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Does Jakarta Have any Viable Options to Defend Itself From Ocean Inundation?

JAKARTA, Indonesia–Walking along the wall that protects north Jakarta from the sea, it is impossible to ignore the enormity–and immediacy–of water-related issues that this megacity faces. The city’s current plan of action, outlined by Wendy Koch in a recent article entitled, “Could a Titanic Seawall Save this Quickly Sinking City?,” is widely criticized as being…

Nemo and the Zombie Anemone

Comparing a bleached anemone to the undead may be a bit of a stretch, but it is fair to say a bleached anemone is hovering somewhere between life and death and depending on what happens next, it can go either way. We got a closer look at the phenomenon of bleached anemones earlier this year…

The Río Marañón Is Moving: Dam Construction in a Volatile Landscape

Explorers launched a raft expedition in Peru to collect data on the Río Marañón, the headwater stem to the Amazon River. The river is under threat of 2 approved dams and almost 20 more proposed dams. The team faced class V rapids and landslides to collect baseline data along the river corridor prior to dam construction.

Urban Gardens Frame Life in Jakarta

RUSUN MARUNDA, Jakarta–I grew up in east Tennessee where food is love and the Farmer’s Almanac is mandatory reading. A deep-rooted love for digging in the dirt and watching a seed transform to seedling to fruit is something I carry with me always. So when I came across Pak Bambang diligently tending to his garden…

It Takes Time.

I slip off my shoes at the door and take a seat on the floor of her living room. It is maybe 10 degrees cooler inside than the 90+ degree (F) heat outside. She offers water and a welcoming smile. I ask how long she has lived in her current home; where she lived before;…

Drawing Out a City: The Basics.

Whether documenting or depicting, we make certain assumptions, even if only temporarily. To draw a city–to construct a city over time–essential structural elements are often the starting point. Places for public gathering, resource and transportation hubs, and (most often) natural elements–rivers, lakes, oceans, and mountains– lay the framework for the city. These points, nodes, or primary…

The Giant 3D Printer That Can Stop Climate Change

By Jeremy Radachowsky

In the run-up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris next month, countries are promoting research into new climate-friendly technologies – things like capturing carbon emitted from smokestacks and storing it underground, increasing efficiency of energy use and the transportation sector, and even wilder ideas such as changing the reflectivity of earth’s surface. Yet, there are two existing technologies that are ready to be acted upon today, whose collective impact could be larger than any future technological breakthrough.

Ocean Pollution: Race for Water Odyssey Demonstrates Widespread Plastic Pollution

Race for Water Odyssey (R4WO) has published its initial observations drawn from data collected during its first expedition to establish the first comprehensive assessment of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans. The combined analysis of the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) and R4WO has concluded that plastic pollution is widespread and in large quantities.…

Fish Spawning Aggregations: an illusion of plenty

Spawning aggregations are massive gatherings of fish for breeding, a behavior shared by many species across the globe in many different habitats. They are predictable because they usually happen at the same place and at the same time each year, and humans have taken advantage of this to harvest large numbers of fish with minimal effort. But as harvesting keeps growing, fish populations keep diminishing.

Cities in the World’s Top Greenhouse Gas Emitters Announce Stronge

Cities in China and the United States pledged to take ambitious steps to address climate change at the state and local level in the U.S.-China Climate Leaders Declaration this week. In China, 11 cities will peak greenhouse gas emissions—some as early as 2020—to eliminate nearly 25 percent of China’s urban total carbon pollution. In the…

Marine life on the line

It reads like a mystery novel; the search continues for a blue whale entangled in a buoy line, heading towards Mexico from southern California. First spotted on September 4th off the coast of San Pedro, rescue teams tried to free the 80-foot whale but rough seas and failing light meant the operation had to be…

El Niño Winter: Warm and Dry in the North, Cold and Wet in the South

The winter of 2015-16 could be a dry one in the northern Rocky Mountains, around the Great Lakes, and in Alaska and Hawaii, while Southern California and southern states from Arizona to Florida might be in for an unusually wet winter. Forecasters for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration based that prediction Thursday on a very…

A World Without Rivers

 I was looking at a river bed And the story it told of a river that flowed Made me sad to think it was dead (From the song “A Horse with No Name” by America) Some of my favorite photographic images are those of the Earth filmed from satellites in space. In those breathtakingly beautiful…

How can you eat, eat, eat–and stay healthy? Ask a blind cavefish.

Barbecues and clambakes. Ice cream and berry pies. Summer is the season of food, food and more food. Is there a way to binge and still stay healthy? For answers, look far underground, say scientists, to the denizens of darkness: blind cavefish. Biologists studied blind cavefish, Astyanax mexicanus, living in freshwater pools in deep caves…

A Remote Trip in Search of Bahamian Queen Conch

Guest post by Dr. Andy Kough, research associate, Shedd Aquarium Queen conch, Lobatus gigas, is an iconic but threatened Caribbean species. The Bahamas are one of the last strongholds where conchs are still fished, but populations are in decline. The first step for protecting a species and replenishing its numbers is describing where healthy populations still…