Climate Change Indicators in the United States

The Environmental Protection Agency has put out a report detailing the effects of climate change on the nation. “Climate Change Indicators in the United States” “partners with more than 40 data contributors from various government agencies, academic institutions, and other organizations to compile a key set of indicators related to the causes and effects of climate change”, from the site. Previous editions of the report can be found here.

The report includes greenhouse gases, ocean temperature changes, weather anomalies, snow and ice melt, health effects, and ecosystem effects. Number of cases of lyme’s disease and west nile virus in the U.S. are also included. There is no index in the back of the book, but the table of contents is very inclusive.

Marine Traffic

Marine traffic is a site that provides a live location for maritime shipping. At the home page, a map of the world will come up with grid number blocks. Click on the block of the area of the world that you are looking for. Within the grid, a map of passenger vessels, tankers, yachts, fishing boats, and navigational aids will come up. The left side of the page has a filter that will show the symbols for each vessel. Place the mouse over the vessel and it will give the name of the boat and its destination. Click on the vessel and it will give a picture of it, along with its specifications and itinerary history.

A listing of ports is also on the website. The port listing shows the number of vessels in port now, the departures, arrivals, and other information. Click on the vessels button and it provides where the ship is at that moment, the size of the ship, the area it is in, along with the flag it flies under. A maritime business directory is also provided by some of the companies.

The marine traffic is tracked by AIS. From the site, “The system is based on AIS (Automatic Identification System). As from December 2004, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) requires all vessels over 299GT to carry an AIS transponder on board, which transmits their position, speed and course, among some other static information, such as vessel’s name, dimensions and voyage details.” The AIS acts as a GPS for vessels, to help control boat movements and to avoid collisions.


Streamer is a new website from the National Atlas of the United States. This government site allows you to map the water flow of rivers across America. Begin by going to the map. Locate the river you are looking for. Hold the shift key and drag a box around your river area of interest. The map provides the names of rivers in the area. Click on the river and you can see how it goes upstream or downstream. Clicking on the “Trace Report” button shows a summary or detailed report with the latitude, longitude, and elevation of the river. It also includes the total length of the river and what cities it passes by.

Two different maps can be chosen. The base Terrain map, on a white background or the Imagery map, which is on a green background. The Imagery map is more topographical, while the Terrain map is more of a basic map.

Water Pollution Information for Your Area

The Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) Pollutant Loading Tool  is a new tool provided by the Environmental Protection Agency that allows you to find out what industries are discharging pollutants into water sources in your area.  You can also find out what and how much pollutants are being emitted and where they are being introduced into bodies of water.  This tool was made as a part of the EPA’s Clean Water Action Plan that is making information about pollutants more easily accessible.


From The Scout Report:

“The United Nations (UN) website contains a tremendous amount of data, and for some new users (and even those who are more experienced), it may be a bit overwhelming. Recently, the UN created this fine website designed to assist those who might need a bit of assistance with this whole process. On the UN Data site, visitors can simply type in their search terms, look over a list of popular searches, and even take a look at their ‘News’ section, which offers up a selection of helpful recent additions. Further down on the homepage, visitors can look through the ‘Database Coverage’ area. Here they can take advantage of some specially culled statistics, including data sets related to the World Health Organization (WHO), refugees, industrial commodities, and children. The site is rounded out by a ‘Glossary’ section, which offers a nice summary of each term that might be encountered while utilizing the site.”

>From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2008.

Freshwater Ecoregions of the World

Designed as a collaborative venture between the Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund, the Freshwater Ecoregions of the World (FEOW) site provides a dynamic visual representation of the Earth’s freshwater biodiversity. Visitors to the site can find detailed information about 426 different freshwater systems from China to Chile. First-time users can click on the map of the world on the homepage, or they can also click on the “Highlights” area. Visitors with defined interests can also use the “Find an Ecoregion” section to perform a detailed search across the entire database of regions, and they can also browse by country, major habitat type, and major rivers. It’s easy to see how this site would be a terrific resource for ecology students in high school or college.

>From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2008.