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Diversity of microfungi in orthogenic soils from Beaufort Island, continental Antarctica

first_imgThis paper presents the results of a biodiversity study of microfungi in ornithogenic soils from Beaufort Island (Ross Sea, continental Antarctic). During the 2004/05 austral summer, we sampled a wide range of soil habitats from an abandoned penguin rookeries to examine the biodiversity of soil microfungi. Beaufort Island is predominantly ice and snow covered, isolated, difficult to access and known to have been visited only infrequently. Warcup’s soil plating method was used for fungal cultivation. A total of ten fungal taxa were isolated, consisting of seven ascomycetes, two anamorphic fungi and one yeast. In terms of their thermal classes, a total of four psychrophilic, five psychrotolerant and 1 mesophilic fungi were isolated. Thelebolus microsporus, Geomyces sp. and Thelebolus sp. were the most common isolated fungi. Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) and 18S rDNA sequences were obtained from 17 fungal isolates, confirming their identification as Thelebolus microsporus, Thelebolus sp., Phoma herbarum and Geomyces sp.last_img read more

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BP says ‘peak oil’ demand may never recover to pre-coronavirus levels

first_img BP plans to reduce its oil production in line with net-zero strategy (Credit: Flickr/Mike Mozart) BP says global oil demand might never recover to “peak” pre-pandemic levels, amid a fundamental restructuring of the energy system towards low carbon.In its latest “energy outlook” report, the UK oil major said that in a net-zero scenario global oil demand could fall by as much as 80% by 2050.Two of the three energy-transition scenarios modelled by the outlook show peak oil demand is not expected to return to the heights of almost 100 million barrels per day (bpd) seen in 2019.Even in BP’s “business-as-usual scenario”, in which energy policies and consumption habits continue without acceleration towards low carbon, world oil demand is seen to plateau in the early 2020s.Increasing ‎efficiency and electrification of road transportation is expected to be the key driver of falling oil demand over the coming years. Policy support and shifting consumption habits crucial to lowering carbon emissionsBP’s energy outlook identifies three scenarios for the low-carbon transition through to 2050: business-as-usual, in which existing policies and consumption continues unchanged; rapid, in which new policy measures are introduced to lower carbon emissions; and net zero, in which new policies are supported by “significant shifts” in societal and consumer behaviour.“Delaying these policy measures and societal shifts ‎may significantly increase the scale of the challenge and lead to significant additional ‎economic costs and disruption,” the company warned.In each of the cases, global energy demand is forecast to grow, driven by increasing prosperity and living standards in the emerging world, alongside the diversification of the global energy mix where hydrocarbons play a diminishing role.The report noted: “The scale of the shift varies significantly across ‎the scenarios, with the share of hydrocarbons in primary energy declining from around 85% in ‎‎2018 to between 65%-20% by 2050, and renewable energy rising to 20%-60%‎.”A “significant increase” in carbon prices – as much as $250 per tonne of CO2 in developing countries by 2050 – will be necessary to incentivise the shift to clean energy, it added.Demand for natural gas is expected to prove more resilient than oil, helped by “broad-based demand and the increasing ‎availability of global supplies”.In a net-zero scenario, peak gas demand is expected to occur in the mid-2020s, but if a business-as-usual scenario unfolds it will continue to increase over the next three decades, and could be a third higher by 2050 compared to today’s levels.Wind, solar, bioenergy and hydrogen have all been tipped for significant growth over the coming years, alongside the widespread electrification of the global energy system. BP targets diversification as coronavirus hastens peak oil demandThe coronavirus health crisis has dealt a serious blow to fuel demand worldwide, particularly as a result of travel restrictions put in place as part of regional lockdown measures.In its August market update, the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecast an 8.1 million bpd drop in 2020 oil demand compared the previous year, followed up by an almost three million bpd shortfall in 2021.In recent months, BP has sought to reposition itself as an “integrated energy company” as part of a major restructuring drive away from fossil fuels.This net-zero strategy will involve cutting oil and gas production 40% by 2030, and increasing low-carbon investments ten-fold over the same period to $5bn annually – with a target of increasing its renewable capacity from the current level of 2.5 gigawatts (GW) to 50GW.BP chief executive Bernard Looney said: “Even as the pandemic has dramatically reduced global carbon emissions, the world remains ‎on an unsustainable path. However, the analysis shows that, with decisive ‎policy measures and more low-carbon choices from both companies and consumers, the ‎energy transition still can be delivered.”Further details on the oil major’s net-zero strategy are expected to be outlined this week during a series of company presentations to shareholders.center_img In an energy outlook, the oil major said 2019 might have been the year of peak oil demand as increasing ‎efficiency and electrification of road transport drive reductionslast_img read more

