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  • richardmitnick 9:06 am on November 22, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Elizabeth Kolbert sees a world depleted and possibly defeated by climate change", , Climate Change, ,   

    From Harvard Gazette (US) : “Elizabeth Kolbert sees a world depleted and possibly defeated by climate change” 

    From Harvard Gazette (US)


    Harvard University (US)

    November 19, 2021
    Clea Simon

    New Yorker staff writer, a Pulitzer Prize winner for Sixth Extinction, laments era of inaction in conversation with Chan School researcher. Credit: Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer.

    If human activity is killing the planet, can humans engineer a solution to save it? That was the question that ran through The Climate of Attention, a Harvard discussion with Elizabeth Kolbert, a New Yorker staff writer and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, on Nov. 15. It is also the theme of Kolbert’s latest book, Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future.

    The Divinity School event, hosted by writer in residence Terry Tempest Williams, was part of the series Weather Reports — The Climate of Now, a partnership with the Center of the Study of World Religions, Religion and Public Life, and the Planetary Health Alliance. It also featured Samuel Myers, director of the Planetary Health Alliance and principal research scientist at the T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

    Williams began the conversation by citing the impact of rising sea levels and asking, “How do we navigate these waters?”

    “Everyone is struggling,” Kolbert said, “even if the struggle is to push the information away.” Her focus, she said, is on communicating the truth of what she sees on her beat: climate change. “When I go around the world, I can see what’s missing. I can see all the invasive species that are right here in New England. I can watch all the ash trees dying, being done in by the ash borer.

    “One of the things that is shocking to me is the way we just trundle on,” said Kolbert, whose 2014 book The Sixth Extinction was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. “Each loss doesn’t get marked, and I see my role to a great extent as bearing witness.”

    Williams and Kolbert discussed the case of the Devil’s Hole pupfish, chronicled in Under a White Sky. Possibly “the rarest fish in the world,” according to Kolbert, the 1½-inch-long, iridescent blue fish lives only in a thermal heated pool in the Mojave Desert. That pool is fed by an ancient aquifer that began to be noticeably depleted by human use in the 1960s. Although the Supreme Court sided with conservationists, the pool and the pupfish have not recovered and attempts to breed the animals in aquariums have failed. In the latest response, conservationists have built a replica of Devil’s Hole, down to the shape of the rocks, as a “refuge tank” environment. “People started to do all this crazy stuff to get the fish to reproduce,” said Kolbert. The results remain uncertain.

    Such interventions are now being considered on a global scale, including attempts at geoengineering or solar radiation management to counter global warming. As Kolbert noted, when volcanic eruptions darken the sky, temperatures cool. “The idea is we could mimic volcanos and counteract some of the warming,” she said. However, the initial experiments to test equipment have been met with protests, and Kolbert is not sold on the idea of an engineered solution. “I put geoengineering in this long line of interventions that had very mixed effects.”

    Part of the problem, Kolbert said, is that there is a significant time lag in climate change. “We’re just feeling what was emitted 20 to 30 years ago,” she said. “Any intelligent coastal city has to be thinking about how are we going to protect ourselves against what we know is baked in at this point.”

    When Myers joined the conversation, he likened humanity to “a monkey on a spaceship.” For much of our history, he said, we were simply passengers, “hurtling around.” Over time, however, we “made our way up to the cockpit and started flipping levers and turning dials.” These actions have disrupted the spaceship’s flight. “We have a very limited amount of time to learn to fly this rocket ship before it crashes,” he said.

    Kolbert was skeptical. “Do we have the knowledge to do this?” she asked. “Our record is not good.”

    “If we have any hope of navigating this moment, it’s a political moment — what we need is not more science, but the emotional and spiritual,” said Myers.

    Winding up the discussion, Williams asked both participants about the future, and what they tell their own children. Kolbert, whose oldest son is studying climate science at Harvard, said that there’s nothing she can tell him that he doesn’t know. “I do feel there’s a passing off to the next generation,” she added. “The thrill of discovery and the pain of discovery.”

    Myers, whose daughters “are just getting old enough to grasp” the crisis, describes a world of possibility. “I say to them what I say to students, which is that this is the most interesting time to be a human in the history of our species. There’s no set of skills that isn’t relevant, and you have the capacity to make a contribution that almost no one has.”

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Harvard University campus

    Harvard University (US) is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States, established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was named after the College’s first benefactor, the young minister John Harvard of Charlestown, who upon his death in 1638 left his library and half his estate to the institution. A statue of John Harvard stands today in front of University Hall in Harvard Yard, and is perhaps the University’s bestknown landmark.

    Harvard University (US) has 12 degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The University has grown from nine students with a single master to an enrollment of more than 20,000 degree candidates including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. There are more than 360,000 living alumni in the U.S. and over 190 other countries.

    The Massachusetts colonial legislature, the General Court, authorized Harvard University (US)’s founding. In its early years, Harvard College primarily trained Congregational and Unitarian clergy, although it has never been formally affiliated with any denomination. Its curriculum and student body were gradually secularized during the 18th century, and by the 19th century, Harvard University (US) had emerged as the central cultural establishment among the Boston elite. Following the American Civil War, President Charles William Eliot’s long tenure (1869–1909) transformed the college and affiliated professional schools into a modern research university; Harvard became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900. James B. Conant led the university through the Great Depression and World War II; he liberalized admissions after the war.

    The university is composed of ten academic faculties plus the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Arts and Sciences offers study in a wide range of academic disciplines for undergraduates and for graduates, while the other faculties offer only graduate degrees, mostly professional. Harvard has three main campuses: the 209-acre (85 ha) Cambridge campus centered on Harvard Yard; an adjoining campus immediately across the Charles River in the Allston neighborhood of Boston; and the medical campus in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area. Harvard University (US)’s endowment is valued at $41.9 billion, making it the largest of any academic institution. Endowment income helps enable the undergraduate college to admit students regardless of financial need and provide generous financial aid with no loans The Harvard Library is the world’s largest academic library system, comprising 79 individual libraries holding about 20.4 million items.

    Harvard University (US) has more alumni, faculty, and researchers who have won Nobel Prizes (161) and Fields Medals (18) than any other university in the world and more alumni who have been members of the U.S. Congress, MacArthur Fellows, Rhodes Scholars (375), and Marshall Scholars (255) than any other university in the United States. Its alumni also include eight U.S. presidents and 188 living billionaires, the most of any university. Fourteen Turing Award laureates have been Harvard affiliates. Students and alumni have also won 10 Academy Awards, 48 Pulitzer Prizes, and 108 Olympic medals (46 gold), and they have founded many notable companies.


    Harvard University (US) was established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1638, it acquired British North America’s first known printing press. In 1639, it was named Harvard College after deceased clergyman John Harvard, an alumnus of the University of Cambridge(UK) who had left the school £779 and his library of some 400 volumes. The charter creating the Harvard Corporation was granted in 1650.

    A 1643 publication gave the school’s purpose as “to advance learning and perpetuate it to posterity, dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches when our present ministers shall lie in the dust.” It trained many Puritan ministers in its early years and offered a classic curriculum based on the English university model—many leaders in the colony had attended the University of Cambridge—but conformed to the tenets of Puritanism. Harvard University (US) has never affiliated with any particular denomination, though many of its earliest graduates went on to become clergymen in Congregational and Unitarian churches.

    Increase Mather served as president from 1681 to 1701. In 1708, John Leverett became the first president who was not also a clergyman, marking a turning of the college away from Puritanism and toward intellectual independence.

    19th century

    In the 19th century, Enlightenment ideas of reason and free will were widespread among Congregational ministers, putting those ministers and their congregations in tension with more traditionalist, Calvinist parties. When Hollis Professor of Divinity David Tappan died in 1803 and President Joseph Willard died a year later, a struggle broke out over their replacements. Henry Ware was elected to the Hollis chair in 1805, and the liberal Samuel Webber was appointed to the presidency two years later, signaling the shift from the dominance of traditional ideas at Harvard to the dominance of liberal, Arminian ideas.

    Charles William Eliot, president 1869–1909, eliminated the favored position of Christianity from the curriculum while opening it to student self-direction. Though Eliot was the crucial figure in the secularization of American higher education, he was motivated not by a desire to secularize education but by Transcendentalist Unitarian convictions influenced by William Ellery Channing and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

    20th century

    In the 20th century, Harvard University (US)’s reputation grew as a burgeoning endowment and prominent professors expanded the university’s scope. Rapid enrollment growth continued as new graduate schools were begun and the undergraduate college expanded. Radcliffe College, established in 1879 as the female counterpart of Harvard College, became one of the most prominent schools for women in the United States. Harvard University (US) became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900.

    The student body in the early decades of the century was predominantly “old-stock, high-status Protestants, especially Episcopalians, Congregationalists, and Presbyterians.” A 1923 proposal by President A. Lawrence Lowell that Jews be limited to 15% of undergraduates was rejected, but Lowell did ban blacks from freshman dormitories.

    President James B. Conant reinvigorated creative scholarship to guarantee Harvard University (US)’s preeminence among research institutions. He saw higher education as a vehicle of opportunity for the talented rather than an entitlement for the wealthy, so Conant devised programs to identify, recruit, and support talented youth. In 1943, he asked the faculty to make a definitive statement about what general education ought to be, at the secondary as well as at the college level. The resulting Report, published in 1945, was one of the most influential manifestos in 20th century American education.

    Between 1945 and 1960, admissions were opened up to bring in a more diverse group of students. No longer drawing mostly from select New England prep schools, the undergraduate college became accessible to striving middle class students from public schools; many more Jews and Catholics were admitted, but few blacks, Hispanics, or Asians. Throughout the rest of the 20th century, Harvard became more diverse.

