Rates of disappearance of dead material of Polytrichum alpestre and Chorisodontium aciphyllum from a moss turf community and of Drepanocladus uncinatus, Calliergon sarmentosum and Cephaloziella varians from a moss carpet community, measured using litter bags over 2 years, were 1.5% year-1. Decomposition potential, estimated using loss in tensile strength of cotton strips inserted into the different bryophytes on the two sites, was also low. Ranking the five plant species in order of decomposition potential, from highest to lowest, gave D. uncinatus, C. aciphyllum, C. sarmentosum, P. alpestre and C. varians. The time taken for the tensile strength of the cotton strips at depths of 1–3 and 4–6 cm beneath the surface to decline by 50% varied from 1–2 years under the first two species to 3–4 years beneath the last two species. The main causes of these slow rates were low temperatures, short active season and low pH. Differences in decomposition between species, sites and with depth were related to temperature, nutrient status, water content and anaerobic conditions. Variation in anaerobic conditions beneath D. uncinatus, C. sarmentosum and C. varians in the moss carpet resulted in wide variation of decomposition rate beneath these species and with depth beneath C. varians. The peat in the moss turf was aerobic and experienced higher temperatures, but the average decomposition rate was no higher than in the moss carpet, because the peat was of a poorer quality and had a lower pH.
We present results of detailed paleomagnetic investigations on deep-sea cores from sediment drifts located along the Pacific continental margin of the Antarctic Peninsula. High-resolution magnetic measurements on u channel samples provide detailed age models for three cores collected from drift 7, which document an age of 122 ka for the oldest sediments recovered near the drift crest at site SED-07 and a high sedimentation rate (11 cm/kyr) at site SED-12 located close to the Alexander Channel system. Low- and high-temperature magnetic measurements in conjunction with microscopic and mineralogic observations from drifts 4, 5 and 7 indicate that pseudosingle-domain detrital titanomagnetite (partially oxidized and with limited Ti substitution) is the dominant magnetic mineral in the drift sediments. The titanomagnetite occurs in two magnetic forms: (1) a low-coercivity form similar to laboratory-synthesized titanomagnetite and (2) a high-coercivity form (Bcr > 60 mT). These two forms vary in amount and stratigraphic distribution across the drifts. We did not find evidence for diagenetic magnetic iron sulfides as has been previously suggested for these drift deposits. The observed change of magnetic mineralogy in sediments deposited during Heinrich events on drift 7 appears to be related to warming periods, which temporarily modified the normal glacial transport pathways of glaciogenic detritus to and along the continental rise and thus resulted in deposition of sediments with a different provenance. Understanding this sediment provenance delivery signature at a wider spatial scale should provide information about ice sheet dynamics in West Antarctica over the last ∼100 kyr.
An important source of polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs), which play a crucial role in controlling polar stratospheric ozone depletion, is the temperature fluctuations induced by mountain waves. These enable stratospheric temperatures to fall below the threshold value for PSC formation in regions of negative temperature perturbations or cooling phases induced by the waves even if the synoptic-scale temperatures are too high. However, this formation mechanism is usually missing in global chemistry–climate models because these temperature fluctuations are neither resolved nor parameterised. Here, we investigate in detail the episodic and localised wintertime stratospheric cooling events produced over the Antarctic Peninsula by a parameterisation of mountain-wave-induced temperature fluctuations inserted into a 30-year run of the global chemistry–climate configuration of the UM-UKCA (Unified Model – United Kingdom Chemistry and Aerosol) model. Comparison of the probability distribution of the parameterised cooling phases with those derived from climatologies of satellite-derived AIRS brightness temperature measurements and high-resolution radiosonde temperature soundings from Rothera Research Station on the Antarctic Peninsula shows that they broadly agree with the AIRS observations and agree well with the radiosonde observations, particularly in both cases for the “cold tails” of the distributions. It is further shown that adding the parameterised cooling phase to the resolved and synoptic-scale temperatures in the UM-UKCA model results in a considerable increase in the number of instances when minimum temperatures fall below the formation temperature for PSCs made from ice water during late austral autumn and early austral winter and early austral spring, and without the additional cooling phase the temperature rarely falls below the ice frost point temperature above the Antarctic Peninsula in the model. Similarly, it was found that the formation potential for PSCs made from ice water was many times larger if the additional cooling is included. For PSCs made from nitric acid trihydrate (NAT) particles it was only during October that the additional cooling is required for temperatures to fall below the NAT formation temperature threshold (despite more NAT PSCs occurring during other months). The additional cooling phases also resulted in an increase in the surface area density of NAT particles throughout the winter and early spring, which is important for chlorine activation. The parameterisation scheme was finally shown to make substantial differences to the distribution of total column ozone during October, resulting from a shift in the position of the polar vortex.
FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail The World’s First Human-Composting Facility Is Set To Open in 2021. Families Could Take Home ‘Human Soil’ For Their Gardens.by Peter Dockrill, Science AlertDecember 11, 201 When a human being’s time is up in Western countries, we generally have two main options for our mortal remains — burial or cremation. Now, a world-first facility has been set up to offer a unique alternative ritual to traditional choices: compost.Recompose, which is scheduled to begin operations in Seattle, Washington, in 2021, bills itself as the world’s first human composting facility, offering to gently convert human remains into the soil in a process it calls “recomposition” or “natural organic reduction.”The company, a public benefit corporation led by founder Katrina Spade, has been in the works for years but became a legally viable service this year when Washington passed a historic bill to become the first US state to allow human composting.The law goes into effect in May 2020, enabling what Spade calls a “death-care revolution,” in which bodies of the deceased will transform into the soil in the company’s reusable, hexagonal “recomposition vessels.”The process draws upon the traditional principles of natural or “green” burials, but takes place inside the reusable vessels, rather than being permanently interred at the same time.“Bodies are covered with wood chips and aerated, providing the perfect environment for naturally occurring microbes and beneficial bacteria,” Recompose’s web site explains. “Over the span of about 30 days, the body is fully transformed, creating soil which can then be used to grow new life.”Once the composting process is complete, family and friends of the departed are encouraged to take some or all of the cubic yard of soil generated per person (amounting to several wheelbarrows of soil) and can use it to grow their own gardens, with remaining soil being used for conservation purposes.Conservation aims are a linchpin of the company’s overall purpose — and the law that will let companies like Recompose operate. The company’s goal is to provide a more environmentally friendly end-of-life ritual than burying embalmed corpses in wooden caskets, or burning remains in cremation, which is energy-intensive due to the high temperatures required, and produces carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.Recompose estimates each person who chooses their organic reduction process (at a fee of about $5,500) over cremation or conventional burial will save about one ton of CO2, thanks to the carbon sequestration which occurs at different points throughout the process — not to mention the benefits of producing useful soil, rather than taking up limited land.“I think one of the things for me, in addition to [the] carbon savings, is just having a way to create useable soil,” Spade told Citylab in January. “Something that you can go grows a tree with and have sort of this ritual around that feels meaningful.” MORE FROM SCIENCE ALERT:It Turns Out Curious Head Cones in Ancient Egyptian Art Were Actually Real HatsThousands of Mysterious Holes Have Been Found in The Ocean Floor Off The Californian Coast FOOTNOTES:Earlier this year, Washington passed a bill that makes it the first US state to allow human composting. The law will go into effect in 2020.Seattle-based company Recompose intends to open the world’s first human -composting facility in 2021.The facility will convert human remains into the soil, then allow families to take the soil home and plant it in their gardens.
While the extreme weather conditions seen last year contributed to soaring wheat prices, and imperilled food security in many parts of the world, it could be only a grim foretaste of what is to come, according to research compiled by Oxfam for the start of the Durban climate talks this week.According to Asda, Brits waste £31m a year on Christmas cooking disasters, including cracked mince pies and over-cooked Brussels sprouts. Meanwhile perhaps in a bid to cut down on costly cooking errors another study has revealed one in 10 of the British population pass pre-bought desserts off as their own. The study of over 2,000 adults from Sainsbury’s and YouGov showed that half of individuals surveyed cheat when baking and a quarter cut corners because of time constraints or a lack of patience. Around 46% of people also take shortcuts, such as buying pre-made icing and ready-made cake mix when it comes to preparing cakes and desserts.Many of those making their own Christmas puddings may well be using the Delia’s Classic Cake ingredients boxes, sold by Waitrose. The retailer has seen sales of the boxes up 97% on last year. Priced at £10, it includes all the dry ingredients needed to make her Classic Christmas Cake.
On Thursday, the Senate gave final approval to S.92, a bill that requires manufacturers and distributors of cleaning products to only sell environmentally preferable cleaning products to schools. The bill will now make its way to the Governor’s desk for his signature.‘This legislation will create safer and healthier learning environments in our schools,’ said Charity Carbine-March, environmental health advocate for Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG). ‘Children in classrooms across Vermont will soon be breathing easier.’Conventional cleaning supplies can contain toxic chemicals that have been linked to asthma, cancer, and other negative health effects. These chemicals can pollute indoor air and impact the health of students and staff. Advocates and other experts agree that environmentally preferable cleaning products are just as effective and affordable as conventional supplies. In fact, Vermont’s state buildings have already transitioned to ‘green’ cleaning products as a result of the Clean State Program created by an executive order signed by Governor Douglas in 2004. In addition, many schools in Vermont have voluntarily made the switch to safer products.‘There are clear benefits to using green cleaning supplies,’ said Carol Westinghouse, President of Informed Green Solutions, a non-profit organization that helps schools transition to safer cleaning products. ‘After making the switch, some schools in Vermont have reported fewer instances of asthma cases, nausea, and headaches, and others have even reported saving money on the cost of cleaning supplies.’‘This bill will protect generations of Vermont children from the effects of toxic chemicals. With asthma at epidemic proportions, any actions we can take to remove asthma triggers from our schools will make a difference,’ said Cindy Murphy, a school nurse at Main Street Middle School in Montpelier. ‘It’s a community’s responsibility to provide optimal health and safety for school age children whose bodies are not fully developed and, therefore, are most effected by toxic chemicals. Green cleaning policies serve as a strong educational tool for staff and students.’S.92 was brought to the brink of passage during last year’s legislative session. The bill began in the Senate and was passed on the floor by a vote of 29 to 0. The bill was then passed by the House (92 to 38) and was further amended by the Senate on the last day of session. The House took the bill up for immediate consideration upon the return of the legislature this year and gave their final nod of approval just last week.
