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Why volcanoes are the clean energy source of the future

Why volcanoes are the clean energy source of the future | Aquascaping and Nature | Scoop.it

In Iceland, scientists have just completed a successful experiment in harnessing energy directly from a volcano.


After two years, the scientists were able to draw water from their well at 450°C (842°F), a world record. This contains an enormous amount of usable energy.


As a result, engineers estimated they could use the well to create a power plant capable of generating 36 megawatts of electricity. That’s 20 times less than what a typical coal-fired power plant can generate, but it’s often the case that a geothermal power plant will have more than one well.


Plus, geothermal power doesn’t come with any fuel costs or appreciable carbon emissions.


Read  more here:


http://qz.com/172642/why-volcanoes-are-the-energy-source-of-the-future/


http://www.zmescience.com/science/geology/volcano-electricity-iceland-05022014/


http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/icelandic-drilling-project-opens-door-to-volcano-powered-electricity/


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A Message From The Curator

A Message From The Curator | Aquascaping and Nature | Scoop.it

Aquascaping and Nature comprises a collection of articles curated from the web on related to our natural environment, climate change and of course aquascaping. The cover photo above shows whale sharks housed in Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium http://sco.lt/7XWQTp

 

I have been interested in fish tanks since I was a kid and have now moved to planted tanks. My passion for environmental issues was spurred on by my dad, Dr. Chan Hung Tuck, who was an ecologist by training.

 

Please follow my topic and share my scoops if you found the curated articles interesting, and check out the popular tags listed in the post above. I also welcome suggested scoops related to this topic and give credit where credit is due.

Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

I teach chemistry at UCSI University, Malaysia and most of my research is centered around phytochemistry.

 

My research interests can be viewed here: http://scholar.google.com.my/citations?user=iVv3xbAAAAAJ&hl=en

 

I manage the Facebook and Google+ pages belonging to the Faculty of Applied Sciences, UCSI University. Curated scoops are shared here:

https://www.facebook.com/Applied.Sciences.UCSI

https://plus.google.com/117901649282247944098/posts

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Great Green Wall of the Sahara planted to improve farmlands

Great Green Wall of the Sahara planted to improve farmlands | Aquascaping and Nature | Scoop.it

Twenty African nations have banded together to build a monumental Great Green Wall of Africa - a forest of drought-resistant trees stretching across the edge of the Sahara Desert. Stretching over a space of 9,400,00 square kilometres and covering most of North Africa, the Sahara is the largest non-polar desert in the world. And it’s getting bigger. 

 

According to the US’s Public Education Center website, the effects of climate change are causing the Sahara to creep into bordering countries such as Senegal, Mauritania, and Nigeria, which poses a serious threat to their farmlands and agricultural productivity. By 2025, two-thirds of Africa's arable land could be lost to the desert if nothing is done to stem its expansion. 

 

The initiative will be ongoing, and has garnered the support of several international organisations including the UK's Royal Botanic Gardens, the World Bank, the African Union, and the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation. Together they have pledged $3 billion and the expertise of their botanists for its advancement.

 

"Examples of success [so far] include more than 50,000 acres of trees planted in Senegal,”says Ryan Schleeter at National Geographic. Even more dramatic is the project’s potential social impact, says Schleeter. By providing better quality land and more opportunities to earn an income from cultivating it, the Great Green Wall will open up thousands of job opportunities to the local population.

 

Read more here: http://sciencealert.com.au/news/20142407-25916.html

Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Environmental concerns are a priority in the developing world as less developed nations would be the first to feel the impact of climate change. While food security is an important issue, developing nations are also much more innovative when it comes to clean technologies http://sco.lt/4iOK01

 

Read more scoops on food security and climate change here:

http://www.scoop.it/t/aquascaping-and-nature/?tag=Food+Security

 http://www.scoop.it/t/aquascaping-and-nature/?tag=Climate+Change

 

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3 Animals That Are Smarter Than You Thought

Dolphins, crows, apes -- you know the drill about smart animals. But there are lots of animals that are smarter than you think. Not everyone thinks they're pretty, but scientists know they're smart.

Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Rats have also been shown to feel regret after making bad decisions. Read more about it in this scoop: http://sco.lt/91sFcX

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Cleantech in the developing world: from solar power to refrigeration

Cleantech in the developing world: from solar power to refrigeration | Aquascaping and Nature | Scoop.it
For a growing number of companies, cleantech promises innovations and opportunities at the bottom of the pyramid.

 

Amanda Faulkner, Cleantech Group analyst, points out that, in contrast to companies focusing on agriculture in developed countries, entrepreneurs working in developing countries need more customers before the business can scale and become profitable. 

 

But while the challenges are steep, so are the rewards: resolving energy and agriculture problems could result in increased farm productivity, less food spoilage, and a better quality of life for farming communities. Not surprisingly, numerous entrepreneurs, business leaders and nonprofits are seeking creative and robust cleantech solutions to the energy and agriculture nexus

 

In the developing cleantech solutions are revolutionizing:

1. Irrigation and pumping

2. Cold storage and refrigeration

3. Off-grid electricity production

 

Given the increased need for agriculture production in the coming decades, Dallas Kachan, the principal of Kachan & Co., a San Francisco-based cleantech research and consulting firm, argues that market opportunities are tremendous: “We believe that the market opportunities are so profound and inevitable that there will be fortunes to be made for the brave.”

 

Read the full article here: 

http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2014/jun/13/cleantech-developing-world-solar-power-refrigeration

Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Innovation is driven by need. Entrepreneurs in developing countries have so little to work with that their need for efficiency is great. The same can be said for scientists and researchers in the developing world. 

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Swarm of giant moths descend upon Malaysia

Swarm of giant moths descend upon Malaysia | Aquascaping and Nature | Scoop.it

Swarms of giant moths have descended on Malaysia, invading homes and even disrupting a national football match.

 

Thousands of the furry insects, with a wing span of up to 16cm (6in), interrupted a semi-finals match at the Darul Makmur Stadium last week.

 

The Lyssa Zampa tropical moth, which is also known as the Laos brown butterfly, is native to South East Asia. Over 800 sightings were also reported in neighbouring Singapore last month, sparking intense online debate.

 

Biology lecturer N Sivasothi said that while the moth sightings appear to be “unprecedented”, it is not a new phenomenon. “The moths are actually present during other times of the year but in very small numbers, so they are usually not noticed by people,” Mr Sivasothi said, adding that the creatures typically emerge between April and August every year.

 

Ecologist Anuj Jain said moths’ use of light for navigation often causes them to head to built-up areas. “Their tendency to emigrate in search of new uneaten host plants attracts these moths to light in urban city areas,” he said.

 

Experts said that while people suffering from asthma may be sensitive to hairs on their wings, the nocturnal creatures do not pose any threat.

 

Read more here: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-27758640

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Non-biodegradable Plastics End Up In Seabirds' Bellies

Non-biodegradable Plastics End Up In Seabirds' Bellies | Aquascaping and Nature | Scoop.it
When bottles and bags are cast out to sea, the debris never truly goes away — it just gets smaller. And these plastic particles, called microplastics, are ready meals for fish and birds.

 

The vast majority of debris in the ocean — about 75 percent of it — is made of plastic. It can consist of anything from plastic bottles to packaging materials, but whatever form it takes, it doesn't go away easily.

 

While plastic may break down into smaller and smaller pieces, some as small as grains of sand, these pieces are never truly biodegradable. The plastic bits, some small enough that they're called microplastics, threaten marine life like fish and birds, explains Richard Thompson, a professor of marine biology at Plymouth University in the U.K.

 

"The smaller the piece of debris, the more accessible it is — and the wider the range of creatures that could potentially eat it," says Thompson, who talked with NPR's Melissa Block about his research on the effects of these tiny particles.

 

Listen to Thomson's audio interview here: 

http://www.npr.org/2014/06/17/322959714/plastics-dont-disappear-but-they-do-end-up-in-sea-birds-bellies

 
Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

With all the hype given to global warming and climate change, it is easy to forget that plastics threaten our wildlife.

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Energy Generating Fuel Cells from Urine

Energy Generating Fuel Cells from Urine | Aquascaping and Nature | Scoop.it
Scientists have proven that super-heated urine can provide the building blocks for making economically friendly fuel cells.

