first_imgA new study from the University of Vermont shows that removing native forest and starting intensive agriculture can accelerate erosion so dramatically that in a few decades as much soil is lost as would naturally occur over thousands of years. Had you stood on the banks of the Roanoke, Savannah, or Chattahoochee Rivers 100 years ago, you’d have seen a lot more clay soil washing down to the sea than before European settlers began clearing trees and farming there in the 1700s. Around the world, it is well known that deforestation and agriculture increases erosion above its natural rate.But accurately measuring the natural rate of erosion for a landscape — and, therefore, how much human land use has accelerated this rate — has been a devilishly hard task for geologists. And that makes environmental decision-making — such as setting allowable amounts of sediment in fish habitat and land use regulation — also difficult.Now research on these three rivers and seven other large river basins in the US Southeast has, for the first time, precisely quantified this background rate of erosion. The scientists made a startling discovery: rates of hillslope erosion before European settlement were about an inch every 2,500 years, while during the period of peak land disturbance in the late 1800s and early 1900s, rates spiked to an inch every 25 years.“That’s more than a hundred-fold increase,” says Paul Bierman, a geologist at the University of Vermont who co-led the new study with his former graduate student and lead author Luke Reusser, and geologist Dylan Rood at Imperial College, London. “Soils fall apart when we remove vegetation,” Bierman says, “and then the land erodes quickly.”Their study was presented online Jan. 7 in the February issue of the journal Geology. Their work was supported by the National Science Foundation.Precious resource“Our study shows exactly how huge an effect European colonization and agriculture had on the landscape of North America,” says Dylan Rood. “Humans scraped off the soil more than 100 times faster than other natural processes!”Along the southern Piedmont from Virginia to Alabama — that stretch of rolling terrain between the Appalachian Mountains and the coastal plain of the Atlantic Ocean — clay soils built up for many millennia. Then, in just a few decades of intensive logging, and cotton and tobacco production, as much soil eroded as would have happened in a pre-human landscape over thousands of years, the scientists note. “The Earth doesn’t create that precious soil for crops fast enough to replenish what the humans took off,” Rood says. “It’s a pattern that is unsustainable if continued.”The scientist collected 24 sediment samples from these rivers — and then applied an innovative technique to make their measurements. From quartz in the sediment, Bierman and his team at the University of Vermont’s Cosmogenic Nuclide Laboratory extracted a rare form of the element beryllium, an isotope called beryllium-10. Formed by cosmic rays, the isotope builds up in the top few feet of the soil. The slower the rate of erosion, the longer soil is exposed at Earth’s surface, the more beryllium-10 it accumulates. Using an accelerator mass spectrometer at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the geologists measured how much beryllium-10 was in their samples — giving them a kind of clock to measure erosion over long time spans.These modern river sediments revealed rates of soil loss over tens of thousands of years. This allowed the team to compare these background rates to post-settlement rates of both upland erosion and downriver sediment yield that have been well documented since the early 1900s across this Piedmont region.While the scientists concluded that upland erosion was accelerated by a hundred-fold, the amount of sediment at the outlets of these rivers was increased only about five to ten times above pre-settlement levels, meaning that the rivers were only transporting about six percent of the eroded soil. This shows that most of the material eroded over the last two centuries still remains as “legacy sediment,” the scientists write, piled up at the base of hillslopes and along valley bottoms.“There’s a huge human thumbprint on the landscape, which makes it hard to see what nature would do on its own,” Bierman says, “but the beauty of beryllium-10 is that it allows us to see through the human fingerprint to see what’s underneath it, what came before.”“This study helps us understand how nature runs the planet,” he says, “compared to how we run the planet.”Soil conservationAnd this knowledge, in turn, can “help to inform land use planning,” Bierman says. “We can set regulatory goals based on objective data about how the landscape used to work.” Often, it is difficult to know whether conservation strategies — for example, regulations about TMDL’s (total maximum daily loads) of sediment — are well fitted to the geology and biology of a region. “In other words, an important unsolved mystery is: “How do the rates of human removal compare to ‘natural’ rates, and how sustainable are the human rates?” Rood asks.While this new study shows that erosion rates were unsustainable in the recent past, “it also provides a goal for the future,” Rood says. “We can use the beryllium-10 erosion rates as a target for successful resource conservation strategies; they can be used to develop smart environmental policies and regulations that will protect threatened soil and water resources for generations to come.”PHOTO: Hurricane Isabel flooding the Potomac River at Great Falls, Va., carrying sediment eroded from farm fields upstream (Photo credit: Paul Bierman, 2003).last_img read more

