Salty and Sustainable: Why Seaweed Farming Is Good for the Planet via Vancity Michelle

Beneath the choppy surface of British Columbia’s coastal waters, grow entire forests of a largely-untapped sustainable resource.

Seaweed.

Seaweed, also referred to as kelp, is the focus of a growing industry off the coast of Vancouver Island. While still in the early stages of development, this type of farming offers many environmental benefits on top of potential agricultural and industrial uses.

What Is Kelp Farming? 

Kelp farming is the process of growing and harvesting marine life such as fish, shellfish, plants and algae.

Kelp farming can grow vast amounts of seaweed within a very small footprint.

This “vertical farming” works by attaching thin lines of kelp seedlings to ropes which hang beneath moorings on the ocean’s surface. Thanks to the unfussy nature of kelp, very little work and attention is required once the seedlings are placed. Kelp farmers need only intermittently check on their lines, and within six month the kelp will be ready to harvest. 

Kelp can also be grown alongside oysters, clams and muscles. Baskets of shellfish are hung in tiers from the moorings, with kelp growing from the lines between the baskets. 

While kelp farming is relatively new to North America, an already booming industry exists in China’s Yellow Sea and other parts of Asia. Seaweed has long been a staple of Asian diets, and 99% of the world’s seaweed is currently grown there. 

The Benefits of Kelp Farming

The rapid growth rate of kelp along with it’s relatively low start up cost, are part of why kelp farming has caught the attention of mariners across multiple regions in North America. 

However, the benefits definitely don’t stop there, because kelp is way more than just a lucrative business. 

The production of kelp is a fantastic way to fight climate change!

Think of kelp as the trees of the ocean. Much like our forests on land, kelp forests absorb and store carbon dioxide. Seaweed helps to suck up the CO₂ in our oceans, which in turn allows the ocean to absorb more CO₂ from our atmosphere. It’s a completely natural cycle that could make huge impacts on climate change.

In a 2012 study by the University of the South Pacific, it was found that if 9% of the ocean was covered in seaweed farms, the collective seaweed growth could absorb 19 gigatonnes of CO₂ (psst – that’s a lot of CO₂).

On top of carbon reduction, aquaculture like kelp farming is considered multi-trophic. That’s a fancy word, but what it means is that kelp farms allow multiple species to grow and thrive in the same environment. That is why seaweed farms are fantastic for shellfish production, because the natural de-acidifying effects of kelp help to stimulate the growth of shellfish. 

What Is Kelp Used For?

While kelp is still a growing part of the North American food chain, it has long been incorporated in Asian cuisine. You may be familiar with its use in popular Japanese dishes like sushi. Seaweed is incredibly versatile and can be used in smoothies, salads, soups, and stews. 

Kelp is a protein-rich algae, and has potential to be used as a substitute to environmentally damaging protein sources, such as meat. It also has multiple health benefits including reducing inflammation, anti-aging and stamina enhancement.

In addition to it’s superfood health benefits, seaweed is a great option for sustainable agriculture. In a 2021 study, it was found that adding seaweed to livestock feed could reduce methane emissions from livestock, and lower feed costs significantly. 

Outside of food production, kelp can also be used as a base for sustainable products. These products include shampoos, toothpastes, biodegradable packaging, bioplastics and pharmaceuticals. Seaweed has even been used to create textiles and fabrics! 

The Future of Kelp Farming in B.C.

In recent years, kelp farming has grown rapidly along the coasts of North America. In the U.S. kelp farming got its start in the Atlantic waters of the East Coast, but the industry has now expanded to California, Alaska and of course, British Columbia. 

In just the last five years, multiple kelp operations have popped up along the coast of Vancouver Island, most notably Cascadia Seaweed.

Cascadia Seaweed is hoping to become North America’s largest seaweed producer. They plan to expand their operations to 1,200 acres of ocean by 2025, eventually looking to reach a total of 6,000 acres.

According to Bill Collins, the chairman and founder of Cascadia Seaweed, kelp farming could bring significant job opportunities to coastal communities, and pull in nearly $1 billion to the GDP of coastal British Columbia.

Beneath the choppy surface of British Columbia’s coastal waters, grow entire forests of a largely-untapped sustainable resource. Seaweed. Seaweed, also referred to as kelp, is the focus of a growing industry off the coast of Vancouver Island. While still in the early stages of development, this type of farming offers many environmental benefits on top […]

Salty and Sustainable: Why B.C.’s Seaweed Farming Is Good for the Planet — Vancity Michelle

ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS AND POLICIES via Aishwarya Sandeep

ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS AND POLICIES - featured image

Environment is a comprehensive term. It includes a wide variety of phenomenon. Environment includes the external conditions, resources etc to facilitate the interaction of various organisms. Law is all pervasive. Environmental law is  a body of law which consists of statutes, common laws, conventions, regulations and policies which seeks to protect the natural environment. We humans are cruel and selfish in nature. To satisfy our needs we exploit the natural resources and these activities tends to be harmful for environment. Some environmental laws are imposed to regulate the quantity and nature of impacts of human activities. Other environmental laws are preventive in nature in order to control the human activities. Environmental crime refers to violation of laws intended to protect the environment and maintain public health. Industrialization possessed a serious concern for the protection of environment.

