Tagged: Ecology Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • richardmitnick 4:56 pm on January 31, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Green hydrogen produced with near 100% efficiency using seawater", , , , , , Ecology, Electrolysis requires catalysts and uses electricity. So the process itself requires energy., Freshwater is the main source of green hydrogen. But freshwater is increasingly scarce., , Splitting seawater to produce hydrogen may be a scientific miracle that puts us on a path to replacing fossil fuels with the environmentally-friendly alternative.,   

    From The University of Adelaide (AU) Via “COSMOS (AU)” : “Green hydrogen produced with near 100% efficiency using seawater” 

    u-adelaide-bloc

    From The University of Adelaide (AU)

    Via

    Cosmos Magazine bloc

    “COSMOS (AU)”

    1.31.23
    Evrim Yazgin

    1
    Credit: Abstract Aerial Art / DigitalVision / Getty.

    It’s not quite splitting the Red Sea, but new research into splitting seawater to produce hydrogen may be a scientific miracle that puts us on a path to replacing fossil fuels with the environmentally-friendly alternative.

    “We have split natural seawater into oxygen and hydrogen with nearly 100 percent efficiency, to produce green hydrogen by electrolysis, using a non-precious and cheap catalyst in a commercial electrolyzer,” says project leader Professor Shi-Zhang Qiao from the University of Adelaide’s School of Chemical Engineering.

    Electrolysis is the process of splitting water (H2O) into hydrogen and oxygen using electricity. So, the process itself requires energy.

    The process also requires catalysts. But not all catalysts are created equal. Catalysts used in electrolysis tend to be rare precious metals like iridium, ruthenium and platinum.

    Typical non-precious catalysts are transition metal oxide catalysts, for example cobalt oxide coated with chromium oxide.

    The new breakthrough in splitting seawater to produce green energy was achieved by adding a layer of Lewis acid (a specific type of acid, for example chromium(III) oxide, Cr2O3) on top of the transition metal oxide catalyst.

    While using cheaper materials, the process is shown to be very effective.

    “The performance of a commercial electrolyzer with our catalysts running in seawater is close to the performance of platinum/iridium catalysts running in a feedstock of highly purified deionized water,” explains the University of Adelaide’s Associate Professor Yao Zheng.

    Another typical part of the electrolysis process is some form of treatment of the water. For that reason, freshwater is the main source of green hydrogen. But freshwater is increasingly scarce.

    So, scientists are looking to seawater, particularly in regions with long coastlines and abundant sunlight.

    “We used seawater as a feedstock without the need for any pre-treatment processes like reverse osmosis desolation, purification, or alkalisation,” Zheng adds. “Current electrolyzers are operated with highly purified water electrolyte. Increased demand for hydrogen to partially or totally replace energy generated by fossil fuels will significantly increase scarcity of increasingly limited freshwater resources.”

    Seawater electrolysis is relatively new compared to pure water electrolysis. Complications include side reactions on the electrodes, as well as corrosion.

    “It is always necessary to treat impure water to a level of water purity for conventional electrolyzers including desalination and deionization, which increases the operation and maintenance cost of the processes,” Zheng says. “Our work provides a solution to directly utilize seawater without pre-treatment systems and alkali addition, which shows similar performance as that of existing metal-based mature pure water electrolyzer.”

    The team hopes to scale their experiment up for commercial production in generating hydrogen fuel cells and ammonia synthesis.

    Their research is published in Nature Energy.

    See the full article here.

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    u-adelaide-campus

    The University of Adelaide is a public research university located in Adelaide, South Australia. Established in 1874, it is the third-oldest university in Australia. The university’s main campus is located on North Terrace in the Adelaide city centre, adjacent to the Art Gallery of South Australia, the South Australian Museum and the State Library of South Australia.

    The university has four campuses, three in South Australia: North Terrace campus in the city, Roseworthy campus at Roseworthy and Waite campus at Urrbrae, and one in Melbourne, Victoria. The university also operates out of other areas such as Thebarton, the National Wine Centre in the Adelaide Park Lands, and in Singapore through the Ngee Ann-Adelaide Education Centre.

    The University of Adelaide is composed of five faculties, with each containing constituent schools. These include the Faculty of Engineering, Computer, and Mathematical Sciences (ECMS), the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of the Professions, and the Faculty of Sciences. It is a member of The Group of Eight and The Association of Commonwealth Universities. The university is also a member of the Sandstone universities, which mostly consist of colonial-era universities within Australia.

    The university is associated with five Nobel laureates, constituting one-third of Australia’s total Nobel Laureates, and 110 Rhodes scholars. The university has had a considerable impact on the public life of South Australia, having educated many of the state’s leading business people, lawyers, medical professionals and politicians. The university has been associated with many notable achievements and discoveries, such as the discovery and development of penicillin, the development of space exploration, sunscreen, the military tank, Wi-Fi, polymer banknotes and X-ray crystallography, and the study of viticulture and oenology.

    Research

    The University of Adelaide is one of the most research-intensive universities in Australia, securing over $180 million in research funding annually. Its researchers are active in both basic and commercially oriented research across a broad range of fields including agriculture, psychology, health sciences, and engineering.

    Research strengths include engineering, mathematics, science, medical and health sciences, agricultural sciences, artificial intelligence, and the arts.

    The university is a member of Academic Consortium 21, an association of 20 research intensive universities, mainly in Oceania, though with members from the US and Europe. The university held the Presidency of AC 21 for the period 2011–2013 as host the biennial AC21 International Forum in June 2012.

    The Centre for Automotive Safety Research (CASR), based at the University of Adelaide, was founded in 1973 as the Road Accident Research Unit and focuses on road safety and injury control.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:33 pm on January 27, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "AUV": autonomous underwater vehicle, "LTER": Long-Term Ecological Research at Palmer Station, "Penguins and robots and the ocean and more", , As the atmosphere is warming in this region of Antarctica sea ice is decreasing and more glaciers are melting from the coast physically changing the environment in which marine organisms are living., , , , Ecology, , Fieldwork in Antarctica is tricky., Gentoo penguins can swim 22 miles per hour which is faster than the research boats can go., If you ask a scientist…or student…if the effort is worth it the answer is a resounding YES!, Lessons learned in Antarctica can help shed light on uncertainties about how sea level rise will evolve in other parts of the world., , Scientists are examining the feeding habits and predator-prey interactions of Adélie and Gentoo penguins in the region using an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV)., Scientists work to understand the dynamics of melting glaciers and how that impacts the ocean circulation and properties such as salinity and temperature of the coastal ocean., The AUV-called a REMUS-is equipped with a high-resolution echosounder using sonar to collect data about food resources that are available to marine animals in Palmer Deep Canyon., The new echosounder gives researchers a birds-eye view of "what’s for lunch" in the water., The rarity of this experience comes with a sense of humility and responsibility to not take any moment for granted., The temperatures are cool averaging just above freezing at around 36 degrees Fahrenheit in the austral summer from October to February., , To understand what is going to happen in the future scientists need to understand why sea levels are increasing and how it’s going to change over time., Weather can change rapidly., Wildlife have the right of way here.   

    From The University of Delaware : “Penguins and robots and the ocean and more” 

    U Delaware bloc

    From The University of Delaware

    1.26.23
    Karen B. Roberts
    Photos by Kathy F. Atkinson and courtesy of Matthew Breece, Evan Quinter, the Moffat Lab and Natasia Van Gestel
    Illustration by Jeffrey C. Chase

    1
    UD research scientist Matthew Breece (right) and post-doctoral researcher Leila Character get acquainted with the landmarks and landscapes near Palmer Station in Antarctica.

    Fieldwork in Antarctica is tricky, just ask University of Delaware scientist Matthew Breece. There is the 10-day trek to get there from Delaware, which includes a sometimes stomach-revolting four-day sail through Drake Passage, heavy research equipment to manage, limits on what you can pack. The temperatures are cool, averaging just above freezing at around 36 degrees Fahrenheit in the austral summer from October to February. Weather can change rapidly, too, relegating researchers indoors when conditions are poor and making for very long days in the field when conditions are pristine.

    But if you ask a scientist…or student…if the effort is worth it the answer is a resounding YES!

    Marine biology students at Caesar Rodney High School in Camden, Delaware, got a firsthand look at what it’s like to conduct field research on penguins in Antarctica on Tuesday, Jan. 24, during a live video call with Matthew Breece, a research scientist in marine science and policy at the University of Delaware.

    “It’s fun, but also a lot of hard work,” said Breece, who guided the nearly 50 students through a virtual tour of Palmer Station, a United States research station situated on Anvers Island, Antarctica.

    2
    Marine biology students from Caesar Rodney High School in Kent County talk with University of Delaware’s Matthew Breece, research scientist about conducting fieldwork on penguins in Antarctica.

    Breece showed the students glaciers, laboratory experiments, research equipment and common areas, like the library, and shared stories and answered questions about living among wildlife including penguins, whales and seals.

    “Wildlife have the right of way here,” said Breece, explaining how researchers were scrambling over rocks to get to their research vessels earlier in the week, while a crab-eater seal sunned itself on the boat dock. Gentoo penguins can swim 22 miles per hour, which is faster than the research boats can go, while Adélie penguins can only swim 10-12 mph.

    Breece and his colleagues are examining the feeding habits and predator-prey interactions of Adélie and Gentoo penguins in the region using an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). The AUV-called a REMUS-is equipped with a high-resolution echosounder that uses sonar to collect data about food resources that are available to marine animals in Palmer Deep Canyon on the West Antarctic Peninsula.

    3
    Besides hearing from UD’s Matt Breece, students also saw dramatic photographs from Antarctica and scientific charts used in the research.

    The new echosounder gives researchers a birds-eye view of what’s for lunch in the water. It was developed by Mark Moline, Maxwell P. and Mildred H. Harrington Professor of Marine Studies at UD and principal investigator on the project, and project co-PIs Kelly Benoit-Bird, senior scientist at Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and Megan Cimino, assistant researcher at the Institute of Marine Sciences and assistant adjunct professor of ocean sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

    “We switched to shorter wavelength frequencies to look at smaller things,” said Moline. “So, not only looking at the oceanography, but also the high-resolution food distribution of krill, copepods, fish and the species that eat them, like penguins.”

    The UD work complements the National Science Foundation’s ongoing Palmer Station Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) study related to penguin population sizes and foraging ranges. The seabird component of the Palmer LTER research is led by Cimino, a UD alumna.

    4
    Penguins are curious and comical. They are also fast swimmers. Gentoo penguins can swim around 22 miles per hour, faster than some research boats. Adélie penguins swim a little slower, about 10-12 miles per hour.

    Cimino has a second project with Carlos Moffat, a UD coastal physical oceanographer who also is in Antarctica serving as chief scientist of the Palmer LTER program, which has been collecting long-term ecological data for over 30 years. Collaborating institutions on the broader Palmer LTER study, led by Rutgers University and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), include researchers from UD, University of Virginia, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, University of Colorado, and University of California-Santa Cruz.

    Moffat also is conducting physical oceanography work as part of his NSF CAREER award to understand the dynamics of melting glaciers and how that impacts the ocean circulation and properties, such as salinity and temperature of the coastal ocean.

    5
    From left to right, Matthew Breece, research scientist, Leila Character, post-doctoral research, and Erik White, engineer are among the researchers that traveled to Antarctica aboard the R/V Laurence M. Gould.

    As the atmosphere is warming in this region of Antarctica, sea ice is decreasing and more glaciers are melting from the coast, physically changing the environment marine organisms are living in,” said Moffat. “One big question is what this means long term for marine organisms that live in these places, such as penguins, whales, seals and other wildlife. I see my contribution as trying to help them understand how the physical environment impacts the entire ecosystem.”

    From Antarctica to Delaware

    Lessons learned in Antarctica can help shed light on uncertainties about how sea level rise will evolve in other parts of the world, too. For instance, Delaware is a low-lying state with no area of the state more than eight miles from tidal waters. It is considered a big hotspot of sea level rise along the U.S. East Coast. And while sea levels are increasing on average around the world, due to ocean warming and melting ice from the continents, the distribution of sea level is very uneven.

    “To understand what is going to happen in the future we need to understand why sea levels are increasing and how it’s going to change over time,” said Moffat. “Antarctica is a good place to study this because change is happening very rapidly.”

    5
    UD coastal physical oceanographer Carlos Moffat (center) is working to understand the dynamics of melting glaciers and how that impacts the water circulation patterns and properties, such as salinity and temperature of the coastal oceans of Antarctica. UD students participating in the work from the Moffat Lab include (from left to right) recent undergraduate student Michael Cappola, master’s students Evan Quinter and Jake Gessay, and doctoral student and Unidel fellow Frederike (Rikki) Benz.

    For most of the 20th century, the Palmer Station region was considered the fastest changing region in the southern hemisphere, while the Weddell Sea, which is located just around the corner of the Antarctic peninsula, had not changed as much. Over the last few years, researchers have begun to wonder whether the Weddell Sea has any influence on the West Antarctic Peninsula region or whether the regions are changing independently.

    To better understand these processes, Moffat’s team deployed two AUVs called gliders to sample the circulation close to the coast along the Antarctic peninsula, which is heavily influenced by the melting of glaciers. He and his students recovered oceanographic moorings that have been capturing data, such as water circulation currents, temperature and salinity, since early 2022. This is part of the West Antarctic Peninsula that has never been sampled before, so the team is eager to analyze the data.

    6
    UD students Jake Gessay (left) and Michael Cappola recover sensors from an oceanographic mooring that collected ocean current, temperature and salinity data during 2022.

    “I am particularly excited about the glider measurements, which I plan to add to my dissertation,” said Frederike (Rikki) Benz, a doctoral student in the Moffat lab. “It is especially interesting to be involved in the whole process from preparing, shipping and deploying to publishing.”

    Classrooms beyond campus

    For students, field research offers the opportunity for hands-on experience with sophisticated research instruments, data collection and analysis, troubleshooting and networking with researchers from other institutions. Sometimes those activities occur in remote regions of the world — like Antarctica.

    “The rarity of this experience comes with a sense of humility and responsibility to not take any moment for granted, a responsibility to ensure more opportunities are available for future students and scientists,” said Evan Quinter, who is pursuing a master’s degree in physical ocean science and engineering in the Moffat Lab.

    6
    Icebergs are pieces of glaciers that break off or calve. Here, Chinstrap penguins hitch a ride, using an iceberg as a resting point.

    At Caesar Rodney High School, marine biology teachers Cristine Taylor and Sandra Ramsdell have just begun covering marine animals with their students. It is a fitting coincidence that made the live call with UD researchers both timely and meaningful.

    “Spending a day in class speaking with researchers was an awesome experience for our students,” said Taylor. “We are trying to encourage them to look at everything that goes into marine careers. Not every person is a marine biologist, there are computer scientists and engineers, ship captains and crew, and so many more people who can work in marine research.”

    7
    A student wearing headphones asks a question of UD researcher Matt Breece, who is speaking to the class via Zoom from Antarctica.

    8
    A sea lion rests on a chunk of ice near the Palmer Station in Antarctica.

    9
    Fieldwork is not new for Frederike (Rikki) Benz, a doctoral student studying physical oceanography under the guidance of Carlos Moffat, associate professor in the School of Marine Science and Policy. In addition to her work in the Antarctic with UD, Benz has participated in research cruises in the Arctic with German and Norwegian research vessels.

    10
    High-resolution echosounder data from the Moline Lab is helping reveal where food resources are available to marine animals in Palmer Deep Canyon on the West Antarctic Peninsula.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Delaware campus

    The University of Delaware is a public land-grant research university located in Newark, Delaware. University of Delaware (US) is the largest university in Delaware. It offers three associate’s programs, 148 bachelor’s programs, 121 master’s programs (with 13 joint degrees), and 55 doctoral programs across its eight colleges. The main campus is in Newark, with satellite campuses in Dover, the Wilmington area, Lewes, and Georgetown. It is considered a large institution with approximately 18,200 undergraduate and 4,200 graduate students. It is a privately governed university which receives public funding for being a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant state-supported research institution.

    The University of Delaware is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to The National Science Foundation, UD spent $186 million on research and development in 2018, ranking it 119th in the nation. It is recognized with the Community Engagement Classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

    The University of Delaware is one of only four schools in North America with a major in art conservation. In 1923, it was the first American university to offer a study-abroad program.

    The University of Delaware traces its origins to a “Free School,” founded in New London, Pennsylvania in 1743. The school moved to Newark, Delaware by 1765, becoming the Newark Academy. The academy trustees secured a charter for Newark College in 1833 and the academy became part of the college, which changed its name to Delaware College in 1843. While it is not considered one of the colonial colleges because it was not a chartered institution of higher education during the colonial era, its original class of ten students included George Read, Thomas McKean, and James Smith, all three of whom went on to sign the Declaration of Independence. Read also later signed the United States Constitution.

    Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus

    On October 23, 2009, The University of Delaware signed an agreement with Chrysler to purchase a shuttered vehicle assembly plant adjacent to the university for $24.25 million as part of Chrysler’s bankruptcy restructuring plan. The university has developed the 272-acre (1.10 km^2) site into the Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus. The site is the new home of University of Delaware (US)’s College of Health Sciences, which includes teaching and research laboratories and several public health clinics. The STAR Campus also includes research facilities for University of Delaware (US)’s vehicle-to-grid technology, as well as Delaware Technology Park, SevOne, CareNow, Independent Prosthetics and Orthotics, and the East Coast headquarters of Bloom Energy. In 2020 [needs an update], University of Delaware expects to open the Ammon Pinozzotto Biopharmaceutical Innovation Center, which will become the new home of the UD-led National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals. Also, Chemours recently opened its global research and development facility, known as the Discovery Hub, on the STAR Campus in 2020. The new Newark Regional Transportation Center on the STAR Campus will serve passengers of Amtrak and regional rail.

    Academics

    The university is organized into nine colleges:

    Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics
    College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
    College of Arts and Sciences
    College of Earth, Ocean and Environment
    College of Education and Human Development
    College of Engineering
    College of Health Sciences
    Graduate College
    Honors College

    There are also five schools:

    Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration (part of the College of Arts & Sciences)
    School of Education (part of the College of Education & Human Development)
    School of Marine Science and Policy (part of the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment)
    School of Nursing (part of the College of Health Sciences)
    School of Music (part of the College of Arts & Sciences)

     
  • richardmitnick 2:58 pm on January 26, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Quantifying the Potential of Forestation for Carbon Storage", , , , , Ecology,   

    From “Eos” : “Quantifying the Potential of Forestation for Carbon Storage” 

    Eos news bloc

    From “Eos”

    AT

    AGU

    1.26.23
    Benjamin Sulman

    1
    Current and potential forest areas in the study area of southern China. “New forests” (orange) were forested between 2002 and 2017, while “Old forests” (green) existed prior to 2002. “Potential forests” (blue) are not currently forested but were identified by the analysis as suitable for forest growth. Credit: Zhang et al. [2022], Figure 1

    Large-scale forest planting projects have been proposed as a carbon sequestration strategy for mitigating anthropogenic climate change. In southern China, tree-planting initiatives over recent decades have significantly expanded forested areas and sequestered substantial amounts of carbon in tree biomass. Understanding both the historical carbon sequestration and the potential for future carbon storage through forestation is important for developing climate change mitigation strategies.

    Zhang et al. [2022] use a combination of data synthesis, remote sensing, and machine learning approaches to estimate the historical trajectory and the potential carbon storage capacity of forests in southern China. They find that regional forest carbon storage has increased over the 15-year study period, signifying successful carbon sequestration, and they identify opportunities for further increasing carbon density in forestation projects. However, they also find that forests in the region have already achieved more than 73% of their carbon storage capacity, indicating that afforestation alone will ultimately face limits as a carbon sequestration strategy.

    Earth’s Future

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

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

     
  • richardmitnick 11:23 pm on January 25, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Getting to the bottom of Antarctic Bottom Water", A team of scientists is plumbing the depths in East Antarctica to increase our understanding of Antarctic Bottom Water., Antarctic Bottom Water ventilates the deep ocean., , , , , , , Ecology, Long sediment cores taken will reveal past changes in sea ice., , Scientists will use deep sea cameras to take the first images of the seafloor life in this remote part of Antarctica.   

    From “CSIROscope” (AU) At CSIRO (AU)-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization : “Getting to the bottom of Antarctic Bottom Water” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From “CSIROscope” (AU)

    At

    CSIRO (AU)-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization

    1.25.23
    Dr Alix Post | Geoscience Australia
    Associate Professor Helen Bostock | The University of Queensland
    Matt Marrison | CSIRO

    A team of scientists is plumbing the depths in East Antarctica to increase our understanding of Antarctic Bottom Water.

    R/V Investigator [below] is once again sailing south to conduct important research in Antarctica. Called “CANYONS”, scientists on this 47-day voyage will investigate Antarctic Bottom Water in the Cape Darnley region of East Antarctica.

    This is what you need to know about Antarctic Bottom Water.

    1
    Voyage Chief Scientist Dr Alix Post from Geoscience Australia will lead the 47-day voyage to East Antarctica. Image: Asaesja Young.

    What is Antarctic Bottom Water?

    You probably haven’t heard about Antarctic Bottom Water before but it’s very important for our oceans and climate. Put simply, Antarctic Bottom Water is dense, cold, oxygen-rich water that forms in just a few places around the Antarctic continent.

    This water forms as cold winds blowing off Antarctica cool the ocean surface and form sea ice. As fresh sea ice forms, the salt in the seawater is ‘rejected’ (released). As a consequence, very salty and cold water is left behind. The same winds blowing off Antarctica then blow the sea ice away, exposing the ocean and forming new sea ice. This process further increases the saltiness of the water. This water then sinks through the water column forming Antarctic Bottom Water in the deepest parts of the ocean.

    These bodies of open water, which are called polynya, can be thought of as sea ice factories.

    The most important thing to know about Antarctic Bottom Water is that it’s the densest water on the planet. As the densest water mass, Antarctic Bottom Water flows down the Antarctic continental margin and north across the seafloor. In fact, it’s been found to occupy depths below 4000 metres in all ocean basins that have a connection to the Southern Ocean.

    For this reason, it has a significant influence on the circulation of the world’s oceans.

    Why is it so important?

    The flow of Antarctic Bottom Water drives ocean circulation, assists in carbon capture and storage, and also carries oxygen to the deep ocean. As such, Antarctic Bottom Water ventilates the deep ocean.

    However, climate change and the melting of the Antarctic ice sheet has led to increased fresh water flowing into the oceans around Antarctica. This has reduced the formation of Antarctic Bottom Water as it impedes the process to make cold, salty water. This reduction is likely to continue as the climate continues to warm.

    Potentially, a complete shutdown of Antarctic Bottom Water formation is possible in the future. If this happens, it will likely have dramatic effects on ocean circulation. This will have consequences for weather patterns and the global climate. Moreover, a shutdown would likely create additional warming of the climate, including from reduced carbon capture and storage.

    2
    The CTD (conductivity, temperature and depth instrument) on R/V Investigator will be used to collect water samples and photograph seafloor life in Antarctica. Image Rod Palmer.

    Where are we going and why?

    The Cape Darnley region of East Antarctica is one of only four regions where the cold, salty and dense Antarctic Bottom Water forms. Scientists on this voyage aim to determine the flow pathways of this dense water mass down the rugged submarine canyons of the seafloor in this region. At the same time, they will also investigate its impact on seafloor life and ecosystems.

    Importantly, they are also seeking insights into Antarctic Bottom Water sensitivity to changes in climate. This will help us predict how a warming climate will influence its future formation and impact on ocean circulation. Changes in the water mass have been detected over recent decades.

    However, changes in this region have been little studied.

    To address this, a multidisciplinary team of scientists from Australian research institutions and universities has been assembled on board R/V Investigator. This team will be led by Dr Alix Post from Geoscience Australia and A/Prof Helen Bostock from The University of Queensland.

    Putting together pieces of an icy puzzle

    Scientists want to better understand the tipping points that influence the production of Antarctic Bottom Water by investigating different climate states in the past climate record. To achieve this, the team on R/V Investigator will undertake detailed seafloor mapping of this area for the first time. Complete seafloor maps will reveal where Antarctic Bottom Water flows through the rugged submarine canyons. This will enable realistic ocean, climate and ecosystem models to be developed.

    3
    Multibeam sonar systems on R/V Investigator will be used to map the seafloor to study how features in the region, such as deep canyons, influence the flow of Antarctic Bottom Water.

    In addition, they will also collect long sediment cores, analyze seawater samples and use deep sea cameras to image seafloor life.

    Long sediment cores will reveal past changes in sea ice, ice-sheets and ocean circulation. These records will unlock the history of Antarctic dense water formation during periods of Earth’s history that were warmer than today. As a result, we will gain important insights into how our global climate is likely to respond to changes in the future.

    Furthermore, the team will also collect large volumes of Antarctic seawater. Importantly, this will give us valuable insights into the processes controlling the distribution of trace metals in Antarctic waters. It will also contribute to developing new geochemical tracers for past ocean and ice sheet change.

    Protecting Antarctica’s ecosystems

    The area is one of three regions proposed as Antarctic Marine Protected Areas on the East Antarctic margin. Scientists will use deep sea cameras to take the first images of the seafloor life in this remote part of Antarctica. Altogether, the information they collect will help ensure this region can be protected into the future.

    Join us in the south

    The team will be bringing their research to life through photography, video, blogs and podcasts. These will be released through the Australian Centre for Excellence in Antarctic Science. We’ll share updates across our social channels with #RVInvestigator.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    CSIRO campus

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

    CSIRO works with leading organizations 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 organization 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 organized into the following Business Units:

    Agriculture and Food
    Health and Biosecurity
    Data 61
    Energy
    Land and Water
    Manufacturing
    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 in the Facility include the Australia Telescope Compact Array, the Parkes Observatory, Mopra Radio Telescope 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 Organization (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.

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

    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 Organization (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

    SKA- Square Kilometer Array

    Australia Telescope National Facility – radio telescopes included in the Facility include the Australia Telescope Compact Array, the Parkes Observatory, Mopra Radio Telescope Observatory and the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder.

    Haystack Observatory EDGES telescope in a radio quiet zone at the Inyarrimanha Ilgari Bundara Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO), on the traditional lands of the Wajarri peoples.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:54 am on January 20, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "An underestimated threat - land-based pollution with microplastics", , Ecology, The Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries-IGB (DE)   

    From The Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries-IGB (DE): “An underestimated threat – land-based pollution with microplastics” 

    From The Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries-IGB (DE)

    2.5.18 [Just found this.]

    Tiny plastic particles present a threat to creatures on land and may have damaging effects similar or even more problematic than in our oceans. Researchers from the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) and their Berlin colleagues warn: the impact of microplastics in soils, sediments and the freshwaters could have a long-term negative effect on terrestrial ecosystems throughout the world.

