Archives for March 2016

India to Join Hunt for Gravitational Waves

The United States signed a new partner to expand the search for gravitational waves, ripples in the interwoven fabric of space and time set off by the motions of massive objects, like merging black holes.
Discovery News

South braces for tornadoes and hail from storm system

(Reuters) – Large parts of the U.S. South are expected to be pelted with hail and storms that could produce tornadoes on Thursday, the day after several twisters damaged buildings and injured at least seven people in Oklahoma.



Reuters: Environment

Opportunity: Conservation Innovation Fellow, Conservation X Labs, DC

Ocean Leadership ~

OpportunityConservation X Labs (http://www.conservationxlabs.com/) is searching for extraordinarily creative individuals who are interested in transforming conservation.

We have one opportunity for the summer, based in Washington DC, to work with us to harness open innovation, exponential technologies, and entrepreneurship to dramatically improve the efficacy, cost, speed, and scale of conservation efforts to end human induced extinction. Help us create a conservation technology community, manage the first grand challenge for conservation around aquaculture, support new technologies to address wicked conservation problems, and design new incubator/acceleration platforms for conservation innovation & technology.

Compensation:
Paid position, 40 hours per week

Duties:

Conservation X labs is seeking an open innovation summer fellow with a passion for conservation & development, but also sourcing, developing, and implementing transformational solutions. The fellow will work on a variety of projects that requires expertise in the following:

  • Conducting due diligence around new technologies and innovations for conservation, with a particular focus on oceans and food systems, understanding market potential, and assessing market readiness.
  • Supporting the Blue Economy Challenge on rethinking solutions for Aquaculture, including organizing peer review panels, reviewing applications, setting up a pitch session, selecting innovations, supporting social media and communications around the award event, and organizing a multilateral prize event.
  • Developing a catalogue of new technologies for transforming conservation, including identifying technologies from adjacent spaces that may be applied to conservation such as microbiology, synthetic biology, gene editing, sensors, 3D Printers, nanotechnology, nanosatellites, and drones.
  • Contributing to the development of specific technologies through open source approaches, including engaging a diverse community of conservationists, engineers, technologists, marketing and finance experts.
  •  Organizing university events in partnership with leading environmental schools, and other institutions.
  • Writing or editing science-based materials for multiple audiences and media, i.e. peer-reviewed articles, news stories, Linked-in articles, Tweets, and Facebook posts.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelors degree in conservation biology, ecology, physics, biomedical, electrical or chemical engineering, design, business or related fields. OR at least three years of undergraduate education in these fields working towards a B.Sc. at an accredited university.
  • Organized and demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects within a fast moving, and highly chaotic environment.
  • Self-starter, with an ability to take initiatives and lead them without significant need for supervision and willingness to work in a nontraditional office environment.
  • Passion for open innovation, advancing technology, social entrepreneurship, and the courage to take new approaches to really difficult solutions.
  • We welcome experience in the following: searching and synthesizing scientific literature; maintaining a website (or the willingness to learn); basic coding and database management, communicating with partners from various backgrounds and disciplines; organizing logistics for local or global events; writing science- based material for multiple audiences and media; editing written documents; and, facilitating discussions via video conference or in-person.

Please send your resume, cover letter, plus the contact information for two references. We would love to see your ideas upfront: Propose an idea for a new technology, prize, or innovation that could transform conservation through an infographic or a paragraph. Email the materials to Barbara@conservationxlabs.org by April 30th. Indicate your ideal start date in May and end date in August. There may be opportunities to extend.

The post Opportunity: Conservation Innovation Fellow, Conservation X Labs, DC appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.


Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Britain’s greenhouse gas emissions fell 3.3 pct in 2015: government

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions fell by 3.3 percent in 2015, largely due to a decline in coal-fired power generation and marking the third straight yearly drop, preliminary government data showed on Thursday.


Reuters: Environment

Climate Model Predicts West Antarctic Ice Sheet Could Melt Rapidly

The computer program, which accurately modeled past sea levels for the first time, predicts up to three feet of sea level rise from Antarctica by 2100.
Oceans

People power: how Montana stopped the biggest coal mine in North America

Campaigners are celebrating after defeating plans to build America’s largest open pit coal mine, writes Nick Engelfriend. In an epic ‘David and Goliath’ battle, Montana activists challenged the project, and all the politicians and businessmen that supported it, with fierce opposition, protests and demonstrations. The outcome spells hope for all in the fight against dirty energy.
Environment news & analysis, climate change reports –
The Ecologist

Illegal loggers levelling Romania’s Carpathian mountain forests

Austrian timber giant Schweighofer claims to be working hard to ensure that the huge volumes of timber it buys from Romania’s mountain forests are strictly legal, writes Katy Jenkyns. But an Ecostorm investigation has uncovered its purchase of illegally cut wood, its acceptance of fraudulent paperwork from suppliers, and the deep shadow of fear it casts over local communities.
Environment news & analysis, climate change reports –
The Ecologist

