Global risks: Pool knowledge to stem losses from disasters Turjoy Chowdhury/Nurphoto/Corbis This year's deadly earthquakes in Nepal killed more than 8,000 people and reduced thousands of buildings to rubble. In April and May, two massive earthquakes in Nepal killed more than 8,400 people, injured 20,000 and reduced 300,000 houses to rubble. The number and severity of disasters is increasing (see 'Catastrophic rise'). Improved disaster-risk management and resilience is essential for sustainable societies1. Hazard preparation: Three lessons yet to be learned Build well to save life and property. Invest in pre-disaster mitigation. Be prepared. Sadly, hazard mitigation is not a vote-winner. In March, governments met under the auspices of the United Nations in Sendai, Japan, to negotiate an international agreement to reverse the rising trend of disaster losses. For the Sendai agreement to succeed, an open and comprehensive source of vetted information on disaster-risk reduction is needed. Splintered approach Source: Munichre/Natcatservice
The Water Cycle for Kids and Students The water cycle describes how Earth's water is not only always changing forms, between liquid (rain), solid (ice), and gas (vapor), but also moving on, above, and in the Earth. This process is always happening everywhere. Back to the water cycle diagram for students. Animals In the grand scheme of the water cycle, animals may not play a very big role, but all animals, including you, participate in moving water around as part of the water cycle. The water cycle is critical to all animals and life on Earth. There is one creature on Earth that does have a very large impact on the water cycle—human beings. Atmosphere The atmosphere truly is the superhighway in the sky that moves water everywhere over the Earth. The next time you go outside you will be standing in the Earth's atmosphere. The air outside may look invisible, but it is full of molecules, including water molecules, as water vapor. How much does a cloud weigh? Clouds are made of water, and water has weight, so how can they float? Lakes
J. Rainforest role in the water cycle « Rainforest Conservation Fund Freshwater is an essential resource which is under increasing pressure. Dams and other diversionary activities, particularly agriculture, have diverted a huge amount of the world’s fresh water for human use. Humans now use more than 50% of the available fresh water of the earth, and this proportion is en route to increase to 70% in the next half-century. Therefore it behooves us to attend to all factors which affect the water cycle. Although the role of rainforests in the global water cycle is relatively small compared to that of the oceans, it is nevertheless extremely important. Rainforests influence the hydrologic cycle in the following ways: 1) Precipitation Rainforests release water vapor by transpiration through leaves and evaporation (evapotranspiration, or water lost through the pores in leaves and evaporated by heat). 2) Water regulation The movement of water into rivers and other waterways is modulated by forest vegetation.
Human Appropriation of the World's Fresh Water Supply "Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink"- Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner, by Coleridge. Jump to: [The Water Resources of Earth] [Consumptive and Non-Consumptive Water Use] [Human Appropriation of Renewable Fresh Water ] [What are the Solutions?] [Water Sustainability, Water Security][References] The Water Resources of Earth Over 70% of our Earth's surface is covered by water ( we should really call our planet "Ocean" instead of "Earth"). 97.5% of all water on Earth is salt water, leaving only 2.5% as fresh water Nearly 70% of that fresh water is frozen in the icecaps of Antarctica and Greenland; most of the remainder is present as soil moisture, or lies in deep underground aquifers as groundwater not accessible to human use. Water as a Resource Since antiquity, irrigation, drainage, and impoundment have been the three types of water control having a major impact on landscapes and water flows. A timeline of human water use: Consumptive and Non-Consumptive Water Use Take the Self Test
Earth - The world's most deadly volcanoes Last August, in southern Iceland, the flanks of the volcano Bardarbunga ripped open and fountains of lava spouted skyward. Molten rock oozed downhill making its way toward the sea. The eruption has now come to an end but the volcano continues to pump gases into the atmosphere. “Bardarbunga has really, for the first time, seriously showed its power,” says Pall Einarsson, a geophysicist at the University of Iceland. Laki’s eruption started in 1783 and, for eight long months, it spewed lava and noxious gases. But Laki’s devastation spread well beyond the ‘island of fire and ice.’ Although the ultimate death toll from Laki might be near impossible to estimate, the volcano definitely earns its place amongst the world’s deadliest. None of these volcanoes wielded their force in quite the same way, and nearly all took their victims by surprise. Big billowing pillars, or columns, of ash and gas, hot gas, shoot up above such a volcano to huge heights, up to 30,000 feet or so Small but Deadly