    1
    Polyacrylic fibers in soil. | Image: Anderson Abel de Souza Machado.

    It is now widely accepted that microplastics contaminate our oceans and are harmful to coastal and marine habitats. And yet what effect do fragments of plastic have on ecosystems “on dry land”?

    This question is the subject of a research initiated by IGB in partnership with Freie Universität Berlin that reviews previous individual studies on the topic of microplastics in relation to the effect of microplastics on terrestrial ecosystems. “Although only little research has been carried out in this area, the results to date are concerning: fragments of plastic are present practically all over the world and can trigger many kinds of adverse effects. The previously observed effects of microplastics and nanoplastics on terrestrial ecosystems around the world indicate that these ecosystems may also be in serious jeopardy,” explains IGB researcher Anderson Abel de Souza Machado, who is leading the study. Researchers from IGB have demonstrated in earlier studies that microplastics might be harmful to ecosystems when ingested by aquatic key organisms.

    Over 400 million tons of plastic are produced globally each year. It is estimated that one third of all plastic waste ends up in soils or freshwaters. Most of this plastic disintegrates into particles smaller than five millimetres, referred to as microplastics, and breaks down further into nanoparticles, which are less than 0.1 micrometre in size. In fact, terrestrial microplastic pollution is much higher than marine microplastic pollution – an estimate of four to 23 times more, depending on the environment. Sewage, for example, is an important factor in the distribution of microplastics. In fact, 80 to 90 per cent of the particles contained in sewage, such as from garment fibres, persist in the sludge. Sewage sludge is then often applied to fields as fertilizer, meaning that several thousand tons of microplastics end up in our soils each year.

    Potentially toxic effect on many organisms

    Some microplastics exhibit properties that might have direct damaging effects on ecosystems. For instance, the surfaces of tiny fragments of plastic may carry disease-causing organisms and act as a vector that transmits diseases in the environment. Microplastics can also interact with soil fauna, affecting their health and soil functions. Earthworms, for example, make their burrows differently when microplastics are present in the soil, affecting the earthworm’s fitness and the soil condition.

    Generally speaking, when plastic particles break down, they gain new physical and chemical properties, increasing the risk that they will have a toxic effect on organisms. And the more likely it is that toxic effects will occur, the larger the number of potentially affected species and ecological functions. Chemical effects are especially problematic at the decomposition stage, as spotted by the team of authors led by Anderson Abel de Souza Machado. For example, additives such as phthalates and Bisphenol A leach out of plastic particles. These additives are known for their hormonal effects and can potentially disrupt the hormone system not only of vertebrates, but also of several invertebrates. In addition, nano-sized particles may cause inflammation; they may traverse or change cellular barriers, and even cross highly selective membranes such as the blood-brain barrier or the placenta. Within the cell, they can trigger changes in gene expression and biochemical reactions, among other things. The long-term effects of these changes have not yet been sufficiently explored. However, it has already been shown that when passing the blood-brain barrier nanoplastics have a behaviour-changing effect in fish.

    Plastic particles already detected in many foods

    Humans also ingest microplastics via food: they have already been detected not only in fish and seafood, but also in salt, sugar and beer. It could be that the accumulation of plastics in terrestrial organisms is already common everywhere, the researchers speculate, even among those that do not “ingest” their food. For example, tiny fragments of plastic can be accumulated in yeasts and filamentous fungi.

    The intake and uptake of small microplastics could turn out to be the new long-term stress factor for the environment. At the moment, however, there is a lack of standardized methods for determining microplastics in terrestrial ecosystems in order to produce an accurate assessment of the situation. It is often a difficult and labour-intensive process to detect tiny fragments of plastic particles in soils, for instance.

    The new IGB study highlights the importance of reliable, scientifically based data on degradation behaviour and the effects of microplastics. This data is necessary to be able to respond effectively to contamination by microplastics and the risk they pose to terrestrial ecosystems – where, after all, most plastic waste that enters the environment accumulates.

    Global Change Biology

    See the full article here.

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) is a creative, lively and diverse place for conducting research and teaching. At our sites in Berlin and Neuglobsow, scientists from all over the world and from a whole range of disciplines work together. Hydrologists, biogeochemists, physicists, microbiologists, ecologists, evolutionary ecologists, fish ecologists and fisheries biologists investigate the fundamental processes in rivers, lakes and wetlands. In the process, they think beyond individual disciplines and spatial boundaries. After all, it will only be possible to develop solutions to the major challenges of the future by taking an integrative research approach.

    We pool our discipline-based research in five research departments. Added to this are three cross-cutting research domains in which we address topics of high scientific and/or societal relevance. Social stakeholders are involved in the wide range of research activities, which are carried out both locally and throughout the world in close cooperation with universities and research institutions. All this makes us Germany’s largest research centre for freshwaters that plays a leading role on the international arena.

    Vision and mission

    “Research for the future of our freshwaters” is IGB’s mission. Our vision is to engage in interdisciplinary research to achieve a deep understanding of the processes that shape the structure and functioning of water bodies and their biota. Our research findings help to predict responses to natural and human-induced environmental changes and to develop measures for sustainable water management. This enables politics and society to cope with global change and to manage and conserve water-based resources and ecosystems for the welfare of mankind and nature.

    It is our mission to generate objective and evidence-based knowledge for the conservation and management of inland waters and to make it publicly available. In collaboration with our partners from science, politics, industrial practice and civil society, we develop solutions and recommendations for action for pressing environmental issues and support decision-making processes at local, national and international level. With innovative funding programmes and transdisciplinary cooperation models, we set new impulses in research, teaching, application and participation. Our objective is to combine scientific freedom and excellence with social responsibility and effectiveness in the sense of a double impact.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:13 am on January 20, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Microplastics: A Macro Problem"-Much about their threat to the environment and human health remains unknown., "Soil and freshwater come under the spotlight in plastics-pollution fight", Ecology, Interest in microplastics pollution in soils has grown over the past few years., Terrestrial microplastics pollution may be four to 23 times higher than it is in seas., The lack of knowledge is particularly pronounced when it comes to soils and freshwater.   

    From “Horizon” The EU Research and Innovation Magazine : “Soil and freshwater come under the spotlight in plastics-pollution fight” 

    From “Horizon” The EU Research and Innovation Magazine

    1.18.23
    Gareth Willmer

    1
    Over time, plastic waste is weathered and breaks down into tiny fragments. Credit: © Kuttelvaserova Stuchelova, Shutterstock.com.

    Growing awareness of microplastics in the ground and in freshwater highlights the need to tackle an environmental threat generally associated with oceans.

    On a recent stroll to his local supermarket in the southern German town of Bayreuth, Christian Laforsch decided to count how much plastic trash he passed.

    ‘It was 52 pieces on only a normal walk,’ said Professor Laforsch, an ecologist at the University of Bayreuth. ‘The problem starts indoors before moving outside. If you open your door and look out onto the street, you will see plastics.’

    Spotlight shift

    Over time, plastic waste is weathered and breaks down into minute fragments – with those measuring less than 5 millimetres in diameter defined as microplastics. Much about their threat to the environment and human health remains unknown.

    The lack of knowledge is particularly pronounced when it comes to soils and freshwater, with research to date tending to focus on microplastics in oceans. Yet terrestrial microplastics pollution may be four to 23 times higher than it is in seas.

    ‘We started as researchers in the marine system, then we went on to the freshwater system and terrestrial ecosystems,’ said Laforsch.

    Interest in microplastics pollution in soils has grown over the past few years.

    For example, a quick search on Science Direct for papers in 2018 on the subject brings up just over 150 results compared with around 450 for oceans. But for 2022, the figures are 2 300 to 2 400 for both soils and oceans.

    ‘People who work in environmental sciences found that microplastics are everywhere,’ said Dr Nasrollah Sepehrnia, a soil physicist at the University of Aberdeen in the UK.

    However, investigating their effects in ecosystems such as soils is challenging.

    ‘Monitoring and tracing such materials is complex, and their fate in soil is not clear,’ said Sepehrnia. ‘But very likely they find a way to go into our food chain – and may impact our climate and the environment.’

    Progress on the research front could help pinpoint ways to reduce microplastics and any effect they have on human health. With the EU recently proposing to limit the use of microplastics in industry and the United Nations calling last month for countries to work towards eliminating plastics pollution, research could also help determine the most important areas for further regulatory action.

    Soiled soils

    The EU-funded TRAMPAS project that Sepehrnia works on is investigating microplastics pollution in soils. The focus is on the biological, chemical and physical impacts, including the potential effects on pathogens.

    The surface or pores of microplastics can create artificial habitats for disease-causing organisms and protect them against harsh external environments, according to Sepehrnia.

    ‘Microplastics in soil could be a good harbour or shelter for other contaminants, potentially increasing the life of pathogens,’ he said.

    The project will use a new approach to monitor the movement of bacteria, harnessing synthesised DNA to track how organisms are transported through the soil on microplastics and where they end up.

    Studying microplastic particles measuring 1.5, 3 and 5 mm, Sepehrnia’s team noticed that the smaller the particle, the longer the contaminants such as bacteria appear to stay in soil.

