Monthly Archives: October 2018

Increasing runoff and flash floods.

It has now been demonstrated through research that runoff extremes have been dramatically increasing in response to climate and human inspired changes.


With the recent Hurricanes and Typhoons we have seen the impact of weather extremes. Flash floods causing deaths, property, and agricultural losses. For the past 50 yrs the damage has been mounting at an ever increasing pace. We are now at the point of $30 billion is lost annually.  Around the world almost 1 billion people live on flood plains, facing greater exposure to river flooding.

Changes in runoff extremes in most regions of the world are in line with or higher than those of precipitation extremes. Different responses were noted of precipitation and storm runoff to temperature warming ..but also factors like land use and land coverings, water and land management, even vegetation changes can lead to increased storm run off.

The idea is to help improve flood forecasting and early earning alerts. Give scientific guidance for infrastructure and ecosystem resilience planning…even help formulate strategies for addressing climate change.

Precipitation and run off extremes are seen as increasing all over the globe. We need to prepare our infrastructure accordingly.


Looking Elsewhere for Water.

Saudi Arabia and China are among the countries that have turned to the US and other countries looking for water.

Climate change will make water scarcity a critical security issue globally, wealthier countries have begun to look outside their borders to meet their water needs. Saudi Arabia and China have come to the USA to help solve their water problems and feed their people. In 2014 SA bought farmland in Arizona to grow alfalfa to feed its cows back home. Huge amounts of water are needed to grow that crop , which is why they came. Facing water scarcity China imports half the world’s soybeans and 25% of the american supply of pork.

National security experts have long worried about the implications of water scarcity. Confronting issues involving food, water, energy , and disease will become more frequent.

Consider it takes 500 tons of water to grow 1 ton of soybeans. Access to an abundance of fresh water is critical. This access has become an issue in many parts of the world. In North America we have been shielded from this by our relative abundance, but it is only a question of time before the crisis hits home.

Urinary Tract Infections

Women who drink more water get fewer urinary tract infections. trials confirm.

Women are advised to drink extra water to prevent recurrent UTI’s, but until now there has been scant evidence that it works. Now a randomized trial has found that women who drink more water do in fact get fewer infections.


Researchers studied women who had recurring UTI’s, who drank less than 1.5 litres a day, and averaged 3.3 episodes of cystitis over the previous year. The subjects were randomly assigned to continue with their usual amount or  to a group who were assigned to drink 1.5 litres more of water per day.

The control group of women had 3.2 urinary infections in one yr, while those drinking more water averaged 1.7

The lesson being to reduce your UTI risk …drink more water.

Global sea level rising

Global sea level could rise by 8 feet by 2100 and 50 feet by 2300 if green house gases remain high and we get a bit unlucky.

Since the start of the century, global average sea level has risen by about 0.2feet. With moderate continued emissions we will see the seas continue to rise…with 11% of the world’s population living in areas less than 33ft above sea level.

The rising waters would pose a threat to coastal populations, economies, infrastructure, and ecosystems.

From 2000 to 2050, global average sea level rise will most like rise 6 to 10 inches, but not more than 18 inches. Beyond 2050 the projections can vary due to the changes in green house gas emissions and the approaches to sea level rise.

Human caused global warming is a fact. How we react to this change will be extremely important.

Plastic waste reaching remote South Atlantic.

The volume of plastic reaching the shores of remote South Atlantic Islands is 10 times greater than what it was a decade ago.  Scientists looking at plastics in the seas surrounding British Overseas Territories discovered the plastics are invading these pristine waters.

For the first time plastic pollution on some remote South Atlantic beaches is approaching levels seen industrialized North Atlantic coasts. From 2013 to 2018 a crack team of researches sampled the surface water, water column and seabed, surveyed beaches, and examined 2000 animals from 26 different species.

An increase in plastic was seen at all levels of the ocean. More than 90% of beach debris is plastic. By volume it is the highest level of plastic recorded in the last decade. Importantly plastic has entered the food chain. as seen in plankton and right to the top predator…birds. The largest concentration of plastic is seen on the beaches.

Plastic causes many problems up the food chain..from entanglement to poisoning to starving through ingestion. The arrival of floating plastic rafts has been identified as a problem.

The impacts of plastic pollution not only affects industrialized areas , but some of the remotest and most pristine parts of our planet.

Jumping Basking Sharks

Basking sharks are considered to be gentle giants who can grow up to 10m in length. Crazy as it sounds they have been recorded leaping out of the water as fast ans as high as the great white sharks. Marine biologists are not sure why, but have pointed to this phenomenon as evidence of how much we still have to learn about marine life.

Let’s review the film…


Incredibly huge fish leaping out of the water…crazy stuff!



Nazare, Portugal

What is it that every now and then Nazare gets in the news?

Nazare is a town and a municipality in subregion Oeste and Leiria District, in historical Estremadura province of Portugal. It is one of the most popular seaside resorts in the Silver Coast. The population in 2011 was 15, 158. The area has many interesting tourist destinations like the Church of Nossa Senhora de Nazare or the Forte de Sao Miguel Arcanjo….but it is the North Beach that creates the reason we hear about Nazare the most.

The Praia de Norte (North Beach) which due to its great conditions for surfing and its giant breaking waves was listed in the Guinness Book of Records for the biggest waves ever surfed. The very high breaking waves are caused by the presence of the underwater Nazare Canyon.

so let’s take a look…

Interesting look at the geologic formation the Nazare Canyon..let’s take a look at what it can produce.