Harvard magazine has an interesting article about global warming. It’s a longer read than many of our posts, but worth checking out. Of particular note is the artistic rendering of what parts of the US would look like if the oceans rose 3.5 meters. Much of Florida would disappear and a over half of Manhattan.
I didn’t get a chance to blog this earlier because of our slow internet connection in San Juan, but NASA’s 2 new cloud monitoring satellites, CloudSat and Calipso, were successfully launched Friday morning after some difficulties they delayed their originial launch date. What’s cool about these satellites is that they are carrying instruments that can view clouds in 3D, which will hopefully give scientists new perspectives on how clouds and airborne particles like aerosols impact weather and climate.
A couple of days ago, the Cartography blog linked to Dr. Robert Blakely’s site with over 40 amazing maps of the paleogeography of North America. As archaeologists in our previous lives, Jesse and I really thought they were just great, but I think anyone will appreciate these maps, so definitely check this site out.
Sorry for the excessive alliteration there, but it sums up this article quite nicely, I think. It appears that the infrastructure that surrounds car ownership does more than generate excessive amounts of smog. Carports, garages, overpasses and the like could pose a significant risk to California residents should a massive earthquake like San Francisco’s 1906 quake strike. I think we’ve all seen the historic footage of the Golden Gate Bridge shaking like a polaroid picture. Imagine that happening anywhere around the state and you can see the concern!
CNN.com featured an article today about NASA’s role in a global effort to monitor the Great Barrier Reef off Australia. NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites, part of the Earth Observing System (EOS), are used to capture frequent data on ocean surface temperature and color, which are important indicators of the health of the reefs and the algae that essential to the coral. If water temperatures get too high, the algae are forced out of the coral, which become bleached and can eventually die.
According to a USGS press release from yesterday, a Google Earth-based virtual tour of the devastating 1902 San Francisco will be announced during a press conference which was scheduled to start at 10am. The feed from the news conference was supposed to stream live from the USGS website, but I was finally able to connect and there is nobody in the room (some music is playing .
Update: It is starting now….10am Pacific Time……I am watching now
Update 2: The Virtual Tour webpage is now live on the USGS website.
It seems that a team of explorers from the UK and New Zealand, equipped with GPS, recently completed a harrowing journey to what they are calling the ‘true source’ of the Nile River in the Nyungwe rainforest in Rwanda. The expedition took 80 days, and based on their GPS readings, the team believe the Nile is actually 66 miles longer than previously thought. It will be interesting to see how their work is received…
The winner of the 2006 Intel Science Talent Search is Shannon Babb of Highland, Utah, who won a $100,000 college scholarship for her project studying the impacts of humans and animals on the Spanish Fork River drainage system. Not only did she spend six months studying the drainage system, she also came up with recommendations for improving water quality. Shannon’s study is something physical geographers interested in hydrology do all the time, so maybe she will take her scholarship and use it to study geography!
Wired News just posted the first part of their 3-part series on global warming, which will consist of interviews with 3 leading authors on the topic. First up is Tim Flannery, of the University of Adelaide, who is director of the South Australian Museum. The second installment will feature environmentalist Lester R. Brown, founder of the Earth Policy Institute, and the series will finish up with Elizabeth Kolbert, a writer for The New Yorker.
The United Nations Environment Programme recently published One Planet, Many People: Atlas of Our Changing Environment, using 30 years of before-and-after Landsat images for 80 sites around the world to provide “insights into the many ways people around the world have changed, and continue to change, the environment.”
It is hardcover, and looks really nice, but at $150 US and $20 US to ship to Europe, $30 US elsewhere, I don’t think I can afford it. Still, it would be a great addition to many libraries.