The need to take care of the earth and its natural resources has been a very hot topic for the past few years. With the majority of scientists in the world agreeing that we are experiencing an accelerated global warming due to all the man-made pollution, the need for governments and countries to take the necessary steps needed to remedy the problem has become evident.
Over the years, the international community has come together and formed certain agreements and treaties in an effort to reduce pollution and protect the environment. Here are a few important treaties that made, and continue to make, a difference including the most recent COP21.
The Ramsar Convention On Wetlands
Several nations met in 1971 in the city of Ramsar, Iran, and signed a treaty in an effort to conserve and protect wetland resources.
The Convention On Biological Diversity
Created by members of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the treaty is meant to preserve the global biodiversity by creating a protocol to safely transport genetically modified organisms.
The Convention On International Trade In Endangered Species (CITES)
Since its founding in the 1960s, CITES is one of the biggest international agreements regarding the protection of the environment.
United Nations Agreements
Originally put together after World War II to prevent further war on a global scale, this international organization includes members from almost every country in the world, and has played a big part in some of the some of the most vital agreements and treaties concerning the environment. Some of those include the Montreal Protocol, the Kyoto Protocol, and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Framework Convention on Climate Change reached a historic treaty known as the Paris Agreement. Over 150 nations have come to several agreements that they must all commit to, including:
Setting a goal of limiting the increase of the global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
All countries must regularly report their emissions and the progress they’ve made in reaching their goals.
All countries need to pursue domestic action in order to make “nationally determined contributions” (NDC).
Once every 5 years, all countries will need to create new NDC’s in an effort to continue progress over the previous one.
For the first time, developing countries are expected to voluntarily contribute.
A commitment of $100 billion a year to help developing countries improve greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.
Over history, organisms have evolved to adapt to their environment in a number of different ways, and humans may be the most adaptive species of all. Unlike animals and plants, we not only live and thrive in a wide variety of different environments, but over time we have also evolved in order to adapt to our surroundings. For example, the color of your skin comes from the environment your ancestors grew up in. People whose ancestors come from regions with extremely hot climates tend to have darker skin in order to protect them from the sun’s rays. Studying geography can help us understand why.
Geography Plays An Important Part In Bringing The World
Another environmental factor that plays a major role on how humans have evolved over time is the elevation of the landscape you live in. The highest percentage of the human population lives on land that is within 100 meters of sea level. As the elevation of the landscape rises, human population declines. The air contains less oxygen in areas of high altitudes. However, regions with some of the highest landscape elevations in the world are still inhabited by people.
Regions of the world with landscapes over 10,000 feet above sea level include the Tibetan Plateau in Asia, the Andean Altiplano in South America, and the Ethiopian highlands in Africa. These high altitude areas are different than most regions in several ways. In addition to there being less oxygen in the air, the climate is also colder and dry. This means less vegetation and wildlife, and more rocky and desolate landscapes.
The Path To Yemrehanna Kristos
When visiting these high altitude areas, people, especially visitors, often suffer symptoms of hypoxia – the lowering of available blood oxygent – which occurs as a result of lower oxygen pressure. It is well known that some of the people who live in these regions have biologically adapted in order to live in these inhospitable landscapes. For example, people who live in the Andes have the ability to hold more oxygen in their red blood cells in order to adapt to the thinner air. The Tibetans have developed lungs that can incorporate more nitric oxide from the air. This process allows them to expand their blood vessels and consume oxygen more effectively than people living in lower altitudes.
The Ethiopian highlanders are different again from both the Andeans and the Tibetans in that they have normal hemoglobin counts and they breathe normally. Yet, while the Ethiopian highlanders live at an elevation with less oxygen in the air, they don’t suffer from any hypoxic symptoms. Even without any biological changes, their bodies have adapted to survive.
When most people hear the term geography, they immediately begin to think of maps, but it is so much more than that. To understand why studying geography is relevant, you must first understand what it means. Geography is the study of places, landscapes, environments, and people, and how they have affected each other over time to become what it is today. It combines natural sciences (physical geography) and social sciences (human geography) in a way no other field of science does.
