Global Warming Won’t Affect Wind Energy Production

Alternative energy it’s an option that picked up our interest for decades, being ecofriendly and also endless, or so we thought. Wind energy, for example does seem to have a great potential. Governments and important names in the energy industry want to build more wind turbines and expand this business. At present 2% of the whole energy in America is represented by wind energy. The potential is huge, especially in the Great Plains and the Great Lakes (Lakes Michigan, Superior and Erie), but with the last century climate changes, people are concerned about the viability of their projects. Now it’s the scientists turn to make solid predictions and determine what would be the evolution of the wind intensity and direction in the coming decades. Will the global warming change everything we know?

The scientists have used three different models: the Canadian Regional Climate Model, the Regional Climate Model 3and the Hadley Centre Model, so that their results would be more credible. All three climate models have shown no major change in the wind intensity even with an increase of global temperature of about two degrees. The study has been made on the lower 48 American states and a part of northern Mexico. The only differences that could be observed between the models were similar with the variations of wind intensity usually seen in wind patterns.

The importance of this study is even greater because it is the first done for this particular purpose, and it opens the way for other, more advanced ones. The energy industry is continuously expanding and the investment done to develop better and more efficient wind turbines needs to be backed up by some reliable assurances, especially since the goal in wind energy is that it will represent about 20% of America’s total energy production by 2030.

The Ozone Hole Begins To Heal

Although twenty years ago the world has made a pact in Montreal to ban the use of chloroflurocarbons, as they turned out to be the main reason for ozone depleting, until recently no real improvements have been scientifically proved. That was mainly because the ozone hole kept changing its size due to the season’s cycle. They couldn’t tell if the variations of the ozone hole are the result of normal spring fluctuations or evidence that the lack of chlorofluorocarbons was beneficial to the environment. The main consequence of not being able to prove the efficiency of this protocol was that no one could tell if the measure of banning chloroflurocarbons was a success or not, so that was putting a stop to any other important decisions. It was even considered that ozone depleting could be part of a natural cycle and humans had nothing to do with it.
This was an issue, until the Australian scientist, Murry Salby, showed that there is a pattern anyone could follow regarding the natural fluctuations in ozone hole’s diameter. These variations are triggered by the so called “dynamic forcing”. This phenomena is explained by the increase of the contact surface between the ozone and the chlorine particles due to the bigger number of ice crystals present in the atmosphere over the winter.
Now that they can exclude from their measurements these natural fluctuations, scientists are able to watch the modifications that take place due to the absence of chloroflurocarbons. The result they are now able to sustain with evidence is that the Montreal Protocol has been successful and the ozone is really healing. This conclusion is even more important than just for its ecological impact, as it offers a political back up to the implementation of other environmental friendly measures. Because of this important discovery, the skeptics will have no more ammunition to delay any ecofriendly projects in the future.

Tracking the Origin of Shark Fins Using DNA Zip Coding

shark fins Shark fins soup is a delicacy that led the sharks all around the globe to drastically decrease in numbers. Until recently, it was a real challenge to determine the origin of the fins and whether they came from an endangered species. This was making it difficult to prove whether the fishing was legal or not. Now we can not only tell the difference between species, but we can also determine the area from where the fins were collected. Recent studies have shown that female sharks that are born in a specific area will return to give birth there, so the population’s DNA differs by its mother’s specifics. This also means that if the population of sharks declines too much or it’s wiped out in a specific region, then it won’t be replenish by the immigration of sharks from another area.
The sharks being a very important link of the aquatic food chain, the health of the oceans depends in keeping their numbers constant. When a shark population declines under 20% of what it was in the past, then it is considered to be on the endangered list. This happened to the dusky shark and the copper shark. The ability of determining a species and its origin only from the DNA samples will represent a great help for the regulation of the global trade. This way the fishing in the regions where the sharks are scarce can be controlled so the population would have time to regenerate. The process of recovering can be a long one, since these shark species mature in about 20 years and give birth once every three years. This means that, even if humans only need a few decades to drastically reduce the shark population, the time it will take for it to replenish is that of a few centuries.

How To Prevent Birds From Colliding With Manmade Objects

Birds can collide with manmade objects and this can happen very often. The question that always intrigued the scientists is why? Since it was accepted by everyone that birds use their sight as the first of their senses when they fly, it was a mystery why they could not see the obstacles in their way. The most unpleasant thing is that collisions with pylons, turbines and power lines lead to 25% of the juvenile and 6% of the adults’ deaths of endangered species like Ciconia ciconia (or the White Stork).
People have tried to understand the reason behind these accidents and also sought to find a way to warn the birds of the danger. They failed on the most part because, until now, they also tried to make the obstacles more noticeable for human eyes and not for the birds.
Studying their way of flying, scientists have come to two relevant conclusions: one, that birds don’t always look forward when they fly, most of the times they look for prey or interesting places on the soil, so their binocular vision makes them practically blind for the obstacles ahead; and two, that birds usually can’t adjust too much the speed at which they’re flying, so at high speed and in poor weather conditions, they are not able to adjust to the changes they encounter in their path. It also seems that birds are more attuned to the direction they are flying and don’t use their sight to look into open space. It mostly seems that they are guided by their instinct to maintain the right course, and not by their eyes.
The best method to help the birds and prevent accidents, is to make them aware of the danger through alerting sounds and signals that should be placed at some distance from the obstacle to give them time to adjust their direction.

Rotational Grazing Will Result In Healthier Cattle And Thriving Wildlife

Recent studies have shown that it’s not necessary to keep the cattle on a pasture until almost complete depletion before moving them. In fact, those studies determined that it’s even healthier for the animals if they move more often from a pasture to another. This is called rotational grazing.
Let’s see why this type of grazing better is and what its benefits are. From the cattle’s perspective, grazing just a little while on a pasture before moving on, it’s better because the animals will only get the best grass, the richest in nutrients. Also, they’ll always have plenty to graze, because the place will be new all the time. This will increase their weight and productions.

From the wildlife’s point of view, having the herd of cattle there for a smaller period of time will imply they’ll be less disturbed and more time to manifest their normal behavior. Also, if the cattle won’t deplete their food source, the natural balance won’t be disturbed too much.

There is one more perspective we should look at when we consider rotational grazing: the flora’s perspective. Not being totally depleted of leaves, the plants have a better chance of recovering and replenish the grazing area. By giving it enough time, the farmers won’t feel the need to replace the indigenous flora with the exotic plants that are known to have a better productivity. The reason why maintaining the local flora is better than planting a new one, is that on the long run, the land will suffer because the soil is not use to these plants and will lose its fertility, becoming useless for agriculture and farming.

As the health of the soil is the key to success in raising cattle, rotational grazing could prove a revolutionary change in this agricultural segment and can also be one of the first ecological measures that can be applied on a large scale to protect nature and provide for the needs of humanity.

Bad handling of waste liquids can cost you more than you can handle

If you have a business that produces waste liquids, then it is best that you treat this issue with great care. In order to have everything safe, you should make sure you have a drum, tank, or IBC to store your liquid wastes, and that they are regularly inspected so no leaks take place and immediately repair any fissures you may find. Also, it is important that you check the storing, loading and unloading area, so they are clean and tidy.

The reason it is so important to be careful with your liquid wastes is that the Environmental Protection Agency has very strict regulations and ignoring them can be really costly. The penalties and fees you could receive for not taking proper care of the residues you produce are pretty high. The material risks, although great, should not be your only concern. Along with the destruction that a fire starting from unkempt liquid wastes can produce, you also need to consider the pollution of air, soil and water that incident will imply. You may have material loses of your own and you’ll also need to repair the ecological damage you’ve done with your careless behavior.
Beside all this you may find yourself in the unfortunate situation where one of your workers or clients has an accident because you managed your waste liquids poorly. It could only be a slippery surface and someone falling because of it, or a much worse scenario. Either way, paying for the hospital bills, the compensation settlement or moral prejudice, won’t be a very light burden for your financial balance.

Avoiding these situations can be very easy, as long as you create a special place to deposit your waste and employ someone to come and collect it regularly. There are several companies on the market that can give you professional help for getting the residues out of your hair and also clean any related mess that could possible appear.