BBC NEWS | Greenland melt ‘speeding up’

Following up on last week’s episode on the perception of Global Warming, I thought I would post this recent article from the BBC. Researchers using NASA satellite data have determined that the rate of melting of the ice cap over Greenland has increased between 2004 and now. The article suggests that if the entire ice mass over Greenland melted, global sea levels would rise by 6.5 meters.

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Greenland melt ‘speeding up’

Hot town, Summer in the City

Looks like The Lovin’ Spoonful had it right. It’s dang hot out. How hot? This satellite imagery tells us! NASA’s Earth Observatory shows heat data from 2002 for New York city with vegetation as well. It’s used to document a phenomena known as Urban Heat Island. Anyone who lives in a city is pretty familar with the notion – streets and buildings make it that much hotter than the naked temperature.

I’m sure those who’ve lived through the last couple of days feel much better to know it has an official name.

Arny and Tony go green

Apparently Tony Blair and Arnold Schwarzenegger met in California recently. The outcome was:

    A “mission statement” [that] said the two would, among other things, “share experiences” and “find new solutions”.

Apparently the govenenor has placed the environment high on his agenda. If Arny were eligible for the presidency I might think he was beginning his run for the White House.

BBC NEWS | In Depth | California and UK in climate pact

CyberTracker, animal tracking for everyone

Listener Jody pointed out a great project that was highlighted on last weeks Living on Earth. CyberTracker allows anyone to capture information, including location, about animal movements. The software uses an interface that can be used by anyone from non-literate bushman to wildlife agents on a simple mobile hardware platform. The software is freely downloadable if you would like to take a look and be sure to check out July 21, 2006 episode of Living on Earth around the 32 minute mark for a great story about CyberTracker.

Air Pollution Monitoring Via….Pigeons

Who knew avians could be so high tech? A new study of real-time air pollution is being undertaken using, of all things, pigeons. Little monitors are strapped to the backs of the pigeons and data is beamed back to Earth and published on the web in real time. Apparently the data will be available in blog format for anyone to see/use.

I’m pretty proud of the work we do here at Very Spatial, but I’m not sure we can compete with a Pigeon Blog. That’s just too cool.

MesoStor – Online GIS data delivery system for Central America

I was going through my Caribbean GIS listserv alerts, and I noticed one about MesoStor, a project to make GIS data about Mesoamerica available online. MesoStor is part of SERVIR, “a regional visualization and monitoring system for Mesoamerica that integrates satellite and other geospatial data for improved scientific knowledge and decision making by managers, researchers, students, and the general public.” What is really cool about this project is all the partners who are working together to make it happen. The USGS and NASA have contributed data and expertise (in fact, the site is hosted by NASA), and other partners include NOAA, The Nature Conservancy, Conservacion Internacional, ESRI, the World Bank, and several universities.

Alternative Energy Around the World

It’s a flash map, but it’s still pretty cool. Ever wonder where all the alternative energy is being produced in the world? Well now you can find out! This site has three views of the globle (which I find very attractive, by the by) and nifty 3D icons showing sources of geothermal, solar, wind, and wave sources of energy. The red dots give you nice little information about the areas in question.


BBC ClimateThe BBC is working with others to predict climate change and they want your help! The climate prediction tool runs within the BOINC environment just like SETI@home and others. This software takes advantage of free CPU cycles on client machines to crunch numbers for large data sets…isn’t distributed computing grand. If you have time head over check the project out.


Google Maps of Active Volcanoes

If you’re like me, when you go to plan your summer vacation, weird questions like, “Is there a major earthquake fault or active volcano in the area?” will eventually come up. Now you don’t have to worry about those pesky active volcanoes in your holiday planning! The site features a google mashup with the Smithsonian and USGS Weekly Volcano Activity Report, so you know you’re always up-to-date with the volcanic activity in the area. Clicking on the volcano point brings up a handy, dandy popup featuring current activity, background, some general information, and the more complete entry into the greater database. The general tab will let you zoom directly to the volcano for a better look.