    ‘When we have such information, it helps trace the contaminants’ fate,’ he said. ‘We can then use it to define management practices and regulations.’

    Microplastics in soil may even play a role in global warming.

    Plastics release greenhouse gases as they break down in soil. In addition, bacteria that hitch a lift on microplastics might contribute to increasing the amount of carbon dioxide released.

    On top of this, work by TRAMPAS indicates that changes in the surface of degraded microplastics can make soils hydrophobic and, as a result, harder for water to permeate.

    Troubled waters

    After microplastics move through the soil or arrive from other sources such as sewage treatment plants and runoff from streets, they often end up in streams and rivers before flowing into the sea.

    The EU-funded LimnoPlast project led by Laforsch is focusing on microplastics in freshwater bodies. The team is investigating the sources, impact, removal options and possible policy responses of this invisible invader.

    So far, LimnoPlast has discovered that some biodegradable plastics are potentially as harmful as traditional plastics. As a result, analysing the whole mix of constituents in finished plastic products is important, according to Laforsch.

    A challenge is that microplastics are a diverse set of contaminants of varying polymer types, sizes and shapes rather than a single material – so it’s important to investigate these differences. Knowing more about them will help to inform manufacturing practices and EU regulation of the most harmful microplastics.

    ‘It might be that only some of those properties are responsible for the effects we see,’ said Laforsch. ‘If we know which properties do most harm, we can be more focused on these when it comes to the design of new polymers.’
    ===
    Promising possibilities

    LimnoPlast is testing a removal method that uses an electric field to isolate microplastic particles in wastewater.

    The researchers are also developing new biodegradable polymers made from orange peels.

    ‘It’s hard to say when we will be successful in having a new material, but at the moment things look promising,’ Laforsch said.

    Beyond hoping to lay the ground for an improved European legal framework for microplastics, LimnoPlast is training a new generation of interdisciplinary scientists in the field who have an understanding of the wider societal context of microplastics.

    The project brings together experts with backgrounds in environmental, technical and social sciences from 14 research institutions and organisations across Europe – including Denmark, France, Germany, Slovenia and the UK.

    ‘You cannot tackle an environmental issue only by looking the natural-science part,’ said Laforsch. ‘You have to include social sciences and all the legal aspects.’

    Expanding on that idea, he highlighted a need to think in a joined-up way across ecosystems too.

    ‘We should stop talking about it being a problem of the marine or the freshwater or the terrestrial system because it’s all interconnected,’ Laforsch said.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition
    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct.

     
  • richardmitnick 5:37 pm on January 19, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "An introduction to marsh bothering" Photo Essay, , , , , Ecology, Peat,   

    From The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution: “An introduction to marsh bothering” Photo Essay 

    From The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

    11.28.22 [Just today in social media.]
    HANNAH PIECUCH
    PHOTOGRAPHY BY HANNAH AND CHRISTOPHER PIECUCH

    4
    Living on the edge.

    For WHOI Associate Scientist Christopher Piecuch, studying sea level usually involves long math derivations at a white board and coding at a computer. But the data he uses for those models are based on samples from physical places in the world, such as marshes along eastern North America. In June 2022, Piecuch (below, right) travelled to Prince Edward Island, Canada, with colleagues who collect salt-marsh sediment cores to reconstruct past sea level. It was an entry into field science: where work is planned according to the tides, mud is ever-present, marsh gnats can make a hard day harder, and Piecuch found coring itself a surprisingly satisfying form of physical exertion.

    6
    Tufts professor Andrew Kemp and WHOI scientist Christopher Piecuch at Jacques River Marsh, PE, Canada. Photo by Hannah Piecuch, © Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

    Marsh bothering is a lighthearted name for systematic and careful work. “To get a core that will show past sea level, you need a place with a background level of sea-level rise, so the marsh adds new layers of sediment through the years,” says Andrew Kemp, an associate professor from Tufts University, who led the fieldwork (above, left).

    Kemp has been gathering cores and reconstructing past sea level along the North American Atlantic coast for nearly two decades and Piecuch uses this data to model rates of past sea-level change. They needed a sampling location between Maine and Newfoundland to expand coverage within the data series. Prince Edward Island experiences rising seas, has an abundance of marshes, and was accessible for the international science team.

    Mapping Underground Peat

    To locate the best spots for coring, the team spent more than a week surveying three marshes. They began by tracking the tides at each marsh. Then they spent days on surface surveys, examining the dirt beneath their boots, and taking exploratory cores to determine where they could find the thickest peat. The goal was to take home cores from deep and undisturbed areas of each marsh for detailed laboratory analysis.

    7
    Maeve Upton, postgraduate research student at the National University of Ireland Maynooth, looks through a leveler to establish sea level on a marsh. Photo by Christopher Piecuch, © Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

    8
    Andrew Kemp examines a peat sample. Photo by Hannah Piecuch © Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

    9
    The science party arriving at Jacques River Marsh, PE, Canada. Photo by Hannah Piecuch © Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

    Fewer cores, more data

    Scientists have used salt marsh cores for decades, but in the past, they were generally used to study geological processes on time scales across thousands of years—such as the rate at which land was rising or falling after the glaciers melted.

    The approach Kemp favors means taking fewer cores and analyzing them in more detail. The result is data that shows sea-level change decade-by-decade across millennia.

    “Salt marsh cores provide a seamless and continuous record that captures the present and also extends thousands of years into the past,” says Piecuch. “Knowing how sea level has changed lets us know how the solid earth, the ocean, and climate have changed and that gives us a picture of how what we’re experiencing now is unique.

    5
    Salt marsh peat samples. Photo by Hannah Piecuch © Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

    9
    MIT-WHOI Joint Program student Kelly McKeon. Photo by Hannah Piecuch, © Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

    A journey through time

    In order to turn these salt marsh cores into a figure that shows age and sea level, the sediment is first sliced up by centimeter. Then, it is analyzed for age using an isotope detector for the last 150 years, and radiocarbon dating for layers older than that.

    Once the age of the sediment is known at each depth, the researchers need to determine where sea level was when it was at the top of the marsh. To do that, portions of the same sections are spread over microscope plates so the foraminifera—single-celled organisms often referred to as forams—can be counted.

    In salt marshes, forams make a shell by gluing pieces of sediment to themselves. Different species favor different depths in a marsh, and can show whether a sample of sediment is from a high portion of a marsh or directly at sea level.

    A boot in both worlds

    While field science and modeling are often carried out by separate scientists, Kelly McKeon (above), a doctoral student in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program, aims to do both.

    The science party on Prince Edward Island was composed of people who work across the whole range of disciplines in reconstructing past sea level.

    “I gained a lot of new connections,” McKeon says, “I have field experience, but not in sea-level reconstructions. The reason I am working with Chris is to learn how to do sea-level modeling. Before this trip he was the only person I knew in that space.”

    McKeon sees modeling as a key to gathering better salt marsh samples. “Numerical models can help predict what we should see in field data and validate the observations we make there.”

    10
    Photo by Christopher Piecuch © Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

    11
    WHOI scientist Christopher Piecuch with salt marsh peat samples. Photo by Hannah Piecuch, © Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

    A new view of Salt Marsh Data

    Having modelers along benefited everyone, Kemp adds. “Usually, modelers and field scientists have only brief opportunities to interact at conferences,” Kemp says. “My goal was to offer the space and time for longer discussions in a casual atmosphere.”

    The time and space paid off, especially during evening lectures where each member of the science party could present something they were working on and then spend an unpressured hour discussing it.

    “Zoë Roseby—a scientist from Trinity College Dublin—was looking at how much sea level rose in Dublin from 1700-2000,” Kemp says. “Piecuch explained how that question should be answered. Then Maeve Upton—a modeler from National University of Ireland Maynooth—and I spent an evening locating the numbers we needed, and I actually used that approach in a paper where we had the same question for a different time and location.”

    For Roseby—who analyzes salt marsh samples to reconstruct sea level on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean—having modelers give feedback on her research was especially helpful. “It really helped me understand what my results mean when I use these modeling methods. I came away feeling really motivated and knowing how I can write about my data.”

    Working in the field has already enriched Piecuch’s work. “It allowed me to see the reality that the data describes,” he says. “I am now able to more accurately represent that process in the models I build, which means I’ll produce more accurate estimates of sea-level change.”

    12
    Fermin Alvarez Agoues, a postgraduate scholar at Trinity College Dublin; Kelly McKeon, MIT-WHOI Joint Program student; and Emmanuel Bustamante, postdoctoral researcher at Tufts University taking surface samples at Tryon Marsh, PE, Canada. Photo by Hannah Piecuch, © Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Mission Statement

    The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is dedicated to advancing knowledge of the ocean and its connection with the Earth system through a sustained commitment to excellence in science, engineering, and education, and to the application of this knowledge to problems facing society.

    Vision & Mission

    The ocean is a defining feature of our planet and crucial to life on Earth, yet it remains one of the planet’s last unexplored frontiers. For this reason, WHOI scientists and engineers are committed to understanding all facets of the ocean as well as its complex connections with Earth’s atmosphere, land, ice, seafloor, and life—including humanity. This is essential not only to advance knowledge about our planet, but also to ensure society’s long-term welfare and to help guide human stewardship of the environment. WHOI researchers are also dedicated to training future generations of ocean science leaders, to providing unbiased information that informs public policy and decision-making, and to expanding public awareness about the importance of the global ocean and its resources.

