Climate change -influenced extreme heat -new report

September 30, 2014

According to a recent report following research done from 2013’s weather patterns and heat, it seems that climate change has been a factor in extreme heat around the globe.

Man-made climate change stoked some of 2013’s most extreme heat on the planet, a new report shows.

Twenty-two separate research teams analyzed 16 of last year’s extreme weather events, for instance the California drought and devastating flooding in Colorado, to determine whether climate change — primarily caused by the burning of fossil fuels — made any of the events more likely or severe.

Scientists found clear fingerprints of climate change on all five of the heat waves analyzed in the report, which was published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.  But for other events, isolating the impact of climate change from natural variability proved to be more difficult.

Map of extreme weather events 2013

http://www.livescience.com/48062-climate-change-extreme-heat-2013.html


Natural to Resort to Atlantis!

September 30, 2014

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/30/science/barrier-islands-feeling-the-effects-of-climate-change.html?ref=science30coast-master675

Barrier Islands of the United States Atlantic coasts will feel some of the most dramatic impacts of climate change. The only uncertainty is when will these Islands be absorbed by the ocean, not if.

These are also Islands were a lot of development is going on.

Paradise-Island_Hotel-Atlantis_Bahamas

The problem with both rising sea levels and development happening on these Islands is the development will soon be under water. Developments also make for slower recoveries from flooding.

images


Wildlife Homes project

September 30, 2014

Title: Wildlife Homes on Campus

 

Participants: Blake Fajack and Jayne Ackerman

 

Description:

Delaware county is Ohio’s fastest growing county. Human encroachment into wildlife habitats has limited areas for food and shelter for wildlife.  Bats, bees, and birds are some of most impactful species present in Delware country that are in need of shelter. Many species resort to finding shelter in human homes, where they can cause damage to housing, spread disease, or be exterminated by the humans that live there. To offer more options we are building shelters for these animals to live on campus.

Bee hotel

One of the bat boxes made this weekend, needs painted.

One of the bat boxes made this weekend, needs painted.

 

Outline:

  • Meet with Dick Tuttle (October 3rd)
    • get plan for bird houses together
  • Build 2 bat houses
  • Get supplies for Bee Hotels and bird houses
    • Dr. K’s bamboo
  • Look around campus for good locations
  • Make up plan before talking with BG
  • Talk with BG about where to put homes
  • Plan event for building bee hotels and mounting all houses
  • Make plans for future maintenance and sustainability of wildlife homes

Sources:

  • Sheffield, S.R., Shaw, J.H., Heidt, G.A., McClenaghan, L.R. 1992. Guidelines for the protection of bat roosts. Journal of Mammalogy 73: 707-710.
    • Focus on bat conservation, why roost are important, how humans are limiting roosts

Tentative set of key dates:

  • November – bird house/bee hotel event (assembly, painting houses, hanging houses, etc.)
    • Before Thanksgiving break
    • Maybe Nov 14th
  • Meet with Dick Tuttle and Dr. K on Friday Oct 3
  • Survey good areas for house locations Oct. 9 with Dick Tuttle and Dr. K

Nature 6-9

September 30, 2014

Nature as Landscape

– Many cherished landscapes and classic sceneries are managed areas, altered by humans, even though they are seen as untouched and “wild”.  US national parks, state parks, gardens etc. are all maintained in some way.  Maybe by exterminating an invaisive, setting intentional fires to prairie restorations or whatever else that involves human intervention to tame nature.  Parks today seem to have become giant gardens, “idealized communal landscapes”

– p. 120 “as capitalism besieged the natural world, nature was increasingly defined as those places ‘where industry was not’.”

This chapter reminded me a lot of Desert Solitaire and our discussions of “wilderness”.  The idea that nature is where man is not does not seem to encompass what nature really means.  Humans have put a name to nature yet they are not included in it, it is contradicting especially while alterations and management of nature continue.

Reassessment of Nature: Romantic and Ecological

– p.125 “…conservationism that arose from perceptions of dwindling natural resources and the desire to preserve nature prompted by challenges to the integrity of wild lands and wildlife from farming, logging, mining and hunting”

“they go to nature as a source”

Nature is seen as a recourse to be exploited.  It continues until something goes wrong, even then not much changes.  Many environmental issues are still ignored today while lots of scientific data is available showing direct correlations with humans and unhealthiness.  It seems that man has treated nature as nice scenery until he is ready to take the useful aspects out of it.

Romantic view of nature.

Disunited Colours of Nature

– p. 146 “every culture projects its values onto nature and then holds them up as nature’s own authority, deploying this apparently unimpeachable and independent source of authority to justify its vision of society and the world.”…”‘nature’ has a record of service as a justification for social hierarchy, inequality of wealth and the pursuit of private property that extends at least as far back as Aristotle, who instucted that slaves were slaves ‘by nature'”

nature dictates who is wealthy/happy? – cultural issues are brushed aside as ‘natural’ problems that cannot be cured. “humankind should follow it blindly” yet once again humankind gave name to nature, so humankind also dictates what is considered nature or what is ‘natural’

The Future of Nature

– if nature is something that does not include humans and is essentially “unaffected by humans” than how was/is social standing dictated by nature like many believed long ago and maybe still today?