To learn and understand how the world’s basic physical systems work and affect our everyday life. For example, the role the sun plays in providing heat and life on earth and how wind and ocean currents affect the weather. This not only helps us to better predict and prepare for severe weather, but also how we can use the earth’s resources for our benefit.
To learn about other cultures, where they live, and how their location and climate affects their lifestyle. This can help us understand their differences as well as the similarities we all share.
To learn more about the geography of a different era and the role it played in people’s lives, environments and ideas. Geography plays a major role in our history and has helped mold the world we live in today.
To learn all the different places on earth as well as their cultural and physical characteristics in order to be more productive and effective in a world that has become interdependent. Considering how global our market economies have become, it’s important to know more about countries and their locations to better understand the effect they have on the market.
To have a better understanding of society and why we live in the places we do. How has urbanization changed the world and its societies? Why did certain areas flourish while others didn’t? Geography helps us understand why certain locations are ideal for living and why others are not.
Geography Plays A Major Role In Our History
To better understand why and how global interdependence has grown. Technological breakthroughs in transportation have not only made this world smaller, but have also created societies that depend on external resources. Some areas are ideal for agriculture, while other areas are rich in natural resources such as metals. You need metal from one place to build the machines that work the land in another.
To have a better appreciation of Earth as our home and have a better understanding of its limitations. Knowing how much resources are available can help us be more responsible in the way we manage and treat our home.
According to scientists, up to one-half of the earth’s land mass has been reshaped due to human enterprises. We have been responsible for creating large patches of agricultural fields, deforestation, and building large concrete cities that can be seen from space. This advancement is also responsible for the growing dire state of our planet.
Let’s Help Prevent Global Warming
While technology and industrialization have made our lives more convenient and comfortable, we’ve also created enough greenhouse gases in the process to accelerate global warming. As the world’s population continues to grow at a rate faster than any time in history, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will also continue to grow. Scientists expect to see a significant change in the Earth’s climate as well. The effects of climate change are already starting to show and will only become more drastic. Here are a few examples of how climate change and global warming are reshaping our landscape.
Weather Patterns Have Also Been Affected By Global Climate
The oceans have been absorbing more than 90% of the additional heat that has been trapped in our atmosphere, causing the Arctic sea ice to decrease more and more every summer. According to a recent report, researchers expect to see ice-free summers by the year 2050. The warming oceans will also affect all marine life, with many species expected to go extinct.
As more ice melts due to global warming, water levels will increase and coastal regions will change. This will not only change the map as we know it, but it will also destroy cities, coastal wetlands, salt marshes and mangrove forests. Animals like the polar bear and penguin have already seen their numbers severely drop as their habitat and food supply continues to disappear.
The change in weather patterns have also been affected by global climate change and will have the most visible impact on our everyday lives. We will also experience higher temperatures and an increase in extreme weather, such as droughts, hurricanes and floods.
The changing temperature is also causing animals and plants to evolve or relocate in order to survive. Every year average temperatures shift closer to the poles about a quarter mile. A study shows that several organisms have already been found up to 4 miles closer to the poles since 1950, or 20 feet higher in elevation every 10 years. Unfortunately, not all animals and plants will be able to keep pace with the current rate of climate change.
As one of the most wide-ranging subjects to study, there are lots of career opportunities in the field of geography. Whether you plan on studying physical geography, which includes landscapes and natural processes, climate change, and environments, or human geography, which includes urbanization, population growth, farming and globalization, getting a good education is necessary in preparing you for your career.
A good school will also educate you on the latest trends and technologythat is shaping the future. Here we will go over some of the best institutions in the world offering geographical courses.
University Of Cambridge
Not only is this one of the top schools in the world for geography, but it’s one of the top schools in the world, period. Although you have the option of specializing in either physical or human geography, the school encourages students to study both. The Geography Library features one of the biggest specialist geography collections in Europe, as well as maps dating back to 1830.