 

Fuel cells — devices which harvest energy from a chemical reaction — often use platinum as a catalyst, making them expensive to produce. Researchers have been exploring ways to replace the metal with carbon. However carbon nanostructures, created synthetically, can also be quite expensive.

 

Now researchers from South Korea have proven that equally effective carbon compounds can be extracted from urine — making them a cheap stand-in for platinum or synthetic carbon.

 

To test the potential of pee, scientists collected urine samples from healthy individuals. Then, they heated individuals’ samples to evaporate the water, leaving behind a dried, yellowish deposit. Next, they super-heated various test samples of dried urine in a range between 700 and 1,000 degrees Celsius for six hours to carbonize the urine.

 

The heating process caused salts and other elements to gasify and leave behind carbon. Urine is loaded with other elements besides carbon, which makes the leftover carbon highly porous — ideal for fuel cell catalysts. As an added bonus, the gasified salts solidified and clung to the furnace wall after cooling; researchers say it’s possible to harvest these remnants for commercial use as de-icing salts.

 

Most importantly, the urine carbon was an excellent conductor of electricity, especially the batch that was heated to 1,000 degrees. Researchers said this is the first time carbon was extracted from urine using this simple method.

 

The findings, published in Nature, offer an economical way to advance fuel cell technology, and could also improve the environment if deployed on a large scale.

 

Read more here:

http://sciencealert.com.au/news/20141506-25679.html

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2014/06/12/urine-an-ever-flowing-stream-of-fuel-cell-material/

http://www.nature.com/srep/2014/140609/srep05221/full/srep05221.html

 

 

 

Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

This has vast implications in various filed including energy generation, sustainability and space exploration. In particular, urine is a waste product that accumulates during long space missions and this research show how it can be converted into a useful resource. Read related scoops below:

 

http://www.scoop.it/t/world-of-tomorrow/?tag=Space+Exploration

http://www.scoop.it/t/world-of-tomorrow/?tag=Energy+Generation

http://www.scoop.it/t/aquascaping-and-nature/?tag=Sustainable+Energy

 

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Trace of another world found on Moon

Trace of another world found on Moon | Aquascaping and Nature | Scoop.it

Researchers have found evidence of the world that crashed into the Earth billions of years ago to form the Moon. Analysis of lunar rock brought back by Apollo astronauts shows traces of the "planet" called Theia.

 

The accepted theory since the 1980s is that the Moon arose as a result of a collision between the Earth and Theia 4.5 billion years ago. According to the lead researcher, Dr Daniel Herwartz, from the University of Goettingen, no-one has found definitive evidence for the collision theory, until now. "It was getting to the stage where some people were suggesting that the collision had not taken place," he told BBC News.

 

The recent study published in the journal Science provides support for the theory that the Moon was created by just such a cataclysmic collision. Theia was named after a goddess in Greek mythology who was said to be the mother of Selene, goddess of the Moon. It is thought to have disintegrated on impact with the resulting debris mingling with that from the Earth and coalescing into the Moon.

 

Dr Mahesh Anand from the Open University described the research as "exciting" but noted that the data was from just three lunar rock samples. "We have to be cautious about the representativeness of these rocks of the entire Moon, and so further analysis of a variety of lunar rocks is required for further confirmation," he said.

 

Read more about the discovery here:
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-27688511

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/344/6188/1146

 

Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Other discoveries involving astronomical bodies within our Solar System include:

 

1. Oceans within Charon http://sco.lt/8o1ElV

2. Oceans under the Earth's crust http://sco.lt/6go9tB

3. Technology to fly humans to Mars http://sco.lt/5QX0Vd

 

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Honey Badger Escape Artist

Programme website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0418x7x Honey badgers escape from their enclosure using anything from mud balls to rakes.

 

Animals are often much smarter than we give them credit for, and watching them prove this is always fun. But Stoffel is ridiculously intelligent and  has shown coordination skills matching those of primates.

 

Stoffel is a honey badger that lives at the Moholoholo Rehab Center in South Africa. He is under the care of Brian Jones, a wildlife conservationist, but Stoffel is not too thrilled with the idea of being in an enclosed space. You see, Stoffel is the kind of honey badger that marches to the beat of his own drum. He lives life the way he sees fit and there’s no holding him back. 

