• NASA DEVELOP Summer 2016 Virtual Poster Session Features National Park Partnership

    This summer’s DEVELOP Virtual Poster Session series features research projects on the capabilities of NASA Earth observations to monitor conservation efforts and drought, evaluate water resources, assess air quality, and map land cover changes. Read More +
  • International Maritime Organization Keeps Oceanic Shipping Sustainable

    A quick look at the U.N.’s International Maritime Organization and its work in ocean stewardship. Read More +
  • Widely Used Fishing Aid Is Polluting Ocean and Needs Better Management

    Electronic monitoring could provide data needed to help regulate use of fish aggregating devices. Read More +
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Popular Features

  • A New Kind of Drought: U.S. Record Low Windiness in 2015

    By Daran Rife, Global Head of Mesoscale Modeling, DNV GL Nir Krakauer, Associate Professor, City College of New York Daniel S. Cohan, Associate Professor, Rice University J. Craig Collier, Head of Forecasting, Americas, DNV GL

    Widespread calming of the wind sapped U.S. wind energy power output in 2015, driven by the same weather patterns responsible for California's severe drought.

    Figure 1. Windiness levels for the first and second quarters and the third and fourth quarters of 2015 compared to the 1979-2014 average. During the first and second quarters, many locations in California, Florida, Oregon, Washington, and Texas reported their lowest wind speeds in more than 30 years. Image Credit: DNV GL, 2016

    Figure 1. Windiness levels for the first and second quarters and the third and fourth quarters of 2015 compared to the 1979-2014 average. During the first and second quarters, many locations in California, Florida, Oregon, Washington, and Texas reported their lowest wind speeds in more than 30 years. Image Credit: DNV GL, 2016

    Vast swaths of the United States witnessed an unprecedented drop in windiness during the first half of 2015. This “wind drought”… Read More +
  • Gone with the Ice: The Svalbardian Polar Bears’ Ultimatum

    By Alejandra Arango, Juan Pablo Coronado, Gabriela Garavito, Isabella García, Andrés Muñoz, Juliana Sánchez Editor’s note: This poster is one of three selected from projects done by senior students at St. George’s School in Bogotá, Colombia.

    This investigation encompasses the impact of a warming Arctic on the life of the Svalbardian polar bear. Evidenced are the coerced alterations to the migratory, nutritional and reproductive habits of the species, brought on by global warming's melting ice caps that endanger the bears’ population.

    Given the hostile impact of global warming upon the natural tundra ecosystem of the polar bear, the species has seen its traditional lifestyle gravely affected. As can be observed by comparing two satellite images of Norway’s Svalbard Archipelago, from 2001 and 2015, the Arctic territory has been in constant retrograde, much to the bears’ detriment. The melting of ice caps, permafrost and firm sea ice has deteriorated the Svalbard landscape over these 14 years and the polar bears that reside in this area now face diminishing food supplies, unstable living grounds and altered season cycles. Among the principal concerns of the species is difficult access to food. The seals which the bear primarily depends on for nutrition now inhabit sectors of loose ice,… Read More +
  • A Martyr for the Conservation of Hydrological Resources

    By Sofía Cortés Tascón, Juanita Rivera Mera, María Alejandra Santana Jiménez, Mariana Guevara Hernández, Nicolás Vásquez Guzmán, Juan Sebastián Giraldo Rodríguez, Santiago Torres Paz Editor’s note: This poster is one of three selected from projects done by senior students at St. George’s School in Bogotá, Colombia.

    The desiccation of the Aral Sea is considered one of the greatest episodes of desertification of freshwater resources. This example serves scientists to illustrate, understand and develop thorough mitigation plans that could be advantageous when reacting to a similar environmental catastrophe as a consequence of global warming or the misdirection of hydrological resources.

    Once the fourth largest lake in the world, the Aral Sea is located on the border between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. This important water reservoir has been rendered a martyr, now conspicuous for constituting one of the biggest environmental disasters of modern times (Espores, 2013), enduring a desiccation of more than 90 percent of its volume. The desertification of the Aral Sea has been catalogued by the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) as the only ecosystem totally collapsed on the "Red List" of places at high risk of disappearing. The study of this event, its causes, current state and what experts foreshadow as plausible scenarios, might… Read More +
  • Hunger to the Ocean: The Decline of Phytoplankton

    By Laura Acevedo, Juan David Gaitán, María Paula Gómez, Jorge Gutiérrez, Luis Daniel Rojas, Laila Saud, Mariana Uscategui Editor’s note: This poster is one of three selected from projects done by senior students at St. George’s School in Bogotá, Colombia.

    The decline of phytoplankton relates to a most important consequence to the North Pacific ecosystem: A significant reduction of phytoplankton implies the decline of all other species in the ecosystem and their possible extinction, caused by changes in the carbon cycle and food web.

    Phytoplankton is one of the most important organisms for sustaining oceanic life due to its role in the oceanic food chain as a primary producer and cornerstone in the nutrient and carbon cycle. However, according to a recently published NASA study, diatoms, the most common type of phytoplankton, have decreased during the last 15 years with significant losses taking place in the northern hemisphere, especially in the North Pacific region where the concentration of diatoms has declined nearly 1 percent per year since 1998. This decline is mainly attributed to a decrease in the availability of nutrients due to a shallowing of the mixed layer which has been apparently affected by… Read More +
  • New Partnership to Increase EarthCube’s Benefits to the Research Community

    By David Hosansky Media Relations Manager National Center for Atmospheric Research University Corporation for Atmospheric Research Boulder, Colorado

    The national EarthCube initiative is designed to help researchers across the geosciences work together to address the challenges of understanding and predicting the complexity of the Earth system.

    EarthCube1

    Image Credit: EarthCube.org

    EarthCube, a national initiative to advance understanding of our planet, is now being supported by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) in Boulder, Colorado. UCAR will administer the day-to-day operations of EarthCube under a three-year, $2.8 million agreement with the National Science Foundation (NSF). "We're excited that UCAR will be supporting this vital initiative," said Eva Zanzerkia, program director in NSF’s Division of Earth Sciences. "EarthCube will enable geoscientists to find and share the necessary data to answer critical science questions about the Earth." NSF created EarthCube in 2011 to foster collaborations across the geosciences from meteorology to seismology. By creating a common cyberinfrastructure for these scientists, the initiative aims to improve predictions of natural events and strengthen society's resilience to… Read More +
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