University Of Oxford
Home of the of the oldest geography department in the United Kingdom, students here have the benefit of the Radcliffe Science Library, which houses a geography collection of more than 100,000 volumes. First year students get a base education in both physical and human geography in the first year.
University Of California, Berkeley
Known for the quality and large laboratories and libraries, ‘Cal’ is a leading school for geographical studies. Faculty members include over 130 members of the National Academy of Science, bringing students years of knowledge and experience.
London School Of Economics And Political Science
LSE offers students a human-centric based course in geography and ties with other top universities for prospects available to graduates. There is a BA geography course in which students can take advantage of a number of different opportunities.
University Of British Columbia
Ranked as one of the top universities in the world, UBC excels in geography. Students can take advantage of a world-class research center and a large faculty staff that ranks as some of the top in their field.
Students at Durham have the choice to take either BA or BSc geography courses, which gives them the opportunity to specialize in physical or human geography. Founded in 1928, the Department of Geography offers students plenty of overseas research opportunities in places like Iceland, Nepal and Portugal and ensures students have access to the latest top-class facilities.
University Of Toronto
The QS World University Rankings ranked the school as one of the top ten universities for geography. The school features a world-class research institute and are known for a number of exciting discoveries.
University Of Exeter
University of Exeter has built a reputation for being one of the top research-oriented universities in the United Kingdom, and offers students several different geography degrees. The university also features the new Environment and Sustainability Institute where students can perform innovative environmental change research.
The Australian National University
The number one-ranked Australian center for research and education also has an amazing record for graduate employability. Founded by the Parliament of Australia, at first it was only a postgraduate research university, but now has one of the top Geographical Departments in the world.
Want to learn more about geography while having fun and meeting new people? In addition to the news that you can catch up on via Nat Geo and BBC Earth, there are a number of interesting geographical events happening all around the world. So no matter where you live, you are sure to find something near you of interest.
Here are several events happening in 2017:
Fifth International Conference On Geographies Of Children, Youth And Families
Find out more how the different global challenges of today, such as terrorism, migration, climate change and poverty are affecting young people and families. The event will be held at Loughborough University, UK, from September 25 to September 27, 2017.
Nat Geo Nights
Nat Geo Nights Field Notes
On every third Thursday of the month, the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C. allows free admission and features a number of fun activities, including live music, drink specials, food, and a new presentation by some of the world’s top scientists.
Tmmob International Geographic Information Systems Congress 2017
On November 18, 2017, at Ã‡ukurova University, Adana, Turkey, you can join other scientists and share experiences and research while discussing topics like Linked Data, data mining, system design and voluntary information.
Geodata 2017 London Showcase
This free event held on November 30, 2017, at the ILEC Conference Centre in London is great for professionals who work with geospatial data, services, and software. Here you will get to network with other professionals in the field while trying out the newest geospatial products and services.
NGM 2017: Nordic Geographers Meeting In Stockholm
This international geography meeting is held every two years and attracts some of the top scientists in the Nordic region. The theme for this year’s conference was “Geographies of inequalities” and was held in Frescati, Stockholm from June 20 until June 21, 2017.
GISTAM 2017: The International Conference On Geographical Information Systems Theory, Applications And Management
The conference took place on April 27 and 28, 2017, in Vila Nova De Gaia Porto, Portugal, and focused on gathering practitioners and researchers together to discuss the different aspects of geographic information technologies and systems.
How Paper Maps Enrich Our Lives: A Cultural History Of Cartography
The University of Oregon’s Department of Geography will be teaming up with the Museum of Natural and Cultural History to bring you this event. Cartographer Dave Imus will be giving the presentation at the Museum of Natural and Cultural History on November 16, 2017.
Origo Geographical Indications Global Forum 2017
This international event in April was organized by the Emilia Romagna Region, the Italian Government and the European Commission, in an effort to tackle the challenges and opportunities caused by the system of Geographical Indications in the European Union.
