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Azimuth
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Scientists and engineers helping save the planet.
Scientists and engineers helping save the planet.

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"A new study focused on one songbird species that is known to rely on weather for its migratory journey: the white-throated sparrow. The bird migrates from Canada to the southern United States each autumn, and it tends to migrate later than other migrants, basing its journeys on when the weather provides opportunities for flight".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)

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"The European Parliament has lost patience with shipping industry inaction over climate change and has outlined plans to include vessels in its Emissions Trading System (ETS).
Ship owners are furious, claiming it is wrong that they will effectively be charged for carbon pollution in Europe Union waters ahead of any wider international arrangement.
But the members of the parliament in Brussels endorsed a recommendation from their own environment committee that the maritime industry should be included in the European Union’s ETS, a cap-and-trade scheme aimed at tackling global warming.
Maritime transport is estimated to produce around 1,000 million tonnes of carbon annually and is responsible for about 2.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
It is predicted that CO2 output will increase by between 50% and 250% by 2050, depending on future economic and energy developments.
“This is not compatible with the internationally-agreed goal of keeping global temperature increase to below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels, which requires worldwide emissions to be at least halved from 1990 levels by 2050,” the European Commission explains".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)

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"Photographers, poachers and eco-tour operators are in the crosshairs of a Canadian conservationist who warns that tracking tags are being hacked and misused to harass and hunt endangered animals.
Steven Cooke, a biology professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, says that the very tools used by scientists to study and protect animals and fish are being hijacked to do just the opposite.
Cooke, the Canada research chair of environmental science and biology, is the lead author of a paper published this week in the journal Conservation Biology.
The research paper cites the example of anglers in the US state of Minnesota who petitioned for access to data on northern pike movements, arguing that it should be publicly available because the research was publicly funded.
Australian authorities have used tags to locate and cull sharks while in India, attempts were made to hack the global positioning system (GPS) collars on endangered Bengal tigers in a case of "cyber poaching."
Cooke said that it is a new phenomenon and there is no data available to quantify this "troubling and unanticipated" problem.
But he provides a broad range of anecdotal evidence in his scholarly article.
Scientists are scheduled to meet in June in Australia to discuss the problem as well as potential fixes.
In the meantime, Cooke is calling for encryption and strict rules to secure data and limit the use of telemetry tools for non-research activities".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)

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"The UN’s new climate chief admits says she’s worried about President Donald Trump – but confident that action to curb climate change is unstoppable.
President Trump said he’d withdraw from the UN climate deal and stop funding the UN’s clean energy programme.
But former Mexican diplomat Patricia Espinosa told BBC News that the delay in any firm announcement suggests the issue is still unresolved.
She travels to US this weekend to try and meet the new US secretary of state".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)

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"A target of both the recreational fishing and shark-fin trade, the global population of the instantly recognizable Great Hammerhead shark is estimated to have declined by ~80% over the last 25 years.
The Great Hammerhead has been listed on the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) as endangered since 2007. It has also recently been included in CITES Appendix II, which regulates the international trade of threatened species.
Despite recognition of its threatened status, effective protection and management has so far been hampered by a lack of information about the shark's behaviour.
However, new research published in Frontiers in Marine Science, gives a ray of hope. By defining the sharks' use of particular areas, this study gives marine management and conservation officials the ability to limit the sharks' interaction with their greatest threat - humans.
Importantly, this study looked at the temporal as well as the spatial aspect of the sharks' movements.
Dr Tristan Guttridge, who led the study at the Bimini Biological Research Station, Bahamas, explains why this is so vital: "Knowing when the animals are likely to be in certain places will be critical in developing effective management strategies" he said. "For example, our data could be used to create so-called 'time-area closures', where certain areas are closed to particular activities, like fishing, at different times. The aim would be to reduce harmful interactions with the sharks".
Dr Charlie Huveneers of the Southern Shark Ecology Group in Flinders University, Australia, agrees. "New information about movements of Great Hammerheads will help managers and regulators to ensure sustainable catches, and to improve international regulation and management" he said. (Thanks to the combination of methods used by the authors, the study has revealed complex movement patterns, with broad-scale migrations across jurisdictions as far North as Virginia, USA, as well as seasonal site fidelity in Florida and the Bahamas)".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)

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"For thousands of years, parts of north-west Europe have enjoyed a climate around 5°C warmer than many other regions on the same latitude. But new scientific analysis suggests that that could change much sooner and much faster than thought possible.
Climatologists who have looked again at the possibility of major climate change in and around the Atlantic Ocean, a persistent puzzle to researchers, now say there is an almost 50% chance that a key area of the North Atlantic could cool suddenly and rapidly, within the space of a decade, before the end of this century.
That is a much starker prospect than even the worst-case scientific scenario proposed so far, which does not see the Atlantic ocean current shutdown happening for several hundred years at least".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)

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"Expert ecologists at the UK-based Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) have devised a scientific model which could help predict the spread of the deadly Xylella fastidiosa which is threatening to destroy Europe's olive trees.
The CEH scientists have created a model which is able to qualitatively and quantitatively predict how the deadly bacterial pathogen may spread as well as offer guidance on how buffer zones should be arranged to protect uninfected olive trees.
The research, published in the journal Biological Invasions, highlights how Xylella fastidiosa is influenced by a range of insects - including spittlebugs - and the rate to which these vectors contribute to the potential spread of the disease across Europe and beyond.
Xylella fastidiosa was once restricted to the Americas but was discovered near Lecce, Italy, in 2013. Since the initial outbreak it has invaded over 23,000 ha of olives in the Apulian Region of southern Italy, and is of great concern throughout the olive production areas of the Mediterranean basin.
The study modelled control zones currently employed in Apulia, Italy, and found that increasing buffer widths decreased infection risk beyond the control zone but may not stop the spread completely.
This was due to the ability of the disease-spreading insects to transport themselves between sites.
Lead author Dr Steven White, a Theoretical Ecologist at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, said the model indicates the importance of control strategies reducing the risk of the disease-spreading insects infecting healthy trees through the use of wider buffer zones".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)

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"Ambitious plans have been drawn up for a network of “tidal lagoons” around the UK coast that could provide up to a quarter of the country’s electricity – and there is potential to roll out the technology in many parts of the world.
Tidal lagoons work by using a wall to capture a body of water in the sea or a tidal estuary pushed in on the rising tide. The water drives turbines as the tide comes in, and then, as the tide falls, the turbines are reversed and the energy from the falling tide is harnessed again.
As Geoffrey Chaucer, one of the earliest English poets put it: “Time and tide wait for no man.” Unlike with wind and solar, the amount of energy being produced from tides is predictable months in advance and is now being recognised as a major renewable resource".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)

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"Climate change from political and ecological standpoints is a constant in the media and with good reason, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist, but proof of its impact is sometimes found in unlikely places.
"Discussions of climate change usually are focused on changes occurring in polar and temperate zones, but tropical regions also are expected to experience changes in regional precipitation," said Dr. Kirk Winemiller, AgriLife Research fisheries scientist and Regents Professor in the department of wildlife and fisheries sciences at College Station.
Winemiller and his Brazilian colleagues analyzed a long-term database, 1999-2014, of fish survey statistics and hydrology in the central Amazon and discovered a direct correlation between water quantity and quality with the types and number of fish species found.
"The change occurred following the severe drought in that region in 2005, and the hydrologic regime and fish assemblage have not returned to their previous states since," Winemiller said.
The research report, "Simultaneous abrupt shifts in hydrology and fish assemblage structure in a floodplain lake in the central Amazon," was published recently in Scientific Reports, the online publication of Nature".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)

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"A new study deployed 55 aircraft ocean instruments from the National Oceanographic Atmospheric Administration's WP-3D aircraft. The purpose of the scientific mission was to measure ocean temperature, salinity, and currents to understand the structure of these warm-water eddies".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)
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