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.

  • Haiti Cholera Outbreak (FAQ) Featured Article Haiti Cholera Outbreak (FAQ) Haiti Cholera Outbreak (FAQ)

    Frequently Asked Questions About the Haiti Cholera Outbreak The outbreak of cholera was confirmed in Haiti on October 21, 2010. Although we can’t be certain,... More »

  • 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 »

  • Bicilavadora: Green Washing Machine Featured Article Bicilavadora: Green Washing Machine Bicilavadora: Green Washing Machine

    Bicilavadora Challenge In Peru, many women earn their living by washing clothes by hand, which limits the amount of laundry they can do each day. How does it... More »

  • 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 »

  • Ice sheet Featured Article Ice sheet Ice sheet

    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 »

  • Hypersaline lake Featured Article Hypersaline lake Hypersaline lake

    A hypersaline lake is a lacustrine body of water which exhibits levels of dissolved salts that exceed seawater (e.g. greater than 35 grams per litre). A large percentage of the... More »

  • Kunene River Featured Article Kunene River Kunene River

    The Kunene River (also Cunene River)  is a river is southwestern Africa, 1050 kilometers long, with its watershed primarily within the nation of Angola but also drawing... More »

Recently Updated
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), United States Last Updated on 2014-06-30 19:00:15 The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a federal agency within the United States Department of Commerce.  As a science-based operational agency tasked with monitoring climate and changes in the environment, NOAA is responsible for the study of the atmosphere and the oceans.  The agency issues daily weather forecasts and storm warnings, restores coastline, aids the flow of marine commerce, and manages fisheries.  NOAA's activities facilitate weather- and climate-sensitive economic activity that account for roughly one-third of the country's gross domestic product (GDP)[1]. The agency also responds to natural and man-made maritime disasters, operates a complex network of oceanographic, meteorological and atmospheric data-collecting products and services, and manages marine mammals, marine endangered... More »
Pollution Last Updated on 2014-06-28 18:51:13 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 »
Tug of water: an economic perspective on water and the environment Last Updated on 2014-06-28 17:29:44 As economies expand globally, the strain on the earth’s natural resources becomes increasingly apparent, and perhaps one of the most pertinent issues facing us today is that of water scarcity. Hitherto widely perceived as a free good, the demand for water now outstrips supply over much of the earth’s surface. Indeed, the International Water Management Institute estimates that one third of the world’s population face some form of water scarcity, either due to lack of investment in water supply (or inequitable distribution) or due to physical scarcity, where there is not enough water to meet demands. It is the latter situation that is most pertinent in terms of impacts on our natural capital. In these areas, increasing demand for water means that aquatic and other water-dependent ecosystems are threatened by the abstraction or pollution of the flows that are required to... More »
Backyard pond Last Updated on 2014-06-25 17:01:23 A pond or water garden will likely become the focal point for all your backyard conservation. Backyard ponds and water gardens are for birds, butterflies, frogs, fish, and you and your family. These ponds are typically small, sometimes no larger than 3 to 4 feet in diameter. They may be built in barrels or other patio containers. Water is effective in drawing wildlife to your backyard. It is also a natural, relaxing, and scenic addition that can provide interest and enjoyment. Consider locating your backyard pond where you can see it from a deck or patio. Have it blend in with its natural surroundings. Elevate the soil around the pond slightly so that excess water will flow away from the pond, not into it. Make sure that any drainage from the pond is away from your house. Plan to landscape around the pond to provide habitat for frogs and birds that need land and water.... More »
Key findings, science gaps, and recommendations for freshwater ecosystems in the ACIA Last Updated on 2014-06-24 17:51:50 This is Section 8.8 of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment Lead Authors: Frederick J.Wrona,Terry D. Prowse, James D. Reist; Contributing Authors: Richard Beamish, John J. Gibson, John Hobbie, Erik Jeppesen, Jackie King, Guenter Koeck, Atte Korhola, Lucie Lévesque, Robie Macdonald, Michael Power,Vladimir Skvortsov,Warwick Vincent; Consulting Authors: Robert Clark, Brian Dempson, David Lean, Hannu Lehtonen, Sofia Perin, Richard Pienitz, Milla Rautio, John Smol, Ross Tallman, Alexander Zhulidov In general, changes in climate and UV radiation levels in the Arctic are very likely to have far-reaching impacts, affecting aquatic species at various trophic levels, the physical and chemical environment that makes up their habitat, and the processes that act on and within freshwater ecosystems. Interactions of climatic variables such as temperature and precipitation with freshwater... More »