 

Make sure you watch the whole video as Stoffel ramps up his level of craftiness.

 

Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Honey badgers are intelligent animals and are one of a few species known to be capable of using tools.


They are also known for their strength, ferocity and toughness, being known for attacking even repelling much larger predators.


The clip below shows a honey badger repelling a lioness:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiK6corGQB8

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Newly Discovered Purple and Gold Spider

Newly Discovered Purple and Gold Spider | Aquascaping and Nature | Scoop.it

Simaetha sp. is a gorgeous gold and purple jumping spider recently discovered in the Sraburi Province of Thailand. 

 

Image: Theerasak Saksritawee

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Aquascaping Basics

Video shows the set up of a 240 litre tank setup. The tank holds cichlids, mollys, plecos, bala sharks, albino rainbow sharks and cory catfish. All plants are real, there is now moss at the ceiling too, and a new bunch of plants.


Via Stephen Pond
Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Fairly informative video showing the setup of a simple planted tank using plain sand.

 

However, if you were to try this using nutrient rich soil such as ADA Amazonia, be sure to allow excess nutrients to leach out over a few weeks i.e. cycling the soil.  The excess nutrients from the soil is harmful to both fish and shrimp. Plants however, will thrive on the extra nutrients during the first few weeks.

 

It should also be noted that in a beginner's aquascape with no CO2 injection, it is highly recommended to select only "low light" plants.

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Stephen Pond's curator insight, November 8, 2013 8:05 AM

Nice video of setting up an aquascaped tank with driftwood, rocks and live plants.  Goes all the way to show the tank as it is operating.  Video is 14 minutes long and shows the time lapsed view of the entire set up.

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Algae Biofuel May Address Global Energy Needs

Algae Biofuel May Address Global Energy Needs | Aquascaping and Nature | Scoop.it

Microalgae-based biofuel is a game-changer with the potential to quench a sizable chunk of the world's energy demands, say Utah State University researchers.

"That's because microalgae produces much higher yields of fuel-producing biomass than other traditional fuel feedstocks and it doesn't compete with food crops," says USU mechanical engineering graduate student Jeff Moody.

With USU colleagues Chris McGinty and Jason Quinn, Moody published findings from an unprecedented worldwide microalgae productivity assessment in the May 26, 2014, online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Using meteorological data from 4,388 global locations, the team determined the current global productivity potential of microalgae.

Algae, yields about 2,500 gallons of biofuel per acre per year. In contrast, soybeans yield approximately 48 gallons; corn about 18 gallons."In addition, soybeans and corn require arable land that detracts from food production," Quinn says

"Microalgae can be produced in non-arable areas unsuitable for agriculture," Quinn says. "Our findings will help to justify the investment in technology development and infrastructure to make algal biofuel a viable fuel source."

 

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-05-algae-biofuel-world-energy-demand.html

 


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

This study highlights the commercial viability of algae biofuels.


The game changing aspect of the technology is that it does not contribute to food insecurity http://sco.lt/5CifIH, a global issue aggravated by climate change http://sco.lt/86HUtl.


However, would we garner enough political will to wrest monopoly from oil and gas companies?

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CCRES's curator insight, May 28, 10:45 PM

Microalgae-based biofuel not only has the potential to quench a sizable chunk of the world's energy demands, say Utah State University researchers. It's a potential game-changer.

CCRES ALGAE TEAM

Tekrighter's curator insight, May 29, 7:30 AM

Here's a way to produce biofuels that does not compete with food production.

Daniel LaLiberte's curator insight, May 29, 5:52 PM

Land that is not used for food can be used to produce algae-based biofuel to meet a large fraction of the world's energy needs.  But another alternative is vertical farming in urban areas, where we can create as much space as we need.  

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Oriental dwarf kingfisher, a pocket-sized bird of prey

Oriental dwarf kingfisher, a pocket-sized bird of prey | Aquascaping and Nature | Scoop.it
The bright, rainbow-coloured kingfisher is found in the rainforests of South-East Asia.

