climate

NEWS via FCW.com: Why Maps Matter

March 20, 2014 // 0 Comments

Why maps matter By Frank Konkel Mar 17, 2014 People used to use maps so they wouldn’t get lost. But in recent years, access to the Global Positioning System and the proliferation of mobile technology have made paper-based maps almost irrelevant. Unless you’re in uncharted territory, it’s hard to get lost anymore. Basic geography is as easy as inputting an address and letting your mobile phone tell you how to get there. And as mapping technology advances, it allows for far more than foolproof directions. Federal agencies now use geospatial data, geo-analytics and multi-layered maps for myriad purposes, including gathering intelligence, predicting disease outbreaks and sharing data pools with the public. The allure of mapping lies in its intuitiveness. Even simple “dots on a map can be a powerful way to see trends in data,” said Josh Campbell, geographic information system architect for the Humanitarian Information Unit at the State Department. “Maps [...]

NEWS via Christian Science Monitor: Why African-Americans are moving back to the South

March 16, 2014 // 0 Comments

After decades of moving north, thousands of blacks are returning to their Southern roots for economic and cultural reasons. By Carmen K. Sisson, Correspondent / March 16, 2014 Artist Kia Darceo left Milwaukee for Atlanta, which she calls ‘Black Mecca.’ This is the cover story in the Mar. 17 issue of The Christian Science MonitorWeekly. Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff WEST POINT, MISS. When Charlie Cox told his friends he was leaving Chicago, no one tried to talk him out of it. After 35 years at General Motors, he was ready to retire. Ready to trade the cold and the crime and the frenetic pace of life for the rivers and fields of his youth. He had grown up in rural West Point, Miss., and he had moved north with his family when he was 9 years old, but somehow his heart had never quite followed. His spirit yearned for the South, and, as the years passed, the memories of his childhood burned brighter until he couldn’t stand it any longer. There was only one problem: [...]

NEWS via NGS: Genghis Khan’s Secret Weapon Was Rain

March 14, 2014 // 0 Comments

Tree-ring studies suggest that a long wet spell gave him the resources to invade and conquer. Some 800 years ago, ancestors of modern Mongolians conquered the world on horseback. A period of unusually mild weather may have helped propel them by making them rich in livestock. Roff Smith National Geographic PUBLISHED MARCH 10, 2014 For unsuspecting herdsmen in the 13th century, April showers didn’t bring May flowers—they brought Mongol hordes. New research by tree-ring scientists from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and West Virginia University may have uncovered the reason why an obscure band of nomadic Mongol horsemen were able to sweep through much of Asia in a few meteoric decades 800 years ago, conquering everything in their path: They enjoyed an unprecedented, and yet-to-be-repeated, 15-year run of bountiful rains and mild weather on the normally cold and arid steppes. By sampling tree rings in the gnarled and twisted Siberian pines in the [...]

LESSON PLAN: Environmental Determinism, Ellsworth Huntington, and the Decline of Geography | GeoCurrents

October 3, 2013 // 0 Comments

Environmental Determinism, Ellsworth Huntington, and the Decline of Geography | GeoCurrents. Geography is defined as “the study of the earth and its features.” Derived from the Greek for “earth writings,” geography traditionally focused on the world as a whole; investigations of smaller regions were a distinct if related branch of learning. For centuries, the main focus of geographical research was filling in the unknown portions of the world map. But as that task came to an end in the late 1800s and early 1900s, new research frontiers were sought. Many geographers turned to what was then a hot topic in social science: the racial differentiation of humankind. Others attempted to distill geographical laws from the age-old theory of environmental determinism, seeking global correlations among climate, soils, and landforms, on the one hand, and social, political, and cultural forms, on the other. By the 1910s and ‘20s, environmental determinism was the reigning paradigm of [...]
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