Water

From the earliest life forms to life on earth as we know it today, water has been the one essential constant . Covering roughly seventy percent of the earth’s surface, only a mere fraction is available as freshwater and of that, an even smaller proportion is available for human use and we are only just beginning to truly understand the nature of this most precious and limited resource. In addition to its life sustaining role, water is also one of the most destructive forces on earth, carving breath taking gorges and valleys, yet disasters related to water are responsible for large scale loss of life as well. In its different forms water supports ocean life, retains precious atmospheric samples dating back thousands of years, is a muse for writers, artists, and sculptors, as it tenuously supports a human population of six billion and growing.

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  • Hydrologic cycle Featured Article Hydrologic cycle Hydrologic cycle

    The hydrologic cycle is a conceptual model that describes the storage and movement of water between the biosphere, atmosphere, lithosphere, and the hydrosphere (see Figure 1).... More »

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  • Agriculture II Featured Photo Gallery Agriculture II Agriculture II

    Humans began to cultivate food crops about 10,000 years ago. Prior to that time, hunter-gatherers secured their food as they traveled in the nearby environment. When they... More »

  • Infiltration and soil water storage Featured Article Infiltration and soil water storage Infiltration and soil water storage

    Infiltration refers to the movement of water into the soil layer. The rate of this movement is called the infiltration rate. If rainfall intensity is greater than the... More »

  • Arctic Ocean Featured Article Arctic Ocean Arctic Ocean

    Ice is the dominant feature of Arctic marine ecosystems. It continuously sculpts the coastal landscape and acts as a major limiting factor to all biological activity. Two... More »

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    An ice sheet is the contiguous assemblage of glaciers of sizeable extent; there are presently a number of well defined ice sheets, the two largest being the Antarctic Ice Sheet... More »

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Malaysia- FAO's Information System on Water and Agriculture Last Updated on 2014-12-07 21:15:44 Malaysia is situated in southeast Asia. It consists of two regions: peninsular Malaysia in the west lying between Thailand and Singapore, and the states of Sabah and Sarawak located in the east on the island of Borneo. The two regions are separated by the South China Sea. The total land area of the country is 328 550 km². Malaysia is a federal country, divided into 13 states plus the federal territories of Kuala Lumpur and Labuan Island.. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy. FAO is also a source of knowledge and information. In peninsular Malaysia, a mountainous spine known as Banjaran Titiwangsa sepa-rates the east of the... More »
Stream Last Updated on 2014-11-30 22:08:37 Streams alter the Earth's landscape through the movement of water and sediment (Figure 1). Streams are powerful erosive agents moving material from their bed and banks. In mountainous regions, stream erosion often produces deep channels and canyons. Streams also deposit vast amounts of sediment on the terrestrial landscape and within lakes and ocean basins. Geomorphologists often view streams as systems. The stream system, like almost all environmental systems, is open to both inputs and outputs of various types of materials. Water enters the stream system by direct precipitation in the channel, from runoff, throughflow, and by groundwater flow. The movement of water into a stream also carries with it dissolved and solid materials eroded from the surrounding landscape, stream banks, and the stream bed. Sediments carried by streams to lower elevations are occasionally... More »
Hydroelectricity Last Updated on 2014-11-30 21:32:21 Hydroelectricity is electricity generated by converting the kinetic energy of falling or flowing water. It is considered the most widely installed form of renewable energy, although most large dams have a finite lifetime unless dredging of silt is periodically conducted. Hydroelectricity has and has a considerably lower output level of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide than fossil fuel powered energy plants, and less life cycle greenhouse gas impact than solar power. Furthermore, the ecological impacts of hydropower is arguably greater than any form of energy production, due to the large footprint of biological impact of reservoirs and other needed developed areas. Worldwide, an installed capacity of 777 Gigawatts was catalogued in the year 2006, sufficient to supply one fifth of the world power supply. Since most of the prime locations for hydroelectric power have been tapped, the... More »
Water pollution Last Updated on 2014-11-17 12:18:45 Water pollution is the contamination of natural water bodies by chemical, physical, radioactive or pathogenic microbial substances. Adverse alteration of water quality presently produces large scale illness and deaths, accounting for approximately 50 million deaths per year worldwide, most of these deaths occurring in Africa and Asia. In China, for example, about 75 percent of the population (or 1.1 billion people) are without access to unpolluted drinking water, according to China's own standards.[1] Widespread consequences of water pollution upon ecosystems include species mortality, biodiversity reduction and loss of ecosystem services. Some consider that water pollution may occur from natural causes such as sedimentation from severe rainfall events; however, natural causes, including volcanic eruptions and algae blooms from natural causes constitute a minute amount of the... More »
Pollution Last Updated on 2014-11-09 17:40:04 Pollution is environmental contamination that results in harm or death to living organisms. Most pollution is in the form of chemical additions to air, water or soil; however, in modern times starting in the mid-twentieth century noise and light have been considered as pollution sources. Most pollution is man-made, with natural fluctuations in atmospheric composition, surface water bodies and soil considered temporal gyrations in the Earth's natural history. The chief driver of pollution is the massive growth in human population, which induces the proximate causes of intensive agriculture and extraordinary industrial output. The United Nations and the Blacksmith Institute[1] are two prominent organisations that tabulate locales of the greatest pollution intensity; while their listings do not correspond precisely, the overlap countries that both entities agree are the worst polluted... More »