Tagged: Climate Change Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • richardmitnick 9:18 am on May 19, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Climate Change, , , , , , "Deep ocean warming as climate changes"   

    From University of Exeter (UK) : “Deep ocean warming as climate changes” 

    From University of Exeter (UK)

    The subtropical North Atlantic. Credit Marie-Jose Messias.

    Much of the “excess heat” stored in the subtropical North Atlantic is in the deep ocean (below 700m), new research suggests.

    Oceans have absorbed about 90% of warming caused by humans. The study found that in the subtropical North Atlantic (25°N), 62% of the warming from 1850-2018 is held in the deep ocean.

    The researchers – from the University of Exeter and the University of Brest – estimate that the deep ocean will warm by a further 0.2°C in the next 50 years.

    Ocean warming can have a range of consequences including sea-level rise, changing ecosystems, currents and chemistry, and deoxygenation.

    “As our planet warms, it’s vital to understand how the excess heat taken up by the ocean is redistributed in the ocean interior all the way from the surface to the bottom, and it is important to take into account the deep ocean to assess the growth of Earth’s ‘energy imbalance’,” said Dr Marie-José Messias, from the University of Exeter.

    “As well as finding that the deep ocean is holding much of this excess heat, our research shows how ocean currents redistribute heat to different regions.

    “We found that this redistribution was a key driver of warming in the North Atlantic.”

    The researchers studied the system of currents known as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC).

    AMOC works like a conveyer belt, carrying warm water from the tropics north – where colder, dense water sinks into the deep ocean and spreads slowly south.

    The findings highlight the importance of warming transferring by AMOC from one region to another.

    Dr Messias said excess heat from the Southern Hemisphere oceans is becoming important in the North Atlantic – now accounting for about a quarter of excess heat.

    The study used temperature records and chemical “tracers” – compounds whose make-up can be used to discover past changes in the ocean.

    The paper is published in the Nature journal Communications Earth & Environment.

    See the full article here.


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Exeter (UK) is a public research university in Exeter, Devon, South West England, United Kingdom. It was founded and received its royal charter in 1955, although its predecessor institutions, St Luke’s College, Exeter School of Science, Exeter School of Art, and the Camborne School of Mines were established in 1838, 1855, 1863, and 1888 respectively. In post-nominals, the University of Exeter is abbreviated as Exon. (from the Latin Exoniensis), and is the suffix given to honorary and academic degrees from the university.

    The university has four campuses: Streatham and St Luke’s (both of which are in Exeter); and Truro and Penryn (both of which are in Cornwall). The university is primarily located in the city of Exeter, Devon, where it is the principal higher education institution. Streatham is the largest campus containing many of the university’s administrative buildings. The Penryn campus is maintained in conjunction with Falmouth University (UK) under the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) initiative. The Exeter Streatham Campus Library holds more than 1.2 million physical library resources, including historical journals and special collections. The annual income of the institution for 2017–18 was £415.5 million of which £76.1 million was from research grants and contracts, with an expenditure of £414.2 million.

    Exeter is a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive UK universities and is also a member of Association of Commonwealth Universities, the European University Association (EU), and and an accredited institution of the Association of MBAs (AMBA).

  • richardmitnick 8:50 am on May 19, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Space agencies provide global view of our changing environment", , , , , Climate Change, , Earth Observing Dashboard, , , , The National Aeronautics and Space Administration   

    From The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU): “Space agencies provide global view of our changing environment” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    European Space Agency – United Space in Europe (EU)

    From The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU)


    International collaboration among space agencies is central to the success of satellite Earth observation and data analysis. ESA, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) have continued their joined effort to develop a storytelling dashboard that combines their resources and expertise to strengthen our global understanding of the changing environment and its economic effects.

    In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, ESA, NASA and JAXA worked closely together to create an open-source platform, based on the Euro Data Cube, that used a wealth of data from Earth-observing satellites to document the worldwide changes happening to our society and the environment. Now, the COVID-19 Earth Observing Dashboard has been expanded to contain six new focus areas which offers a precise, objective and comprehensive view of our planet.

    The dashboard showcases examples of global environmental changes on six new themes: atmosphere, oceans, biomass, cryosphere, agriculture, and the economy. The interactive stories of each theme provide an easy-to-use resource for decision-makers and those not familiar with Earth observation data, with advanced data exploration options available for scientists.

    ESA’s Director of Earth Observing Programmes, Simonetta Cheli, commented, “International collaboration between our space agencies is key. Our advanced Earth-observing satellite data provided by ESA, NASA and JAXA are used every day to benefit society at large and advance our knowledge of our home planet.

    “After the success of the Earth Observing Dashboard, I am delighted to see how our resources and technical knowledge can be expanded and used to further our understanding of global environmental changes and other societal challenges impacting our planet.”

    Earth Observing Dashboard: Atmosphere.

    “At NASA, accessibility to data is a top priority,” said Karen St. Germain, NASA Earth Science Division Director. “With our partners at ESA and JAXA, this is another important step to getting the latest information to the public about our changing planet, in an accessible and convenient way, which can inform decisions and planning for communities around the world.”

    Koji Terada, Vice President and Director General of Space Technology Directorate at JAXA, added, “Following the collaboration with NASA and ESA on COVID-19, we expanded this dashboard to widely provide the stories on global issues such as environmental and climate change to the world in the trilateral collaboration. From the perspective of contributing to the understanding of Earth’s environment and systems and enhancing the values of Earth observation data, we, JAXA will continue to work on updating this dashboard.”

    Utilizing accurate remote sensing observations, the dashboard shows the changes occurring in Earth’s air, land, and water and their effects on human activities. Users can explore countries and regions around the world to see how the indicators in specific locations change over time, and deep dive into data-driven stories and interactively explore datasets.

    The atmosphere focus area demonstrates ways in which air pollution and climate change contribute to the biggest environmental challenges of our time, while the biomass focus area features a story describing how trees and plants remove substantial amounts of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere each year.

    The agricultural area allows users to explore satellite data that provides insights into agricultural production, crop conditions and food supply. The cryosphere features a story on the effects of global temperature rise on the extent of sea ice.

    The water and ocean area focuses on the Earth’s largest natural resource and enables users to discover a view of the ocean that is as rich and complex as that of land. The economy focus area provides access to datasets that show how the Earth’s social and economic systems are connected to the environment.

    In addition, the Earth Observing Dashboard also provides direct access to a dataset exploration tool. Using the dataset explorer, users can examine any of 72 economic indicators, 35 agriculture indicators, 29 air quality indicators, 37 water indicators, and two health indicators. It also contains tutorial links that demonstrate how to make use of the dataset exploration tool through real-world examples.

    ESA, JAXA, and NASA will continue to enhance this dashboard as new data becomes available. The dashboard can be accessed here.

    Earth Observing Dashboard: Cryosphere.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC (NL) in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the
    European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

    ESA’s space flight programme includes human spaceflight (mainly through participation in the International Space Station program); the launch and operation of uncrewed exploration missions to other planets and the Moon; Earth observation, science and telecommunication; designing launch vehicles; and maintaining a major spaceport, the The Guiana Space Centre [Centre Spatial Guyanais; CSG also called Europe’s Spaceport) at Kourou, French Guiana. The main European launch vehicle Ariane 5 is operated through Arianespace with ESA sharing in the costs of launching and further developing this launch vehicle. The agency is also working with NASA to manufacture the Orion Spacecraft service module that will fly on the Space Launch System.

    The agency’s facilities are distributed among the following centres:

    ESA European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) (NL) in Noordwijk, Netherlands;
    ESA Centre for Earth Observation [ESRIN] (IT) in Frascati, Italy;
    ESA Mission Control ESA European Space Operations Center [ESOC](DE) is in Darmstadt, Germany;
    ESA -European Astronaut Centre [EAC] trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany;
    European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications (ECSAT) (UK), a research institute created in 2009, is located in Harwell, England;
    ESA – European Space Astronomy Centre [ESAC] (ES) is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid, Spain.
    European Space Agency Science Programme is a long-term programme of space science and space exploration missions.


    After World War II, many European scientists left Western Europe in order to work with the United States. Although the 1950s boom made it possible for Western European countries to invest in research and specifically in space-related activities, Western European scientists realized solely national projects would not be able to compete with the two main superpowers. In 1958, only months after the Sputnik shock, Edoardo Amaldi (Italy) and Pierre Auger (France), two prominent members of the Western European scientific community, met to discuss the foundation of a common Western European space agency. The meeting was attended by scientific representatives from eight countries, including Harrie Massey (United Kingdom).

    The Western European nations decided to have two agencies: one concerned with developing a launch system, ELDO (European Launch Development Organization), and the other the precursor of the European Space Agency, ESRO (European Space Research Organisation). The latter was established on 20 March 1964 by an agreement signed on 14 June 1962. From 1968 to 1972, ESRO launched seven research satellites.

    ESA in its current form was founded with the ESA Convention in 1975, when ESRO was merged with ELDO. ESA had ten founding member states: Belgium, Denmark, France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. These signed the ESA Convention in 1975 and deposited the instruments of ratification by 1980, when the convention came into force. During this interval the agency functioned in a de facto fashion. ESA launched its first major scientific mission in 1975, Cos-B, a space probe monitoring gamma-ray emissions in the universe, which was first worked on by ESRO.

    ESA50 Logo large

    Later activities

    ESA collaborated with National Aeronautics Space Agency on the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE), the world’s first high-orbit telescope, which was launched in 1978 and operated successfully for 18 years.

    ESA Infrared Space Observatory.

    European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU)/National Aeronautics and Space Administration Solar Orbiter annotated.

    A number of successful Earth-orbit projects followed, and in 1986 ESA began Giotto, its first deep-space mission, to study the comets Halley and Grigg–Skjellerup. Hipparcos, a star-mapping mission, was launched in 1989 and in the 1990s SOHO, Ulysses and the Hubble Space Telescope were all jointly carried out with NASA. Later scientific missions in cooperation with NASA include the Cassini–Huygens space probe, to which ESA contributed by building the Titan landing module Huygens.

    ESA/Huygens Probe from Cassini landed on Titan.

    As the successor of ELDO, ESA has also constructed rockets for scientific and commercial payloads. Ariane 1, launched in 1979, carried mostly commercial payloads into orbit from 1984 onward. The next two versions of the Ariane rocket were intermediate stages in the development of a more advanced launch system, the Ariane 4, which operated between 1988 and 2003 and established ESA as the world leader in commercial space launches in the 1990s. Although the succeeding Ariane 5 experienced a failure on its first flight, it has since firmly established itself within the heavily competitive commercial space launch market with 82 successful launches until 2018. The successor launch vehicle of Ariane 5, the Ariane 6, is under development and is envisioned to enter service in the 2020s.

    The beginning of the new millennium saw ESA become, along with agencies like National Aeronautics Space Agency, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Indian Space Research Organisation, the Canadian Space Agency(CA) and Roscosmos(RU), one of the major participants in scientific space research. Although ESA had relied on co-operation with NASA in previous decades, especially the 1990s, changed circumstances (such as tough legal restrictions on information sharing by the United States military) led to decisions to rely more on itself and on co-operation with Russia. A 2011 press issue thus stated:

    “Russia is ESA’s first partner in its efforts to ensure long-term access to space. There is a framework agreement between ESA and the government of the Russian Federation on cooperation and partnership in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes, and cooperation is already underway in two different areas of launcher activity that will bring benefits to both partners.”

    Notable ESA programmes include SMART-1, a probe testing cutting-edge space propulsion technology, the Mars Express and Venus Express missions, as well as the development of the Ariane 5 rocket and its role in the ISS partnership. ESA maintains its scientific and research projects mainly for astronomy-space missions such as Corot, launched on 27 December 2006, a milestone in the search for exoplanets.

    On 21 January 2019, ArianeGroup and Arianespace announced a one-year contract with ESA to study and prepare for a mission to mine the Moon for lunar regolith.


    The treaty establishing the European Space Agency reads:

    The purpose of the Agency shall be to provide for and to promote, for exclusively peaceful purposes, cooperation among European States in space research and technology and their space applications, with a view to their being used for scientific purposes and for operational space applications systems…

    ESA is responsible for setting a unified space and related industrial policy, recommending space objectives to the member states, and integrating national programs like satellite development, into the European program as much as possible.

    Jean-Jacques Dordain – ESA’s Director General (2003–2015) – outlined the European Space Agency’s mission in a 2003 interview:

    “Today space activities have pursued the benefit of citizens, and citizens are asking for a better quality of life on Earth. They want greater security and economic wealth, but they also want to pursue their dreams, to increase their knowledge, and they want younger people to be attracted to the pursuit of science and technology. I think that space can do all of this: it can produce a higher quality of life, better security, more economic wealth, and also fulfill our citizens’ dreams and thirst for knowledge, and attract the young generation. This is the reason space exploration is an integral part of overall space activities. It has always been so, and it will be even more important in the future.”