 

Found all over Southeast Asia where the rainforests are dense and shady, this 13cm-long creature hunts by small streams and ponds to maintain its rich diet of geckos, crabs, snails, frogs, and spiders. It captures its meals by hovering or perching above the water, and once it spots its prey, dives deep into the water at speeds of over 40km/h.

 

A major challenge in taking its chase from the air to the water is mitigating the dramatic change in light refraction, which creates a lot of glare. To combat this, each of the kingfisher's eyes contain two foveae - a structure that's particularly dense in light-collecting photoreceptors - and the kingfisher can switch from one to the other as it transitions into the water.

 

A number of birds that need superb judgment of distance and speed, such as hawks, owls, eagles, parrots and hummingbirds, have two foveae per eye. We lowly humans only have one.

 

Read more about this amazing bird here:

http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/blogs/creatura-blog/2014/05/oriental-dwarf-kingfisher

 

 

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Stanford biologist warns of an impending mass extinction

Stanford biologist warns of an impending mass extinction | Aquascaping and Nature | Scoop.it
Stanford biology Professor Rodolfo Dirzo and his colleagues warn that this "defaunation" could have harmful downstream effects on human health.

 

The planet's current biodiversity, the product of 3.5 billion years of evolutionary trial and error, is the highest in the history of life. But it may be reaching a tipping point.

 

In a new review of scientific literature and analysis of data published in Science, an international team of scientists cautions that the loss and decline of animals is contributing to what appears to be the early days of the planet's sixth mass biological extinction event.

 

Across vertebrates, 16 to 33 percent of all species are estimated to be globally threatened or endangered. Large animals – described as megafauna and including elephants, rhinoceroses, polar bears and countless other species worldwide – face the highest rate of decline, a trend that matches previous extinction events.

 

Loss of megafauna has various downstream effects and may eventually impact human health. For example, studies conducted in Kenya where patches of land were isolated from large animals such as zebras and elephants found that the areas rapidly became plagued with rodents due to increases in food availability and shelter. Concomitantly, the levels of disease causing pathogens that they carry also increases, thus enhancing the risk of disease transmission to humans.

 

Read more here:

http://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/july/sixth-mass-extinction-072414.html

 

Read the scientific review here:

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/345/6195/401.full

Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

This is reflected by the growing IUCN Red List which now includes 90% of Lemur Species http://sco.lt/8mJJwH

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Rainbow Grapes

Rainbow Grapes | Aquascaping and Nature | Scoop.it

These may look like party balloons but they are actually rainbow grapes. These grapes aren't a rare species, they are created during Véraison i.e. when grapes turn from green to purple as they ripen. Berries do not ripen at the same time, hence the variety of colours.

Image: BizarBin/Worth1000/Sesan Olasupo/Laritech Garden Seeds Branch Company

 

Read more about grape ripening here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veraison

Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Skilled, passionate and knowledgeable photographers are invaluable for showcasing the beauty of nature.

 

Photographer Rose-Lynn Fisher captures tears of grief, joy, laughter and irritation in extreme detail http://sco.lt/7qRoIb

 

See more scoops with beautiful photography here: http://www.scoop.it/t/aquascaping-and-nature/?tag=Photography

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Why Hot Water Freezes Faster Than Cold

Why Hot Water Freezes Faster Than Cold | Aquascaping and Nature | Scoop.it
Aristotle first noticed that hot water freezes faster than cold, but chemists have always struggled to explain the paradox. Until now

 

Hot water seems to freeze faster than cold water, known as the Mpemba effect. The effect was named after the Tanzanian student who in 1963 noticed that hot ice cream mix freezes faster than a cold one.  The effect was first observed by Aristotle in the 4th century BC, then later Francis Bacon and René Descartes. Mpemba published a paper on his findings in 1969.

 

Theories for the Mpemba effect have included: faster evaporation of hot water, therefore reducing the volume left to freeze; formation of a frost layer on cold water, insulating it; and different concentrations of solutes such as carbon dioxide, which is driven off when the water is heated. Unfortunately the effect doesn’t always appear - cold water often does actually freeze faster than hot, as you would expect. But this Mpemba effect occurs regularly, and no one has ever been able to definitively answer why.

 

Now a team of physicists from the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, led by Xi Zhang, have found evidence that it is the chemical bonds that hold water together that provide the effect.


