Original Entry: 350 ppm Safe? Hell, NO!
Posted by edro on June 24, 2008
Posted in atmosphere, economy, energy, environment, future, health, human migration, Human-induced climate change, ice dynamics, lifestyle, soil, war, water | Tagged: 350ppm, air pollution, Antarctic ice, Atmospheric carbon dioxide, climate change, CO2, energy, environment, food, GHG, Global Warming, health, politics, positive feedback, Tourism, Travel, Water Pollution | 2 Comments »
Posted by edro on June 15, 2008
The time has come for humanity, you, to consider a fundamental issue about your place within the cosmos. Can you answer the following questions?
An infrared image of the Helix nebula, a cosmic starlet known for its vivid colors and eerie resemblance to a giant eye. The nebula, located about 700 light-years away in the constellation Aquarius, belongs to a class of objects called planetary nebulae—the carcasses of deceased sun-like stars.
When sun-like stars die, they blow out their outer gaseous layers. The layers are heated by the hot core of the dead star, called a white dwarf, and shine with infrared and visible colors. (Source: Spitzer Space Telescope )
N90 is one of the star-forming regions in the Small Magellanic Cloud. The rich populations of infant stars found here are formed in an environment that is very different from the Milky Way Galaxy. Image taken buy the Hubble Space Telescope. (ESA/NASA)
Posted in air polluttion, atmosphere, climate change, economy, energy, environment, failing ecosystems, future, lifestyle, natural disasters, pollution, soil, topsoil, war, water | Tagged: cosmic starlet, dead star, Dusty Eye of the Helix Nebula, Helix nebula, Hubble Space Telescope, human-enhanced catastrophes, humanity, Magellanic Cloud, N90, Nature, NEW Stars Are Born, NGC 7293, the cosmos, white dwarf | Leave a Comment »
Posted by edro on April 4, 2008
As of End March 2008, the MSRB-CASF Index of Human Impact on Nature (HIoN), an index for calculating the full impact of human consumption and activities on the Earth’s life support systems, stood at a terminally high level of 177.43, a rise of about 3.5 percent over the previous year. In other words, the full human impact including the ecological footprint and the damage inflicted on the living environment by his activities in the 12-month period ending March 2008 was 77.43 percent higher than the load which the planet’s ecosystems in their current state can cope with.
Components of HIoN
The HIoN Index integrates updated data and methodology used by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Synthesis Report for Global Status of Provisioning, Regulating, and Cultural Ecosystem services.
Before and After [Top : Blue Marble composite images generated by NASA. Bottom (left), Mars from Hubble Space Telescope, (right) “Late spring on Mars” portrait taken with the HST Wide Field Planetary Camera-2 by NASA. Final composite image by FEWW.]
According to HIoN projections, our cities and population centers could become almost entirely unsustainable by as early as 2015.
Source: Index of Human Impact on Nature
Posted in air, atmosphere, climate change, CO2, economy, energy, environment, future, growth, health, land, lifestyle, natural capital, Oceans, pollution, soil, war, water | Tagged: Blue Marble, Earth, Human Impact on Nature, mars, marsification, Mojavefication, Mojavefied, red tide | 1 Comment »
Posted by edro on February 5, 2008
Groundwater from aquifers is a main source for drinking, irrigation and industrial use for much of the world’s population. Globally, an estimated 4 billion people depend on groundwater for drinking, but the water is running out!
Groundwater cannot be replenished from rainfall, and in most cases it takes tens of thousands of years to restore naturally.
According to the International Water Management Institute, about 1,000 cubic kilometers of groundwater are withdrawn each year, which is wholly unsustainable!
Water, our most precious resource, is also the world’s most abused, misused and neglected resource. Water consumption throughout the world is rising mainly due to increasing demands by both industry and irrigation for large volumes of fresh water.
Nearly a third of the world population (2 billion people) have NO access to clean drinking water and just under half of the world population (3 billion) lack proper sanitation facilities. An estimated eighty percent of all illnesses in the developing world are water-related. Up to 4 million people die each year from water-related diarrheal diseases caused by bacterial infections, parasites and viral pathogens.