    According to the ESA website, the activities are:

    Observing the Earth
    Human Spaceflight
    Space Science
    Space Engineering & Technology
    Telecommunications & Integrated Applications
    Preparing for the Future
    Space for Climate


    Copernicus Programme
    Cosmic Vision
    Horizon 2000
    Living Planet Programme

    Every member country must contribute to these programmes:

    Technology Development Element Programme
    Science Core Technology Programme
    General Study Programme
    European Component Initiative


    Depending on their individual choices the countries can contribute to the following programmes, listed according to:

    Earth Observation
    Human Spaceflight and Exploration
    Space Situational Awareness


    ESA has formed partnerships with universities. ESA_LAB@ refers to research laboratories at universities. Currently there are ESA_LAB@

    Technische Universität Darmstadt (DE)
    École des hautes études commerciales de Paris (HEC Paris) (FR)
    Université de recherche Paris Sciences et Lettres (FR)
    The University of Central Lancashire (UK)

    Membership and contribution to ESA

    By 2015, ESA was an intergovernmental organization of 22 member states. Member states participate to varying degrees in the mandatory (25% of total expenditures in 2008) and optional space programmes (75% of total expenditures in 2008). The 2008 budget amounted to €3.0 billion whilst the 2009 budget amounted to €3.6 billion. The total budget amounted to about €3.7 billion in 2010, €3.99 billion in 2011, €4.02 billion in 2012, €4.28 billion in 2013, €4.10 billion in 2014 and €4.33 billion in 2015. English is the main language within ESA. Additionally, official documents are also provided in German and documents regarding the Spacelab are also provided in Italian. If found appropriate, the agency may conduct its correspondence in any language of a member state.

    Non-full member states
    Since 2016, Slovenia has been an associated member of the ESA.

    Latvia became the second current associated member on 30 June 2020, when the Association Agreement was signed by ESA Director Jan Wörner and the Minister of Education and Science of Latvia, Ilga Šuplinska in Riga. The Saeima ratified it on July 27. Previously associated members were Austria, Norway and Finland, all of which later joined ESA as full members.

    Since 1 January 1979, Canada has had the special status of a Cooperating State within ESA. By virtue of this accord, The Canadian Space Agency [Agence spatiale canadienne, ASC] (CA) takes part in ESA’s deliberative bodies and decision-making and also in ESA’s programmes and activities. Canadian firms can bid for and receive contracts to work on programmes. The accord has a provision ensuring a fair industrial return to Canada. The most recent Cooperation Agreement was signed on 15 December 2010 with a term extending to 2020. For 2014, Canada’s annual assessed contribution to the ESA general budget was €6,059,449 (CAD$8,559,050). For 2017, Canada has increased its annual contribution to €21,600,000 (CAD$30,000,000).


    After the decision of the ESA Council of 21/22 March 2001, the procedure for accession of the European states was detailed as described the document titled The Plan for European Co-operating States (PECS). Nations that want to become a full member of ESA do so in 3 stages. First a Cooperation Agreement is signed between the country and ESA. In this stage, the country has very limited financial responsibilities. If a country wants to co-operate more fully with ESA, it signs a European Cooperating State (ECS) Agreement. The ECS Agreement makes companies based in the country eligible for participation in ESA procurements. The country can also participate in all ESA programmes, except for the Basic Technology Research Programme. While the financial contribution of the country concerned increases, it is still much lower than that of a full member state. The agreement is normally followed by a Plan For European Cooperating State (or PECS Charter). This is a 5-year programme of basic research and development activities aimed at improving the nation’s space industry capacity. At the end of the 5-year period, the country can either begin negotiations to become a full member state or an associated state or sign a new PECS Charter.

    During the Ministerial Meeting in December 2014, ESA ministers approved a resolution calling for discussions to begin with Israel, Australia and South Africa on future association agreements. The ministers noted that “concrete cooperation is at an advanced stage” with these nations and that “prospects for mutual benefits are existing”.

    A separate space exploration strategy resolution calls for further co-operation with the United States, Russia and China on “LEO” exploration, including a continuation of ISS cooperation and the development of a robust plan for the coordinated use of space transportation vehicles and systems for exploration purposes, participation in robotic missions for the exploration of the Moon, the robotic exploration of Mars, leading to a broad Mars Sample Return mission in which Europe should be involved as a full partner, and human missions beyond LEO in the longer term.”

    Relationship with the European Union

    The political perspective of the European Union (EU) was to make ESA an agency of the EU by 2014, although this date was not met. The EU member states provide most of ESA’s funding, and they are all either full ESA members or observers.


    At the time ESA was formed, its main goals did not encompass human space flight; rather it considered itself to be primarily a scientific research organisation for uncrewed space exploration in contrast to its American and Soviet counterparts. It is therefore not surprising that the first non-Soviet European in space was not an ESA astronaut on a European space craft; it was Czechoslovak Vladimír Remek who in 1978 became the first non-Soviet or American in space (the first man in space being Yuri Gagarin of the Soviet Union) – on a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft, followed by the Pole Mirosław Hermaszewski and East German Sigmund Jähn in the same year. This Soviet co-operation programme, known as Intercosmos, primarily involved the participation of Eastern bloc countries. In 1982, however, Jean-Loup Chrétien became the first non-Communist Bloc astronaut on a flight to the Soviet Salyut 7 space station.

    Because Chrétien did not officially fly into space as an ESA astronaut, but rather as a member of the French CNES astronaut corps, the German Ulf Merbold is considered the first ESA astronaut to fly into space. He participated in the STS-9 Space Shuttle mission that included the first use of the European-built Spacelab in 1983. STS-9 marked the beginning of an extensive ESA/NASA joint partnership that included dozens of space flights of ESA astronauts in the following years. Some of these missions with Spacelab were fully funded and organizationally and scientifically controlled by ESA (such as two missions by Germany and one by Japan) with European astronauts as full crew members rather than guests on board. Beside paying for Spacelab flights and seats on the shuttles, ESA continued its human space flight co-operation with the Soviet Union and later Russia, including numerous visits to Mir.

    During the latter half of the 1980s, European human space flights changed from being the exception to routine and therefore, in 1990, the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany was established. It selects and trains prospective astronauts and is responsible for the co-ordination with international partners, especially with regard to the International Space Station. As of 2006, the ESA astronaut corps officially included twelve members, including nationals from most large European countries except the United Kingdom.

    In the summer of 2008, ESA started to recruit new astronauts so that final selection would be due in spring 2009. Almost 10,000 people registered as astronaut candidates before registration ended in June 2008. 8,413 fulfilled the initial application criteria. Of the applicants, 918 were chosen to take part in the first stage of psychological testing, which narrowed down the field to 192. After two-stage psychological tests and medical evaluation in early 2009, as well as formal interviews, six new members of the European Astronaut Corps were selected – five men and one woman.

    Cooperation with other countries and organizations

    ESA has signed co-operation agreements with the following states that currently neither plan to integrate as tightly with ESA institutions as Canada, nor envision future membership of ESA: Argentina, Brazil, China, India (for the Chandrayan mission), Russia and Turkey.

    Additionally, ESA has joint projects with the European Union, NASA of the United States and is participating in the International Space Station together with the United States (NASA), Russia and Japan (JAXA).

    European Union
    ESA and EU member states
    ESA-only members
    EU-only members

    ESA is not an agency or body of the European Union (EU), and has non-EU countries (Norway, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom) as members. There are however ties between the two, with various agreements in place and being worked on, to define the legal status of ESA with regard to the EU.

    There are common goals between ESA and the EU. ESA has an EU liaison office in Brussels. On certain projects, the EU and ESA co-operate, such as the upcoming Galileo satellite navigation system. Space policy has since December 2009 been an area for voting in the European Council. Under the European Space Policy of 2007, the EU, ESA and its Member States committed themselves to increasing co-ordination of their activities and programmes and to organising their respective roles relating to space.

    The Lisbon Treaty of 2009 reinforces the case for space in Europe and strengthens the role of ESA as an R&D space agency. Article 189 of the Treaty gives the EU a mandate to elaborate a European space policy and take related measures, and provides that the EU should establish appropriate relations with ESA.

    Former Italian astronaut Umberto Guidoni, during his tenure as a Member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2009, stressed the importance of the European Union as a driving force for space exploration, “…since other players are coming up such as India and China it is becoming ever more important that Europeans can have an independent access to space. We have to invest more into space research and technology in order to have an industry capable of competing with other international players.”

    The first EU-ESA International Conference on Human Space Exploration took place in Prague on 22 and 23 October 2009. A road map which would lead to a common vision and strategic planning in the area of space exploration was discussed. Ministers from all 29 EU and ESA members as well as members of parliament were in attendance.

    National space organisations of member states:

    The Centre National d’Études Spatiales(FR) (CNES) (National Centre for Space Study) is the French government space agency (administratively, a “public establishment of industrial and commercial character”). Its headquarters are in central Paris. CNES is the main participant on the Ariane project. Indeed, CNES designed and tested all Ariane family rockets (mainly from its centre in Évry near Paris)
    The UK Space Agency is a partnership of the UK government departments which are active in space. Through the UK Space Agency, the partners provide delegates to represent the UK on the various ESA governing bodies. Each partner funds its own programme.
    The Italian Space Agency A.S.I. – Agenzia Spaziale Italiana was founded in 1988 to promote, co-ordinate and conduct space activities in Italy. Operating under the Ministry of the Universities and of Scientific and Technological Research, the agency cooperates with numerous entities active in space technology and with the president of the Council of Ministers. Internationally, the ASI provides Italy’s delegation to the Council of the European Space Agency and to its subordinate bodies.
    The German Aerospace Center (DLR)[Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e. V.] is the national research centre for aviation and space flight of the Federal Republic of Germany and of other member states in the Helmholtz Association. Its extensive research and development projects are included in national and international cooperative programmes. In addition to its research projects, the centre is the assigned space agency of Germany bestowing headquarters of German space flight activities and its associates.
    The Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (INTA)(ES) (National Institute for Aerospace Technique) is a Public Research Organization specialised in aerospace research and technology development in Spain. Among other functions, it serves as a platform for space research and acts as a significant testing facility for the aeronautic and space sector in the country.

    National Aeronautics Space Agency

    ESA has a long history of collaboration with NASA. Since ESA’s astronaut corps was formed, the Space Shuttle has been the primary launch vehicle used by ESA’s astronauts to get into space through partnership programmes with NASA. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Spacelab programme was an ESA-NASA joint research programme that had ESA develop and manufacture orbital labs for the Space Shuttle for several flights on which ESA participate with astronauts in experiments.

    In robotic science mission and exploration missions, NASA has been ESA’s main partner. Cassini–Huygens was a joint NASA-ESA mission, along with the Infrared Space Observatory, INTEGRAL, SOHO, and others.

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration/European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU)/ASI Italian Space Agency [Agenzia Spaziale Italiana](IT) Cassini Spacecraft.

    European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU) Integral spacecraft

    European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganisation] (EU)/National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationSOHO satellite. Launched in 1995.

    Also, the Hubble Space Telescope is a joint project of NASA and ESA.

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration/European Space Agency[La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU) Hubble Space Telescope

    Future ESA-NASA joint projects include the James Webb Space Telescope and the proposed Laser Interferometer Space Antenna.

    National Aeronautics Space Agency/European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganisation]Canadian Space Agency [Agence Spatiale Canadienne](CA) James Webb Space Telescope annotated. Scheduled for launch in December 2021.

    Gravity is talking. Lisa will listen. Dialogos of Eide.

    The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU)/National Aeronautics and Space Administration eLISA space based, the future of gravitational wave research.

    NASA has committed to provide support to ESA’s proposed MarcoPolo-R mission to return an asteroid sample to Earth for further analysis. NASA and ESA will also likely join together for a Mars Sample Return Mission. In October 2020 the ESA entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with NASA to work together on the Artemis program, which will provide an orbiting lunar gateway and also accomplish the first manned lunar landing in 50 years, whose team will include the first woman on the Moon.

    NASA ARTEMIS spacecraft depiction.

    Cooperation with other space agencies

    Since China has started to invest more money into space activities, the Chinese Space Agency[中国国家航天局] (CN) has sought international partnerships. ESA is, beside, The Russian Federal Space Agency Государственная корпорация по космической деятельности «Роскосмос»](RU) one of its most important partners. Two space agencies cooperated in the development of the Double Star Mission. In 2017, ESA sent two astronauts to China for two weeks sea survival training with Chinese astronauts in Yantai, Shandong.

    ESA entered into a major joint venture with Russia in the form of the CSTS, the preparation of French Guiana spaceport for launches of Soyuz-2 rockets and other projects. With India, ESA agreed to send instruments into space aboard the ISRO’s Chandrayaan-1 in 2008. ESA is also co-operating with Japan, the most notable current project in collaboration with JAXA is the BepiColombo mission to Mercury.

