Fire, Iron and Math

It’s been too long since the last CompSustBlog post so I’m going to step it up a bit with some links I find to popular articles in the press or on other blogs which are in some way relevant to researchers in Computional Sustainability.

If you find something interesting to pass on let people know. It could be new computational results on some environmental or sustainability problem but it could also be news or blogs about new renewable energy technologies, innovative data collection methods, relevant courses or conferences, studies on predicting or controlling natural systems or anything you think the community would find useful.

So just a few links today and save the rest up for next week:

  • Forest Fires – for those of us working on forest fire management here’s a relevant story on the growing normality of ‘Forest Killing Mega Fires’ and how hard it to know what the right management response is.
  • In the “an-optimal-planning-algorithm-probably-would-not-have-advised-this-but-since-you’ve-done-it-I’d-love-to-see-the-data” category : a small community on the West Coast of Canada has taken it upon themselves to carry out the largest ocean fertilization experiment ever by dumping over a 100 tonnes of iron-sulphate mix into the ocean off of Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands).  Small scale experiments have been carried out in the past on this method which can behave similarly to fertilization of soil with nitrogen. The iron feeds small organism and grows the food supply all the way up the food chain including the salmon, which was the goal of the town. But the method is very controversial and this dump was 10 times bigger than any previous experiment.
  • Azimuth blog on Mathematics for the Environment – John Baez has a great series of posts from a graduate course he is running about mathematical issues in environmental domains. So far he’s given an overview of the different kinds of climate models, heat energy models for the earth and what we know about historical climate change on the Earth over billions of years from ice cores and geology.

That’s all until next week, now your news…


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