IMPORTANT LEGISLATIONS:

  • The National Tribunal Act, 2010: It has been enacted with the objectives to provide for establishment of a National Green Tribunal (NGT) for effective  and speedy disposal of cases. The sole objective is to enforce legal rights to environment and give relief along with protection and conservation of forests and natural resources. The Act intends to establish a tribunal in order to deal with the environmental laws related to air, water, forests etc.
  • The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981: This Act mainly focuses on how to control and prevent air pollution. It imposes strict rules to combat air pollution. Under this Act, a separate body is formed i.e. SPCBs to inspect pollution control equipment and manufacturing processes. The Air Act empowers the State Government to declare the areas as air pollution control areas after consultation with the SPCBs.
  • The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974: This Act has been enacted to provide for the prevention and control of water pollution. Under this Act separate Boards are established in order to carry out the aforesaid purposes. The main objective is to maintain standards through discharge of pollutants from various water bodiesNon- compliance with the rules may impose penalties on private individuals or industries.
  • The Environmental Protection Act, 1986: This Act provides for the protection and improvement of environment. Proper framework is prepared to handle threatening situations and protect the ecological sensitive areas. Certain measures are taken  such as regulation of location of industries, disposal of hazardous wastes and protection of public health and safety etc. The sole objective is to set standards for emissions and discharge of pollution in the atmosphere and improve the quality of environment. Non-compliance of the Environment Act may impose penalty and punishment to the violators. The Violator will be punishable with imprisonment up to 5 years or with fine up to Rs. 1,00,000 or with both. If the offence is continued, then an additional fine of up to Rs. 5,00,000 for every day will be levied.
  • Hazardous Wastes Management Regulations: Hazardous wastes includes any physical, chemical, toxic and explosives characteristics in nature which can cause damage to environment. E-Waste Management is a part of this, with the objective to reduce the use of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment. The hazardous wastes generated need to be channelized through proper sewage system for environmentally sound recycling.
  • Biodiversity Act, 2000: India is rich in biological diversity. One of the major challenges is in adopting an instrument which helps to realize the objectives of equitable development. The sole objective of this legislation is to regulate the access to biological resources so as to ensure equitable sharing. Prior approval is required before obtaining any biological resource from concerned authorities.

IMPORTANCE:

Environmental law and legislation are imposed in protecting humans as well as the different plants and animals in the ecosystem. Environmental law ensures that individuals, governments do not cause harm to the environment or its ecosystems and live with harmony. Waste Management is one of the biggest problems that is faced by different nations. Environmental laws ensures that the waste management process doesn’t impact the environment or human health. The main concern of such laws is to make sure the industries meet all legal obligations with respect to the environment. Officers and rank officials are appointed to enforce such laws without interference from outside. The environment officers and enforcers need to be protected by law so that they can be able to do the job in an efficient manner.

CONCLUSION:

Environmental Regulation is necessary to prevent the upcoming threats to environment and ensure protection through measures. But, citizens in environmental management are not sufficiently institutionalized in most of the local areas. This can be due to lack of awareness or the local bodies are reluctant to perform their duties. Also, the economic, human and technological resources to meet the requirements of efficient local environmental management are limited. We see numerous legislations are framed and passed by the Parliament. Regulatory measures are considered by some people. Although, individuals and community groups undertaking local projects for environmental remediation. The strategies of partnerships , selp-help and community empowerment have been used to encourage participation. Through, this community groups environmental problems are raised and redressed to the best possible manner with combined efforts of public and Government.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at adv.aishwaryasandeep@gmail.com

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

Environment is a very comprehensive term. It includes a wide variety of phenomenon.Environment includes the external conditions, resources etc to facilitate the interaction of various organisms. Law is all pervasive. Environmental law is  a body of law which consists of statutes, common laws, conventions, regulations and policies which seeks to protect the natural environment. […]

ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS AND POLICIES — Aishwarya Sandeep

LIGHTNING AND THUNDERSTORM via Art in Tanzania Blog

Lightning is the brilliant electric spark discharge in the atmosphere occurring within a thunderstorm, between the clouds. The flashing of light produced by a discharge of atmospheric electricity and a flashing of light is the result of discharge of atmosphere electricity within a thunderstorm cloud way up into the sky. Many small bits of ice frozen raindrop bump into each other as they move around in the air. All of these collisions create an electric charge and usually occurs to the areas that are mostly concentrated with metals.

Lightning can occur during anytime of the year but lightning casualties are highest during summer. July is generally the month with the most lightning and the strikes mostly occur in the afternoon. In fact, two thirds of all lightning casualties occur between noon and 6pm.