Preserving China’s Ancient Buildings
The Royal Geographical Society organized this event, which was recently held in Hong Kong on September 7, 2017. Speakers Li Kuanghan and Stefaan Poortman of the Global Heritage Fund will be talking about how the Global Heritage Fund in China is working on preserving the country’s ancient buildings.
Keeping up with the latest news in geography has never been so exciting. Today’s technology allows researchers to explore, observe, discover and send information at a much faster rate than ever before. To get the latest information, there are a number of different events you can go to or get the latest geographical news from top geographical websites like National Geographic and BBC Earth Discoveries.
6 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About North Korea
Discover Things That You Did Not Know
Even in today’s high-tech world, there are still many things we don’t know about this secluded country. In this article you’ll find some interesting information about the country, its citizens and the life they live. For example, it describes how the military does more than just defend the country. They play an integral role in daily life and work on a number of projects including infrastructure.
Why Scientists Are Listening To Insects’ Wings Flapping
In an effort to fight malaria, scientists are renewing a research program that focuses on insects’ wing beat frequency. They feel that by learning how insects communicate with each other, they will have a better understanding of them.
Voyager At 40
Where Will The NASA Spacecraft Go Next? After being launched 40 years ago, NASA’s twin Voyager spacecraft is already over 10 billion miles away with no end in sight. The Voyager is now set to leave our solar system and perhaps go on a journey that lasts longer than the life of our earth. Find out the different obstacles awaiting the spacecraft future.
Why Do Leopards Eat In Trees
Unlike other big cats, such as tigers and lions, when a leopard kills its prey it usually carries its food up into a tree to eat. This odd behavior has baffled many researchers over the years. A recent study may reveal why they do this.
This Tiny Country Feeds The World
This interesting article explains how the small country of the Netherlands has been able to become the world’s top exporter of onions,
Building a man-made island can be very difficult and strenuous work, even with all the high-tech machines that we have to help us. Imagine doing it 5,000 years ago. Read about an ancient civilization from Scotland and Ireland that were building artificial islands for thousands of years.
Storm Of Strange Radio Bursts Emerges From Deep Space
Are there aliens trying to communicate with us? We’ve recently received 15 powerful and fast radio waves from a galaxy that is three billion light-years away. Find out what astronomers and researcher have to say about it.
Gorillas Were Thought To Be Fairly Peaceful Animals
Gorillas Are No Longer Peaceful
Up until very recently, gorillas were thought to be fairly peaceful animals, unlike humans and chimps who actively seek out violence against others. However, new research shows several incidents where groups of gorillas have violently attacked a lone gorilla. What has caused this change in behaviour?
With so much going on in the world affecting geography, and we last wrote on issues such as global warming and over-population, along with all the new technologies to combat these problems, it’s more important than ever to keep up with all the latest news.
There are several symposia on the subject of geography you can visit in 2017 to help you keep abreast of developments. Here we will go over some of the top events for the year, what type of information you can expect to get from each one, and how this information will shape our future.
Geographical Indications – International Symposia
The Symposium Contributes To The Ongoing Debate On Geographical Indications
WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) organizes this symposium every two years with an interested Member State. The goal is to create a forum in which an assembly of international experts, Geographical Indications (GI) producers, representing academia, non-governmental organizations and member states’ administrations can exchange ideas and opinions on different issues, and consistently contribute to the argument on geographical indications at both the international and national level. The Worldwide Symposium on Geographical Indications was held at the Convention Center in Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province, China, from June 29 to July 1, 2017.
ICHST Rio 2017 International Symposium
ICHST Rio 2017 INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM
Organized by the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (IUHPST) and the International Geography Union (IGU), there will be two symposia, “Geography as an international science: historical perspectives and present challenges,” and “Critical, radical and postcolonial geographies and cartographies from early approaches to present-day debates.” The event was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from July 23 to July 29, 2017.
17th International Medical Geography Symposium
Green And Blue Infrastructure And Health
Considered the leading international gathering of medical and health geographers, the IMGS took place in Angers, France, from July 2 until July 7, 2017. The University of Angers hosted the event and the theme was “Practicing health and medical geography in 2017.” This conference attracts anyone interested in health geography.
