• Winner Announcement: NASA DEVELOP Summer 2015 Virtual Poster Session

    After two rounds of judging, a grand-prize winner has been selected for the 2015 summer Virtual Poster Session (VPS) contributed by NASA’s DEVELOP National Program. The contest included 38 projects conducted by 175 participants across 15 DEVELOP locations. Read More +
  • Painting the Consequences of Climate Change: Audubon Teams up with New York Artists to Portray Threatened Birds

    The National Audubon Society is teaming up with the owner of a New York art gallery to paint street murals of birds threatened by climate change. Read More +
  • Ocean Sensing Comes of Age: European Consortium Advances Interoperability in Marine Science

    Different stressors are affecting ocean health and productivity. The European NeXOS project is developing a system capable of gathering and distributing data seamlessly. Read More +
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Popular Features

  • The Ethics of Traditional Knowledge Exchange in Climate Change Initiatives

    An essay exploring the ethical philosophy behind Guidelines for Considering Traditional Knowledges in Climate Change Initiatives.

    This article is a part of Earthzine's Indigenous Perspectives on Environmental Change Theme. For more articles in this category, click here

    "Protecting Traditional Knowledges for the Future Resilience of the 7th Generation." Image Credit:  Karletta Chief 2014

    "Protecting Traditional Knowledges for the Future Resilience of the 7th Generation." Image Credit: Karletta Chief 2014

    Introduction

    Climate scientists, policymakers and the growing community of citizens engaged in observing global change are increasingly turning to traditional knowledges of indigenous peoples to improve understanding of and strategies for adaptation and mitigation. Indigenous peoples are also recognizing the value of methods and information from western climate science, such as models, risk and vulnerability assessments and monitoring strategies. Unfortunately, policymakers who design and implement climate change initiatives frequently overlook indigenous peoples. While they call for access to traditional knowledge to help inform choices for preparation, adaptation or mitigation in response to climate change, they have little awareness of real risks of harm when indigenous peoples share their traditional knowledges. Currently, there are few protections to… Read More +
  • The Mercurial World of Weather: Comparing the UK’s Met Office in FitzRoy’s Time and Today

    Robert FitzRoy created the weather forecast and established a field of study no less relevant today than that popularized by his more famous associate, Charles Darwin.

    Firzroy1

    Robert FitzRoy. Image Credit: Met Office

    After working for years to protect the lives of others, Robert FitzRoy’s ended his own life 150 years ago. He was troubled by recurrent depression and by the critical public reception of his new innovation: the weather forecast. Today, this vice admiral, former governor of New Zealand, and founder of a still-vital institution, is perhaps most often remembered in the context of his first command: the HMS Beagle. The Beagle surveyed the coasts of Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego and the Straits of Magellan during the 1830s. The  expedition later became famous for carrying Charles Darwin to the Galapagos Islands, where finches provided the inspiration for his theory of evolution. Consequently, in the annals of scientific history, FitzRoy is frequently relegated to a sidekick role, mentioned briefly as Darwin’s companion and captain or maybe in reference to his rejection of his friend’s evolutionary theory upon its publication. Yet FitzRoy was a man… Read More +
  • Book Review: Elizabeth Kolbert’s ’The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History’

    “The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History” is a book about extinction and the impact of humanity on a living planet. This article is a part of this month's mini-theme, Extinction. For more articles in this theme, click here.

     Elizabeth Kolbert’s “The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History” is a book about the science and history of extinction and humanity’s role in a rapidly changing world. Image Credit: Macmillan


    Elizabeth Kolbert’s “The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History” is a book about the science and history of extinction and humanity’s role in a rapidly changing world. Image Credit: Macmillan

    Over the past 500 million years, dramatic and catastrophic worldwide changes have completely reshaped the order of life. Five major episodes of mass extinction are known to have taken place. The most recent and most familiar of these events occurred 66 million years ago, spelling the demise of the dinosaurs, among others. Scientists today conclude that we have entered a sixth mass extinction period, with humans as the driving factor. Elizabeth Kolbert places this sixth extinction in the context of life’s history, as we know it, which… Read More +
  • Montana’s Sunburst Sensors Wins Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE Tackling Ocean Acidification

    A small team of scientists and engineers from Missoula, Montana, were awarded $1.5 million for breakthrough ocean pH sensors.

    Image Credit: NOAA

    Image Credit: NOAA

    What’s better motivation than a big prize? That’s the thinking of the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE, a global competition that offered $2 million to teams of scientists and engineers to create innovative, affordable, and accurate technology to improve our understanding of a serious ecological problem: the changing chemistry of the ocean. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, surface ocean water has become approximately 30 percent more acidic. Ocean acidification (a recent Earthzine theme) is occurring because high amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are being absorbed by seawater, forming carbonic acid. This is a big problem for shellfish, corals, other calcifying organisms, and humans. The Ocean Health XPRIZE, seeking to catalyze the invention of better pH sensors to study ocean acidification, kicked off in September 2013. After 22 months of development and multiple phases of rigorous testing, from the lab to the deep sea, winners of the… Read More +
  • Big Data Flows: Water, Outsourcing, and the Flood of Data

    Big Data is booming, and water utilities are beginning to be able to take advantage by leveraging the skills of those who already know how to collect and manage data.

    With the help of big data, old water meters like the one underneath this cover are starting to get a makeover. Image Credit: Teddy Page

    With the help of big data, old water meters like the one underneath this cover are starting to get a makeover. Image Credit: Teddy Page

    Floods like those in Texas in May make it seem like water is something out of human control. However, for the water industry, whose very purpose is to control the flow of water to homes and businesses, even better control may come with another flood: one of vast amounts of data. Water metrology (the science of measurement) has been developing for more than 100 years. Recently, that development has brought water into the era of “Big Data.” Even though utilities aren’t technology companies that are necessarily prepared to either collect or manage a large amount of data, recent innovations are allowing outside… Read More +
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