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TIME FOR REFLECTION
The unsustainable demand for water
and the consequences for our planet

a publication by Dr. Chandra Senan,
Glyndwr University

Spiralling, unsustainable demands for water brought about by the burgeoning global population, relentless industrial development, inexorable growth of irrigated farming and rapid changes to the world's climate are some of the major challenges of our times. The possibility of an Arctic ocean totally devoid of ice in summer, the disappearance of the Himalyan glaciers and catastrophic rising sea-levels all loom ever closer and this in the face of increasing demands for food from the hungry and the rise in poverty.

The last decade has been the warmest ever on record globally, various places being subjected to freakish and fiendishly destructive weather (including scorching and plummeting temperatures) that has resulted in widespread loss of life (both human and animal) total devastation to homes, infrastructure and crops (courtesy of unforgiving hurricanes, tornadoes and unremitting floods) not to mention droughts and raging forest fires. There have been worrying changes to ocean currents such as the Gulf Stream, allied to variations in the ratio of fresh to salt water. The horrific effects of the BP oil spill (on aquatic life, humans, birds and other animals) in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 and its impact on the loop current of the Gulf Stream, coupled with the implications for the weather in Northern Europe cannot be overlooked.

Extreme weather has been experienced in Russia, Australia, Brazil, India, Germany, Columbia, Pakistan, Poland, China, Britain, the U.S.A., Canada, the Philippines and Thiland, to name but a few countries. Over the last century, the demand for water has increaded 7-fold while there has been a 3-fold rise in human inhabitants. There is also the increasing toxicity of several water reserves, thanks to industrial pollution, while, simultaneously, precious aquifers are being totally drained.

The continuing decimation of what is left of the rainforests in South America and South East Asia is an ongoing tragedy, both for the animals and plants that live in it but ultimately for us humans too. The recent droughts in the Amazon rainforest (in 2005 and 2010) effectively made it an emitter rather than a net absorber of carbon dioxide in those years! Decreasing water tables, vanishing rivers, contracting lakes and ever-increasing desertification are all symptomatic of the worsening global situation.

Polar ice caps are shrinking while the melting boggy soil in the Arctic is releasing unprecedented amounts of methane (a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide) into the atmosphere. Some of the issues relating to biofuel production and their negative impacts on the remaining forests and food production are also considered. Apropos phenology (when a plant species responds at a different rate to climate change than its pollinating insect) pollination itself could be disrupted with disastrous consequences and not just for vegetarians either - evidence suggests that this is already happening which is yet another cause for concern.

A NEW ALL-ENCOMPASSING BOOK ABOUT WATER
(A valuable resource for Teachers and Students)
a publication by Dr. Chandra Senan

This is no bog-standard, soporific science book that will send you to the land of Nod after a few pages. It is, instead, a highly engaging, entertaining and informative tome that spans a whole variety of topics, including evolution, astronomy, history, climate change, photosynthesis, deforestation, energetics, pollution etc.  The chapters can be read in any order without losing the thread or the book can be perused in the conventional manner as all the chapters are seemlessly linked. The book constantly transports you from one time frame to another, keeping the reader interested all the way. As the book has been penned in a fashion that will appeal to a wide audience, there will obviously be some basic stuff covered but sufficient complexity to keep the more academic types happy. Rest assured that this book will both inform and regale you in spades (and buckets).

NEW BOOK - TRAIN OPERATIONS ON THE
FFESTINIOG RAILWAY IN THE LATE 20th CENTURY
a publication by Roy Harper
Engineering, Glyndwr University

Roy Harper, used to be a volunteer on this railway line and knows an awful lot about it. He has included colour illustrations throughout with some great images and diagrams of the steam trains and their engines. He says that if you read his booklet properly you would end up being able to drive a steam train! Roy explains the contents of his book as being an insight into train operations on the famous Ffestiniog Narrow Gauge railway which runs from the sea at Porthmadog through the Snowdonia National Park to the Slate town of Blaenau Ffestiniog in North Wales, climbing to over 1000 feet above sea level in a journey of just under 14 miles through vastly changing scenery. The booklet is designed as a companion for the excellent guide books to the Ffestiniog Railway which can be purchased at any of the sales outlets along the line or on the trains. The reader will learn how the Railway's steam locomotives operate, how they are driven and fired along the line and how the trains are operated safely in both directions along a route which is mainly single track.

The booklet covers the period from the mid-1980's to the early 1990's when the author was an active volunteer on the Railway. Since then, however, there have been only minor changes to operations up to the present time. The Ffestiniog Railway has now re-connected with the fully restored Welsh Highland Railway which ceased operations in 1937. Passengers now have the opportunity to experience an astonishing narrow-gauge train journey of 40 miles all the way from Caernarfon on the north coast of Wales to Blaenau Ffestiniog, passing the foot of Snowdon itself en route.

CREATING A GARDEN & GROWING PLANTS
ON THE NORTH WALES WINDY COASTLINE

MY 3 LITTLE FOUNTAINS

Weatherwise, the North Wales coastline
 in the U.K. is one of the most inhospitable
climates in which to grow plants and flowers.
The relentless winds make it very difficult
but somehow Brenda Senan has managed
to create quite a wonderful garden.

3 little solar water fountains that Brenda Senan
made for her garden in North Wales.

HAND PAINTED DOLLS
"MATERIAL GIRLS" WALL PLAQUES

A unique and limited edition collection
of hand-painted, hand-crafted
3-dimensional dolls in the form of
wall plaques by Brenda Senan

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