Read more at https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/why-hot-water-freezes-faster-than-cold-physicists-solve-the-mpemba-effect-d8a2f611e853

 

The research article can be read here:

http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1310/1310.6514.pdf

 

Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Strange but true. Read more science trivia here:

http://www.scoop.it/t/biotech-and-beyond/?tag=Trivia

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90 Percent of Lemur Species Face Extinction on IUCN's "Red List"

90 Percent of Lemur Species Face Extinction on IUCN's "Red List" | Aquascaping and Nature | Scoop.it

Entire branches of the tree of life are in danger of being wiped out: The majority of species in some groups of plants and animals are now on the "Red List" of the world's most threatened species.

 

The list, which is managed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and was updated this week, shows that among the groups most at risk are lemurs and temperate slipper orchids.

 

Found only in Madagascar, 90 of the 101 species of lemur are threatened with extinction, the IUCN said. More than 20 percent of these small primates are listed as being critically endangered, meaning that they have a very high risk of extinction in the wild. The main threat stems from illegal logging of tropical forests, which has accelerated in the island nation in recent years

 

Read more about other endangered species on the red list:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/06/140613-conservation-species-iucn-red-list-endangered-science-environment/

 

Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Films have a big role to play in getting people interested in conservation efforts. Hopefully, movies such as Madagascar would garner enough support to save the lemurs. It would be really sad to see them go as King Julien is my favorite character from the film.

http://madagascar.wikia.com/wiki/King_Julien

 

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Huge Marine Reserves in the Pacific

Huge Marine Reserves in the Pacific | Aquascaping and Nature | Scoop.it
The U.S., Cook Islands, Bahamas, and Palau add to protected areas.

 

Commercial fishing would end in the vast marine reserves of these nations in their Pacific Ocean territory by the end of the year.

 

Earlier Tuesday, U.S. President Barack Obama announces a plan to create world's largest ocean reserve by expanding the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument in the central Pacific, from almost 87,000 square miles (225,000 square kilometers) to nearly 782,000 square miles (2 million square kilometers).

 

The new Palau National Marine Sanctuary in the Pacific Ocean will protect 193,000 square miles (500,000 square kilometers), representing 80 percent of the country's exclusive economic zone, or the territorial waters that a nation controls. "That's about the size of the great state of Texas," said the Republic of Palau's president, Tommy Remengesau, Jr.

 

The Cook Islands in the South Pacific announced an expansion of its ban on commercial fishing from 12 miles (19 kilometers) around each of the 15 islands to 50 miles (80 kilometers) around each island.

 

The Bahamas' minister of the environment and housing, Kenred Dorsett, said his country has committed to protecting 20 percent of its ocean territory by 2020, up from 3 percent today. The country comprising 94% ocean, designated 15 new marine protected areas earlier this year.

 

Read more here: 

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/06/140617-pacific-marine-reserves-ocean-environment/

 

Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

These massive marine reserves are a welcome change given the global depletion of fish stocks.

 

Read more about food security:

http://www.scoop.it/t/aquascaping-and-nature/?tag=Food+Security

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Apparent pause in global warming blamed on poor data

Apparent pause in global warming blamed on poor data | Aquascaping and Nature | Scoop.it
 European Space Agency scientist says annual sea level rises since 1993 indicate that warming has continued unabated

 

 

A widely reported "pause" in global warming may be an artefact of scientists looking at the wrong data, says a climate scientist at theEuropean Space Agency. Global average surface temperatures rose rapidly from the 1970s but have been relatively flat for the past 15 years. This has prompted speculation from some quarters that global warming has stalled.

 

Now, Stephen Briggs from the European Space Agency's Directorate of Earth Observation says that surface air temperature data is the worst indicator of global climate that can be used, describing it as "lousy".

 

Climate scientists have been arguing for some time that the lack of rising temperatures is due to most of the extra heat being taken up by the deep ocean. A better measure, he said, was to look at the average rise in sea levels. The oceans store the vast majority of the climate's heat energy. Increases in this stored energy translate into sea level rises. "Sea level is a very good integrator of different indicators of climate change," said Briggs.

