Human-Environment Relations: How humans relate to the environment, and how the environment relates to humans, or "The Human Factor"

How Protecting Wildlife Helps Stop Child Labor And Slavery 

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#Human-Environment Relations
#Climate Change
#Global Change
#The Sixth Extinction


Duck migration study reveals importance of conserving wetlands, researchers find

During the 2011 and 2012 migration seasons, University of Missouri researchers monitored mallard ducks with new remote satellite tracking technology, marking the first time ducks have been tracked closely during the entirety of their migration from Canada to the American Midwest and back. The research revealed that mallards use public and private wetland conservation areas extensively as they travel hundreds of miles across the continent. Dylan Kesler, an assistant professor of fisheries and wildlife in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources at MU, says these findings illustrate the importance of maintaining protected wetland areas.

"We have lost nearly 90 percent of wetland areas in Missouri in the last century and 50 percent of wetlands across the country since the early 1800s," Kesler said. "This loss has affected migratory bird populations and migration timing and routes. Our research shows the importance of these wetland areas to maintain healthy populations of migratory birds and other species, especially in an age of budget cuts for government programs protecting these few remaining wetland areas. If we don’t maintain these wildlife preserves it will put dozens, if not hundreds, of wildlife species in danger."

(via phys.org)

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Biologists warn of early stages of Earth's sixth mass extinction event 

(Source: beerburritowhiskey)

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#The Sixth Extinction
#Climate Change
#Global Change


A new report released by the World Meteorological Organization catalogs the economic damage from extreme weather conditions all over the world. The WMO survey looked at climate events from 1970 to 2012.

Here are a couple graphics that sum up the economic cost to North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Graphic by Simran Khosla/GlobalPost

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#Human-Environment Relations
#Extreme Weather

Earth breaks heat record 2 months in a row - MPR News 

(Source: mnenvironmentalillnessnetwork)

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#Climate Change
#Global Change


WESTERN WATER CRISIS:  Loss of groundwater worse than thought in the U.S. West

According to a new study by NASA and UC Irvine, the  drought-stricken Colorado River Basin has experienced rapid and significant groundwater depletion since late 2004, posing a greater threat to the water supply of the western United States than previously thought. As reported by Deirdre Fulton in Common Dreams, satellites show groundwater supply at greater risk than previously thought.

Data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite mission indicated the changes in the mass of the Colorado River Basin, which is thought to have lost nearly 53 million acre feet (about 17 trillion gallons) of freshwater between 2004-2013 — almost double the volume of the nation’s largest reservoir, Nevada’s Lake Mead, which recently fell to its lowest level since the 1930s. 

The implications are ominous for irrigated agriculture and urbanization in the fast-growing western states, which rely heavily on the disappearing water. The Colorado River Basin, which is the water source for more than 30 million people and 4 million acres of farmland, has been experiencing the driest 14-year period in the last 100 years. More than three-quarters of the basin’s total water loss was from groundwater. 

Source:  Deirdre Fulton, ”Study: ‘Shocking’ Water Loss in Western U.S.,” Common Dreams, July 25, 2014

Photo above: Los Angeles Basin, taken by B. Godfrey, Sept. 7, 2012

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#Water Crisis
#United States
#Ground Water

Our Ocean by NOAA’s National Ocean Service

(Source: marine-science)

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"Consumers will see no shortages of California-grown fruits, nuts and vegetables this year despite one of the worst droughts in state history, but that’s because farmers are draining groundwater reserves and leaving no insurance should heavy rains fail to materialize next winter, UC Davis researchers said."

Groundwater pumping propping up farms in California drought - SFGate

The likely-climate-change linked drought in California could potentially affect all Americans to some extent or another. Tom Philpott reported that California:

produces 99 percent of the artichokes grown in the US, 44 percent of asparagus, a fifth of cabbage, two-thirds of carrots, half of bell peppers, 89 percent of cauliflower, 94 percent of broccoli, and 95 percent of celery. Leafy greens? California’s got the market cornered: 90 percent of the leaf lettuce we consume, along with and 83 percent of Romaine lettuce and 83 percent of fresh spinach, come from the big state on the left side of the map. Cali also cranks a third of total fresh tomatoes consumed in the U.S.—and 95 percent of ones destined for cans and other processing purposes.

As for fruit, I get that 86 percent of lemons and a quarter of oranges come from there; its sunny climate makes it perfect for citrus, and lemons store relatively well. Ninety percent of avocados? Fine. But 84 percent of peaches, 88 percent of fresh strawberries, and 97 percent of fresh plums?

(via environmentalillnessnetwork)

(via environmentalillnessnetwork)

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These maps show the tens of thousands of tons of plastic garbage floating on the surface of the waters in the world’s oceans. Map credit: National Geographic staff Jamie Hawk Source: Andrés Cozar, University of Cádiz, Spain.

A link to a related article is immediately below this.


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​The Two Organizations Trying to Destroy U.S. Science Education 


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