    European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU)/Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency [国立研究開発法人宇宙航空研究開発機構](JP) Bepicolumbo in flight illustration. Artist’s impression of BepiColombo – ESA’s first mission to Mercury. ESA’s Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) will be operated from ESOC Germany.

    ESA’s Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) will be operated from ESOC Germany.

    Speaking to reporters at an air show near Moscow in August 2011, ESA head Jean-Jacques Dordain said ESA and Russia’s Roskosmos space agency would “carry out the first flight to Mars together.”

  • richardmitnick 8:14 am on May 19, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Climate Change, , , , , "Q&A-Giovanni Maggi describes new research on international climate agreements", EGC: European Green Capital   

    From Yale University: “Q&A-Giovanni Maggi describes new research on international climate agreements” 

    From Yale University

    May 17, 2022
    Clare Kemmerer

    Brussels, Belgium. 21st February 2019. High school and university students stage a protest against the climate policies of the Belgian government. Photo by Alexandros Michailidis, Shuttterstock.

    Photo by Ink Drop, Shutterstock.

    The EGC affiliate and his coauthor examine what international cooperation can achieve in a world where today’s climate policies affect future generations and climate catastrophes are possible.

    A theoretical model explores the catastrophic impacts of climate change and why international agreements struggle to slow it.

    World leaders have engaged in a series of international agreements to slow climate change, including the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Agreement, and most recently in November 2021, the Glasgow Climate Pact. Yet scientists and citizens – as well as those world leaders themselves – largely agree that these contracts have not gone far enough to prevent the catastrophic effects of a changing climate. What, precisely, is keeping the negotiating parties from making an agreement that rises to the occasion? Can we expect an 11th hour solution?

    These questions are the focus of a new working paper by Giovanni Maggi, Howard H. Leach Professor of Economics & International Affairs and an EGC affiliate, and co-author Robert W. Staiger of Dartmouth College. The authors create a theoretical model, casting climate change as potentially catastrophic and emphasizing that policies addressing it have inter-generational and international externalities – meaning, they impact future generations as well as other countries.

    In an EGC interview, Maggi described the implications of this theoretical model and what it predicts concerning the future of climate change responses. The conversation has been condensed for clarity.

    In your paper, you identify lack of engagement with future generations as one of the limitations of international climate agreements. Can you explain that?

    One of the main points of the paper is to call attention to a limitation of international agreements that have not been highlighted by previous academic research: the simple fact that they are contracts between countries within a generation. By necessity, future generations are excluded from these contracts. This limitation may be mitigated by inter-generational altruism – the fact that we care about our kids and our grand kids. But the issue is still there, that these future generations are simply not around to participate in the agreement today. This is the first attempt at a theoretical model to understand the ramifications of this issue.

    It helps to think about the different types of negative externalities from carbon emissions that these deals can or can’t address. International agreements are able to address what we call horizontal externalities, that is, externalities across countries within a generation. But they’re simply not able to fully address the externalities that our policies have on future generations.

    One of the more subtle aspects of these externalities is that international agreements are not only vertical in the sense of the impact of American policy today, but on future generations in the US. We also have diagonal externalities, which means the impact of the US policy today on future generations in other regions of the world, such as India or Africa. International agreements can only address horizontal externalities, but not vertical or diagonal ones. That is a limitation that we explore in the paper.

    Given these limitations, how can international climate agreements be useful?

    Our paper explores two kinds of scenarios. These are two conceptual extremes, and the real world is somewhere in between. One we call the “Common Brink” scenario. Here, the whole world faces a common brink of catastrophe. All countries stand or fall together. The other one is a scenario where there are more and less vulnerable countries. They differ in their risk and vulnerability, so some would collapse before others if the climate keeps warming.

    In the Common Brink scenario, we find that in the absence of an agreement, the world will run up to the brink of catastrophe, but at that point, there will be an 11th hour solution. Countries realize that catastrophe is just around the corner, and they restrain their carbon emissions. The world gets saved at the last moment, so to speak. The world doesn’t collapse, but the generation that is alive when the world gets to the brink will have to make these big sacrifices to avoid catastrophe.

    What can an international agreement do, if anything, to improve on this? Well, in addressing these horizontal externalities, it can slow down the warming of the climate, delaying or avoiding altogether this brink of catastrophe. That’s the value of an international agreement in this kind of world.

    And in the scenario in which different countries face climate change with varied vulnerability?

    What we find in that case is something more dramatic, in the sense that in the absence of an international agreement, it’s very likely that there will be a range of more vulnerable countries that would actually collapse. This process will stop at some point, but there will be some countries according to the model that we can expect to succumb, and some to just go on.

    What can an international agreement accomplish? We show that even in spite of limitations, an agreement that doesn’t take into account future generations is still likely to save at least some of these countries from collapse. It will save some countries, but likely not others. The situation will still be drastic, even under a well-functioning international agreement.

    One of your academic specialties is the study of trade. Can you explain how trade comes into your conclusions as a potential positive influence on international climate agreements?

    Suppose you add the possibility of a trade agreement in the picture. The more trade cooperation among countries, the larger the gains from trade that get lost if one country collapses. Other countries are going to be sorry not only because of the influx of climate refugees, but because they lose all these gains from trade that they created. Trade increases the incentives of other countries to help out and be proactive to save the more vulnerable nations. In this respect, global trade, which is often understood as exacerbating climate change, might in the end play a positive role in mitigating the catastrophic consequences of global warming.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Yale University is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701 as the Collegiate School, it is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine Colonial Colleges chartered before the American Revolution. The Collegiate School was renamed Yale College in 1718 to honor the school’s largest private benefactor for the first century of its existence, Elihu Yale. Yale University is consistently ranked as one of the top universities and is considered one of the most prestigious in the nation.

    Chartered by Connecticut Colony, the Collegiate School was established in 1701 by clergy to educate Congregational ministers before moving to New Haven in 1716. Originally restricted to theology and sacred languages, the curriculum began to incorporate humanities and sciences by the time of the American Revolution. In the 19th century, the college expanded into graduate and professional instruction, awarding the first PhD in the United States in 1861 and organizing as a university in 1887. Yale’s faculty and student populations grew after 1890 with rapid expansion of the physical campus and scientific research.

    Yale is organized into fourteen constituent schools: the original undergraduate college, the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and twelve professional schools. While the university is governed by the Yale Corporation, each school’s faculty oversees its curriculum and degree programs. In addition to a central campus in downtown New Haven, the university owns athletic facilities in western New Haven, a campus in West Haven, Connecticut, and forests and nature preserves throughout New England. As of June 2020, the university’s endowment was valued at $31.1 billion, the second largest of any educational institution. The Yale University Library, serving all constituent schools, holds more than 15 million volumes and is the third-largest academic library in the United States. Students compete in intercollegiate sports as the Yale Bulldogs in the NCAA Division I – Ivy League.

    As of October 2020, 65 Nobel laureates, five Fields Medalists, four Abel Prize laureates, and three Turing award winners have been affiliated with Yale University. In addition, Yale has graduated many notable alumni, including five U.S. Presidents, 19 U.S. Supreme Court Justices, 31 living billionaires, and many heads of state. Hundreds of members of Congress and many U.S. diplomats, 78 MacArthur Fellows, 252 Rhodes Scholars, 123 Marshall Scholars, and nine Mitchell Scholars have been affiliated with the university.


    Yale is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU) and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to the National Science Foundation , Yale spent $990 million on research and development in 2018, ranking it 15th in the nation.

    Yale’s faculty include 61 members of the National Academy of Sciences , 7 members of the National Academy of Engineering and 49 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences . The college is, after normalization for institution size, the tenth-largest baccalaureate source of doctoral degree recipients in the United States, and the largest such source within the Ivy League.

    Yale’s English and Comparative Literature departments were part of the New Criticism movement. Of the New Critics, Robert Penn Warren, W.K. Wimsatt, and Cleanth Brooks were all Yale faculty. Later, the Yale Comparative literature department became a center of American deconstruction. Jacques Derrida, the father of deconstruction, taught at the Department of Comparative Literature from the late seventies to mid-1980s. Several other Yale faculty members were also associated with deconstruction, forming the so-called “Yale School”. These included Paul de Man who taught in the Departments of Comparative Literature and French, J. Hillis Miller, Geoffrey Hartman (both taught in the Departments of English and Comparative Literature), and Harold Bloom (English), whose theoretical position was always somewhat specific, and who ultimately took a very different path from the rest of this group. Yale’s history department has also originated important intellectual trends. Historians C. Vann Woodward and David Brion Davis are credited with beginning in the 1960s and 1970s an important stream of southern historians; likewise, David Montgomery, a labor historian, advised many of the current generation of labor historians in the country. Yale’s Music School and Department fostered the growth of Music Theory in the latter half of the 20th century. The Journal of Music Theory was founded there in 1957; Allen Forte and David Lewin were influential teachers and scholars.

    In addition to eminent faculty members, Yale research relies heavily on the presence of roughly 1200 Postdocs from various national and international origin working in the multiple laboratories in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and professional schools of the university. The university progressively recognized this working force with the recent creation of the Office for Postdoctoral Affairs and the Yale Postdoctoral Association.

    Notable alumni

    Over its history, Yale has produced many distinguished alumni in a variety of fields, ranging from the public to private sector. According to 2020 data, around 71% of undergraduates join the workforce, while the next largest majority of 16.6% go on to attend graduate or professional schools. Yale graduates have been recipients of 252 Rhodes Scholarships, 123 Marshall Scholarships, 67 Truman Scholarships, 21 Churchill Scholarships, and 9 Mitchell Scholarships. The university is also the second largest producer of Fulbright Scholars, with a total of 1,199 in its history and has produced 89 MacArthur Fellows. The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs ranked Yale fifth among research institutions producing the most 2020–2021 Fulbright Scholars. Additionally, 31 living billionaires are Yale alumni.

    At Yale, one of the most popular undergraduate majors among Juniors and Seniors is political science, with many students going on to serve careers in government and politics. Former presidents who attended Yale for undergrad include William Howard Taft, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush while former presidents Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton attended Yale Law School. Former vice-president and influential antebellum era politician John C. Calhoun also graduated from Yale. Former world leaders include Italian prime minister Mario Monti, Turkish prime minister Tansu Çiller, Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo, German president Karl Carstens, Philippine president José Paciano Laurel, Latvian president Valdis Zatlers, Taiwanese premier Jiang Yi-huah, and Malawian president Peter Mutharika, among others. Prominent royals who graduated are Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, and Olympia Bonaparte, Princess Napoléon.

    Yale alumni have had considerable presence in U.S. government in all three branches. On the U.S. Supreme Court, 19 justices have been Yale alumni, including current Associate Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Brett Kavanaugh. Numerous Yale alumni have been U.S. Senators, including current Senators Michael Bennet, Richard Blumenthal, Cory Booker, Sherrod Brown, Chris Coons, Amy Klobuchar, Ben Sasse, and Sheldon Whitehouse. Current and former cabinet members include Secretaries of State John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Cyrus Vance, and Dean Acheson; U.S. Secretaries of the Treasury Oliver Wolcott, Robert Rubin, Nicholas F. Brady, Steven Mnuchin, and Janet Yellen; U.S. Attorneys General Nicholas Katzenbach, John Ashcroft, and Edward H. Levi; and many others. Peace Corps founder and American diplomat Sargent Shriver and public official and urban planner Robert Moses are Yale alumni.

    Yale has produced numerous award-winning authors and influential writers, like Nobel Prize in Literature laureate Sinclair Lewis and Pulitzer Prize winners Stephen Vincent Benét, Thornton Wilder, Doug Wright, and David McCullough. Academy Award winning actors, actresses, and directors include Jodie Foster, Paul Newman, Meryl Streep, Elia Kazan, George Roy Hill, Lupita Nyong’o, Oliver Stone, and Frances McDormand. Alumni from Yale have also made notable contributions to both music and the arts. Leading American composer from the 20th century Charles Ives, Broadway composer Cole Porter, Grammy award winner David Lang, and award-winning jazz pianist and composer Vijay Iyer all hail from Yale. Hugo Boss Prize winner Matthew Barney, famed American sculptor Richard Serra, President Barack Obama presidential portrait painter Kehinde Wiley, MacArthur Fellow and contemporary artist Sarah Sze, Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Garry Trudeau, and National Medal of Arts photorealist painter Chuck Close all graduated from Yale. Additional alumni include architect and Presidential Medal of Freedom winner Maya Lin, Pritzker Prize winner Norman Foster, and Gateway Arch designer Eero Saarinen. Journalists and pundits include Dick Cavett, Chris Cuomo, Anderson Cooper, William F. Buckley, Jr., and Fareed Zakaria.