 

Scientists are now trying to simulate the behaviour using computer models. This is difficult because the behaviour of the deep ocean is too poorly known to be reliably included. Building reliable computer models is dependent on knowing which parameters are important to the climate, and over the past decade scientists have homed in on the key parameters of the Earth's system.

 

Read more here:

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/jun/13/pause-global-warming-data-sea-level-rises

 

Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Global warming remains one of the most divisive issues especially in political circles. Whether or not it is anthropogenic i.e. man-made, climate change is threatening our:

 

Food securityhttp://www.scoop.it/t/aquascaping-and-nature/?tag=Food+Security

Habitable areas http://www.scoop.it/t/aquascaping-and-nature/?tag=Sea+Level+Rise

Biodiversity http://www.scoop.it/t/aquascaping-and-nature/?tag=Conservation

 

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Best Aquariums in the USA, the Top 10

Best Aquariums in the USA, the Top 10 | Aquascaping and Nature | Scoop.it

Aquariums hold the most amazing secrets of the sea and this is the reason why millions of tourists keep aquariums on the top of their to-see list among tourist destinations.

 

The US is famous for its numerous aquariums, which are homes of some of the unique freshwater and saltwater species of fish and under water aquatic organisms.

 

See photos here: http://www.webgyaan.com/top-10-best-aquariums-in-the-usa.html

 

Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium (沖縄美ら海水族館 Okinawa Churaumi Suizokukan) was the largest aquarium in the world until it was surpassed by the Georgia Aquarium in 2005.  


Did I mention they have 4 whale sharks? Check out this scoop: http://sco.lt/7XWQTp

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Oceans in the center of the Earth three times that on surface

Oceans in the center of the Earth three times that on surface | Aquascaping and Nature | Scoop.it

After decades of searching scientists have discovered that a vast reservoir of water, enough to fill the Earth’s oceans three times over, may be trapped hundreds of miles beneath the surface, potentially transforming our understanding of how the planet was formed.

 

The water is thought to be locked up in a mineral called ringwoodite about 660km (400 miles) beneath the crust of the Earth. Geophysicist Steve Jacobsen from Northwestern University in the US co-authored the study published in the journal Science and said the discovery suggested Earth’s water may have come from within, driven to the surface by geological activity, rather than being deposited by icy comets hitting the forming planet as held by the prevailing theories.

 

“Geological processes on the Earth’s surface, such as earthquakes or erupting volcanoes, are an expression of what is going on inside the Earth, out of our sight,” Jacobsen said.

 

“I think we are finally seeing evidence for a whole-Earth water cycle, which may help explain the vast amount of liquid water on the surface of our habitable planet. Scientists have been looking for this missing deep water for decades.”

 

Read more here:

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/jun/13/earth-may-have-underground-ocean-three-times-that-on-surface

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25723-massive-ocean-discovered-towards-earths-core.html

 

Research article here:

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/344/6189/1265

 

 


Via Sepp Hasslberger
Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

NASA's New Horizons Pluto-Kuiper Belt probe observed that Charon, Pluto's moon may have underground oceans beneath its icy surface. This could suggest the presence of extraterrestrial life. Read the Scoop here: http://sco.lt/8o1ElV

 

This new finding may also cause climate change models to revise their predictions of sea level rise. Read related Scoops below:

http://www.scoop.it/t/aquascaping-and-nature/?tag=Climate+Change

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Sepp Hasslberger's curator insight, June 14, 8:29 AM

Water at hundreds of kilometers of depth - three times more than the water contained in the oceans on the surface - that sounds to me like they have discovered the ocean on the inside of the earth's crust.


might the earth be hollow after all?

http://www.unmuseum.org/hollow.htm ;

John Myers's comment, July 18, 2:08 PM
Not hollow as the water is contained within a mineral. Funny how this makes the global flood stories possible..."the well springs of the deep broke forth". Don't shoot me...just an observation! Maybe ancient people weren't so ignorant.
Sepp Hasslberger's comment, July 22, 8:24 AM
"the water is contained within a mineral" - that's conjecture. They know there's water, but no one could go down there to see, so whether it's an ocean or is in a mineral we don't really know.
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Solar Roadways: Implementation and Practicalities

Solar Roadways: Implementation and Practicalities | Aquascaping and Nature | Scoop.it
New roadway technologies from interactive lighting and pavement markings to anti-icing and energy-gathering surfaces have been in the works for years. So why don’t we have them yet?