    The Institution is organized into six departments, the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Ocean Research, and a marine policy center. Its shore-based facilities are located in the village of Woods Hole, Massachusetts and a mile and a half away on the Quissett Campus. The bulk of the Institution’s funding comes from grants and contracts from the National Science Foundation and other government agencies, augmented by foundations and private donations.

    WHOI scientists, engineers, and students collaborate to develop theories, test ideas, build seagoing instruments, and collect data in diverse marine environments. Ships operated by WHOI carry research scientists throughout the world’s oceans. The WHOI fleet includes two large research vessels (R/V Atlantis and R/V Neil Armstrong); the coastal craft Tioga; small research craft such as the dive-operation work boat Echo; the deep-diving human-occupied submersible Alvin; the tethered, remotely operated vehicle Jason/Medea; and autonomous underwater vehicles such as the REMUS and SeaBED.
    WHOI offers graduate and post-doctoral studies in marine science. There are several fellowship and training programs, and graduate degrees are awarded through a joint program with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. WHOI is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges . WHOI also offers public outreach programs and informal education through its Exhibit Center and summer tours. The Institution has a volunteer program and a membership program, WHOI Associate.

    On October 1, 2020, Peter B. de Menocal became the institution’s eleventh president and director.

    History

    In 1927, a National Academy of Sciences committee concluded that it was time to “consider the share of the United States of America in a worldwide program of oceanographic research.” The committee’s recommendation for establishing a permanent independent research laboratory on the East Coast to “prosecute oceanography in all its branches” led to the founding in 1930 of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

    A $2.5 million grant from the Rockefeller Foundation supported the summer work of a dozen scientists, construction of a laboratory building and commissioning of a research vessel, the 142-foot (43 m) ketch R/V Atlantis, whose profile still forms the Institution’s logo.

    WHOI grew substantially to support significant defense-related research during World War II, and later began a steady growth in staff, research fleet, and scientific stature. From 1950 to 1956, the director was Dr. Edward “Iceberg” Smith, an Arctic explorer, oceanographer and retired Coast Guard rear admiral.

    In 1977 the institution appointed the influential oceanographer John Steele as director, and he served until his retirement in 1989.

    On 1 September 1985, a joint French-American expedition led by Jean-Louis Michel of IFREMER and Robert Ballard of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution identified the location of the wreck of the RMS Titanic which sank off the coast of Newfoundland 15 April 1912.

    On 3 April 2011, within a week of resuming of the search operation for Air France Flight 447, a team led by WHOI, operating full ocean depth autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) owned by the Waitt Institute discovered, by means of sidescan sonar, a large portion of debris field from flight AF447.

    In March 2017 the institution effected an open-access policy to make its research publicly accessible online.

    The Institution has maintained a long and controversial business collaboration with the treasure hunter company Odyssey Marine. Likewise, WHOI has participated in the location of the San José galleon in Colombia for the commercial exploitation of the shipwreck by the Government of President Santos and a private company.

    In 2019, iDefense reported that China’s hackers had launched cyberattacks on dozens of academic institutions in an attempt to gain information on technology being developed for the United States Navy. Some of the targets included the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The attacks have been underway since at least April 2017.

     
  • richardmitnick 4:40 pm on January 19, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Special drone collects environmental DNA from trees", , , , Ecology, , , WSL [Eidgenössische Forschungsanstalt für Wald - Schnee und Landschaft][Institut fédéral de recherches sur la forêt - la neige et le paysage] (CH)   

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich [ETH Zürich] [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH): “Special drone collects environmental DNA from trees” 

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich [ETH Zürich] [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH)

    1.19.23
    Peter Rüegg

    1
    Photograph: Gottardo Pestalozzi / WSL.

    Researchers at ETH Zürich and WSL Swiss Federal Institute for Forest Snow and Landscape Research [Eidgenössische Forschungsanstalt für Wald – Schnee und Landschaft][Institut fédéral de recherches sur la forêt – la neige et le paysage] (CH) have developed a flying device that can land on tree branches to take samples. This opens up a new dimension for scientists previously reserved for biodiversity researchers.

    Ecologists are increasingly using traces of genetic material left behind by living organisms left behind in the environment, called environmental DNA (eDNA), to catalogue and monitor biodiversity. Based on these DNA traces, researchers can determine which species are present in a certain area.

    Obtaining samples from water or soil is easy, but other habitats – such as the forest canopy – are difficult for researchers to access. As a result, many species remain untracked in poorly explored areas.

    Researchers at ETH Zürich and the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research Wald – Schnee und Landschaft, and the company SPYGEN have partnered to develop a special drone that can autonomously collect samples on tree branches.


    Special drone collects environmental DNA from trees. (Video: ETH Zürich)

    How the drone collects material

    The drone is equipped with adhesive strips. When the aircraft lands on a branch, material from the branch sticks to these strips. Researchers can then extract DNA in the lab, analyze it and assign it to genetic matches of the various organisms using database comparisons.

    But not all branches are the same: they vary in terms of their thickness and elasticity. Branches also bend and rebound when a drone lands on them. Programming the aircraft in such a way that it can still approach a branch autonomously and remain stable on it long enough to take samples was a major challenge for the roboticists.

    “Landing on branches requires complex control,” explains Stefano Mintchev, Professor of Environmental Robotics at ETH Zürich and WSL. Initially, the drone does not know how flexible a branch is, so the researchers fitted it with a force sensing cage. This allows the drone to measure this factor at the scene and incorporate it into its flight manoeuvre.

    3
    Scheme: DNA is extracted from the collected branch material, amplified, sequenced and the sequences found are compared with databases. This allows the species to be identified. (Graphic: Stefano Mintchev / ETH Zürich)

    Preparing rainforest operations at Zoo Zürich

    Researchers have tested their new device on seven tree species. In the samples, they found DNA from 21 distinct groups of organisms, or taxa, including birds, mammals and insects. “This is encouraging, because it shows that the collection technique works,“ says Mintchev, who co-​authored the study that has just appeared in the journal Science Robotics [below].

    The researchers now want to improve their drone further to get it ready for a competition in which the aim is to detect as many different species as possible across 100 hectares of rainforest in Singapore in 24 hours.

    To test the drone’s efficiency under conditions similar to those it will experience at the competition, Mintchev and his team are currently working at the Zoo Zurich’s Masoala Rainforest. „Here we have the advantage of knowing which species are present, which will help us to better assess how thorough we are in capturing all eDNA traces with this technique or if we’re missing something,“ Mintchev says.

    For this event, however, the collection device must become more efficient and mobilize faster. In the tests in Switzerland, the drone collected material from seven trees in three days; in Singapore, it must be able to fly to and collect samples from ten times as many trees in just one day.

    Collecting samples in a natural rainforest, however, presents the researchers with even tougher challenges. Frequent rain washes eDNA off surfaces, while wind and clouds impede drone operation. „We are therefore very curious to see whether our sampling method will also prove itself under extreme conditions in the tropics,” Mintchev says.

    Science Robotics
    See the science paper for instructive material with images and video.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    ETH Zurich campus

    The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich [ETH Zürich] [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH) is a public research university in the city of Zürich, Switzerland. Founded by the Swiss Federal Government in 1854 with the stated mission to educate engineers and scientists, the school focuses exclusively on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Like its sister institution The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne](CH) , it is part of The Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology Domain (ETH Domain)) , part of the The Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research [EAER][Eidgenössisches Departement für Wirtschaft, Bildung und Forschung] [Département fédéral de l’économie, de la formation et de la recherche] (CH).

    The university is an attractive destination for international students thanks to low tuition fees of 809 CHF per semester, PhD and graduate salaries that are amongst the world’s highest, and a world-class reputation in academia and industry. There are currently 22,200 students from over 120 countries, of which 4,180 are pursuing doctoral degrees. In the 2021 edition of the QS World University Rankings ETH Zürich is ranked 6th in the world and 8th by the Times Higher Education World Rankings 2020. In the 2020 QS World University Rankings by subject it is ranked 4th in the world for engineering and technology (2nd in Europe) and 1st for earth & marine science.

    As of November 2019, 21 Nobel laureates, 2 Fields Medalists, 2 Pritzker Prize winners, and 1 Turing Award winner have been affiliated with the Institute, including Albert Einstein. Other notable alumni include John von Neumann and Santiago Calatrava. It is a founding member of the IDEA League and the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU) and a member of the CESAER network.

    ETH Zürich was founded on 7 February 1854 by the Swiss Confederation and began giving its first lectures on 16 October 1855 as a polytechnic institute (eidgenössische polytechnische schule) at various sites throughout the city of Zurich. It was initially composed of six faculties: architecture, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, chemistry, forestry, and an integrated department for the fields of mathematics, natural sciences, literature, and social and political sciences.

    It is locally still known as Polytechnikum, or simply as Poly, derived from the original name eidgenössische polytechnische schule, which translates to “federal polytechnic school”.