The Urgency of Water Security - THE CHALLENGE Feeding the world Feeding the world has been a top priority for decades. The task is not getting easier. A world of cities It isn’t just that there are more people to feed, it is where they live. Depleted resources South Asia and the Near East/North Africa have exhausted much of their rain-fed land potentials and depleted a significant share of their renewable waters. Working together across sectors The actions needed to move towards achieving water security need to be embedded into national development plans, such as poverty reduction strategies and comprehensive development frameworks. Achieving water security thus requires cooperation between different water users, and between those sharing river basins and aquifers, within a framework that allows for the protection of vital eco-systems from pollution and other threats. Social change Building that resilience means financing water infrastructure. Sound economic and social arguments influence decision makers. Water is key to development
Most dangerous job in the world: Incredible footage of men working on top of volcanos | Weird This incredible footage shows men working on a super volcanic mountain range in East Java, Indonesia. The workers, many of whom aren't expected to live past 50, breathe highly noxious gases which come out of the Kawah Ijen Volcano without masks, carrying loads of up to 70kg on their backs from a quarry. Many work shirtless and have huge growths on their backs from the heavy loads. Photographer Brad Ambrose captured the pictures along with his pal Geoff Mackley, while trekking through Indonesia. The 38-year-old photographer said: "It would be one of the more dangerous jobs in the world – not just because of the fall risks, but because of the gases the miners work in. "The majority are working in there with no masks to filter out the deadly gases. "Even though we each used a gas filter set, at some stages we could still taste the gas." The photographers from New Zealand travelled from midnight to try and get pictures of the sulphur fires before sunrise.
What is Water Security? - THE CHALLENGE A water secure world harnesses water's productive power and minimises its destructive force. It is a world where every person has enough safe, affordable water to lead a clean, healthy and productive life. It is a world where communities are protected from floods, droughts, landslides, erosion and water-borne diseases. Water security also means addressing environmental protection and the negative effects of poor management. A water secure world means ending fragmented responsibility for water and integrating water resources management across all sectors – finance, planning, agriculture, energy, tourism, industry, education and health. This integration is at the heart of GWP’s strategy. A water secure world reduces poverty, advances education, and increases living standards.
40 maps that explain the Roman Empire by Timothy B. Lee on August 19, 2014 Two thousand years ago, on August 19, 14 AD, Caesar Augustus died. He was Rome's first emperor, having won a civil war more than 40 years earlier that transformed the dysfunctional Roman Republic into an empire. Under Augustus and his successors, the empire experienced 200 years of relative peace and prosperity. The rise and fall of Rome The rise and fall of RomeIn 500 BC, Rome was a minor city-state on the Italian peninsula. The rise of Rome Rome's military Rome's powerful maniple formation Rome's powerful maniple formationIn the early years of the republic, the Roman infantry used a version of the Greek phalanx. The republic becomes an empire Julius Caesar conquers Gaul Julius Caesar conquers GaulIn 58 BC, Julius Caesar took command of Rome's northern frontier and set out to conquer Gaul, which corresponds roughly to modern-day France. The lost city of Pompeii The eruption of Mount Vesuvius The eruption of Mt. The culture of Rome The decline of Rome