    Harvard University (US)’s graduate schools began admitting women in small numbers in the late 19th century. During World War II, students at Radcliffe College (which since 1879 had been paying Harvard University (US) professors to repeat their lectures for women) began attending Harvard University (US) classes alongside men. Women were first admitted to the medical school in 1945. Since 1971, Harvard University (US) has controlled essentially all aspects of undergraduate admission, instruction, and housing for Radcliffe women. In 1999, Radcliffe was formally merged into Harvard University (US).

    21st century

    Drew Gilpin Faust, previously the dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, became Harvard University (US)’s first woman president on July 1, 2007. She was succeeded by Lawrence Bacow on July 1, 2018.

  • richardmitnick 1:10 pm on November 20, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "URI researchers- Different kinds of marine phytoplankton respond differently to warming ocean temperatures", , , Climate Change, , , Phytoplankton are the foundation of most food webs in the ocean., The University of Rhode Island (US)   

    From The University of Rhode Island (US): “URI researchers- Different kinds of marine phytoplankton respond differently to warming ocean temperatures” 

    From The University of Rhode Island (US)

    November 17, 2021
    Todd McLeish

    Marine phytoplankton. Photo: Stephanie Anderson.

    Tiny marine plants called phytoplankton are the foundation of most food webs in the ocean, and their productivity drives commercial fisheries, carbon sequestration, and healthy marine ecosystems. But little is known about how they will respond to increasing ocean temperatures resulting from the changing climate. Most climate models assume they will all respond in a similar way.

    But a team of researchers at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography, led by former doctoral student Stephanie Anderson, has concluded that different types of phytoplankton will react differently. An examination of how four key groups of phytoplankton will respond to ocean temperatures forecast to occur between 2080 and 2100 suggests that their growth rates and distribution patterns will likely be dissimilar, resulting in significant implications for the future composition of marine communities around the globe.

    “Phytoplankton are some of the most diverse organisms on Earth, and they fix roughly as much carbon as all the land plants in the world combined,” said Anderson, now a postdoctoral researcher at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US). “Every other breath you take is generated by phytoplankton. And which ones are present affects which fish can be supported in a given region.”

    Anderson, URI Oceanography Professor Tatiana Rynearson and colleagues from MIT, The Scripps Institution of Oceanography (US) at University of California- San Diego(US) and Old Dominion University (US) published the results of their research in the Nov. 5 issue of the journal Nature Communications.

    “This study represents a key contribution to the understanding of how phytoplankton respond to ocean warming,” said Rynearson. “All climate change forecasts of marine ecosystems include a term that reflects how we think phytoplankton growth responds to temperature. In this study we’ve generated new, more accurate values for the temperature-growth response that better reflect the diversity of phytoplankton in the ocean. These new values can be used in future climate change forecasts, helping them to become more accurate. “

    The researchers compiled temperature-related growth measurements from more than 80 existing research studies on four types of phytoplankton – diatoms, which thrive in high-nutrient regions; cyanobacteria, which dominate in the open ocean where nutrients are low; coccolithophores, which are especially important in the uptake of carbon; and dinoflagellates, which migrate vertically in the water column. They also reviewed the heat tolerance for each group and conducted a simulation of projected temperatures to determine how phytoplankton distribution and growth rates would change in different parts of the world.

    They found that each group has a different tolerance for warming.

    “The coccolithophores will probably face the greatest proportional growth decreases near the equator, which could potentially alter community composition there,” Anderson said. “The cyanobacteria, on the other hand, are expected to face the greatest proportional growth increases at mid-latitudes, and they might expand their range poleward.”

    “We were surprised that our simulations predicted the greatest range shift for the cyanobacteria in the Gulf of Alaska and northeast Pacific Ocean, regions that support rich and abundant fisheries,” Rynearson added. “Importantly, cyanobacteria are not known to be very good fish food.”

    The researchers said that all four phytoplankton groups are expected to increase their growth rates in cooler regions, but the degree of increase varies by group.

    “With all the groups, we expect their growth rates to decrease closer to the equator,” Anderson said. “The equator is already the warmest region, so increasing temperatures there might push them to their limits. The temperatures there will exceed the levels they’re comfortable at, which will hinder their growth.”

    Most species can tolerate temperatures greater than those they typically face, the researchers said, but the margin between what they typically face and the level at which they cannot survive decreases the closer they get to the equator.

    “There’s a lot of capacity to handle warming towards the poles, but that capacity drops at the equator,” Anderson said.

    The research team also found that the dinoflagellates had the smallest change in growth rate in response to increasing temperature of all of the groups examined, and they tolerated the widest range of temperatures.

    “Their metabolic rates are not as likely to be affected by temperature changes as the other groups,” said Anderson. “We hypothesize that it could be due to the fact that they are vertical migrants. Their ability to swim up and down exposes them to more temperatures, potentially enabling them to handle more temperature change.”

    The implications of these results are significant. At the equator, where phytoplankton growth rates are projected to decrease as temperatures increase, the reduced biomass of phytoplankton may support fewer fish and other marine organisms.

    “If you’re a fish and you’re dependent on one type of food and that’s no longer present, you might have to move with your prey to survive,” Anderson said. “This could lead to shifts in food webs regionally.”

    At higher latitudes where growth rates are predicted to increase, the higher biomass of phytoplankton may be able to support a greater number of fish, providing a boost to commercial fisheries.

    The study did not consider other factors that might affect phytoplankton growth rates, like nutrient or light availability, so Anderson said the implications of the study are somewhat speculative. She is now incorporating those additional factors into a new model to see how the results may change.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Rhode Island (US) is a diverse and dynamic community whose members are connected by a common quest for knowledge.

    As a major research university defined by innovation and big thinking, URI offers its undergraduate, graduate, and professional students distinctive educational opportunities designed to meet the global challenges of today’s world and the rapidly evolving needs of tomorrow. That’s why we’re here.

    The University of Rhode Island, commonly referred to as URI, is the flagship public research as well as the land grant and sea grant university for the state of Rhode Island. Its main campus is located in the village of Kingston in southern Rhode Island. Additionally, smaller campuses include the Feinstein Campus in Providence, the Rhode Island Nursing Education Center in Providence, the Narragansett Bay Campus in Narragansett, and the W. Alton Jones Campus in West Greenwich.

    The university offers bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctoral degrees in 80 undergraduate and 49 graduate areas of study through eight academic colleges. These colleges include Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Education and Professional Studies, Engineering, Health Sciences, Environment and Life Sciences, Nursing and Pharmacy. Another college, University College for Academic Success, serves primarily as an advising college for all incoming undergraduates and follows them through their first two years of enrollment at URI.

    The University enrolled about 13,600 undergraduate and 3,000 graduate students in Fall 2015. U.S. News & World Report classifies URI as a tier 1 national university, ranking it tied for 161st in the U.S.

  • richardmitnick 9:02 am on November 16, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "ESA’s Biomass spacecraft on track to target forests", , , Climate Change, , , ,   

    From The European Space Agency [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU) : “ESA’s Biomass spacecraft on track to target forests” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    European Space Agency – United Space in Europe (EU)

    From The European Space Agency [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU)

    ESA Biomass mission depiction


    With more than 100 global leaders at COP26 having pledged to halt and reverse deforestation and land degradation by the end of the decade to help address the climate crisis, the health of the world’s forests is high on the political agenda. ESA’s Biomass mission will soon play a key role in delivering novel information about the state of our forests, how they are changing over time, and advance our knowledge of the carbon cycle. With launch scheduled for 2023, the mission is now in its last phases of development, having recently passed several key milestones.

    The COP26 pledge on deforestation and degradation from over 100 leaders representing more than 85% of the world’s forests is clearly good news in the battle to redress the balance between the amount of carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere through human activity and the amount absorbed by Earth’s carbon sinks. Forests, are, of course an important carbon sink.

    Absorbing gigatonnes of atmospheric carbon dioxide a year, Earth’s forests play a crucial role in the carbon cycle and climate system.

    However, forest degradation and deforestation, particularly in tropical regions, are causing much of this otherwise stored carbon to be released back into the atmosphere, exacerbating climate change. In fact, recent research [Nature], shows that the Amazon rainforest is now actually releasing more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than it absorbs.

    Even with the new pledge in place, quantifying the global cycle is essential to understanding the how forests are changing and the subsequent implications for our climate.

    ESA’s forest mission, Biomass, will use a novel measuring technique to deliver completely new information on forest height and above-ground forest biomass from space. Forest biomass not only includes the tree trunk, but also the bark, branches and leaves.


    The Paris Agreement adopted a target for global warming not to exceed 1.5°C. This sets a limit on the additional carbon we can add to the atmosphere – the carbon budget. Only around 17% of the carbon budget is now left. That is about 10 years at current emission rates.

    But there is sufficient uncertainty (indicated by the +- signs in the graphic on the right) across all the components of the carbon cycle that there is a small probability we have no remaining carbon budget. This means that even if emissions were to go to zero today, warming would still exceed 1.5°C.

    Fundamental to understanding the global carbon cycle is accurate knowledge of how much carbon is stored in the atmosphere, ocean and terrestrial biosphere – the carbon stocks and the rate of flow, or fluxes, between these stocks.

    With forest biomass representing a proxy for stored carbon, ESA’s Biomass mission will measure forest biomass, height and disturbance to address gaps in our knowledge of the carbon cycle.© ESA (data source: Global Carbon Project).

    Measurements of forest biomass can be used as a proxy for stored carbon – but this is poorly quantified in most parts of the world. Data from the Biomass mission will reduce the major uncertainties in calculations of carbon stocks and fluxes on land, including carbon fluxes associated with land-use change, forest degradation and forest regrowth.

    This will lead to a better understanding of the state of Earth’s forests, how they are changing over time, and advance our knowledge of the carbon cycle.

    However, mapping forest biomass from space is a huge technical challenge. Forests are complex structures – and different tree species and dense canopies make them difficult to measure.

