06 November 2014

This Week in Water

Is Earth having a temper tantrum in response to humanity's indifference to global warming and pollution? Deep, historic levels of drought in Brazil, California, and Texas (among others); major hurricanes and typhoons; tsunamis; and rising sea levels and other similar calamities might indicate that this is the case—or at least a metaphor for the case.

Sea levels have risen 20cm since 1900, the highest rise in at least 6000 years.

According to NASA satellite data, depletion of groundwater aquifers worldwide is happening at unprecedented rates that cannot be naturally replenished.

There is so little available water in California's reservoirs that the state's ability to generate hydropower has been cut in half.

South Africa is running out of water. As is Sao Paulo.

Are beavers and the dams they construct a good potential defense against the withering effects of a warmer, drier climate?

Scientists have described for the first time a new genus of ocean animal that cannot be classified to any existing animal group. Called Dendrogramma, it is shaped like a mushroom and could "completely reshape the tree of life, and even our understanding of how animals evolved, how neurosystems evolved."

Researchers have developed a greener, more efficient method to produce ammonia using only air and water. Ammonia is critically important in the production of fertilizers which improve crop yields and sustain large populations. As a byproduct, the reaction also produces hydrogen which would be suitable for use in hydrogen fuel cells.

A solar-powered water wheel may be the first truly feasible device to help reduce the billion tons of plastic in our oceans.

Researchers have created a tool to determine whether fracking fluids have polluted a given water source.

Man-made islands of vegetation may help cleanse pollutants from water, according to Scottish scientists.

Seaworld has announced changes to the way it treats the killer whales, or Orcas, it continues to keep in captivity. This in response to the documentary film "Blackfish".

According to scientists, the rotational "wobble" of Mimas, one of Saturn's moons, makes it increasingly likely that it may have an underground "life friendly" ocean.

1 comment:

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Researchers have created a tool to determine whether fracking fluids have polluted a given water source.

I'm sure Congress will be eager to shut that down, pronto.