Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Earth’s History Plays Out On A Football Field

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

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The Impending Disappearance of World’s Natural Resources

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

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Hmmm… quite worrying… but doesn’t come as a surprise… (PDF with end dates here)

Live Global Data

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

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Mapping the Global Footprint (on Biodiversity Loss)

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

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Interesting website which “tracks” the impact on biodiversity loss through consumption.

Land Grab

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Interesting source, and nice presentation as well as infographic on land grabbing.

The Story of Stuff

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

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Keeping Track of Our Changing Environment

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

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The environmental changes that have swept the planet over the last twenty years are spotlighted in a new compilation of statistical data by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), released today in a report entitled “Keeping Track of our Changing Environment: From Rio to Rio+20“.


Monday, August 16th, 2010

Great project. Traveling around the world with solar energy. Wow!

Shipping Lines

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Between science and art: Commercial shipping activity can lead to ship strikes of large animals, noise pollution, and a risk of ship groundings or sinkings. Ships from many countries voluntarily participate in collecting meteorological data globally, and therefore also 7 report the location of the ship. We used data collected from 12 months beginning October 2004 (collected as part of the World Meteorological Organization Voluntary Observing Ships Scheme; as this year had the most ships with vetted protocols and so provides the most representative estimate of global ship locations. The data include unique identifier codes for ships (mobile or a single datum) and stationary buoys and oil platforms (multiple data at a fixed location); we removed all stationary and single point ship data, leaving 1,189,127 mobile ship data points from a total of 3,374 commercial and research vessels, representing roughly 11% of the 30,851 merchant ships >1000 gross tonnage at sea in 2005 (S14). We then connected all mobile ship data to create ship tracks, under the assumption that ships travel in straight lines (a reasonable assumption since ships minimize travel distance in an effort to minimize fuel costs). Finally, we removed any tracks that crossed land (e.g. a single ship that records its location in the Atlantic and the Pacific would have a track connected across North America), buffered the remaining 799,853 line segments to be 1 km wide to account for the width of shipping lanes, summed all buffered line segments to account for overlapping ship tracks, and converted summed ship tracks to raster data. This produced 1 km2 raster cells with values ranging from 0 to 1,158, the maximum number of ship tracks recorded in a single 1 km2 cell.
Because the VOS program is voluntary, much commercial shipping traffic is not captured by these data. Therefore our estimates of the impact of shipping are biased (in an unknown way) to locations and types of ships engaged in the program. In particular, high traffic locations may be strongly underestimated, although the relative impact on these areas versus low-traffic areas appears to be well-captured by the available data (Fig. S2), and areas identified as without shipping may actually have low levels of ship traffic. Furthermore, because ships report their location with varying distance between signals, ship tracks are estimates of the actual shipping route taken.
What happens in the vast stretches of the world’s oceans – both wondrous and worrisome – has too often been out of sight, out of mind. The sea represents the last major scientific frontier on planet earth – a place where expeditions continue to discover not only new species, but even new phyla. The role of these species in the ecosystem, where they sit in the tree of life, and how they respond to environmental changes really do constitute mysteries of the deep. Despite technological advances that now allow people to access, exploit or affect nearly all parts of the ocean, we still understand very little of the ocean’s biodiversity and how it is changing under our influence. The goal of the research presented here is to estimate and visualize, for the first time, the global impact humans are having on the ocean’s ecosystems. Our analysis, published in Science February 15, 2008, shows that over 40% of the world’s oceans are heavily affected by human activities and few if any areas remain untouched.

Your Personality Type

Monday, November 30th, 2009

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By understanding the blindspots associated with your personality type, you can avoid the common career pitfalls encountered by people like yourself. You can also identify your unique strengths, motivations, and any skills or qualities you may need to develop. Here is another test. Here is a description of my type.

PopTech Talk: About Our Food System

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Author and activist Michael Pollan is a passionate advocate for sustainable food. In his compelling talk at PopTech, he explores how our industrial food system is keeping us overly dependent on fossil fuels, destroying our environment, and making us sick. Breaking this cycle requires fundamentally changing our relationship to food – and eating more meals together.

Personal Environmental Impact Report

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

PEIR, the Personal Environmental Impact Report, is a new kind of online tool that allows you to use your mobile phone to explore and share how you impact the environment and how the environment impacts you.
What’s unique about PEIR? Taking a step beyond a “footprint calculator” that relies only on your demographics, PEIR uses location data that is regularly and securely uploaded from your mobile phone to create a dynamic and personalized report about your environmental impact and exposure.


Wednesday, January 7th, 2009


Wilderness? Only 10% of the land area is remote – more than 48 hours from a large city

Concentration & density. 95% of the people live on just 10% of the land


OECD Statistical Explorer

Friday, November 7th, 2008

picture-8.pngNice statistics exploration tool.

Peace Index

Friday, November 7th, 2008

picture-6.pngThe ground-breaking Global Peace Index (GPI) has been expanded and updated with the latest available figures for 2008, a year on from the completion of the first GPI, which ranked 121 nations according to their relative states of peace.

The index is composed of 24 qualitative and quantitative indicators from highly respected sources, which combine internal and external factors ranging from a nation’s level of military expenditure to its relations with neighbouring countries and the level of respect for human rights. These indicators were selected by an international panel of academics, business people, philanthropists and peace institutions. The GPI is collated and calculated by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

The Story of Stuff

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

picture-4.pngFrom its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.

BBC: Britain seen from above

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

picture-162.pngWow, impressive way of displaying geographic, moving data in this BBC report.

Cartogram on World Consumption

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

Cartogram on World ConsumptionNicely done. Takes perhaps a bit to get into it, but the cartograms just are a different way of presenting (in cartographic form) information.


Töpfer Talk

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

Töpfer TalkInteresting talk of Klaus Töpfer about Climate Change, the need to change and more…

Two citations out of his presentation:

Vegetation Programme

Friday, February 8th, 2008

Vegetation ProgrammeGet Vegetation images for free.

The VEGETATION Programme offers :

  • Earth observation sensor on board of the SPOT satellite
  • Daily coverage of the entire earth at a spatial resolution of 1 km
  • Ready to use high quality remote sensing imagery available to end-users in near-real time
  • Up-to-date information for decision makers to optimise policies for resource management and environmental monitoring