I know that Dubai’s newest artificial islands ‘The World’ made a round of the blogs including a mention on the podcast a while ago, but I had not seen this GREAT promotional video until tonight. Take a minute to check the ingenuity/insanity that is The World in this WMV video.
Sir Richard Branson has promised all profits from his travel companies to combat global warming. The anouncement was made at former President Clinton’s Global Initiative. The money is supposed to be used to fund more efficent fuel technologies, which sorta makes sense for travel company profits. That’s a heck of an expensive gauntlet to throw down for global warming. Here’s hoping the “investment” reaps rewards for us all.
Breathing Earth is a website which displays near real-time data on birth and death rates around the world on a map interface that also shows carbon emission rates. Their data is taken from UN and World Factbook figures available through Wikipedia, although not necessarily the most recent (the carbon dioxide emission rates were from 2002, for example). You can watch the changing display, or you can mouse over individual countries to see their stats.
It’s a compelling visualization of the way countries impact the earth’s environment, as least in terms of carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming.
In a speech yesterday at the New York University School of Law, Al Gore argued that one way to compel employers to cut greenhouse gas emissions would be to assess a carbon emission tax, instead of collecting payroll taxes. THree-quarters of the votes in the very informal poll on the MSNBC site thought that the idea was brilliant, and I have to say, it’s pretty original. Unfortunately, in the current US political climate, I can’t imagine something like that ever actually being implemented.
This spring, Japan will launch the first nation wide earthquake detector in the world. The system basically senses pre-major quake waves and gives a warning the big one is coming. As the article states, and I had no idea about, earthquakes are a BIG deal in Japan – they get 20 percent of all the really big quakes in the world. Of course, it isn’t like the Japanese will have days to prepare for a quake, since the sensors and early warning system only give 30 seconds warning. Still, I’d rather have 30 seconds before the walls come down than nothing at all.
For those of you interested in using GIS and remote sensing in conservation-related activities, the Smithsonian National Zoological Park’s Conservation and Research Center is offering a week-long advanced GIS and remote sensing course from Sept. 11-15th at their facility in Virginia. They still have some slots left, and this would be a really good chance for people to learn about specific applications and issues related to Conservation GIS. The price is $1300, but does include lodging and breakfast.
Yeah, it’s 80′s movie reference day around here (at least for me). Some scientists down under have decided to see if they can figure out what global warming is really doing… by creating a “climatic time machine“. The idea is to artificially induce years or even decades worth of climate change on a mini-ecosystem, in this case individual plants in the eucalypt forests. While apparently this work is being done in the the Northern Hemisphere, this is the first of its kind in the Southern. Their results should be pretty interesting after they’ve had some time to climate age the subjects.
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.
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.
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.