Researchers at Thompson Rivers University are investigating the capacity that trees have to intercept rainwater. The research team, which includes master's degree student Julie Taylor and Darryl Carlyle-Moses, an assistant professor of geography, have discovered that narrow trees with smooth bark tend to funnel water to the soil quickly. Trees covered in rough bark, however, are able to hold much larger quantities of water before depositing it into the ground. Their research was presented at the AAG meeting in Los Angeles.
A new study indicates that air pollution may have reduced storm activity in the North Atlantic during the 20th century. The idea is that sulfur dioxide particles may have caused clouds to reflect more light, which could have lowered the surface temperature of the ocean. "Our results show changes in pollution may have had a much larger role than previously thought," researcher Nick J. Dunstone said. The study suggests that efforts to reduce pollution in the area are at least partially responsible for an uptick in storm activity in recent years.
California-based Esri is building a sort of "Facebook for maps" that allows the public and application developers to access enormous troves of geographical data and create their own maps that are in turn searchable by other users. The cloud-based maps created on ArcGIS.com are also shareable on social media, and other users can be invited to collaborate on the maps. "This is kind of like Facebook for geography, where our users are sharing their maps, or connecting their maps, into a cloud environment," Esri's Jack Dangermond says.
Aaron Wolf, an Oregon State University geography professor, has received the Monito del Giardino prize for his work mediating international water disputes. "I started off in the sciences doing groundwater modeling and quickly realized people were at the heart of both the problems and the solutions," he said. Wolf has consulted with organizations such as the World Bank and the State Department, and, since the 1990s, he has been active in mediating international conflicts over the Jordan River Basin.