Examples of places or countries that are affected with lightning are the all regions of USA, Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Missouri and North Carolina. Florida is considered as the lightning capital of the country with more than 2000 lightning injuries over the past 50 years.

According to the U.S department of health and human services, they have reported some categories which are:

  • Males are, five times more, likely than females to be struck by lightning. Around 85% of lightning fatalities are men
  • People aged 15-34 years account for almost half of all lightning strike victims (41%). The majority (89%) of lightning deaths occurs among Caucasians.
  • About one third (32%) of lightning injuries occur indoors.

Lightning is the results of thunderstorm from a charge in the normal electrical field between the surface and the atmosphere, in fair weather the surface is negatively charged, and atmosphere is positively charged. Owning to intense friction of air within the Cumulonimbus cloud, higher charges are built up with positive charges in upper portion and negative charge in lower portion. When the potential difference becomes more pronounced, discharges [lighting] occur from the cloud to the ground, from cloud to cloud or within the same cloud.

The occurrence of lighting involves different process as explained bellow;

  • The sky is filled with electric charge. In calm skies they are positive + and negative[-]charged
  • Inside a thunderstorm the electric charge is spread out differently.
  • A thunderstorm is made up of ice crystal and hailstone.
  • The ice crystal have positive charge (+) and the hailstone have a negative charge (-).
  • The hailstone is pushed to the bottom of the thunderstorms by its downdraft.
  • During the thunderstorm the Earth surface has a positive charge. Because the positive charge attract the negative charge at the bottom of the thunder clouds wants to link up with the positive charge of the earth surface.
  • Once the negative charge at the bottom of the cloud gets the large enough, a flow of negative charge rushes towards the earth surface. This is Known as the “stepped leader,”
  • The positive charge of the earth surface is attracted to this stepped leader so as a flow of positive charge moves into the air. When the stepped leader and the positive charge from the earth meet a storm.

THUNDERSTORM

Refers to violent convective storm accompanied by thunder and lightning usually localized and lived. Vertical air motion, considerable humidity, and instability combine to create towering cumulonimbus clouds. Frequently occur in conjunction with other kinds of storms like hurricanes, tornadoes, fronts especially cold fronts in mid latitude cyclones and orographic lifting

Types of Thunderstorm

  • Orographic thunderstorms – caused by air that is forced up by a mountain or hillside.  
  • Air mass thunderstorms – is the result of localized convection in an unstable air mass.
  • Frontal thunderstorms – occur along the boundaries of weather fronts (e.g. cold front).

 Characteristics of thunderstorms

  • Thunderstorm last for a short duration, seldom two hours
  • It consist of down and updraft of air with electric charges and thunder.
  • It is associated with heavy precipitation or hail.
  • It is usually destructive in nature as, it can kill people, animals, and destroy property.

Condition leading to the formation of thunderstorms

  • There should be prevalence of atmospheric instability such that air updraft can set off.
  • There should be availability of ample supply of atmosphere moisture for condensation to take place and maintain a storm.
  • There should be some agent to start convection as uplift over a hill or mountain.

STAGES OF THUNDERSTORM

The thunderstorm has three main stages which are cumulus stage, the mature stage, and dissipating stage.

The cumulus stage; this is the first stage of the thunderstorm .its dominated by updrafts that create the cloud formations which are cumulonimbus cloud necessary. The continuous strong updrafts prevent precipitation from falling .This occur where super cooled water droplets and ice crystal coalesce, then fall initiated a downdraft.

The mature stage; this once the storm has developed it will enter the mature stage. This stage is dominated by both updrafts and downdrafts and is the most dangerous stage. Falling precipitation is indicator that the storm has reached the mature stage. Lighting severe turbulence and hail can all be encountered during this time. It is also most active at this time.

The dissipating stage; this is the last stage once the updrafts begin to die out the storm is dominated by downdrafts and enters the dissipating stage. This signals that the thunderstorm is dying out. In this stage it is where downdrafts dominate and turbulence cease.

          THUNDERSTORM FORMATION

The action of warm air rising and cool air sinking plays a key role in the formation of severe thunderstorm, if the warm surface air is forced to rise because is less dense than the surrounding air. This occur when the cold air and warm air meet each other whereby the warm air is forced to rise due to be that it is less denser and the cold air sinks, so the warm air in the atmosphere will settle and condense slowly. 

Two of the most important ingredients for thunderstorm formation is instability and moisture Normally in the atmosphere, there is unstable air that causes the disturbance in the atmosphere and also the moisture that is caused by the cooling of warm air in the atmosphere might result to the occurrence of precipitation, even the presence of moisture and unstable air results to the thunderstorm formation

Thunderstorms are formed by uplifting of warm and humid air, the air that is formed is forced to move upwards due to it being denser normally it becomes cooler and mixes humid air clouds and water droplets that lead to precipitation or rain.

