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Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness #23

“Life in us is like the water in a river.” Henry David Thoreau The Okavango is the beating heart of Africa, home to an estimated 50% of the world’s elephants, most of the world’s hippo, and crucial populations of many other keystone species. There is no wilder place on earth: this is the Africa of…

Elephants on the Ground, Bats in the Sky, and Rivers Running Underground

Finding “safe” netting sites is not always easy as we discovered while on the Huab River during our quest to learn more about the desert bats of Namibia.

Daily Life Takes HOW Much Water?

Did you know it takes 240 gallons of water to make a cell phone? Or 52 gallons to make an egg? The concept of such “hidden water” may seem unfamiliar to some, but it’s an important part of our impact on the planet, argues author Stephen Leahy in the recent book Your Water Footprint: The…

America’s Most Endangered Rivers of 2015

Rivers are the veins and arteries of our communities. They give us clean drinking water and are the lifeblood of the ecosystems that sustain us all. But our rivers face many threats, and that is why every year American Rivers reports on America’s Most Endangered Rivers®. The list sounds the alarm about rivers facing urgent…

UN Conferences Are a “Fantastic Agenda for International Sustainability”

Marina Grossi is the President of the Brazilian Business Council for Sustainable Development. In this interview she discusses the role of business in Brazil in helping prepare the agenda for two United Nations conferences later this year critical for bringing Earth back to a sustainable balance: the Summit for the Adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda, in…

Your plastic is getting to the Caribbean more often than you are, and it’s spoiling your next visit

Who left their trash behind on this remote Caribbean island? Then I realized. It wasn’t left. It arrived. An endless flotilla of refuse heedlessly sent from afar. It’s heartbreaking. The image of a lone bottle washing up on a remote tropical island is the clichéd stuff of literature, movies and New Yorker cartoons. But what…

Supreme Court Reviews EPA’s Power Plant Mercury Rule; Decision Due in June

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week in a challenge to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) consideration of cost impacts when developing the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard, (MATS) which are set to go into effect next month. At issue in the case is whether the Clean Air Act requires the EPA…

Warming Lakes: New Global Database Sets the Stage for Research on the Ecological Effects of Climate Change

Global assessments based on satellite data have found that the world’s largest lakes have steadily warmed in the last 25 years, and some lakes are warming more rapidly than air temperature. I wrote about this in an earlier post, noting that studies of individual lakes, using temperature data gathered in the traditional way, confirmed these…

Tracking a Group of Groupers

Guest post by Kristine Stump, postdoctoral research associate, Shedd Aquarium The beautiful and iconic Nassau Grouper was once one of the most important fishery species in the wider Caribbean, but due to heavy over exploitation is now scarce in many coral reef ecosystems throughout its native region. As mesopredators, groupers play a vital role in maintaining…

6 Ways to Save the Salton Sea and Colorado Delta

By Benny Andrés With scientific modeling foreshadowing megadroughts in the Southwest and Great Plains, it is imperative policymakers implement freshwater projects along the lower Colorado River, in particular, the Salton Sea, a 376-square-mile freshwater agricultural sump in southeastern California, and in the Colorado River Delta where the waterway ends its journey in the Baja California desert.…

Expedition Begins Amid Drought in São Paulo

After 16 hours of flying, I’m keen for a shower. Unfortunately for me, but much more so for the rest of São Paulo, the city is falling in to the grip of its worst drought since 1930.

Our next Wild and Scenic Rivers

Seven rivers in five states are closer to permanent protection today, thanks to a package of bills that passed the House in the National Defense Authorization Act. From Delaware’s White Clay Creek (the site of a recent dam removal), to Oregon’s River Styx (the first underground river protected in the national Wild and Scenic Rivers…

Can Desalination Help Save a Holy River?

The Jordan River of the Middle East has supported a long succession of empires and other human settlements for more than 8,000 years, but it took less than one generation of modern civilization to reduce the river to a trickle of sewage. Now, the ultra-modern technology of “desalination” — turning ocean water into fresh water…

Winter Road Salt – the Next Acid Rain? – May Threaten Adirondack “Queen of American Lakes”

Tendrils of fog curl above the waters of the Queen of American Lakes, as Lake George in New York’s Adirondack Mountains is known.  Biting winds gusted out of the northwest yesterday, and an early snow is forecast for tomorrow.  But for this one afternoon in late fall, cold winds fetching across slate-gray waves have gone…

WWF’s Living Planet Report echoed on the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef ecosystem on the planet composed of almost 3000 individual reefs. For decades, the Great Barrier Reef has enjoyed World Heritage Status and been synonymous with diving, tourism and with Australia. But the reef is under threat of industrial development projects. Text and Photos by James Morgan.