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Monitoring Pollution

First Container Ship Crossing the Northern Passage

For the past few years, the Arctic has been sufficiently ice-free in the summertime that some ships have been able to take the short-cut routes across the North Sea Route and canadian cialis and healthcare the Northwest Passage. Last year, among others, a small sailboat with a crew of best price for propecia online 3 made the Northwest Passage. This year, a 19,000 ton Chinese cargo container carrier is traveling to Amsterdam via the Arctic, going north and traveling along the northern coast of Russia, rather than down through the Indian Ocean and through the Suez Canal and the cialis low priced Mediterranean. This marks the first time that a container ship is traveling through the Arctic.

The shorter trip will mean lower fuel costs (and, ironically, fewer greenhouse gas emissions) for the freighter. Taking this route is buying cialis expected to save 12 to 15 days of travel and shortens the trip by roughly 7,000 kilometers (4,350 miles).

While this is news now, it is all too likely that this will go from a unique occurrence to an ordinary annual event within a few years.

image: CC BY-SA 3.0 by Brocken Inaglory/Wikimedia Commons

hat tip: @jr_carpenter via @GreatDismal


Fukushima Site Leaking Radioactive Wastewater

Radioactive water has been found leaking from storage tanks at the site of the Fukushima reactors which melted down in the wake of the 2011 tsunami. Three of the eight reactors at the site melted down after cooling systems failed due to damage caused by the tsunami.

Storage tanks have been built near the crippled reactors to store the great quantities of water being used to cool off the damaged reactor cores. The melted reactors will need to be cooled off for years before further decontamination work can take place.

The leak has been classified as a low-level (Level 1) incident, but still, the radioactivity of the best choice low price levitra the leak has been characterized as "equivalent to the cialis in spain limit for accumulated exposure over five years for nuclear workers."

image: CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported by KEI at ja.wikipedia


Considering the Environmental Impact of 3D Printing

Manufacturing with 3D printing is now a fast-growing field, with the technology becoming more accessible and affordable. Some think that it will revolutionize all kinds of manufacturing. But, while it offers some advantages, the process can be energy intensive and wasteful of material. A recent study has a comparison of some 3D printing and levitra prescriptionsgeneric levitra sale conventional milling methods.

There are many different kinds of 3D printing, and this study is only an early examination of a few methods. The environmental impacts between different printers (different printing methods) were not as great as the those between occasionally operated printers and ones in more consistent production (which is more efficient). "In cases like this, job shops legitimately can argue that they provide both economic and environmental advantage to their customers."

Equally importantly, the kind of object being produced can make a huge difference in the amount material used. An object with a great deal of hollow space will be easier to produce by 3D printing rather than milling. In some instances, "an inkjet 3D printer (which lays down polymeric ink and UV-cures it layer by layer) wastes 40 to 45 percent of its ink, not even counting support material, and it can't be recycled."

Regardless of method, 3D printing is not going to tramadol fedex overnight delivery replace other methods of mass production, any more than laser printing replaced all conventional printing. "3D printing is not going to replace injection-molding for mass-manufactured products (plastic parts made in the millions). It is replacing machining for smaller runs (1 unit, 10 units, maybe 1,000 units)." Each has its advantages, for its appropriate application.

link; Is 3D printing an environmental win?


Microbes Thriving on Plastic Ocean Pollution

From the Great Pacific garbage patch to more disperse bits of trash, immense amounts of plastic and other garbage continue to amass in the ocean. However, some of that plastic pollution is harboring life. Scientists have discovered colonies of viagra gel online without prescription microbes thriving on tiny fragments of plastic floating in the open ocean. The team of scientists studying these new ocean habitats--called the "plastisphere"--collected marine plastic debris using fine-scale nets at locations in the North Atlantic Ocean. They discovered at least 1000 kinds of bacterial cells, forming a variety of complex microscopic communities.

Many microbial species on the debris samples remain unidentified, and identifying the microbes present isn't the only task at hand. As Science Daily reports, scientist Linda Amaral-Zettler says, "We're not just interested in who's there. We're interested in their function, how they're functioning in this ecosystem, how they're altering this ecosystem, and what's the ultimate fate of these particles in the ocean ... Are they sinking to the bottom of the ocean? Are they being ingested? If they're being ingested, what impact does that have?"

One debris sample studied mostly contained certain strains of Vibrio bacteria that cause cholera; disease-causing bacteria thriving on plastic instead of look here viagra soft gel something less durable like driftwood may have a better chance of spreading disease across the ocean. However, some of the microbes found on the plastic debris may be capable of degrading hydrocarbons. The team found microscopic pits in the plastic surfaces on purchase cialis overnight delivery samples made of different kinds of resins. Genetic sequencing will identify these microbes, and further research will explore whether some of these microbes can actually digest the plastic garbage they find so appealing.

The plastisphere study was published online in Environmental Science & Technology.

via: Science Daily

image credit: Erik Zettler, Sea Education Association


Temperature Extremes In Both Hemispheres

Recently, there have been a couple of extreme climate effects noted. Record high temperatures have made the news on two continents in the northern and southern hemispheres.

In the United States, to the surprise of no one who experienced it, 2012 was the hottest year on record by more than a degree, with hundreds of new temperature records set throughout the year. The average national temperature was a full degree higher than the previous record. A degree of fda approved viagra sales temperature may not seem like much, but when talking about an average over a year, that's a huge spike. "Normally, records are broken by a tenth of a degree or so."

And, in Australia, recent temperatures have gotten so hot that the Bureau of Meteorology has had to add new colors to those it uses on its interactive weather forecasting chart. Until now, the temperature maps have gone up to 50 degrees C (122 F), but that hasn't been enough for recent high temperatures. Now, the new scale extends to 54 C (129 F).

via: @drgrist and NPR

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