I’m back with another set of bookmarks for students and teachers. Because I’ve taught the IB Environmental systems and societies course for several years, this set of online resources is closest to my heart. Some of these links are here simply because I think they’re cool or fun. Many may also be applicable for studying biology and chemistry as well. Let’s get to it:
United States Census Bureau. Extensive database of global human populations. Can be used to create age-sex pyramids, as well as other applications.
Earth wind map. A cool interactive resource to check wind patterns in real time anywhere on the planet.
Wildlife survey field lab template. This PDF from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has a good layout to help middle school teachers and students design their own field surveys.
GRID-Arendal Maps and Infographics Library. In association with UNEP. This is one of my favorite resources for teaching environmental science. Searchable by topic, keyword, or geography. All maps and images are free to share. Awesome!
Timelapse. Watch the world change over the course of nearly three decades of satellite photography.
The article linked below outlines the impact of human population growth on global marine fisheries. It has been well-established through scientific research that as people become wealthier, they consume more protein. And as Earth’s human population continues to grow, the pressure on fisheries becomes two-fold: not only are there more people fishing (population growth), but those people are becoming wealthier (economic growth) and eating more seafood per person. This article ties in brilliantly to ESS Topic 3 – Human Populations, Resource Use, and Carrying Capacity.
This report, part II in a series, looks at likely impacts of 2°C and 4°C warming across three vulnerable regions.
It describes risks to agriculture and livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa, the rise in sea-level and devastation to coastal areas likely in South East Asia, and water extremes facing South Asia.
Turn Down the Heat warns that poor coastal urban communities are among the most vulnerable to climate change.
As a poor, coastal, urban community in Sub-Saharan Africa, Dar fits this description perfectly. Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group, talks about the perils of climate change in the brief video embedded below.
According to this New York Times article, the UN’s IPCC – the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the largest group of scientists investigating global climate patterns – “rising temperatures will have some beneficial effects on crops in some places, but that globally they will make it harder for crops to thrive”. The report is just a draft for now (the final report won’t be released until March 2014), but it indicates that the IPCC has new data indicating that crop production will gradually decrease over the next century. That could be particularly troubling, especially considering that Earth’s human population is expected to reach 9 billion people by mid-century.
Follow the link below to read about Bill Gates’ take on future developments in food production, specifically concerning the global increase in meat consumption over the past couple of decades. Here’s what the illustrious Mr Gates has to say about the issue on his personal blog, The Gates Notes:
Meat consumption worldwide has doubled in the last 20 years, and it is expected to double again by 2050. This is happening in large part because economies are growing and people can afford more meat. That’s all good news. But raising meat takes a great deal of land and water and has a substantial environmental impact. Put simply, there’s no way to produce enough meat for 9 billion people. Yet we can’t ask everyone to become vegetarians. We need more options for producing meat without depleting our resources.
Mr Gates’ comments align perfectly with some of the issues that we’ll study in ESS Topic 3.5 – Food Resources. This issue is particularly relevant to us here in Tanzania as well, especially considering that, according to the UN, Dar es Salaam is one of the world’s fastest growing cities.