3D imaging of surface chemistry in confinement

EPFL researchers have developed an optical imaging tool to visualize surface chemistry in real time. They imaged the interfacial chemistry in the microscopically confined geometry of a simple glass micro-capillary. The glass is covered with hydroxyl (-OH) groups that can lose a proton – a much-studied chemical reaction that is important in geology, chemistry and technology. A 100-micron long capillary displayed a remarkable spread in surface OH bond dissociation constant of a factor of a billion. The research has been published in Science.

ENN: Top Stories

From The Federal Register, Public Meeting: Pacific Fishery Management Council (Aug. 2 & Sept. 6)

Ocean Leadership ~


National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.


Notice; public meeting.


The Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (Pacific Council) Groundfish Management Team (GMT) will hold two webinars that are open to the public.


The GMT webinars will be held Wednesday, August 2, 2017 from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. and Wednesday, September 6, 2017, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Webinar end times are estimates, meetings will adjourn when business for each day is completed.


The following login instructions will work for any of the webinars in this series. To attend the webinar (1) join the meeting by visiting this link http://www.gotomeeting.com/​online/​webinar/​join-webinar;​ (2) enter the Webinar ID: 740-284-043, and (3) enter your name and email address (required). After logging in to the webinar, please (1) dial this TOLL number (+1) (914) 614-3221 (not a toll-free number); (2) enter the attendee phone audio access code 572-823-832; and (3) then enter your audio phone pin (shown after joining the webinar). NOTE: We have disabled Mic/Speakers as on option and require all participants to use a telephone or cell phone to participate. Technical Information and System Requirements: PC-based attendees are required to use Windows® 7, Vista, or XP; Mac®-based attendees are required to use Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer; Mobile attendees are required to use iPhone®, iPad®, AndroidTM phone or Android tablet (See the GoToMeeting WebinarApps). You may send an email to Mr. Kris Kleinschmidt at Kris.Kleinschmidt@noaa.gov or contact him at 503-820-2280, extension 411 for technical assistance. A public listening station will also be available at the Pacific Council office.

Council address: Pacific Council, 7700 NE Ambassador Place, Suite 101, Portland, Oregon 97220-1384; telephone: 503-820-2280.


Ms. Kelly Ames, Pacific Council, 503-820-2426.

For more information, click here: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/07/19/2017-15138/pacific-fishery-management-council-public-meeting

The post From The Federal Register, Public Meeting: Pacific Fishery Management Council (Aug. 2 & Sept. 6) appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.

Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Oil-Exposed Fish Make Dangerous Decisions, Study Finds

Ocean Leadership ~

Oil-exposed fish are slow to respond to danger, the study found. (Credit: Jodie  Rummer)

(Click to enlarge) Oil-exposed fish are slow to respond to danger, the study found. (Credit: Jodie Rummer)

Small amounts of oil can cause coral reef fish to engage in risky behaviours, according to a new study.

(From BBC) — Researchers liken the responses of oil-exposed fish to being intoxicated, and say it endangers their lives.

The study found the fish often swim towards open waters, have trouble selecting suitable habitats and are slow to respond to danger.

Pollution impairs their ability to survive in key environments like the Great Barrier Reef, the authors said.

The international study monitored what happened when six species of fish were exposed to oil in their first three weeks of life.

The equivalent of even a few drops of oil in a Olympics-size swimming pool created “dramatic alterations” in behaviour, according to the researchers.

“Our oil-exposed fish were not making good choices,” co-author Dr Jodie Rummer, from James Cook University, told the BBC.

“They were choosing [to settle in] open water or piles of dead coral. These types of choices would make them much more vulnerable to a predator.”

Survival fears

When researchers simulated a predator attack, the fish were sluggish to respond and did not move in the right direction.

“The fun, quirky way that we have described this whole response is like being drunk – you are making poor choices,” said Dr Rummer.

“That is exactly what these fish were doing.”

Dr Rummer said such decision-making could compromise fish populations and the overall health of coral reef systems.

“The effects of the oil concentration lingered because we saw decreased growth rates and also a decrease in survival,” she said.

“It is not like they got used to it – they did not up their tolerance for gin and tonic – they got worse over time.”

Read the full story here: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-40628204

The post Oil-Exposed Fish Make Dangerous Decisions, Study Finds appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.

Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Polar Bears And People: Cataloging Conflict

Ocean Leadership ~

Polar bears eat a bearded seal on the sea ice off Spitsbergen, Svalbard. As the Arctic's sea ice dwindles, polar bears are spending more time on land, increasing the possibility of incidents with people. (Credit: AFP/Biosphoto /Gerard Bodineau)

(Click to enlarge) Polar bears eat a bearded seal on the sea ice off Spitsbergen, Svalbard. As the Arctic’s sea ice dwindles, polar bears are spending more time on land, increasing the possibility of incidents with people. (Credit: AFP/Biosphoto /Gerard Bodineau)

ON WILLIAM BARENTS’S second Arctic expedition in 1595, the Dutch navigator’s crew had a deadly encounter.