    Rising to the challenge, ESA’s Biomass satellite will use a specific type of radar instrument that can see through clouds, which typically shroud tropical forest, and penetrates the canopy layer, allowing the biomass of trees to be estimated.

    It will be the first satellite to carry a fully polarimetric P-band synthetic aperture radar for interferometric imaging. Thanks to the long wavelength of P-band, around 70 cm, the radar signal can slice through the whole forest layer.

    Scheduled for liftoff in 2023, the development of the mission is well on the way and completion is in sight.

    ESA’s Biomass Project Manager, Michael Fehringer, said, “The build of the satellite involves more than 50 industrial teams all over Europe and one major supplier in the US. The satellite platform, everything except the radar instrument, is currently being assembled at Airbus in Stevenage in the UK. Most of the avionic units such as the onboard computer, the power control unit and the reaction wheels to control the satellite’s motion have already been mounted onto the structure. And, the first switch-on of the satellite has taken place already.

    “At L3Harris Technologies in Florida, in the US, the satellite’s reflector, which measures a whopping 12 metres across, has gone through its full test campaign, including a very successful final deployment. The reflector is now ready to be shipped to Europe.

    “At Airbus in Friedrichshafen in Germany, the engineering model of the satellite’s synthetic aperture radar has also been completely tested, demonstrating that we have a fully functioning instrument. All this means that it will be ready to be installed onto the satellite next year so that we will be ready for final testing and then liftoff in 2023.”

    Biomass – Weighing Earth’s forests from space.
    Around 30% of Earth’s land surface is covered by forest. Absorbing around 8 Gigatonnes a year of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, forests play a crucial role in the carbon cycle and climate system. ESA’s Biomass mission will measure forest biomass and will lead to a better understanding of the state of Earth’s forests, how they are changing over time, and advance our knowledge of the carbon cycle. Credit: The University of Sheffield (UK)/NCEO/Humanstudio.

    ESA’s Biomass Mission Scientist, Bjorn Rommen, added, “Forests have a major role to play in both the carbon problem and the carbon solution. The world’s forests are vast and difficult to access providing a very limited coverage for ground measurements. For instance, the Amazon basin is over six million square kilometres.

    “Measurements from ESA’s Biomass mission will result in improved knowledge of the overall carbon stored in forests whilst at the same time improve estimates of carbon emissions from land-use change and forest degradation, as well as addressing land carbon uptake from forest growth.”

    In addition to developing the Biomass mission, ESA is also working with the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) – a partnership of national governments and participating organisations – to collect tree-by-tree reference data and build a global database that can be used for validation.

    ESA’s Biomass Mission Manager, Klaus Scipal, explains, “GEO-TREES has just been kicked off as a GEO community activity. Its aim is to establish a sustainable funding mechanism to support ecologists and experts working in the forest to take the tree-by-tree measurements that are needed to validate our products and to build trust in them.

    “Our goal is to establish 300 forest biomass reference plots distributed globally, following the measurement protocol and the recommendations from the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites to validate above-ground biomass.”

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency [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.

    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(US), 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
    École des hautes études commerciales de Paris (HEC Paris)
    Université de recherche Paris Sciences et Lettres
    University of Central Lancashire

    Membership and contribution to ESA

    By 2015, ESA was an intergovernmental organisation 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 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 organisations

    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(US)

    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(US)/European Space Agency [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU)/ASI Italian Space Agency [Agenzia Spaziale Italiana](IT) Cassini Spacecraft.

    European Space Agency [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU) Integral spacecraft

    European Space Agency [Agence spatiale européenne](EU)/National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US) SOHO satellite. Launched in 1995.

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

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US)/European Space Agency [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(USA)/European Space Agency [Agence spatiale européenne] 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 [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU)/National Aeronautics and Space Administration (US) 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(CN) has sought international partnerships. ESA is, beside the Russian Space Agency, 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 [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.
    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 1:39 pm on November 15, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , "Sensors show tropical heat stress conditions approaching upper limits of human survivability", 80% of the sensors recorded temperatures during the rainy season that were higher than established health thresholds., , Climate Change, , , , The researchers deployed heat sensors in and around 100 houses in Makassar in Indonesia.   

    From Monash University (AU) via phys.org : “Sensors show tropical heat stress conditions approaching upper limits of human survivability” 

    Monash Univrsity bloc

    From Monash University (AU)



    November 15, 2021
    Bob Yirka

    Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain.

    A team of researchers affiliated with Monash University and one with Hasanuddin University [Universitas Hasanuddin](ID) has found that some people living in tropical regions are already living under conditions of heat stress that are approaching the upper limits of human survivability.

    In this new effort, the researchers noted that climate models used to predict heat conditions around the world are generally based on data from weather stations in relatively populated areas. Such data, they note, excludes conditions for people living in what they describe as informal settlements. To learn more about conditions for such groups living in areas that are expected to be the most strongly impacted by global warming, the researchers deployed heat sensors in and around 100 houses in Makassar, Indonesia, a settlement in a tropical part of the country. The researchers suggest that conditions in Makassar are likely typical for many such settlements in the tropics—areas that support approximately 370 million people in East and Southeast Asia alone.

    The researchers found that 80% of the sensors recorded temperatures during the rainy season that were higher than established health thresholds. At such temperatures and humidity levels, conditions are said to have adverse health impacts on people living there. They also found that in a few instances, the sensors recorded temperatures that are believed to represent the upper limit of human survivability. They noted that their findings are alarming for several reasons. The first is that millions of people living in many parts of the world are already living under heat conditions that are harmful to their health. Another is the fact that many such people engage in physical labor for work. Doing so in extreme heat, they note, can be fatal. Perhaps most alarming is the near certainty that conditions in such places are going to get worse as the planet continues to warm. In most such places, they point out, there are no relocation plans, and little chance that heat-mitigating technology such as air-conditioning will be installed—suggesting that a disaster of massive proportions is on the way.

    Science paper:

    See the full article here .


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    Monash U campus

    Monash University (AU) is an Australian public research university based in Melbourne, Australia. Founded in 1958, it is the second oldest university in the State of Victoria. Monash is a member of Australia’s Group of Eight and the ASAIHL, and is the only Australian member of the influential M8 Alliance of Academic Health Centers, Universities and National Academies. Monash is one of two Australian universities to be ranked in the The École des Mines de Paris (Mines ParisTech) ranking on the basis of the number of alumni listed among CEOs in the 500 largest worldwide companies. Monash is in the top 20% in teaching, top 10% in international outlook, top 20% in industry income and top 10% in research in the world in 2016.

    Monash enrolls approximately 47,000 undergraduate and 20,000 graduate students, It also has more applicants than any university in the state of Victoria.

    Monash is home to major research facilities, including the Australian Synchrotron, the Monash Science Technology Research and Innovation Precinct (STRIP), the Australian Stem Cell Centre, 100 research centres and 17 co-operative research centres. In 2011, its total revenue was over $2.1 billion, with external research income around $282 million.

    The university has a number of centres, five of which are in Victoria (Clayton, Caulfield, Berwick, Peninsula, and Parkville), one in Malaysia. Monash also has a research and teaching centre in Prato, Italy, a graduate research school in Mumbai, India and a graduate school in Jiangsu Province, China. Since December 2011, Monash has had a global alliance with the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom. Monash University courses are also delivered at other locations, including South Africa.

    The Clayton campus contains the Robert Blackwood Hall, named after the university’s founding Chancellor Sir Robert Blackwood and designed by Sir Roy Grounds.

    In 2014, the University ceded its Gippsland campus to Federation University. On 7 March 2016, Monash announced that it would be closing the Berwick campus by 2018.

  • richardmitnick 2:27 pm on November 12, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "ESO adopts new measures to improve its environmental sustainability", , Climate Change,   

    From European Southern Observatory (EU) (CL) : “ESO adopts new measures to improve its environmental sustainability” 

    ESO 50 Large

    From European Southern Observatory (EU) (CL)

    12 November 2021

    Bárbara Ferreira
    ESO Media Manager
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Tel: +49 89 3200 6670
    Email: press@eso.org

    The solar power plant at ESO’s La Silla Observatory.

    As one of the world’s leading astronomy organisations, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) is fully committed to fighting climate change by reducing the environmental impact of its activities. The ESO Directors Team has now approved a new set of measures to gradually decrease the organisation’s carbon footprint over the coming years. The measures are inspired by the United Nations guidelines and build upon the actions ESO had already adopted in the past.

    ESO carries out the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities, providing astronomers worldwide with some of the best tools for their research and discoveries. This work leads to invaluable scientific and technological progress and other societal benefits, but also unavoidably places demands on resources, energy and the environment. In a carbon audit conducted in 2019, ESO’s 2018 footprint budget was estimated to be around 28 000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year (tCO2e/yr) [1], with energy consumption, purchases (including maintenance and equipment), and transporting of people and goods representing the largest sources of emissions.

    In a key step towards sustainability, ESO has now committed to new measures addressing a range of environmental issues, such as saving energy and water, reducing waste and cutting greenhouse gas emissions. These include:

    Implementing a large 9 MW solar array serving the future Integrated Paranal Observatory in Chile, which will host the upcoming ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope (ELT, on the nearby Cerro Armazones [below]) and the ESO-operated Čerenkov Telescope Array Observatory South [example below], in addition to the already existing facilities. This could save up to 1700tCO2e/yr.

    Wherever operationally feasible, preferring sea freight over air freight for shipments of materials from Europe to Chile. This could save up to 1400 tCO2e/yr.

    Reducing business travels, especially flights, opting for virtual meetings over physical meetings whenever possible, for a potential saving of up to 800 tCO2e/yr.

    Optimising the electricity consumption at ESO’s Headquarters in Garching, Germany by regularly investigating and addressing sources of energy consumption, for a carbon footprint reduction up to 250 tCO2e/yr.

