“Rain forest sweat -needed for rain”


Aerosol particles effect our climate climate changes, but Dr. Markus Petters, an NC State assistant professor of marine, earth and atmospheric sciences and his team, traveled to the Amazon rainforest in a remote area of Brazil as part of a team that wanted to study how a rainforest behaved in the absence of any anthropogenic, or human, influence.

Does the rain forest also produced some type of atmospheric aerosol particles that play an important role in the world’s climate system?

Aerosol particles act as seeds for cloud formation and attract water molecules to them that then condense inside clouds. Some of these particles – about one in a million – form ice crystals inside the clouds, which initiate rainfall.

In areas populated by humans, pollution serves as an additional source for these particles. In a pristine area such as the Amazon, where pollution is not a factor, the researchers found that the rainforest itself acted as a biogeochemical reactor, producing “fuel” for the rainclouds from organic molecules emitted by trees, as well as other biological matter such as plant debris, bacteria and pollen.

“The trees basically ‘sweat out’ organic molecules that react with compounds in the atmosphere, producing tiny particles that are around 20 to 200 nanometers in size,” Petters says. “These particles seed the clouds. In addition, other biological particles form the ice nuclei for the clouds.”

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of   http://bit.ly/cDWtbh

“Sotheby’s heirloom veggie auction”


The exclusivity of Sotheby’s Auction House items is well known. They auction the rarest and best items from current history to antiquity. Everything from jewels to rare pieces of china and furniture to “The Tales of Beedle the Bard ” is a collection of wizarding fairy-tales of special significance manuscript within “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. ”, but now they have green revolution in the making!

The benefit, titled “The Art of Farming,” is the first of its kind by Sotheby’s and is being held in the auction house’s Manhattan showroom, the auction is part of a Sotheby’s benefit featuring vintage varieties of heirloom vegetables.

Turkish Orange Eggplant

Sotheby’s will be auctioning a crate of heirloom vegetables. Not your average heirloom of course, but the crate  will include Turkish Orange Eggplant, Lady Godiva Squash and Pink Banana Pumpkin.

Lady Godiva Squash

The asking price: $1,000 a crate.Pink banana squash
Sotheby’s benefit auction on September 23, 2010 will featuring heirloom vintage varieties of vegetables the taste, color, freshness and uniqueness cannot be duplicated in commercial vegetables sold in the local grocery stores today.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/cLMTtT

Image 1. courtesy of   http://bit.ly/aIvlGr

Image 2. courtesy of   http://bit.ly/a8vJHl

Image 3. courtesy of http://bit.ly/aLs78L

“Operation Helicopter Rescue at National Radio Observatory”


Green Bank National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) the oldest national observatory in the US became Ground Zero for Operation Helicopter Rescue.
When you work in science you must be prepared for everything. It is a common occurrence when studying the stars in the heavens to observe various shooting stars and meteors falling out of the heavens. Nothing quite prepared the staff at the observatory to become assistants and support staff for one military Black Hawk helicopter rescue and the repair of another.

Rescue based at NRAO

On February 19, 2010 A National Guard Blackhawk helicopter took flight from the NRAO airstrip after being repaired Friday morning on its way to the crash site of a downed training Navy helicopter near the Randolph County line Greenbank, Pocahontas County, West Virginia.

The downed chopper was part of a training mission, carried 14 Navy personnel and three members of the West Virginia National Guard. It went down in more than four feet of snow.

Back to the story…
The National Guard Rescue copter landed at the observatory, because they were running out of fuel and needed minor repairs. After the emergency landing the crew ran into staff from the Observatory leaving for the day. Since the observatory has kitchen and dormitory facilities besides nearness to fire rescue services this chance landing became the ideal recovery and warm overnight facilities for the rescue mission. Scientists not only care about stars , but people too.  The facilities were offered to the military for their use. There were 17 people needing rescue.

The National Guard used the NRAO offices as their main base of operation and a make-shift hotel in the 60 bed bunk house and chow  hall on site. A cafeteria worker at the observatory, volunteered to prepare meals. She made lentil soup, chili, hot ham and cheese sandwiches and plenty of coffee. Six observatory employees offered their help in setting up the dorm to house the military personnel and worked with them on the search effort.
 By using sleds local search and rescue crews joined the National Guard and worked through the night to transported all 17 victims off the mountain.

