Archives for August 2013

EV Tax incentives can’t last forever

At this moment in time there seems to be no stopping the electric vehicle industry which is going from strength to strength. Sales are increasing, more automobile manufacturers are joining the party and motorists seem more at ease with electric vehicles there than they ever have been. While one of the reasons the industry has been kick started over the last couple of years is tax incentives and financial incentives some governments around the world, would you still buy an electric vehicle with no tax incentives today? The likelihood is that the vast majority of EV enthusiast would not buy an electric vehicle today without the tax incentives and financial attractions offered by governments around the world. This is an industry which is still very much in its infancy, the technology is still developing and perhaps many people are still yet to fully appreciate the impact which petrol/gasoline vehicles have upon the environment.
ENN: Top Stories

California wildfire threatening Yosemite is now size of Dallas

(Reuters) – A massive wildfire that has charred the northwestern edge of California’s Yosemite National Park is heading towards two groves of the park’s famed sequoia trees, National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis said as firefighters battled the blaze on Saturday.




Reuters: Environment

Climate change mitigation essential for even the most common species

Anna Taylor takes a closer look at the worrying findings of a recently published study which, unusually, chose to assess potential climate change mitigation scenarios on the more widespread and common species found on our planet…..
Environment news & analysis, climate change reports –
The Ecologist

Wedding bells a casualty of massive Yosemite blaze

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Add fairy tale weddings to the list of casualties from the mammoth wildfire blazing in and around Yosemite National Park.




Reuters: Environment

JOIDES Resolution Concludes Operations in the Gulf of Alaska

Core sections retrieved from the deep must equilibrate to lower pressures at the surface. In the process, they can sometimes crack and dislodge the end caps of the core containers. (Credit: IODP/USIO)

(Click to enlarge) Core sections retrieved from the deep must equilibrate to lower pressures at the surface. In the process, they can sometimes crack and dislodge the end caps of the core containers. (Credit: IODP/USIO)

Expedition returns ready to piece together interactions between mountain building and climate history

On July 29, 2013, the scientific ocean drilling vessel JOIDES Resolution concluded Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 341 (Southern Alaska Margin Tectonics, Climate and Sedimentation) in the port of Valdez, Alaska.  By all measures, the expedition was highly successful, retrieving more than 3 kilometers of core and high-resolution logging data from five different locations along the continental margin and deep sea in the Gulf of Alaska. 

Led by co-chiefs John Jaeger (U. of Florida) and Sean Gulick (U. of Texas at Austin), the international team of 34 scientists worked to better understand how long-term global climate change – particularly, the onset and growth of ice sheets and large erosive glaciers in the past 2.5 million years– can affect the growth of mountain ranges. An effective way to study this relationship is by studying sediments eroded by glaciers and deposited in the ocean.

(L-R) Co-chief Scientists Sean Gulick (U. of Texas at Austin) and John Jaeger (U. of Florida) brief the science party on the objectives of Expedition 341. (Credit: IODP/USIO)

(Click to enlarge) (L-R) Co-chief Scientists Sean Gulick (U. of Texas at Austin) and John Jaeger (U. of Florida) brief the science party on the objectives of Expedition 341. (Credit: IODP/USIO)

“Although the expedition is over, our work is just beginning,” says Jaeger. “Preliminary analyses on board the ship have shown than we have some very intriguing results regarding the influence of climate on tectonics. We all can hardly wait to get back to our home institutions to really dig into the samples and test our new hypotheses.”

Because glaciers such as those found in Alaska erode and transport large amounts of rock, they can dramatically alter the landscape. Also, by rapidly decreasing the overall mass of rock in the areas they scour, they can also affect the forces that create mountain ranges – sometimes in less than a million years.

The coast of Alaska and the Bering Glacier can be seen in this photo, taken from the JOIDES Resolution. (Credit: IODP/USIO)

(Click to enlarge) The coast of Alaska and the Bering Glacier can be seen in this photo, taken from the JOIDES Resolution. (Credit: IODP/USIO)

“The Gulf of Alaska is a nearly perfect location to test these ideas,” Gulick explains. “We expected to find detailed records of glacial deposition that fluctuate in accordance with the advance and retreat of glaciers and ice sheets. From what we’ve seen so far, these core samples exceed our expectations and provide critical data that were previously unavailable.“

Other goals include gaining a better understanding of the timing of the advance and retreat of the Northern Cordilleran Ice Sheet relative to other global ice sheets, obtaining a record of magnetic field reversals in the Gulf of Alaska, and a taking a look at ocean circulation dynamics and their effect on the carbon cycle during transitions into and out of ice ages.  As Gulick says, “The expedition was incredibly successful at acquiring samples over the right time intervals and at a high enough time resolution to accomplish these goals.”