    Finalising the ongoing transition to renewable energy of ESO’s offices in Vitacura, Chile. The corresponding saving may reach up to 200 tCO2e/yr when completed in four years.

    Extending the lifetime of IT equipment and exploring ways to repair broken devices, only resorting to new purchases where necessary. These actions may save up to two tCO2e/yr.

    Move progressively towards taking sustainability into account during the design phase of new projects and procurement, working with contractors who share ESO’s concerns on sustainability and acting together to minimise CO2 emissions.

    Continuing to increase the share of electric vehicles at ESO sites.

    Monitoring ESO’s emission sources on a periodic basis in the coming years and producing regularly updated roadmaps for the reduction of the organisation’s carbon footprint.

    Identifying the specific activities that result in the highest emissions is a complex process in an organisation like ESO that works with multiple companies and institutes. The measures now announced focus on the areas ESO has identified thus far where it is possible to achieve emission reductions in the immediate future. In addition, ESO is carrying out more analysis and has begun to elaborate a detailed action plan to systematically address environmental sustainability in the long term.

    “ESO’s current and planned environmental sustainability actions represent a starting point. ESO is committed to regularly analysing its sources of emissions and to continue to take steps to reduce its carbon footprint,” says Claudia Burger, ESO’s Director of Administration and Chair of ESO’s Environment Committee.

    These measures are in line with sustainability actions taken by ESO Member States, which have committed to reducing carbon emissions under the Paris Climate Agreement. Developed by ESO’s Environment Committee, the measures follow the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — the United Nations’ body responsible for deepening our understanding of climate change, how it affects our planet and what emission reductions are needed to limit it.

    The new measures build on ESO’s previous and ongoing environmental sustainability actions. These include the use of geothermal heating as a sustainable energy source at ESO’s Headquarters in Garching, and rainwater use for watering the park at ESO’s offices in Vitacura. In addition, at ESO’s observing sites in Chile, significant steps towards economic and environmental sustainability were taken with the connection of ESO’s Paranal Observatory to the Chilean national grid in 2017. Grid electricity is produced with a lower percentage of fossil primary energy, reducing the observatory’s carbon footprint. Further sustainability improvements have been made at ESO’s La Silla Observatory [below], with the installation of a 1.7 MW solar farm, which covers an area of over 100 000 square metres providing clean energy to the site, and saving more than 400 tCO2e/yr.

    More generally, ESO is also looking into ways to address sustainability in a broader sense, in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, by also promoting social and economic sustainability. “We are proud of taking the first steps in charting a more sustainable future,” says ESO Director General Xavier Barcons. “Addressing our environmental impact is a key aspect of this, but we are also working on devising the long-term financial sustainability of our research infrastructures, while ensuring our activities remain harmonised with and supportive of the social environment in our member states and partners.”

    [1] CO2 equivalent is a metric converting a given quantity of a greenhouse gas to the CO2 amount with the same global-warming potential. ESO’s 2018 carbon footprint was estimated through an external audit from the consulting firm Carbone 4. It does not include activities related with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), in which ESO is partner, nor construction activities related to ESO’s upcoming Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), which is not yet in operation.

    See the full article here .


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    ESO Bloc Icon

    European Southern Observatory (EU) (CL) is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world’s most productive ground-based astronomical observatory by far. It is supported by 16 countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, along with the host state of Chile. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world’s most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and two survey telescopes. VISTA works in the infrared and is the world’s largest survey telescope and the VLT Survey Telescope is the largest telescope designed to exclusively survey the skies in visible light. ESO is a major partner in ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. And on Cerro Armazones, close to Paranal, ESO is building the 39-metre EEuropean Extremely Large Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.

    European Southern Observatory(EU)La Silla Observatory 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres.

    ESO New Technology Telescope at Cerro La Silla , Chile, at an altitude of 2400 metres.

    European Southern Observatory(EU) , Very Large Telescope at Cerro Paranal in the Atacama Desert •ANTU (UT1; The Sun ) •KUEYEN (UT2; The Moon ) •MELIPAL (UT3; The Southern Cross ), and •YEPUN (UT4; Venus – as evening star). Elevation 2,635 m (8,645 ft) from above Credit J.L. Dauvergne & G. Hüdepohl atacama photo.

    Glistening against the awesome backdrop of the night sky aboveESO’s Paranal Observatory, four laser beams project out into the darkness from Unit Telescope 4 UT4 of the VLT, a major asset of the Adaptive Optics system.

    European Southern Observatory [Observatoire européen austral][Europäische Südsternwarte] (EU)/National Radio Astronomy Observatory(US)/National Astronomical Observatory of Japan(JP) ALMA Array in Chile in the Atacama at Chajnantor plateau, at 5,000 metres.

    European Southern Observatory(EU) ELT 39 meter telescope to be on top of Cerro Armazones in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. located at the summit of the mountain at an altitude of 3,060 metres (10,040 ft).

    European Southern Observatory(EU) MPG Institute for Radio Astronomy [MPG Institut für Radioastronomie](DE) ESO’s Atacama Pathfinder Experiment(CL) high on the Chajnantor plateau in Chile’s Atacama region, at an altitude of over 4,800 m (15,700 ft).

    A novel gamma ray telescope under construction on Mount Hopkins, Arizona. A large project known as the Čerenkov Telescope Array composed of hundreds of similar telescopes to be situated in the Canary Islands and Chile at ESO Cerro Paranal site. The telescope on Mount Hopkins will be fitted with a prototype high-speed camera, assembled at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and capable of taking pictures at a billion frames per second. Credit: Vladimir Vassiliev.

  • richardmitnick 10:13 am on November 6, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Finding Bright Spots in the Global Coral Reef Catastrophe", , Climate Change, , , , ,   

    From Yale University (US) : “Finding Bright Spots in the Global Coral Reef Catastrophe” 

    From Yale University (US)


    October 21, 2021
    Nicola Jones

    A diver examines bleached coral in French Polynesia in 2019. Credit: Alexis Rosenfeld / Getty Images.

    The first-ever report on the world’s coral reefs presents a grim picture, as losses mount due to global warming. But there are signs of hope — some regions are having coral growth, and researchers found that corals can recover if given a decade of reprieve from hot water.

    When ecological genomicist Christian Voolstra started work on corals in Saudi Arabia in 2009, one of the biggest bonuses to his job was scuba diving on the gorgeous reefs. Things have changed. “I was just back in September and I was shocked,” says Voolstra, now at The University of Konstanz [Universität Konstanz](DE). “There’s a lot of rubble. The fish are missing. The colors are missing.”

    It’s a sad but now familiar story. Earlier this month, the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network released the first-ever report collating global statistics on corals, documenting the status of reefs across 12,000 sites in 73 countries over 40 years. Overall, they report, the world has lost 14 percent of its corals from 2009 to 2018 — that’s about 11,700 square kilometers of coral wiped out.

    “If this had happened to the Amazon, if overnight it had turned white or black, it would be in the news everywhere,” says Voolstra. “Because it’s underwater, no one notices.”

    Corals are facing tough times from global warming: Prolonged marine heat waves, which are on the rise, cause corals to expel their symbiotic algae (called zooxanthellae), leaving the bleached corals weak and vulnerable. Local pollution continues to be a problem for corals, but global warming is emerging as the predominant threat. In 2018, the International Panel on Climate Change reported that 1.5 degrees Celsius of global warming would cause global coral reefs to decline by 70-90 percent (warming currently stands at 1.2 degrees C). A 2-degree C warmer world would lose more than 99 percent of its corals.

    There are some hints of hope. The Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network report shows that corals can recover globally if given about a decade of reprieve from hot waters. Some spots — particularly the Coral Triangle in East Asia, which hosts nearly a third of global corals — have bucked the trend and seen coral growth. There are hints that corals might be adapting to warmer conditions. And research is burgeoning on creative ways to improve coral restoration, from selectively breeding super corals to spreading probiotics on stressed reefs.

    “I’m hopeful,” says Voolstra. But it’s going to take a lot of quick action, he says, and even then we won’t be able to save all reefs. “That’s impossible. The point is you save some reefs so they can go through the dark ages of climate change.”

    From 1978, when the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network’s data collection began, hard coral on the world’s reefs held relatively steady for decades. That changed dramatically in 1998 with the first global mass bleaching event. Warm waters around the world caused in large part by a powerful El Niño wiped out about 8 percent of living coral globally, equivalent to a grand total of 6,500 square kilometers. “All the drama started in 1998,” says David Souter, coordinator of the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network and a researcher at the Australian Institute of Marine Science in Townsville. “Corals are actually pretty good at sustaining short, sharp temperature increases, but when it starts to last months, we see real issues.”

    Astonishingly, however, by 2010 global coral coverage was roughly back to pre-1998 levels. “That’s good news,” says Souter. “Even though reefs got knocked down, they got back up again.” When “old growth” corals are wiped out, the new ones that move in are often faster-growing, weedier species (just as with trees after a forest fire), says Souter. It’s great to have this growth, he says, but these opportunistic corals are often more vulnerable to disease, heat, and storms.

    These graphs detail the change in hard coral cover in 10 regions over the last 40 years. After a heatwave killed about 8 percent of living coral in 1998, affected regions made a recovery; now, as temperatures rise, reefs globally are in decline. Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network and Australian Institute of Marine Science.

    A global decline has largely been the trend since 2010, plunging corals back below 1998 levels. That’s due in large part to two more global bleaching events, in 2010 and 2015-2017, from which corals haven’t been given enough reprieve. There has been a tiny, 2 percent uptick in live coral since 2019, though it’s too soon to say if that might continue. “If you were a really optimistic person you might say that this occurred even while temperatures are high, so maybe we’re seeing adaptation,” says Souter.