(From NewsDeeply / by Gloria Dickie) — While searching for diamonds on an islet near Russia’s Vaygach Island three months into the journey, two of his sailors were resting in a wind-protected depression when “a great leane beare came sodainly stealing out, and caught one of them fast by the necke.” The bear killed and devoured both men, despite the crew’s attempt to drive the animal away. The incident, recounted in Dutch officer Gerrit de Veer’s diary, became the first account of a polar bear attacking humans in recorded history.

More than 400 years later, humans now live and work in the Arctic in unprecedented numbers. At the same time, as sea ice diminishes in the Arctic Ocean, polar bears are spending more time on land. This change in behavior has wildlife managers worried that attacks could become more common in the far reaches of the North. No one, however, had been tracking the clashes between polar bears and humans.

So, in 2009, following reports from northern communities that bears were spending more time near towns and showing aggressive behavior, the five nations with polar bear populations issued a directive to create a record of human-bear conflicts. Wildlife managers in Canada, Greenland, Norway, Russia and the United States produced a digital database that tracked injurious or fatal attacks between 1870 and 2014. Their goal was to reveal trends that could help prevent future injuries.

Once the Polar Bear-Human Information Management System (PBHIMS) was complete, researchers analyzed the 73 confirmed historical attacks in which 20 people were killed and 63 injured to see if the circumstances of attacks were changing by decade. They found that nutritionally stressed adult male polar bears were the mostly likely to attack, while defensive attacks by females to protect cubs were rare. The majority of attacks happened at field camps and in towns – a departure from the majority of grizzly and black bear attacks that occur in wilderness areas. And in 38 percent of attacks, human food attractants were present. No attacks occurred near natural attractants, such as whale bone piles.

“The concern is that this is something that will only continue to increase,” says Todd Atwood, a United States Geological Survey wildlife biologist and coauthor of the study that appeared in Wildlife Society Bulletin this month. “The conditions are ripe for human-bear conflict.” In addition to a growing open water season forcing polar bears ashore for longer durations, declining sea ice has also opened up the Arctic to more recreational and industrial human activity, including oil and gas development.

When Atwood and his colleagues looked at whether attacks were increasing or decreasing between 1960 and 2009, no clear trend emerged. But between 2010 and 2014, when the extent of sea ice reached record lows, the greatest number of attacks took place. Moreover, since 2000, 88 percent of attacks have occurred between July and December, when sea ice is at its lowest.

Read the full story here: https://www.newsdeeply.com/arctic/articles/2017/07/17/polar-bears-and-people-cataloging-conflict

The post Polar Bears And People: Cataloging Conflict appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.

Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

Imagine rescuers searching for people in the rubble of a collapsed building. Instead of digging through the debris by hand or having dogs sniff for signs of life, they bring out a small, air-tight cylinder. They place the device at the entrance of the debris and flip a switch. From one end of the cylinder, a tendril extends into the mass of stones and dirt, like a fast-climbing vine. A camera at the tip of the tendril gives rescuers a view of the otherwise unreachable places beneath the rubble.

ENN: Top Stories

Heritage and ancient grain project feeds a growing demand

After a century of markets dominated by a few types of wheat and white flour, ancient and heritage wheat varieties are making a comeback.

ENN: Top Stories

Nesting aids make agricultural fields attractive for bees

Farmers are facing a problem: Honeybees are becoming ever more rare in many places. But a lot of plants can only produce fruits and seeds when their flowers were previously pollinated with pollen from different individuals. So when there are no pollinators around, yields will decrease.

ENN: Top Stories

Securing a Future With Water Along Peru’s Rimac River Valley

Along the Rimac River Valley of Peru, local farmers have taken the problem of water security into their own hands and embarked on a combined reforestation and water storage project, which not only provides safe water but has empowered the local community and, thanks to improving the mountainside soil stability, has reduced the risk of devastating landslides. FOREST RAY reports
Environment news & analysis, climate change reports –
The Ecologist

State of emergency in British Columbia extended as wildfires rage

VANCOUVER (Reuters) – British Columbia’s government took the unprecedented step on Wednesday of extending a state of emergency by two weeks as it battled 140 wildfires that have forced about 45,000 people from their homes.

Reuters: Environment

New algorithm, metrics improve autonomous underwater vehicles' energy efficiency

Robotics researchers have found a way for autonomous underwater vehicles to navigate strong currents with greater energy efficiency, which means the AUVs can gather data longer and better.

AUVs such as underwater gliders are valuable research tools limited primarily by their energy budget – every bit of battery power wasted via inefficient trajectories cuts into the time they can spend working.

ENN: Top Stories