Thursday, March 21, 2013

Earth Hour 2013

Earth hour has become one of the global activities of raising awareness about climate change and protecting the planet. For the past  six years, earth hour has created a collective impact in over 130 countries pledging support for this initiative. It has become a unique way of getting individual, organizations and corporate to get involved and do something sustainable for the environment. 

This year earth hour will take place tomorrow 23rd March 2013, at 8:30 pm. I would like to challenge you to get involved and please do share with us your experience of the earth hour by emailing us and will share your story with the rest of the YES members. 

 For more information about  earth hour visit earth hour website.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Day for Earth Sciences in Africa and the Middle East

The African Association of Women in Geosciences and African Geoparks Network  are proclaiming the 20th March as a “Day for Earth Sciences in Africa and the Middle East”.

Why the 20th March?

Equinoxes have been celebrated in cultures all over the world. In the northern hemisphere the March equinox marks the start of spring and has long been celebrated as a time of rebirth. The 20th March corresponds to the March equinox where night and day are nearly of the same length all over the world. However, even if this is widely accepted, it isn't entirely true. The March equinox occurs the moment the sun crosses the celestial equator from south to north. This happens either on March 19, 20 or 21 every year. In that way, the activities, related to the “Day for Earth Sciences in Africa and Middle East”, could be extended on the 19th and the 21st March."

Objectives of the Day
The day aims to promote Earth Sciences for Society and to increase the awareness about the role that earth scientists could play to help to build a peaceful, healthier and wealthier continent.

Conferences, seminars, courses, presentations, field trips, exhibitions, films, games, visits of Earth Sciences departments…etc It is up to you to create and innovate in order to answer the need of your respective societies.

Target public
Pupils from primary and secondary schools, students from universities, policy makers, large public, potential partners and sponsors…all the components of your respective societies.

Include: YES Network and Society of African Earth Scientists

Monday, March 11, 2013

Climate Change Infographics

Our today's post is from our guest writer Allison Lee, who will be discussing about the climate change and possible impact

Thanks to extensive research and noticeable changes in weather and storm prevalence, it’s getting harder to turn a blind eye to the reality of climate change. Since the Industrial Age spurred the increasing usage of fossil fuels for energy production, the weather has been warming slowly. In fact, since 1880, the temperature of the earth has increased by 1 degree Celsius.

Although 72% of media outlets report on global warming with a skeptical air, the overwhelming majority of scientists believe that the extreme weather of the last decade is at least partially caused by global warming. Some examples of climate calamities caused partly by global warming include:
Hurricane Katrina
Drought in desert countries
Hurricane Sandy
Tornadoes in the Midwest

These storms, droughts, and floods are causing death and economic issues for people all over the world – many of whom cannot afford to rebuild their lives from the ground up after being wiped out by a tsunami or other disaster.

Evidence also indicates that the face of the Earth is changing because of warming trends. The ice caps of the Arctic are noticeably shrinking, the ice cap of Mt. Kilimanjaro alone has shrunk by 85% in the last hundred years, and the sea levels are rising at the rate of about 3 millimeters per year because of all the melting ice. Climate change is also affecting wildlife – for instance, Arctic polar bears are at risk of losing their environment; the Golden Toad has gone extinct; and the most adaptable species are evolving into new versions capable of withstanding warmer water.

Despite some naysayers with alternative theories about why global temperatures are rising – including the idea that the earth goes through natural temperature cycles every few millennia – the dramatic changes in the earth’s atmospheric makeup suggests humans are to blame. In fact, 97% of scientists agree humans are responsible for climate change. Since the Industrial Revolution, carbon dioxide levels increased 38% because of humans, methane levels have increased 148%, nitrous oxide is up 15% – and the list goes on and on, all because of human-instigated production, manufacturing, and organizations and individuals work hard to promote an Earth-friendly existence, resistance to change is rampant and actions are slow. For instance, while the US Environmental Protection Agency is still working on collecting data to support development of greenhouse gas reduction expectations for businesses, most of their efforts feel more like pre-research than actual change. Other countries have made efforts – such as signing to Kyoto Protocol to reduce their 1990 emission levels by 18% by 2020 – but the only solution will require the whole world band together.

Steps anyone can take to reduce global warming include:
Driving a car with good gas mileage, or investing in a hybrid or electric car
Switching from incandescent light bulbs to CFL or LED
Insulating your home and stocking it with energy efficient appliances
Using green power available in your area

Check out the infographic below to see what else the changing climate is affecting.