IMAGE OF THE WEEK
A portion of a map of sea level rise in New York City created by Carolyn Fish based on research by climate scientists, including some from Penn State Meteorology, which was featured on Phys.org as well as a Penn State News story.
Carolyn Fish was awarded the Cartographic Perspectives Journal 2016 Student Paper Competition for an article co-authored with Kirby Calvert on solar energy web maps.
Three Penn State Geographers, Assistant Professor Kimberley Thomas and Ph.D. Candidates Carolyn Fish and Meg Boyle, will represent Penn State at the annual UN Climate Negotiations, hosted by Fiji and held in Bonn, Germany, November 6-17, 2017. Thomas will additionally be representing the American Association of Geographers. The meetings are intended to advance countries’ cooperative implementation of the Paris Agreement in order to avert catastrophic climate change. In their work at the Negotiations, our department’s delegates will be joining with representatives of universities and research institutions from around the world. On campus, Thomas currently studies the intersection of climate adaptation finance and water management infrastructure. Fish studies map-based communications of climate change in mass media. Boyle studies the Paris Agreement as a model of international cooperation. More information and real-time updates on the Negotiations are available at: https://cop23.unfccc.int
To reach out to our delegates during the meetings in their personal capacities, please contact:
Meg Boyle- Twitter: @mmboyle; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Carolyn S. Fish- Twitter: @cartofish; email: email@example.com
Kimberley Thomas- Twitter: @kimberleyanh; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Coffee Hour with Richard Mbih “Pastoralism: Challenges and Perspectives in the Western Highlands of Cameroon”
Pastoralism is livestock production through extensive grazing on open access rangelands. It remains one of the oldest and main production systems in the world and is practiced mostly by semi-nomadic pastoral groups in Cameroon. Though pastoralism contributes immensely to the national revenue, food security, and employment opportunities, its future in the region is very uncertain. The government of Cameroon, like many other African governments, undermines nomadic culture through a land use policy that fails to implement adequate policies to protect pastoralism and foster sustainable agro-pastoral development. In the Western Highlands of Cameroon where this project is based, pastoralism is endangered by population growth and infrastructural development, agricultural expansion, creation of protected areas, climate change, and persistent farmer-herder conflicts between local farming communities and Fulani pastoralists competing over declining agro-pastoral resources.
- 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.: Refreshments are offered in 319 Walker Building at 3:30 p.m.; the lecture begins in 112 Walker Building at 4:00 p.m.
- Watch the webcast live or later on Mediasite
‘Visualize the World’ program to be held at University Libraries on Nov. 14
Penn State University Libraries will celebrate GIS Day on Tuesday, Nov. 14, at an event aimed to the broad audience of the Penn State community — students, staff, faculty and community members — with interests in learning about how geospatial information is being used on campus and beyond.
This year’s program, “Visualize the World: GIS, Maps, Drones, Virtual Reality, Location Intelligence,” explores the pervasive nature of geospatial information across new and emerging technologies — including drones and virtual reality — and how the geospatial revolution of interrelated technologies is enabling greater interaction with geospatial information on a daily basis.
Debating Unconventional Energy: Social, Political, and Economic Implications
By Kate J. Neville, Jennifer Baka, Shanti Gamper-Rabindran, Karen Bakker, Stefan Andreasson, Avner Vengosh, Alvin Lin, Jewellord Nem Singh, Erika Weinthal
In Annual Review of Environment and Resources 2017 42:1, 241-266
The extraction of unconventional oil and gas—from shale rocks, tight sand, and coalbed formations—is shifting the geographies of fossil fuel production, with complex consequences. Following Jackson et al.’s (1) natural science survey of the environmental consequences of hydraulic fracturing, this review examines social science literature on unconventional energy. After an overview of the rise of unconventional energy, the review examines energy economics and geopolitics, community mobilization, and state and private regulatory responses. Unconventional energy requires different frames of analysis than conventional energy because of three characteristics: increased drilling density, low-carbon and “clean” energy narratives of natural gas, and distinct ownership and royalty structures. This review points to the need for an interdisciplinary approach to analyzing the resulting dynamic, multilevel web of relationships that implicates land, water, food, and climate. Furthermore, the review highlights how scholarship on unconventional energy informs the broader energy landscape and contested energy futures.
Harnessing the Power of Many: Extensible Toolkit for Scalable Ensemble Applications
By Vivek Balasubramanian, Matteo Turilli, Weiming Hu, Matthieu Lefebvre, Wenjie Lei, Guido Cervone, Jeroen Tromp, Shantenu Jha
In arXiv:1710.08491v1 [cs.DC]
Many scientific problems require multiple distinct computational tasks to be executed in order to achieve a desired solution. We introduce the Ensemble Toolkit (EnTK) to address the challenges of scale, diversity and reliability they pose. We describe the design and implementation of EnTK, characterize its performance and integrate it with two distinct exemplar use cases: seismic inversion and adaptive analog ensembles. We perform nine experiments, characterizing EnTK overheads, strong and weak scalability, and the performance of two use case implementations, at scale and on production infrastructures. We show how EnTK meets the following general requirements: (i) implementing dedicated abstractions to support the description and execution of ensemble applications; (ii) support for execution on heterogeneous computing infrastructures; (iii) efficient scalability up to O(104) tasks; and (iv) fault tolerance. We discuss novel computational capabilities that EnTK enables and the scientific advantages arising thereof. We propose EnTK as an important and unique addition to the suite of tools in support of production scientific computing.
The “Mundane Violence” of International Water Conflicts
In Education About Asia Volume 22:2 (Fall 2017): Water and Asia
Statistics about water resources abound. Some, like the combined length of rivers in the United States (3.5 million miles), make for interesting but forgettable trivia. Others, like the number of people who experience severe water scarcity each year (four billion), declare an issue of urgent and global concern. The staggering magnitude and profound
implications of this water crisis alone are difficult to comprehend, and yet the calamity is even further compounded by climate change and international politics.
Climate change is augmenting the variability of a resource that is already unevenly distributed seasonally and geographically. Some arid regions like Mongolia are becoming drier, and humid areas such as Myanmar are receiving more rainfall. Glaciers have been described as reservoirs of fossil water because they are not replaced once melted, and
although glacier response to climate warming is not uniform, thousands of Himalayan glaciers are on track for dramatic retreat or disappearance.