    During the long, relatively stable and healthy period for corals in the 1990s and early 2000s, the average reef was about 30 percent live hard coral and 15 percent macroalgae like seaweeds and turf. That’s twice as much coral as algae. Since 2009, that ratio has slipped to about 1.5 as reef macroalgae has boomed by 20 percent. While seaweed also makes for a productive ecosystem, it’s not the same as the complex architecture made by reefs, and it supports different fish.

    Encouragingly, the so-called Coral Triangle of the East Asian Seas stands out as a bold exception. This region holds almost a third of the world’s coral reefs — and it anomalously hosts more live hard coral and less macroalgae today than in the early 1980s, despite rising water temperatures. That’s thought to be thanks to genetic diversity among the region’s 600 species of coral, which is allowing corals to adapt to warm waters. “Perhaps diversity has provided some protection,” says Souter, while a healthy population of herbivorous fish and urchins are keeping seaweeds down.

    The other three main global regions for coral — the Pacific, holding more than a quarter of the global total; Australia, with 16 percent; and the Caribbean, with 10 percent — all host less coral today than when measurements started. “The Caribbean is a really tragic and desperate case,” says Voolstra, with only 50 or so species of coral and a new disease wiping them out.

    It could all be worse, notes Souter. “Reefs are probably, on average, better off than I thought,” he says. “The fact that the reefs retain the ability to bounce back, that’s amazing.”

    In the face of punishing conditions, coral conservationists globally are working to protect corals from pollution and actively restore them. One recent study, led by Lisa Boström-Einarsson of James Cook University in Australia, trawled through the literature and found more than 360 coral restoration projects across 56 countries. Most are focused on transplanting bits of coral from a flourishing spot to a struggling one, or “gardening” baby corals in nurseries and planting them out. They also include innovative efforts like using electricity to prompt calcification on artificial reefs (an old but still-controversial idea), and using a diamond blade saw to slice tiny, fast-growing microfragments off slow-growing corals.

    Other researchers are piloting projects to spray coral larvae onto reefs that need it most — this should be faster and easier than hand-planting corals, but it’s unclear yet how many of the larvae survive. “If it works, it will produce much greater gains more rapidly,” says Souter.

    Ecologist Christian Voolstra (left) and a colleague collect fragments of coral for a rapid stress test to determine their resilience. Credit: Pete West.

    Boström-Einarsson and colleagues found an encouragingly high average survival rate of 66 percent for the restored corals in these 362 projects. But these happy numbers mask more sobering facts. Almost half of the projects were in just a handful of countries; most lasted less than 18 months; and the median size was a tiny 100 square meters. Worse, the coral gains were often temporary. In one case in Indonesia, a three-year project dramatically increased coral cover and fish — which were then decimated by a heat wave six months after the project ended.

    Such efforts are still worthwhile and raise awareness about corals, says Voolstra. But there are some techniques that could make them far more effective and far bigger in scale.

    One bold strategy is to selectively breed corals to create super-strains best adapted to a warmer world — but this work is still very preliminary. “Corals take longer to breed and raise up than cows, so we have been betting more on finding heat-resistant individuals that are already out there than on making new ones in the lab,” says Stephen Palumbi at Stanford University (US), a marine biologist who focuses on corals around the Pacific Island nation of Palau. Palumbi has developed a tank that runs small samples of coral through a heat test on site, and is now working to make it cheaper — in part, he says, by borrowing components from the home brewing industry. Voolstra, too, has developed a tool for on-site stress testing; he was this summer granted $4 million from the Paul Allen Foundation to take his effort global.

    Heat tolerance, though, isn’t the only thing that corals need. Selecting the ones that can survive the heat might also inadvertently select ones that are less resistant to disease, for example, or slower growing. “We need to understand this better,” says Voolstra.

    A different strategy is to tweak the organisms that live in and around corals and help them to grow, including the symbiotic zooxanthellae and bacteria. Getting corals to adopt heat-tolerant zooxanthellae is a great idea that could theoretically have a huge impact, says Voolstra, but it’s hard to do. The union is like an intimate marriage, and it’s difficult to shift. Changing corals’ bacteria, which tend to live on a mucous layer on the outside of the corals, is easier, and seems to boost overall coral health. “They bleach the same way but recover better,” says Voolstra. One recent study led by microbiologist Raquel Peixoto from King Abdulla University showed that lathering corals in probiotics could improve coral survival after a heat wave by 40 percent. “It’s still experimental and proof of concept,” says Peixoto, who is experimenting with robotic submarines that could drop slow-release probiotic pills onto reefs to release bacteria slowly over weeks.

    A further-flung option being toyed with in Australia is the idea of brightening clouds over a reef in an attempt to shield them from extreme heat. “It’s totally left field,” laughs Souter, but should work the same way as cloud seeding for agriculture: A sprayed mist of seawater encourages clouds to form and shields the ground from direct light. This year researchers trialed the idea; they haven’t yet published their results. If it works, scaling up would be a massive project: they anticipate they would need a thousand stations with hundreds of sprayers each to lower solar radiation by about 6.5 percent over the Great Barrier Reef during a heat wave. Questions remain about whether the effort would be worth the energy cost, and what the net effects would be on ecosystems throughout the region.

    Researchers grow corals on cinder blocks in a nursery in Ko Phi Phi, Thailand. Once reaching a certain size, the corals will be transplanted to a reef targeted for restoration. Credit: Anna Roik.

    A lot more work needs to be done on the real-world utility of these strategies, says Voolstra, to see what actually works. “Then you put truckloads of money into whatever really makes a difference,” he says. Different reefs will require different solutions, making all these strategies important says Peixoto. “It’s all hands on deck.:

    In the meantime, Voolstra supports the idea of investing heavily in sanctuaries: spots, like the Northern Red Sea, where corals are already adapted to handling hot waters but are threatened by other factors, like sewage, pollution, construction, and fish farms. Local efforts to tackle non-climate-related hazards for corals can be very effective. The Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System was taken off the list of World Heritage sites in danger in 2018, for example, after a push to protect that ecosystem and ban oil development.

    If protecting a handful of refugia from humans doesn’t seem like a big enough effort, last year researchers also launched a project to build an emergency “Noah’s Ark” for corals across global aquaria, keeping their genetic diversity alive in tanks on land.

    When the IPCC declared in 2018 that 99 percent of corals would be lost in a 2-degree C warmer world, says Voolstra, that was really shocking. The goal now is to whittle that 99 percent down to 90 percent or less, he says, so that reefs have at least a chance of bouncing back. “Whatever we do, it gets much worse before it gets better.”

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Yale University (US) 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) (US) and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to the National Science Foundation (US), 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 (US), 7 members of the National Academy of Engineering (US) and 49 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (US). 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 (US) 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 8:53 am on November 1, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Three ways we’re targeting net zero", 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (or COP26 for short), , , Climate Change, ,   

    From CSIROscope (AU): “Three ways we’re targeting net zero” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From CSIROscope (AU)


    CSIRO (AU)-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

    1 Nov, 2021
    Fiona Brown

    You’ve probably been hearing quite a bit about the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (or COP26 for short) lately. There has also been a lot of talk about net zero and emissions reductions targets.

    You might be wondering why you’re hearing about them again from your national science agency. Well, it’s because we’ve got the scoop on the science and technology that we’re taking to the conference. And we thought you might want you to know about it too.

    Copping a lot of COP lately?

    COP26 started overnight in Glasgow, United Kingdom (UK), and will run for the next two weeks. During this time some pretty complex negotiations between officials from nearly every country in the world will take place.

    A few years ago now, at COP21 in Paris, negotiations resulted in a legally binding international treaty on climate change. Almost all the world’s nations agreed to work together to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels. And so, The Paris Agreement was born.

    The COP26 organisers have been very vocal about their goal for this year’s negotiations. They want to secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach. Time will tell what they’re able to achieve.

    More than targets and treaties

    Alongside the negotiations, COP26 provides an opportunity for countries to showcase the actions they’re taking to tackle climate change.

    For the first time, Australia is hosting a pavilion at the conference, which will include a variety of displays and events. You can find out more about the pavilion, join events online (including two we’re leading), and read about the full array of Australia’s climate action at http://www.industry.gov.au/auscop26

    Take a virtual step inside the Glasgow Science Centre as we bring the science of COP26 to you.

    In today’s context, it’s probably pretty unlikely that many of us Aussies will be heading over to Glasgow. So instead, we thought we’d bring a bit (the science-y bit) of COP26 to you.

    First up, you can watch our online events, which are part of Australia’s COP26 program. Tune in to both events live on Tuesday 9 November. And if you can’t make it, they’ll be available as recordings until the end of November.

    Towards Net Zero event will explore how we are providing Australian regions and industries with the tools to achieve net zero emissions. And how we can realise the opportunities of a low carbon economy.
    Mission Innovation’s Clean Hydrogen Mission event will bring together a panel of leading national and international hydrogen industry experts. Together they will discuss international hydrogen research, development and demonstration priorities and directions.

    Secondly, here are three ways our science and technology innovations are helping pave the way to net zero. For more on what it actually means to reach net zero and the challenges in getting there, check out our net zero emissions explainer.

    How we’re helping reach net zero
    1. Tracking emissions and projecting our future climate

    To curb human-induced climate change, governments, industries and the community need comprehensive information about the climate system. That’s where we come in.

    Without certain knowledge, it can be hard to develop effective plans to reach net zero. Like knowing where emissions are coming from, where they are going, and whether they are increasing or decreasing.

    Enter the Global Carbon Project, to which we proudly contribute (in fact, the Project’s Executive Director is our very own Pep Canadell). The Project develops annual global budgets that provide a complete picture of the cycles (including natural and human drivers) of the main greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). These are the three greenhouse gases that contribute most to human-induced global warming.

