Category Archives: nature / outdoors

Amazon deforestation contributing to drought

Two recent articles about the drought in Brazil. Worst since 1930 made worse (probably much worse) by deforestation. Go humans.

“The Amazon works as a giant pump, channeling moisture inland via aerial rivers and rainclouds that form over the forest more dramatically than over the sea … It also provides a buffer against extreme weather events, such as tornados and hurricanes.”
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/oct/31/amazon-rainforest-deforestation-weather-droughts-report

“Natural forests act like giant sponges soaking up rain and gradually releasing it into streams,”
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/05/opinion/the-world-is-fast.html

From 2009:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/news-scan-briefs-jul-09/
“Long-standing assumption: rain forests are a consequence of heavy rainfall. New hypothesis: some forested regions may produce conditions that lead to heavy rainfall. This “biotic pump” model contends that a vast forest such as the Amazon draws in large amounts of water vapor. Evaporation and condensation of the acquired water lead to a local atmospheric pressure drop. That decrease causes rain and attracts more water vapor to the forest, in a continuous positive feedback loop. “This theory could explain why continental interiors with huge rain forests remain so moist,” says Wildlife Conservation Society researcher Douglas Sheil, who in an April Bioscience paper revived the biotic pump model, originally proposed in 2006 by Anastassia Makarieva and Victor Gorshkov, both at the Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute in Russia. “It could also underline the dangers of widespread deforestation.” Though promising, the model needs more data regarding air circulation patterns and vegetation types to support it, Sheil notes. —Steve Mirsky

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Filed under erik-green, nature / outdoors, trees

Outdoors at school (also known as recess?)

Daria: What types of things do the children learn at Sudbury School?

Mimsy: Well, I think they learn every type of thing but there are some things that I think every kid has to learn here because you can’t be here and not learn them. One of those things is to love the outdoors. Kids can spend as much time outside as they want here and that’s very healthy for their minds, their hearts, their souls, their bodies. There’s not a kid who’s gone to school here who doesn’t afterwards talk about how important the outdoors was to them.

(from a radio interview transcript here)

Some typical examples of outdoor/nature play at Sudbury Valley School and other Sudbury Schools:

Forts and outdoor play at The Circle School

Some very elaborate outdoor pretend play that goes on for days and weeks at a time

Outside at Sudbury Valley

– A few photo galleries: The Slate Store, Fishing, Rocks, Forts, Sandbox
more epic forts

– I regularly catch glimpses of basketball, football, ultimate, wiffleball games with kids as young as 4 and as old as 17.

– … Kids still outside doing pretend play or nerf-gun pretend battles or home-brew tag games or playing in the stream, etc. etc. even though it is a late fall afternoon and starting to get dark and is less than 40F. It’s not uncommon to arrive at around 4pm to pick up my kids and there to be 20-30 kids outside. Or to arrive and have only a few kids outside — already eating lunch at the picnic table even though it is 10am and cold.

Just depends on the day.

LOVE IT.

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Filed under forts, nature / outdoors, recess, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

children-not-feral-enough

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/07/education-children-not-feral-enough

see also:
Children’s Wild Fun: Do You Crave it or Avoid it?
http://playborhood.com/2010/06/childrens_wild_fun_do_you_crave_it_or_avoid_it/

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Filed under nature / outdoors, sports and outdoors, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School