RisingOceanLevels.com: An Interactive Educational Map of Potential Climate Change Impact on Our Coastlines

Cartifact, Inc. and Greening Point, Inc. today announced the launch of a new public educational resource, RisingOceanLevels.com. The site provides an interactive map showing how various climate change scenarios could change our coastline through sea levels rising. The site features high quality, visually attractive interactive maps accompanied by educational information about climate change science and links to further reading. The initial release provides maps for the San Francisco Bay area and a detailed focus map of the Santa Cruz to Salinas portion of the Monterey Bay.

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Cartifact developed RisingOceanLevels.com to help the public visualize the impact of possible climate change scenarios on the location and nature of future shorelines. A scope-like lens is available to view aerial imagery of the real-world roads and buildings that, depending on local topography, could potentially be inundated by the rising global ocean levels, waves, storm surge and flooding. Greening Point collaborated in the effort, providing conceptualization, environmental information and design assistance.

Cartifact President Graham Marriott said “We strive to make visually compelling maps that help people understand complex geographic data. Sea level changes resulting from global warming are an important public issue. We’re pleased to provide a new public resource to help people understand the risks associated with various climate change scenarios.”

Both companies emphasize that they are not making a prediction that sea levels will rise to a specific level. According to Greening Point CTO Michael Tilson, “we want people to learn about possible climate change scenarios, the science behind them, and the potential outcome of each. Some scenarios are fairly likely and have significant impacts. More extreme scenarios are unlikely in the near term, and yet there is a small but worrisome risk that these could occur with severe economic, social and environmental impacts. We hope to make a positive contribution to public dialogue on these issues.”

[Source: joint Cartifact / Greening Point news release]

Socioeconomic Indicators of Heat-related Health Risk Supplemented with Remotely Sensed Data

International Journal of Health Geographics 2009, 8:57

Daniel P Johnson, Jeffrey S Wilson, George C Luber

Background

Extreme heat events are the number one cause of weather-related fatalities in the United States. The current system of alert for extreme heat events does not take into account intra-urban spatial variation in risk. The purpose of this study is to evaluate a potential method to improve spatial delineation of risk from extreme heat events in urban environments by integrating sociodemographic risk factors with estimates of land surface temperature derived from thermal remote sensing data.

Results

Comparison of logistic regression models indicates that supplementing known sociodemographic risk factors with remote sensing estimates of land surface temperature improves the delineation of intra-urban variations in risk from extreme heat events.

Conclusion

Thermal remote sensing data can be utilized to improve understanding of intra-urban variations in risk from extreme heat. The refinement of current risk assessment systems could increase the likelihood of survival during extreme heat events and assist emergency personnel in the delivery of vital resources during such disasters.

Read the article [PDF]

Map of the Day: Geologic Map of the Late Cenozoic Deposits of the Sacramento Valley, California

…from the ESRI Map Book, Volume 24

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“This map is a modified digital reproduction of the “Geologic Map of the Late Cenozoic Deposits of the Sacramento Valley and Northern Sierran Foothills, California,” by Edward J. Helley and David S. Harwood (USGS Publication MF-1790, 1985).

“This map was created by scanning the five-sheet set of the original Helley and Harwood map, georeferencing the scanned images, and digitizing the lithologic contacts and other geologic information in AutoCAD 2006. The digitized map was then colored and symbolized in ArcGIS Desktop 9.0 software. The accuracy of the digitized lines is within the accuracy of the originally drafted lines on the paper copy. In general, the width of the contact lines on the paper copy extends to about 20 meters (66 feet).

“Minor topological mistakes (such as identical rock units on both sides of a lithologic contact or unclosed polygons) and omissions (such as unidentified lithologic units) have been corrected to the best of the author’s geologic expertise. Comparisons were made between the five-sheet set and the original Mylar and colored field sheets (as available) in addition to various geologic maps.

“This map was prepared by Jonathan Mulder, engineering geologist, Department of Water Resources, Northern District, Geological Investigations Unit. Assistance with the geological interpretation was provided by Bruce Ross, engineering geologist. Assistance with the digitizing and map layout was provided by student assistants Casey Murray, Clint Andreasen, and Jeremiah Moody.

“Courtesy of the California Department of Water Resources.”