Methane mystery: fossil fuels spewing less methane, but gas continues to accumulate

first_imgArticle published by Maria Salazar Carbon Dioxide, Climate Change, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Environmental Economics, Fossil Fuels, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Interns, Methane, Research Methane levels are on the rise again after a decade-long slowdown, but scientists still don’t know why.New research provides a ‘top down’ estimate of methane emissions due to fossil fuels, yielding a more rigorous look at how much methane the industry is responsible for.Improved monitoring technology can be used to get a more accurate reading of each nation’s methane emissions – and may be able to solve the mystery of the missing methane. It has no smell, but it’s a product of decay. You can’t see it with the naked eye, but it’s in increasingly high-demand. It’s methane: a gas that arises from anaerobic wetlands, rotting landfills, and ruminant indigestion. Fossil fuel production also releases this gas from its high-pressure underground reserves, allowing it to surface either as a potent greenhouse gas or as an energy source, depending on the fossil fuel company.NOAA has tracked methane’s presence in our atmosphere since 1984, capturing a surprising slowdown in its output throughout the 1990s and mid-2000s. But the past ten years have seen a rapid rise of methane in the atmosphere, though scientists aren’t sure of why. Yet they do know the gas is a devastating force furthering climate change; methane traps 34 times more heat than the infamous carbon dioxide over a 100-year period.Figuring out methane output from its various sources is no straightforward task– after all, it’s colorless, odorless, doesn’t show up on satellite images, and it’s formed from dozens of dynamic human activities and natural processes. A recent paper published in Environmental Research Letters addresses this challenge, showing a new way to calculate methane emissions from oil and gas fields around the globe – an analysis that concludes that oil and gas reserves are not likely responsible for the current trend in rising methane, but that in past decades, oil and gas reserves contributed far more damage than previously thought.Lena Hoglund-Isaksson examined published data on country-specific differences in the associated gas layer to create a new model for estimating methane emissions from global oil and gas production. Photo credit: Lena Hoglund-IsakssonAt the heart of the paper, authored by Lena Hoglund-Isaksson with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, lies a careful examination of the gas layers that cap fossil fuel reserves. This “associated gas layer,” as scientists call it, is composed mostly of methane gas, but the exact methane content depends on the region and on the type of fuel.Companies also deal with the gas layer in various ways. Some let it vent out into the air as is, and some instead flare the gas stream, combusting the methane into carbon dioxide. Both those scenarios implicate the associated gas layer in climate change. In the past 30 years, companies have vastly ramped up their use of an energy-efficient alternative: capturing the gas.“Either [the methane] is reinjected to enhance the well pressure to squeeze out more oil from the well, or it is utilized as an energy source, e.g., upgraded and injected into natural gas pipelines to be used as gas fuel,” Hoglund-Isaksson explained to Mongabay.A gas flare near an oil tower in the Ecuadorian Amazon, burning methane into carbon dioxide. Photo credit: Jeremy Hance.Her paper estimated that between 1990 and 2010, associated gas recovery increased globally from 60 percent recaptured to 83 percent (during the same time, global flaring dropped from 20 to 12 percent and global venting from 20 percent to 5 percent). And though the world produces more oil now than ever before, the total amounts of flared and vented gas remain about the same or less than they were in 1990.These shifts in how companies treat the associated gas layer helped steady atmospheric methane levels in the 1990s through the mid-2000s. But for the past decade, methane has been accumulating at a much faster pace. Uncertainty prevails over the sources of these emissions, hampering the development of effective management strategies. Hoglund-Isaksson’s paper tackles some of those uncertainties that led to significant emission underestimates in past decades and continues to hamper methane management.Let’s Get FinicalScientists can track atmospheric methane through a top-down approach, allowing them to observe different methane isotopes accumulating in the air. Isotopes from those atmospheric samples also roughly tell them whether the gas came from fossil fuel sites or not.What’s trickier is piecing together where exactly the trends come from. Understanding why methane concentrations increased since the 1980s, began to stabilize in the 1990s, and then began to quickly rise again after 2006, requires a “bottom-up” approach to estimates. Could some of the recent damage be coming from shale gas leaks? From melting permafrost?For example, Hoglund-Isaksson’s bottom-up calculations – a careful compilation of published data on methane ratios per fuel-type and per country – tell us that while the burgeoning shale gas industry has begun to contribute to global methane emissions, its output is not nearly enough to “explain recent increases in atmospheric methane observed by top-down models.”Duri oil field in Riau. Photo credit: Rhett Butler.To arrive at this conclusion, the paper first had to confront the confusing history of bottom-up models. During the 1980s and 90s, Hoglund-Isaksson explains, bottom-up estimates of methane from oil and gas production routinely resulted in underestimations.For instance, she estimates that in 1990, gas and oil production emitted 50 percent more methane than the US EPA’s bottom-up estimate for the same year. Even more notable, her calculations for total emissions between 1990 and 2012 found 73 percent more emissions than the estimate from Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR), which informs European policymakers.This pointed to failures in how researchers were calculating emissions from sources.“If the link between an activity and its release of emissions is not well understood, bottom-up estimates of emissions can end up wrong,” Hoglund-Isaksson said. “And if they do not at all match with the expected concentrations of these emissions observed in the atmosphere by top-down models, then the bottom-up methodology used is likely wrong.”Hoglund-Isaksson says her estimates better fit top-down estimates through the years, which means that her country-specific model based on associated gas variations may be more accurate. According to her paper, one reason that EDGAR and the US EPA’s estimates were lower than hers is that these institutions applied “measurements representative for North American oil and gas fields to other regions’ oil and gas production.” However, emissions factors vary across different regions.“In most industrialized countries (including North America and Europe), 95 percent or more of the associated gas generated from oil production is recovered,” Hoglund-Isaksson wrote in an email to Mongabay. “Recovery is done because it makes economic sense in countries where gas pipeline infrastructures exist that can transport the gas from the oil fields to consumers in urban areas.”But methane isn’t equally recaptured across the globe.“In parts of the world where gas transportation infrastructure is largely lacking (e.g., Nigeria and other sub-Saharan African countries) or oil fields are not located in the same areas as gas fields (e.g., Russia), recovery of associated gas from oil production does not always make economic good sense and may therefore be neglected by oil companies,” Hoglund-Isaksson wrote.Steps Towards Greater Methane ManagementImproved monitoring can minimize these margins of error as the technology becomes better and cheaper.“If the monitoring technology is cheap enough to allow for regulators to require continuous monitoring of emissions at every oil and gas production site, then particularly high-emitting sites can be immediately identified and remedied,” Hoglund-Isaksson said.These developments could not only incite job creation in monitoring tech, but would also help oil and gas producers more easily spot inefficient management decisions concerning this energy-rich gas layer.And of course, more readily-available monitoring tech could significantly clarify bottom-up inventories on a global scale, prompting progress on greenhouse gas reduction negotiations and strategies.“It is very important for the success of international climate mitigation negotiations that we agree on trustworthy and reasonably accurate methods for estimating emissions and apply these consistently across countries,” Hoglund-Isaksson said. “Only when countries feel that their emissions are fairly represented in comparison to those of other countries, will it be possible to reach successful agreements to reduce emissions.”Citations:Hoglund-Isaksson, L. (2017). Bottom-up simulations of methane and ethane emissions from global oil and gas systems 1980 to 2012. Environmental Research Letters, 12(2), 24007. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aa583eNisbet, E. G., Dlugokencky, E. J., & Bousquet, P. (2014). Methane on the Rise-Again. Science, 343, 493–494. http://science.sciencemag.org/content/sci/343/6170/493.full.pdfSaunois, M., Jackson, R. B., Bousquet, P., Poulter, B., & Canadell, J. G. (2016). The growing role of methane in anthropogenic climate change. Environmental Research Letters, 11(12), 120207. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/11/12/120207center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Woods had marijuana, painkillers in system at arrest — report

first_imgIn this March 20, 2017, file photo, golfer Tiger Woods prepares to sign copies of his new book at a book signing in New York. Police say golf great Tiger Woods was arrested on a DUI charge in Florida. He tested positive for marijuana and other drugs after the arrest. APFORT LAUDERDALE, Florida, United States – Tiger Woods had the active ingredient for marijuana, two painkillers and two sleep drugs in his system when he was arrested on a DUI charge earlier this year, a report released Tuesday by prosecutors said.Police in Jupiter, Florida, released the report less than a week after the golf superstar agreed to enter a diversion program to settle his driving while intoxicated charges. The report’s contents were first reported Monday by ESPN.ADVERTISEMENT 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano View comments Gilas Pilipinas, Korea resume bitter basketball rivalry Vilma Santos, Luis Manzano warn public of fake account posing as her Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite MOST READ 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ The report, prepared by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, says Woods, 41, had THC, the active ingredient for marijuana; as well as the painkillers Vicodin and Dilaudid; the anxiety and sleep drug Xanax; and the anti-insomnia drug Ambien in his system when he was arrested at 2 a.m. May 29 about 15 miles from his home in Jupiter. Officers had found him unconscious in his Mercedes-Benz, which was parked awkwardly on the side of the road and had damage to the driver’s side. It’s not clear how he damaged the car. Officers checked the area but didn’t find that he had hit anything.Woods issued a statement Tuesday saying he had been trying on his own to treat his insomnia and pain from his fourth back surgery, which he underwent in April. He did not specifically address the marijuana issue. None was found in his possession.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’“I realize now it was a mistake to do this without medical assistance,” said Woods, who completed an out-of-state drug treatment program last month. “I am continuing to work with my doctors, and they feel I’ve made significant progress.”Woods is scheduled to plead guilty to reckless driving Oct. 25 and enter the county’s diversion program. 2 nabbed in Bicol drug stings Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Under the plea deal, prosecutors would drop the DUI charge, which is a more severe charge than reckless driving. In the diversion program, Woods will spend a year on probation and pay a $250 fine and court costs. He would also have to attend DUI school, perform 50 hours of community service and attend a workshop where victims of impaired drivers detail how their lives were damaged. Since the program began four years ago, almost 2,400 defendants have enrolled, according to the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office.If Woods completes the program, he can ask a judge to expunge the reckless driving conviction.His 79 PGA Tour victories and 14 major titles both rank No. 2 all-time. He has not competed since February because of his back injury and is not expected to return this year. His last win was in August 2013.Woods said his back is improving.“I recently spoke to my surgeon and he’s very pleased with how my fusion is healing. I’m right on schedule. I’m now doing some light lifting, riding a stationary bike and putting a little,” he said. CBBADVERTISEMENT End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Teen gunned down in Masbate LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Albay to send off disaster response team to Batangaslast_img read more

Darwin Missed the Pink Iguanas

first_imgThe news media are excited about pink iguanas found in the Galapagos Islands.  The rare type was discovered accidentally in 1986 but received almost no attention till now.  Reports with pictures can be found on Live Science, PhysOrg, New Scientist and the BBC News, based on the paper by Gentile et al in PNAS.1    The “rosada” (pink) land iguana is similar in size and shape to a more common yellow variety on Isabela island, the largest island in the Galapagos archipelago.  Darwin did not see any of these during his five-week tour.  It is surprising no other scientist saw this population, either, for 150 years after Darwin’s stopover.  They live isolated on an extinct volcano named Volcan Wolf on the north end of Isabela island.    The scientists performed phylogenetic analysis of individuals and declared them to be the most basal land iguanas on the islands.  They estimate they diverged 5.7 million years ago and went their own way genetically.  This raises a conundrum, however; the island of Isabela, their sole habitat, did not form till half a million years ago, they believe.  How did the pink form remain genetically isolated for so long when the populations were free to mix with others?  Actually, they were found not to be completely isolated.  One yellow iguana appeared to have a rosada grandparent, so hybridization, though rare, does occur (as it does with the finches).  “In any case, incomplete reproductive isolation between the rosada and syntopic yellow land forms is not surprising,” they said, “considering that hybridization can still occur between marine and land iguanas, 2 genera morphologically, ecologically, behaviorally, and genetically very distant.”1.  Gentile et al, “An overlooked pink species of land iguana in the Galapagos,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, published online before print January 5, 2009, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0806339106.Is this evolution?  They look nearly identical to the other land iguanas except for skin color and slight differences in head-bobbing behavior.  There are more differences between people than between these iguanas.  To be told that they have been genetically isolated ten times longer than the island they live on was separated from the others is a stretch; it’s also not very helpful to evolutionary theory, because they believe humans came down from the trees and evolved philosophy in less time than that.    Phylogenetic analysis is fraught with dubious assumptions.  Differences this small can take a lot less time to develop.  Live Science quoted the lead author saying, “The Darwin finches are thought to have differentiated later than the split between the pink and yellow iguana lineages.”  And just like the finches, the differences are minor variations.  No new genetic information, tissues or organs “emerged” by Darwin’s mechanism.    The news write-ups, nevertheless, are filled with references to Charlie.  King Charles had nothing to do with this.  He didn’t even see them.  He came up with a tall tale after his voyage about how humans might have had bacteria ancestors.  Why?  Because he saw microevolutionary changes in finches, turtles, mockingbirds and cacti in an isolated, desolate environment, and could not fit these observations into preconceived theological notions about how God would have done things.  For this Charlie should be scorned, not praised.    Darwin’s name would not be remembered except for his visit here, his 200th birthday coming up, and the pressure of his disciples to associate his name with these islands that are full of amazingly hardy, well-adapted, created creatures (redundant, since creature refers to a created living thing).  All creatures of our God and King was not written in praise of King Charlie, despite the devotion of his subjects.(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Robot Designers Strive to Match Animals

first_imgRobots built on these principles could be used to venture into dangerous places, rove the planet Mars, perform aerial reconnaissance and many other things.  The resulting control technologies might also find their way into improved prosthetic devices and materials.    By funding efforts to imitate the feats of animals to the tune of millions of dollars, and by setting up research departments based on “bioinspiration,” scientists and engineers are tacitly admitting that the design specs in the living world are of such high quality they deserve to be imitated.In all the biomimetics stories we have reported over the years, the researchers generally express awe and amazement at what animals and plants can do.  They don’t say, “what a sloppy design; we human designers can do much better.”  Instead, the attitude is usually a humble spirit of wonder at how easy “nature” conquers difficult tasks.  References to evolution in such articles are typically very short and stupid, like “clever solutions that emerged in the course of evolution” (12/16/2009).    There’s nothing like imitation to teach a person the difficulty in a task.  A music critic can disdain a performance until he or she tries to compose or perform a piece.  A baseball fan can lambaste a pitcher from the stands till he tries to pitch a 90mph fastball against a skilled batter.  It’s easier to complain about the food than to cook it.  Biomimetics has opened up a whole new crowd of potential intelligent design advocates, by having them go to the lab and try to duplicate the feats nature performs so effortlessly.  This might be good therapy for atheists.  Have them go into the lab and try to build a living cell from scratch with their own dirt.(Visited 31 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Engineers feel great satisfaction when their robots can match just some of the feats of animals.  What does that say about the design of the animals?It’s a bird, it’s a plane:  The first “hummingbird robot” was unveiled by Japanese researcher Hiroshi Liu (Chiba University) in a press release published by PhysOrg.  The hand-sized device flaps its wings 30 times per second and can turn up, down, right or left, and fly a figure eight.  Its researchers, who spent the equivalent of $2.1 million dollars developing it, hope to use it to locate victims in trapped buildings or find criminals.  It’s clear they found nature inspiring: “First, we need to learn about effective mechanism from natural life forms, but we want to develop something to go beyond nature eventually,” Liu said.  See also our report about efforts to mimic hummingbird flight at the University of Buffalo (12/16/2009, bullet 2).    The real bird still has some superior capabilities.  It can hover in place and see.  The robot designers hope to mimic hovering ability and add a camera in the next 15 months.  If they can get it to lay eggs and hatch baby robots, they’ll really be onto something.It’s a roach, it’s a rescuer:  Disgust is the reaction of most people to cockroaches.  Robot designers, though, stand in awe of them.  According to Science Daily, researchers at Oregon State are taking “bioinspiration” from the despised bugs in an effort to mimic their abilities.  “Cockroaches are incredible,” said John Schmitt, a professor of mechanical engineering at OSU.  “They can run fast, turn on a dime, move easily over rough terrain, and react to perturbations faster than a nerve impulse can travel.”    This raises a question of how their movements are controlled.  According to Schmitt, “cockroaches don’t even have to think about running – they just do it, with muscle action that is instinctive and doesn’t require reflex control.”  Something, though, must be coordinating the motions of its six legs.  Whatever happens, the robot designers would like to imitate that trick.  The technology might find application in “military operations, law enforcement or space exploration” (but hopefully not in restaurant kitchens).     Schmitt had more to say about the wonder of cockroach scurrying.  “A cockroach doesn’t think much about running, it just runs.  And it only slows down about 20 percent when going over blocks that are three times higher than its hips.  That’s just remarkable, and an indication that their stability has to do with how they are built, rather than how they react.”Guinea henny penny.  The previous article on Science Daily jumped from cockroaches to chickens.  The article had this to say about guinea hens:The OSU researchers are trying to identify some of the basic biological and mechanical principles that allow certain animals to run so well and effortlessly.  A guinea hen, for instance, can change the length and angle of its spring-like legs to almost automatically adjust to an unexpected change in a ground surface as much as 40 percent of its hip height.  That would be like a human running at full speed, stepping into a 16-inch-deep hole and never missing a beat.last_img read more

Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast — January 26, 2018

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest 180126_RyanMartinTGIF. Warmer air builds over Ohio today and tomorrow. We will see very mild air in play and most of the state will be above normal for the period. This does come with a bit of a disclaimer, though: we also have to deal with some strong southwest winds, averaging at least 12-25 mph, and likely higher. These winds will be what brings the warmer air in.Rains start tomorrow afternoon and goes through midnight. By 2-3 am Sunday morning, we will be done with all action. The rain has a very light start in. We are trimming our rainfall forecasts a bit to now a few hundredths to half an inch maximum. Coverage will be about 80%. The map shows rain totals through Sunday morning.Drier, cooler air is in for Sunday as high pressure moves in. However, this is not a bitter cold arctic air mass, just a typical cool push behind a weak system. There may be enough cold air to trigger some minor lake effect snows over northern and northeastern Ohio on Monday. Snow and flurry action can break out anywhere off the south shore of Lake Erie on Monday, and we can even see some lake effect clouds and flurries make it all the way in from off of Lake Michigan in far NW Ohio. But, generally, the best areas for action on Monday will again be in northeast Ohio, in our typical lake effect areas. WE can see minor accumulations, and in NE OH, perhaps several inches. Cold air will be in play for both Sunday and Monday, with temps slightly below normal.Tuesday of next week we see winds switching back to the southwest, signaling yet another moderating push of temperatures to above normal levels. The winds will be rather strong on Wednesday, the 31st. This hints at another strong front wanting to arrive shortly thereafter. We have rains starting to move into NW Ohio around midday on Thursday, and then precipitation slowly works across the state. Action starts as rain, but we still expect cold air to catch the moisture, and switch rain over to snow. Liquid equivalent precipitation could range anywhere from .25”-.75” as things stand right now, and we are have a concern that we see some heavy snow in Ohio after sunset through midnight. Some models are projecting 4-6 inches – but it is way to early to look seriously at snow totals. As always, it comes down to timing of cold air, track of the front, and location-location-location. We will have a significant update on this system Monday morning.The week finishes with a dry Friday midday and afternoon, but temps are cold, with most of the state below freezing. High pressure sets up over western Ohio for next Friday afternoon. We keep cold air into Saturday, but south winds return on Sunday. This time, though, we do not expect a significant warm up, as a cold front organizes quickly to the northwest, and brings colder flow in by Sunday afternoon. This leads to some moisture over central and southern parts of the state for Monday the 5th, although we can’t quite call it a clipper system anymore. Canadian high pressure dominates most of the rest of the 11-16 day period, with another system coming out of the central plains into our area late the 8th through the 9th. That system can bring potential for big snows again.last_img read more

Discover our channels and join the community

first_imgYou’ve signed up for the Geocaching newsletter, you read the blog, now follow us on social media to connect with fellow geocachers and get the latest news and updates from Geocaching HQ!Facebook – news, updates, and interaction with other geocachers.Twitter – the latest on new releases and outages/problems with the website.Instagram – your daily dose of inspirational geocaching images.YouTube – never miss a geocaching video again.What’s your favorite way to hear about geocaching news?Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedAugust Goes to the Mega-EventsAugust 12, 2013In “Community”Your Geocaching Community Awaits…August 5, 2013In “Geocaching.com Videos”Caution: Geocacher in trainingOctober 3, 2017In “Geocaching Weekly Newsletter”last_img read more

New MIT OpenCourseWare Initiative Aims to Improve Independent Online Learning

first_imgMIT OpenCourseWare is launching five new courses today that mark a new model for one of the world’s premier open educational resources. These OCW Scholar courses are designed for use by independent learners, and like the other material made available through MIT OCW, are freely available for anyone to pursue. These aren’t distance learning classes – there is no instructor, no contact with MIT, no credit. But the courses are meant to be stand-alone offerings, not requiring any additional materials for learning.Although MIT OpenCourseWare may have become synonymous with the move to online education, it’s worth noting that the original expectation of the initiative was that by making the university’s course content freely and openly accessible, other educators would use the syllabi, lecture notes, tests and assignments to design their other courses. It’s apparent, however, that the most of the people using the site are there as learners, not as teachers.The OCW Scholar courses are aimed at providing these learners with a more complete set of materials, so that those taking the courses needn’t turn elsewhere for other resources – such as journal articles – in order to complete the curriculum. These new OCW courses combine materials from multiple MIT courses, and the OCW team has worked with university faculty and teaching assistants to create new materials specifically designed for this project. The Physics 1 class, for example, contains a set of video lectures from MIT physics professor Walter Lewin, a set of course notes (replacing the need for a traditional textbook), a set of class slides, homework problems, homework help videos (in which Lewin helps learners through solving the problems), links to related materials, and an online study group at OpenStudy where you can connect with other independent learners.MIT OCW plans to publish 20 OCW Scholar courses over the next three years, all focused on introductory college-level science, math, engineering and other foundational subjects. This first set of courses that launch today include 8.01SC Physics I, 8.02SC Physics II, 18.01SC Calculus I, 18.02SC Calculus II and 3.091SC Introduction to Solid State Chemistry.The OCW Scholar courses are a new approach to MIT OpenCourseWare, but as the program notes, this is meant to complement not replace the other OCW publications. “We’re still committed to publishing MIT’s materials as we always have,” says OCW Executive Director Cecilia d’Oliveira, “and our core publication continues to provide tremendous value to educators and students around the world. With OCW Scholar, we are enhancing our support for independent learners and building on what we’ve accomplished with the rest of the site.”As we recently reported, MIT OpenCourseWare has continued to grow in popularity, with 9.6 million visitors last year and tens of millions of files downloaded from the site, from YouTube and from iTunesU. The expansion of the program is meant to increase the scalability of OCW, making sure that more people can have access to these educational resources. Tags:#E-Learning#NYT#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market audrey watters A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

Finding the Right Lens Adapter

first_imgHere are a few things to consider when choosing your next lens adapter.Top image via Shutterstock.Lens adapters are annoying but necessary purchases anytime you are dealing with different types of lenses and cameras. Even though it adds weight, bulk, and expense to your production, the right lens for your camera is absolutely crucial. One of the questions I had when choosing the right adapter was how it would affect my the image, so let’s take a look at what to expect.What Are Lens Adapters?Image via Shutterstock.To put it plainly, lens adapters bridge the gap from mismatched lenses so that they might fit a different type of camera. So, if you have to shoot with a Canon (EF mount) camera and use a Sony (E mount) lens, adapters make this possible. Generally, it’s better to move down from a larger format lens to a smaller format camera that can translate from full frame to APS-C and Micro Four Thirds. But overall, adapters can save you from losing precious glass when you upgrade to a different type of camera body and brand.A notable downside to using a lens adapter is the loss of autofocus while recording video. Using auto-focus while recording video isn’t the best way to capture accurately focused shots, but if you’re vlogging or have the camera turned towards yourself, autofocus will help out a lot. Regardless, just know that autofocus isn’t as direct when you use an adapter.Focal ReducersThere are lens adapters like the Metabones Superbooster that actually expand and increase your aperture by a stop. This improves the crop factor of your camera, whether it’s from APS-C to full frame or micro four-thirds to APS-C. The Superbooster is a viable option for improving your image, especially if you want to capture a “bigger image.” However, the Superbooster does lose tracking capabilities for autofocusing and, like I said earlier, autofocusing is the main consideration here if that’s how you’re used to shooting. Expect to pay around $500 – $600 for the Speedbooster, regardless of the type of camera you use.Lens Adapters to ConsiderImage via Metabones.As with any pre-production decision, cost is everything. However, you may not need something like the Metabones Speedbooster if your shoot doesn’t need all the benefits of such a product. For instance, the Fotodiox lens adapter lineup is filled with cheap, worthy adapters that are about 1/4 the cost of Metabones or Vello. Again, consider the brand of camera you’re using. Often, Sony, Canon, and Nikon offer their own adapters that work perfectly fine.There are many different types and brands of adapters to consider, so think about what you’re shooting, how you shoot, and what kind of glass you actually like working with.What are some adapters you’ve worked with in the past? Let us know in the comments.last_img read more

Polar Bear Evolution Was Fast and Furious

first_imgFor polar bears, being tubby is a way of life. Fat can make up 50% of their body weight; the blubber-laden seals they eat make bacon look downright healthy. Now, a new, extensive comparison of the genomes of polar bears and their closest relative, the brown bear, has revealed how polar bears survive such unhealthy diets.The work also suggests that the bears evolved these changes relatively quickly, likely because they had to adapt to extreme conditions that forced them to switch to a diet that would be toxic to other mammals. “It’s a schoolbook example of evolution,” says Eske Willerslev, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Copenhagen who helped the lead the research.Brown bears—some of which are called grizzlies—and polar bears are closely related and are even able to interbreed. In the past few years, researchers have used genetic information to sort out this relationship and to understand how polar bears thrive in the frigid Arctic, feeding primarily on seals and other marine life captured from holes in the ice. This work has included sequencing the animals’ genomes, which has indicated that polar bears are truly a distinct species that at times lived apart from brown bears and at times intermingled and interbred with them. But researchers disagree about when the polar bear began to split off from brown bears, with estimates ranging from about 600,000 years to as much as 5 million years ago.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)In the latest sequencing effort, Willerslev and researchers from Denmark, China, and the United States analyzed the genomes of 80 polar bears from Greenland and 10 brown bears from North America and Europe. “[It’s] the most comprehensive genomic data set to date, as far as bears are concerned,” says Frank Hailer, an evolutionary biologist from Goethe University Frankfurt in Germany.Drawing on that data, Willerslev and his colleagues conclude that polar bears split off from brown bears between 343,000 and 479,000 years ago. Although little more than a blink in time from an evolutionary perspective, that was long enough for key genetic differences to evolve, they note in a report today in Cell.The most distinctive polar bear genes include many related to fat processing and to the development of the heart and circulatory system. Indeed, nine of the 16 most distinctive genes are ones that in humans are associated with heart disease, Willerslev says. One that stood out was a gene called APOB, which helps transfer fat from blood into cells.In brown bears, the sequence of this gene varies from one bear to another, but all the polar bears surveyed have an identical version, with the exact same genetic code at nine variable spots in the gene, about half of which should change the function of the APOB protein.That all polar bears have the same version indicates that it is very beneficial, perhaps enabling the animals to eat lots of fat without developing artery-clogging plaques that can plague humans who eat high-fat diets, says study co-author Eline Lorenzen, a molecular ecologist at the University of California (UC), Berkeley. An independent chemical analysis of a 120,000-year-old fossil polar bear jawbone showed that the species was already dependent on marine prey by then—a big switch from the brown bear’s chiefly vegetarian fare—indicating that these genetic changes occurred in just a few hundred thousand years. “That’s very surprising for such a large mammal,” she says.Given the number of genomes studied and the sophisticated analysis used, the date for when the species diverges is “the best estimate of what we’ve gotten so far, and it makes sense,” says Beth Shapiro, an evolutionary biologist at UC Santa Cruz, whose earlier work also suggested these bears split less than a million years ago. But Charlotte Lindqvist, an evolutionary biologist from the University at Buffalo in New York who has proposed a much earlier date for the origin of the polar bear, is not completely convinced. “The evolutionary history of these animals has probably been very complex,” with the two species separating and interbreeding multiple times, she points out. “I don’t really see that [new study] resolves anything.”Both she and Hailer contend that researchers need to get genomes from a wider distribution of bears, particularly brown bears. “It might be that some conclusions will be altered when the genetic diversity within these bears can be characterized more thoroughly,” Hailer says.last_img read more

Making the Wright plays

first_imgBrace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH “It’s the only thing I wanted, man. I just wanted to win today,” he said after the Fuel Masters’ 74-72 win. “It was a big game, really important for both teams We were down all game but they let the door open. We’re just lucky to capitalize on some mistakes.”The Fil-Canadian dead shot, who had 16 points, five rebounds and three steals, said he already knew the kind of defense TNT was going to throw at him in Phoenix’s last offensive possession and he read it perfectly resulting to Kramer’s short baseline hook that won the game.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“I knew that they’re gonna double. I know Coach Josh (Reyes), I know the scheme that they’re trying to do, they’re not gonna let me get off a good shot. I knew right when I touched the ball, when I came off that screen that I was gonna be met with either Kelly (Williams) or Mo (Tautuaa),” he recalled.“So it was just a matter of Doug positioning himself in the right spot, and a matter of me just making a good pass. It just happened very instinctively.” Matthew Wright. PBA IMAGESMatthew Wright turned 26 today and it was only fitting that the birthday celebrant was the one who put the icing on the cake Wednesday night.Wright accounted for Phoenix’s last five points inside the final minute, burying the game-tying triple and assisting on Doug Kramer’s game-winner with 3.0 seconds remaining.ADVERTISEMENT LA Revilla hurts hand in Phoenix win NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Phoenix won despite playing catchup majority of the game and trailing by as much as 13.“We’re a veteran team. We have some young guys, like myself, Jason (Perkins). But we got some very savvy vets who know how to win: RJ (Jazul), JC (Intal), Willie (Wilson), Doug, Jeff (Chan). They know how to win games, they know how to close out games. So I feel like we have a good batch of guys to go far this year.”Wright likes his team’s chances heading into its last three games in the elimination round.“This is the PBA, man. Anything can happen, so we’re not taking any of those teams lightly. We are confident in our abilities, and we’re expecting to go 4-and-0 in our last four games. We took care of today, so we just gotta take care of the next three.”ADVERTISEMENT View commentscenter_img Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH LATEST STORIES Read Next Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding AFP official booed out of forum MOST READ 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena stinglast_img read more