Archives for May 2017

Cold conversion of food waste into renewable energy and fertilizer has 'enormous potential'

Researchers from Concordia’s Department of Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering (BCEE) in collaboration with Bio-Terre Systems Inc. are taking the fight against global warming to colder climes.

Their weapon of choice? Cold-loving bacteria.

In a study published in Process Safety and Environmental Protection, authors Rajinikanth Rajagopal, David Bellavance and Mohammad Saifur Rahaman demonstrate the viability of using anaerobic digestion in a low-temperature (20°C) environment to convert solid food waste into renewable energy and organic fertilizer.

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Battle in the Mexican desert: silver mining against peyote and indigenous spirituality

Silver, indigenous Huichol communities and the peyote they venerate have co-existed in Wirikuta, northern Mexico for thousands of years, writes Kurt Hollander. But it’s become an increasingly troubled relationship, one that illustrates the deepest conflicts of Mexican society. The region is protected as a UNESCO Natural Sacred Area, but foreign mining companies are determined to exploit vast concessions that pose severe threats to the fragile landscape, its inhabitants and their ancient culture.
Environment news & analysis, climate change reports –
The Ecologist

Nowhere to go for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh after cyclone wrecks camps

COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh (Reuters) – Left drenched and near destitute by a cyclone that hit Bangladesh a day earlier, thousands of Rohingya refugees hunkered down in the ruins of their camps on Wednesday, waiting for help after a night in the rain.


Reuters: Environment

Corals in peril at a popular Hawaiian tourist destination due to global climate change

Researchers from the Coral Reef Ecology Lab at the Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology documented the third global bleaching event as it occurred from 2014 to 2016 at the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve (HBNP) on the island of O‘ahu, Hawai‘i.

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Jon White – From the President’s Office: 5-30-2017

Ocean Leadership ~

Last Tuesday, President Trump released the details of his budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2018. While the proposed cuts are certainly alarming and would have catastrophic consequences if enacted, recall what I said when the president’s “skinny budget” came out – we are at the beginning of a long budgetary process, and Congress ultimately makes these decisions.  Many in Congress, both Republican and Democrat alike, have reminded their constituents that the legislative branch holds the “power of the purse” and will ultimately determine funding levels for the coming fiscal year. As appropriations subcommittees writing these bills are receiving input and feedback, now is the time to make your voice heard.  Reach out to both legislators and the public at large about the critical importance of these programs and the devastating consequences that would occur should they be fully or significantly cut. You can read details of how the president’s budget request would impact the ocean and geoscience communities here, and my statement to the press can be found here.

I had the opportunity to escape to the north of D.C. and spend time with three of our member institutions, as well as Mystic Aquarium, where I spent a little “up close” time with a beluga whale named Juno (thus the photo this week). Juno takes his role as an ambassador for his species and the ocean seriously (even playing hide-and-seek with young visitors). If he could speak, I like to think that he would convey to those he encounters on a daily basis his concern over the state of the ocean (especially the Arctic) and the importance of his role in inspiring wonder and excitement. Getting to observe and even make eye contact with him made me realize he is indeed an excellent ambassador for his species and his habitat – and he even gets to participate in important research.

I was encouraged by the exceptional research and education I saw first hand at Rutgers University, Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, and the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography. I could write a book on what I learned during my brief visits to these institutions, and I certainly will use this knowledge to advance the message of ocean science in D.C. We are fortunate to have so many people devoting their lives to understanding our ocean, from the coastal surface to the deepest ocean sediment deposits, from pole to pole, around the globe. As understanding the detailed biological, geological, chemical, and physical characteristics of our ocean is the foundation for our continued reliance on the sea for our nation’s economic prosperity, national and homeland security, and human health, we must do everything possible to ensure the resources to support this work are available and abundant. My thanks to everyone who spent your precious time with me last week (and during the weeks before and the weeks to come). I steadfastly believe that you are making a profound difference in our future – our ocean’s future.        

-Jon
RADM Jonathan W. White, USN (ret.)
President and CEO
Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Member Highlight
New Research Vessel to Impact Marine Research Across Florida
With the crack of two bottles of champagne and the blessing from a local priest, Florida’s newest research vessel, the R/V W.T. Hogarth, was christened and launched for the first-time Tuesday May 23, 2017. The 78-foot vessel, named after William T. Hogarth, Ph.D, the Florida Institute of Oceanography’s former director and the former dean of the University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science, will be used to support research efforts by USF, as well as more than two dozen institutions and agencies across Florida.
 