Water cycle, or the hydrologic cycle, is the continuous movement of water on, over, and through the surface of Earth. The ocean water heated by the Sun evaporates into the air, where it is condensed by cooler temperatures into clouds. Moving cloud particles precipitate as rain, snow, hail, sleet and other forms. Most of the precipitation fall in the oceans (about 400,000 km³ of water) and only a fraction on the ground (about 100,000 km³)
About 2.5% of the Earth’s water is freshwater and only about 0.3% of that is available for withdrawal, i.e., stored in aquifers, wetlands, streams, lakes, etc. The rest is locked in glaciers, permanent snow and ice caps…
Humans are mining groundwater resources, especially the aquifers. Water withdrawal rates from aquifers are drastically higher than their natural recharge rates. In short, we are running out of water!
World cities and agricultural lands that are situated above aquifers and groundwater reserves are slowly but permanently sinking into the ground, as the water is pumped out at phenomenal rates.
In China, at least 46 cities are sinking into the ground due to the excessive pumping of groundwater. In Shanghai excessive groundwater pumping contributes to 70 percent of surface subsidence (the remaining 30 percent is thought to be due to the weight of buildings).
Beijing has been sinking into the ground at an annual rate of about 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) in the past 20 years. The area east of Beijing has sunk by more than 70 centimeters (27.5 inches)
In the southern and eastern suburbs of Bangkok, Thailand, about 1,000 square kilometers of land are sinking at a rate of 5-10 cm (2-4 inches) annually.
USGS scientist, Joe Poland, shows the place of maximum subsidence southwest of Mendota, CA, from 1925 and 1977. Sign reads “San Joaquin Valley California, BM S661, Subsidence 9M, 1925-1977” [Photo credit: Dick Ireland, USGS, 1977]
“Collapse sinkholes, such as this one in Winter Park, Florida (1981), may develop abruptly (over a period of hours) and cause catastrophic damage.” Photo credit: USGS
Total global water footprint is 7,450 km³ per year (7,450Gm³ per year).
Food production in the U.S. is responsible for 25% of the country’s toxic water pollution and 40% of the common water pollution.
Average national water footprint per capita (m³/capita/yr). Green indicates a national average water footprint of equal to or smaller than global average. Countries marked in red have a larger water footprint than the global average. Source: A. Y. Hoekstra et al. 2005. Water footprints of nations: Water use by people as a function of their consumption pattern.
Energy used for production and marketing of a 0.5L, or 500cc (17oz) bottle: 34.58MJ [equivalent to 1.017L of gasoline or 2.35kg of CO2 emissions.]
1. Above calculation is based on 1,000L of water that is pumped, bottled, delivered, sold and consumed locally, i.e., traveling a total distance of about 130 miles (209km) from source to mouth. The total energy required for production was calculated at 69,162,640kJ, equivalent to 2,034L of gasoline, or 4,699kg of CO2 emissions (Michael Bigelow et al , 2005, THE PIPE OR THE BOTTLE? A Case Study on Energy Consumption, Harvey Mudd College, University of Bradford, UK).
2. According to the above study, the energy requirement for delivering 1,000L of tap water (Yorkshire, England) was about 269,345kJ (about 7.92L of petrol or approximately 18kg of CO2 emissions), making bottled water 257 times more energy intensive than the tap water.
3. Packaging (manufacturing the PET bottles) and shrink-wrapping the bottled water (assumes locally produced water) is responsible for 97.8% of its energy costs.
4. For Bottled water produced internationally add 4.5grams of CO2e equivalent greenhouse gases for each air mile traveled.
5. One liter (L) is 1,000cc, or about 1.057 quarts, 33.827 fluid ounces, or 1/3.785 US gallon.
Table 1. below shows the virtual water content (global average) for selected food and drink. For virtual water content of more products see: Table WVC2.
World’s groundwater reserves are running out! Start conserving water before the earth’s water reserves run completely dry!
– Hoekstra, A. Y. and Chapagain, A. K. 2005. Water footprints of nations: Water use by people as a function of their consumption pattern [online.] Referenced 2008 February 4. URL: http://www.waterfootprint.org/Reports/Hoekstra_and_Chapagain_2006.pdf
– Shiklomanov, I.A. and Rodda, J.C. 2003. World Water Resources at the Beginning of the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
– Shiklomanov, I.A. 1993. World fresh water resources. In Water in Crisis: A Guide to the World’s Fresh Water Resources. P. Gleick (ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
– Newson, M. 1994. Hydrology and the River Environment. Clarendon Press. Oxford, England.
– Chapagain, A.K. et al. 2005. The water footprint of cotton consumption. Referenced 2008 February 5. http://www.waterfootprint.org/Reports/Report18.pdf