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first_img Related Headed up by a Wall Street veteran, an Ironman podium finisher and a US Olympic Committee Sports Dietician and Physiologist – Advitam Sports is offering fitness getaways ‘for your mind, body and soul’.Advitam Sports provides unique fitness retreats at luxury resorts throughout the US and soon internationally. The company caters to individuals as well as corporations that want a different perspective on how to attain peak performance in life while having fun in the process.Advitam Sports’ first retreat will take place at The Boulders Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, on 7-10 April 2011. Other retreats include Montauk, New York; Napa Valley, California; Kona, Hawaii; and Kiawah Island, South Carolina.Advitam Sports is offering a free TYR Hurricane cat 3 wetsuit for anyone signing up for its April retreat in Arizona before 31 December 2010.The Advitam Sports team is made up of:Jason Weisberg, CEO (Chief Experience Officer): a 20-year veteran of Wall Street and Current Senior Vice President of Seaport Securities.Torbjlast_img read more

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first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

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first_img[mappress]World Maritime News Staff, October 6, 2014 Freight rates are likely to fall further as carriers stand firm in their reluctance to reduce capacity on the Asia-Europe and transpacific trades in the winter slack season, Alphaliner warned.The overcapacity-plagued market coupled with upcoming delivery of newbuilds are expected to exert further pressure on the rates.According to Alphaliner,  60 new vessels capable of carrying 14,000 to 19,000 TEUs are due to be delivered starting from now through December 2015, mostly in the trades to and from northern Europe, further complicating already struggling spot rates.“The deliveries will push 8,000- to 13,000-TEU ships into the trans-Pacific, Latin America, Mediterranean and Middle East trades,” Alphaliner said, fueling the already overcapacity-stricken regions. An additional 90 ships of 8,000 to 13,000 TEUs are scheduled for delivery during the same period.What is more, attempts to restore market balance through vessel sharing agreements such as 2M and Ocean Three are also creating a sentiment of uncertainty.Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) is recommending that its members seek to conclude 2015-16 contract rates, at levels at or above USD 2,000 per 40ft to the West Coast and USD 3,500 to the East Coast from all North Asia ports.According to TSA executive administrator Brian Conrad “rates will continue to fluctuate with the market according to origin-destination pairs, service requirements, routing and so on, but a common base guideline is essential for lines to maintain basic service levels and, beyond that, expand their offerings based on customers’ needs.”last_img read more

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first_imgSouth-west firm Burges Salmon will not face the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal following allegations that it gave inappropriate legal advice to farmers, a long-running investigation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority has decided. The SRA, which for two years considered allegations about advice given by Burges Salmon to farmers on agricultural mortgages and breach of conflict rules, said today that there was ‘no viable prospect’ of successful disciplinary proceedings against the firm. The SRA said that it has closed the investigation, which it began in September 2008, and that there will be no further action. SRA chief executive Antony Townsend said: ‘This has been an exceptionally complex investigation, raising unusual issues. We appreciate that the former clients will be very disappointed, but we have reached our conclusion after exhaustive consideration of the issues, and having taken expert external legal advice. The conclusion was that there was no viable prospect of successful disciplinary proceedings. ‘We regret that the investigation took as long as it did. There was a very large quantity of documents to review. We have reviewed its handling and identified aspects where there was scope for speedier progress. We are applying these lessons in the management of future complex investigations.’ Burges Salmon said today in a statement: ‘We have co-operated fully with the SRA throughout this long-running investigation, which we are pleased has been closed by the SRA without any findings of breach of the professional conduct rules by Burges Salmon or any of the firm’s solicitors. ‘We are pleased that the SRA has confirmed in relation to the allegations of conflict of interest and failure to act in clients’ best interests, that it could not conclude that we should have acted differently, or that we failed to act in the best interests of our agricultural/farming clients. We remain committed to maintaining the highest standards of professional conduct.’last_img read more

