Hexbyte Glen Cove Flamingos poisoned by illegal lead pellets in Greek lagoon thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Flamingos poisoned by illegal lead pellets in Greek lagoon

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Agios Mamas is one of Europe’s Natura 2000 wildlife diversity regions, and is home to nearly 60 different bird species

On a country road that the locals have dubbed ‘Flamingo Street’ Stavros Kalpakis walks alongside the tall reeds of Agios Mamas, a small northern Greek lagoon, peering through binoculars.

The grizzled environmentalist puts on his waterproof waders and boots and steps into knee-deep water. When he returns moments later, he is holding a dead pink flamingo—one of dozens found in the area in recent weeks, killed by lead poisoning.

Around 50 of the majestic pink birds are known to have died so far in the small lagoon in Greece’s northern Halkidiki peninsula some 580 kilometres (360 miles) north of Athens, Kalpakis, head of the Action for Wildlife organisation, tells AFP.

Of nearly a dozen flamingos retrieved by the group for medical attention, none could be saved.

“Flamingos eat small pebbles to help with digestion, and they are eating the shrapnel from bullets… it’s giving them lead poisoning,” says Ellie Bridgeman, a 20-year-old volunteer working with the group.

Tests confirmed that the cause of death was lead poisoning, which also threatens humans, said Sofia Prousali, one of the organisation’s volunteer vets.

“We ran tests for avian flu and the West Nile virus and they all came back negative,” Prousali said.

Around 50 pink flamingos are known to have died there after ingesting lead birdshot

“All the birds that had these symptoms were found to have pellets in their stomachs,” she said, adding that there were likely other dead birds hidden in the lush vegetation that have not been recovered.

Agios Mamas is one of Europe’s Natura 2000 wildlife diversity regions, and is home to nearly 60 different bird species.

Even more importantly, flamingos were recorded breeding here last year, the first time this has ever happened in Greece.

‘Human interference’

“Prior efforts failed, mainly because of human interference with flamingo colonies,” says Anna Panagiotou, head of the management authority for protected areas in the broader Thermaic Gulf.

“It would be truly disappointing if such a positive development was thwarted by the insistence of some of our fellow citizens in flouting environmental regulations,” she adds.

The use of lead shot in wetlands has been illegal in Greece since 2013, and the EU in November said it would ban its use in all wetlands under its framework regulation for chemicals.

But Greek hunters still use pellets containing lead, wildlife groups say.

According to the European Commission, every year 4,000 to 5,000 tonnes of lead are released into wetlands around the bloc from lead gunshot.

For their part, the local Greek hunting association says the issue is being unfairly exploited in order to justify restrictions against them.

“We have strong indications that the case of the dead flamingos, regardless of its validity, is used for anti-hunting aims,” the hunting association of Macedonia and Thrace said in a recent statement.

But Quentin, a 22-year-old French volunteer, says he has heard gunshots in the area.

“Even though hunting was forbidden under coronavirus restrictions, we would still hear shots from poachers. It’s unbelievable.”

© 2021 AFP

Flamingos poisoned by illegal lead pellets in Greek lagoon (2021, March 6)
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Hexbyte Glen Cove With unfair police treatment, the tragedy is not limited to the incident itself thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove With unfair police treatment, the tragedy is not limited to the incident itself

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New research using a nationally representative sample of more than 12,000 participants shows the collateral consequences victims are likely to confront following unfair treatment by police.

Michael Brown, George Floyd and Tamir Rice are just some of those who have died recently at the hands of police.

Their names are now tragically familiar, but thousands of other people who are unjustly stopped, searched or questioned by law enforcement will likely experience a range of detrimental outcomes associated with unfair police treatment, including depression, suicidal thoughts, drug use, and a loss of self-efficacy, according to Christopher Dennison, Ph.D., assistant professor of sociology in the University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences.

Previous work using small, non-random samples has suggested similar results, but Dennison’s study leverages the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health), a powerful and illustrative data set that clearly shows how these unfortunate patterns are generalizable.

Controlling for variables including behavioral and socioeconomic indicators early in life, treatment by parents and perceived , the results showed that individuals who reported unfair police treatment were more likely to also report detrimental social-psychological and behavioral consequences, such as depression and suicide ideation, than those who reported no unfair police treatment.

