How Jane Goodall Institute uses digital mapping to save chimp habitats in Africa, empower children in the US  By May 16, 2014, 4:00 AM PST

Forest monitors use Android tablets to monitor chimp habitats.  Image: JGI
Forest monitors use Android tablets to monitor chimp habitats.
Image: JGI

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” — Dr. Jane Goodall

In 1960, renowned primatologist Jane Goodall traveled to Gombe National Park in Tanzania with a notebook, a pencil, and a pair of binoculars, looking to study the world of chimpanzees. Her first weeks were frustrating, as the chimps fled from her every time she drew near. But over time, Goodall gained the trust of the chimpanzees and learned enormously from their behavior. And through it all, she recorded her observations on paper.  Click to continue


Mapping out growth in an industry that’s boosting the economy    by Sarah Stack 20 May 2014

OSi has been mapping Ireland in detail since 1824
OSi has been mapping Ireland in detail since 1824

MAPS. They hardly sound like a booming industry that will answer our economic woes, but geospatial information is a multi-million-euro enterprise.

Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi) revealed the sector contributes €69m to the Irish economy in gross added value, with the figure jumping to over €120m when multiplier impacts are included.

Aerial imagery, height information, boundary lines, and even historic, tourist and leisure maps all fall under the field that employs 1,677 people – and spends €84.4m on wages. And the industry expanded significantly in recent years with the growth in smartphones, digitalisation and location-based services bringing geospatial information into the consumer mainstream. Route planners, sat navs, Google maps, GPS, real-time information and apps all rely on the basics from Ireland’s national mapping agency.  Click to read more.


Satellite Observations Show El Nino Coming – And It Could Be The Worst In Decades – See more at:  Written by NASA  18 May 2014

Data from ocean-observing satellites and other ocean sensors indicate that El Nino conditions appear to be developing in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Conditions in May 2014 bear some similarities to those of May 1997, a year that brought one of the most potent El Nino events of the 20th century.
During an El Nino, easterly trade winds in the Pacific falter and allow giant waves of warm water – known as Kelvin waves – to drift across from the western Pacific toward South America. Surface waters in the central and eastern Pacific become significantly warmer than normal, altering weather patterns and affecting fisheries along the west coasts of the Americas. El Nino also can have a significant influence on weather and climate far from the tropics.
The maps above show the ten-day average of sea surface height centered on May 2, 1997 (left), and May 3, 2014. Shades of red and orange indicate where the water is warmer and above normal sea level. Shades of blue-green show where sea level and temperatures are lower than average. Normal sea-level conditions appear in white. The 1997 map was assembled from data collected by the TOPEX/Poseidon satellite, while the 2014 data comes from the Ocean Surface Topography Mission/Jason 2 satellite
– click to read more


NOAA Digital Coast Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Viewer – Southeast States Complete and Data Download Now Available

May 19, 2014 — With the addition of South Carolina data to the Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Viewer, the Southeast region states join the West Coast, Northeast, and Mid-Atlantic states in having access to coastal flooding scenarios and uncertainty maps as well as marsh migration, social vulnerability, and flood frequency visualizations. Explore the  Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Viewer to see how sea level rise might affect your area.

Also new is the ability to easily download the viewer data. Access to the digital elevation models (DEMs) and the inundation, flood frequency, and mapping confidence layers allows users involved in climate adaptation planning to incorporate the data into their own applications and perform their own spatial analyses, such as vulnerability assessments.

Being able to visualize potential impacts from sea level rise is a powerful planning tool, and the Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Viewer brings this capability to coastal communities. This product is part of the Digital Coast initiative, which is led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Services Center.


Researchers: The collapse of Greenland’s ice sheet could be a bigger disaster than we thought Lindsay Abrams

(Credit: Denis Burdin/Shutterstock)
(Credit: Denis Burdin/Shutterstock)

New, from the people who brought us the unstoppable collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet: It turns out that Greenland’s glaciers are more vulnerable to melting than was previously thought. That means current predictions of sea level rise, which are already quite alarming, may be too conservative.

Due to the particular quirks of Greenland’s topography, say a group of researchers at the University of California, Irvine, writing in the journal Nature Geoscience, its glaciers “are likely to retreat faster and farther inland than anticipated – and for much longer.” Climate Central explains:

Unlike the Antarctic glaciers, which end in tongues of ice that float on the Southern Ocean seas, the glaciers of Greenland terminate with the land, butting up against the surrounding water. So instead of warm water melting the glaciers from below, as in Antarctica, the ocean waters melt the vertical fronts of Greenland’s glaciers. Scientists had thought that the melt of the Greenland glaciers would continue for a few decades, until the ice melted back to a point where the ground was higher than sea level and then would haltClick to continue