Tag Archives | Water

Mars has belts of glaciers consisting of frozen water

Mars distinct polar ice caps, but Mars also has belts of glaciers at its central latitudes – between the blue lines, in both the southern and northern hemispheres. A thick layer of dust covers the glaciers, so they appear as the surface of the ground, but radar measurements show that there are glaciers composed of frozen water underneath the dust. (Credit: Mars Digital Image Model, NASA/Nanna Karlsson)

Mars distinct polar ice caps, but Mars also has belts of glaciers at its central latitudes – between the blue lines, in both the southern and northern hemispheres. A thick layer of dust covers the glaciers, so they appear as the surface of the ground, but radar measurements show that there are glaciers composed of frozen water underneath the dust.
(Credit: Mars Digital Image Model, NASA/Nanna Karlsson)

via Niels Bohr Institute:

Mars has distinct polar ice caps, but Mars also has belts of glaciers at its central latitudes in both the southern and northern hemispheres. A thick layer of dust covers the glaciers, so they appear as surface of the ground, but radar measurements show that underneath the dust there are glaciers composed of frozen water. New studies have now calculated the size of the glaciers and thus the amount of water in the glaciers. It is the equivalent of all of Mars being covered by more than one meter of ice.

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Ten Percent of California’s Water Goes to Almond Farming

The media’s making a big deal out of California’s statewide water rationing, with state residents freaking out about not being able to water their MiracleGro lawns, wash their chrome-hubcapped cars and so forth. The real culprits are the farmers, though, and none more so than the almond growers per Slate‘s Eric Holthaus:

Denair, Calif.—In California’s vast Central Valley, agriculture is king. But the king appears fatally ill, and no worthy replacement is in sight, as the area noticeably reverts into the desert it was little more than a century ago.

Almond trees

An almond orchard just outside of Turlock and Hughson, CA.

Signs line the back roads here that run parallel to wide irrigation ditches:

“Pray for rain”
“No water = No jobs”

As I’ve already discussed in the Thirsty West series, city-dwelling Californians are a bit insulated from near-term water shortages thanks to the state’s intricate tentacles of aqueducts, pipelines, and canals that divert water from the snowcapped Sierras to the urban core along the coast.

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Overpumping of Groundwater is Contributing to Global Sea Level Rise

US Navy 090226-N-9584H-018 Construction Electrician Constructionman Greg Langdon, assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1, installs a new section of drill steel during a water well drilling operationHelp, we’re sinking! And the worst part is, we’re on dry land… from the Center for Investigative Reporting:

Pump too much groundwater and wells go dry – that’s obvious.

But there is another consequence that gets little attention as a hotter, drier planet turns increasingly to groundwater for life support.

So much water is being pumped out of the ground worldwide that it is contributing to global sea level rise, a phenomenon tied largely to warming temperatures and climate change.

It happens when water is hoisted out of the earth to irrigate crops and supply towns and cities, then finds its way via rivers and other pathways into the world’s oceans. Since 1900, some 4,500 cubic kilometers of groundwater around the world – enough to fill Lake Tahoe 30 times – have done just that.

“Long-term groundwater depletion represents a large transfer of water from the continents to the oceans,” Konikow wrote earlier this year in one article.

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Are There Toxins On Your Pole?

Maëlick (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Maëlick (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Long Island residents and community leaders are calling on PSEG Long Island to discontinue using pentachlorophenol (“penta”) on wooden utility poles. Penta has been used as a pesticide and disinfectant in the US in the past. However, since the 1980s, it has been primarily used as a wood preservative for utility poles and railroad ties. There are concerns that penta has been contaminating the groundwater.

Via CBS New York:

Sen. Charles Schumer has added his voice to a growing chorus of elected officials and residents expressing concern about the use of a pesticide on wooden utility poles.

Schumer said at a press conference on Long Island Monday that he’s concerned that pentachlorophenol may be seeping into the groundwater. The pesticide, which is known as penta, also preserves wood.

Schumer wants the federal Environmental Protection Agency to immediately investigate its use on utility poles. He estimates that at least 95,000 wood poles on Long Island have been treated with the chemical.

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Water Fluoridation May Increase Risk of Underactive Thyroid Disorder

Luis (CC BY 2.0)

Luis (CC BY 2.0)

Can you guess the number one prescribed medication in the USA between 2013-2014?  It was for under-active thyroid!  The CDC and USPHS is shooting for 75% of the population to be drinking Fluoridated tap water.

BY 2/24/15  Newsweek

A large study that looked at data from nearly every general medical practice in England suggests that water fluoridation may increase the risk of developing hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid. This condition, in which the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones, is associated with symptoms such as fatigue, obesity and depression.