When humid air is lifted , it will be cooled and the moisture in the air will condense to form cloud. So, after the warm air rises upward to the atmosphere, it normally meets the moist air or moisture that forces it to cool and become humid, this situation leads to the formation of the clouds known as cumulonimbus. Normally these clouds are formed after the cooking of warm air containing the cloud within positive charges and negative charges and negative charges that once come into contact leads to the occurrence of thunderstorm.

Upon further uplifting, the clouds will extend higher water droplets in the clouds continue to grow in size as the clouds extends further upwards ice crystals may form because of low temperature. This means that due to the denser air rising upwards higher in the atmosphere forces and causes the clouds known as cumulonimbus to be formed higher away in the atmosphere and also due to the cool temperature in the higher atmosphere forced the water droplets became pieces of ice crystals so this becomes very essential for the clouds formation.

Finally thunderstorms are produced by the cumulonimbus cloud normally the cumulonimbus clouds contain two different charges that is positive charge known as crystal and the negative known as hail so once these come across they produce a steeper light known as lightning that comes with a heavy and huge sound known as thunderstorm.

What should we do during lightning and thunderstorm period?

In summary;

By Amon Samwel – Art in Tanzania internship Lightning is the brilliant electric spark discharge in the atmosphere occurring within a thunderstorm, between the clouds. The flashing of light produced by a discharge of atmospheric electricity and a flashing of light is the result of discharge of atmosphere electricity within a thunderstorm cloud way up […]

LIGHTINING AND THUNDERSTORM — Art in Tanzania Blog

Hurricane Ida Curfew set due to storm threat via Mississippi’s Best Community Newspaper

Hurricane Ida

Government officials have set an 8 p.m. curfew for Adams County due to dangerous travel conditions likely to result from Hurricane Ida. For the safety of employees and others, business owners are also being asked to to send employees home and close by 5 p.m. According to Tom McGehee, Adams County Emergency Operation Center Planning […]

Curfew set for Adams County due to storm threat — Mississippi’s Best Community Newspaper

10 HUGE TREES WHO GIVE SHADES via EliteExtant

Everybody needs a friend.” “The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” “Love is like a tree, it grows of its own accord, it puts down deep roots into our whole being.” “Until you dig a hole, you plant a tree, you water it and […]

10 ELITE HUGE TREES WHO GIVE SHADES — EliteExtant

(NASA) #ClimateChange National US Weather Report: Extraordinary heat events occur around the planet during most summers, but the current heatwave in the Pacific Northwest is truly exceptional #AceNewsDesk report — Kindness – Wisdom💥

#AceNewsReport – June.30: The heat began to build up late last week, and the effect is apparent in this map (above) which shows land surface temperatures on June 25 in Washington. The data show that around noon on that day, surface temperatures in Seattle reached 120°F (49°C), and the worst was yet to come. By […]

(NASA) #ClimateChange National US Weather Report: Extraordinary heat events occur around the planet during most summers, but the current heatwave in the Pacific Northwest is truly exceptional #AceNewsDesk report — Kindness – Wisdom💥

Some coastal areas are more prone to devastating hurricanes. Meteorologist explains why via The Current

Warm water, little wind shear and moisture spark storms but coastlines and offshore shelves help determine strength.

Some coastal areas are more prone to devastating hurricanes – a meteorologist explains why — The Current

Every coastline in the North Atlantic is vulnerable to tropical storms, but some areas are more susceptible to hurricane destruction than others.This story also appeared in The Conversation

To understand why as the region heads into what’s forecast to be another busy hurricane season, let’s look more closely at how tropical storms form and what turns them into destructive monsters.

Ingredients of a hurricane

Three key ingredients are needed for a hurricane to form: warm sea surface water that’s at least about 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26.5 C), a thick layer of moisture extending from the sea surface to roughly 20,000 feet and minimal vertical wind shear so the thunderstorm can grow vertically without interruption.

These prime conditions are often found in the tropical waters off the west coast of Africa.

Hurricanes can also form in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, but the ones that start close to Africa have thousands of miles of warm water ahead that they can draw energy from as they travel. That energy can help them grow into powerful hurricanes.

Wind currents set most tropical storms on a course westward from Africa toward the Caribbean, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. Some drift northward into the midlatitudes, where the prevailing winds shift from west to east and cause them to curve back out into the Atlantic.

Others encounter cooler ocean temperatures that rob them of fuel, or high wind shear that breaks them apart. That’s why tropical cyclones rarely hit northern states or Europe, though it does happen.

Time of season also influences hurricane paths

Early in the season, in June and July, sea surface temperatures are still warming and atmospheric wind shear slowly decreases across the open Atlantic. Most early-season hurricanes develop in a small area of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico where prime conditions begin early.

They typically form close to land, so coastal residents don’t have much time to prepare, but these storms also don’t have ideal conditions to gain strength. Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, as well as Central America, are more likely to see hurricane strikes early in the season, as the trade winds favor an east-to-west motion.

As surface waters gain heat over the summer, hurricane frequency and severity begin to increase, especially into the peak hurricane months of August through October.

