Author Archives: VMV

Imagine an entire county run out of water…

That’s exactly what happened to Pacific island countries of Tuvalu and it’s neighbor Tokelau.  Saltwater intrusions have rendered their groundwater undrinkable and the strong La Niña has reduced the amount of precipitation to these countries. Rising sea levels and climate change are at least partially to blame.

Clues to Earth’s long history from diamonds

Guest post by Stefan Koester

Scientists at the University of Bristol in England are finding clues to the earth’s carbon cycle by studying diamonds that were once 435 miles below the  earth’s surface. By examining the microscopic impurities within the diamonds, scientists are unlocking the many mysteries that remain regarding the carbon cycle and its many interrelated earth cycles. The worlds oceans are large carbon sinks that could be help answer solve some environmental questions. The discovery will also help researchers improve on the theory of plate tectonics. “The mantle is the biggest reservoir of carbon, and we know very little about it,” Dr. Michael Walter said.  The scientists say that while the presence of this deep carbon will not influence climate, but there is a potential long-term sink for carbon in the lower mantle.

Greenland is losing ice – at an alarming rate!

Guest post by Darshane Hines

A dramatic event has shocked the Arctic… and the scientists who study the area! A block of ice four times the size of Manhattan has split off from a Greenland glacier and they worry that another, even larger, is preparing to break off.  A recent article in the NY Times drew such immediate interest that a hearing in Congress was held to address the issue – global warming and rising ocean temperatures. 

Top: An aerial view of the Petermann Glacier front taken on Aug. 5, 2009 Bottom: Another taken two years later on July 24, 2011

Scale is always hard to judge in the treeless landscape of Greenland. The cliff walls visible in the photograph are roughly 3,000 feet high, or about three times as high as the Eiffel Tower.

Is Science being censored?

Guest post by Blake Wright

Most people think of censoring science as a concept of the past, something only done to protect the church before church and state were separate, however the reality of the situation is censoring still occurs.  Perhaps the church no longer has power in the United States, but money does, more specifically, oil money. This censorship focuses on diverting attention from global warming and discrediting scientists who have any facts that may hurt profits and bring public attention to a human impact on global warming. This can be seen back in 2008 as well as in the still ongoing issue with the ‘poster child’ of global warming, the polar bear drownings. However, this problem does not simply stop with global warming, but can be seen with the current issue of ‘fracking’, which has very evident side affects to water and the environment but is still being fought over by regulators and the energy industry.

Deader then ever…

Interesting story in Time today about the Dead Sea.  Apparently, it is losing 3 vertical feet of water each year, exposing 65 ft of seabed along the shore!  The usual culprit?  Less than 2% of freshwater from the Jordan River makes it into the Dead Sea compared to the amount just a few decades ago.