Drought stricken Lake Travis, Texas. Note the water line in the background. Via
Roads into White Gold: stunning pictures from Ethiopia’s ancient salt trails
One of the hottest places on earth, northern Ethiopia holds long-used roads for caravans of camels to collect salt through a sun-blasted desert basin. In the “Danakil Depression”, the average temperature is 94 degrees Fahrenheit.
A paved road is being built to make it easier for industrialized companies to access the salt flats, which could put the ancient camel caravans out of business.
“Most of the people who live here are dependent on the salt caravans, so we are not happy with prospective salt companies that try to set up base here,” said Abdullah Ali Noor.
Read our in-depth report of the salt trails.
In this week’s Newsweek, a little something about Yahoo & Tumblr’s marriage. And a request: “Please don’t mess with any of our favorite Tumblrs, like the beauties below.”
- BEST TUMBLR FOR BREAKING NEWS: SHORTFORMBLOG
- MOST LOL-WORTHY ANIMAL TUMBLR: CATS THAT LOOK LIKE RON SWANSON
- BEST CROWDSOURCED TECH TUMBLR: THE INTERNET WISHLIST
- MOST CHARMING VINTAGE-Y TUMBLR: QUESTIONABLE ADVICE AND ADVERTISEMENTS
- MOST STIMULATING ART-AND-DESIGN TUMBLR: HELLO YOU CREATIVES
- MOST GORGEOUS PHOTOGRAPHY TUMBLR: FOTOJOURNALISMUS
- TRAVEL TUMBLR THAT’S ALMOST AS GOOD AS AN ACTUAL TRIP: THE TRAVEL NETWORK
- MOST POP-CULTURE-SAVVY FASHION TUMBLR: TEXTBOOK
- BEST BOYFRIEND TUMBLR: YOUR LL BEAN BOYFRIEND
Congrats everyone! Now go follow those tumblrs and get them up in yo’ dashboard. Sorry about the caps, btw, we copy/pasted straight from the website and did we feel like going through and rewriting these headlines? No we did not. We are too busy applauding. Click through though to see what we wrote about each winner.
Still no “Best Environment Tumblr” category…
Astronauts Snag Dramatic Photographs of Alaska’s Erupting Volcano
“Astronauts living on board the International Space Station managed to get these dramatic pictures of the Pavlof Volcano as it erupted over the weekend. The volcano began acting up last Monday, the 13th, its first eruption since 2007.”
See more images at The Atlantic.
Definitely click through!
Whoa!! David Karp liked my Oklahoma safe room post! Is this real life?
Actually, yes. Karp and Mayer (very briefly) discussed the power of social media and the monster tornado disaster in OKC in this nice interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos yesterday. I think this shows they are listening, and I am humbled.
How prepared are American cities for increased natural disasters? Over the years, Americans have insisted on expanding and building cities and suburbs in locations that are clearly threatened by natural hazards. This week’s monster tornado in Oklahoma demonstrates this. Cities and states have encouraged people to live in these areas through city planning, architectural design, and the so-called need for “economic development.”
Thus, instead of encouraging people to not live in these hazard zones, city leaders have created methods to help people survive relatively normal lives there. Houses in California must meet specific earthquake design standards, buildings in Oklahoma have “safe rooms,” and countless structures must be stable enough to handle floods and erosion along American coastlines. These are adaptations. Not good adaptations (I believe people should not be encouraged to live in these areas), but there it is.
With the climate changing, the impacts on communities are likely to increase. Incidences of natural disasters are expected to rise, costing many lives and causing a need for an endless stream of disaster aid.
Researchers at MIT teamed up with the non-profit ICLEI to survey cities around the world. The goal was to compare how they were adapting to climate change impacts, or preparing for future impacts. Progress, the researchers found, is very slow in the US, while cities around the world are far more advanced.
It’s a great read, very visual so if you don’t have time you can skim it.
Early warning, communication, training, and “safe rooms” combined to save thousands of lives from the Okla. monster tornado. It is a very clear example of how cities have designed adaptation systems to respond to local weather conditions.
How could so many have survived the Okla. tornado?
Viewers glued to TV following Monday’s tornado that hit here with the destructive force of an atomic bomb very likely expected to wake up Tuesday to a death and injury toll in the thousands.
How could anyone have survived the apocalyptic destruction of a worst-of-the-worst EF5 category storm? Miraculously, most did, despite an official warning coming just 16 minutes before the twister cut a 17-mile war-zone-like path through this city of 56,000.