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first_imgUSA: A $340m agreement to acquire US wheelset manufacturer Standard Steel was announced by Sumitomo Metals on June 27. The Japanese firm is aiming to become ‘a truly global railway manufacturer’ through expansion in North America and subsequently Europe, Asia and elsewhere.When the transaction is completed later this year, Sumitomo Metals will have a 90% stake and Sumitomo Corp 10% in Standard Steel’s parent company SWAC, which has been owned by its management team and private equity investor Trimaran since 2006. Sumitomo Metals plans to transfer its proprietary SIRD rotary forging press technology to the USA. It is also investing in high-precision wheel lathes at its Osaka plant to serve the Japanese high speed train market. Standard Steel has 620 employees and capacity of 300 000 wheels/year, with sales of $209m in 2010. The company traces its history back to 1795, and says its plant at Burnham, Pennsylvania, is ‘one of the oldest continuously operating manufacturing facilities in North America’.last_img read more

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first_imgLocalNews Inmates complete Drug Education Intervention Programme by: Dominica Vibes News – December 16, 2016 Share Tweet Sharing is caring! Sharecenter_img Close to twenty inmates at the State Prison have completed a program aimed at educating them on drug abuse and prevention.The Drug Education Intervention Programme was conducted by the National Drug Prevention Unit. It ended with a certificate ceremony on Thursday 15 December 2016.Every year the Drug Prevention Unit conducts a Drug Education Intervention Programme at the prison, targeted at petty offenders and those who are on the verge of being released. This is the fifth Drug Education Intervention Prison Programme conducted by the Unit. At the ceremony, Director of the National Drug Abuse Prevention Unit, Jacinta Bannis, commended the participants for their contribution to the programme. She noted that the inmates willingly shared their stories, and were always well-behaved.Bannis asked the participants to accept responsibility for their lives, and to use their sentence as a stepping stone in life.“Prison should not become a revolving door for many of you. Some of you, every time we come, year after year, we see you. That should not be. Prison should be a place where you come to think, to rehabilitate yourself, and then make a decision of not coming back into the prison. Take up the responsibility of your life. Set your goals, find out what it is that you want to do and do it,” Bannis told the participants. Senior Prison Officer, Alvin Auguiste stated that the Drug Intervention Programme has played an important role in stabilizing the prison’s programmes since with a present prison population of two hundred and ten males, and four females, the need for rehabilitation is demanding.He noted that over the years rehabilitative programmes played a pivotal role in stabilizing the prison population because these programs come in the form of educational and literacy classes. “The Drug Prevention Unit has been partnering with the Dominica Prison for the past five years. People may ask what is the drug programme doing for the inmates at the prison. As prison officer, responsible for inmate services and rehabilitation, I would like to strongly declare that these drug programs have been, and is, having significant positive impact on the lives of our inmates,” he noted.Auguiste also told the inmates that the programme has provided them with information to help them when they are released and they should put the advice to practice.“When you are released into society, remember it will not be easy. Know your companions, and choose the right road. This Drug Education Intervention Prison programme, has provided you with ammunition to resist temptation of this disastrous disease. Do your utmost to put all what you have learnt over the past week into practice,” he stated.He also noted that the superintendent continues to embrace the drug programme, and any other dug programme which will improve the lives of prison inmates.Photographs compliments of the Health Promotion Unit– / 16 Share 480 Views   no discussionslast_img read more

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first_imgPanasonic Automotive & Industrial Systems Europe is launching a new short-range, Bluetooth low energy and NFC combo module for implementing Bluetooth functionality into various electronic devices. The low cost PAN1761 Series enables robust Bluetooth low energy central and peripheral nodes to be built with very low total bill-of-material costs. The unique configuration of the device allows NFC to wake-up Bluetooth low energy from standby using a NFC field and automatically initiate a Bluetooth connection. Highly secure Bluetooth connections are created using NFC to exchange link keys (Out-of-Band pairing). Bluetooth low energy applications with extended battery life are possible as a result of zero power consumption in standby mode. A NFC enabled remote device may independently create a wake-up signal with neither host control nor local battery consumption.The module is available in a 15.6 x 8.7 x 1.8 mm surface mount package (same form factor as PAN1026 and PAN1760 Bluetooth modules) and has an integrated RF transceiver, programmable Bluetooth low energy EEPROM memory with 32kB on-chip RAM for host-less operation of application software and driver. Furthermore standard SIG Bluetooth low energy and “SPP over Bluetooth low energy” profiles, low-power sleep modes, short transition times between operating modes, and an operating temperature range from -40°C up to +85°C are included.By adding NFC technology to Bluetooth applications gives users a number of security and power related benefits in their application. Security features are enabled through the so-called man-in-the-middle scenario by NFC technology. A NFC enabled remote control device, e.g. smartphone/tablet, must be physically close to the other device which shall be connected to. On the other hand NFC as enabler for Bluetooth connection set-up leads to ease-of-use in applications. This enables new areas of application in the diagnostic and maintenance systems.”The low power consumption makes the new PAN1761 module the ideal choice for many applications like healthcare and medical diagnostic systems without any human control interface, Bluetooth low energy sensor applications with a need to send data on request, diagnostic and maintenance systems with a requirement for zero standby power consumption, embedded wireless, wearable devices, mobile phone accessories, as well as industrial sensors and measurement devices.An evaluation kit (PAN1761-EMK starter kit with NFC antenna) is currently available upon request.last_img read more

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first_imgSemico Research has introduced a new report, underlining and addressing the various complex SoC design concerns as well as their continuing rise in design cost. According to the report, SoC Silicon and Software 2018 Design Cost Analysis: How Rising Costs Impact SoC Design Starts, the average design cost for Basic SoCs across all geometries in 2017 was $1.7 million.The semiconductor industry today is faced with several substantial issues-not the least of which are the continuing rise in design costs for complex SoCs, the decrease in the incidence of first-time-right designs and the increase in the design cycle time against shrinking market windows and decreasing product life cycles. An additional factor has now been added to SoC design costs with the emergence of very complicated software applications intended to run on the SoC silicon. The costs of the software effort have outstripped the silicon design costs and have become a major part of the cost of these designs. IP integration is also a growing part of design costs.Analysis of design activity for the three types of SoCs profiled in the report shows that while design costs at new nodes continue to increase, the average design cost at each node is not increasing as quickly, giving room for designers to still accomplish their silicon solutions at reasonable costs if they are prudent in their design selection. For each of the three types of SoC there is still considerable activity at the older nodes of 90nm, 65nm and 40nm. Costs at these geometries are much less than at 10nm and 7nm so even though these newer designs cost much more, the average for all SoCs has dropped due to the increase in new designs for Basic SoC.Key findings of the report include: Click here to download/buy this report. What is the current cost for a Complex System-on-a-Chip (SoC) design, and what will it be in the near future? Is it possible to do SoC designs without maximizing the costs for these designs What is the incidence of ‘first-time-right’ for these designs today and in the near future? How is the design cycle time for these designs changing? How do complicated software applications impact the design costs? How fast are IP integration costs rising, and how high will they go? What strategies are designers using to cope with rising design costs? What is the average silicon design cost today for each process geometry and SoC type, and how quickly is it rising? What impact will EDA tools that include some artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) functionality have on design costs for complex silicon? In a unique, insightful look at this constantly evolving market, the report examines the primary forces and integration pressures that are driving this market today. It analyzes many important questions facing the semiconductor industry today including: The average design cost for Value Multicore SoCs across all geometries was $4.8M in 2017 The average design cost for all SoCs across all geometries is forecast to increase to $5.3M by 2023 The number of ‘first-time-right’ designs has dropped at every process geometry since the 180nm node Silicon design costs at the 7nm node for an Advanced Performance Multicore SoC first-time effort are projected to be 23% higher than at the 10nm node.last_img read more

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