Water Resources Management - THE CHALLENGE Water is an essential natural resource that shapes regional landscapes and is vital for ecosystem functioning and human well-being. At the same time, water is a resource under considerable pressure. Alterations in the hydrologic regime due to global climatic, demographic and economic changes have serious consequences for people and the environment. A water cycle under stress Human overuse of water resources, primarily for agriculture, and diffuse contamination of freshwater from urban regions and from agriculture are stressing the water resources in the terrestrial water cycle. As a consequence, the ecological functions of water bodies, soils and groundwater (e.g. filtration, natural decomposition of pollutants, buffer capacity) in the water cycle are hampered. What constitutes water management? Functions of water resources management are very complex tasks and may involve many different activities conducted by many different players. Water Allocation River basin planning Pollution control
Wegener's Puzzling Evidence Exercise (6th Grade) Although Alfred Wegener was not the first to suggest that continents have moved about the Earth, his presentation of carefully compiled evidence for continental drift inspired decades of scientific debate. Wegener's evidence, in concert with compelling evidence provided by post World War II technology, eventually led to universal acceptance of the theory of Plate Tectonics in the scientific community. The following files are needed for this exercise and can be downloaded in pdf format (Teacher Overview, (For Teachers) Wegener's Key to Continental Positions for grade 6, Student Puzzle Pieces, Key to Wegener's Evidence sheet, and Student Map of the World Today). Objectives Students will observe and analyze scientific evidence used by Wegener. The Student Puzzle Pieces and Legend To start this activity the teacher will present background information on Wegener. Time frame 1-2 class periods. National standards references The National Science Standards: The National Geography Standards: Materials
Armenia: Local solutions for waste water management in Armenia village (#438) - Asia and Caucasus - CASE STUDIES - TOOLBOX - Root Description During the Soviet years the households` wastewater of the Yerevan’s nearby villages was pumped by two-stage pumping system to the wastewater collector of Yerevan’s districts and then transported to “Aeratsia” treatment plant of the Armenian capital Yerevan. Due to the energy crisis after the collapse of the USSR, the pump stations terminated their operation in the villages and left local community without appropriate sanitation services. In the village of Parakar, the wastewater was removed through the wastewater system up to the non-operating pumping station in the center of the village and afterwards discharged into the open irrigation canal passing nearby the pumping station and through the village and infiltrated into ground. After mixing of the domestic wastewater with irrigation water, the latter was not used for irrigation purposes and about 100ha agricultural lands remained uncultivated. Action taken Lessons learned
40 Maps That Explain The Middle East Maps can be a powerful tool for understanding the world, particularly the Middle East, a place in many ways shaped by changing political borders and demographics. Here are 40 maps crucial for understanding the Middle East — its history, its present, and some of the most important stories in the region today. Middle East History The fertile crescent, the cradle of civilization The fertile crescent, the cradle of civilizationIf this area wasn't the birthplace of human civilization, it was at least a birthplace of human civilization. Called "the fertile crescent" because of its lush soil, the "crescent" of land mostly includes modern-day Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and Israel-Palestine. The Middle East today The dialects of Arabic today The dialects of Arabic todayThis map shows the vast extent of the Arabic-speaking world and the linguistic diversity within it. Israel-Palestine Syria Iran Afghanistan Saudi Arabia and Oil Iraq and Libya Points of Light
China Guizhou: Management of drought (#419) - Asia and Caucasus - CASE STUDIES - TOOLBOX - Root Description The droughts in the Yangtze Basin and the Southwest however were highly unusual. However, the last decade observations show that precipitation dropped 90% during the southwest drought period and the summer growing season was 1.5o Celsius hotter than normal. Sixty million people felt the effects of the drought, and 6.5 million hectares (ha) of agricultural land was compromised. Climate change scenarios for China show an increased likelihood of more severe storms and droughts. The higher temperatures resulting from climate change reduce runoff into lakes, reservoirs. The drought that occurred in Guiyang district (Guizhou Province) in 2009–2010 was part of a widespread drought across the southwest provinces. Reservoirs were reduced to dry cracked earth with intakes abandoned. Action taken In 2011, the State Council has approved a new policy document which outlines the country’s priority development issue. Lessons learned Photo credit: Andrew Turner