    ETH Zürich is a federal institute (i.e., under direct administration by the Swiss government), whereas The University of Zürich [Universität Zürich ] (CH) is a cantonal institution. The decision for a new federal university was heavily disputed at the time; the liberals pressed for a “federal university”, while the conservative forces wanted all universities to remain under cantonal control, worried that the liberals would gain more political power than they already had. In the beginning, both universities were co-located in the buildings of the University of Zürich.

    From 1905 to 1908, under the presidency of Jérôme Franel, the course program of ETH Zürich was restructured to that of a real university and ETH Zürich was granted the right to award doctorates. In 1909 the first doctorates were awarded. In 1911, it was given its current name, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule. In 1924, another reorganization structured the university in 12 departments. However, it now has 16 departments.

    ETH Zürich, EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) [École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne](CH), and four associated research institutes form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles polytechniques fédérales] (CH) with the aim of collaborating on scientific projects.

    Reputation and ranking

    ETH Zürich is ranked among the top universities in the world. Typically, popular rankings place the institution as the best university in continental Europe and ETH Zürich is consistently ranked among the top 1-5 universities in Europe, and among the top 3-10 best universities of the world.

    Historically, ETH Zürich has achieved its reputation particularly in the fields of chemistry, mathematics and physics. There are 32 Nobel laureates who are associated with ETH Zürich, the most recent of whom is Richard F. Heck, awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2010. Albert Einstein is perhaps its most famous alumnus.

    In 2018, the QS World University Rankings placed ETH Zürich at 7th overall in the world. In 2015, ETH Zürich was ranked 5th in the world in Engineering, Science and Technology, just behind the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and University of Cambridge (UK). In 2015, ETH Zürich also ranked 6th in the world in Natural Sciences, and in 2016 ranked 1st in the world for Earth & Marine Sciences for the second consecutive year.

    In 2016, Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranked ETH Zürich 9th overall in the world and 8th in the world in the field of Engineering & Technology, just behind the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, California Institute of Technology, Princeton University, University of Cambridge(UK), Imperial College London(UK) and University of Oxford(UK) .

    In a comparison of Swiss universities by swissUP Ranking and in rankings published by CHE comparing the universities of German-speaking countries, ETH Zürich traditionally is ranked first in natural sciences, computer science and engineering sciences.

    In the survey CHE Excellence Ranking on the quality of Western European graduate school programs in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics, ETH Zürich was assessed as one of the three institutions to have excellent programs in all the considered fields, the other two being Imperial College London (UK) and the University of Cambridge (UK), respectively.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:59 pm on January 19, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Why rivers matter for the global carbon cycle", , , , Demonstrating the critical importance of river ecosystems for global carbon fluxes — integrating land and atmosphere and the oceans., , Ecology, Our current understanding of carbon fluxes in the world’s river networks., Scientists already have recent aggregate estimates for lakes and coastal environments and the open oceans. This research adds the missing piece to the puzzle., Shedding new light on the key role that river networks play in our changing world., The findings point to a clear link between river ecosystem metabolism and the global carbon cycle., The researchers arrived at their findings by compiling global data on river ecosystem respiration and plant photosynthesis., The role of the global river ecosystem metabolism., , While routing water toward the oceans river ecosystem metabolism consumes organic carbon derived from terrestrial ecosystems which produces CO2 emitted into the atmosphere.   

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH): “Why rivers matter for the global carbon cycle” 

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH)

    1.19.23
    Rebecca Mosimann

    1
    In a new journal article, EPFL professor Tom Battin reviews our current understanding of carbon fluxes in the world’s river networks. He demonstrates their central role in the global carbon cycle and argues for the creation of a global River Observation System.

    Until recently, our understanding of the global carbon cycle was largely limited to the world’s oceans and terrestrial ecosystems. Tom Battin, who heads EPFL’s River Ecosystems Laboratory (RIVER), has now shed new light on the key role that river networks play in our changing world. These findings are outlined in a review article commissioned by Nature [below].

    Battin, a full professor at EPFL’s School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC), persuaded a dozen experts in the field to contribute to the article. For the first time, their research combines the most recent data to demonstrate the critical importance of river ecosystems for global carbon fluxes — integrating land, atmosphere and the oceans.

    2
    A sensor network studies the biogeochemistry of streams in the Swiss Alps.© Nicolas Deluigi.

    Calculating carbon fluxes
    In their article, the authors highlight the role of the global river ecosystem metabolism. “River ecosystems have a much more complex metabolism than the human body,” explains Battin. “They produce both oxygen and CO2 through the combined effect of microbial respiration and plant photosynthesis. It’s important to fully appreciate the underlying mechanisms, so that we can evaluate and quantify the impact of the ecosystem metabolism on carbon fluxes.” Pierre Regnier, a professor at Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and one of the contributing authors, adds: “Understanding river ecosystem metabolism is an essential first step towards better measuring the carbon cycle, since this metabolism determines the exchange of oxygen and greenhouse gases with the air. Scientists already have recent aggregate estimates for lakes, coastal environments and the open oceans. Our research adds the missing piece to the puzzle, paving the way to a comprehensive, integrated, quantified picture of this key process for our ‘blue planet.’” The researchers arrived at their findings by compiling global data on river ecosystem respiration and plant photosynthesis.

    Their findings point to a clear link between river ecosystem metabolism and the global carbon cycle. While routing water toward the oceans, river ecosystem metabolism consumes organic carbon derived from terrestrial ecosystems, which produces CO2 emitted into the atmosphere. Residual organic carbon that is not metabolized makes its way into the oceans, together with CO2 that is not emitted into the atmosphere. These riverine inputs of carbon can influence the biogeochemistry of the coastal waters.

    Battin and his colleagues also discuss how global change, particularly climate change, urbanization, land use change and flow regulation, including dams, affect river ecosystem metabolism and related greenhouse gas fluxes. For instance, rivers that drain agricultural lands receive massive amounts of nitrogen from fertilizers. Elevated nitrogen concentrations, coupled with rising temperatures owing to global warming, can cause eutrophication – a process that leads to the formation of algal blooms. As these algae die, they stimulate the production of methane and nitrous oxide, greenhouse gases that are even more potent than CO2. Dams can also exacerbate eutrophication, potentially leading to even higher greenhouse gas emissions.

    3
    Tom Battin, head of EPFL’s River Ecosystems Laboratory (RIVER).© Alain Herzog.

    A new river observation system
    The authors conclude their article by underlining the necessity for a global River Observing System (RIOS) to better quantify and predict the role of rivers for the global carbon cycle. RIOS will integrate data from sensors networks in the rivers and satellite imagery with mathematical models to generate near-real time carbon fluxes related to river ecosystem metabolism. “Thereby, RIOS would serve as a diagnostic tool, allowing us to ‘take the pulse’ of river ecosystems and respond to human disturbances,” says Battin. “River networks are comparable to our vascular systems that we monitor for health purposes. It is time now to monitor the health of the world’s river networks’. The message couldn’t be clearer.

    4
    EPFL River Ecosystems Laboratory

    Owing to global change, the ecological integrity of streams and rivers is at threat worldwide. At EPFL’s River Ecosystems Laboratory (RIVER), we conduct insight-driven and fundamental research that cuts across the physical, chemical and biological domains of alpine stream ecosystems. We study biofilms, the dominant form of microbial life in streams, including the structure and function of their microbiome, and their orchestration of ecosystem processes. We also study stream ecosystem processes and biogeochemistry, including whole-ecosystem metabolism and related carbon fluxes — from the small to the global scale. We blend environmental sciences and ecology, and combine fieldwork with experiments and modeling to gain a better mechanistic understanding of stream ecosystem functioning.

    Nature – River ecosystem metabolism and carbon biogeochemistry in a changing world

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    EPFL bloc

    EPFL campus

    The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH) is a research institute and university in Lausanne, Switzerland, that specializes in natural sciences and engineering. It is one of the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology, and it has three main missions: education, research and technology transfer.

    The QS World University Rankings ranks EPFL(CH) 14th in the world across all fields in their 2020/2021 ranking, whereas Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranks EPFL(CH) as the world’s 19th best school for Engineering and Technology in 2020.

    EPFL(CH) is located in the French-speaking part of Switzerland; the sister institution in the German-speaking part of Switzerland is The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zürich [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH). Associated with several specialized research institutes, the two universities form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles Polytechniques Fédérales] (CH) which is directly dependent on the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research. In connection with research and teaching activities, EPFL(CH) operates a nuclear reactor CROCUS; a Tokamak Fusion reactor; a Blue Gene/Q Supercomputer; and P3 bio-hazard facilities.

    ETH Zürich, EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) [École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne](CH), and four associated research institutes form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles polytechniques fédérales] (CH) with the aim of collaborating on scientific projects.