Toward the end of the season, trade winds begin to shift from west to east, ocean temperatures start to fall, and cold fronts can help divert storms away from the western Gulf and push them toward the Florida Panhandle.

Shape of the seafloor matters for destructiveness

The shape of the seafloor can also play a role in how destructive hurricanes become.

Hurricane strength is currently measured solely on a storm’s maximum sustained wind speeds. But hurricanes also displace ocean water, creating a surge of high water that their winds push toward shore ahead of the storm.

This storm surge is often the greatest threat to life and property from a hurricane, accounting for about 49% of all direct fatalities between 1963 and 2012. Hurricane Katrina (2005) is a prime example: An estimated 1,500 people lost their lives when Katrina hit New Orleans, many of them in the storm surge flooding.

If the continental shelf where the hurricane hits is shallow and slopes gently, it generally produces a greater storm surge than a steeper shelf.

YouTube Poster

As a result, a major hurricane hitting the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast – which has a very wide and shallow continental shelf – may produce a 20-foot storm surge. However, the same hurricane might produce only a 10-foot storm surge along the Atlantic coastline, where the continental shelf drops off very quickly.

Where are the hurricane hot spots?

A few years ago, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration analyzed the probability of U.S. coastlines’ being hit by a tropical storm based on storm hits from 1944 and 1999.

It found that New Orleans had about a 40% chance each year of a tropical storm strike. The chances rose for Miami and Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, both at 48%. San Juan, Puerto Rico, which has seen some devastating storms in recent years, was at 42%.

Hurricanes, which have sustained wind speeds of at least 74 miles per hour, were also more frequent in the three U.S. locations. Miami and Cape Hatteras were found to have a 16% chance of a direct hit by a hurricane in any given year, and New Orleans’ chance was estimated at 12%.

Each of these locations is vulnerable to a hurricane because of its location, but also its shape. North Carolina and Florida “stick out like a sore thumb” and are often grazed by hurricanes that curve up the east coast of the U.S.

The probability that a named storm tropical storm or hurricane will affect a location at some point during hurricane season. Todd Kimberlain/AOML NOAA

Climate change changes the risk

As sea surface temperatures rise with the warming of the planet, more areas outside of these usual hurricane regions may see more tropical storms.

I analyzed tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic that made landfall from 1972 to 2019 to look for changes over the past half-century.

During the first six years of that period, 1972-77, the Atlantic averaged four direct hits per year. Of those, 75% were in the usual hurricane-prone areas, such as the Southern United States, the Caribbean and Central America. Six storms made landfall elsewhere, including New England, Canada and the Azores.

By 2014-19, the Atlantic averaged 7.6 direct hits per year. While the U.S. took the majority of those hits, Europe has been showing a steady increase in cyclones making landfall. Major hurricanes – those with sustained wind speeds of 111 miles per hour and above – are also more common than they were in the 1970s and ‘80s.

See data on when and where hurricanes hit

While southern coastal locations of the United States may be the most vulnerable to tropical cyclone impacts, it is important to understand that a devastating cyclone can hit anywhere along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

The National Hurricane Center is forecasting another busy season in 2021, though it is not expected to be as extreme as 2020’s record 30 named storms. Even if an area hasn’t experienced a hurricane in several years, residents are advised to prepare for the season as if their area will take a hit – just in case.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Get past the headlines with a closer look at issues in Savannah and Coastal Georgia.

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Picturesque Lake in the Coastal Mountains via John Carr Outdoors

Welcome to John Carr Outdoors!  Please visit the blog and follow. The follow button can be found at the bottom of the page.  If you are seeing this on Facebook, click the link to visit the blog to see all of the photos. Soapstone Lake With the weatherman’s promise of sunshine, I drove to the […]

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Regrow Veggies From Scraps | Tuesday Tip — Biofriendly Planet | For a Cooler Environment

With sometimes as little as a week and only a cup of water, you can start to regrow vegetable scraps to be used again. The kitchen is full of painless green solutions!

Regrow Veggies From Scraps | Tuesday Tip — Biofriendly Planet | For a Cooler Environment

Some air quality visual graphics for you — Cee’s Photo Challenges

The threat of our house being burned has been reduced that is unless the wind shifts.  The promise of rain today now won’t happen until Thursday. Chris found some graphics on how bad the air is in my area. This first graphic shows how far spread the smoke is.   It goes out over the pacific […]

Some air quality visual graphics for you — Cee’s Photo Challenges

Weekend Coffee Share – Coffee In My Neck Of The Woods — Sagittarius Viking

How about having coffee in my favourite forest this week? This is a pine forest a few minutes from my house. If you take a closer look at the ground it gives a great promise of a delicious harvest of lingonberries and blueberries in a couple months. I love foraging in the forest. This is a […]

Weekend Coffee Share – Coffee In My Neck Of The Woods — Sagittarius Viking

The American alligator’s tail can regenerate giving them a functional advantage when living in murky aquatic habitats via Awesome facts

The American alligator’s tail can regenerate like that of other reptiles

Some lizards have developed strategies to regrow their docked tails, but until now little was known about the much larger American alligator’s ability to regenerate it. A team of scientists has discovered that the youngest alligators can recover part of this limb, but this differs from the original structure.

