Environment

8 ways Big Data helps improve global water and food security

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Christopher Neale
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Big Data is transforming agriculture, and just in time. The demand for food is expected to double by 2050 as the world's population heads toward 9 billion people and increasing incomes allow many more to afford a better diet. Lack of water is a critical constraint to increasing food production, particularly as droughts and other consequences of climate change are making water scarcer. ... Read more about 8 ways Big Data helps improve global water and food security

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Peak Meat Production Strains Land and Water Resources | Vital Signs Online

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Michael Renner
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Global meat production rose to an estimated 308.5 million tons in 2013, an increase of 1.4 percent over 2012.1 The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) forecasts additional growth of 1.1 percent in 2014 to 311.8 million tons.2 Production is thus reaching new peaks, despite drought conditions in Australia and New Zealand and disease outbreaks in the United States and Eastern Europe.3 However, the annual rate of growth has slowed from 2.6 percent in 2010.4 ... Read more about Peak Meat Production Strains Land and Water Resources | Vital Signs Online

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UN: Up to $300 billion lost annually in natural disasters

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UNITED NATIONS — The global economic losses from natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, droughts and cyclones and have continued rising to reach an average of $250 billion to $300 billion annually, according to a U.N. report released Wednesday.

The report, produced by the U.N. Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, estimates that an investment of $6 billion annually in measures to reduce the risk of disasters would save the world from losses of $360 billion over the next 15 years. ... Read more about UN: Up to $300 billion lost annually in natural disasters

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This device pulls drinking water straight out of the air — and it runs entirely on the sun’s energy

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Chelsea Harvey
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A solar-powered water harvesting device, constructed with a metal organic framework. Unlike other types of water capture devices, this design is able to work under low-humidity conditions. (Hyunho Kim, Evelyn Wang) ... Read more about This device pulls drinking water straight out of the air — and it runs entirely on the sun’s energy

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Large Wildfires Are Now More Common and Destructive

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climatecentral.org - by Brian Kahn
A 2013 photo of the Alder Fire in Yellowstone National Park. Credit: National Park Service Climate Change Research/flickr
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The West continues to be a fiery inferno as August fades into September. Wildfires have exploded across the region this month.
 
There have been 117 large wildfires to date including 70 large fires that are still burning.

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Geodesign Session 5 Road Map

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Geodesign team

As the demand for freshwater and energy increases in San Diego County and Northern Baja, the fresh water supply continues to shrink while energy generation remains heavily dependent on fossil fuels. Due to these opposing trends in supply and demand, it becomes increasingly imperative to identify solutions that move these communities to their preferred state in which they are largely reliant on renewable energy and use water sustainably. Large-scale energy solutions include wind power, one of the must abundant sources of energy in these regions. ... Read more about Geodesign Session 5 Road Map

Acidification: the latest unknown for stressed Arctic ecosystem

Author: 

Alister Doyle
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The Arctic ecosystem, already under pressure from record ice melts, faces another potential threat in the form of rapid acidification of the ocean, according to an international study published on Monday.

Acidification, blamed on the transformation of rising levels of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the air into carbonic acid in the sea, makes it harder for shellfish and crabs to grow their shells, and might also impair fish reproduction, it said. ... Read more about Acidification: the latest unknown for stressed Arctic ecosystem

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