Local, state and federal officials credit luck, happenstance, timing, faith, heroics, preparation and the seasoned experience that comes with living in the heart of Tornado Alley for the relatively low victim count.
“If they say there’s a chance of severe tornadoes, people take it really seriously,” said Tyler Porter, who lives in Oklahoma City, 10 miles north of Moore. “They pretty much know when it’s time to take cover.”
Excellent coverage by USA Today
WASHINGTON, May 20 (Reuters) - Water levels in U.S.aquifers, the vast underground storage areas tapped foragriculture, energy and human consumption, between 2000 and 2008dropped at a rate that was almost three times as great as any time during the 20th century, U.S. officials said on Monday.
The accelerated decline in the subterranean reservoirs is due to a combination of factors, most of them linked to rising population in the United States, according to Leonard Konikow, a research hydrologist at the U.S. Geological Survey.
The big rise in water use started in 1950, at the time of an economic boom and the spread of U.S. suburbs. However, the steep increase in water use and the drop in groundwater levels that followed World War 2 were eclipsed by the changes during the first years of the 21st century, the study showed.
As consumers, farms and industry used more water starting in 2000, aquifers were also affected by climate changes, with less rain and snow filtering underground to replenish what was being pumped out, Konikow said in a telephone interview from Reston, Virginia.
Depletion of groundwater can cause land to subside, cut yields from existing wells, and diminish the flow of water from springs and streams.
Where is all the groundwater going?
Sponsor shout-out: New, nonprofit, open-access scientific journal Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene is now accepting submissions online ›
Elementa is one of my favorite projects and I’m honored that they are one of my sponsors. It’s an open access (free) peer-reviewed science journal that focuses on, among other things, adaptation and climate change. They’re holding an open call for submissions.
Spread the word on your university’s listserv or wherever you can! Overview and instructions:
Elementa is an open-access, nonprofit journal, founded by BioOne and five collaborating academic institutions: Dartmouth, the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Colorado Boulder, the University of Michigan, and the University of Washington.
Elementa will publish original research reporting on new knowledge of the Earth’s physical, chemical, and biological systems; interactions between human and natural systems; and steps that can be taken to mitigate and adapt to global change. Embracing the concept that basic knowledge can foster sustainable solutions for society, Elementa is organized initially into six knowledge domains, each led by a prominent Editor-in-Chief. The following domains are now accepting submissions:
- Atmospheric Science Detlev Helmig, University of Colorado Boulder
- Earth and Environmental Science Joel D. Blum, University of Michigan
- Ecology Donald R. Zak, University of Michigan
- Ocean Science Jody W. Deming, University of Washington
- Sustainable Engineering Michael E. Chang, Georgia Institute of Technology
Elementa is published on an open-access, public-good basis. Open access allows research to be freely available to all—including those from developing countries whose academic institutions may not be able to afford costly publications—in the interests of accelerating scientific progress, and ultimately resulting in public good. Open access not only ensures the widest dissemination of research possible, but also the greatest impact, by allowing others to cite, re-purpose, and build upon existing published research.
Elementa is now accepting submissions through its online peer-review system (www.editorialmanager.com/elementa). Benefits of publishing with Elementa include rapid, rigorous peer-review; a detailed manuscript tracking system for authors; and publications of articles through a variety of human- and machine-intelligible formats: XML, HTML, JSON, PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket. Elementa’s first articles will be published on September 3rd.
Visit the site and follow us on Twitter for more details: www.elementascience.org, @elementascience.
Photo: Sergey Gorshkov
It’s It was a walrus.
The IRS has a tumblr. Here a rep discusses how they can help in times of natural disasters.
Be of service. You are taking your degree into a society dominated by concentrated poverty and a vulnerable middle class, a society where it is harder to pay for education, harder to find a job, harder to buy a house and harder to hold onto those things even if you manage to get them. You are entering adulthood during a period of mass incarceration and near constant war. There is a lot for you to do. Service is the rent you pay for the space you take up on the earth, and as a relatively privileged American you take up a lot of space. We are the most consuming, polluting, wasteful nation on earth. So your rent is steep. Pay it with service.
Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry’s advice to Class of 2013 (Via)
Refreshing straight talk.
A humbling map of real-time wind patterns in Tornado Alley
“Wind Map” is a stunning interactive datavisualization that presents wind patterns across the continental U.S. in real time. Picture above is what it looked like last night at 10:59 CDT, in the aftermath of yesterday’s devastating Oklahoma tornado.”
Read more here from io9.