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
Water and Conflict in Asia? Water security is emerging as an increasingly important and vital issue for the Asia-Pacific region. Perhaps no other resource—other than oxygen—is so intricately linked to human health and survival. However, as the region’s population growth continues to surge, the demand for water is increasing substantially, without a concomitant increase in water resources. Many Asian countries are beginning to experience moderate to severe water shortages, brought on by the simultaneous effects of agricultural growth, industrialization, and urbanization. In recent years, moreover, evidence indicates that water security is becoming increasingly affected by erratic weather patterns, most notably the El Nino and La Nina weather phenomena. Several countries in the region, including Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, have experienced droughts of such severity that they have caused food shortages and have threatened the long-term food supply. The world’s freshwater supply is finite. Agriculture
Diez motivos por los que los rusos sonríen tan poco He aquí algunas de las singularidades de la sonrisa rusa: 1. Sonrisa con la boca pequeña En Rusia, muchas veces la sonrisa no se hace sólo con los labios, sino que a veces se muestra ligeramente la parte superior de los dientes; enseñar los dientes superiores e inferiores al sonreír se considera vulgar; a esa sonrisa se la denomina “sonrisa de caballo”. 2. La sonrisa en la comunicación rusa no es una muestra de educación. 3. Los rusos no sonríen a los extraños. 4. No es costumbre en Rusia responder a una sonrisa con otra sonrisa. 5. Cuando los rusos sonríen indican una disposición particular hacia un individuo. 6. Los rusos no sonríen cuando están trabajando o haciendo algo serio. 7. Expresión de un excelente estado de ánimo o de una buena disposición hacia el interlocutor. En la comunicación rusa hay una regla: la sonrisa debe ser un reflejo sincero de buen humor y de buena relación. 8. Un ruso, para sonreír, debe tener una razón de peso que sea evidente para los otros. 9. 10.
Too many people still lack basic drinking water and sanitation – UN report 8 May 2014 – Despite a narrowing disparity in access to cleaner water and better sanitation between rural and urban areas, sharp inequalities still persist around the world, says a new United Nations report. According to the 2014 Joint Monitoring Report on global progress against the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on water and sanitation, more than half of the global population lives in cities, and urban areas are still better supplied with improved water and sanitation than rural ones. But this gap is decreasing. The report, produced by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), notes that in 1990, more than 76 per cent of people living in urban areas had access to improved sanitation, as opposed to only 28 per cent in rural ones. By 2012, 80 per cent of urban dwellers and 47 per cent of rural ones had access to better sanitation. In 1990, 95 per cent of people in urban areas could drink improved water, compared with 62 per cent of people in rural ones.
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
Engineers develop revolutionary nanotech water desalination membrane Researchers at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science today announced they have developed a new reverse osmosis (RO) membrane that promises to reduce the cost of seawater desalination and wastewater reclamation. Reverse osmosis desalination uses extremely high pressure to force saline or polluted waters through the pores of a semi-permeable membrane. Water molecules under pressure pass through these pores, but salt ions and other impurities cannot, resulting in highly purified water. The new membrane, developed by civil and environmental engineering assistant professor Eric Hoek and his research team, uses a uniquely cross-linked matrix of polymers and engineered nanoparticles designed to draw in water ions but repel nearly all contaminants. "The nanoparticles are designed to attract water and are highly porous, soaking up water like a sponge, while repelling dissolved salts and other impurities," Hoek said. Source: University of California - Los Angeles
16 Things You Need to Know Before Buying That Sweater | Fashion | Living 1. About 25 percent of the world’s wool comes from Australia. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. Don’t support an industry that treats sheep as disposable and not as the smart, sensitive, dignified animals they are. Southern African leaders fail to prioritise water and sanitation | Global development The majority of southern Africans are living in an "unrelenting struggle against sanitation and water poverty," according to a new report that accuses governments in the region of failing to prioritise their plight. In From promise to reality, the international NGO WaterAid says southern African leaders have fallen behind on their promises to boost public spending on basic services, with the poorest and most vulnerable people hardest hit. "There is a lot of economic growth in the region... but this is bypassing much of the population," said John Garrett, senior policy analyst at WaterAid, contrasting the optimism over southern Africa's economic prospects with the region's lagging progress on clean water and sanitation targets. An estimated 174 million people in southern Africa - almost two thirds of the total population - lack access to basic latrines, while more than 100 million go without clean drinking water. WaterAid says no government in southern Africa has met the spending target.
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
Learning package on Hydrology by the National Institute of Hydrology | India Water Portal A "Learning Package on Hydrology" by the National Institute of Hydrology deals with elements of the hydrologic cycle and explains the processes of rainfall, runoff and evapotranspiration and their interaction. This “Learning Package on Hydrology” by the National Institute of Hydrology deals with the basic scientific concepts underlying hydrology. In a general sense the package deals with elements of the hydrologic cycle and explains the processes of rainfall, runoff and evapotranspiration and their interaction. The topics covered include precipitation, abstraction from precipitation, streamflow measurement, hydrographs, flood routing, flood control, groundwater, runoff and floods. Various phases of the hydrological cycle, such as rainfall, runoff, evaporation and transpiration are all non-uniformly distributed both in time and space. Download the learning package here:
Rothschild se hace con el 100% de una patente al desaparecer sus socios en el avión perdido. ¿Casualidad? | elsilenciodelaverdad Jacob Rothschild Cuatro días después de que el vuelo MH370 desapareciese, una patente de semiconductores fue aprobada por la oficina de patentes de EEUU, haciéndose Jacob Rothschild con el 100% de la misma. Cuatro de los cinco titulares de la patente son empleados chinos de Freescale Semiconductor, de Austin, Texas.La patente se divide en 20% incrementos entre cinco titulares.Estos son: Peidong Wang, Sozhou, China, Zhijun Chen, Suzhou, China, Zhijong Cheng. Suzhou, China y Li Ying, Suzhou, China Si el titular de la patente muere, entonces el resto de los titulares igualmente comparten los dividendos del fallecido si no se disputa en un testamento previo la muerte. Si 4 de 5 mueren, entonces el titular de la patente restante consigue el 100% de los derechos propietarios de la patente. El titular restante de la patente es Freescale Semiconductor que pertenece a Blackstone Inc. que a su vez pertenece a Jacob Rothschild. Los cuatro titulares chinos de la patente estaban en el avión desaparecido.