Guest blog by Mason Hay and Rachel Richardson
Desertification is the complex process of land that was once productive being degraded. It involves multiple causes, including drought, overgrazing, and poor agricultural methods, and it proceeds at varying rates in different climates. Deserts advance with no distinct pattern, forming patches on their borders. Areas far from natural deserts can degrade quickly into barren soil, rock, or sand through poor land management. The presence of a nearby desert has no direct relationship to desertification. Unfortunately, an area undergoing desertification is brought to public attention only after the process is well underway. Scientists are still investigating whether desertification is permanent, or how it can be halted or reversed. Desertification became well known in the 1930′s, when parts of the Great Plains in the United States turned into the “Dust Bowl” as a result of drought and poor practices in farming. During the dust bowl period, millions of people were forced to abandon their farms and livelihoods. The top soil was so degraded that huge dust storms would pop up causing crop destruction and many other serious problems. Greatly improved methods of agriculture and land and water management in the Great Plains have prevented that disaster from recurring, but desertification presently affects millions of people in almost every continent.Filed under agriculture, environment, geological hazards, global warming, sustainability, water resources | Tags: agriculture, biodiversity, climate change, drought, environment, environmental management, habitat, soil, sustainability, water, water resources | Comment (0)
Guest blog by Scott Rosenbrook and Jake Wilkerson
Charleston County proposes building an I-526 extension through Johns Island. There have been considerable outcry from the residents of Johns Island, about the destruction which will be caused with it’s development, such as damage to local wildlife, wetlands which help absorbs pollutants in the water and acts as a nursery for much of the regions aquatic wildlife, local agriculture including forests and farming would also be damaged be the construction and subsequent increase in travelers. Other problems for the area would be increased air, noise, and light pollution from the cars driving through and the large amounts of lighting for night use, also the massive projected cost $420 million that is expected to as much as double due to raises construction price. Cheaper alternative plans include developing existing roads running parallel to each other to spread out traffic, this idea being projected at less than half that of the extension.Filed under environment, sustainability, transportation, water pollution | Tags: biodiversity, economics, environment, habitat, sustainability, transportation, water pollution | Comment (0)
A documentary on PBS shows in details how the rising water levels as a result of climate change will affect regions around the world that live close to the coasts. Check it out.Filed under environment, geological hazards, global warming, health, sustainability, water resources | Tags: climate change, earth, environment, habitat, health, hurricanes, storms, water resources | Comment (0)
One of the biggest sinks of atmospheric CO2 is the oceans. If these levels increase in the atmosphere, the dissolved CO2 levels in the oceans also increase significantly. When dissolved CO2 levels increases, acid levels in the oceans increase as well. What does this mean to us? Here’s what Oceana has to say:
ocean acidification, reduces the ability of marine animals such as corals, crabs, lobsters, clams and oysters to create calcium carbonate skeletons and shells, which will likely reduce their survival rates, and their ability to mature and reproduce. Such a decline and widespread death of coral reefs will cost society billions of dollars annually in lost fishing and tourism revenue and will jeopardize the coastal protection services that coral reefs otherwise provide.
Here’s another link about this issue. Link.Filed under environment, global warming, marine life, sustainability, water pollution | Tags: climate change, economics, environment, habitat, health, oceans, sustainability, water | Comment (0)