"Scientists and policymakers will use SMAP data to track water movement around our planet and make more informed decisions in critical areas like agriculture and water resources," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. SMAP also will detect whether the ground is frozen or thawed. Detecting variations in the timing of spring thaw and changes in the length of the growing season will help scientists more accurately account for how much carbon plants are removing from Earth's atmosphere each year.
A new NASA satellite that will peer into the topmost layer of Earth's soils to measure the hidden waters that influence our weather and climate is in final preparations for a January 29, 2015 dawn launch from California. The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission will take the pulse of a key measure of our water planet: how freshwater cycles over Earth's land surfaces in the form of soil moisture. This data will be used to enhance scientists' understanding of the processes that link Earth's water, energy and carbon cycles.
Tufts University's first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), The Biology of Water and Health (Part 1), is currently available for registration on the edX platform: http://tinyurl.com/tuftswatermooc. The course starts on November 4, 2014. Taught by Tufts professors Jeffrey K. Griffiths, Public Health and Community Medicine and David M. Gute, Civil and Environmental Engineering, this course is a uniquely interdisciplinary approach to critical water and water-related health challenges across the globe.
The publication of “Schoolchildren Battle Malaria and Other Diseases,” the first edition of “WASH 4 All,” a comic book series being offered for free throughout the world announced was today by Horizon International and MediaBFI. “WASH 4 ALL” (water, sanitation and hygiene for all) comic book series and short animated cartoon videos are being produced by Horizon International, an NGO based at Yale University, in collaboration with Beautiful Feet International (MediaBFI), a non-profit organization based in Nigeria.
Professor John Briscoe, a native of South Africa, is named the 2014 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate “for his unparalleled contributions to global and local water management, inspired by an unwavering commitment to improving the lives of people on the ground.”
Expanded protections near the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument in the south-central Pacific Ocean will add to the Pacific Marine Protected Areas, Marine National Monuments, designated by President George W. Bush, and the declaration of the Phoenix Islands a protected area to ensure its biological diversity and sustainability by small Pacific Island nation of Kiribati.
eThekwini Water & Sanitation, a part of Durban Municipality in South Africa, has been named the 2014 winner of the Stockholm Industry Water Award, for its transformative and inclusive approach to providing water and sanitation services.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on 6 May 2014 released EnviroAtlas, a web-based interactive tool that integrates over 300 separate data layers, helps decision makers understand the implications of planning and policy decisions on our fragile ecosystems and the communities who depend on goods and services from these ecosystems. EnviroAtlas is available to the public and houses a wealth of data and research.
“Integrating the Environment in Urban Planning and Management: Key Principles and Approaches for Cities in the 21st Century,” a report launched on 8 April 2014 jointly by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Cities Alliance at the 2014 World Urban Forum in Medellin, Colombia, says that as consumers of over 75% of natural resources, cities can be major contributors to efficiency and sustainability.
Going where larger, human-piloted planes cannot, a new unmanned aircraft system promises to close a key gap in knowledge for climate modelers seeking to measure and eventually predict exactly what's going on underneath Antarctic Ice Sheets.