The study found that locations with fluoridated water supplies were more than 30 percent more likely to have high levels of hypothyroidism, compared to areas with low levels of the chemical in the water. Overall, there were 9 percent more cases of underactive thyroid in fluoridated places.

Fluoride is added to the water of about 10 percent of England’s population—and to the taps of about two-thirds of Americans—for the purpose of preventing cavities.

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The Water Wars

Michael Specter describes a thirsty, violent world fighting for water, at the New Yorker:

Angry protesters filled the streets of Karachi last week, clogging traffic lanes and public squares until police and paratroopers were forced to intervene. That’s not rare in Pakistan, which is often a site of political and religious violence.

But last week’s protests had nothing to do with freedom of expression, drone wars, or Americans. They were about access to water. When Khawaja Muhammad Asif, the Minister of Defense, Power, and Water (yes, that is one ministry), warned that the country’s chronic water shortages could soon become uncontrollable, he was looking on the bright side. The meagre allotment of water available to each Pakistani is a third of what it was in 1950. As the country’s population rises, that amount is falling fast.

2014-009 - dry folsom

Photo: Robert Couse-Baker (CC)

 

Dozens of other countries face similar situations—not someday, or soon, but now.

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Take it and Like it: Corporate America and the Manipulation of Public Opinion

Brad Clinesmith (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Brad Clinesmith (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Absurd Illusions of a Shining City on a Hill by Mark Weiser at Dissident Voice:

The average natural born citizen in any country is continuously indoctrinated into the national culture starting about the time they begin understanding the meaning of words. There’s one country in particular where reality is staring the public in the face, but the truth has been grossly distorted for decades by government, and mass media, bias and propaganda. If the citizens would suddenly see the truth, instead of what they’ve been conditioned to believe, they would find themselves in a strange and bizarre foreign land that’s contrary in many ways to their personal beliefs regarding home. For those who experience this sudden revelation, as soon as the truth is realized, it’s likely to provoke a profound and immediate sense of disbelief. Like emergency room personnel making insensitive jokes, laughter at some point becomes a self-defense mechanism for offsetting continuous parades of the absurd realities and outright horrors.

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Two Rapporteurs Appointed by the UN Visit Detroit: Restore access to water

Two special rapporteurs from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights spoke at a press conference yesterday, at the Crowne Plaza Riverfront Hotel in Detroit, about the need for all levels of government to step up in their defense of human rights.

Catarina de Albuquerque and Leilani Farha, Special Rapporteurs on the rights to safe drinking water/sanitation and adequate housing, respectively, both spoke to multiple press organizations, concerned civil service groups, and citizens about the continuing water shutoffs in Detroit and how they also affect the housing situation of citizens in the city. Both condemned the city’s actions as a violation of human rights, stating that the shutoffs primarily affect low-income African-Americans. Furthermore, without water there are increased health risks that can easily be avoided by not shutting off water access.

The UN rapporteurs also stated that the United States is bound by Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that humans have the right to an adequate standard of living.… Read the rest

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Scientists Warn Against Drinking Warm Bottled Water

5100西藏冰川矿泉水Remember the documentary Tapped, which focused on all the many reasons not to drink bottled water? Plenty of people ignored the warnings about BPA and phthalates leaching from the plastic into the water. Now a new study from the University of Florida suggests you really, really shouldn’t drink bottled water, at least if the bottles were stored in a warm place. Via Science Daily:

Americans can take a warning from a University of Florida study of bottled water in China ─ don’t drink the liquid if you’ve left it somewhere warm for a long time.

Plastic water bottles are made from polyethylene terephthalate. When heated, the material releases the chemicals antimony and bisphenol A, commonly called BPA.

While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said BPA is not a major concern at low levels found in beverage containers, it continues to study the chemical’s impacts. Some health officials, including those at the Mayo Clinic, say the chemical can cause negative effects on children’s health.

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There’s Lithium In The Water Supply

Stylised Lithium Atom.svg

Stylised Lithium Atom. CC BY-SA 3.0

Forget about the awful things that fluoride in the water supply supposedly does to us; the New York Times is reporting that there’s lithium in our water supply:

THE idea of putting a mind-altering drug in the drinking water is the stuff of sci-fi, terrorist plots and totalitarian governments. Considering the outcry that occurred when putting fluoride in the water was first proposed, one can only imagine the furor that would ensue if such a thing were ever suggested.

The debate, however, is moot. It’s a done deal. Mother Nature has already put a psychotropic drug in the drinking water, and that drug is lithium. Although this fact has been largely ignored for over half a century, it appears to have important medical implications.

Lithium is a naturally occurring element, not a molecule like most medications, and it is present in the United States, depending on the geographic area, at concentrations that can range widely, from undetectable to around .170 milligrams per liter.

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