The more severely injured were transported individually by sled with only a rescue worker. All others were transported down the hill in groups.
The sleds met up with a small snow groomer, a track-wheeled vehicle used on ski slopes, which then took them to a larger groomer waiting nearby. The large groomer, which was outfitted with a heated rear section, transported the injured to a group of ambulances waiting about a mile

snow groomer to the rescue

away from the Fire and Rescue team’s Snowshoe area station house.

By 12:30 p.m. Friday Mission Observatory Rescue was complete and all were safe.

“Thanks everyone for your help.” – Nature’s Crusaders

Resources

Excerpts and Image 1. courtesy of   http://bit.ly/9Zd8Wi

Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/aEpkzo

Image 2. courtesy of  http://bit.ly/daKmwt


“NASA airborne to study Haitain fault”


On Jan. 25, NASA’s UAVSAR (Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar) left NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, California aboard a modified NASA  Gulfstream III aircraft to study earthquake fault in Haiti and Hispaniola in the Dominican Republic. It will continue its mapping mission into Central America to image the structure of tropical forests; monitor volcanic deformation and volcano processes and examine Mayan archeology sites.
UAVSAR’s ability to provide rapid access to regions of interest, short repeat flight intervals, high resolution and its variable viewing geometry make it a powerful tool for studying ongoing Earth processes. UAVSAR uses a technique called interferometric synthetic aperture radar, or InSAR, that sends pulses of microwave energy from the aircraft to the ground to detect and measure very subtle deformations in Earth’s surface, such as those caused by earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides and glacier movements. Flying at a nominal altitude of 12,500 meters (41,000 feet), the radar, located in a pod under the aircraft’s belly, collects data over a selected region.


It then flies over the same region again, minutes to months later, using the aircraft’s advanced navigation system to precisely fly over the same path to an accuracy of within 5 meters (16.5 feet). By comparing these camera-like images (see image at the right), interferograms are formed that have baseline image of the surface deformation, from which scientists can measure the slow surface deformations involved with the buildup and release of strain along earthquake faults. Information and the data collected will be used by rescue and damage assessment officials to better estimate what areas might be most affected from a quake.

In the past the past three years UAVSAR has surveyed Iceland’s bedrock, Mt St. Helens, the Arctic ice and the length of California’s San Andreas fault system, this highly sophisticated radar system was many years in the making.

Thanks to everyone who helped,UAVSAR will become a vital part in our understanding of the earth and our response after a natural disaster.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of  http://www.spacemart.com/reports/NASA_Airborne_Radar
Excerpts courtesy of  http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/01/nasa-radar-to-map-haiti-faults

Excerpts courtesy of  http://uavsar.jpl.nasa.gov/mission_flights.html

Image courtesy of   http://div33.jpl.nasa.gov/graphics/proj_photo/Proteus_UAVSAR_color_t.jpg

Image courtesy of  http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/419456main_haiti20100126-full.jpg

“Nature’s Gallery of blue wonders – really true blue” part 1


Nature’s wonders

a variety of colors, but these are really true blue year in and out.

The blue-crowned motmot has a large head with down curved, short, broad beak, which is serrated along the upper edge. Their tarsi (feet) are unique in that they are particularly short with a middle toe almost completely fused to the inner toe and only one rear toe.  The center tail feathers, which twitch like the pendulum of a clock when the motmot is perched, have bare spines at the tip. This makes them easily recognizable. The plumage of the blue-crowned motmot is shades of green and blue. They have red eyes, a turquoise crown and black face.

The blue shark, Prionace glauca, is a carcharhinid shark which is found in the deep waters of the world’s temperate and tropical oceans. They prefer cooler waters and are not found, for example, in the Yellow Sea or in the Red Sea. Blue sharks are known to migrate long distances, from New England to South America for example. Although generally lethargic, they are capable of moving very quickly if the need arises. Blue sharks are viviparous and are noted for their large litters of 25 to over 100 pups. They feed primarily on small fish and squid, although they are perfectly capable of taking larger prey should the opportunity present itself

O Christmas tree

Colorado blue spruce trees

have  silvery-blue needles are prickly to the touch and aromatic. The pyramidal shape of Colorado blue spruce trees makes them a classic choice for Christmas. Height: 90 to 135 feet Spread: 20 to 30 feet.