The case of the lizards, with their “removable” tails, is well known. These small vertebrates are capable of re-creating nerve cells, like other lizards, and regenerating this limb. The strategy of shedding the tail is common to escape predators, but what about much larger reptiles, such as the American alligator?

So far, it was not well documented if this crocodilian, one of the largest in the American continent, could have this ability to recover its enormous tail. A team from Arizona State University and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, both in the United States, shows for the first time that the youngest specimens, caught in the wild, had recovered their tail up to 18% of the full length of their body, although they were morphologically different from the original sections.

To analyze the structure of the regenerated limbs, the scientists performed MRIs and X-rays combined with anatomical and tissue organization studies. The results, published in the journal Scientific Reports, showed that the new tails lacked skeletal muscle – unlike other lizards – and formed complex structures with a central skeleton composed of cartilage and surrounded by fibrous connective tissue intertwined with blood vessels and nerves.

“What makes the alligator interesting, apart from its size, is that the re-growing tail shows signs of regeneration and wound healing within the same structure,” explains Cindy Xu, lead author and researcher at the American university.

This overproduction of connective tissue was similar to wound healing or fibrosis in mammals, the scientists found. “We were surprised to discover scar-like connective tissue rather than skeletal muscle in the regenerated crocodile tail,” Xu adds.

The partial limb growth of these crocodiles does share similarities with the regenerated tails of New Zalanda tuataras and the regenerated limbs of adult Xenopus frogs, which have a cartilaginous endoskeleton surrounded by connective tissue without skeletal muscle.

What does regeneration contribute?

The study confirms that between the different species of reptiles and other animals, the regenerative capacity varies, and can be costly. In the case of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis), scientists believe that regenerating their tails can give them a functional advantage when living in murky aquatic habitats.

The regenerated alligator tail is different from the original. Although the scales grow back, a tube of cartilage (in yellow) replaces the bone (in ocher) and skeletal muscle does not reappear (in red). In its place is a large amount of fibrous connective tissue (in pink). / Arizona State University

This finding provides more information on how reptiles are the only amniotes – a group of animals with backbones among which humans are found – to maintain the ability to recover their lost limbs. “The ancestors of alligators, dinosaurs and birds separated about 250 million years ago. The study shows that the alligators have retained the cellular machinery to regenerate complex tails while the birds have lost that capacity ”, emphasizes Kenro Kusumi, co-principal author, and professor and director of the School of Life Sciences of the University of the State of Arizona . So at what point in evolution was this ability lost? So far, scientists have found no evidence of fossils of dinosaurs, whose lineage led to modern birds, with regenerated tails.

Furthermore, understanding how different animals can regenerate tissues could help develop medical therapies, according to the researchers. The team hopes that these findings will uncover new therapeutic approaches to repair injuries and treat diseases such as arthritis

Some lizards have developed strategies to regrow their docked tails, but until now little was known about the much larger American alligator’s ability to regenerate it. A team of scientists has discovered that the youngest alligators can recover part of this limb, but this differs from the original structure. The case of the lizards, with […]

The American alligator’s tail can regenerate like that of other reptiles — Awesome Facts to learn on Virtual Science

So, How Long Until We Can Drink Moon Water? via anthony1966blog

We wont be drinking “Moon water” anytime soon.

When I heard that water was recently discovered on the surface of the moon, my first thought was, I bet it tastes great.

I’m not alone in this, right? As a water lover — yes, we exist — I’m always chasing what food critic Jeffrey Steingarten refers to in his 1997 book, The Man Who Ate Everything“that pure, clear, ethereal Alpine spring of our imaginations.” I picture moon water to be my ethereal Alpine spring: glacially cold and crisp; satisfyingly thirst-quenching; achingly crystalline.

Sadly, I may never know the joys of sipping on a refreshing glass of lunar liquid. The water isn’t hidden away in small ice-cold grottos tucked below the moon’s surface, like I was hoping. Instead, these water molecules are spread so far away from each other that they don’t even technically form a liquid. “To be clear, this is not puddles of water, but instead water molecules that are so spread apart that they do not form ice or liquid water,” Casey I. Honniball, the lead author of the study published in Nature Astronomy, said in a phone press briefing. A NASA press release stated that the Sahara desert has 100 times the amount of water than what was detected on the moon.

It will take scientists a long time to figure out how to gather up and mash together enough of those molecules to fill up the first Lunar Water™ bottle. (I think that’s how it’ll work, anyway.) Until then, here’s everything we know about the liquid that we really should be calling Moon Juice.

How exactly do we know that the moon is wet?