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Distracted Driving Bill Passes House, Moves To Senate For Action

first_imgBy Emily KettererTheStatehouseFile.comINDIANAPOLIS––The House passed legislation that would bar all drivers from having their phones in their hands while driving.House Bill 1070 passed 86-10 on Wednesday. The two-page bill, authored by Rep. Holli Sullivan, R-Evansville, updates a current law passed in 2011 that requires all phones must be used hands free while behind the wheel of a vehicle.“Simple enough, but very powerful,” Sullivan said of her bill.Under the current law, texting while driving is banned but the law is unenforceable because there is no way to prove a text was being sent. The legislation is also part of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s agenda to prevent distracted driving.In a statement, Holcomb said handheld devices are known to take a person’s mind, hands and attention away from where they need to keep their focus.“When your hands and your eyes and your brain are all doing something other than steering a car, bad things tend to happen,” Holcomb said.During the House debate on the bill, Sullivan and others talked about the culture shift around people constantly being on their phones. She said the “epidemic” is that people think it is okay to use their phones while driving.“You can see more heads looking down at their phones than you can see looking at the road now,” Sullivan said. “Distracted driving has increased, and it’s killing, hurting and endangering Hoosiers.”Rep. Jim Pressel, R-Rolling Prairie, compared the culture shift of distracted driving to when people were against seatbelt laws years ago.“I hated wearing a seatbelt … now it’s just natural,” Pressel said. “This is just going to become natural.”A handful of lawmakers voted against the bill, including Rep. Jim Lucas, R-Seymour, who said the legislation “scared him to death” because it gives the government too much power.“We’re going farther and farther down this path of taking over individual decision-making,” Lucas said.The bill will now move to the Senate for consideration.Emily Ketterer is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students. FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare Distracted Driving Bill Passes House, Moves To Senate For Actionlast_img read more

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“Right Jab And Middle Jab And Left Jab” October 11, 2019

first_imgFootnote: City-County Observer Comment Policy. Be kind to people. Personal attacks or harassment will not be tolerated and shall be removed from our site.  Right Jab And Middle Jab And Left Jab” was created because we have a couple of commenters that post on a daily basis either in our “IS IT TRUE” or “Readers Forum” columns concerning National or International issues.The majority of our “IS IT TRUE” columns are about local or state issues, so we have decided to give our more opinionated readers exclusive access to our newly created “LEFT JAB and Middle Jab and RIGHT JAB”  column. They now have this post to exclusively discuss national or world issues that they feel passionate about.We shall be posting the “LEFT JAB” AND “MIDDLE JAB” AND “RIGHT JAB” several times a week.  Oh, “LEFT JAB” is a liberal view, “MIDDLE JAB” is the libertarian view and the “RIGHT JAB is representative of the more conservative views. Also, any reader who would like to react to the written comments in this column is free to do so.Today’s “Readers Poll’ question is: Do you think the Republicans will take control of the 2020 City Council?If you would like to advertise in the CCO please contact us at City-County [email protected] FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare,Right Jab And Middle Jab And Left Jab” was created because we have a couple of commenters that post on a daily basis either in our “IS IT TRUE” or “Readers Forum” columns concerning National or International issues.The majority of our “IS IT TRUE” columns are about local or state issues, so we have decided to give our more opinionated readers exclusive access to our newly created “LEFT JAB and Middle Jab and RIGHT JAB”  column. They now have this post to exclusively discuss national or world issues that they feel passionate about.We shall be posting the “LEFT JAB” AND “MIDDLE JAB” AND “RIGHT JAB” several times a week.  Oh, “LEFT JAB” is a liberal view, “MIDDLE JAB” is the libertarian view and the “RIGHT JAB is representative of the more conservative views. Also, any reader who would like to react to the written comments in this column is free to do so.last_img read more

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BURKE, ROBERT JOSEPH

first_imgA funeral mass was held Feb. 12 at St. Cecelia R.C. Church in Englewood for Robert Joseph Burke, 84 of Hoboken. He passed away Feb. 8. Robert was born in Yonkers, N.Y. and was a United States Army veteran of the Korean War. He was CEO of Union Dry Dock and Repair in Hoboken. Robert was also a member of the Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick in N.Y.C. and former chairman of the board of Hudson United Bancorp. He was the husband to Mariella (nee) Molina; father to Mary Lou Kenny, Robert P. Burke, Laureen Flock, Susan Quinn and Claudia Cytrynbaum, and grandfather to 15 grandchildren.Services arranged by the A.K. Macagna Funeral Home, Cliffside Park.last_img

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St. Augustine Defeats O.C. in Boys Swim Meet

first_imgOcean City’s Steve Gooden places second in the 100-yard backstroke. By LESLEY GRAHAMThe Ocean City High School boys swim team started off 2020 with a 116-54 loss to conference foe St. Augustine Prep on Friday afternoon. Ocean City is now 3-3 on the season, while St. Augustine improves to 4-0.The lone winner for the Red Raiders in the 11-event meet was freshman Pat Armstrong in the 100-yard butterfly, clocking in with a time of 1:03.91.Ocean City consistently put together second place finishes but was unable to overcome the speed displayed by the Hermits in the first meet back since winter break.Head Coach Shane McGrath, who is in his seventh year at the helm of Ocean City boys swimming, was underwhelmed with his team’s performance but not disappointed in their effort.“I think we were just flat,” McGrath said. “But it’s just one meet and we will get through it.”McGrath, who tries not to dwell on things too long, said the Red Raiders will be back to practice Saturday and will keep working on what they need to do to succeed this season.“We are a little tired from winter break, but we are going to get better. I am confident in that,” he said.Swimmers ready themselves for the start of the 100-yard freestyle.The season is still young, so there is plenty of time for the Red Raiders to improve their place in the conference standings.When asked about what his hopes are for the season, McGrath responded with his desire to return to the South Jersey finals.“We are good enough to get to the South Jersey finals again — that is the goal,” he said.With swimmers such as juniors Dolan Grisbaum and Steve Gooden, as well as a core group of solid swimmers, McGrath knows success is obtainable.“Standout swimmer Dolan Grisbaum trains year round, always shows up and gives us his best effort. Steve Gooden is another one who broke two records (pool records) against Mainland,” McGrath said. “And we have a great core group of guys who are just inches away from where they need to be.”Red Raider Pat Armstrong swims his way to first place in the 100-yard butterfly.last_img read more

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Allied Bakeries’ workers accept improved pay offer

first_imgWorkers at Allied Bakeries’ site in Castlereagh Road, Belfast, have voted to end industrial action after a “significantly” improved pay offer from the company.The strike began at 6am on Sunday 16 February, but was paused after Allied increased its offer. Workers had previously rejected a 2.5% increase in pay – well below the 5% pay rise sought – but have since accepted an improved offer of a 3% pay rise in the first year and 2.9% in the second year.“The workers at Allied Bakeries have voted overwhelmingly with a 90% majority to accept the significantly improved pay offer made by the company. This provides an above-inflation pay increase and will mean that, instead of real-terms incomes falling as would have been the case with offers only days ago, these workers will now enjoy a real-terms pay increase,” said Susan Fitzgerald, regional coordinating officer for Unite.“This outcome was hard won and was only achieved through the strength and militancy of the workers themselves. Indeed, the failure to breach the workers’ picket line was the decisive factor in winning this uplift and forced bosses to the negotiating table.”A spokesperson for Allied Bakeries added: “We can confirm that we have reached an agreement with union officials over pay at our Belfast bakery and are pleased that this offer has now received the full support of our employees and their representatives.”Fitzgerald added that this was the second recent win for its members in Northern Ireland bakeries.“In the case of Hovis, managers averted a strike by moving quickly to show some respect and increase their offer. In the case of Allied Bakeries, it took workers taking to picket lines in freezing conditions for them to see sense,” she added.last_img read more

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Jeremy Jones: An Open Letter to Republicans on Climate Change

first_imgDear Republican Voters:We need to talk. I’m a professional snowboarder, and during a 25-year career I’ve seen first-hand how winters have changed, how they’ve gotten warmer and inconsistent. For example, in the last thirty years, the northern hemisphere has lost a million square miles of spring snowpack and every year has been warmer than average since 1976. There has not been a colder than average year globally since I was a year old.I know these changes worry you, too. “Sunny-day” flooding is a normal event now in Florida, sending sea water pouring into streets and homes at high tide, and a chunk of ice nearly the size of Delaware could break away from Greenland at any time. These are all glimpses into the future. Yeah, I know that the leaders of your party say climate change is a hoax, a global conspiracy, that it’s natural cycles, etc. We both know that’s not true. The science proves it and polls show that Americans overwhelmingly think climate change is a problem that the government needs to address.Despite this loud cry for action, the GOP leadership, the people sworn to serve your best interests, are ignoring you and trying to kill the modest progress America has made in moving toward a cleaner and more prosperous economy. A new study shows that killing the Clean Power Plan, as President Trump and congressional Republicans are trying to do, will cost the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars and cause more than 100,000 premature deaths due to air pollution.Republican leaders want to kill these efforts because they’ve put ExxonMobil, Peabody Energy and other fossil fuel companies before your best interests. That’s called crony capitalism, and it’s a complete affront to the free market principles. The GOP is the only major political party in the world that rejects climate science. Right-wing parties throughout Europe get it. As does China, who just closed 104 coal-fired power plants and intends to spend more than $360 billion on renewable energy through 2020, creating 13 million new jobs.And recently, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said that “CO2 isn’t a primary contributor to global warming.” Let’s be real, Scott Pruitt knows better, but it’s not about him. It’s about the GOP’s continued commitment to the fossil fuel industry, refusing to accept the authority of climate science and block any future climate policy.There was a time in American history when Republicans championed science and worked with Democrats to achieve some of our country’s greatest conservation and environmental victories. Millions of acres set aside for public lands, iconic national parks, the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, the EPA and the Wilderness Act were all bipartisan legislative wins that cleaned up our air and water, saved lives and preserved our most beautiful landscapes. These initiatives have been engines of economic prosperity. Our national parks are the envy of the world. When you stand on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, you are awed just like I am.Let’s be straight: I’m not a Democrat. I’m not a Republican either. I’m a concerned American, a husband, a father, a small businessman and a job creator. I hate taxes, too. I want smart and lean and effective government. I would be happy to support the Republican Party one day, but today, on some of the most important issues of our time – climate change, the environment, our children’s future – the Republican Party has gone off the rails.So, ok, our leaders don’t believe in climate science, but what about job creation and energy independence?  We all want the same results, it’s just a matter of how we get there.Working together, we can do better. The solution to American job losses, economic stagnation and climate change is a rapid deployment of renewable energies. Rebuilding our aging and decrepit utility grid and powering it with green energy would revitalize our economy for the coming century like the construction of our interstate highway system did in the last century. Generating wind and solar power is now as cheap or cheaper than producing fossil fuel power. And you can’t outsource rooftop solar panel installations.This transition to renewables is already happening despite GOP opposition – and despite ten times the amount of government subsidies – corporate welfare – for fossil fuels. The technology exists to solve this, and today, clean energy jobs exceed the number of jobs in oil, gas and coal development.“Work with me to convince the White House and Congress to make America a global leader in the renewable energy economy and unleash American entrepreneurialism that creates the good-paying jobs of the future.”Let’s put our foot on the accelerator by using good old-fashioned conservative Republican free market principles. A group of prominent Republicans recently announced a plan that represents a smart path forward. “The Conservative Case for Carbon Dividends” would require polluters to pay to dump their greenhouse gases into our atmosphere. You don’t get to dump your garbage for free. Why should they? Revenues collected from these so-called carbon fee and dividend plans would be returned to citizens in the form of tax relief. This is common sense tax reform that would both lower pollution and offset other despised taxes, while also stimulating renewable energy creation.Work with me to convince the White House and Congress to make America a global leader in the renewable energy economy and unleash American entrepreneurialism that creates the good-paying jobs of the future. Jobs designing, manufacturing and installing the batteries and electric vehicles and solar panels and energy saving devices. Let’s harness the muscle and know-how of laid-off miners and wildcatters and put them to work erecting wind turbines and building a smart electric grid.The only thing standing in our way is Republican leadership. Climate change should not be a partisan issue. We have a mid-term election in 2018, with the opportunity to remove congressional officeholders who are stalling progress on climate.  I urge Republican voters to tell their candidates to get to work—or get out. The only hope for our climate, our future, is citizenship, and elected leaders who put principle before party.Bio: Jeremy Jones is a professional snowboarder and founder of the climate action nonprofit Protect Our Winters. He lives in Truckee, Calif., with his wife and two children.last_img read more

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Outdoor Updates: Climate Change and Poop + Tourists let Baby Dolphin Die

first_imgTourists pull baby dolphin out of ocean to take photos, and then leave it to die In February, tourists at a beach resort in Buenos Aires, Argentina pulled a baby Franciscan dolphin from the ocean and began taking selfies with it, says the country’s Wildlife Foundation. The beachgoers were rough with the dolphin and passed it around the group, eventually leaving it to die. The Franciscan dolphin is vulnerable to extinction; there are only 30,000 of its kind left in the world. In the decades since people began summiting Denali, climbers have left behind 66 tons of feces on the tallest mountain in North America. Thanks to climate change, that feces is expected to begin melting out of the Kahiltna glacier that contains much of it, possibly as early as this year. It’s long been known that Denali has a poop problem. Last year, the National Park Service instituted a policy that all human waste created below 14,000 feet on Denali must be packed off of the mountain. But five of the six guiding companies that lead climbers to the summit have begun voluntarily carrying all excrement off of the 20,310-foot mountain, regardless of where it was produced. About 1,200 climbers attempt to summit the mountain each year, producing about two metric tons of waste annually. Coal companies owned by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice owe 4.3 million for mine safety violations Companies belonging to the family of West Virginia Governor Jim Justice owe 4.3 million dollars in delinquent debt for mine safety violations, according to an Ohio Valley ReSources analysis of federal mine safety data. The debt owed by the Justice family has grown since 2016, when Justice ran for governor and pledged to pay the then 2.6 million the companies owed in mine safety violation fines. The companies, which are mainly controlled by Governor Justice’s children, have the highest delinquent mine safety debt in the U.S. mining industry. The delinquent penalties occurred between June 2009 and August 2018 at 71 mines in Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia and Virginia. Thawing on Alaska’s Denali could soon reveal decades of poop Advocates remind the public that humans should never touch dolphins in the wild. Interaction with humans may negatively impact a dolphin’s behavior and reproductive patterns. Dolphins are naturally curious, but their curiosity should not be interpreted as friendly behavior. In the United States, swimming with or touching wild dolphins may be considered harassment under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and is therefore against the law. last_img read more

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Somali Pirates Attack French Military Flagship

first_imgBy Dialogo October 09, 2009 La unica forma de combatir la pirateria, es manteniendo un grupo de marinos de la tripulacion del buque, entrenados y armados de escopetas contra motines, para repeler el abordage. esta medida no puede operar en barcos cisternas que trasporten GAS! es altamente peligrosa, por sucapacidad de explotar con una chispa de un tiro. Somali pirates attempted to storm the French navy’s 18,000 tonne flagship in the Indian Ocean after mistaking it for a cargo vessel, the French military said. The crew of La Somme, a 160-metre (525-foot) command vessel and fuel tanker, easily saw off the brazen night-time assault by lightly armed fighters on two lightweight skiffs and captured five pirates, a spokesman said. “The pirates, who because of the darkness took the French ship for a commercial vessel, were on board two vessels and opened fire with Kalashnikovs,” Admiral Christophe Prazuck said in Paris. La Somme is the French command vessel in the Indian Ocean, overseeing French air, sea and land forces fighting Somali pirates and hunting terrorists under the banner of the US-led Operation Enduring Freedom. Officers on the ship have directed commando operations to free French hostages in the hands of Somali pirates. The pirates tried to flee when they realised their mistake but were pursued by French forces who, after an hour-long chase, caught one of the skiffs, Prazuck said. On it they found five men but no weapons, water or food as the pirates had apparently thrown all of the boat’s contents overboard, the spokesman said. A Western official at sea in the area, speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity, said that there had been an exchange of fire between the warship and the pirate launches. “One of the skiffs managed to get away in the night because La Somme was busy with the first pirate boat,” he said. “Despite the arrival of other vessels, they haven’t yet managed to find the second boat,” he said, adding that many warships in the area were busy hunting another group which attacked a cargo ship off the Seychelles on Sunday. The world’s naval powers have deployed dozens of warships to the lawless waters off Somalia over the past year to curb attacks by pirates in one of the world’s busiest maritime trade routes. La Somme was operating 250 nautical miles (460 kilometres) off the Somali coast, on its way to resupply fuel to frigates patrolling shipping lanes as part of the European Union’s Operation Atalanta anti-piracy mission. This was not the first time that Somali pirates have mistakenly attacked a French naval vessel. Several pirates were captured in May when they attempted to board a frigate in the area. Somalia has had no proper government since it plunged into lawlessness after President Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown in 1991. The country is riven by factional fighting and pirate gangs operate freely from several ports along its Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden coasts. According to the environmental watchdog Ecoterra International, at least 163 attacks have been carried out by Somali pirates since the start of 2009 alone, 47 of them successful hijackings. Last year, more than 130 merchant ships were attacked, an increase of more than 200 percent on 2007, according to the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre in Kuala Lumpur. Pirates have in recent weeks resumed attacks with the end of the monsoon season. Last week Somali gunmen captured Spanish fishing boat The Alakrana with 36 crew members in the Indian Ocean. The US Maritime Administration warned last month that the end of the monsoon season was likely to bring an increase in piracy off Somalia and urged shipping companies to be vigilant. Calmer waters allow pirates, who often operate in small fibreglass skiffs towed out to sea by captured fishing vessels, to hijack freighters, trawlers and private yachts. Cruise vessels have also been attacked.last_img read more

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