“nature has no preferred way of being represented” – many human viewpoint on nature throughout time confuse the meaning of nature.


Second Half of Nature

September 29, 2014

In the second half of Nature, Coates discuss nature throughout the world. Importantly how back then these first world countries we growing and how it foreshadowed them to where they are today. Next he moves into the idea of nature and the limits of Romanticism. Three main topics are brought out, Darwinism, ecology, and nature. In each category he discusses how it all began through Darwinism and how Charles Darwin did in fact not romanticizes in nature as many people thought in his time. This is because he was in love with nature but to the extent of how nature functioned and thrived not protecting it for its scenery. The book states “To illustrate what he called the ‘web of life’- ‘how plants and animals remote in the scale of nature, are bound together by a web of complex relations” continues with a story about a bee and a clover. Bees pollinate the clovers; however the bee hives are destroyed by mice. Continuing the more cats there are in an area the less mice there will be so more cats more clovers. It continues to discuss more about how he saw or interpreted ecology and nature.

The book then progress to the views on earth and the chapter name fits it to a tee; The Disunited Colours of Nature. This is because it breaks it down into political groups and activists groups and how they all have different view on nature and how everyone in their own mine believes that they are right. A great example is when they discuss capitalism, “The idea of nature to which one comes under the domination of private property and of money is the actual contempt…. That all creatures have been made into property, the fish in the water, the birds in the air, the plants on the earth – the creatures, too, must be free,” It was interesting to see many different views on nature and how throughout history. Marx and Engles is mentioned throughout this chapter on how they say they are environmentalists but they really were not when you look at what they taught and stood for. This was supported by saying they have a dirty record throughout history. But a point was brought up that they were not as bad as some of the companies today.

In the last chapter it focused on the ‘future’ of earth and where do we stand. It really focused on what we are doing today is almost irreversible to what has already been done. It also discusses what we are calling nature today, because if we look at what McKibben is calling nature might not be the way Fukuyama looks at it. They are compared by the view of Mckibben that nature has not changed since 1945 and it has not been affected by humans. However, points were brought up about how ozone deterioration, destruction of trees by acid rain, and pollution are destroying not only nature but the earth. Coincidentally Genetically modified Organisms were brought up which I thought was interesting and how Walter Anderson supports the idea and views it as a colossal step forward. This is because we are making huge leaps forward with making food that can withstand the frost or a drought. However, the point is brought up but is it really a good idea and does this now change evolution. Since we are genetically engineering these foods and animal’s people will not have to worry about finding the best because they will all be the same.


Global Survey Says We’re Eating Better, But Our Diet Is Still Unsustainable

September 29, 2014

This was an interesting article that discussed food consumption around the world.  It started off with informing readers how many people around the country eat locally and are more are of how food choices are impacting the environment.  Continuing India was ranked first out of eleven countries because of their cultural eating habits, 1 in 4 are vegetarians. Another major topic was food as culture and how it impacts what people eat because of the back ground in ones culture. A good example was Mexico, “Mexicans ranked last in the Greendex measure of food due to a diet heavy in beef and chicken. The Japanese, who eat more fish and seafood than anyone, ate the next least-green diet. Swedish and Spanish consumers saw the biggest drops in their food scores since 2012, thanks to bigger appetites for fish and seafood in both countries and for chicken in Spain. Meanwhile America’s junk food culture means its consumers eat the most processed and packaged foods and the fewest fruits and vegetables. And not surprisingly for island nations, the British and Japanese eat far more imported food than homegrown.” The last section of this article discussed how countries and people say it’s not our problem and that they are not changing their diets. Especially in first world countries, British, German, Australian, American, and Canadian consumers showed little interest in changing their consumption habits to diminish their environmental footprints—even though theirs were among the biggest. The most stubborn consumers lived in Japan, which last week announced it will resume whale hunting and where nearly half eat pork several times a week. “Something’s going on in Japan—talk about entrenched,” says Susan Frazier, research manager at NGS. “There’s not much there that’s changing for the positive.”

Map of countries included in the greendex.

The Greendex is a quantitative study of 18,000 consumers in a total of 18 countries (14 in 2008, 17 in 2009 through 2012) asked about energy consumption and conservation, transportation choices, food sources, the relative use of green products versus conventional products, attitudes toward the environment and sustainability, and knowledge of environmental concerns. A group of international experts helped determine the behaviors that were most critical to investigate.


“Clean the Everglades, win $10 million”

September 28, 2014

Phosphorous pollution in the everglades needs attention.  $10 million to the scientist who can solve the problem.

Read more HERE!