Scientists have suspected that there’s been water on the moon for a while now — they just didn’t know what kind: H2O (the stuff we drink) and hydroxyl (the stuff you find in drain cleaner). Big difference — and something you probably want to know before you take a swig.

That’s where NASA’s flying observatory, SOFIA, came in. (Yes, it took a womxn!). SOFIA, aka Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, is a modified Boeing that NASA uses as an observational aircraft. It allowed the scientists to study the moon’s surface in more detail — using a six micron wavelength, versus the puny three micron wavelength they’d been relying on before. This confirmed that the chemical signature of much of what’s on the surface of the moon is, indeed, the good ol’ H2O, said Honniball.

Even better? That water is cold. Another study confirmed that ice covers more of the moon than we once thought. It’s not just sticking at the moon’s poles, but scattered in shadowed pockets across the moon’s surface.

Where does the moon water come from?

Okay, so we now know the moon is a WAPlanet. But how? “The water that we observed has two potential sources,” Honniball explained during the press briefing. “It could be either from the solar wind or micrometeorites.” In other words, solar wind could be blowing hydrogen to the moon, where it reacts with oxygen in the soil. It’s also possible that the micrometeorites themselves contain water molecules (always smart to travel with extra on hand) that they transfer to the moon upon arrival.

The existence of this water is very impressive: Honniball went on to say that the sunlit surface of the moon should be inhospitable to the water molecules, but that glass beads created by the micrometeorite impact may trap the molecules on the surface.

Why is moon water such a big deal?

Because we’re trying to set foot on Mars — and the moon is our layover, baby! “With the Artemis program, NASA will land the first woman and the next man on the moon in 2024 and establish a sustainable human presence by the end of the decade. At the moon, we will prepare for human exploration of Mars,” said Paul Hertz, director of the Astrophysics Division in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, during the press briefing. If we’re going to be spending extended amounts of time in space, having water at our destination would be incredibly useful.

“Water is extremely critical for deep space exploration. It’s a resource of direct value for our astronauts,” Jacob Bleacher, chief exploration scientist for NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, said during the briefing. The hope would be that this water could serve many purposes. One day we might find a way for visiting astronauts to drink it, of course. But it could also potentially be used for fuel or to create oxygen.

All that matters because it would mean future space travellers wouldn’t have to lug so much water along with them, Bleacher said. “It’s far easier to travel when you don’t have to carry everything with you that you might need for the entire trip,” he said.

When can we drink moon water?

Unclear. “One of the things we don’t know yet is whether the water detected by SOFIA on the sunlit surface is accessible for use as a resource,” said Hertz. Right now, they don’t know how much water is there or where exactly it exists, but they’re starting by exploring the Clavius crater on the moon’s surface, which is one of the largest craters we can see from earth.

“At this location, the data reveal a water concentration of about 100 to 400 parts per million. That’s roughly the equivalent to a 12-ounce bottle of water within a cubic meter of volume of lunar soil,” Honniball said. But SOFIA only sensed the very surface, so it’s possible there could be more.

All that to say: It’s way too soon to speculate about when the first person will be sipping on moon water. But if someone is drinking it, it’s likely going to be an astronaut and not an influencer at Erewhon.

So… I probably shouldn’t buy that “moon water” I’m seeing on ebay?

The Moon Water you’re seeing might be the crystal-charged stuff, and if that’s what you’re looking for, more power to you. But no, we’re a long way out from seeing actual moon water taking its place next to Dirty Lemon and Blk. If you see anyone claiming to sell the stuff, you are officially in a suspicious corner of the internet. Put away your credit card and X out of the window.

Okay, okay — but please tell me I’ll one day drink moon water?

I know. I want to sip on that sweet, sweet moon juice, too. But even if scientists figured out how to turn the stuff that’s on the moon into drinkable water and bring it back to Earth, whether or not anyone is allowed to sell the stuff is up for debate.

NASA, along with eight other spacefaring nations, signed something called The Artemis Accords. The agreement confirms that the space agencies are committed to peaceful exploration; it also provides some legal frameworks around how moon research should be conducted. But according to CNET, Russia and China didn’t sign the Accords, and the agreement also doesn’t “explicitly prohibit the commercialisation of water and other material mined on the moon.”

So… maybe, someday, you’ll be able to quench your thirst using the nectar of Luna for a significant chunk of change, but I’m not holding my breath.

Mirel ZamanRefinery 29 UKWed, 28 October 2020, 7:52 am GMT When I heard that water was recently discovered on the surface of the moon, I’m not going to lie: My first thought was, I bet it tastes great. I’m not alone in this, right? As a water lover — yes, we exist — I’m always chasing what food critic […]

So, How Long Until We Can Drink Moon Water? — anthony1966blog

The worldwide number of methane hot spots has soared 32 percent so far this year despite the economic slowdown, according to satellite imagery

Maps of the day: Worst case climate scenario via eats shoots ‘n leaves

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC] was created in established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization [WMO] to evaluate the impacts of global warming triggered by the rise of greenhouse gases.

