Tag Archives: Ottawa

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.

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.

Medicane…What is it?

A large storm in the Mediterranean is threatening Greece and Turkey. This  rare and powerful hurricane type storm is often called a”Medicane”,(Mediterranean  + hurricane). it has features similar to hurricanes and typhoons.


According to a 2011 study there are only 1 or 2 medicanes a year. They usually occur in September to October when the sea surface temperatures are still warm, can can happen tear round as well.

Over the open water the storm is likely to pick up characteristics normally associated with hurricanes…gale force winds and an eye.

Killer Whales threatened by PCB’s

It has been some 40yrs after the first initiatives were taken to ban the use of PCB.s. The threat to the top of the food channel is still there though. A new study just published in the journal SCIENCE has determined that the current concentrations of PCB’s could lead to the disappearance of half the world’s population of killer whales from the most heavily contaminated areas within a period of just 30-50 yrs.

Killer whales are on top of the food chain and are among the mammals with the highest levels of PCB’s in their tissue. PCB’s can lead to infertility and a weakened immune system It has been documented that the number of killer whales is rapidly declining in 10 out of the 19 whale populations investigated. The animal may disappear from some areas within a few decades.

The killer whale is one of the most widespread mammals on earth, found in all the world’s oceans, pole to pole. It can be said that the populations living in the least polluted are the most numerous. PCB’s are passed down from the mother to the offspring  through the mother’s fat rich milk. The hazard is passed on , not being able to slowly breakdown in the environment. A female killer whale can live for 60-70yrs. We took the first steps to phase out PCB’s more than 40yrs ago…but high levels of PCB’s are still present.

The good news is that killer whales populations continue to grow around the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Norway, Alaska, and the Antarctic.