The sites marked in red denote where IODP Expedition 341 (Southern Alaska Margin Tectonics, Climate and Sedimentation) drilled sediment core samples this summer, aboard the scientific ocean drilling vessel JOIDES Resolution. (Credit: IODP/USIO)

(Click to enlarge) The sites marked in red denote where IODP Expedition 341 (Southern Alaska Margin Tectonics, Climate and Sedimentation) drilled sediment core samples this summer, aboard the scientific ocean drilling vessel JOIDES Resolution. (Credit: IODP/USIO)

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About IODP

The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) is an international research program dedicated to advancing scientific understanding of the Earth through drilling, coring, and monitoring the subseafloor. The JOIDES Resolution is a scientific research vessel managed by the U.S. Implementing Organization of IODP (USIO). Together, Texas A&M University, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, and the Consortium for Ocean Leadership compose the USIO.  IODP is supported by two lead agencies: the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology. Additional program support comes from the European Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling (ECORD), the Australia-New Zealand IODP Consortium (ANZIC), India’s Ministry of Earth Sciences, the People’s Republic of China (Ministry of Science and Technology), the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources, and Brazil’s Ministry of Education (CAPES). For more information, visit www.iodp.org.

For more information about IODP Expedition 341 (Southern Alaska Margin Tectonics, Climate and Sedimentation), visit http://iodp.tamu.edu/scienceops/expeditions/alaska_tectonics_climate.html

Connect with us online!

Web: www.joidesresolution.org
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/theJR
Twitter: @SeafloorSci and @theJR

Media Contacts:

Matthew Wright
Consortium for Ocean Leadership
Washington, D.C. USA
mwright@oceanleadership.org

+1-202-448-1254


Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Satellite Watches Rim Fire Scorch Yosemite’s Edge

Firefighters, aircraft and even drones have been deployed to battle California's sixth largest wildfire in history, but to get the best perspective of the destruction being wreaked by this natural disaster it's best to look down from orbit. Continue reading →
Discovery News

Bob Gagosian – From the President’s Office: 8-30-2013

Bob Gagosian (Photo by Will Ramos / Ocean Leadership)

Congress is currently in recess, returning to Washington on September 9th when it only has nine legislative days to deal with all of the FY14 appropriations bills before the 2014 fiscal year begins on October 1st.  The House and Senate have yet to go to conference on a single bill as they are working from very different baselines with the House using a $ 967 billion allocation set in law by the Budget Control Act and the Senate using a $ 1.047 trillion allocation that assumes the budget sequester is replaced by savings from entitlement reform or increased taxes.  In order to avoid a government shut-down, the most likely course of action appears to be a short-term continuing resolution that funds the government at current 2013 year levels, which total $ 988 billion.  If Congress is not able to reach a deficit reduction deal by the end of the calendar year, then federal agencies would receive approximately a 2 percent sequester cut beginning in January. A deal on the appropriations and deficit may also collide/coincide with the need to raise the debt limit, which the Treasury Department recently told Congress would happen by mid-October.  Let’s hope that cooler minds prevail this time, and we can avoid the budget standoff that occurred in 2011 that startled the financial markets and also led to a downgrade of the nation’s credit rating. This set of circumstances certainly makes it very difficult for everyone in trying to plan next year’s budgets. But, it is what it is, and we will have to wait for some decisions to be made. We will certainly keep you apprised of any actions.

Enjoy the long weekend.

Bob


Consortium for Ocean Leadership

ONW: Week of August 26, 2013 – Number 213

Bob Gagosian (Photo by Will Ramos / Ocean Leadership)President’s Corner

Congress is currently in recess, returning to Washington on September 9th when it only has nine legislative days to deal with all of the FY14 appropriations bills before the 2014 fiscal year begins on October 1st.  The House and Senate have yet to go to conference on a single bill as they are working from very different baselines with the House using a $ 967 billion allocation set in law by the Budget Control Act and the Senate using a $ 1.047 trillion allocation that assumes the budget sequester is replaced by savings from entitlement reform or increased taxes.  In order to avoid a government shut-down, the most likely course of action appears to be a short-term continuing resolution that funds the government at current 2013 year levels, which total $ 988 billion.  If Congress is not able to reach a deficit reduction deal by the end of the calendar year, then federal agencies would receive approximately a 2 percent sequester cut beginning in January. A deal on the appropriations and deficit may also collide/coincide with the need to raise the debt limit, which the Treasury Department recently told Congress would happen by mid-October.  Let’s hope that cooler minds prevail this time, and we can avoid the budget standoff that occurred in 2011 that startled the financial markets and also led to a downgrade of the nation’s credit rating. This set of circumstances certainly makes it very difficult for everyone in trying to plan next year’s budgets. But, it is what it is, and we will have to wait for some decisions to be made. We will certainly keep you apprised of any actions.

Enjoy the long weekend.

Bob


Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Analysis: EU coal demand starting decades-long slide

LONDON (Reuters) – European Union coal demand is on course for a decades-long slide from a peak last winter as the growth in capacity of renewable power outstrips new coal-fired plants.


Reuters: Environment

Hydrogen Fuel May Have a Bright Future, According to BMW

Electric vehicles are showing strong progress throughout the world. These vehicles have been winning support from governments and consumers alike, with consumers favoring these vehicles because of the fuel savings they represent. Many of the world’s most prominent automakers that are interested in clean transpiration have devoted their efforts to developing conventional battery-electric vehicles. Germany automaker BMW is one such company. BMW has become a vocal advocate of clean transpiration and has recently launched its new electric vehicle, called the BMW i3. The automaker’s interest is not restricted to battery-electrics, however, as BMW sees a promising future in hydrogen fuel.
ENN: Top Stories