    We’re also working with colleagues from Australia and around the globe to deliver enhanced climate models, such as ACCESS. Climate models like ACCESS underpin the future climate projections that help society understand and plan for the impacts of climate change. This includes the assessments produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

    2. Developing low emissions technologies

    No single technology will take us to net zero – there’s no silver bullet. Instead, it will take a combination of existing and emerging technologies. And to implement them across a range of sectors. We’re working with partners to develop low emissions technologies and explore their potential for uptake.


    One example of this is hydrogen. We made a major contribution to the development of the National Hydrogen Roadmap, which represented a major turning point in the development of Australia’s hydrogen industry. Now, we are supporting Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy through the Hydrogen Industry Mission. The Mission is helping build Australia’s clean hydrogen industry. Through our research, we’re aiming to drive down the cost of hydrogen to under $2 per kilogram. All in the hopes of delivering a secure and resilient energy system and supporting our transition to a low emissions future.


    Another example is our direct air capture (DAC) technologies. DAC is a process where CO­­­2 is captured from air using filters or adsorbents, reducing the amount of CO­­­2 in the atmosphere. The captured CO2 can be used in a range of different applications. All the way from making cement to carbonating beverages and helping farmers produce better yielding crops in greenhouses. We’ve developed some DAC materials that are cheap, robust, and easy to make. They are low in toxicity and highly efficient at capturing CO2. And, because they’re hydrophobic, they work just as well in humidity.


    The final – and somewhat surprising example – is livestock feed. Cattle feed may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of low emissions technologies. But, working with Meat & Livestock Australia and James Cook University (AU), that’s exactly what we’ve developed. About 15 per cent of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions come from livestock production. To combat this, scientists developed a cost-effective feed ingredient called FutureFeed. The technology is actually based on seaweed that grows in waters around Australia. FutureFeed has been shown to reduce methane emissions by more than 80 per cent when just a handful is added to cattle’s feed.

    3. Applying our science to reach net zero

    We have also set net zero emissions targets for our own operations that will help Australia navigate the path to net zero emissions. As part of our Sustainability Strategy, our plan is to bring together the best of our science expertise and technology to demonstrate net zero emissions by 2025 at our Newcastle Energy Centre, and by 2030 across all of our sites.

    Our aim as an organisation is to go beyond net zero by 2050. We hope to do this by taking into account the emissions through our supply and value chains. We are looking at how we can accelerate the transition to net zero through the application of cutting-edge technologies. Including those in hydrogen, next-generation batteries, predictive analytics and energy efficiency as well as through our resource use, property footprint, electrification of plant, equipment and vehicles and purchasing of renewable energy.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO (AU)-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation , is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

    CSIRO works with leading organisations around the world. From its headquarters in Canberra, CSIRO maintains more than 50 sites across Australia and in France, Chile and the United States, employing about 5,500 people.

    Federally funded scientific research began in Australia 104 years ago. The Advisory Council of Science and Industry was established in 1916 but was hampered by insufficient available finance. In 1926 the research effort was reinvigorated by establishment of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), which strengthened national science leadership and increased research funding. CSIR grew rapidly and achieved significant early successes. In 1949 further legislated changes included renaming the organisation as CSIRO.

    Notable developments by CSIRO have included the invention of atomic absorption spectroscopy; essential components of Wi-Fi technology; development of the first commercially successful polymer banknote; the invention of the insect repellent in Aerogard and the introduction of a series of biological controls into Australia, such as the introduction of myxomatosis and rabbit calicivirus for the control of rabbit populations.

    Research and focus areas

    Research Business Units

    As at 2019, CSIRO’s research areas are identified as “Impact science” and organised into the following Business Units:

    Agriculture and Food
    Health and Biosecurity
    Data 61
    Land and Water
    Mineral Resources
    Oceans and Atmosphere

    National Facilities

    CSIRO manages national research facilities and scientific infrastructure on behalf of the nation to assist with the delivery of research. The national facilities and specialized laboratories are available to both international and Australian users from industry and research. As at 2019, the following National Facilities are listed:

    Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL)
    Australia Telescope National Facility – radio telescopes included in the Facility include the Australia Telescope Compact Array, the Parkes Observatory, Mopra Observatory and the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder.

    STCA CSIRO Australia Compact Array (AU), six radio telescopes at the Paul Wild Observatory, is an array of six 22-m antennas located about twenty five kilometres (16 mi) west of the town of Narrabri in Australia.

    CSIRO-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (AU) Parkes Observatory, [ Murriyang, the traditional Indigenous name] , located 20 kilometres north of the town of Parkes, New South Wales, Australia, 414.80m above sea level.

    CSIRO-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (AU) Mopra radio telescope

    Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder

    NASA Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex, AU, Deep Space Network. Credit: The National Aeronautics and Space Agency (US)

    CSIRO Canberra campus

    ESA DSA 1, hosts a 35-metre deep-space antenna with transmission and reception in both S- and X-band and is located 140 kilometres north of Perth, Western Australia, near the town of New Norcia

    CSIRO-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (AU)CSIRO R/V Investigator.

    UK Space NovaSAR-1 satellite (UK) synthetic aperture radar satellite.

    CSIRO Pawsey Supercomputing Centre AU)

    Magnus Cray XC40 supercomputer at Pawsey Supercomputer Centre Perth Australia

    Galaxy Cray XC30 Series Supercomputer at at Pawsey Supercomputer Centre Perth Australia

    Pausey Supercomputer CSIRO Zeus SGI Linux cluster

    Others not shown


    SKA- Square Kilometer Array

    SKA Square Kilometre Array low frequency at Murchison Widefield Array, Boolardy station in outback Western Australia on the traditional lands of the Wajarri peoples.

    EDGES telescope in a radio quiet zone at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in Western Australia, on the traditional lands of the Wajarri peoples.

  • richardmitnick 10:58 am on October 28, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Climate experts: Clean tech is here now we need people power", , Climate Change, , MIT Sloan Management Review (US), Seventy-five percent of our carbon problem right now can be solved through clean electricity and electrification.   

    From MIT Sloan Management Review (US) : “Climate experts: Clean tech is here now we need people power” 

    From MIT Sloan Management Review (US)

    Oct 19, 2021
    Kara Baskin

    Bold climate policy is key to decarbonizing electricity, say climate activist Bill McKibben and others. Here’s how companies and individuals can help.

    It’s a race against time: To combat the climate crisis, decarbonizing electricity is essential — but how? What will it take to clean up the power grid quickly and effectively?

    As U.S. legislators continued to debate the Build Back Better infrastructure plan, which aims to make electricity carbon-free by 2035, climate change leaders convened on Sept. 30 to discuss solutions at the EmTech MIT conference hosted by MIT Technology Review.

    The panel, “Cleaning up the Power Sector,” was moderated by Julian Brave NoiseCat, vice president of policy and strategy at Data for Progress, a think tank.

    Scientists believe that achieving net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050 is crucial.

    “This is what physicists tell us is necessary to prevent — not global warming; it’s too late for that — but global warming at a scale that will cut civilization off at the knees,” said longtime climate activist and author Bill McKibben, a distinguished scholar in environmental studies at Middlebury College (US).

    Clean electricity is a solution, panelists said.

    “Seventy-five percent of our carbon problem right now can be solved through clean electricity and electrification,” said Leah Stokes, co-host of the Matter of Degrees podcast and an associate professor at The University of California-Santa Barbara (US). “We can use clean electricity to power our homes, our cars, even about half of heavy industry.”

    “It’s pretty much a miracle that we’re now at a place where the cheapest way to produce power on planet Earth is to point a sheet of glass at the sun,” McKibben agreed.

    Yet despite the rise of solar and wind power and the transition away from coal-fired power and natural gas, we’re not moving fast enough.

    “Thanks to policy investments over the last decade, we have a toolset available of mature technologies that [are] cheap and ready to scale, including wind and solar power,” said Jesse Jenkins, a macro-scale energy systems engineer and assistant professor at Princeton University (US). “But we need to be smashing records for the deployment of these energy technologies every year for the rest of our lives.”

    How to hit that goal? Panelists identified a way forward — one built on technology and policy and powered by human resolve.

    The willpower to divest fully …

    Solar and wind power have become cost-effective for a reason: advocacy. Panelists noted that the cost of wind has dropped by approximately two-thirds and the cost of solar power and lithium-ion batteries has fallen as well over the past decade.

    “That’s not an accident. That was due to public policy — and that public policy was due to pressure from activists and from advocates, and from public interest groups,” said Jenkins.

    That advocacy and involvement will have to scale up massively to reach the 2050 goal, particularly in regards to phasing out the use of fossil fuels.

    “Even with [clean] technology available, the hardest thing that humans have ever done, acting with enormous unity, is at every turn [to] keep trying to break the vested interest of the fossil fuel industry and utilities,” McKibben said.

    This requires sustained grassroots efforts, such as the anti-fossil-fuel organization 350.org, which McKibben cofounded in 2008.

    McKibben cited in particular “the young people around the world rallying around figures like Greta Thunberg,” and said it’s time for high-profile groups to follow suit and publicly renounce fossil fuels — including institutes of higher learning.

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) is looking a little naked in this regard. Its neighbor Harvard University (US), and its neighbor across the bridge Boston University (US), have now divested. … It’s time for MIT to pay attention to the physics department and stop trying to profit off climate change, too,” McKibben said.

    Stokes called for a “paradigm shift” away from the idea that efficiency can sufficiently mitigate the effects of burning fossil fuels.

    “For a long time, we thought if you get a Prius, that’s good enough. If you get a high-efficiency gas furnace, that’s good enough. And what we know now is that it’s not good enough,” Stokes said. “We have to stop using fossil fuels, and we have to stop building any new fossil fuel infrastructure of any variety.”

    … and to build furiously

    Achieving net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050 is about more than stopping fossil fuels; it requires formidable innovation — and infrastructure — to replace it.

    On the technology side, that includes the development of improved hydrogen production, ways to produce steel without emissions, and negative-emissions technologies such as bioenergy, Jenkins said.