International Symposium On GIS Applications In Geography And Geosciences
International Symposium On GIS Applications In Geography And Geosciences Conference 2017
Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University organized the ISGGG, which is scheduled to take place in Çanakkale, Turkey, from October 18 until October 21, 2017. The goal of the symposium is to bring together research on applied Geographical Information Systems in a variety of different fields, including ecology, geology, tourism and geography. Participants will have a chance to exchange their experiences and ideas while building relationships and laying a foundation for future collaborations.
Applied Geography Conference
Group Met For the Applied Geography Conference In San Antonio.
On November 10, 2017, there will be a business geography symposium held at Kent State University, Ohio, where there will be a panel discussion on matters concerning geographic practice in business. There will also be paper sessions focusing on information gathered from applied research in business geography.
Resilience And Bio-Geomorphic System – The 48th Annual Binghamton Geomorphology Symposium
Put together by the Department of Geography at Texas State University in San Marcos, the symposium will be on October 14 and 15, 2017. The goal is to work together and figure out how economies, societies and biophysical systems can be governed in a way to ensure resilience.
Undergraduate Research Symposium, Department Of Geography
Undergraduate Research Symposium , Department of Geography
The University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, is holding its first Undergraduate Research Symposium on July 19, 2017. There are several different themes that will be discussed at the symposium, including exploring what drives physical environmental changes, socio-dynamics and development, and human behavior.
21st Annual Severe Weather Symposium
The Annual Severe Weather Symposium
On May 24th, 2017, the Ohio State University’s geography department held its Annual Severe Weather Symposium at the US Bank Conference Theater. Several keynote speakers shared ideas and new information on how weather affects the world’s geography.
Every year we see more and more examples of how global warming is changing the world. Fortunately, there has been some effort to try and combat this environmental change, and one great example is the historic Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which was signed in December 2015.
Each year we see new technology and trends that are shaping our geography, whether it’s reducing pollution or increasing the world’s food source in order to keep up with the population growth. Here are some of the new trends that are playing an important role in 2017 and beyond.
Creating a nuclear-fusion energy power plant will not only give us the ability to power the planet for millions of years while producing zero greenhouse gas emissions, but it is also much safer than the current nuclear power plants in use today. With no possibility of a meltdown, the plant also takes up a lot less space and produces short-lived waste. A company in Canada, General Fusion, is currently at work at making this pollution-free energy source an affordable reality.
There had been a lot of advances in the world of transportation that is only going to make the world smaller place. Traveling will get faster with projects like the Hyperloop, which can carry passengers at a jaw-dropping 760 mph. Traveling will also get safer as self-driving cars begin to take over the roads and eliminate accidents due to human errors. Vehicles will also become much more environmentally-friendly as researchers say they are currently working on a battery that is between 1,000-to-10,000 times stronger than the super capacitor. Airships are also coming into the picture and using helium instead of hydrogen, and can transport more passengers with less fuel than an airplane, which means a lot less fossil fuel will be used in the near future.
Soon we will be able to control and stop fires with sound. Scientists at George Mason University in Virginia have shown how pressure waves from sound can be used to stop the flow of oxygen to the fire and distinguish it. With this type of technology, you’d be able direct loud noises at a certain frequency toward a house fire or forest fire and put the flame out.
As the population continues to grow and reach numbers never seen before, feeding this huge population will become a challenge. One of the biggest foreseen shortages includes meat, since there is just no way to produce enough to feed 7.5 billion people. A solution to this is to create meat substitutes that mimic the real thing. There is already a company that produces a meat hamburger patty that was created from the protein they got from peas. There is also technology being developed to help cut down on the waste of food. Up to 50% of the food we buy gets thrown away because of the expiration label, which displays a conservative date. A more accurate approach includes a label that gets ‘bumpier’ as food expires. It is thought that this more observable fact of food heading toward expiry will prompt its consumption earlier.
