06 August 2015

This Week in Water

Enough about me. Let's get back to the urgent stuff like the sustainability of life on Planet Earth and the peril of its most precious resource.

Rising ocean temperatures, attributed to global climate change, are pushing closer toward the North and South Poles, imperiling many ocean habitats and species.

Though their political leaders continue to deny it, climate change is taking its toll on Texas: among other things, extreme weather events and flooding are becoming increasingly common.

May was the wettest month in U.S. history, especially in places like Texas and Oklahoma.

Climate change, rising oceans, storm surges, and heavy rainfall threaten the biggest U.S. cities. Washington, DC, is sinking into the ocean even as seas rise.

California's historic drought is beginning to kill its redwoods and other iconic trees.

Rising air and water temperatures have killed half of the Columbia River's sockeye salmon.

The wettest rainforest in the U.S. has gone up in flames.

The world's glaciers are melting at the fastest rate since record-keeping began.

Thailand's vital rice belt is drying up due to unusually severe drought.

Water at a number of Olympic venues in Rio de Janeiro contains dangerously high levels of viruses and bacteria like that found in raw sewage. Needless to say, the athletes are not happy.

No one is quite sure how to deal with the vast amount of radioactive water stored near the Fukushima nuclear plant after the 2011 tsunami disaster there.

Debris washed up on Reunion Island (near Madagascar) has been identified as being from Malaysian Air Flight 370 which disappeared mysteriously in the Indian Ocean last year.

Weighing the huge environmental costs of the enormous new Nicaragua Canal.

Japanese scientists have come up with a method to extract lithium from seawater.

An invasive species of microbial alga has taken up residence inside the cells of Caribbean coral animals improving their ability to withstand heat stresses from the global rise in ocean temperature but retarding their reef-building capabilities.

California senators have introduced emergency drought relief legislation.

Renewable energy is killing the nuclear power industry, at least for some investors.

Apple, Microsoft, Google, and other major U.S. firms have committed $140 billion to address climate change.

I know I keep beating this drum, but here's another approach to desalinating sea water with solar power. [Aside: Seriously, finding the right technology to accomplish this task is a superhighway to becoming famously wealthy and saving the planet. Doing well by doing good! There are plenty of investment opportunities out there for us little guys, as well.]

The deserts of the American West were lush wetlands up until about 8000 years ago. [Aside: I've posted pics of the seafloor-like area around Salt Lake City.]

An enormous aquifer has been discovered in Namibia.

Hot springs have been discovered below the Gulf of California.

A massive hidden salt-water ocean has been discovered beneath the Tarim basin in northwestern Xinjiang, China, one of the driest places on Earth.

If you didn't see video of this story, you must: Environmental activists suspending themselves from a bridge over the Willamette River in Portland, OR, and others in kayaks on the water stalled an icebreaker belonging to Royal Dutch Shell from exiting the port and going to sea. It was headed to the Arctic to assist in one of the first Arctic drilling operations in history. The protestors were eventually removed by authorities, and the ship made its way northward.

1 comment:

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

The world's glaciers are melting at the fastest rate since record-keeping began.

Hard to be optimistic that our species will get its act together on time.