    The roots of modern-day EPFL(CH) can be traced back to the foundation of a private school under the name École Spéciale de Lausanne in 1853 at the initiative of Lois Rivier, a graduate of the École Centrale Paris (FR) and John Gay the then professor and rector of the Académie de Lausanne. At its inception it had only 11 students and the offices were located at Rue du Valentin in Lausanne. In 1869, it became the technical department of the public Académie de Lausanne. When the Académie was reorganized and acquired the status of a university in 1890, the technical faculty changed its name to École d’Ingénieurs de l’Université de Lausanne. In 1946, it was renamed the École polytechnique de l’Université de Lausanne (EPUL). In 1969, the EPUL was separated from the rest of the University of Lausanne and became a federal institute under its current name. EPFL(CH), like ETH Zürich (CH), is thus directly controlled by the Swiss federal government. In contrast, all other universities in Switzerland are controlled by their respective cantonal governments. Following the nomination of Patrick Aebischer as president in 2000, EPFL(CH) has started to develop into the field of life sciences. It absorbed the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) in 2008.

    In 1946, there were 360 students. In 1969, EPFL(CH) had 1,400 students and 55 professors. In the past two decades the university has grown rapidly and as of 2012 roughly 14,000 people study or work on campus, about 9,300 of these being Bachelor, Master or PhD students. The environment at modern day EPFL(CH) is highly international with the school attracting students and researchers from all over the world. More than 125 countries are represented on the campus and the university has two official languages, French and English.

    Organization

    EPFL is organized into eight schools, themselves formed of institutes that group research units (laboratories or chairs) around common themes:

    School of Basic Sciences
    Institute of Mathematics
    Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering
    Institute of Physics
    European Centre of Atomic and Molecular Computations
    Bernoulli Center
    Biomedical Imaging Research Center
    Interdisciplinary Center for Electron Microscopy
    MPG-EPFL Centre for Molecular Nanosciences and Technology
    Swiss Plasma Center
    Laboratory of Astrophysics

    School of Engineering

    Institute of Electrical Engineering
    Institute of Mechanical Engineering
    Institute of Materials
    Institute of Microengineering
    Institute of Bioengineering

    School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering

    Institute of Architecture
    Civil Engineering Institute
    Institute of Urban and Regional Sciences
    Environmental Engineering Institute

    School of Computer and Communication Sciences

    Algorithms & Theoretical Computer Science
    Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
    Computational Biology
    Computer Architecture & Integrated Systems
    Data Management & Information Retrieval
    Graphics & Vision
    Human-Computer Interaction
    Information & Communication Theory
    Networking
    Programming Languages & Formal Methods
    Security & Cryptography
    Signal & Image Processing
    Systems

    School of Life Sciences

    Bachelor-Master Teaching Section in Life Sciences and Technologies
    Brain Mind Institute
    Institute of Bioengineering
    Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research
    Global Health Institute
    Ten Technology Platforms & Core Facilities (PTECH)
    Center for Phenogenomics
    NCCR Synaptic Bases of Mental Diseases

    College of Management of Technology

    Swiss Finance Institute at EPFL
    Section of Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship
    Institute of Technology and Public Policy
    Institute of Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship
    Section of Financial Engineering

    College of Humanities

    Human and social sciences teaching program

    EPFL Middle East

    Section of Energy Management and Sustainability

    In addition to the eight schools there are seven closely related institutions

    Swiss Cancer Centre
    Center for Biomedical Imaging (CIBM)
    Centre for Advanced Modelling Science (CADMOS)
    École Cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL)
    Campus Biotech
    Wyss Center for Bio- and Neuro-engineering
    Swiss National Supercomputing Centre

     
  • richardmitnick 11:14 am on January 19, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Seaweed farms could help clean marine pollution", , , , Ecology, Kelp farming is an emerging industry in Alaska touted to improve food security and create new job opportunities and as a global-scale method for storing carbon reduce levels of atmospheric carbon., Kelp grown in polluted waters shouldn’t be used for food but could still be a promising tool for cleaning such areas., Kelp is actually much better at mitigating excessive amounts of nitrogen than carbon., Nitrogen pollution can lead to a variety of potential threats in marine environments including toxic algae blooms and higher bacterial activity and depleted oxygen levels., Nitrogen pollution is caused in coastal areas by factors such as urban sewage., , , Tissue and seawater samples showed that seaweed species may have different capabilities to remove nutrients from their surroundings.   

    From The University of Alaska-Fairbanks Via “Science Blog”: “Seaweed farms could help clean marine pollution” 

    From The University of Alaska-Fairbanks

    Via

    “Science Blog”

    1.19.23

    1
    The water-filtering abilities of farmed kelp could help reduce marine pollution in coastal areas, according to a new University of Alaska Fairbanks-led study.

    The paper, published in the January issue of Aquaculture Journal [below], analyzed carbon and nitrogen levels at two mixed-species kelp farms in south central and southeast Alaska during the 2020-21 growing season. Tissue and seawater samples showed that seaweed species may have different capabilities to remove nutrients from their surroundings.

    “Some seaweeds are literally like sponges — they suck and suck and never saturate,” said Schery Umanzor, an assistant professor at UAF’s College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences and the lead author of the study.

    “Although carbon and carbon sequestration by kelp received most of the attention, kelp is actually much better at mitigating excessive amounts of nitrogen than carbon,” Umanzor said. “I think that’s a story that’s really underlooked.”

    Nitrogen pollution is caused in coastal areas by factors such as urban sewage, domestic water runoff or fisheries waste disposal. It can lead to a variety of potential threats in marine environments, including toxic algae blooms, higher bacterial activity and depleted oxygen levels. Kelp grown in polluted waters shouldn’t be used for food but could still be a promising tool for cleaning such areas.

    Kelp farming is an emerging industry in Alaska touted to improve food security and create new job opportunities. It’s also been considered as a global-scale method for storing carbon, which could be a way to reduce levels of atmospheric carbon that contribute to climate change.

    Analysis of kelp tissue samples from the farms determined that ribbon kelp was more effective than sugar kelp at absorbing both nitrogen and carbon, although that difference was somewhat offset by the higher density of farmed sugar kelp forests.

    Umanzor cautioned that the study was limited to two sites during a single growing season. She is currently processing a larger collection of samples collected from six Alaska kelp farms for the subsequent season.

    “Maybe it’s a function of species, maybe it’s the site, maybe it’s the type of carbon and nitrogen out there,” Umanzor said. “There’s a lot to know in a follow-up study.”

    Aquaculture Journal
    See the science paper for instructive material with images.

    See the full article here.

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The The University of Alaska-Fairbanks is a public land-grant research university in College, Alaska; a suburb of Fairbanks. It is a flagship campus of the University of Alaska system. UAF was established in 1917 and opened for classes in 1922. Originally named the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines, it became the University of Alaska in 1935. Fairbanks-based programs became the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1975.

    University of Alaska-Fairbanks is classified among “R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity”. It is home to several major research units, including the Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station; the Geophysical Institute, which operates the Poker Flat Research Range and several other scientific centers; the Alaska Center for Energy and Power; the International Arctic Research Center; the Institute of Arctic Biology; the Institute of Marine Science; and the Institute of Northern Engineering. Located just 200 miles (320 km) south of the Arctic Circle, the Fairbanks campus’ unique location favors Arctic and northern research. UAF’s research specialties are renowned worldwide, most notably Arctic biology, Arctic engineering, geophysics, supercomputing, Ethnobotany and Alaska Native studies. The University of Alaska Museum of the North is also on the Fairbanks campus.

    In addition to the Fairbanks campus, University of Alaska-Fairbanks encompasses six rural and urban campuses: Bristol Bay Campus in Dillingham; Chukchi Campus in Kotzebue; the Fairbanks-based Interior Alaska Campus, which serves the state’s rural Interior; Kuskokwim Campus in Bethel; Northwest Campus in Nome; and the UAF Community and Technical College, with headquarters in downtown Fairbanks. UAF is also the home of UAF eCampus, which offers fully online programs.

    In fall 2017, University of Alaska-Fairbanks enrolled 8,720 students. Of those students, 58% were female and 41% were male; 87.8% were undergraduates, and 12.2% were graduate students. As of May 2018, 1,352 students had graduated during the immediately preceding summer, fall and spring semesters.

    Research units

    University of Alaska-Fairbanks is Alaska’s primary research university, conducting more than 90% of University of Alaska system research. Research activities are organized into several institutes and centers:

    the Geophysical Institute, established in 1946 by an act of Congress, specializes in seismology, volcanology and aeronomy, among other fields.
    the International Arctic Research Center researches the circumpolar North and the causes and effects of climate change.
    the Institute of Northern Engineering, an arm of the College of Engineering and Mines, conducts research in many different areas of engineering.
    the Research Computing Systems unit, located within the Geophysical Institute, is the high-performance computing unit of UAF.
    the Alaska Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station conducts research focused on solving problems related to agriculture and forest sciences.
    the Institute of Arctic Biology conducts research focused on high-latitude biological systems.
    the Robert G. White Large Animal Research Station conducts long-term research with muskoxen, reindeer and cattle.
    the Institute of Marine Science, a branch of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, investigates topics in oceanography, marine biology, and fisheries.
    the R/V Sikuliaq, a 261-foot ice-resistant ship outfitted with modern scientific equipment, is operated by the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences for the National Science Foundation.

     
c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel
%d bloggers like this: