This is simply amazing…
To download this video or to watch it in full go to: svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?3827
This visualization shows ocean surface currents around the world during the period from June 2005 through Decmeber 2007.
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio
Watch this. Mind blowing. So many implications of this kind of data analysis.
Fertilizer is rarely an inspiration for an art show, but this week at Arizona State University (ASU), sustainability, fertilizer and phosphorus scarcity will provide fuel for creative vision.
The art show, a juried exhibition with works by artists from Phoenix, Chicago, Portland and Houston, was created in partnership with scientists engaged in the Sustainable Phosphorus Summit, to take place Feb. 3-5, 2011, at ASU.
The summit is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Phosphate is a type of salt, which is mined for use in industry and as a fertilizer in agriculture. It is an essential nutrient for life. Without it, people cannot grow food or build bones.
“We need to be concerned about the emerging threat of phosphorus scarcity, as well as the impacts of too much phosphorus through run-off into lakes and oceans,” says Matt Kane, program director in NSF’s Division of Environmental Biology, which supports the phosphorus summit.
Human activities have increased bioavailable phosphorus in the environment, or phosphorus from runoff, by some 400 percent, but the demand for it continues to increase. Meanwhile, phosphate available in mines–the only viable source–is on the decline.
The summit will explore phosphorus as a limited resource. It will bring together international experts to discuss issues ranging from the biological importance of phosphorus to concerns about national security.
The accompanying art exhibition will include paintings, photography, sculpture, multimedia and other innovative approaches to portraying phosphorus sustainability.
Through conversations with scientists, Arizona artist Patricia Sahertian developed a series of eight collages that examine phosphorus–from mining, to use in agriculture, to its eventual recycling in water and waste streams.
The result, she says, “lays out the budget of phosphorus in the city of Phoenix in a visual way that everyone can relate to.”
Scientist David Iwaniec, an urban ecologist at ASU, asserts that the most compelling part of the art show is that it communicates much more than the basics of the phosphorus sustainability issue. “Introducing the issue is an important initial step, but the art goes beyond the simple problem of phosphorus scarcity to show the complexity at play,” he says.
Iwaniec contends that artists and scientists, often viewed as immutably different from one another, gain much from the opportunity to work together creatively.
The scientist-artist collaborations also led to the incorporation of biological materials into the works themselves, including corn, sand, soybeans, switchgrass and snails.
For example, in her work “Our Floating Days” multimedia artist Angela Cazel Jahn learned to grow crustacean Daphnia and algae from ASU ecologist James Elser.
Jahn says the work shows that “big problems like phosphorus scarcity loom ahead.”
“What happens next in the story is going to depend on how it is told, and who is telling it to what audience,” Jahn says. “Participants in the summit will influence that story.”
Awesome. Looks pretty sweet too.
I found this to be very very cool. Obviously judging by the name of this website I am a huge Dune fan, good to see others are putting the environmental message found in that book to good use.
From the Sietch Nevada Website:
Description: In Frank Herbertâ€™s famous1965 novel Dune, he describes a planet that has undergone nearly complete desertification. Dune has been called the â€œfirst planetary ecology novelâ€ and forecasts a dystopian world without water. The few remaining inhabitants have secluded themselves from their harsh environment in what could be called subterranean oasises. Far from idyllic, these havens, known as sietch, are essentially underground water storage banks. Water is wealth in this alternate reality. It is preciously conserved, rationed with strict authority, and secretly hidden and protected.
Although this science fiction novel sounded alien in 1965, the concept of a water-poor world is quickly becoming a reality, especially in the American Southwest. Lured by cheap land and the promise of endless water via the powerful Colorado River, millions have made this area their home. However, the Colorado River has been desiccated by both heavy agricultural use and global warming to the point that it now ends in an intermittent trickle in Baja California. Towns that once relied on the river for water have increasingly begun to create underground water banks for use in emergency drought conditions. However, as droughts are becoming more frequent and severe, these water banks will become more than simply emergency precautions.
Sietch Nevada projects waterbanking as the fundamental factor in future urban infrastructure in the American Southwest. Sietch Nevada is an urban prototype that makes the storage, use, and collection of water essential to the form and performance of urban life. Inverting the stereotypical Southwest urban patterns of dispersed programs open to the sky, the Sietch is a dense, underground community. A network of storage canals is covered with undulating residential and commercial structures. These canals connect the city with vast aquifers deep underground and provide transportation as well as agricultural irrigation. The caverns brim with dense, urban life: an underground Venice. Cellular in form, these structures constitute a new neighborhood typology that mediates between the subterranean urban network and the surface level activities of water harvesting, energy generation, and urban agriculture and aquaculture. However, the Sietch is also a bunker-like fortress preparing for the inevitable wars over water in the region.
Credit: Andrew Kudless (Design), Nenad Katic (Visualization), Tan Nguyen, Pia-Jacqlyn Malinis, Jafe Meltesen-Lee, Benjamin Barragan (Model)
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