Space Station Ready for Inflatable Habitat Test

Twenty-five years after NASA began designing an inflatable space house for astronauts, a prototype habitat is launching next week for a trial run aboard the International Space Station.
Discovery News

Scientists Warn of Perilous Climate Shift Within Decades, Not Centuries

Ocean Leadership ~

A massive boulder on a coastal ridge in North Eleuthera, the Bahamas. A new research paper claims it was most likely moved there by powerful storms during the last warm period of Earth history, 120,000 years ago, and warns that such stormy conditions could recur because of human emissions of greenhouse gases. (Credit Charles Ommanney/The Washington Post)

(Click to enlarge) A massive boulder on a coastal ridge in North Eleuthera, the Bahamas. A new research paper claims it was most likely moved there by powerful storms during the last warm period of Earth history, 120,000 years ago, and warns that such stormy conditions could recur because of human emissions of greenhouse gases. (Credit Charles Ommanney/The Washington Post)

The nations of the world agreed years ago to try to limit global warming to a level they hoped would prove somewhat tolerable. But leading climate scientists warned on Tuesday that permitting a warming of that magnitude would actually be quite dangerous.

(From The New York Times / by Justin Gillis) — The likely consequences would include killer storms stronger than any in modern times, the disintegration of large parts of the polar ice sheets and a rise of the sea sufficient to begin drowning the world’s coastal cities before the end of this century, the scientists declared.

“We’re in danger of handing young people a situation that’s out of their control,” said James E. Hansen, the retired NASA climate scientist who led the new research. The findings were released Tuesday morning by a European science journal, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.

A draft version of the paper was released last year, and it provoked a roiling debate among climate scientists. The main conclusions have not changed, and that debate seems likely to be replayed in the coming weeks.

The basic claim of the paper is that by burning fossil fuels at a prodigious pace and pouring heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere, humanity is about to provoke an abrupt climate shift.

Specifically, the authors believe that fresh water pouring into the oceans from melting land ice will set off a feedback loop that will cause parts of the great ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica to disintegrate rapidly.

Read the full article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/23/science/global-warming-sea-level-carbon-dioxide-emissions.html?_r=1

The post Scientists Warn of Perilous Climate Shift Within Decades, Not Centuries appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.


Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Scientists Reveal How Animals Find Their Way ‘In The Dark’

Ocean Leadership ~

Mapping neurons that control spontaneous swimming behavior across the zebrafish brain. Gray and cyan are anatomical markers, with cyan showing neurons that project to the spinal cord. The green, red, and blue cells result from functional mapping, where green cells control leftward turning, the red cells control rightward turning, and the blue cells are tuned to forward swimming. These populations of neurons guide spontaneous zebrafish behavior when external environmental cues are lacking. (Credit: Dunn, Yu, Narayan, Randlett, Naumann, Yang, Schier, Freeman, Engert, and Ahrens)

(Click to enlarge) Mapping neurons that control spontaneous swimming behavior across the zebrafish brain. Gray and cyan are anatomical markers, with cyan showing neurons that project to the spinal cord. The green, red, and blue cells result from functional mapping, where green cells control leftward turning, the red cells control rightward turning, and the blue cells are tuned to forward swimming. These populations of neurons guide spontaneous zebrafish behavior when external environmental cues are lacking. (Credit: Dunn, Yu, Narayan, Randlett, Naumann, Yang, Schier, Freeman, Engert, and Ahrens)

Scientists have revealed the brain activity in animals that helps them find food and other vital resources in unfamiliar environments where there are no cues, such as lights and sounds, to guide them.

(From ScienceDaily) — Animals that are placed in such environments display spontaneous, seemingly random behaviors when foraging. These behaviors have been observed in many organisms, although the brain activity behind them has remained elusive due to difficulties in knowing where to look for neural signals in large vertebrate brains.

Now, in a study to be published in the journal eLife, researchers have used whole-brain imaging in larval zebrafish to discover how their brain activity translates into spontaneous behaviors. They found that the animals’ behavior in plain surroundings is not random at all, but is characterized by alternating left and right turn “states” in the brain, where the animals are more likely to perform repeated left and right turning maneuvers, respectively.

“We noted that a turn made by the zebrafish was likely to follow in the same direction as the preceding turn, creating alternating “chains” of turns biased to one side and generating conspicuous, slaloming swim trajectories,” says first author Timothy Dunn, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University.

“Freely swimming fish spontaneously chained together turns in the same direction for approximately five to 10 seconds on average, and sometimes for much longer periods. This significantly deviates from a random walk, where movements follow no discernible pattern or trend.”

By analyzing the relationship between spontaneous brain activity and spontaneous behavior in the larval zebrafish, the researchers generated whole-brain activity maps of neuronal structures that correlated with the patterns in the animals’ movements.

Read the full article here: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160322100413.htm

The post Scientists Reveal How Animals Find Their Way ‘In The Dark’ appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.


Consortium for Ocean Leadership