 

It's already the biggest-grossing campaignin Indiegogo's history. With more than a week to go before its run on the crowdfunding site ends, the Solar Roadways campaign has more than doubled its $1 million goal. 

 

Jonathan Levine, professor of urban planning at the University of Michigan, puts the delay on the fragmented network of local, state, and federal governments that all have their say in how and where new road technologies will be implemented. To overhaul how America builds its roads would require a feat of bureaucratic jujitsu, aligning all of those separate governing bodies. 

"In some cases the technologies are not yet there," Levine says. "[But] in other cases the technologies are there, but our American way of organizing government, society, and the planning function in particular, just has its way of slowing things down." 

 

"Assuming the technological promise is as it appears, I think it might have a shot," Levine says of Solar Roadways. "And here's why: it's readily deployable at a small scale. Unlike...inductive charging in roadways, it's actually not dependent on what other people do, or what other agencies do, or what other municipalities do. 

 

Read more about how Solar Roadways would be implemented:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/engineering/infrastructure/we-could-build-a-solar-powered-roadway-but-will-we-16879565

 

 

Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

I am somewhat optimistic that the Solar Roadways project would yield results. Nonetheless, skepticism exists  on whether the glass would be durable enough or whether the efficiency of the solar cells would fall short. A description of the technology was previously posted here: http://sco.lt/6e11P7.

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President Obama: Climate Change Action

President Obama has proposed the first-ever national limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants—the New York Times says it's "the strongest action ever taken by an American president to tackle climate change."

Show your support for aggressive action on climate change:

http://www.barackobama.com/fight-climate-change/

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Solar Roadways Achieves Crowdfunding Target!

Enjoy this cool video featuring Solar Roadways!

 

Read more here:

http://sciencealert.com.au/news/20141105-25501.html

http://www.solarroadways.com/intro.shtml

 

Support the project, invest in the future here:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/solar-roadways#home

 

Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Solar Roadways are solar panels that you can drive, park, and walk on as described here: http://sco.lt/6e11P7.

Recently, Solar Roadways has hit their crowdfunding target of $1 million and we're now a step closer to turning highways into giant solar farms!

UPDATE: As of 11 June 2014, their crowdfunding campaign has more than doubled its initial target. Read about the implementation and practicalities of the technology here: http://sco.lt/6aawV7

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Melting Antarctic Could Devastate Food Security

Melting Antarctic Could Devastate Food Security | Aquascaping and Nature | Scoop.it
The Corn Belt could face yield declines of more than 25 percent by mid-century as climate change takes hold.

 

The report, Advancing Global Food Supply in the Face of a Changing Climate, urges the Obama Administration to step up research funding – especially in developing countries – to help make up a projected gap in future food supply.

 

Those rising seas would displace millions of people from low-lying coastal areas - and wipe out rice-growing areas across Asia, Gerald Nelson, a University of Illinois economist and author of Thurday's report, said. In terms of absolute land loss, China would be at risk of losing more than 3 million hectares (7.4 million acres). Vietnam, India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar could lose more than 1 million hectares (2.5 million acres), the report said.

 

"The question is: 'are we doing the right kind of research at our universities, at the department of agriculture, or in the private sector to deal with those changes? We need more and more applied research to help us move those numbers up. That is the real challenge for scientists."

 

"We have got to figure out how to get plants to continue performance when average temperatures go up, and we don't know how to do that," Nelson said. "We need 60 percent more food generally, and this will make it harder to get there," he said.


Read more here:

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/antarctic-ice-collapse-food-supply-17481

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/may/22/west-antarctic-ice-collapse-middle-east-asia-crops

http://www.ibtimes.com/direct-evidence-found-between-antarctic-ice-sheet-melt-sea-level-rise-1591725

 

 

 

 

Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Global warming is a very real threat over the next few decades as verified by Europe's Cryosat http://sco.lt/86HUtl.

 

This is probably why research into space colonization is receiving increasingly more attention http://sco.lt/5LzScr

 

 

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