When people ask me what I research as a Ph.D. student in the Indiana University Department of Geography, I respond “I model.” This is typically followed by a head-to-toe, confused glance at my worn running shoes, wrinkly shorts, and faded yellow-and-brown collared shirt. “No,” I say, “I’m not a fashion model. I make computer models. I am working on some really cool research involving the effects of climate change on rivers of the Great Lakes Basin, just north of us.” Now, you may be thinking, “climate change, that’s scary, huh?” Why, yes it is! That’s why it is so important that we learn as much as we can about climate change so that we can prepare our ecosystems and communities for its impacts…
Tag: climate change
Do extreme floods and droughts cause more extreme floods and droughts?
Extreme floods and droughts are considered to be one of the greatest challenges to society in the 21st century. Historically, they have led to the collapse of civilizations, fatalities, and economic losses. In Indiana, recent droughts, such as the drought of 2012, have affected agriculture and water supplies. Recent flooding, such as summer 2021’s disasters in downtown Bloomington, have damaged businesses and homes. Now, the prevalence of these extreme events is increasing around the world; heavy rainstorms are increasing the severity and frequency of floods, while warming temperatures and a thirsty atmosphere are making droughts more severe…
Five ways to reduce water use
Water, the substance critical for daily life and even our survival, is quite abundant on earth. But not all water on earth is usable for our needs. Even though the majority of the earth’s surface is water, only around 2.5% of that water is freshwater. The water we use for drinking, cleaning, production, and many other vital functions is freshwater. Since the earth’s freshwater reserves are limited and required for many human activities, we need to collectively work together as a species to make sure we conserve our water usage. Decreasing wasteful water usage also provides a financial incentive as it would save families money on their water bill…
Rain-on-snow: I’m melting!
In mid-February 2021, Bloomington, Indiana was hit by a winter snowstorm that dropped several inches of white, fluffy snow around town. Schools and businesses closed. However, as other people were wondering “How will I get my car out of the driveway?”, I caught myself wondering “Will it rain soon?” What? Why? Rain-on-snow melt events have been receiving a lot of attention in scientific articles I have been reading. Aptly named, these events occur when a warm rain falls on an existing snowpack…
The highest price of fashion: Environmental destruction
This post was written by ScIU Social Media Intern Ava Steensland, an undergraduate student in The Media School at Indiana University. The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world. Here, we’ll take a closer look into tip number one from the ScIU post 7 Tips on How You Can Help the Environment,… Read more »
Greedy scientists and their grants
In 2009, there was a faux controversy called Climategate, in which a climate change research server was hacked and private emails were leaked. This event was then spun to create the impression that human-caused climate change was all a big conspiracy. What exactly was the alleged motive for these scientists to make up climate change?… Read more »
COVID-19 lockdown: Some good news for the environment
Since the coronavirus outbreak, many of us had to shelter-in-place or practice social distancing. For some of us, this meant working from home, and for others, it meant traveling to their workplace fewer days of the week. Either way, people commuting less to work can mean many different things: fewer cars on the streets, fewer factories, office and school buildings utilizing electricity. Though all these sound like a massive disruption of plans, there is a silver lining to it: the positive impact the lockdown has on the environment…
How Your Diet Impacts the Environment
The food you put into your body not only affects your own health, but also the health of our planet. The world’s food system accounts for about twenty-five percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Famous primatologist Jane Goodall once said, “you cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” Are you making a difference?
How climate change impacts fresh water: a SWAT modelist’s perspective
When people ask me what I research as a Ph.D. student in the Indiana University Department of Geography, I respond “I model.” This is typically followed by a head-to-toe, confused glance at my worn running shoes, wrinkly shorts, and faded yellow-and-brown collared shirt. “No,” I say, “I’m not a fashion model. I make computer models…. Read more »
Strength in Numbers? The Meaning of Scientific Consensus
“Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.”… Read more »