Blue ice

occurs when snow falls on a glacier, is compressed, and becomes part of a glacier that winds its way toward a body of water (river, lake, ocean, etc.). During its travels, air bubbles that are trapped in the ice are squeezed out, and the size of the ice crystals increases, making it clear.
In some areas, earthquakes have raised the blue ice above the ground and created formations much like large frozen waves. Ice is blue for the same reason water is blue: it is a result of an overtone of an oxygen-hydrogen (O-H) bond stretch in water which absorbs light at the red end of the visible spectrum
Blue ice is exposed in areas of the Antarctic where there is no net addition or subtraction of snow. That is, any snow that falls in that area is counteracted by sublimation or other losses. These areas have been used as runways due to their hard ice surface which is suitable for aircraft fitted with wheels rather than skis.

Glory-of-the-Snow

begins blooming Zone 8 in mid-March in the snow,  by first produced two or three slender basal leaves per bulb, with a single flower stalk no taller than about six or eight inches and these beautiful blue and white flowers.

Resources

Excerpts and Image 1. courtesy of  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue-crowned_Motmot

Excerpts courtesy of  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picea_pungens

Excerpts courtesy of  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_shark

Excerpts courtesy of  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motmot

Excerpts courtesy of  http://www.webexhibits.org/causesofcolor/5C.html

Excerpts courtesy of    http://home.howstuffworks.com/glory-of-the-snow.htm
Excerpts courtesy of   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chionodoxa_luciliae

Image 2. courtesy of  http://www.conservationplace.com/Tree2009/images/coloradospruceXS.jpg

Image 3. courtesy of  Maria Stenzel  and National Geographic

Image 4. courtesy of   http://upload.wikimedia.org/Glory_of_the_Snow_in_the_snow.JPG


“Nature’s Crusaders Ice Gallery ’09”


The beauty of Nature – frozen in time

Largest holiday snow/ice cone

Thanks to  http://express.howstuffworks.com/gif/wq-iceberg-underwater.jpg

“Funding animal rights curriculum-helping prevent cruelty”


Making the world better for all-one person at a time- Bob Barker Story

Two Thumbs Up Award from Nature’s Crusaders


A former graduate of Drury University Bob Barker of Price is Right fame is helping create a better world through his million dollar donation to his alma mater. The generous donation is earmarked for the creation of an Animal Rights undergraduate curriculum. with the help of one famous alumnus, Drury University in Springfield, Mo., is giving the Heartland a humane education.

saving animals from cruelity

The funds will establish a full-time professorship for Animal Rights. Patricia McEachern, a professor of French and director of the previously formed Forum on Animal Rights will oversee the development of the curriculum thanks to the Dorothy Jo Barker Endowed Professorship, named for Barker’s late wife.

education for animal protection

Over the next year, McEachern hopes to add at least two more courses, slowly building the Forum up to a possible minor, and, eventually, major area of study. For more information on this unique and much needed advancement for animal-rights education click here.

Resources


Excerpts
courtesy of  http://vegnews.com

Images
courtesy of   http://www.bing.com

“Be a Dobson Fly 4 Halloween or next costume event”


The adult Dobson fly has a unique face that puts any zombie mask to shame. This critter may look like something from a horror movie, but they are beneficial insects.

Check out this illustration for unique costume possibilities for your next party or Halloween.

Mother Nature makes the best costumes or camophalage

Mother Nature makes the best costumes or camouflage

This image is the face of the Dobson fly magnified.

Dobson fly magnefied

Dobson fly head magnified

Both male and female of the eastern Dobson flies can reach lengths up to five inches (12.5 cm), measured from the tips of their pincers to the tips of their four wings, which, when not in use, are folded along the length of their walking -stick-like bodies. Their wingspans can be twice as long as their body length, and the wings themselves are densely lined with intersecting veins. Additionally, Dobson flies have segmented antennae similar to ants and wasps.

Found across the eastern side of North America east of the Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico near flowing streams where the larvae grow up. The hellgrammites are the larva and they live under stones or occasionally on snags where they feed on a variety of soft-bodied nymphs of insects like the net-spinning caddisflies and blackflies

The adults catch theri prey with the long pincers that extent out of its head. They are so strong if your finger or toe got pinched it might bleed.