    In business, Yale has had numerous alumni and former students go on to become founders of influential business, like William Boeing (Boeing, United Airlines), Briton Hadden and Henry Luce (Time Magazine), Stephen A. Schwarzman (Blackstone Group), Frederick W. Smith (FedEx), Juan Trippe (Pan Am), Harold Stanley (Morgan Stanley), Bing Gordon (Electronic Arts), and Ben Silbermann (Pinterest). Other business people from Yale include former chairman and CEO of Sears Holdings Edward Lampert, former Time Warner president Jeffrey Bewkes, former PepsiCo chairperson and CEO Indra Nooyi, sports agent Donald Dell, and investor/philanthropist Sir John Templeton,

    Yale alumni distinguished in academia include literary critic and historian Henry Louis Gates, economists Irving Fischer, Mahbub ul Haq, and Nobel Prize laureate Paul Krugman; Nobel Prize in Physics laureates Ernest Lawrence and Murray Gell-Mann; Fields Medalist John G. Thompson; Human Genome Project leader and National Institutes of Health director Francis S. Collins; brain surgery pioneer Harvey Cushing; pioneering computer scientist Grace Hopper; influential mathematician and chemist Josiah Willard Gibbs; National Women’s Hall of Fame inductee and biochemist Florence B. Seibert; Turing Award recipient Ron Rivest; inventors Samuel F.B. Morse and Eli Whitney; Nobel Prize in Chemistry laureate John B. Goodenough; lexicographer Noah Webster; and theologians Jonathan Edwards and Reinhold Niebuhr.

    In the sporting arena, Yale alumni include baseball players Ron Darling and Craig Breslow and baseball executives Theo Epstein and George Weiss; football players Calvin Hill, Gary Fenick, Amos Alonzo Stagg, and “the Father of American Football” Walter Camp; ice hockey players Chris Higgins and Olympian Helen Resor; Olympic figure skaters Sarah Hughes and Nathan Chen; nine-time U.S. Squash men’s champion Julian Illingworth; Olympic swimmer Don Schollander; Olympic rowers Josh West and Rusty Wailes; Olympic sailor Stuart McNay; Olympic runner Frank Shorter; and others.

  • richardmitnick 8:55 pm on May 17, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Using Bacteria to Accelerate CO2 Capture in Oceans", , , Climate Change, , , Gene manipulation, Removing CO2 from the oceans will enable them to continue to do their job of absorbing excess CO2 from the atmosphere., , The oceans have been acting as an important carbon sink for our planet., The path to capturing excess CO2 lays in being able to engineer a microbe.   

    From The DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: “Using Bacteria to Accelerate CO2 Capture in Oceans” 

    From The DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

    May 16, 2022
    Julie Chao

    Berkeley Lab researcher Peter Agbo was awarded a grant for a carbon capture project under the Lab’s Carbon Negative Initiative. (Credit: Marilyn Sargent/Berkeley Lab)

    You may be familiar with direct air capture, or DAC, in which carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere in an effort to slow the effects of climate change. Now a scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has proposed a scheme for direct ocean capture. Removing CO2 from the oceans will enable them to continue to do their job of absorbing excess CO2 from the atmosphere.

    Experts mostly agree that combating climate change will take more than halting emissions of climate-warming gases. We must also remove the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that have already been emitted, to the tune of gigatons of CO2 removed each year by 2050 in order to achieve net zero emissions. The oceans contain significantly more CO2 than the atmosphere and have been acting as an important carbon sink for our planet.

    Peter Agbo is a Berkeley Lab staff scientist in the Chemical Sciences Division, with a secondary appointment in the Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging Division. He was awarded a grant through Berkeley Lab’s Carbon Negative Initiative, which is aiming to develop breakthrough negative emissions technologies, for his ocean capture proposal. His co-investigators on this project are Steven Singer at the Joint BioEnergy Institute and Ruchira Chatterjee, a scientist in the Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging Division of Berkeley Lab.

    Q. Can you explain how you envision your technology to work?

    What I’m essentially trying to do is convert CO2 to limestone, and one way to do this is to use seawater. The reason you can do this is because limestone is composed of magnesium, or what’s called magnesium and calcium carbonates. There’s a lot of magnesium and calcium naturally resident in seawater. So if you have free CO2 floating around in seawater, along with that magnesium and calcium, it will naturally form limestone to a certain extent, but the process is very slow – borderline geologic time scales.

    It turns out that the bottleneck in the conversion of CO2 to these magnesium and calcium carbonates in seawater is a process that is naturally catalyzed by an enzyme called carbonic anhydrase. It’s not important to know the enzyme name; it’s just important to know that when you add carbonic anhydrase to this seawater mixture, you can basically accelerate the conversion of CO2 to these limestones under suitable conditions.

    And so the idea is to scale this up – drawing CO2 out of the atmosphere into the ocean and ultimately into some limestone product that you could sequester.

    Q. Fascinating. So you want to turn carbon dioxide into rock using a process that occurs naturally in seawater, but accelerating it. This sounds almost like science fiction. What are the challenges in getting this to work?

    To absorb CO2 from the air quick enough for the technology to work, you have to solve the problem of how to provide enough of this enzyme that you could deploy this process at a meaningful scale. If we were to simply try to supply the enzyme as a pure product, you couldn’t do it in an economically viable way. So the question I’m trying to answer here is, how would you do this? You also have to find ways of stabilizing the pH and mixing in enough air to raise and maintain your CO2 concentration in water.

    The solution that occurred to me was, okay, given that we know carbonic anhydrase is a protein, and proteins are naturally synthesized by biochemical systems, such as bacteria, which we can manipulate, then we could take bacteria and then engineer them to make carbonic anhydrase for us. And you can just keep growing these bacteria as long as you feed them. One problem, though, is that now you’ve shifted the cost burden onto supplying enough food to produce enough bacteria to produce enough enzyme.

    One way around this issue would be to use bacteria that can grow using energy and nutrients that are readily available in the natural environment. So this pointed towards photosynthetic bacteria. They can use sunlight as their energy source, and they can also use CO2 as their carbon source to feed on. And certain photosynthetic bacteria can also use the minerals that naturally occur in seawater essentially as vitamins.

    Q. Interesting. So the path to capturing excess CO2 lays in being able to engineer a microbe?

    Potentially one way, yes. What I’ve been working on in this project is to develop a genetically modified bacterium that is photosynthetic and is engineered to produce a lot of carbon anhydrase on its surface. Then, if you were to put it in seawater, where you have a lot of magnesium and calcium, and also CO2 present, you would see a rapid formation of limestone. That’s the basic idea.

    It’s a small project for now, so I decided to focus on getting the engineered organism. Right now, I’m simply trying to develop the primary catalyst system, which are the enzyme-modified bacteria to drive the mineralization. The other non-trivial pieces of this approach – how to appropriately design the reactor to stabilize CO2 concentrations and pH needed for this scheme to work – are future challenges. But I’ve been using simulations to inform my approaches to those problems.

    It’s a fun project because on any given day my co-PIs and I could be doing either physical electrochemistry or gene manipulation in the lab.

    Q. How would this look once it’s scaled up? And how much carbon would it be able to sequester?

    What I have envisioned is, the bacterium would be grown in a plant-scaled bioreactor. You basically flow seawater into this bioreactor while actively mixing in air, and it processes the seawater, converting it to limestone. Ideally, you probably have some type of downstream centrifugation process to extract the solids, which maybe could be driven by the flow of water itself, which then helps to pull out the limestone carbonates before you then eject the depleted seawater. An alternative that could possibly resolve the pH constraints of mineralization would be to implement this instead as a reversible process, where you also use the enzyme to reconvert the carbon you’ve captured in seawater back to a more concentrated CO2 stream (carbonic anhydrase behavior is reversible).

    What I’ve calculated for this system, assuming that the protein carbonic anhydrase behaves on the bacterial surface, more or less, the way it does in free solution, would suggest that you would need a plant that has only about a 1-million-liter volume, which is actually quite small. One of those could get you to roughly 1 megaton of CO2 captured per year. A lot of assumptions are built into that sort of estimate though, and it’s likely to change as work advances.

    Erecting 1,000 such facilities globally, which is a small number compared to the 14,000 water treatment facilities in the United States alone, would permit the annual, gigaton-scale capture of atmospheric CO2.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    LBNL campus

    LBNL Molecular Foundry

    Bringing Science Solutions to the World

    In the world of science, The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is synonymous with “excellence.” Thirteen Nobel prizes are associated with Berkeley Lab. Seventy Lab scientists are members of the The National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors for a scientist in the United States. Thirteen of our scientists have won the National Medal of Science, our nation’s highest award for lifetime achievement in fields of scientific research. Eighteen of our engineers have been elected to the The National Academy of Engineering, and three of our scientists have been elected into the Institute of Medicine. In addition, Berkeley Lab has trained thousands of university science and engineering students who are advancing technological innovations across the nation and around the world.

    Berkeley Lab is a member of the national laboratory system supported by the U.S. Department of Energy through its Office of Science. It is managed by the University of California and is charged with conducting unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines. Located on a 202-acre site in the hills above the University of California- Berkeley campus that offers spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay, Berkeley Lab employs approximately 3,232 scientists, engineers and support staff. The Lab’s total costs for FY 2014 were $785 million. A recent study estimates the Laboratory’s overall economic impact through direct, indirect and induced spending on the nine counties that make up the San Francisco Bay Area to be nearly $700 million annually. The Lab was also responsible for creating 5,600 jobs locally and 12,000 nationally. The overall economic impact on the national economy is estimated at $1.6 billion a year. Technologies developed at Berkeley Lab have generated billions of dollars in revenues, and thousands of jobs. Savings as a result of Berkeley Lab developments in lighting and windows, and other energy-efficient technologies, have also been in the billions of dollars.

    Berkeley Lab was founded in 1931 by Ernest Orlando Lawrence, a University of California-Berkeley physicist who won the 1939 Nobel Prize in physics for his invention of the cyclotron, a circular particle accelerator that opened the door to high-energy physics. It was Lawrence’s belief that scientific research is best done through teams of individuals with different fields of expertise, working together. His teamwork concept is a Berkeley Lab legacy that continues today.



    The laboratory was founded on August 26, 1931, by Ernest Lawrence, as the Radiation Laboratory of the University of California, Berkeley, associated with the Physics Department. It centered physics research around his new instrument, the cyclotron, a type of particle accelerator for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1939.

    LBNL 88 inch cyclotron.

    LBNL 88 inch cyclotron.

    Throughout the 1930s, Lawrence pushed to create larger and larger machines for physics research, courting private philanthropists for funding. He was the first to develop a large team to build big projects to make discoveries in basic research. Eventually these machines grew too large to be held on the university grounds, and in 1940 the lab moved to its current site atop the hill above campus. Part of the team put together during this period includes two other young scientists who went on to establish large laboratories; J. Robert Oppenheimer founded DOE’s Los Alamos Laboratory, and Robert Wilson founded Fermi National Accelerator Laborator.


    Leslie Groves visited Lawrence’s Radiation Laboratory in late 1942 as he was organizing the Manhattan Project, meeting J. Robert Oppenheimer for the first time. Oppenheimer was tasked with organizing the nuclear bomb development effort and founded today’s Los Alamos National Laboratory to help keep the work secret. At the RadLab, Lawrence and his colleagues developed the technique of electromagnetic enrichment of uranium using their experience with cyclotrons. The “calutrons” (named after the University) became the basic unit of the massive Y-12 facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Lawrence’s lab helped contribute to what have been judged to be the three most valuable technology developments of the war (the atomic bomb, proximity fuse, and radar). The cyclotron, whose construction was stalled during the war, was finished in November 1946. The Manhattan Project shut down two months later.


    After the war, the Radiation Laboratory became one of the first laboratories to be incorporated into the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) (now Department of Energy . The most highly classified work remained at Los Alamos, but the RadLab remained involved. Edward Teller suggested setting up a second lab similar to Los Alamos to compete with their designs. This led to the creation of an offshoot of the RadLab (now the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) in 1952. Some of the RadLab’s work was transferred to the new lab, but some classified research continued at Berkeley Lab until the 1970s, when it became a laboratory dedicated only to unclassified scientific research.

    Shortly after the death of Lawrence in August 1958, the UC Radiation Laboratory (both branches) was renamed the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory. The Berkeley location became the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in 1971, although many continued to call it the RadLab. Gradually, another shortened form came into common usage, LBNL. Its formal name was amended to Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 1995, when “National” was added to the names of all DOE labs. “Ernest Orlando” was later dropped to shorten the name. Today, the lab is commonly referred to as “Berkeley Lab”.

    The Alvarez Physics Memos are a set of informal working papers of the large group of physicists, engineers, computer programmers, and technicians led by Luis W. Alvarez from the early 1950s until his death in 1988. Over 1700 memos are available on-line, hosted by the Laboratory.

    The lab remains owned by the Department of Energy , with management from the University of California. Companies such as Intel were funding the lab’s research into computing chips.

    Science mission

    From the 1950s through the present, Berkeley Lab has maintained its status as a major international center for physics research, and has also diversified its research program into almost every realm of scientific investigation. Its mission is to solve the most pressing and profound scientific problems facing humanity, conduct basic research for a secure energy future, understand living systems to improve the environment, health, and energy supply, understand matter and energy in the universe, build and safely operate leading scientific facilities for the nation, and train the next generation of scientists and engineers.