The post Jon White – From the President’s Office: 5-30-2017 appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.


Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?

Delivering packages with drones can reduce carbon dioxide emissions in certain circumstances as compared to truck deliveries, a new study from University of Washington  transportation engineers finds.

In a paper to be published in an upcoming issue of Transportation Research Part D, researchers found that drones tend to have carbon dioxide emissions advantages over trucks when the drones don’t have to fly very far to their destinations or when a delivery route has few recipients.

Trucks — which can offer environmental benefits by carrying everything from clothes to appliances to furniture in a single trip — become a more climate-friendly alternative when a delivery route has many stops or is farther away from a central warehouse.

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U.S. resists plan to link climate change, ocean health: U.N. co-chair

OSLO (Reuters) – The United States is resisting plans to highlight how climate change is disrupting life in the oceans at a U.N. conference of almost 200 nations next week, Sweden’s deputy prime minister, who will co-chair the talks, said on Tuesday.


Reuters: Environment

New Research Vessel to Impact Marine Research Across Florida

Ocean Leadership ~

University friends and benefactors celebrated the christening of the research vessel W.T. Hogarth. (Eric Younghans, USF Health Communications)

University friends and benefactors celebrated the christening of the research vessel W.T. Hogarth. (Eric Younghans, USF Health Communications)

With the crack of two bottles of champagne and the blessing from a local priest, Florida’s newest research vessel, the R/V W.T. Hogarth, was christened and launched for the first-time Tuesday May 23, 2017.

(From USF News / by Ryan Noone) — The 78-foot vessel, named after William T. Hogarth, Ph.D, the Florida Institute of Oceanography’s former director and the former dean of the University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science, will be used to support research efforts by USF, as well as more than two dozen institutions and agencies across Florida.

Legislators worked hard to keep the contract local, and challenged Duckworth Steel Boats of Tarpon Springs with designing and building the ship.

“It was a little different than anything else we’ve worked on, but it means a lot to me because I like to see that the oceans are being taking care of,” said Junior Duckworth, owner of Duckworth Steel Boats.

This fall, the W.T. Hogarth will replace the nearly 50-year old R/V Bellows, by joining the FIO’s academic fleet with an inaugural voyage, undertaking a circumnavigation of Florida’s coast.

“The W.T. Hogarth is an incredible research vessel that will be instrumental in helping our researchers and our students study our shorelines, our Gulf and the greater oceans of the world,” said USF System President Judy Genshaft.

The watercraft is expected to be used for refined bottom mapping, metal tracing, surveying, collecting samples and much more.

“It’s a floating classroom,” Dr. Hogarth said.

A graduate of the University of Richmond, Hogarth earned his doctorate at the North Carolina State University, and began his career studying the effects of nuclear power plants on marine resources for Carolina Power and Light. He went on to become the director of the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries for eight years, before joining the National Marine Fisheries Service in 1994.

Read the full article here: http://news.usf.edu/article/templates/?a=7879&z=220

The post New Research Vessel to Impact Marine Research Across Florida appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.


Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Ecologist Special Report: Empowering women to tackle climate change

Women are not just a ‘tool’ for social and environmental justice – they are agents of real change, and have the right to be engaged in all climate negotiations. ARTHUR WYNS reports on current moves to empower women to tackle climate change
Environment news & analysis, climate change reports –
The Ecologist

Nation's Beekeepers Lost 33 Percent of Bees in 2016-17

Beekeepers across the United States lost 33 percent of their honey bee colonies during the year spanning April 2016 to April 2017, according to the latest preliminary results of an annual nationwide survey. Rates of both winter loss and summer loss—and consequently, total annual losses—improved compared with last year.

Total annual losses were the lowest since 2011-12, when the survey recorded less than 29 percent of colonies lost throughout the year. Winter losses were the lowest recorded since the survey began in 2006-07. 

The survey, which asks both commercial and small-scale beekeepers to track the survival rates of their honey bee colonies, is conducted each year by the nonprofit Bee Informed Partnership in collaboration with the Apiary Inspectors of America. Survey results for this year and all previous years are publicly available on the Bee Informed website. 

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