Regional distributions of precipitation will shift, and the extent of snowpack at lower elevations will decrease in midlatitude mountain ranges. These factors may limit the availability of freshwater at midlatitudes.
Blowdown Lake, Stein Valley Nlaka'pamux Heritage Park, British Columbia
Tokelau is group of three low-lying coral atolls (Atafu, Fakaofo, Nukunonu) enclosing large lagoons in the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to New...
TokelauLast Updated on 2011-10-04 00:00:00
Tokelau is group of three low-lying coral atolls (Atafu, Fakaofo, Nukunonu) enclosing large lagoons in the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand. The lagoons are surrounded by a number of reef-bound islets of varying length and rising to over 3 m above sea level.
A self-administering territory of New Zealand, Tokelau is home to nearly 1,400 people.
Its major environmental issues include limited natural resources and overcrowding which are contributing to emigration to New Zealand.
Tokelau lies in Pacific typhoon belt.
Originally settled by Polynesian emigrants from surrounding island groups, the Tokelau Islands were made a British protectorate in 1889.
They were transferred to New Zealand administration in 1925.
Tokelau and New Zealand have agreed to a draft constitution as Tokelau... More »
Evidence: Benefits of BiodiversityLast Updated on 2011-04-06 00:00:00
Precedent-Setting Evidence of the
Benefits of Biodiversity
New evidence that biodiversity promotes water quality suggests that
accelerating species losses may compromise water quality
View a webcast with Bradley Cardinale of the University of Michigan.
Frequent reports of accelerating species losses invariably raise questions about why such losses matter and why we should work to conserve biodiversity.
Biologists have traditionally responded to such questions by citing societal benefits that are often presumed to be offered by biodiversity--benefits like controlling pests and diseases, promoting the productivity of fisheries, and helping to purify air and water, among many others. Nevertheless, many of these presumed benefits are have yet to be supported by rigorous scientific data. But Bradley J. Cardinale of the University of Michigan... More »
Sentinel of Change: The WaterfleaLast Updated on 2011-02-03 00:00:00Sentinel of Change: Waterflea Genome to
Improve Environmental Monitoring Capabilities
A tiny crustacean that has been used for decades to develop and monitor environmental regulations is the first of its kind to have its genetic code sequenced and analyzed—revealing the most gene-packed animal characterized to date. The information deciphered could help researchers develop and conduct real-time monitoring systems of the effects of environmental remediation efforts.
Considered a keystone species in freshwater ecosystems, the waterflea, Daphnia pulex, is roughly the size of the equal sign on a keyboard. Its 200 million-base genome was described in an issue of Science, the result of a collaboration between the Daphnia Genomics Consortium and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI) that began nearly a decade ago when environmental agencies... More »
Colorado River water supply Last Updated on 2010-07-28 00:00:00
This curriculum module will look at the Colorado River water supply, climate issues and water extraction issues. We will study the data, the possible consequences to various user groups, and suggest solutions to adapt to and mitigate these changes.
Students will see how a changed climate can impact urban development, food security, regional economies, international relations, as well as the natural environment.
Students will be able to see how adaptation strategies and different from mitigation strategies and how these strategies can help minimize the impacts and make the Southwest region more sustainable.
Figure 1. NASA MODIS image of the Colorado River watershed. Source: NASA
The first part of the assignment is to become acquainted with the Colorado River watershed as shown... More »
Impacts of climate change on water supplyLast Updated on 2009-03-05 00:00:00
David C. Major, Cynthia Rosenzweig, Vivien Gornitz, & Radley Horton
Columbia University Earth Institute, Center for Climate Systems Research
The impacts of climate change on the freshwater surface and groundwater systems that are the principal sources of urban water supply are primarily due to expected increases in temperature, increases in worldwide mean precipitation and its variability, and higher sea levels.
The most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, in 2007, indicates the following expected changes in climate variables for the period 2090-2099 relative to the period 1980-1999:
Global surface temperatures are expected to increase by as much as 3.2 - 7.0°F (1.8 - 4.0°C).
Global sea level is expected to rise by 7 - 23 inches (0.18 - 0.59 meters), a range that may be conservative, because it excludes possible future... More »
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