    The Laboratory’s 20 scientific divisions are organized within six areas of research: Computing Sciences; Physical Sciences; Earth and Environmental Sciences; Biosciences; Energy Sciences; and Energy Technologies. Berkeley Lab has six main science thrusts: advancing integrated fundamental energy science; integrative biological and environmental system science; advanced computing for science impact; discovering the fundamental properties of matter and energy; accelerators for the future; and developing energy technology innovations for a sustainable future. It was Lawrence’s belief that scientific research is best done through teams of individuals with different fields of expertise, working together. His teamwork concept is a Berkeley Lab tradition that continues today.

    Berkeley Lab operates five major National User Facilities for the DOE Office of Science:

    The Advanced Light Source (ALS) is a synchrotron light source with 41 beam lines providing ultraviolet, soft x-ray, and hard x-ray light to scientific experiments.


    DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Advanced Light Source .
    The ALS is one of the world’s brightest sources of soft x-rays, which are used to characterize the electronic structure of matter and to reveal microscopic structures with elemental and chemical specificity. About 2,500 scientist-users carry out research at ALS every year. Berkeley Lab is proposing an upgrade of ALS which would increase the coherent flux of soft x-rays by two-three orders of magnitude.

    The DOE Joint Genome Institute supports genomic research in support of the DOE missions in alternative energy, global carbon cycling, and environmental management. The JGI’s partner laboratories are Berkeley Lab, DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology . The JGI’s central role is the development of a diversity of large-scale experimental and computational capabilities to link sequence to biological insights relevant to energy and environmental research. Approximately 1,200 scientist-users take advantage of JGI’s capabilities for their research every year.

    The LBNL Molecular Foundry [above] is a multidisciplinary nanoscience research facility. Its seven research facilities focus on Imaging and Manipulation of Nanostructures; Nanofabrication; Theory of Nanostructured Materials; Inorganic Nanostructures; Biological Nanostructures; Organic and Macromolecular Synthesis; and Electron Microscopy. Approximately 700 scientist-users make use of these facilities in their research every year.

    The DOE’s NERSC National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center is the scientific computing facility that provides large-scale computing for the DOE’s unclassified research programs. Its current systems provide over 3 billion computational hours annually. NERSC supports 6,000 scientific users from universities, national laboratories, and industry.

    DOE’s NERSC National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

    Cray Cori II supercomputer at National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center at DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, named after Gerty Cori, the first American woman to win a Nobel Prize in science.

    NERSC Hopper Cray XE6 supercomputer.

    NERSC Cray XC30 Edison supercomputer.

    NERSC GPFS for Life Sciences.

    The Genepool system is a cluster dedicated to the DOE Joint Genome Institute’s computing needs. Denovo is a smaller test system for Genepool that is primarily used by NERSC staff to test new system configurations and software.

    NERSC PDSF computer cluster in 2003.

    PDSF is a networked distributed computing cluster designed primarily to meet the detector simulation and data analysis requirements of physics, astrophysics and nuclear science collaborations.

    Cray Shasta Perlmutter SC18 AMD Epyc Nvidia pre-exascale supercomputer.

    NERSC is a DOE Office of Science User Facility.

    The DOE’s Energy Science Network is a high-speed network infrastructure optimized for very large scientific data flows. ESNet provides connectivity for all major DOE sites and facilities, and the network transports roughly 35 petabytes of traffic each month.

    Berkeley Lab is the lead partner in the DOE’s Joint Bioenergy Institute (JBEI), located in Emeryville, California. Other partners are the DOE’s Sandia National Laboratory, the University of California (UC) campuses of Berkeley and Davis, the Carnegie Institution for Science , and DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). JBEI’s primary scientific mission is to advance the development of the next generation of biofuels – liquid fuels derived from the solar energy stored in plant biomass. JBEI is one of three new U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Research Centers (BRCs).

    Berkeley Lab has a major role in two DOE Energy Innovation Hubs. The mission of the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) is to find a cost-effective method to produce fuels using only sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide. The lead institution for JCAP is the California Institute of Technology and Berkeley Lab is the second institutional center. The mission of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) is to create next-generation battery technologies that will transform transportation and the electricity grid. DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory leads JCESR and Berkeley Lab is a major partner.

  • richardmitnick 1:00 pm on May 17, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Wildfires Drought and Insects Threaten Forests in the United States", , , Climate Change, , , , Western forest managers face a catch-22: They can keep carbon sequestered in trees by reducing controlled burns but that creates denser forests at greater risk of going up in uncontrolled flames.   

    From Eos: “Wildfires Drought and Insects Threaten Forests in the United States” 

    Eos news bloc

    From Eos



    12 May 2022
    Rishika Pardikar

    Western forest managers face a catch-22: They can keep carbon sequestered in trees by reducing controlled burns, but that creates denser forests at greater risk of going up in uncontrolled flames.

    Wildfires like the Monument Fire, which burned in Trinity, Calif., in August 2021, may be hastened by forest management practices. Credit: CalTrans.

    Wildfire risk to forests across the United States is set to increase by a factor of 4, and tree mortality caused by other climate-induced factors like drought, heat, disease, and insects is set to at least double, new research shows.

    “Forests in the western half of the U.S. have the highest vulnerability to each of these risks,” said William Anderegg, an associate professor at the University of Utah and lead author of the paper, which was published in Ecology Letters.

    But risks are not confined to the West. There are wildfire risks in Florida and Georgia, as well as parts of Oklahoma and Texas, and insect and drought risks in the northern Great Lakes states.

    Anderegg explained that researchers modeled burned areas depicted by satellite imagery and used forest inventory data to ascertain other climate risks like drought, heat, disease, and insect-driven tree mortality.

    The paper provides insights for improving forest conservation practices and underscores an urgent need to reduce emissions to mitigate the impacts of climate change, Anderegg said. More specifically, it highlights design and assessment flaws in climate policies like forest carbon offsets. Anderegg and the other authors question the integrity of offset projects and call for “rigorous forest climate risk assessment” for policies and programs that rely on the potential of forests to store carbon.

    Reworking Forest Offset Designs

    The way that forest offset protocols account for risks like wildfire is buffer pools—unharvested woodlands set aside to compensate for carbon losses. But, Anderegg said, such buffer pools do not account for geographical heterogeneity, like wildfire risks in California being significantly higher than those in Maine, or the fact that risks like wildfire are likely set to increase owing to climate change.

    Another technique the scientific community often suggests is controlled burning. But there’s a problem: Many of the forests, especially those in the West, are part of forest offset projects in California’s cap-and-trade program. What this means, in essence, is that owners and managers of these forests are incentivized not to burn because carbon credits are dependent on the amount of carbon these forests can hold.

    Bodie Cabiyo, a graduate research fellow in the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California-Berkeley, noted that some of these forests have grown very dense and now have a lot of carbon in them. Cabiyo was not involved in the new research.

    “What worries me about the offset protocols is that they incentivize dense forests, which are at higher risk of disturbance,” he said. Although management techniques like thinning can protect against future disturbances, the protocols effectively penalize such actions because they reduce carbon stocks. “So not only are these protocols underestimating disturbance risk, but they’re potentially making that risk greater,” Cabiyo added.

    Expressing similar concerns, Barbara Haya, director of the Berkeley Carbon Trading Project, said the protocols are creating “a perverse incentive” for forest managers to not decrease carbon stock even when it is beneficial to do so. “The offset protocols are in direct contradiction with some work that’s being done in California to manage forests more sustainably to reduce fire risk,” she added.

    Anderegg suggested that an investment framework that allowed for management like prescribed burns would work better for both forest conservation and carbon sequestration.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Eos is the leading source for trustworthy news and perspectives about the Earth and space sciences and their impact. Its namesake is Eos, the Greek goddess of the dawn, who represents the light shed on understanding our planet and its environment in space by the Earth and space sciences.

  • richardmitnick 7:33 am on May 11, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Every heatwave enhanced by climate change- experts", , Climate Change,   

    From phys.org : “Every heatwave enhanced by climate change- experts” 

    From phys.org

    May 11, 2022
    Marlowe Hood – Agence France-Presse

    Extreme hot spells such as the heatwave that gripped South Asia in March and April are already the most deadly of extreme events.

    All heatwaves today bear the unmistakable and measurable fingerprint of global warming, top experts on quantifying the impact of climate change on extreme weather said Wednesday.

    Burning fossil fuels and destroying forests have released enough greenhouse gases into the atmosphere to also boost the frequency and intensity of many floods, droughts, wildfires and tropical storms, they detailed in a state-of-science report.

    “There is no doubt that climate change is a huge game changer when it comes to extreme heat,” Friederike Otto, a scientist at Imperial College London (UK)’s Grantham Institute, told AFP.

    Extreme hot spells such as the heatwave that gripped South Asia in March and April are already the most deadly of extreme events, she added.

    “Every heatwave in the world is now made stronger and more likely to happen because of human-caused climate change,” Otto and co-author Ben Clarke of The University of Oxford (UK) said in the report, presented as a briefing paper for the news media.

    Evidence of global warming’s impact on extreme weather has been mounting for decades, but only recently has it been possible to answer the most obvious of questions: To what extent was a particular event caused by climate change?

    The most scientists could say before is that an unusually severe hurricane, flood or heatwave was consistent with general predictions of how global warming would eventually influence weather.

    News media, meanwhile, sometimes left climate change out of the picture altogether or, at the other extreme, mistakenly attributed a weather disaster entirely to rising temperatures.

    With more data and better tools, however, Otto and other pioneers of a field known as event attribution science have been able to calculate—sometimes in near realtime—how much more likely or intense a particular storm or hot spell has become due to global warming.

    Evidence of global warming’s impact on extreme weather has been mounting for decades, but only recently has it been possible to answer the most obvious of questions: To what extent was this event caused by climate change?

    Courtroom evidence

    Otto and colleagues in the World Weather Attribution (WWA) consortium, for example, concluded that the heatwave that gripped western North America last June—sending temperatures in Canada to a record 49.6 C (121 F)—would have been “virtually impossible” without human-induced climate change.

    A heatwave that scorched India and Pakistan last month is still under review, Otto told AFP, but the larger picture is frighteningly clear.

    “What we see right now in terms of extreme heat will be very normal, if not cool, in a 2-degree to 3-degree Celsius world,” she said, referring to average global temperatures above preindustrial levels.

    The world has warmed nearly 1.2C so far.

    That increase made record-setting rainfall and flooding last July in Germany and Belgium that left more than 200 dead up to nine times more likely, the WWA found.

    But global warming is not always to blame.

    A two-year drought in southern Madagascar leading to near famine conditions attributed by the UN to climate change was in fact a product of natural variability in the weather, experts reported.

    Quantifying the impact of global warming on extreme weather events using peer-reviewed methods has real-world policy implications.

    Attribution studies, for example, have been used as evidence in landmark climate litigation in the United States, Australia and Europe.

    In one case set to resume later this month, Saul Luciano Lliuya v. RWE AG, a Peruvian farmer is suing the German energy giant for the costs of preventing harmful flooding from a glacial lake destabilised by climate change.

    A scientific assessment entered into evidence concluded that human-caused global warming is directly responsible for creating a “critical threat” of a devastating outburst, putting a city of some 120,000 people in the path of potential floodwaters.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    About Science X in 100 words
    Science X is a leading web-based science, research and technology news service which covers a full range of topics. These include physics, earth science, medicine, nanotechnology, electronics, space, biology, chemistry, computer sciences, engineering, mathematics and other sciences and technologies. Launched in 2004 (Physorg.com), Science X’s readership has grown steadily to include 5 million scientists, researchers, and engineers every month. Science X publishes approximately 200 quality articles every day, offering some of the most comprehensive coverage of sci-tech developments world-wide. Science X community members enjoy access to many personalized features such as social networking, a personal home page set-up, article comments and ranking, the ability to save favorite articles, a daily newsletter, and other options.

    Mission: 12 reasons for reading daily news on Science X Organization Key editors and writers include 1.75 million scientists, researchers, and engineers every month. Phys.org publishes approximately 100 quality articles every day, offering some of the most comprehensive coverage of sci-tech developments world-wide. Quancast 2009 includes Phys.org in its list of the Global Top 2,000 Websites. Phys.org community members enjoy access to many personalized features such as social networking, a personal home page set-up, RSS/XML feeds, article comments and ranking, the ability to save favorite articles, a daily newsletter, and other options.

  • richardmitnick 8:56 am on May 9, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "With plants as a model studying the ‘complexity and reproducibility’ of Developmental Biology", , , , Climate Change, Exploring proteins and protein families involved in different facets of plant growth., Flat-leaf architecture, , LOB DOMAIN (LBD) genes,   

    From Penn Today: “With plants as a model studying the ‘complexity and reproducibility’ of Developmental Biology” 

    From Penn Today


    U Penn bloc

    University of Pennsylvania

    May 6, 2022
    Katherine Unger Baillie
    Eric Sucar – Photographer

    In his first year at Penn, biologist Aman Husbands is busy working on projects aimed at illuminating the molecular mechanisms that govern plant development.