Renewables top 25 percent of electricity supply on Australia’s main grid FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:Australia has reached a new milestone – a 25 per cent share of renewable energy on its main grid – despite all the carefully constructed political and regulatory road-blocks, a powerful and entrenched fossil fuel lobby, and a global pandemic.This 25 per cent share has built on the 21 per cent share of Australia’s electricity that came from renewable energy in 2019, which in turn rose from a 19 per cent share in 2018.The new milestone – at least new for the 2000s – comes as renewable investment in both small and large scale renewables has exceeded expectations and punched above its weight for the Australian economy.It should be noted that even the federal Coalition government now concedes that Australia will reach 50 per cent renewables by 2030, despite all its hand-wringing and fear-mongering when Labor suggested the country aim for that target, and AEMO has outlined a 20-year plan to reach up to 94 per cent renewables by 2040.As the June 2020 Quarterly Carbon Market Report published by the Clean Energy Regulator at the beginning of the month showed, large-scale renewables remain on track to deliver around 3.4 GW in new generation capacity for 2020, while rooftop solar looks likely to exceed the CER’s previous estimate of 2.7GW in 2020 and hit a total of 2.9GW.[Sophie Vorrath]More: Milestone: Australia’s main grid reaches 25 pct renewables over last year
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The prospects of blizzard-like conditions slamming Long Island Friday just got even likelier.The National Weather Service Thursday afternoon issued a blizzard warning for all of Long Island beginning 6 a.m. Friday until 1 p.m. Saturday.The weather service also upped its predictions of snow accumulation in both Nassau and Suffolk Counties, noting that both could see more than one foot of snow.Meteorologists predicted Nassau could get blanketed with 10 to 14 inches, while Suffolk could be hit with 10 to 15 inches.The powerful winter storm is expected to also bring winds of 20 to 40 mph, plus gusts of up to 60 mph.On top of the heavy snow predictions, the national weather service is also calling for temperatures Friday night to fall into the 20s.The strongest winds and heaviest snowfall will occur Friday evening into Saturday morning, the NWS said.The potential blizzard also makes driving dangerous, with the storm possibly spawning whiteout conditions. The weather service warned residents not to drive, but if people must travel “have a survival kit with you.”The NWS also issued a coastal flood warning for both counties, noting that waves could reach up to 13 feet in Suffolk.Widespread flooding of vulnerable shore roads and basements is also expected, meteorologists said, adding, “numerous road closures may be needed.”National Grid, which will be leading storm response over the Long Island Power Authority, said Thursday that the storm could knock out power to more than 100,000 customers.
ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Don’t just be a commenter in the game of life, be an active player.by: Aaron PughWe’ve all been there before, posting on Facebook and Twitter, reading the comments section of a favorite news site, or watching television, saying things like “someone should do something,” “they need to solve that,” or “I wish we could help.”Yet how often do those sentiments prompt us to call our representatives, sign a petition, or join in a rally? How often do we spend the time to understand all the issues behind an event that upsets us, much less step forward in a real attempt at remedy?Too often, our hot air activism cools on the wake of other news, dissipating in time to the click of the remote and the tick of the clock.You see, speech can change the world, but it can also give a false sense of accomplishment, something Fast Company points out in an article called “Lazy Americans Think Tweeting About A Cause Counts As Advocacy.” continue reading »
1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Sending Welcome Letters to new customers or members is a common practice among Financial Institutions. Whether it’s the starting point of a strategized onboarding campaign, or a solo communication, reconnecting with new customers early on can influence the entirety of their relationship with your institution.In this post, I wanted to address the importance of this initial communication, and the value a Welcome Letter creates for FIs and their customer relationships.1. INFORMA well written Welcome Letter is more than just an acknowledgement of a new member’s existence. It’s also a chance to provide them with valuable information about your institution. Who you are, what values your company holds, even what opportunities lay ahead for customers; these are all examples of what could be included in a Welcome Letter to help educate your new customer/member.2. SHOW YOU CAREA well written Welcome Letter shows your new customer/member that you value their business. It’s an effective means of strengthening the line of communication early on in the relationship. After all, who doesn’t like feeling welcome? Also, by personalizing the message to the customer’s account, you can demonstrate your FIs dedication to their customers/members as individuals – not just as a means for profit. continue reading »