Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Posts Tagged ‘Edge of Apocalypse’

Tending their Goaties at the Edge of Anthropocene

Posted by feww on March 28, 2010

Thank goodness geography is not an exact science!

“11 questions to shape geographical sciences research in the next decade”

As a new epoch dawns, prompting humanity to search for the largest cave, situated well above the sea level, but with running water and enough soil to cultivate fast growing, edible weeds, as far away from the nearest volcanoes, and with near-zero seismic history … to protect their backsides [it won’t happen that way, of course] …

Life in a Rockshelter


Daily life at Hinds Cave as depicted by artist Peggy Maceo. In the foreground two women sit on woven mats and prepare food while a baby sleeps to one side and two young girls intently watch (and learn). The woman on the left pulverizes parched nuts while the seated woman uses a parching basket to keep nuts and several red-hot coals in motion. At the rear of the cave, an elder sits wrapped in a rabbit-fur robe while her adult daughter weaves a new mat. Two young boys kick up dust as the older brother aims a stick at his younger sibling. The men must be out hunting [that’s what they’ll tell the kids, any way—Moderator.] Image courtesy of College of Liberal Arts, The University of Texas in Austin. Click image to enlarge.

The National Research Council has released a new report which poses eleven questions that they believe would shape the research in geographical sciences in the next decade. To their credit they have briefly touched on “a time when populations are moving and natural resources are being depleted,” honing their questions with the “aim to provide a more complete understanding of where and how landscapes are changing” so that the society could manage and adapt to the transformation that are occurring on the Earth’s surface.

The following expert is from the National Academy of Sciences latest public release:

11 questions for the next decade of geographical sciences identified

The committee that wrote the report solicited input from the geographical science community to identify research priorities and the approaches, skills, data, and infrastructure necessary to advance research. The strategic directions span from overarching issues of environmental change and sustainability to specific areas in the field that are transforming. They are grouped by topic area, but are not ranked in any order of importance.

How to understand and respond to environmental change:

  • How are we changing the physical environment of Earth’s surface?
  • How can we best preserve biological diversity and protect endangered ecosystems?
  • How are climate and other environmental changes affecting the vulnerabilities of coupled human-environment systems?

How to promote sustainability:

  • Where and how will 10 billion people live?
  • How will we sustainably feed everyone in the coming decade and beyond?
  • How does where we live affect our health?

How to recognize and cope with the rapid spatial reorganization of economy and society:

  • How is the movement of people, goods, and ideas changing the world?
  • How is economic globalization affecting inequality?
  • How are geopolitical shifts influencing peace and stability?

How to leverage technological change for the benefit of society and environment:

  • How might we better observe, analyze, and visualize a changing world?
  • What are the societal implications of citizen mapping and mapping citizens?

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Posted in Biodiversity, economic globalization, environmental change, geopolitical shifts, National Academy of Sciences | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Don’t Worry, it’s Only Earth

Posted by feww on May 20, 2008

A Herculean task, significant impact on physical and biological systems globally, worst cases in 800,000 years

One species disappears every 20 minutes, UN Experts

“In my view, climate change and the loss of biodiversity are the most alarming challenges on the global agenda,” Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said at the opening of a U.N. biodiversity conference on Monday.


Some of the biodiversity of a coral reef. Reproduced under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation license, ersion 1.2 or any later version. (author: Richard Ling)

“In my view, climate change [Germany is the world’s 6th largest pollutor] and the loss of biodiversity are the most alarming challenges on the global agenda […] It will be a Herculean task to get the world community and each individual country on the right path to sustainability [still talking about ‘Tending Our Goats at the Edge of Apocalypse’] … The truth today is that we are still on the wrong track. If we follow this path we can foresee that we will fail to meet the target … Business as usual is no more an option if humanity is going to survive. Losing biodiversity is not just losing trees and species, it is an economic and security loss. [Thanks for reading our blogs, Mr Gabriel!]” (Source)

Attributing physical and biological impacts to anthropogenic climate change

Significant changes in physical and biological systems are occurring on all continents and in most oceans, with a concentration of available data in Europe and North America. Most of these changes are in the direction expected with warming temperature. Here we show that these changes in natural systems since at least 1970 are occurring in regions of observed temperature increases, and that these temperature increases at continental scales cannot be explained by natural climate variations alone. Given the conclusions from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report that most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-twentieth century is very likely to be due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations, and furthermore that it is likely that there has been significant anthropogenic warming over the past 50 years averaged over each continent except Antarctica, we conclude that anthropogenic climate change is having a significant impact on physical and biological systems globally and in some continents. (Source)


Instrumental Temperature record of the last 150 years. (Author: Robert A. Rohde) Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License Version 2.5

Greenhouse gases highest in 800,000 years

Atmospheric greenhouse gases are now at the highest levels in 800,000 years, according to a study of Antarctic ice, which provides additional evidence that human activity is disrupting the climate.


“Shanghai at sunset, as seen from the observation deck of the Jin Mao tower. The sun has not actually dropped below the horizon yet, rather it has reached the smog line.” This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (Photo: Suicup; via: Wikimedia Commons. )

“We can firmly say that today’s concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane are 28 and 124 percent higher respectively than at any time during the last 800,000 years,” said Thomas Stocker, a researcher at the University of Berne. (Source)

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Posted in Climate Change, energy, environment, food, Global Warming, health, politics, Tourism, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »