Climate Change, Drought, Energy, Environment, Technology, Water, Water Crisis Article published by dilrukshi Banner image: Maskeliya reservoir, also known as Mausakelle, where a cloud seeding experiment was carried out on March 22, 2019. Image by Rehman Abubakr via Wikimedia Commons. 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 overSponsored An experimental attempt by Sri Lanka to induce artificial rain amid a prolonged drought fell short of expectations when the anticipated rain materialized a day late.Despite the setback, the government appears committed to exploring the technology further as it seeks to address power cuts caused by low water levels in its hydropower reservoirs.Scientists have called for comprehensive studies on cloud microphysics, meteorology and observational studies to ensure that such an expensive endeavor is backed by adequate scientific data.With no cost-benefit analysis, climatologists fear that artificial rainmaking may cause adverse impacts over the long term. A recent attempt to induce rain amid a prolonged drought in Sri Lanka has fallen short, but that hasn’t stopped the government from embracing the project, to the dismay of scientists who have urged greater studies into the technology and its long-term impacts.The drought conditions have brought soaring temperatures and regular power cuts in a country where about 8 percent of electricity comes from hydropower. These conditions have frayed the public mood, and the power crisis is expected to continue as water levels in the hydropower reservoirs remain low.To trigger rains in the catchment areas that feed the dams, the government recently carried out an rainmaking experiment. Though it recorded only marginal success, with the results now under review, the government is looking to adopt the technology as part of its long-term solutions, including creating a department for artificial rainmaking under the Ministry of Power and Energy.“We require more rain to meet the country’s hydropower requirement,” Sulakshana Jayawardena, spokesman for the Ministry of Power and Energy and Business Development, told Mongabay.He said Sri Lanka had experienced severe drought conditions in the past two years, with many catchment areas not receiving adequate rain to generate sufficient hydropower. Jayawardena said the reservoirs were only filled up to about 50 percent of their capacity.“We had to explore artificial rainmaking. The annual average rainfall of 2,000 mm [79 inches] is completely insufficient to meet the demand for power,” he said.And the electricity board is keen to avoid the costly exercise of thermal power generation, which accounts for 91 percent of the country’s electricity. Just under half of that comes from burning coal, with the rest from oil. “When there’s limited capacity to generate hydropower, we resort to expensive power purchasing from the private sector,” Jayawardena said. “Besides being expensive, it does not offer a long-term solution.”Jayawardena said generating thermal power cost the state about 12 times as much as hydropower per unit of energy. As such, the government is likely to pursue more rainmaking exercises, he said.But the failed attempt at rainmaking has drawn criticism, with experts calling for scientific assessments before long-term programs are envisaged.Lareef Zubair, a climate scientist dubbed artificial rainmaking an “unproven technology,” and called for comprehensive research on cloud microphysics, meteorology and observational studies.“Let’s first take a holistic look at things,” he said.An expert committee that looked into the rainmaking initiative has called for a better monitoring system and catchment conservation, before making big decisions. Concerns have also been expressed abut poor management of rainfall, with experts saying that Sri Lanka has failed to make maximum use of rain received.Ranjith Punyawardene, principal climatologist at the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Peradeniya has also called for a complete cost-benefit analysis coupled with an environmental impact assessment before undertaking any expensive rainmaking exercise.Meanwhile, Kapila Jayasinghe, chief engineer of the state-owned utility, Ceylon Electricity Board, ruled out any long-term side effects from cloud triggering, citing a past attempt at artificial rainmaking in the 1980s.“The initial feasibility has been concluded and now it is about making a national plan and implementing it,” he said.The process of cloud seeding involves spraying specific chemicals to induce rain. Graphic by Karthik Chandramouli/Mongabay.Late rainThe rainmaking experiment took place March 22, with a Sri Lanka Air Force plane spraying chemicals onto clouds above the Maussakelle reservoir in Central province.The previous month, a team had been sent to study artificial rainmaking at Thailand’s Department of Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation, comprising officials from the Air Force, the CEB, and the departments of meteorology and irrigation.During the experiment, assisted by engineers from Thailand, the rainmakers expected an artificially created downpour over the catchment area later the same day. However, rainfall observed from satellites and in the nearby area of Norwood indicated that the rain occurred the following day, March 23.The Thai experts determined it was still possible to generate artificial rain in Sri Lanka, provided certain environmental conditions were met, top sources from the energy ministry told Mongabay. The source said the team working on the technology had been sent back to the drawing board to gather more atmospheric data before more experiments can be carried out.Meanwhile, Buddhi Marambe, professor of crop science at the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Peradeniya and chairperson, national experts committee on climate adaptation said there should be sufficient checks and balances if rainmaking is to become a long-term program to address the island’s energy crisis.Marambe told Mongabay that it is important to further study rainmaking, if the country intends continuing with more experiments.“If the experiments continue, then certain types of chemicals commonly used for rainmaking, are likely to impact soil and plants. The process also creates cumulonimbus, known as ‘rain clouds.’ Triggering such clouds is expected to trigger high intensity rainfall. This could result in increasing rainfall in the catchment areas but likely to also result in severe soil erosion in the same areas due to the intensity,” he said.
Four different Tigers score in road winBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterSTEVENS POINT — The Marshfield boys soccer team finally broke through with a complete effort, blanking Stevens Point 4-0 in a Wisconsin Valley Conference matchup Thursday at the Portage County Soccer Complex.Hunter McManus, Gabe Ronan, and Kaylob Croston scored first-half goals for the Tigers, and Leo Steiner added the capper 20 minutes into the second half.The win is Marshfield’s first of the season as it improves to 1-2-1 overall and 1-1 in the WVC. Stevens Point is now 5-2 and 2-1 in conference play. Point had shut out all of its opponents in its five wins.Mathias Holm had 12 saves in goal for the Tigers. Luke McCann had a pair of assists, and Alec Hinson had another in the win.“The defense played solid, led by Collin Nikolai, Scott Berg, Klaus Friedli, Nathan Carlson, and Roman Tibbett, and Mathias Holm was outstanding in net to earn the shutout,” Marshfield coach Steve McCann said. “He did a great job of communicating and assisting the defense vocally. Offensively, the team attacked well. Kaylob Croston had his first start on varsity at wing and had a superb game.”Marshfield will be back in action Thursday with a home match against Wisconsin Rapids. The game starts at 5 p.m. at Griese Park.(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)Tigers 4, Panthers 0Marshfield 3 1 – 4Stevens Point 0 0 – 0First half: 1. M, Hunter McManus (Luke McCann), 19:26; 2. M, Gabe Ronan (McCann), 29:09; 3. M, Kaylob Croston, 32:04.Second half: 4. M, Leo Steiner (Alec Hinson), 65:03.Saves: M, Mathias Holm 12.Corner kicks: Marshfield 1, Stevens Point 8.Records: Marshfield 1-2-1, 1-1 Wisconsin Valley Conference; Stevens Point 5-2, 2-1 WVC.
The brown hyena – prime suspect in theancient whodunnit. (Image: Richard DuToit, Nature Picture Library) Electron microscope scans of fivefossilised human hairs.(Image: Born Animal – Discovery News) Gladysvale has yielded thousands of fossilsof man and beast, with millions more stillin place. (Image: Gladysvale)Janine ErasmusThe World Heritage Cradle of Humankind site has yielded another important archaeological find, with the discovery of what is very probably strands of ancient human hair in a fossilised piece of hyena dung – dating back to around 200 000 years ago.The strands are the oldest examples of their kind, surpassing the previous oldest known specimens of human hair by 191 000 years. The latter were found on a 9 000-year-old Chinchorro mummy from Arica, Chile.The Chinchorro culture was prevalent in northern Chile and southern Peru between 5 000 and 3 000 BC. Mummies from this epoch are the oldest examples of mummified human remains, much older than even the Egyptian mummies. However, the new find makes the hair from the Chinchorro mummies seem positively youthful.The strands were found in a hyena latrine – typically used by a single animal – embedded within a fossilised clump of dung known as a coprolite. Appearing to the untrained eye to be nothing more than a group of round white rocks, the coprolites each measured roughly 2 cm in diameter.The high calcium content in such biological objects, and the calcium-imbued drip from the cave roof, facilitated the fossilisation and preservation of the hairs. After carefully extracting the delicate specimens with tweezers, researchers placed them under an electron microscope. Scans revealed external wavy scale patterns that are characteristic of primates – these, and the size and shape of the hairs suggest that they are human in origin.The hyena species in question is the brown hyena (Parahyaena brunnea), a canny opportunist that derives most of its nourishment from scavenging, although it has been known to occasionally hunt small mammals.Although they consider it most likely that the animal stumbled upon its last meal, scientists have not ruled out the possibility that a hyena attack was the cause of death. Brown hyenas are found in the area still today.Rich source of fossilsThe exciting discovery was made at Gladysvale Cave in Gauteng, located about 45km north-west of Johannesburg. The cave, which sits in the John Nash Nature Reserve within the boundaries of the Cradle of Humankind, has been a prolific source of fossilised specimens since the first fossil, that of a baboon, was found in 1946.The complex consists of three underground caves containing a substantial amount of breccia – that is, a clastic (fragmentary) rock composed of angular gravel-size fragments in a matrix or cementing material. Sediments in the cave date from as ancient as three million years to as recent as 250 years ago.Since 1946, thousands of fossils have been recovered from the Gladysvale deposits, both inside and outside the cave, including rare remains of hominids. The first hominid remains – two teeth of the early human species Australopithecus africanus – were discovered in 1991.The famous fossils of the Taung Child and Mrs Ples are both fine examples of A. africanus. The good news for the scientific community is that there are still millions of ancient bones in place in the cave, waiting to be unearthed.International collaborationPaleoanthropologist Dr Lucinda Backwell of the School of Geosciences at the University of the Witwatersrand headed the study, together with a team of South African and international colleagues from Switzerland and the UK.Their findings are due to be published shortly in the print version of the Journal of Archaeological Science, but for those who can’t wait, the article has been available on the journal’s website since 31 January 2009.The owner of the hair has not yet been established but, said Backwell, the hyena dung falls within the period of existence in Africa of early species of humans such as Homo heidelbergensis. This period, which spans 195 000 to 257 000 years in the past, also saw the emergence of the first anatomically modern humans.“The hairs could belong to either of them or, of course, to a species not yet recognised,” explained Backwell.Although there are no hairs from early human species to use for comparison, and DNA sampling from the hairs was not possible, there is a plethora of coprolite material in the cave. Further analysis of the fossilised dung may well lead to a better understanding of the environment in which our ancestors lived, and their interactions with the creatures around them.Significant findThe hairs are significant in a number of ways. They represent a soft tissue find from a period, said Backwell, which rarely even yields skeletal material.Furthermore, commented biological anthropologist Pat Shipman of Penn State, “The hair is an especially exciting find because it raises the possibility that there are other coprolites with other hairs, which would give us a new and quite accurate means of looking at the composition of ancient animal communities.”Hyenas search for food in their immediate surroundings, she added, so at that time a human lived, or at least died, close to Gladysvale cave.This also raises the possibility that at that time humans were preyed upon or scavenged by hyenas, or that they competed with them for food resources.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Contact Janine Erasmus at firstname.lastname@example.org.Related storiesUnearthing our human ancestors Ancient arrows a clue to the pastTracing the origins of humankindUseful linksBernard Price Institute for Palaeontological ResearchWits University School of GeosciencesDiscovery ChannelHyena – African Wildlife FoundationBrown hyena – IUCN specialist groupGladysvaleMaropeng – Cradle of HumankindCradle of HumankindTransvaal Museum of Natural HistoryJournal of Archaeological ScienceSmithsonian Institution – Human Origins programmeUnesco – Cradle of Humankind