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Prunings XXXI
Antarctic Lakes

On hydrology, linked:

1) Artist Eve S. Mosher is leaving behind a trail of blue-tinted chalk as she winds her way through the coastal neighborhoods of southernmost Brooklyn. This chalk line, The New York Times reports, “demarcates a point 10 feet above sea level, a boundary now used by federal and state agencies and insurance companies to show where waters could rise after a major storm. Relying partly on research conducted by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies at Columbia University, Ms. Mosher is trying to draw attention to projections that the chance of flooding up to or beyond her line could increase significantly as a result of global warming.”

In a worst-case scenario, according to the research, the line could mark the zone for flooding that would occur every eight years, on average, by the year 2050, meaning that dozens of neighborhoods would soon come to resemble Venice, or maybe ancient Alexandria.

To learn more about this amazing public artwork/guerrilla theater/Christoesque interactive installation, check out HighWaterLine. There's also this blog.

Eve S. Mosher

2) In the worst-case scenario of another hydrological matter, National Geographic News reported that 4 people were killed and another 19 injured in northern Sudan during a protest over a proposed dam on the Nile River. And “later, in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, police used tear gas to scatter hundreds of demonstrators outraged by the deaths and stirred by the bitter legacy of the Aswan High Dam. Dozens of Nubian villages were flooded by the dam's construction and tens of thousands of people were forcibly relocated.”

3) This may or may not add to the bitterness simmering along the banks of the Nile, but scientists in Brazil and Peru think they have found a new starting point of the Amazon. This new discovery, BBC News reports, makes it the longest river in the world. “Researchers travelled for 14 days, sometimes in freezing temperatures, to establish the location at an altitude of 5,000m” and to force cash-strapped school districts everywhere to spend millions of dollars updating their now inaccurate geography textbooks and everyone else to reconfigure their whole mental concept of the physical world.

4) But moving on to another part of the world, we read in another BBC News article that “Japan has launched an innovative project to try to protect an exclusive economic zone off its coast” by “planting coral to increase the land mass of rocky outcrops in Japan's waters.” Quoting further:

According to the Law of the Sea, Japan can lay exclusive claim to the natural resources 370km (230 miles) from its shores.

So, if these outcrops are Japanese islands, the exclusive economic zone stretches far further from the coast of the main islands of Japan then it would do otherwise.

To bolster Tokyo's claim, officials have posted a large metal address plaque on one of them making clear they are Japanese. They have also built a lighthouse nearby.

China, meanwhile, thinks they're just rocks, not islands, and so whatever natural resources lie in those waters, it can also claim.

5) Which reminds us of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, the setting for some hilarious geopolitical games of brinkmanship. And an opera, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.

Spratly Islands

6) Finally, back to the states, specifically to Nevada, a line of a different kind has been drawn up from the parched city of Las Vegas to the water “rich” valleys in the east-central parts of the state. That line, according to NPR, is a proposed pipeline that officials in Las Vegas hope will bring in 65 billion gallons of rural water a year to feed its phenomenally growing population.


It's but one possible theater of conflict in the future Hydrological World War. At one end of the line are “gluttony, glitter, girls and gambling” and on the other end are “children, cattle, country and church”.

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