When examining these relationships within each racial and ethnic group, however, the gap in predicted depressive symptoms and self-efficacy scores between with and without a history of unfair police treatment was significantly more pronounced compared with that of Black people.

Black people, and specifically Black men, were far more likely to report unfair police treatment than white people, but the consequences of such experiences were more apparent for white people, according to the findings.

“This effect we found among white people could be attributed to evidence suggesting how minority families are socializing their children to prepare for police encounters,” says Dennison, the paper’s corresponding author and an expert in life course criminology and social responses to crime.

“It’s the realization of the ‘experience of the expected hypothesis,'” he says. “For minorities, more generally, there’s a belief that by police will likely happen at some point in their lives, while white people don’t have that expectation. That preparation and lack of might be responsible for the effects we see in this study.”

The findings published in the journal Criminology broaden the understanding of unfair treatment by police by showing the tragedy is not limited to the incident itself. The detrimental effects of this type of injustice can become corrosively lodged in the life course of victims.

Transparency is critical to moderate the likelihood of the detrimental outcomes, and proactive police tactics, such as stop-and-frisk, should be eliminated, according to Dennison.

“The perception of these interactions is certainly consequential,” says Dennison. “The Add Health data do not provide context. It asks only if someone has been unfairly treated by police. But context might not matter, because what someone perceives as unfair is indeed consequential.”

Making law enforcement aware of these results can help motivate transparency, according to Dennison. It’s critical that people know why something is happening in a police interaction to increase the perception of legitimacy.

“It’s also important to be aware of how these findings reinforce structural inequalities,” says Dennison. “These experiences involving police are leaning to the point of being normal and engrained.

“That’s alarming and disturbing.”

Dennison’s research with Jessica Finkeldey, an assistant professor of criminal justice at SUNY Fredonia, relied on the fifth round of questioning from the Add Health data set.

Started in 1994, Add Health is a sample of 20,000 participants who were in grades 7-12 during the first round of data collection from participants and their parents relating to social, familial and behavioral areas.

For the fifth wave, roughly 12,000 participants were asked whether they had ever been treated unfairly by police.

“We controlled for many behaviors that might have generated inaccuracies, and the findings remain robust,” says Dennison. “People who report these kind of interactions with were much more likely to experience these detrimental outcomes.”

More information:
Christopher R. Dennison et al, Self‐reported experiences and consequences of unfair treatment by police *, Criminology (2021). DOI: 10.1111/1745-9125.12269

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Study shows cactus pear as drought-tolerant crop for sustainable fuel and food thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Study shows cactus pear as drought-tolerant crop for sustainable fuel and food

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Among three cactus varieties researched by the University of Nevada, Reno as drought-tolerant crops for biofuel, Opuntia ficus-indica produced the most fruit while using up to 80% less water than some traditional crops. Credit: John Cushman, University of Nevada, Reno.

Could cactus pear become a major crop like soybeans and corn in the near future, and help provide a biofuel source, as well as a sustainable food and forage crop? According to a recently published study, researchers from the University of Nevada, Reno believe the plant, with its high heat tolerance and low water use, may be able to provide fuel and food in places that previously haven’t been able to grow much in the way of sustainable crops.

Global climate change models predict that long-term drought events will increase in duration and intensity, resulting in both higher temperatures and lower levels of available water. Many crops, such as rice, corn and soybeans, have an upper temperature limit, and other traditional crops, such as alfalfa, require more water than what might be available in the future.

“Dry areas are going to get dryer because of climate change,” Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Professor John Cushman, with the University’s College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources, said. “Ultimately, we’re going to see more and more of these drought issues affecting crops such as corn and soybeans in the future.”

Fueling renewable energy

As part of the College’s Experiment Station unit, Cushman and his team recently published the results of a five-year study on the use of spineless as a high-temperature, low-water commercial crop. The study, funded by the Experiment Station and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, was the first long-term field trial of Opuntia species in the U.S. as a scalable bioenergy feedstock to replace fossil fuel.

Results of the study, which took place at the Experiment Station’s Southern Nevada Field Lab in Logandale, Nevada, showed that Opuntia ficus-indica had the highest fruit production while using up to 80% less water than some traditional crops. Co-authors included Carol Bishop, with the College’s Extension unit, postdoctoral research scholar Dhurba Neupane, and graduate students Nicholas Alexander Niechayev and Jesse Mayer.

“Maize and sugar cane are the major bioenergy crops right now, but use three to six times more water than cactus pear,” Cushman said. “This study showed that cactus pear productivity is on par with these important bioenergy crops, but use a fraction of the water and have a higher heat tolerance, which makes them a much more climate-resilient crop.”

Cactus pear works well as a bioenergy crop because it is a versatile perennial crop. When it’s not being harvested for biofuel, then it works as a land-based carbon sink, removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it in a sustainable manner.

“Approximately 42% of land area around the world is classified as semi-arid or arid,” Cushman said. “There is enormous potential for planting cactus trees for carbon sequestration. We can start growing cactus pear crops in abandoned areas that are marginal and may not be suitable for other crops, thereby expanding the area being used for bioenergy production.”

Fueling people and animals

The crop can also be used for human consumption and livestock feed. Cactus pear is already used in many semi-arid areas around the world for food and forage due to its low-water needs compared with more traditional crops. The fruit can be used for jams and jellies due to its high sugar content, and the pads are eaten both fresh and as a canned vegetable. Because the plant’s pads are made of 90% water, the crop works great for livestock feed as well.

“That’s the benefit of this perennial crop,” Cushman explained. “You’ve harvested the fruit and the pads for food, then you have this large amount of biomass sitting on the land that is sequestering carbon and can be used for biofuel production.”

Cushman also hopes to use cactus pear genes to improve the water-use efficiency of other . One of the ways cactus pear retains water is by closing its pores during the heat of day to prevent evaporation and opening them at night to breathe. Cushman wants to take the cactus pear genes that allow it to do this, and add them to the genetic makeup of other plants to increase their drought tolerance.

Bishop, Extension educator for Northeast Clark County, and her team, which includes Moapa Valley High School students, continue to help maintain and harvest the more than 250 cactus pear plants still grown at the field lab in Logandale. In addition, during the study, the students gained valuable experience helping to spread awareness about the project, its goals, and the plant’s potential benefits and uses. They produced videos, papers, brochures and recipes; gave tours of the field lab; and held classes, including harvesting and cooking classes.

Fueling further research

In 2019, Cushman began a new research project with cactus pear at the U.S. Department of Agriculture—Agricultural Research Service’ National Arid Land Plant Genetic Resources Unit in Parlier, California. In addition to continuing to take measurements of how much the cactus crop will produce, Cushman’s team, in collaboration with Claire Heinitz, curator at the unit, is looking at which accessions, or unique samples of plant tissue or seeds with different genetic traits, provide the greatest production and optimize the crop’s growing conditions.

“We want a spineless cactus pear that will grow fast and produce a lot of biomass,” Cushman said.

One of the other goals of the project is to learn more about Opuntia stunting disease, which causes cactuses to grow smaller pads and fruit. The team is taking samples from the infected plants to look at the DNA and RNA to find what causes the disease and how it is transferred to other cactuses in the field. The hope is to use the information to create a diagnostic tool and treatment to detect and prevent the disease’s spread and to salvage usable parts from diseased plants.

More information:
Dhurba Neupane et al, Five‐year field trial of the biomass productivity and water input response of cactus pear ( Opuntia spp.) as a bioenergy feedstock for arid lands, GCB Bioenergy (2021). DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12805

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Small volcanic lakes tapping giant underground reservoirs thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Small volcanic lakes tapping giant underground reservoirs

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In its large caldera, Newberry volcano (Oregon, U.S.) has two small volcanic lakes, one fed by volcanic geothermal fluids (Paulina Lake) and one by gases (East Lake). These popular fishing grounds are small windows into a large underlying reservoir of hydrothermal fluids, releasing carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) with minor mercury (Hg) and methane into East Lake.

What happens to all that CO2 after it enters the bottom waters of the , and how do these volcanic gases influence the lake ecosystem? Some lakes fed by volcanic CO2 have seen catastrophic CO2 degassing during lake overturn (“limnic eruptions”; e.g., Lake Nyos, Cameroon). Could East Lake be a simmering “American lake Nyos”? East Lake went through a short “gas alert” in summer 2020, with strong H2S smells spreading over the caldera region.

Six Wesleyan University undergraduate/graduate students and their advisor set out to measure CO2 fluxes at East Lake each summer between 2015 and 2019.

East Lake accumulates CO2 below its winter ice cover, which is released again in abundance during ice melting and subsequently during the summer months. They also proposed that the East Lake ecosystem is largely driven by its volcanic inputs: CO2, nutrients like phosphorus and trace metals, with the fixed nitrogen nutrient largely provided by local cyanobacteria.

The outside world only adds sunshine to make this organic matter factory go! Their study illustrates how the lake CO2 reservoir renews itself over the seasons, and East Lake is unlikely to have catastrophic gas releases. Variations in CO2 flux can be used for volcano monitoring once the seasonal flux trends related to lake processes are understood.

More information:
H.D. Brumberg et al. Volcanic carbon cycling in East Lake, Newberry Volcano, Oregon, USA, Geology (2021). DOI: 10.1130/G48388.1

Small volcanic lakes tapping giant underground reservoirs (2021, March 5)
retrieved 6 March 2021
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Hexbyte Glen Cove Blind trust in social media cements conspiracy beliefs thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Blind trust in social media cements conspiracy beliefs

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Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

The ability to identify misinformation only benefits people who have some skepticism toward social media, according to a new study from Washington State University.

Researchers found that people with a strong in information found on were more likely to believe conspiracies, which falsely explain significant events as part of a secret evil plot, even if they could identify other types of misinformation. The study, published in the journal Public Understanding of Science on March 5, showed this held true for beliefs in older theories as well as newer ones around COVID-19.

“There was some good and in this study,” said Porismita Borah, an associate professor in WSU’s Edward R. Murrow College of Communication and a corresponding author on the study. “The good news is that you are less susceptible to conspiracy theories if you have some media literacy skills, one of which is being able to identify misinformation. But if you blindly trust the information you find on social media, those skills might not be able to help.”

Identifying misinformation is just one part of media literacy, Borah pointed out, and people may need a deeper education around social media to avoid falling for conspiracy theories.

For the study, the researchers surveyed 760 people recruited via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk crowdsourcing website. The participants were roughly split between male and female as well as Democrat and Republican. The majority, 63.1%, used Facebook and 47.3% used Twitter daily. They answered a range of questions related to the level of their social media news use and trust as well as ability to identify misinformation.

The participants were also asked to rate the truth of several COVID-19 conspiracy theories, such as the belief that the virus was a weapon of biological warfare developed by foreign countries. They also were presented with older conspiracies to rate, such as that the was a hoax and that Princess Diana was killed by a British intelligence agency.

The researchers found that a greater ability to identify misinformation lowered beliefs in all conspiracy theories—except for those who had high levels of trust in social media information. This is particularly problematic because other research has shown that once a conspiracy belief takes hold, it is very hard to convince the believer that it is false.

“The patterns around trust is one of the most important findings from our study,” said Borah. “We need to go deeper into what this trust means.”

Borah and her co-authors, recent WSU Ph.D. Xizhu Xiao and current doctoral student Yan Su, suggest that may play a role in this trust—that people want to believe the words of political figures they admire, whether what they say is actually true or not. Borah said more research is needed to understand why appeal to people and how best to combat them as there can be serious consequences.

“There are different levels of danger with these theories, but one of the prominent conspiracy beliefs about COVID-19 is that it isn’t true, that the virus is a hoax and that can be really dangerous: you’re putting yourself, your family members and your community at risk,” said Borah.

The researchers advocate for making media literacy part of the educational system and starting it well before college. They argue that such education should include a better understanding of how information can be manipulated as well as environments, news production and dissemination.

“There’s a long list of tasks to do to keep ourselves well informed,” Borah said. “I think there is hope with literacy and a better understanding of the information environment, but it is a complicated process.”

More information:
Xizhu Xiao et al, The dangers of blind trust: Examining the interplay among social media news use, misinformation identification, and news trust on conspiracy beliefs, Public Understanding of Science (2021). DOI: 10.1177/0963662521998025

Blind trust in social media cements conspiracy beliefs (2021, March 5)
retrieved 6 March 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-03-social-media-cements-conspiracy-beliefs.html

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Apparent Atlantic warming cycle likely an artifact of climate forcing thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Apparent Atlantic warming cycle likely an artifact of climate forcing

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This map of the Earth shows the spacial pattern of temperature variance by percentage. The most variance is seen in the tropics with less at the poles. Credit: Daniel J. Brouillette. Penn State

Volcanic eruptions, not natural variability, were the cause of an apparent “Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation,” a purported cycle of warming thought to have occurred on a timescale of 40 to 60 years during the pre-industrial era, according to a team of climate scientists who looked at a large array of climate modeling experiments.

The result complements the team’s previous finding that what had looked like an “AMO” occurring during the period since industrialization is instead the result of a competition between steady human-caused warming from greenhouse gases and cooling from more time-variable industrial sulphur pollution.

“It is somewhat ironic, I suppose,” said Michael E. Mann, distinguished professor of atmospheric science and director, Earth System Science Center, Penn State. “Two decades ago, we brought the AMO into the conversation, arguing that there was a long-term natural, internal climate centered in the North Atlantic based on the limited observations and simulations that were available then, and coining the term ‘AMO.’ Many other scientists ran with the concept, but now we’ve come full circle. My co-authors and I have shown that the AMO is very likely an artifact of climate change driven by human forcing in the modern era and natural forcing in pre-industrial times.”

The researchers previously showed that the apparent AMO cycle in the modern era was an artifact of industrialization-driven climate change, specifically the competition between warming over the past century from carbon pollution and an offsetting cooling factor, industrial sulphur pollution, that was strongest from the 1950s through the passage of the Clean Air Acts in the 1970s and 1980s. But they then asked, why do we still see it in pre-industrial records?

Their conclusion, reported today (Mar. 5) in Science, is that the early signal was caused by large volcanic eruptions in past centuries that caused initial cooling and a slow recovery, with an average spacing of just over half a century. The result resembles an irregular, roughly 60-year AMO-like oscillation.

“Some hurricane scientists have claimed that the increase in Atlantic hurricanes in recent decades is due to the uptick of an internal AMO cycle,” said Mann. “Our latest study appears to be the final nail in the coffin of that theory. What has in the past been attributed to an internal AMO oscillation is instead the result of external drivers, including human forcing during the industrial era and natural volcanic forcing during the pre-industrial era.”

The researchers looked at state-of-the-art climate models both for preindustrial times over the past thousand years where external factors such as solar and volcanic drivers were used, and unforced, “control” simulations where no external drivers were applied and any changes that happen are internally generated. When they looked at simulations for the short, 3- to 7-year El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycles, they found that these cycles occurred in the models without adding forcing by climate change, volcanic activity, or anything else.

However, when they looked for the AMO, it did not occur in the unforced model and only appeared in modern times using climate change variables as forcing and in preindustrial times with forcing by .

“The models do show intrinsic internal oscillations on a 3- to 7-year time scale characteristic of the established El Niño phenomenon, but nothing on the multi-decadal scale that would be the AMO,” said Byron A. Steinman, associate professor of Earth and environmental sciences, University of Minnesota Duluth, who was also on the project. “What we know is an oscillation like El Niño is real, but the AMO is not.”

Mann suggested that while some influential scientists continue to dismiss certain trends as the result of a supposed internal AMO cycle, the best available scientific evidence does not support the existence of such a .

More information:
M.E. Mann el al., “Multidecadal climate oscillations during the past millennium driven by volcanic forcing,” Science (2021). science.sciencemag.org/cgi/doi … 1126/science.abc5810

Apparent Atlantic warming cycle likely an artifact of climate forcing (2021, March 4)
retrieved 5 March 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-03-apparent-atlantic-artifact-climate.html

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Galapagos island gets 36 endangered giant tortoises thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Galapagos island gets 36 endangered giant tortoises

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The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the Chelonoidis chatamensis, or San Cristobal Giant Tortoise, as endangered, though their numbers are on the rise

Three dozen endangered giant tortoises, born and raised in captivity, have been released into the wild on one of the Galapagos islands, where their kind is from.

The Galapagos National Park said the 36 creatures were freed on the northeastern part of San Cristobal island, where an estimated 6,700 roam free.

The latest additions belong to the Chelonoidis chathamensis subspecies—one of 15 endemic to the Galapagos, where Charles Darwin’s observation of birds and tortoises on different islands led to his theory of natural selection.

The youngsters are between six and eight years old, and weigh between three and five kilograms (6.6-11 pounds) each.

The animals spent time in quarantine and were tested for disease and parasites before their release so as not to endanger the rest of the natives, the park said.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists Chelonoidis chathamensis, or San Cristobal Giant Tortoise, as endangered, though their numbers are on the rise.

The slow-breeding creatures can live to the age of about 100 or 150 and are endemic to the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean off Ecuador’s coast.

According to the IUCN, the San Cristobal Giant Tortoise population experienced “catastrophic decline” due to the introduction of predators, competitors and vegetation change—from about 24,000 animals historically to about 500-700 in the early 1970s.

By 2016, the numbers had recovered somewhat to about 6,700.

In the last eight years, 75 of the sub-species, raised in captivity, have been reintroduced to San Cristobal.

© 2021 AFP

Galapagos island gets 36 endangered giant tortoises (2021, March 4)
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Hexbyte Glen Cove Nuclear engineering researchers develop new resilient oxide dispersion strengthened alloy thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Nuclear engineering researchers develop new resilient oxide dispersion strengthened alloy

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Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

Texas A&M University researchers have recently shown superior performance of a new oxide dispersion strengthened (ODS) alloy they developed for use in both fission and fusion reactors.

Dr. Lin Shao, professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering, worked alongside at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and Hokkaido University to create the next generation of high-performance ODS , and so far they are some of the strongest and best-developed metals in the field.

ODS alloys consist of a combination of metals interspersed with small, nanometer-sized oxide particles and are known for their high creep resistance. This means that as temperatures rise, the materials keep their shape instead of deforming. Many ODS alloys can withstand temperatures up to 1,000 C and are typically used in power generation and engines within aerospace engineering, as well as cutlery.

The nuclear community has a high need for reliable and durable materials to make up the core components of nuclear reactors. The material must be , radiation tolerant and resistant to void swelling (materials develop cavities when subjected to neutron radiation, leading to mechanical failures).

Nuclear researchers like Shao are consistently seeking to identify quality creep-resistant and swelling-resistant materials for their use in high-temperature reactors.

“In general, ODS alloys should be resistant to swelling when exposed to extreme neutron irradiation,” said Shao. “However, the majority of commercial ODS alloys are problematic from the beginning.”

This is because almost all commercial ODS alloys are based on the ferritic phase. Ferritic alloys, classified by their and metallurgical behavior, have good ductility and reasonable high-temperature strength. However, the ferritic phase is the weakest phase when judged by its swelling resistance, therefore making the majority of commercial ODS alloys fail in the first line of defense.

Shao, known internationally for his pioneering work in radiation materials science, directs the accelerator laboratory for testing alloys under extreme irradiation conditions. Shao and his research team collaborated with the Japanese research group at Hokkaido University led by Dr. Shigeharu Ukai to develop various new ODS alloys.

“We decided to explore a new design principle in which oxide particles are embedded in the martensitic phase, which is best to reduce void swelling, rather than the ferritic phase,” said Shao.

The resulting ODS alloys are able to survive up to 400 displacements per atom and are some of the most successful alloys developed in the field, both in terms of high-temperature strength and superior-swelling resistance.

Details of the complete project were published in the Journal of Nuclear Materials along with the most recent study. The team has since conducted multiple studies and attracted the attention from the U.S. Department of Energy and nuclear industry. The project resulted in a total of 18 journal papers and two doctoral degree dissertations.

More information:
Hyosim Kim et al, Oxide dispersoid coherency of a ferritic-martensitic 12Cr oxide-dispersion-strengthened alloy under self-ion irradiation, Journal of Nuclear Materials (2020). DOI: 10.1016/j.jnucmat.2020.152671

Nuclear engineering researchers develop new resilient oxide dispersion strengthened alloy (2021, March 4)
retrieved 5 March 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-03-nuclear-resilient-oxide-dispersion-alloy.html

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Tenfold increase in carbon dioxide emissions cuts needed to stem climate emergency thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Tenfold increase in carbon dioxide emissions cuts needed to stem climate emergency

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Credit: CC0 Public Domain

New research shows 64 countries cut their fossil CO2 emissions during 2016-2019, but the rate of reduction needs to increase tenfold to meet the Paris Agreement aims to tackle climate change.

This first global stocktake by researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA), Stanford University and the Global Carbon Project examined progress in cutting fossil CO2 emissions since the Paris Agreement was adopted in 2015. Their results show the clear need for far greater ambition ahead of the important UN climate summit in Glasgow in November (COP26).

The annual cuts of 0.16 billion tonnes of CO2 are only 10 percent of the 1-2 billion tonnes of CO2 cuts that are needed globally every year to tackle climate change.

While emissions decreased in 64 countries, they increased in 150 countries. Globally, emissions grew by 0.21 billion tonnes of CO2 per year during 2016-2019 compared to 2011-2015.

The scientists’ findings, “Fossil CO2 emissions in the post-COVID era,” are published today in Nature Climate Change.

In 2020, confinement measures to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic cut global emissions by 2.6 billion tonnes of CO2, about 7 percent below 2019 levels. The researchers say 2020 is a ‘pause button’ that cannot realistically continue while the world overwhelmingly relies on fossil fuels, and confinement policies are neither a sustainable nor desirable solution to the climate crisis.

Prof Corinne Le Quéré, Royal Society Professor at UEA’s School of Environmental Sciences, led the analysis. She said: “Countries’ efforts to cut CO2 emissions since the Paris Agreement are starting to pay off, but actions are not large-scale enough yet and emissions are still increasing in way too many countries.

“The drop in CO2 emissions from responses to COVID-19 highlights the scale of actions and of international adherence needed to tackle climate change. Now we need large-scale actions that are good for human health and good for the planet.

“It is in everyone’s best interests to build back better to speed the urgent transition to .”

Annual cuts of 1-2 billion tonnes of CO2 are needed throughout the 2020s and beyond to avoid exceeding global warming within the range 1.5 °C to well below 2 °C, the ambition of the UN Paris Agreement. The world has warmed by over 1 °C since the Industrial Revolution because of emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities.

Of the 36 high-income countries, 25 saw their emissions decrease during 2016-2019 compared to 2011-2015, including the U.S. (-0.7 percent), the European Union (-0.9 percent), and the UK (-3.6 percent). Emissions decreased even when accounting for the carbon footprint of imported goods produced in other countries.

Thirty of 99 upper-middle income countries also saw their emissions decrease during 2016-2019 compared to 2011-2015, suggesting that actions to reduce emissions are now in motion in many countries worldwide. Mexico (-1.3 percent) is a notable example in that group, while China’s emissions increased 0.4 percent, much less than the 6.2 percent annual growth of 2011-2015.

The growing number of laws and policies appear to have played a key role in curbing the growth in emissions during 2016-2019. There are now more than 2000 climate laws and policies worldwide.

A full bounce-back in 2021 to previous CO2 levels appears unlikely. However, the authors say unless the COVID-19 recovery directs investments in clean energy and the green economy, emissions will likely start increasing again within a few years. The nature of the disruption in 2020, particularly affecting road transport, means incentive to expedite the large-scale deployment of electric vehicles and encourage walking and cycling in cities are timely and would also improve public health. The resilience of renewable energy throughout the crisis, falling costs, and air quality benefits, are additional incentives to support their large-scale deployment.

Investments post-COVID continue to be overwhelmingly dominated by fossil fuels in most countries, in contradiction with climate commitments, including in the United States and China. The European Union, Denmark, France, the United Kingdom, Germany and Switzerland are among the few countries that have so far implemented substantial green stimulus packages with limited investments in fossil-based activities.

Prof Rob Jackson of Stanford University co-authored the study. He said: “The growing commitments by countries to reach net zero emissions within decades strengthens the climate ambition needed at COP26 in Glasgow. Greater ambition is now backed by leaders of the three biggest emitters: China, the United States, and the European Commission.”

“Commitments alone aren’t enough. Countries need to align post-COVID incentives with climate targets this decade, based on sound science and credible implementation plans.”

Prof Le Quéré added: “This pressing timeline is constantly underscored by the rapid unfolding of extreme impacts worldwide.”

More information:
“Fossil CO2 emissions in the post-COVID era,” March 3, 2021 in Nature Climate Change, 2021.

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