Archives for July 2016

California firefighters hopeful on slowing Big Sur blaze

CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA, Calif. (Reuters) – Firefighters were hopeful of making progress on Sunday in slowing a deadly wildfire that has raged for 10 days near California’s Big Sur coast, destroying dozens of homes and forcing hundreds of residents and campers to evacuate.

Reuters: Environment

Chinese police seize nearly 400 baby Siamese crocodiles: Xinhua

BEIJING (Reuters) – Border police seized 399 baby Siamese crocodiles, a protected endangered species, in southern China, state-owned Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday.

Reuters: Environment

‘Turtle Rangers’ Planting Decoy Eggs To Track, Catch Latin American Poachers

Ocean Leadership ~

Loggerhead sea turtle next (Credit: Public Domain Image)

(Click to enlarge) Loggerhead sea turtle next (Credit: Public Domain Image)

The same tracking devices that help you find your keys and navigate with a smart phone could lead law enforcement to the profiteers in the expanding global trade of endangered sea turtle eggs.

(From KCBS)– Turtle rangers will lie in wait in the dark along Latin American beaches where poaching is common, and when mother turtles emerge from the sea, plant their decoys.

“We would find a nest that we know is vulnerable to poaching, dig into the nest and place this egg,” Sarah Otterstrom with conservation group Paso Pacifico told KCBS.

Otterstrom says a Hollywood special effects artist helped make sure the 3D printed fakes embedded with tracking devices look and feel like the real thing. “In a nest of 100 other eggs, they’re sandy and moist, they’ll be placed in a sack and they really probably will go undetected until they make it to the consumer,” Otterstrom said.

By that time, Paso Pacifico will have mapped the route of the egg and turned the information over to law enforcement. Sea turtle eggs are a delicacy in Latin America – part of traditional celebrations according to  Otterstrom. Lately however, she’s seen evidence that the eggs travel much farther than the local market. “A couple was caught smuggling sea turtle eggs in California,” she said.

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The post ‘Turtle Rangers’ Planting Decoy Eggs To Track, Catch Latin American Poachers appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.

Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Heavy rains flood Baltimore suburb, homes damaged

(Reuters) – Heavy rains caused waist-deep flooding on Saturday night in a suburb of Baltimore, damaging homes and businesses and pushing cars through the streets, an official said.

Reuters: Environment

Rice crops that can save farmers money and cut pollution

A new U of T Scarborough study has identified “superstar” varieties of rice that can reduce fertilizer loss and cut down on environmental pollution in the process.

The study, authored by U of T Scarborough Professor Herbert Kronzucker in collaboration with a team at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, looked at 19 varieties of rice to see which ones were more efficient at using nitrogen.

“We have this bucolic idea of agriculture — animals grazing or vast fields of majestic crops — but the global reality is it's one of the biggest drivers of environmental pollution and climate change,” says Kronzucker.

ENN: Top Stories

ORNL-led study analyzes electric grid vulnerabilities in extreme weather areas

Climate and energy scientists at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a new method to pinpoint which electrical service areas will be most vulnerable as populations grow and temperatures rise.

“For the first time, we were able to apply data at a high enough resolution to be relevant,” said ORNL's Melissa Allen, co-author of “Impacts of Climate Change on Sub-regional Electricity Demand and Distribution in the Southern United States,” published in Nature Energy.

ENN: Top Stories

Opportunity: NOAA Climate Program Grants Notice (Oct. 24)

Ocean Leadership ~

employment-opportunites-e1433868852278Funding Opportunity: NOAA-OAR-CPO-2017-2004896

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is focused on providing the essential and highest quality environmental information vital to our Nation’s safety, prosperity and resilience. Toward this goal, the agency conducts and supports weather and climate research, oceanic and atmospheric observations, modeling, information management, assessments, interdisciplinary decision-support research, outreach, education, and partnership development. Climate variability and change present society with significant economic, health, safety, and security challenges and opportunities.

In meeting these challenges, and as part of NOAA’s climate portfolio within the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), the Climate Program Office (CPO) advances scientific understanding, monitoring, and prediction of climate and its impacts, to enable effective decisions. These investments are key to NOAA’s mission of “Science, Service, and Stewardship” and are guided by the agency’s vision to create and sustain enhanced resilience in ecosystems, communities, and economies.

Within this context, CPO manages competitive research programs through which NOAA funds high-priority climate science, assessments, decision support research, outreach, education, and capacity-building activities designed to advance our understanding of the Earth’s climate system, and to foster the application and use of this knowledge to improve the resilience of our Nation and its partners. CPO supports research that is conducted across the United States and internationally. CPO also provides strategic guidance for the agency’s climate science and services programs and supports NOAA’s contributions to the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) and its National Climate Assessment, and similar international endeavors such as the Global Framework for Climate Services. CPO’s climate research portfolio is designed to achieve a fully integrated research and applications program.

We meet this objective through a focus on climate intelligence and climate resilience, in support of NOAA’s goals. Climate intelligence defines CPO’s technical strength through its foundational capabilities, which include (1) Observations and monitoring, (2) Research to advance scientific understanding, (3) Modeling and prediction, (4) Communication, education, and engagement, and, (5) Climate and societal interactions. A focus on climate resilience leverages CPO’s climate intelligence to advance capabilities for responding to the urgent and growing demand for reliable, trusted, transparent, and timely climate information needed to sustain all sectors of our economy and environment.

CPO’s strategy addresses challenges in the areas of, (1) Weather and climate extremes, (2) Climate impacts on water resources, (3) Coasts and climate resilience, (4) Sustainability of marine ecosystems, and (5) Changing atmospheric composition and its impacts. Making progress in addressing climate-related societal challenges and realizing benefits for NOAA’s public and private partners, requires that these mission-focused capabilities be integrated across CPO to align research, applications, transitions, and operations, and to meet the information needs of a resilient society. NOAA envisions a Nation that is prepared for, thriving, and resilient to climate variability and change. CPO’s activities support a unique and highly flexible climate research enterprise to improve scientific understanding of climate variability and change and to enable businesses and communities to derive the benefits of this investment in the present and into the future. Effectively coordinating across these components through the development and deployment of end-to-end research-based integrated information systems that address needs of high societal relevance, have been hallmarks of CPO’s success in linking environmental intelligence to resilience.

Key components in this enterprise are Annual Federal Funding Opportunities, competitive grants programs and other types of support that advance and extend NOAA’s foundational capabilities and applications research. Proficiency in these core areas ensures that CPO’s infrastructure is always in place to meet the intelligence and resilience challenges of our changing climate. NOAA, OAR, and the Climate Program Office encourage applicants and awardees to support the principles of diversity and inclusion when writing their proposals and performing their work. Diversity is defined as a collection of individual attributes that together help organizations achieve objectives. Inclusion is defined as a culture that connects each employee to the organization. By promoting diversity and inclusion you can improve creativity, productivity, and the vitality of the research community.

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The post Opportunity: NOAA Climate Program Grants Notice (Oct. 24) appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.

Consortium for Ocean Leadership

At least 31 killed in India’s northeast, Bangladesh by heavy rains

GUWAHATI, India/DHAKA, Bangladesh (Reuters) – At least 17 people have been killed by heavy rains and flooding in the northeastern Indian state of Assam, while at least 14 people have died in Bangladesh, with millions of people also displaced, officials said on Saturday.

Reuters: Environment

Exclusive: California regulator says testing to begin on Volkswagen diesel fix

(Reuters) – Volkswagen AG and the California Air Resources Board will begin testing hardware and software that could help the German automaker avoid buying back as many as 475,000 diesel cars sold in the United States with improperly designed pollution controls, the head of the board told Reuters.

Reuters: Environment

A research project coordinated by UC3M helps reduce the cost of parallel computing

Heterogeneous parallel computing combines various processing elements with different characteristics that share a single memory system. Normally multiple cores (like the 'multicores' in some smart phones or personal computers) are combined with graphic cards and other components to process large quantities of data.

“We hope to help transform code so that it can be run in heterogeneous parallel platforms with multiple graphic cards and reconfigurable hardware,” explains the project's coordinator, José Daniel García, an associate professor in UC3M's Computer Science department. “We've made significant improvements in both performance and energy efficiency, comparable to those that can be made with a manual development process; the difference is that with a manual development process, we need months of engineering, while with our semiautomatic process we can do the same tasks in a few days.”

ENN: Top Stories