Giant pinchers of Doson fly

Giant pincers of Doson fly

Dobson Fly adult

Dobson Fly adult

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dobsonfl

Excerpts courtesy of http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/eastern dobsonfly.htm

Image 1. (illustration) (left )courtesy of http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f6/Corydalus_cornutus_illustration.png

Image 2. (micrograph) (right) courtesy of http://i.livescience.com/images/ls_ugliest_dobsonfly_02.jpg

Image 3. (left) courtesy of http://lamar.colostate.edu/~secarney/AntCourse/133-BIG_Bug.jpg

Image 3. (right) courtesy of http://www.flytyingforum.com/uploads/gallery41c5ff989c417.jpg

“Animals do it-we can too”


All of us have heard many times that we are all in this together.

The animals in this video show how animals when needed step and take care of each other.

Man can do this too and harmonize life for all.

altruism in animals

altruism in animals

Thanks Mia for sharing this video with us all.

Click on link below to watch the video.

Video courtesy of YouTube,com

“Endangered now -fish and animals once abundant”


Once upon a time animals and plants were not endangered…

In colonial times, there were so many trees, game and fish in the ocean and on the lands that their bounty seems endless. So much so that when the colonists and guides decided to move further inland from the coastal areas they did not worry about food. They cut down the forests without a thought, to build homes and forts and to supply the increasing lumber demands of England.

Destroying old growth forests

Destroying old growth forests

They did not reforest or know anything about the effects that clear cutting the land for farming would have on the future of life on earth. Life was good and bountiful.

From the diaries of travelers from the 1600s, they wrote of rivers were

Spawning Atlanticc salmon

Spawning Atlanticc salmon

“so full of fish that a spear thrown into the water only rarely missed one, salmon runs that spanned the whole width of a river, and fish so plentiful that they were used as pig feed. ”

Then, within a few decades, they started constructing weirs (low flow dams) and mills (for grinding grain) that impeded the migration of fishes and put further pressure on stocks. Stocks of fish and shellfish rapidly declined.

White man did not know how to live in harmony with the land and ignored the dwindling supplies.

Now in the last centuries, we have accelerated the cycle of extreme reduction of fish, shellfish, other aquatic fauna and thousands of land animal and plants species. Historical records show that species in rivers and lakes worldwide are dwindling.

Mining: The strip mining and mountaintop removal mining has destroyed the mountain water sheds around the world and created ugly scars that will take centuries to heal. Once the land is torn apart all life suffers. None of the life that called the mountain home can live in harmony again. The waters get angry and tear down the mountain in torrent when it storms carrying with it all the junk and poisons the mines left behind. The people and the animals and plants, insects and even the air suffers for a long time.

Strip mining ruined this desert

Strip mining ruined this desert

Mountaintop Removal Mining

Mountaintop Removal Mining

Plastics and throwaway containers have clogged our water systems and oceans around the world. The plastics degrade and dissolve in the water and those toxins are eaten by invertebrates and in turn the fish eat the small critters and the toxins end up in their body tissues to be eaten by us. Other plastics end up in the guts of larger animals and birds and this will kill them and or their offspring they feed it too. Do help clean up the junk everywhere you find it and dispose of it safely and recycle as much as possible. Buy things in biodegradable containers.

plastic killing fields

plastic killing fields

Corporate and personal level: People collectively have refused generally to live responsibly and sustainably. Turning off lights and replacing old bulbs energy efficient one and paper products with recycled goods and drive less or car pool and bike to work.

Restoring and respecting all life and living in harmony with it will remove man from the endangered species list.

The effects of this early loss of wildlife and the ongoing destruction of our ecosystems, endangered nature of our animal and plant populations around the river/waterways ecosystems has not been adequately considered. Top predators and keystone species recently extirpated from freshwaters must be reintroduced. The creation of freshwater protected redevelopment areas are needed.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of terradaily.com/reports/Shifting_Baselines_Confound_River_Restoration_999.html

Excerpts courtesy of terradaily.com/Homes_Pollute_Our_Water_999.html

Image 1. stump http://www.cathedralgrove.eu/pictures/01-3-stump-1.jpg

Image 2. salmon spawning courtesy of photography.nationalgeographic.com/Photography/spawning-atlantic-salmon-738342-ga.jpg

Image 3. AZ. Strip mine in desert courtesy of http://www.carlmaples.com/Arz_Strip_Mine.jpg

Image 4. Mountaintop removal mining courtesy of http://media.tricities.com/tricities/gfx.php?max/NP-Strip_mining_StateLineRidge-080808.jpg

Image 5. Plastic pollution courtesy of http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_plasticocean3.jpg

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Homes_Pollute_Our_Water_999.html

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