    By studying how plants develop, Aman Husbands, who joined the Department of Biology faculty this year, may make insights that find application well beyond the plant kingdom.

    Nearly paper-thin, often with a complex two-dimensional shape, leaves may number into the hundreds of thousands on an organism like a white oak. Yet typically, each leaf appears quite similar in form.

    How is it that a plant coordinates the production of these leaves, one after another, so carefully and so reproducibly?

    The molecular forces governing this aspect of plant development are a focus of Aman Husbands, who joined Penn’s Biology Department faculty in the School of Arts & Sciences in January. Exploring proteins and protein families involved in different facets of plant growth, Husbands has identified key regulators that appear fundamental to biology, and not just plant biology.

    His curiosity-driven research is not only illuminating the basic mechanisms responsible for why plants grow as they do but also has the potential to impact how plants stay resilient in the face of climate change. It may even shed light on aspects of development and disease in other species, humans included.

    “You could break down the lab into complexity and reproducibility,” says Husbands, the Mitchell J. Blutt and Margo Krody Blutt Presidential Assistant Professor of Biology. “How do you create these beautiful, complex shapes? Biology should go wrong all the time, and yet it doesn’t. We’re interested in the mechanisms responsible.”

    Drawn to plants

    As a kid, Husbands, who grew up in Toronto, “wanted to be a marine biologist, like everyone,” he says. Around his second year at The University of Toronto (CA), when he began taking more specialized science courses, another aspect of biology caught his attention.

    “Plants, for some reason, I loved,” he says. “It was a system that I just intuitively understood.”

    Plant leaves begin to form as a small bump and then flatten into a complex, two-dimensional shape. Some of the research Husbands pursues examines how plants consistently form “these paper-thin structures over and over again,” rarely getting it wrong.

    During his undergraduate years he worked with Nancy Dengler, whose lab group studies plant anatomy. Anatomy was also the focus of the lab he joined for his graduate work at The University of California-Riverside. But after a half a year he switched to join the lab of Patricia Springer, who “was asking really interesting questions about plant development, including how plants establish boundaries between their organs,” says Husbands. Springer gave him the freedom to explore the molecular aspects of plant development, and he began to ask questions about protein function.

    His doctoral research focused on a family known as the LOB DOMAIN (LBD) genes, transcription factors that control how and when genes are turned on and off. “People assumed these were transcription factors but that had not been formally shown,” he says. Under the guidance of Harley Smith, another Riverside faculty member at the time, Husbands gained the molecular biology skillset to pursue those questions, identifying the binding site recognized by this protein family, which are specific to plants. “I’m still proud of that paper,” he says.

    Moving back to the East Coast for his postdoctoral work, he joined the lab of Marja Timmermans at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York. With Timmermans, now at Eberhard Karl University of Tübingen [Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen[(DE), Husbands began delving into a transcription factor complex that still makes up “the bread and butter” of his research today, known as the HD-ZIPIIIs. “What interested me about this family is that it’s very, very deeply conserved,” he says, its origins tracing back 750 million years or more in evolutionary time. HD-ZIPIII genes, if manipulated, impact multiple aspects of plant development, Husbands says, including stem cells, the plant vein system, and leaf architecture.

    When leaf formation goes wrong

    As Husbands moved from Cold Spring Harbor to a faculty position at Ohio State University, where he ran a lab for four years, and now to Penn, a question driving his work is, How can plants reliably churn out leaves that look the way they’re supposed to look? Plant biologists’ term for this is reproducibility or robustness, and Husbands studies it in the context of flat-leaf architecture, or the tendency of plants to consistently form “these paper-thin structures over and over again,” he says. “What makes this more compelling is that leaves don’t start out flat.” When they initially develop, they are ball-shaped, and only later flatten out into what most would recognize as a leaf: a thin form with a distinctive two-dimensional shape.

    “It’s a very difficult process,” says Husbands. Plants usually get this right, but leaf growth occasionally goes awry. “You might get leaves curling up or down, which will lead to impacts on fitness,” he says.

    Typically, however, Husbands says, “leaves always know, ‘This is my top; this is my bottom. I have a boundary from which to grow.’”

    The concept of boundaries driving growth is not unique to plants but one that’s present in almost every developing organism. Thus, insights Husbands draws out in plants may have applications to other groups as well. “It’s a very classical developmental paradigm,” he says.

    Other projects of Husbands involve collaborations with computational biologists and mathematicians. In one, he and colleagues are hoping to look for patterns in gene expression data in the hopes that new gene candidates will emerge as being central to the reproducibility and robustness of flat-leaf architecture.

    Applications, partnerships, and inspiration

    While Husbands is motivated by a love of basic science and discovery, he’s also moving his work into directions that might one day find real-world application. On the plant front, he notes that “engineering robustness,” by intervening with some of the transcription factors he’s studying, could enable plants to withstand the ups and downs of climate change. “We’re a ways away from that, but, if you could find a particular system that is susceptible to climate change, you could use these properties to basically shore it up, stabilize that biology and enable the plant to be resilient in the face of climate extremes.”

    Going beyond plants, Husbands and his trainees are also investigating how the lipid binding domains they’ve studied in plants operate in proteins present across the tree of life, including a tumor suppressor protein present in humans. “We want to take knowledge from our work and others to develop strategies to affect activity of this tumor suppressor via this lipid-binding domain,” he says. “The therapeutic applications are obvious. If you develop a ligand to affect the activity of a tumor suppressor, you’re in business.”

    With a department strong in plant biology as well as many other facets of science, and additional potential collaborators a stone’s throw away on campus, Husbands jumped at the opportunity to come to the Penn. “Penn is Penn,” he says. “During the recruitment process, just reading about what everyone was doing and their science—it’s just a firehose. You come away and you’re inspired.”

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Penn campus

    Academic life at University of Pennsylvania is unparalleled, with 100 countries and every U.S. state represented in one of the Ivy League’s most diverse student bodies. Consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the country, Penn enrolls 10,000 undergraduate students and welcomes an additional 10,000 students to our world-renowned graduate and professional schools.

    Penn’s award-winning educators and scholars encourage students to pursue inquiry and discovery, follow their passions, and address the world’s most challenging problems through an interdisciplinary approach.

    The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The university claims a founding date of 1740 and is one of the nine colonial colleges chartered prior to the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, Penn’s founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum.

    Penn has four undergraduate schools as well as twelve graduate and professional schools. Schools enrolling undergraduates include the College of Arts and Sciences; the School of Engineering and Applied Science; the Wharton School; and the School of Nursing. Penn’s “One University Policy” allows students to enroll in classes in any of Penn’s twelve schools. Among its highly ranked graduate and professional schools are a law school whose first professor wrote the first draft of the United States Constitution, the first school of medicine in North America (Perelman School of Medicine, 1765), and the first collegiate business school (Wharton School, 1881).

    Penn is also home to the first “student union” building and organization (Houston Hall, 1896), the first Catholic student club in North America (Newman Center, 1893), the first double-decker college football stadium (Franklin Field, 1924 when second deck was constructed), and Morris Arboretum, the official arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was developed at Penn and formally dedicated in 1946. In 2019, the university had an endowment of $14.65 billion, the sixth-largest endowment of all universities in the United States, as well as a research budget of $1.02 billion. The university’s athletics program, the Quakers, fields varsity teams in 33 sports as a member of the NCAA Division I Ivy League conference.

    As of 2018, distinguished alumni and/or Trustees include three U.S. Supreme Court justices; 32 U.S. senators; 46 U.S. governors; 163 members of the U.S. House of Representatives; eight signers of the Declaration of Independence and seven signers of the U.S. Constitution (four of whom signed both representing two-thirds of the six people who signed both); 24 members of the Continental Congress; 14 foreign heads of state and two presidents of the United States, including Donald Trump. As of October 2019, 36 Nobel laureates; 80 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; 64 billionaires; 29 Rhodes Scholars; 15 Marshall Scholars and 16 Pulitzer Prize winners have been affiliated with the university.


    The University of Pennsylvania considers itself the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, though this is contested by Princeton University and Columbia University. The university also considers itself as the first university in the United States with both undergraduate and graduate studies.

    In 1740, a group of Philadelphians joined together to erect a great preaching hall for the traveling evangelist George Whitefield, who toured the American colonies delivering open-air sermons. The building was designed and built by Edmund Woolley and was the largest building in the city at the time, drawing thousands of people the first time it was preached in. It was initially planned to serve as a charity school as well, but a lack of funds forced plans for the chapel and school to be suspended. According to Franklin’s autobiography, it was in 1743 when he first had the idea to establish an academy, “thinking the Rev. Richard Peters a fit person to superintend such an institution”. However, Peters declined a casual inquiry from Franklin and nothing further was done for another six years. In the fall of 1749, now more eager to create a school to educate future generations, Benjamin Franklin circulated a pamphlet titled Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania, his vision for what he called a “Public Academy of Philadelphia”. Unlike the other colonial colleges that existed in 1749—Harvard University, William & Mary, Yale Unversity, and The College of New Jersey—Franklin’s new school would not focus merely on education for the clergy. He advocated an innovative concept of higher education, one which would teach both the ornamental knowledge of the arts and the practical skills necessary for making a living and doing public service. The proposed program of study could have become the nation’s first modern liberal arts curriculum, although it was never implemented because Anglican priest William Smith (1727-1803), who became the first provost, and other trustees strongly preferred the traditional curriculum.

    Franklin assembled a board of trustees from among the leading citizens of Philadelphia, the first such non-sectarian board in America. At the first meeting of the 24 members of the board of trustees on November 13, 1749, the issue of where to locate the school was a prime concern. Although a lot across Sixth Street from the old Pennsylvania State House (later renamed and famously known since 1776 as “Independence Hall”), was offered without cost by James Logan, its owner, the trustees realized that the building erected in 1740, which was still vacant, would be an even better site. The original sponsors of the dormant building still owed considerable construction debts and asked Franklin’s group to assume their debts and, accordingly, their inactive trusts. On February 1, 1750, the new board took over the building and trusts of the old board. On August 13, 1751, the “Academy of Philadelphia”, using the great hall at 4th and Arch Streets, took in its first secondary students. A charity school also was chartered on July 13, 1753 by the intentions of the original “New Building” donors, although it lasted only a few years. On June 16, 1755, the “College of Philadelphia” was chartered, paving the way for the addition of undergraduate instruction. All three schools shared the same board of trustees and were considered to be part of the same institution. The first commencement exercises were held on May 17, 1757.

    The institution of higher learning was known as the College of Philadelphia from 1755 to 1779. In 1779, not trusting then-provost the Reverend William Smith’s “Loyalist” tendencies, the revolutionary State Legislature created a University of the State of Pennsylvania. The result was a schism, with Smith continuing to operate an attenuated version of the College of Philadelphia. In 1791, the legislature issued a new charter, merging the two institutions into a new University of Pennsylvania with twelve men from each institution on the new board of trustees.

    Penn has three claims to being the first university in the United States, according to university archives director Mark Frazier Lloyd: the 1765 founding of the first medical school in America made Penn the first institution to offer both “undergraduate” and professional education; the 1779 charter made it the first American institution of higher learning to take the name of “University”; and existing colleges were established as seminaries (although, as detailed earlier, Penn adopted a traditional seminary curriculum as well).

    After being located in downtown Philadelphia for more than a century, the campus was moved across the Schuylkill River to property purchased from the Blockley Almshouse in West Philadelphia in 1872, where it has since remained in an area now known as University City. Although Penn began operating as an academy or secondary school in 1751 and obtained its collegiate charter in 1755, it initially designated 1750 as its founding date; this is the year that appears on the first iteration of the university seal. Sometime later in its early history, Penn began to consider 1749 as its founding date and this year was referenced for over a century, including at the centennial celebration in 1849. In 1899, the board of trustees voted to adjust the founding date earlier again, this time to 1740, the date of “the creation of the earliest of the many educational trusts the University has taken upon itself”. The board of trustees voted in response to a three-year campaign by Penn’s General Alumni Society to retroactively revise the university’s founding date to appear older than Princeton University, which had been chartered in 1746.

    Research, innovations and discoveries

    Penn is classified as an “R1” doctoral university: “Highest research activity.” Its economic impact on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for 2015 amounted to $14.3 billion. Penn’s research expenditures in the 2018 fiscal year were $1.442 billion, the fourth largest in the U.S. In fiscal year 2019 Penn received $582.3 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health.