Around 30% of emissions pumped into the air come from manufacturing. Making the simple everyday objects that we use produces significant quantities of CO2 in the air, causing a strain on the environment. Carbon Engineering, another Canadian company, is working on taking the same CO2 emissions out of the atmosphere and use them to make fuel. The company has built a running plant in Squamish, British Columbia, and is using it to remove up to one ton of carbon dioxide from the air every day. The company insists that they can remove more carbon dioxide per acre than plants and trees.
Earth has gone through many changes, and we wrote about some of those here? Over its 4.5 billion years of existence and continues to change every day.
Although some of those changes are man-made, the most amazing changes have happened naturally. Here, we will go over a list of ten of the strangest geographical formations that you need to see to believe.
Sahara El Beyda, Egypt
White Desert – Sahara El Beyda, Egypt
This amazing place is also known as the White Desert and is about 45km north of the small town of Farafra. Thousands of tourists come every year to view the amazing white cream colored sand, and huge, unbelievable rock formations shaped by the sandstorms from the area.
Shilin Stone Forest
Better known as the Stone Forest, there are over 150 sq. miles of beautiful landscape covered with huge limestone rocks that look like they are growing out of the ground, caves, ponds, and an underground river. Located in China’s Yunnan Province, experts say that the stone formations, karst, are over 270 million years old.
Mono Lake, California
Salt Rich AT Mono Lake, California
This salt-rich lake was formed by local volcanic activity over 760,000 years ago. Because it has such a high levels of salt and no outlet, pillars of salt protrude out of the lake and take on some amazing forms.
Valley of the Moon, Argentina
Valley Of The Moon, Argentina
Located in northwestern Argentina, this national park got its name because of its unworldly landscape. The land is filled with odd-shaped cliffs that were shaped by wind erosion and large round boulders scattered throughout. A large quantity of dinosaur fossils have been found in the area, suggesting the dry, hostile environment was once a fertile place.
The Devil’s Tower, Wyoming
Igneous Rock – The Devil’s Tower, Wyoming
Located in the Bear Lodge Mountains, this tower-like formation is made of igneous rock and has steep sides that dramatically rise 867 feet from the base. President Theodore Roosevelt declared it a United States National Monument on September 24, 1906.
Reed Flute Cave, China
Beautiful Reed Flute Cave, China
This beautifully colored limestone cave measures 787ft long and was formed by water erosion. It is named for a type of reed that generously grows outside the cave and which can be transformed into flutes. In the cave, you’ll find several bodies of water and multi-colored stalactite and stalagmite formations that resemble natural images. You’ll also find over 70 inscriptions that have been dated to the Tang Dynasty in 792 AD. This means that this cave has been attracting visitors for over a thousand years.
Giant Rock @ Kummakivi, Finland
According to the story told in Finland, Giants brought this huge, 7-meter long boulder and balanced it on another rock in the middle of the forest. Scientists have another take on how this giant rock got there. Known as an ‘erratic boulder’, geologists say that it was carried there by a glacier 8,000 years ago.
Cave Of Crystals, Mexico
A Fairy Tale Cave Of Crystals, Mexico
Located almost 1000 feet underneath Naica, Chihuahua, this cave looks like something out of a fairy-tale with some of the largest selenite crystals ever discovered. Discovered in 2000, the cave is very hot and difficult to examine without the proper equipment, leaving much of the area still unexplored.
Moeraki Boulders, New Zealand
Moeraki Boulders, New Zealand
If you visit Koekohe Beach on New Zealand’s Otago coast, you will notice a number of large spherical boulders scattered throughout. These concretions were formed through erosion from the cliffs along the shoreline.
Socotra Island, Yemen
Best Landscape Socotra Island, Yemen
Located in the Indian Ocean around 150 miles east of the Horn of Africa and over 200 miles south of Yeman, the landscape of this secluded island not only looks prehistoric, but actually has plant varieties that are over 20 million years old. You’ll find almost 800 rare types of fauna and flora on the island, a third of which can only be found on this island.