    On the policy side, advocates and policymakers need the fortitude to commit not just to fossil fuel divestiture, but to building new infrastructure.

    “We have to shift this whole country into a mode of infrastructure-building that we haven’t seen in my life,” said Jenkins, who said the U.S. is living off of the fruits of the 20th-century investments in highways, cities, and power systems “that really petered out in the 1970s.”

    “That has to fundamentally change if we’re going to build a net-zero emissions economy,” Jenkins said, which requires building wind and solar at more than twice the average pace over the next decade and doubling (or tripling) the total amount of transmission capacity in the country to support electrification over the next 30 years.

    “It’s a challenge for environmental activists and others who are organizing. We’re very good at stopping things. Now we have to figure out how to accelerate and support the growth of substantial amounts of infrastructure,” Jenkins said.

    New projects of this enormity require stakeholder buy-in on a regional scale.

    “If we just go project by project, and we leave it to a private company to navigate where the wind project goes or where the transmission line goes, it’s all too easy for them to fumble that,” Jenkins said. “And it’s all too easy for well-intentioned people to say ‘no’ to that project without understanding that we have to say ‘yes’ to something, somewhere.”

    Stokes said, “We need businesses right now to be calling up their congressmen, calling up their senators and saying, ‘We want you to actually do this. We want you to act on climate change and act on investing in American families.’”

    Policy is key

    Stokes visualizes progress along what she calls a “narwhal curve” to track clean energy deployment.

    “We need to be getting upward of four or five percentage points if we want to get to 100 percent clean electricity by 2035, which is what President Biden campaigned on and won on and is trying to legislate on currently,” she said.

    McKibben called Biden’s agenda the “first serious climate legislation” to arrive on the Hill.

    A key component, currently held up by opposition from West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, is the Clean Electricity Performance Program, a proposed government incentive for utilities to receive grants if they deploy clean power at the necessary pace and scale, without a burden on consumers.

    “That’s really important, because it means that everyday customers who are paying their electricity bills are not going to carry the costs of this transition — the federal government is going to help make electricity bills cheaper while doing this clean energy deployment,” Stokes said.

    On the flip side, utilities that don’t move quickly enough would pay a penalty. “It’s not about making bad, dirty stuff more expensive — it’s about making cheap, good, clean stuff cheaper,” Stokes said.

    “If you look at the bill in Congress right now, it is our best opportunity to dramatically accelerate that feedback cycle … by primarily investing in the growth of clean energy technologies and driving and accelerating trends that really are already underway,” Jenkins said.

    These include investing in electric vehicles, including rebates and tax credits for consumers, as well as investment in electric vehicle manufacturing and carbon capture technologies.

    The legislative process is fraught, due to the deeply held sway of the fossil fuel industry — “one of the most powerful and wealthy industries in the history of humanity,” NoiseCat said.

    But change is still possible, even in the face of political headwinds, McKibben said, noting that 70% of Americans want action on climate. “We’ve shifted the zeitgeist,” he said.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    MIT Sloan Management Review (US) leads the discourse among academic researchers, business executives and other influential thought leaders about advances in management practice, particularly those shaped by technology, that are transforming how people lead and innovate. MIT SMR disseminates new management research and innovative ideas so that thoughtful executives can capitalize on the opportunities generated by rapid organizational, technological and societal change.

    We distribute our content on the web, in print and on mobile and portable platforms, as well as via licensees and libraries around the world.

  • richardmitnick 10:23 am on October 24, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "What’s missing from forest mortality projections? A look underground", , Climate Change, , , Riparian forests   

    From The University at Buffalo-SUNY (US): “What’s missing from forest mortality projections? A look underground” 

    SUNY Buffalo

    From The University at Buffalo-SUNY (US)

    October 22, 2021

    A cottonwood forest adjacent to the Oldman River in Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada. In a recent study, researchers present new techniques for modeling the impact of climate change on riparian forests of this kind, focusing on a nearby region of this forest. Photo: Lawrence B. Flanagan.

    You can’t see it happening. But what goes on below ground in a forest is very important in determining its fate.

    In a new study, scientists conclude that the sideways flow of water through soil can have an important impact on how riparian forests respond to climate change. Models used to predict the future plight of forests typically don’t account for this factor — but they should, researchers say.

    “There hasn’t been a lot of attention on groundwater and how the movement of water from one location to another below ground can impact plants’ survival prospects, making some locations drier, and others wetter,” says lead author Xiaonan Tai, assistant professor of biological sciences at The New Jersey Institute of Technology(US). “Groundwater is a hidden water source for ecosystems that people have neglected over the years. It is very hard to observe and quantify, just because we can’t see it. The contribution of our new research is to begin characterizing lateral groundwater processes and quantifying how much of a role they can have in terms of influencing the future of forests.”

    The study was published in July in Environmental Research Letters, building on research themes that Tai explored as a PhD student in geography at UB, where she completed her doctoral degree in 2018.

    The new paper focuses on incorporating information about subsurface hydrology into computational models that predict the future fates of forests.

    “Our research will fundamentally change the way the Earth systems modeling community will think about the impacts of future climate change droughts on forests,” says Scott Mackay, UB professor and chair of geography and professor of environment and sustainability. “In essence, the various vegetation models out there today assume the world is flat. Our model changes the story by allowing for water to be moved laterally below the surface, while simultaneously modeling the physiological responses of trees on the landscape.”

    In addition to Tai and Mackay, authors of the new study include Martin D. Venturas at The Technical University of Madrid [Universidad Politécnica de Madrid] (ES); Paul D. Brooks at The University of Utah (US); and Lawrence B. Flanagan at The University of Lethbridge (CA). The research was funded by The National Science Foundation (US).

    A cottonwood forest adjacent to the Red Deer River in Alberta, Canada. Visible in the photo is an eddy covariance flux tower — a type of scientific installation that was used in the recent study that presents new techniques for modeling the impact of climate change on riparian forests of this kind. Photo: Laurens J. Philipsen.

    The paper models potential futures for a riparian cottonwood forest in Alberta, Canada, focusing on a 20-year period at the end of the 21st century. Riparian forests are common ecosystems that are located next to a body of water like a stream or pond.

    Conventional wisdom suggests that as carbon dioxide levels in forests increase, tiny pores on leaves — called stomata — will not need to open as wide to absorb the carbon dioxide that plants need for photosynthesis. This, in turn, will lead to a reduction in water loss, which occurs through stomata.

    But the new study suggests that the amount of water saved for future use may not be as great as anticipated. “Once you introduce subsurface lateral water flow, there is still extra saved water, but that saved water won’t all stay local,” Tai says. “Some of it will move away, and once it’s gone, plants won’t be able to use it in future droughts.”

    In addition, models that fail to consider horizontal water flow may overestimate other mortality risks, Mackay says.

    “Within the soil, water can move in all directions from areas of high water content to areas of low water content,” he says. “This is pronounced in mountainous landscapes because water moves from high to low elevation, and in close proximity to water bodies, such as one finds in river floodplains.

    “By moving the water around horizontally, locations that would otherwise be very dry when the rain stops are made wetter, while areas that are typically wet can afford to give up some water without harming the plants.”

    The big-picture message of the research? If scientists and policymakers want to understand how riparian forests will fare in a warming world, they’ll need to think more about hydrology and the hard-to-see processes that occur beneath the forest floor.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    SUNY Buffalo Campus

    The State University of New York at Buffalo (US) is a public research university with campuses in Buffalo and Amherst, New York, United States. The university was founded in 1846 as a private medical college and merged with the State University of New York system in 1962. It is one of four university centers in the system, in addition to The University at Albany-SUNY (US), The University at Binghampton-SUNY (US), and The University at Stony Brook-SUNY (US) . As of fall 2020, the university enrolls 32,347 students in 13 colleges, making it the largest public university in the state of New York.

    Since its founding by a group which included future United States President Millard Fillmore, the university has evolved from a small medical school to a large research university. Today, in addition to the College of Arts and Sciences, the university houses the largest state-operated medical school, dental school, education school, business school, engineering school, and pharmacy school, and is also home to SUNY’s only law school. The University at Binghampton has the largest enrollment, largest endowment, and most research funding among the universities in the SUNY system. The university offers bachelor’s degrees in over 100 areas of study, as well as 205 master’s degrees, 84 doctoral degrees, and 10 professional degrees. The University at Buffalo and The University of Virginia (US) are the only colleges founded by United States Presidents.

    The University at Buffalo is classified as an R1 University, meaning that it engages in a very high level of research activity. In 1989, UB was elected to The Association of American Universities (US), a selective group of major research universities in North America. University at Buffalo’s alumni and faculty have included five Nobel laureates, five Pulitzer Prize winners, one head of government, two astronauts, three billionaires, one Academy Award winner, one Emmy Award winner, and Fulbright Scholars.

    The University at Buffalo intercollegiate athletic teams are the Bulls. They compete in Division I of the NCAA, and are members of the Mid-American Conference.

    The University at Buffalo is organized into 13 academic schools and colleges.

    The School of Architecture and Planning is the only combined architecture and urban planning school in the State University of New York system, offers the only accredited professional master’s degree in architecture, and is one of two SUNY schools that offer an accredited professional master’s degree in urban planning. In addition, the Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning also awards the original undergraduate four year pre-professional degrees in architecture and environmental design in the SUNY system. Other degree programs offered by the Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning include a research-oriented Master of Science in architecture with specializations in historic preservation/urban design, inclusive design, and computing and media technologies; a PhD in urban and regional planning; and, an advanced graduate certificate in historic preservation.
    The College of Arts and Sciences was founded in 1915 and is the largest and most comprehensive academic unit at University at Buffalo with 29 degree-granting departments, 16 academic programs, and 23 centers and institutes across the humanities, arts, and sciences.
    The School of Dental Medicine was founded in 1892 and offers accredited programs in DDS, oral surgery, and other oral sciences.
    The Graduate School of Education was founded in 1931 and is one of the largest graduate schools at University at Buffalo. The school has four academic departments: counseling and educational psychology, educational leadership and policy, learning and instruction, and library and information science. In academic year 2008–2009, the Graduate School of Education awarded 472 master’s degrees and 52 doctoral degrees.
    The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences was founded in 1946 and offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in six departments. It is the largest public school of engineering in the state of New York. University at Buffalo is the only public school in New York State to offer a degree in Aerospace Engineering
    The School of Law was founded in 1887 and is the only law school in the SUNY system. The school awarded 265 JD degrees in the 2009–2010 academic year.
    The School of Management was founded in 1923 and offers AACSB-accredited undergraduate, MBA, and doctoral degrees.
    The School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences is the founding faculty of the University at Buffalo and began in 1846. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the biomedical and biotechnical sciences as well as an MD program and residencies.
    The School of Nursing was founded in 1936 and offers bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees in nursing practice and patient care.
    The School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences was founded in 1886, making it the second-oldest faculty at University at Buffalo and one of only two pharmacy schools in the SUNY system.
    The School of Public Health and Health Professions was founded in 2003 from the merger of the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine and the University at Buffalo School of Health Related Professions. The school offers a bachelor’s degree in exercise science as well as professional, master’s and PhD degrees.
    The School of Social Work offers graduate MSW and doctoral degrees in social work.
    The Roswell Park Graduate Division is an affiliated academic unit within the Graduate School of UB, in partnership with Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, an independent NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. The Roswell Park Graduate Division offers five PhD programs and two MS programs in basic and translational biomedical research related to cancer. Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center was founded in 1898 by Dr. Roswell Park and was the world’s first cancer research institute.

    The University at Buffalo houses two New York State Centers of Excellence (out of the total 11): Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences (CBLS) and Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics (CMI). Emphasis has been placed on developing a community of research scientists centered around an economic initiative to promote Buffalo and create the Center of Excellence for Bioinformatics and Life Sciences as well as other advanced biomedical and engineering disciplines.

    Total research expenditures for the fiscal year of 2017 were $401 million, ranking 59th nationally.

    SUNY – The State University of New York (US) is a system of public colleges and universities in New York State. It is the largest comprehensive system of universities, colleges, and community colleges in the United States, with a total enrollment of 424,051 students, plus 2,195,082 adult education students, spanning 64 campuses across the state. The SUNY system has some 7,660 degree and certificate programs overall and a $13.08 billion budget.

    The SUNY system has four “university centers”: The University at Albany- SUNY (US) (1844), The University at Binghampton-(SUNY)(US) (1946), The University at Buffalo-SUNY (US) (1846), and The University at Stony Brook-SUNY (US) (1957). SUNY’s administrative offices are in Albany, the state’s capital, with satellite offices in Manhattan and Washington, D.C. With 25,000 acres of land, SUNY’s largest campus is The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (US), which neighbors the State University of New York Upstate Medical University – the largest employer in the SUNY system with over 10,959 employees. While the SUNY system doesn’t officially recognize a flagship university, the University at Buffalo and Stony Brook University are sometimes treated as unofficial flagships.

    The State University of New York was established in 1948 by Governor Thomas E. Dewey, through legislative implementation of recommendations made by the Temporary Commission on the Need for a State University (1946–1948). The commission was chaired by Owen D. Young, who was at the time Chairman of General Electric. The system was greatly expanded during the administration of Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller, who took a personal interest in design and construction of new SUNY facilities across the state.

    Apart from units of the unrelated City University of New York (CUNY)(US), SUNY comprises all state-supported institutions of higher education.

  • richardmitnick 9:03 am on October 24, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Scientists publish first large-scale census of coral heat tolerance", , Climate Change, Coral restoration, ,   

    From The University of Miami (FL) (US) : “Scientists publish first large-scale census of coral heat tolerance” 

    From The University of Miami (FL) (US)

    Diana Udel

    Findings provide immediate actions to benefit the world’s largest coral restoration program.

    Liv Williamson, Ph.D. candidate cleans staghorn coral fragments in underwater nursery. Photo: Hayley Jo-Carr.

    In a first-of-its-kind study, Florida’s critically endangered staghorn corals were surveyed to discover which ones can better withstand future heatwaves in the ocean. Insights from the study, led by scientists at Shedd Aquarium and The Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science – University of Miami (US), help organizations working to restore climate-resilient reefs in Florida and provide a blueprint for the success of restoration projects globally.

    “While this study was performed in Florida, there is growing interest among scientists and managers in surveying heat tolerance in other coral populations around the world,” said Andrew Baker, professor in the Department of Marine Biology and Ecology at the UM Rosenstiel School, and a co-author of the study. “Our study provides a template for other efforts to identify heat-tolerant corals and comes at a time when this knowledge can help transform approaches to stem the decline of corals due to climate change. Population censuses of heat tolerance are not only useful for scientists seeking to understand how and why corals vary in their thermal tolerance, but also to managers and policy makers guiding the future of reef restoration.”

    The new study, published today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, can help optimize the human interventions necessary to help corals survive the impacts of climate change.

    The study was conducted over two research expeditions that took place in 2020, where Shedd’s research vessel, the R/V Coral Reef II, enabled a team to test the heat tolerance of 229 different strains of staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) that are being actively propagated by South Florida’s coral restoration programs, ranging from Broward County to the lower Florida Keys, and operated by Nova Southeastern University (US), Mote’s Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research & Restoration (US), The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (US), Reef Renewal, The Coral Restoration Foundation (US), and the University of Miami Rosenstiel School.

    See the full article here.


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Miami (US) is a private research university in Coral Gables, Florida. As of 2020, the university enrolled approximately 18,000 students in 12 separate colleges and schools, including the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine in Miami’s Health District, a law school on the main campus, and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science focused on the study of oceanography and atmospheric sciences on Virginia Key, with research facilities at the Richmond Facility in southern Miami-Dade County.

    The university offers 132 undergraduate, 148 master’s, and 67 doctoral degree programs, of which 63 are research/scholarship and 4 are professional areas of study. Over the years, the university’s students have represented all 50 states and close to 150 foreign countries. With more than 16,000 full- and part-time faculty and staff, UM is a top 10 employer in Miami-Dade County. The University of Miami’s main campus in Coral Gables has 239 acres and over 5.7 million square feet of buildings.

    The University of Miami is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. The University of Miami research expenditure in FY 2019 was $358.9 million. The University of Miami offers a large library system with over 3.9 million volumes and exceptional holdings in Cuban heritage and music.

    The University of Miami also offers a wide range of student activities, including fraternities and sororities, and hundreds of student organizations. The Miami Hurricane, the student newspaper, and WVUM, the student-run radio station, have won multiple collegiate awards. The University of Miami’s intercollegiate athletic teams, collectively known as the Miami Hurricanes, compete in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The University of Miami’s football team has won five national championships since 1983 and its baseball team has won four national championships since 1982.


    UM is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. In fiscal year 2016, The University of Miami received $195 million in federal research funding, including $131.3 million from the Department of Health and Human Services (US) and $14.1 million from the National Science Foundation (US). Of the $8.2 billion appropriated by Congress in 2009 as a part of the stimulus bill for research priorities of the National Institutes of Health, the Miller School received $40.5 million. In addition to research conducted in the individual academic schools and departments, Miami has the following university-wide research centers:

    The Center for Computational Science
    The Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies (ICCAS)
    Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy
    The Miami European Union Center: This group is a consortium with Florida International University (FIU) established in fall 2001 with a grant from the European Commission through its delegation in Washington, D.C., intended to research economic, social, and political issues of interest to the European Union.
    The Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies
    John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics – studies possible causes of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and macular degeneration.
    Center on Research and Education for Aging and Technology Enhancement (CREATE)
    Wallace H. Coulter Center for Translational Research

    The Miller School of Medicine receives more than $200 million per year in external grants and contracts to fund 1,500 ongoing projects. The medical campus includes more than 500,000 sq ft (46,000 m^2) of research space and the The University of Miami Life Science Park, which has an additional 2,000,000 sq ft (190,000 m^2) of space adjacent to the medical campus.The University of Miami’s Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute seeks to understand the biology of stem cells and translate basic research into new regenerative therapies.

    As of 2008, the Rosenstiel School receives $50 million in annual external research funding. Their laboratories include a salt-water wave tank, a five-tank Conditioning and Spawning System, multi-tank Aplysia Culture Laboratory, Controlled Corals Climate Tanks, and DNA analysis equipment. The campus also houses an invertebrate museum with 400,000 specimens and operates the Bimini Biological Field Station, an array of oceanographic high-frequency radar along the US east coast, and the Bermuda aerosol observatory. The University of Miami also owns the Little Salt Spring, a site on the National Register of Historic Places, in North Port, Florida, where RSMAS performs archaeological and paleontological research.

    The University of Miami built a brain imaging annex to the James M. Cox Jr. Science Center within the College of Arts and Sciences. The building includes a human functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) laboratory, where scientists, clinicians, and engineers can study fundamental aspects of brain function. Construction of the lab was funded in part by a $14.8 million in stimulus money grant from the National Institutes of Health (US).

    In 2016 the university received $161 million in science and engineering funding from the U.S. federal government, the largest Hispanic-serving recipient and 56th overall. $117 million of the funding was through the Department of Health and Human Services and was used largely for the medical campus.

    The University of Miami maintains one of the largest centralized academic cyber infrastructures in the country with numerous assets. The Center for Computational Science High Performance Computing group has been in continuous operation since 2007. Over that time the core has grown from a zero HPC cyberinfrastructure to a regional high-performance computing environment that currently supports more than 1,200 users, 220 TFlops of computational power, and more than 3 Petabytes of disk storage.

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