    In line with its well-known interdisciplinary tradition, Penn’s research centers often span two or more disciplines. In the 2010–2011 academic year alone, five interdisciplinary research centers were created or substantially expanded; these include the Center for Health-care Financing; the Center for Global Women’s Health at the Nursing School; the $13 million Morris Arboretum’s Horticulture Center; the $15 million Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at Wharton; and the $13 million Translational Research Center at Penn Medicine. With these additions, Penn now counts 165 research centers hosting a research community of over 4,300 faculty and over 1,100 postdoctoral fellows, 5,500 academic support staff and graduate student trainees. To further assist the advancement of interdisciplinary research President Amy Gutmann established the “Penn Integrates Knowledge” title awarded to selected Penn professors “whose research and teaching exemplify the integration of knowledge”. These professors hold endowed professorships and joint appointments between Penn’s schools.

    Penn is also among the most prolific producers of doctoral students. With 487 PhDs awarded in 2009, Penn ranks third in the Ivy League, only behind Columbia University and Cornell University (Harvard University did not report data). It also has one of the highest numbers of post-doctoral appointees (933 in number for 2004–2007), ranking third in the Ivy League (behind Harvard and Yale University) and tenth nationally.

    In most disciplines Penn professors’ productivity is among the highest in the nation and first in the fields of epidemiology, business, communication studies, comparative literature, languages, information science, criminal justice and criminology, social sciences and sociology. According to the National Research Council nearly three-quarters of Penn’s 41 assessed programs were placed in ranges including the top 10 rankings in their fields, with more than half of these in ranges including the top five rankings in these fields.

    Penn’s research tradition has historically been complemented by innovations that shaped higher education. In addition to establishing the first medical school; the first university teaching hospital; the first business school; and the first student union Penn was also the cradle of other significant developments. In 1852, Penn Law was the first law school in the nation to publish a law journal still in existence (then called The American Law Register, now the Penn Law Review, one of the most cited law journals in the world). Under the deanship of William Draper Lewis, the law school was also one of the first schools to emphasize legal teaching by full-time professors instead of practitioners, a system that is still followed today. The Wharton School was home to several pioneering developments in business education. It established the first research center in a business school in 1921 and the first center for entrepreneurship center in 1973 and it regularly introduced novel curricula for which BusinessWeek wrote, “Wharton is on the crest of a wave of reinvention and change in management education”.

    Several major scientific discoveries have also taken place at Penn. The university is probably best known as the place where the first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was born in 1946 at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering.

    ENIAC UPenn

    It was here also where the world’s first spelling and grammar checkers were created, as well as the popular COBOL programming language. Penn can also boast some of the most important discoveries in the field of medicine. The dialysis machine used as an artificial replacement for lost kidney function was conceived and devised out of a pressure cooker by William Inouye while he was still a student at Penn Med; the Rubella and Hepatitis B vaccines were developed at Penn; the discovery of cancer’s link with genes; cognitive therapy; Retin-A (the cream used to treat acne), Resistin; the Philadelphia gene (linked to chronic myelogenous leukemia) and the technology behind PET Scans were all discovered by Penn Med researchers. More recent gene research has led to the discovery of the genes for fragile X syndrome, the most common form of inherited mental retardation; spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, a disorder marked by progressive muscle wasting; and Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the hands, feet and limbs.

    Conductive polymer was also developed at Penn by Alan J. Heeger, Alan MacDiarmid and Hideki Shirakawa, an invention that earned them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. On faculty since 1965, Ralph L. Brinster developed the scientific basis for in vitro fertilization and the transgenic mouse at Penn and was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2010. The theory of superconductivity was also partly developed at Penn, by then-faculty member John Robert Schrieffer (along with John Bardeen and Leon Cooper). The university has also contributed major advancements in the fields of economics and management. Among the many discoveries are conjoint analysis, widely used as a predictive tool especially in market research; Simon Kuznets’s method of measuring Gross National Product; the Penn effect (the observation that consumer price levels in richer countries are systematically higher than in poorer ones) and the “Wharton Model” developed by Nobel-laureate Lawrence Klein to measure and forecast economic activity. The idea behind Health Maintenance Organizations also belonged to Penn professor Robert Eilers, who put it into practice during then-President Nixon’s health reform in the 1970s.

    International partnerships

    Students can study abroad for a semester or a year at partner institutions such as the London School of Economics(UK), University of Barcelona [Universitat de Barcelona](ES), Paris Institute of Political Studies [Institut d’études politiques de Paris](FR), University of Queensland(AU), University College London(UK), King’s College London(UK), Hebrew University of Jerusalem(IL) and University of Warwick(UK).

  • richardmitnick 12:20 pm on April 23, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "From Supercomputers to Symbiotes NASA in Silicon Valley Invests in the Earth", Climate Change,   

    From NASA Ames Research Center: “From Supercomputers to Symbiotes NASA in Silicon Valley Invests in the Earth” 

    NASA Ames Icon

    From The NASA Ames Research Center

    Apr 22, 2022
    Editor: Abigail Tabor

    From buildings that generate their own energy to trees that clean polluted groundwater, there’s no shortage of environmental innovation at NASA. This Earth Day, we’re highlighting a few of the programs at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley that are helping to understand, mitigate, and prepare for Earth’s changing climate.

    Strengthening Diversity in the Earth Sciences

    During the Student Airborne Science Activation summer program, students from groups historically underrepresented in the geosciences will collect data about land, ocean, and atmospheric phenomena from aboard NASA’s P-3 research aircraft. The airborne observatory, based at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia, is shown here in January 2022 at Wallops during NASA’s IMPACTS mission studying snowfall from winter storms.
    Credits: NASA/Keith Koehler

    NASA’s Student Airborne Science Activation program is on a mission to broaden the ethnic and racial diversity of researchers in the Earth sciences. SaSa is designed for first- and second-year undergraduates enrolled at Minority-Serving Institutions to participate in an authentic NASA field research campaign. The program’s name is an acronym, but has a double meaning. In Kiswahili (the language also known as Swahili), the word “sasa” means “now.” It was adopted by the program to convey the urgency of their mission to mentor, train, and inspire students from historically underrepresented groups in the geosciences.

    This summer, SaSa’s first 25 participants will spend eight weeks gaining hands-on experience in all components of a scientific research campaign. That includes flying aboard the NASA P-3 research aircraft to collect measurements of land, ocean, and atmospheric phenomena. The program also includes mentoring, professional development, and networking opportunities to prepare these students to enter STEM graduate programs – those in science, technology, engineering, and math – and, later, NASA and research careers.

    Turning Big Data into Urgent Earth Discoveries
    Using the NASA Earth Exchange (NEX), researchers were able to forecast how global temperature might change up to 2100 under different greenhouse gas emissions scenarios, with the ability to zoom in to view forecasts for individual days at the scale of a single city or town. For this forecast, NEX took a widely used climate dataset and refined its projections down to a scale of about 15 miles. Credit: NASA.

    The NASA Earth Exchange (NEX) leans on Big Data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and NASA’s supercomputers at Ames to help scientists make new discoveries with huge datasets coming from the agency’s Earth System Observatory. Among the many projects of NEX are initiatives to understand climate projections on a finer scale and to study how climate changes, such as increasing risk of wildfires and heat waves, might affect a single town or region. The data from NEX projects becomes available in a NASA archive and helps inform decisions by policymakers, agencies, and other stakeholders about our climate future.

    NEX is also a unique work environment for sharing, exploring, and analyzing huge datasets that empowers near-real-time understanding of complex phenomena from local to global scales and prepares scientists for new data coming from the Earth System Observatory. NEX is a key platform for stepping up to Earth’s challenges – today and in the future.

    NASA’s Super-Efficient Supercomputers
    The Modular Supercomputing Facility at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley gives researchers the ability to run thousands of complex simulations more quickly and with lower water and energy needs as they continue to support agency missions.
    Credits: NASA/Dominic Hart.

    Investing in Eco-First Innovations
    John Freeman, chief science officer of Intrinsyx Environmental, stands in front of the original grove of poplars planted at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley. In September 2021, nine seasons after planting, the trees were more than 50 feet tall. Credit: Intrinsyx Environmental.

    Imagine if trees could help purify contaminated water and eating a fungus could serve as a sustainable protein alternative to meat. These are two projects NASA is helping to make a reality.

    The Ames campus served as a testing ground for a project using symbiotic microbes in trees to purify groundwater. Conducted in partnership with Intrinsyx, about 1,000 trees helped eliminate contamination that had existed for decades. The project has expanded to over 30 sites around the US, helping to heal environments impacted by pollutants – and showing how even the smallest forms of biology, through trees, can change lives for the better. This project is funded by the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Innovation (SBIR) program and is supported by researchers at Ames.

    Even with new purification techniques, water is still a precious resource – often used up in the production of food. Through NASA’s Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, Natures Fynd is collaborating with NASA and Montana State University to develop bioreactors to cultivate an edible fungus that uses little water and could serve as a source of protein in space. Bioreactors are manufactured devices designed to support a certain biological process. While Nature’s Fynd is developing this bioreactor system with NASA for use in space, where water must be preserved and used sparingly, it also provides an energy-rich source of food on Earth. As a protein source that does not release atmosphere-damaging methane produced by most livestock, it could transform the way we eat on Earth as well.

    Marking a Decade of Sustainable Building
    An aerial view of Sustainability Base at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley. Credit: Eric James/ NASA.

    When it was built 10 years ago at Ames, Sustainability Base was one of the greenest buildings in the federal government. It can house over 200 employees, and is an exemplar of sustainable design that brings many of the principles used for closed-loop systems on spacecraft down to Earth. Sustainability Base was designed to go beyond simply ‘not hurting’ the environment, but to be beneficial to nature and humans. It generates more energy than it needs to operate and uses 90% less potable water than conventional buildings of comparable size. Materials to build and furnish the building were locally procured and often recycled. For example, the oak planks that line the lobby floor were reclaimed from an old NASA wind tunnel.

    The building’s concept was designed for a NASA competition in 2007 by architect William McDonough, a pioneer in sustainable architecture, alongside Dr. Steve Zornetzer, the Associate Center Director for Ames at the time. By implementing closed-loop technology, similar to what’s used by NASA to sustain life in space, the project is proof not only that this level of sustainable building is possible, but it can contribute to the health of our planet.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The NASA Ames Research Center, one of 10 NASA field Centers, is located in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley. For over 60 years, Ames has led NASA in conducting world-class research and development. With 2500 employees and an annual budget of $900 million, Ames provides NASA with advancements in:
    Entry systems: Safely delivering spacecraft to Earth & other celestial bodies
    Supercomputing: Enabling NASA’s advanced modeling and simulation
    NextGen air transportation: Transforming the way we fly
    Airborne science: Examining our own world & beyond from the sky
    Low-cost missions: Enabling high value science to low Earth orbit & the moon
    Biology & astrobiology: Understanding life on Earth — and in space
    Exoplanets: Finding worlds beyond our own
    Autonomy & robotics: Complementing humans in space

  • richardmitnick 9:06 am on April 21, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Atmospherica", "Small but mighty-How UArizona researchers are harnessing the power of algae to capture carbon", Air accordion photobioreactor, , , , , , Biosystems Engineering, Carbon Removal, Climate Change, Coccolithophores naturally extract carbon dioxide from the ocean as part of their life cycle., , Harnessing the power of algae, , Photobioreactors, , Plans to harness the principles of the carbon cycle to trap massive amounts of carbon dioxide and curb the worst impacts of climate change., The photobioreactor make it possible to efficiently grow large amounts of algae.,   

    From The University of Arizona: “Small but mighty-How UArizona researchers are harnessing the power of algae to capture carbon” 

    From The University of Arizona

    Resources for the media
    Media contact(s)
    Mikayla Mace Kelley
    Science Writer, University Communications

    Researcher contact(s)
    Daniel Apai
    Steward Observatory

    Joel Cuello
    Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

    Régis Ferrière
    Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

    An astrobiologist, an engineer and an ecologist have teamed up to mitigate the worst effects of climate change.

    Astrobiologist Daniel Apai (right) and biosystems engineer Joel Cuello (left) work with algae in the lab. Their team aims to harness the power of coccolithophores, which are a single-celled marine algae that use atmospheric carbon dioxide and calcium from saltwater to create intricate shells made of calcium carbonate. The shells are made from a very stable, chalk-like mineral. They can be grown efficiently, then stored to trap carbon dioxide. Credit: Chris Richards.

    As a University of Arizona professor of astronomy and planetary sciences who studies planets orbiting other stars, Daniel Apai spends much of his time thinking about what makes worlds habitable.

    On Earth, the carbon cycle plays a key role in maintaining conditions for life. Earth releases carbon into the atmosphere and reabsorbs it through geological and biological processes. But humans have released more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than the carbon cycle naturally would, causing global temperatures to rise.

    Apai has assembled a team that plans to harness the principles of the carbon cycle to trap massive amounts of carbon dioxide and curb the worst impacts of climate change.

    They call themselves Atmospherica. In addition to Apai, the team includes Joel Cuello, a professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering and BIO5 Institute member; Régis Ferrière, an associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology; Martin Schlecker, an astrophysicist and postdoctoral research associate; and Jack Welchert, a biosystems engineering doctoral student.

    Reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and future climate projections find that preventing the worst effects of climate change will require carbon removal from the atmosphere at gigaton-per-year levels.

    “Yet, no existing technology is thought to be scalable enough to succeed in this,” Apai said. “What we need to do as a civilization is to reduce our emissions as much as possible, because extracting from the air is much more difficult than not emitting it. No one has come up with a solution that extracts carbon dioxide so efficiently as to allow the continued burning of fossil fuels.”

    A sample of coccolithophores of various shapes sourced from the Maldives.

    The Atmospherica team team hopes to be a part of the solution, by harnessing the power of algae.

    It’s all in the algae

    “Climate change is one of the great challenges we are facing as a species and civilization,” Apai said.

    He began the search for potential climate change solutions as a hobby seven years ago. He found that most existing carbon removal solutions could not be scaled up to the levels required, were prohibitively expensive or were harmful to the environment.

    As an astrobiologist, he decided to pursue solutions inspired by nature. That’s when he learned about coccolithophores – single-celled marine algae. What makes these algae special is the fact that they use atmospheric carbon dioxide and calcium from saltwater to create intricate shells made of calcium carbonate – a very stable, chalk-like mineral. These shells evolved to protect the algae and regulate the algae’s buoyancy and light exposure.

    Coccolithophores naturally extract carbon dioxide from the ocean as part of their life cycle. While most of them are consumed by predators, a very small fraction decompose, uneaten, while their carbon-containing shells sink to the ocean floor, where they remain indefinitely. The White Cliffs of Dover on the English coastline are huge 90-million-year-old deposits of these shells and demonstrate their incredible stability.

    The White Cliffs of Dover in England are an example of large coccolithophore shell deposits and how stable they are over time.

    Apai wondered if it would be possible to grow coccolithophores on a large enough scale to change Earth’s atmospheric composition. To do this would require a safe and controlled environment for the algae to grow.

    Enter the air accordion

    Cuello and his Biosystems Engineering Lab have developed a portfolio of patented low-cost novel photobioreactors in which to grow algae and other types of cell cultures in an efficient and productive way. One of the designs is the air accordion photobioreactor.

    The air accordion photobioreactor that Joel Cuello and his biosystems engineering team designed. This photobioreactor will be further optimized to grow coccolithophores most efficiently. Credit: Joel Cuello.

    The air accordion photobioreactor consists of a rectangular metal frame with horizontal bars – like steps on a ladder – spaced closer together at the bottom and farther apart at the top. A polyethylene bag full of nutrient-rich saltwater is woven throughout this ladder-like frame. Air is pumped in from the bottom and circulated through the saltwater mixture. The design maximizes the liquid-mixing capacity of air bubbles pumped in from the bottom and allows for even distribution of light and dissolved nutrients.

    The photobioreactor make it possible to efficiently grow large amounts of algae. And because the algae is grown in a controlled environment, within the polyethylene bag, it is protected from predators. The researchers say their air accordion photobioreactor is also easy to scale up.

    Cuello and Apai patented the use of coccolithophore algae for carbon dioxide removal in this kind of photobioreactor, and they hope to continue to optimize the design for even more efficient coccolithophore growth and carbon uptake.

    “Our goal is to reach a gigaton-per-year level of carbon dioxide extraction capacity, while remaining affordable and with very limited environmental impact,” Apai said.

    The researchers hope the photobioreactors can be made even more sustainable in the future. They envision a world in which solar-powered bioreactors would be located by the ocean, allowing for easy access to the seawater required to help the coccolithophores grow. Even better, the researchers say, would be to establish the photobioreactors near desalination plants, which produce calcium as a waste product. Calcium is an important nutrient for coccolithophores and is used in the saltwater mixture.

    The team hopes the design offers a viable solution for carbon removal that overcomes some of the limitations of existing technologies, such as chemical filtration techniques, which are difficult to scale up because they are energy intensive and often require rare minerals. They also can produce environmentally harmful waste products.

    To ensure that their method is scalable and confirm how much net carbon dioxide it pulls from the atmosphere, members of the Atmospherica team plan to build a demonstration facility in a greenhouse atop the university’s Sixth Street Garage and a larger facility at the university’s Biosphere 2 research facility [below].

    They also plan to “do a full accounting of its carbon footprint, from cradle to grave,” Apai said.

    “We have completed a promising exploratory analysis and plan to publish a paper on the subject this summer,” Apai said.

    The team is also aiming to keep the cost of carbon removal to less than $100 per ton extracted.

    “Anything more expensive is not viable,” Apai said.

    The urgency

    Apai stressed that even if we can transition most industries efficiently toward zero emissions, for a few decades we will still end up producing about 15% of our current emissions, or about 6 billion tons of carbon dioxide annually. That’s partly because things like large airplanes and cargo ships rely on fossil fuels that pack a lot of energy in a small volume. They physically cannot be battery powered.

    That remaining 6 billion tons of carbon dioxide is what Atmospherica hopes the coccolithophores can successfully absorb.

    “Our governments have delayed action so much that we now need to be successful on both counts: building a sustainable future and fixing the damage we keep doing in the meantime,” Ferrière said. “With its emphasis on resilience science, our university and its international partners are committed to advance the interdisciplinary research that will solve this grand challenge.”

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    As of 2019, the The University of Arizona enrolled 45,918 students in 19 separate colleges/schools, including The University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix and the James E. Rogers College of Law, and is affiliated with two academic medical centers (Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix). The University of Arizona is one of three universities governed by the Arizona Board of Regents. The university is part of the Association of American Universities and is the only member from Arizona, and also part of the Universities Research Association . The university is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity”.

    Known as the Arizona Wildcats (often shortened to “Cats”), The University of Arizona’s intercollegiate athletic teams are members of the Pac-12 Conference of the NCAA. The University of Arizona athletes have won national titles in several sports, most notably men’s basketball, baseball, and softball. The official colors of the university and its athletic teams are cardinal red and navy blue.

    After the passage of the Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862, the push for a university in Arizona grew. The Arizona Territory’s “Thieving Thirteenth” Legislature approved The University of Arizona in 1885 and selected the city of Tucson to receive the appropriation to build the university. Tucson hoped to receive the appropriation for the territory’s mental hospital, which carried a $100,000 allocation instead of the $25,000 allotted to the territory’s only university Arizona State University was also chartered in 1885, but it was created as Arizona’s normal school, and not a university). Flooding on the Salt River delayed Tucson’s legislators, and by the time they reached Prescott, back-room deals allocating the most desirable territorial institutions had been made. Tucson was largely disappointed with receiving what was viewed as an inferior prize.

    With no parties willing to provide land for the new institution, the citizens of Tucson prepared to return the money to the Territorial Legislature until two gamblers and a saloon keeper decided to donate the land to build the school. Construction of Old Main, the first building on campus, began on October 27, 1887, and classes met for the first time in 1891 with 32 students in Old Main, which is still in use today. Because there were no high schools in Arizona Territory, the university maintained separate preparatory classes for the first 23 years of operation.


    The University of Arizona is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. UArizona is the fourth most awarded public university by National Aeronautics and Space Administration for research. The University of Arizona was awarded over $325 million for its Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (LPL) to lead NASA’s 2007–08 mission to Mars to explore the Martian Arctic, and $800 million for its OSIRIS-REx mission, the first in U.S. history to sample an asteroid.

    National Aeronautics Space Agency OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft.

    The LPL’s work in the Cassini spacecraft orbit around Saturn is larger than any other university globally.

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration/European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea][Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU)/ASI Italian Space Agency [Agenzia Spaziale Italiana](IT) Cassini Spacecraft.

    The University of Arizona laboratory designed and operated the atmospheric radiation investigations and imaging on the probe. The University of Arizona operates the HiRISE camera, a part of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

    U Arizona NASA Mars Reconnaisance HiRISE Camera.

    NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

    While using the HiRISE camera in 2011, University of Arizona alumnus Lujendra Ojha and his team discovered proof of liquid water on the surface of Mars—a discovery confirmed by NASA in 2015. The University of Arizona receives more NASA grants annually than the next nine top NASA/JPL-Caltech-funded universities combined. As of March 2016, The University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory is actively involved in ten spacecraft missions: Cassini VIMS; Grail; the HiRISE camera orbiting Mars; the Juno mission orbiting Jupiter; Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO); Maven, which will explore Mars’ upper atmosphere and interactions with the sun; Solar Probe Plus, a historic mission into the Sun’s atmosphere for the first time; Rosetta’s VIRTIS; WISE; and OSIRIS-REx, the first U.S. sample-return mission to a near-earth asteroid, which launched on September 8, 2016.

    NASA – GRAIL Flying in Formation (Artist’s Concept). Credit: NASA.
    National Aeronautics Space Agency Juno at Jupiter.

    NASA/Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.


    NASA Parker Solar Probe Plus named to honor Pioneering Physicist Eugene Parker. The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab.
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration Wise/NEOWISE Telescope.

    The University of Arizona students have been selected as Truman, Rhodes, Goldwater, and Fulbright Scholars. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, UArizona is among the top 25 producers of Fulbright awards in the U.S.

    The University of Arizona is a member of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy , a consortium of institutions pursuing research in astronomy. The association operates observatories and telescopes, notably Kitt Peak National Observatory just outside Tucson.

    National Science Foundation NOIRLab National Optical Astronomy Observatory Kitt Peak National Observatory on Kitt Peak of the Quinlan Mountains in the Arizona-Sonoran Desert on the Tohono O’odham Nation, 88 kilometers (55 mi) west-southwest of Tucson, Arizona, Altitude 2,096 m (6,877 ft). annotated.

    Led by Roger Angel, researchers in the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab at The University of Arizona are working in concert to build the world’s most advanced telescope. Known as the Giant Magellan Telescope (CL), it will produce images 10 times sharper than those from the Earth-orbiting Hubble Telescope.

    GMT Giant Magellan Telescope(CL) 21 meters, to be at the Carnegie Institution for Science’s NOIRLab NOAO Las Campanas Observatory(CL), some 115 km (71 mi) north-northeast of La Serena, Chile, over 2,500 m (8,200 ft) high.

    The telescope is set to be completed in 2021. GMT will ultimately cost $1 billion. Researchers from at least nine institutions are working to secure the funding for the project. The telescope will include seven 18-ton mirrors capable of providing clear images of volcanoes and riverbeds on Mars and mountains on the moon at a rate 40 times faster than the world’s current large telescopes. The mirrors of the Giant Magellan Telescope will be built at The University of Arizona and transported to a permanent mountaintop site in the Chilean Andes where the telescope will be constructed.

    Reaching Mars in March 2006, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter contained the HiRISE camera, with Principal Investigator Alfred McEwen as the lead on the project. This National Aeronautics and Space Agency mission to Mars carrying the UArizona-designed camera is capturing the highest-resolution images of the planet ever seen. The journey of the orbiter was 300 million miles. In August 2007, The University of Arizona, under the charge of Scientist Peter Smith, led the Phoenix Mars Mission, the first mission completely controlled by a university. Reaching the planet’s surface in May 2008, the mission’s purpose was to improve knowledge of the Martian Arctic. The Arizona Radio Observatory , a part of The University of Arizona Department of Astronomy Steward Observatory , operates the Submillimeter Telescope on Mount Graham.

    University of Arizona Radio Observatory at NOAO Kitt Peak National Observatory, AZ USA, U Arizona Department of Astronomy and Steward Observatory at altitude 2,096 m (6,877 ft).

    Kitt Peak National Observatory in the Arizona-Sonoran Desert 88 kilometers 55 mi west-southwest of Tucson, Arizona in the Quinlan Mountains of the Tohono O’odham Nation, altitude 2,096 m (6,877 ft)

    The National Science Foundation funded the iPlant Collaborative in 2008 with a $50 million grant. In 2013, iPlant Collaborative received a $50 million renewal grant. Rebranded in late 2015 as “CyVerse”, the collaborative cloud-based data management platform is moving beyond life sciences to provide cloud-computing access across all scientific disciplines.

    In June 2011, the university announced it would assume full ownership of the Biosphere 2 scientific research facility in Oracle, Arizona, north of Tucson, effective July 1. Biosphere 2 was constructed by private developers (funded mainly by Texas businessman and philanthropist Ed Bass) with its first closed system experiment commencing in 1991. The university had been the official management partner of the facility for research purposes since 2007.

    U Arizona mirror lab-Where else in the world can you find an astronomical observatory mirror lab under a football stadium?

    University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2, located in the Sonoran desert. An entire ecosystem under a glass dome? Visit our campus, just once, and you’ll quickly understand why The University of Arizona is a university unlike any other.

    University of Arizona Landscape Evolution Observatory at Biosphere 2.

Compose new post
Next post/Next comment
Previous post/Previous comment
Show/Hide comments
Go to top
Go to login
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
%d bloggers like this: