate continues to change. If we cut down on our pollution then the rate of climate change will slow. Humans need to learn how to help our Earth, not hurt it. 

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Whales flee from military sonar leading to mass strandings, research shows

Whales flee from military sonar leading to mass strandings, research shows | Environment | Scoop.it

Whales flee from the loud military sonar used by navies to hunt submarines, new research has proven for the first time. The studies provide a missing link in the puzzle that has connected naval exercises around the world to unusual mass strandings of whales and dolphins.

 

Beaked whales, the most common casualty of the strandings, were shown to be highly sensitive to sonar. But the research also revealed unexpectedly that blue whales, the largest animals on Earth and whose population has plummeted by 95% in the last century, also abandoned feeding and swam rapidly away from sonar noise.

 

The strong response observed in the beaked whales occurred at noise levels well below those allowed for US navy exercises.


Via Sepp Hasslberger
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Sepp Hasslberger's curator insight, July 16, 2013 9:04 AM

We have had mass strandings of whales and dolphins for years. Finally here a piece of research that proves the connection to military anti-submarin sonars. 

 

Not only are we polluting the air, the ground and our rivers, we also make the aquatic environment unbearably noisy... the noise from those sonars is very much like living in a city under a constant barrage of sonic booms from supersonic airplanes. All you can do is run away.

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China aims to quadruple solar power generating capacity - Financial Times

China aims to quadruple solar power generating capacity - Financial Times | Environment | Scoop.it
China aims to quadruple solar power generating capacity Financial Times BEIJING/HONG KONG, July 15 – China aims to more than quadruple solar power generating capacity to 35 gigawatts by 2015 in an apparent attempt to ease a massive glut in the...
Dorothy M Neddermeyer, PhD's insight:

Heaven will freeze before the oil power brokers allow solar power to generate 35 gigawatts. 

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Is there Something Wrong with the Sun? Scientists Discover Weakest Solar Cycle in 100 Years, but Why?

Is there Something Wrong with the Sun? Scientists Discover Weakest Solar Cycle in 100 Years, but Why? | Environment | Scoop.it
In what was supposed to be the Sun's 11-year cycle peak, providing the bright star with the highest number of sunspots on its surface, scientists have been baffled to find that this was simply not the case.
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First Solar and Ingenero to collaborate in delivery of solar PV projects - CIOL

First Solar and Ingenero to collaborate in delivery of solar PV projects - CIOL | Environment | Scoop.it
The collaboration will combine the best of both company's capabilities to increase the number of ground-mounted solar projects in Australia (First Solar and Ingenero to collaborate in delivery of solar PV projects - CIOL
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The best of two worlds: Solar hydrogen production breakthrough

The best of two worlds: Solar hydrogen production breakthrough | Environment | Scoop.it

Using a simple solar cell and a photo anode made of a metal oxide, HZB and TU Delft scientists have successfully stored nearly five percent of solar energy chemically in the form of hydrogen. This is a major feat as the design of the solar cell is much simpler than that of the high-efficiency triple-junction cells based on amorphous silicon or expensive III-V semiconductors that are traditionally used for this purpose.

The photo anode, which is made from the metal oxide bismuth vanadate (BiVO4) to which a small amount of tungsten atoms was added, was sprayed onto a piece of conducting glass and coated with an inexpensive cobalt phosphate catalyst. "Basically, we combined the best of both worlds," explains Prof. Dr. Roel van de Krol, head of the HZB Institute for Solar Fuels: "We start with a chemically stable, low cost metal oxide, add a really good but simple silicon-based thin film solar cell, and – voilà – we've just created a cost-effective, highly stable, and highly efficient solar fuel device."

Thus the experts were able to develop a rather elegant and simple system for using sunlight to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. This process, called artificial photosynthesis, allows solar energy to be stored in the form of hydrogen. The hydrogen can then be used as a fuel either directly or in the form of methane, or it can generate electricity in a fuel cell. One rough estimate shows the potential inherent in this technology: At a solar performance in Germany of roughly 600 Watts per square meter, 100 square meters of this type of system is theoretically capable of storing 3 kilowatt hours of energy in the form of hydrogen in just one single hour of sunshine. This energy could then be available at night or on cloudy days.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells Achieve Record Efficiency Of 15% - CleanTechnica

Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells Achieve Record Efficiency Of 15% - CleanTechnica | Environment | Scoop.it
Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells Achieve Record Efficiency Of 15% CleanTechnica Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) are a very promising type of solar cell — largely as a result of their relatively low-cost, transparency, and relatively high power...
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David Busse's comment, July 20, 2013 4:41 PM
I remember some stock market prognosticators who said that it is impossible to deliver economic levels of power from solar cells. This is proof that the scientific process can come up with advances that increase capabilities and (ultimately) reduce cost. Thanks for scooping this post.
Dorothy M Neddermeyer, PhD's comment, July 20, 2013 6:01 PM
David: You are welcome. Spread the news. Repetition is the key for people to get on with the program.
Michael Kristiansen's comment, July 21, 2013 6:11 PM
Interesting the solution comes from Institute of Technology based in Switzerland. Swiss researchers figured out how to make dye sensitized solar cells stable through changing the production process. The see through panels look incredibly light.
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Quakes, injection disposal of fracking water linked

Quakes, injection disposal of fracking water linked | Environment | Scoop.it
America's boom in oil and natural gas production may have triggered an unwelcome side effect - earthquakes.
Dorothy M Neddermeyer, PhD's insight:

EXCUSE the expression---DAH!!!  What do you think would take place--more oil and natural gas flowing out endlessly? 

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Michael Kristiansen's comment, July 21, 2013 6:18 PM
I've wondered about this too, it turns out the practice of pumping the waste water deep underground to get rid of it is the culprit, not the oil and natural gas production. Changing how the waste water is disposed of may reduce the number of earthquakes, but it will have to address environmental concerns. Pumping the fracking water underground looks like not such a bright idea.
Michael Kristiansen's comment, July 21, 2013 6:19 PM
"The problem does not appear to be hydraulic fracturing - or fracking - itself. Instead, many of the quakes erupt near wells where the dirty water left over from fracking, or other oil and gas operations, is injected deep underground for permanent disposal."
Rescooped by Dorothy M Neddermeyer, PhD from World Environment Nature News
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Acute oak decline disease prompts £1.1m research effort

Acute oak decline disease prompts £1.1m research effort | Environment | Scoop.it
Project aims to understand distribution and severity of mystery disease causing Britain's oak trees to 'bleed to death' (Acute oak decline disease prompts £1.1m research effort http://t.co/JJIWznzlh8...

Via Maria Nunzia @Varvera
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