Global Environmental Current Event Essay

Enhanced Weathering of Rocks Can Help to Pull CO2 out of the Air -- A Little

Mar. 6, 2018 — Weathering of huge amounts of tiny rocks could be a means to reduce the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. While this is normally a slow natural process during which minerals chemically bind CO2, ... read more

Carbon Dioxide Sensor Network Shows Effects of Metro Growth

Mar. 5, 2018 — Atmospheric scientists report that suburban sprawl increases carbon dioxide emissions more than similar population growth in a developed urban ... read more

Models Show How to Limit Global Temperature Rise to 1.5°C

Mar. 5, 2018 — There are several ways to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C by 2100, and new research shows under what conditions this could ... read more

Mar. 5, 2018 — A group of scientists who use Crepdiula onyx as a model organism to test microplastics immunity have found that they will threaten other marine organisms that are less resilient towards mircoplastic ... read more

Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Hydropower in the Mekong River Basin Can Exceed Those of Fossil Fuel Energy Sources

Mar. 5, 2018 — Hydropower is commonly considered as a clean energy source to fuel Southeast Asian economic growth. A recent study finds that hydropower in the Mekong River Basin, largest river in Southeast Asia, ... read more

Thawing Permafrost Causing the 'Browning' of Northern Lakes

Mar. 2, 2018 — As ice the melts, the organic carbon found in permafrost is being released once again after ages of confinement in the soil. It is making its way into Arctic and subarctic lakes and ponds, and ... read more

Mar. 2, 2018 — Efforts to protect tropical forests in Southeast Asia for the carbon they store may fail because protection payments are too low. A new study finds that schemes designed to protect tropical forests ... read more

Mar. 2, 2018 — New research has outlined a new methodology for estimating ancient atmospheric water content based on fossil plant leaf ... read more

Mar. 2, 2018 — For every 10 degrees north from the equator you move, spring arrives about four days earlier than it did a decade ago, according to a new study. This is three times greater than what previous studies ... read more

Lake Montcortès in Spain Reveals the Ecological Footprint of Climate Change from the Last 500 Years

Feb. 28, 2018 — Oxygen decline in water masses is an environmental problem in lakes and ponds around the world. This phenomenon, which alters the conditions of continental water ecosystems, seems to be linked to ... read more

Feb. 28, 2018 — Conservation partnerships between protected lands and their non-protected neighbors could significantly improve a region's ability to accommodate species migration in response to shifting ... read more

Feb. 28, 2018 — Unique soils data from long-term experiments, stretching back to the middle of the nineteenth century, confirm the practical implausibility of burying carbon in the ground to halt climate change. The ... read more

As Summers Get Warmer, More Rain May Not Be Better Than Less

Feb. 28, 2018 — Warm, wet summers are historically unusual and could bring unexpected disruptions to ecosystems and society, according to new ... read more

Feb. 27, 2018 — The United States could reliably meet about 80 percent of its electricity demand with solar and wind power generation, according to ... read more

Feb. 27, 2018 — Times are tough for 31 of Michigan's 45 varieties of freshwater mussels. Sporting evocative names like wavy-rayed lampmussel and round pigtoe, these residents of the state's rivers are ... read more

Feb. 26, 2018 — Research finds new promise for biofuels produced from switchgrass, a non-edible native grass that grows in many parts of North ... read more

Global Fossil Fuel Emissions of Hydrocarbons Are Underestimated

Feb. 26, 2018 — Global levels of ethane and propane in the atmosphere have been underestimated by more than 50 percent, new research has revealed. These hydrocarbons are particularly harmful in large cities where, ... read more

Scientists Discover Key Gene for Producing Marine Molecule With Huge Environmental Impacts

Feb. 26, 2018 — Researchers have discovered a key gene for the synthesis of one of the world's most abundant sulfur molecules -- Dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP). DMSP is an important nutrient in marine ... read more

Climate Value of Earth's Intact Forests

Feb. 26, 2018 — New research demonstrates the extraordinary value of Earth's remaining intact forests for addressing climate change and protecting wildlife, critical watersheds, indigenous cultures, and human ... read more

Method of Tracking Reactions Between Air and Carbon-Based Compounds Established

Feb. 26, 2018 — Study could allow researchers to study pollution, smog, and haze in a comprehensive way, backed by data that accurately depicts a compound's behavior over ... read more

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Your last Current Event Essay will be on one of the real-life impacts of Climate Change. As always, this is just the prompt. The submission is due Thursday of Week 9 at 11:59PM- for Spring 2018 students, this essay is only due if you did not hand in Essay 2.

Since 2014 or earlier there has been a steady flow of news stories about the impact of sea leave rise on island communities in the Pacific and more recently on coastal communities around the world, including in America. The uneven impacts of climate change forms the basis of the concept of climate justice. This topic is an ideal topic for you to engage with for you last Current Event Essay as it allows you to link to many of the topics we have covered thought out the course so far, including some of the more complicated issues such as discourse and environmental justice.  It will also help you think about some of the topics coming up in our last few weeks. For example, do you remember what the film “Before the Flood” said about the predicted impact of Climate Change on coral reefs? 

Below is a set of articles for you to draw on regarding the concept of climate justice. In addition to these articles, feel free to do your own research on the topic. Remember to include at least one additional academic source.

In response to these articles and drawing on content we have covered throughout the course, consider the following questions in your response:

  • How does thinking like a human-environment geographer help us to understand climate change and climate justice differently, relative to other ways of thinking? Are there approaches or tools we have learned about in the course that you can apply to this topic?
  • Can you disentangle the linkages between a globally governed resource (atmospheric carbon and climate) and local impacts (think about geographic scale)? How are people in different places contributing to and impacted by climate change? And how does this relate to roles and responsibilities?
  • What tools have you learned about during the course that helps you understand the ways climate change is discussed, portrayed, and thought about by different people?
  • Have you experienced the impacts of climate change? Relative to the communities in these news stories, how do your current and future potential experience of climate change compare?

For this essay, you will write a 1000 word response to the questions.

Remember: we are looking to see you demonstrate that you are thinking critically about what you have learned throughout the course. This means that you can and should be looking for discrepancies between various approaches and authors and questioning the material. You should be supporting your ideas and questions with credible sources (peer-reviewed, published in a scientific venue, available of google scholar). For this essay, in particular, we will be looking SYNTHESIS, to see that you can bring together and ideas from across the course and from other sources as well.

Make sure to:

  1. Draw specifically on course materials (articles, videos, etc.) in your responses. Do not use them for just statistical facts, or just for borrowing a line. Think about the viewpoints and concepts of the materials and try to apply them in interpreting/analyzing what's happening in this specific current event.
  2. Make sure to use proper citations!

Avoid common mistakes:

  1. Use citation software WITH CAUTION. These often generate citations that are missing important components. Study the citation guide yourself and make sure to include author names on newspaper articles, include journal volume and issue information).
  1. Do not exclusively cite the news articles above. Include other resources (e.g., course materials, another scholarly article).

Good luck on your last Current Event Essay!

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