To assess likely impacts, the IPCC uses scenarios based on Representative Concentration Pathways [RCPs], RCP8.5 as the worst case alternative, leading to a global temperature rise of 2.6 to 4.8 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

While the RCP 8.5 scenario remains controversial, the fact remains that it could be worse, given that we still don’t understand the complex feedback loops arising from interactions of a complex of systems we are only beginning to discern – as with the spiking methane emissions triggered by polar warming.

From today’s Guardian comes word of a stunning find off the Siberian coast:

Scientists have found evidence that frozen methane deposits in the Arctic Ocean – known as the “sleeping giants of the carbon cycle” – have started to be released over a large area of the continental slope off the East Siberian coast, the Guardian can reveal.

High levels of the potent greenhouse gas have been detected down to a depth of 350 metres in the Laptev Sea near Russia, prompting concern among researchers that a new climate feedback loop may have been triggered that could accelerate the pace of global heating.

The slope sediments in the Arctic contain a huge quantity of frozen methane and other gases – known as hydrates. Methane has a warming effect 80 times stronger than carbon dioxide over 20 years. The United States Geological Survey has previously listed Arctic hydrate destabilisation as one of four most serious scenarios for abrupt climate change.

The report concludes on an ominous note:

Temperatures in Siberia were 5C higher than average from January to June this year, an anomaly that was made at least 600 times more likely by human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide and methane. Last winter’s sea ice melted unusually early. This winter’s freeze has yet to begin, already a later start than at any time on record.

From the 14 October edition of the Washington Post, published before today’s news, comes another startling fact:

The worldwide number of methane hot spots has soared 32 percent so far this year despite the economic slowdown, according to satellite imagery analyzed by a private data firm.

Comparing the first eight months of 2019 to the same period in 2020, the Paris-based firm Kayrros said methane leaks from oil and gas industry hot spots climbed even higher in Algeria, Russia and Turkmenistan, growing by more than 40 percent. The largest contributors to rising methane releases were the United States, Russia, Algeria, Turkmenistan, Iran and Iraq, Kayrros said.

And Reuters adds another ominous note:

There is more than three times as much carbon frozen in permafrost as in all of the forests on the planet, including the Amazon, scientists say.

So why worry about methane?

From a 14 October Deutsche Welle interview with Stanford University Environmental Sciences professor Rob Jackson:

“Well, since industrial activity began, methane has contributed about a quarter of all the warming that we’ve seen and it’s far more potent, molecule for molecule or kilogram for kilogram than carbon dioxide is on a 20-year time frame. It’s 80 or 90 times more potent. And even over a century, it’s about 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide. So CO2 is still the dominant greenhouse gas we look at. But methane is second and provides a lot of opportunities to make a difference right now because it’s so powerful.”

Another significant source of methane is fracking, the hydraulic fracturing of shale deposits to extract oil and natural gas [i.e., methane].

2015 report by Robert W. Howarth of Cronell University’s Department of Ecology and Environmental Biology made this observation:

We concluded that 3.8% [±2.2%] of the total lifetime production of methane from a conventional gas well is emitted into the atmosphere, considering the full life cycle from well to final consumer.11 The data available for estimating emissions from shale gas were more scarce and more poorly documented at that time, but we estimated that the full life cycle emissions of shale gas were ∼1.5-fold higher than that of conventional natural gas, or 5.8% [±2.2%].

On 13 August. The Trump administration reduced or eliminated most regulations on emissions releases from fracking, and Joe Biden says he’ll continue to allow the controversial technique – already tied to earthquakes and environmental and health problems.

Mapping out an alarming future

If there’s one single factor most responsible for the rapid rise of autocratic movements in the last few decades, it would have to be immigration.

The rising numbers of refugees streaming into Europe and the U.S. have given rise to virulent racist and ultra-nationalist movements headed by headed by authoritarians who seize of immigrants as scapegoats for seething resentments fueled by rising economic inequality caused by the plague of neoliberalism.

A May report, Future of the human climate niche, just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and written by an international, interdisciplinary academic team reveals that many regions already accounting for large numbers of refugees will bear the brunt of climate change.

Consider this map from their report:

The accompanying text:

Projected geographical shift of the human temperature niche. [Top] Geographical position of the human temperature niche projected on the current situation [A] and the RCP8.5 projected 2070 climate [B]. Those maps represent relative human distributions [summed to unity] for the imaginary situation that humans would be distributed over temperatures following the stylized double Gaussian model fitted to the modern data [the blue dashed curve in Fig. 2A]. [C] Difference between the maps, visualizing potential source [orange] and sink [green] areas for the coming decades if humans were to be relocated in a way that would maintain this historically stable distribution with respect to temperature. The dashed line in A and B indicates the 5% percentile of the probability distribution.

While RCP8.5 remains controversial, in light of the rapid rise in methane emissions from the warming poles and and still-unknown by inevitable synergetic feedback loops and failure of governments to take action, we suspect the reality may prove even worse.

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