Asteroid impacts are the only natural disaster we know how to prevent: said co-founders of Asteroid Day
#InternationalAsteroidDay, #OmniGlobe #Siberia, #RussianFederation, #UnitedNationsGeneralAssembly, AssociationofSpaceExplorers, #Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, #Dr.BrianMay, #DanicaRemy, #GrigRichters, #RustySchweickart, #PacificMuseumofEarth, UniversityofBritishColumbia,
Toronto, June 30 (Canadian-Media): International Asteroid Day (IAD) is being observed globally today to commemorate the anniversary of the Tunguska asteroid impact over Siberia, Russian Federation, on 30 June 1908, media reports said.
IAD was declared by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to be observed all over the world on June 30 of every year on the proposal of the Association of Space Explorers, which was endorsed by Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS).
“We are extremely proud of the UN recognition as we founded Asteroid Day to raise awareness of the asteroid threat and the opportunity for the human species to unite around a single goal: protect our planet from asteroid impacts,” stated Asteroid Day co-founders Dr. Brian May, Danica Remy, Grig Richters and Rusty Schweickart. “Asteroid impacts are the only natural disaster we know how to prevent if we, as the crew of Spaceship Earth work together towards a global solution.”
The first official observance of International Asteroid Day is reported to take place in 2017.
While Canada is getting ready to celebrate its 150th birthday tomorrow, it is observing the IAD today, fully aware of the asteroid threats and our efforts to prevent its impacts.
Vancouver’s Space Centre in Pacific Museum of Earth (PME) —a University of British Columbia -- based organization that specializes in hands-on demos of rocks and minerals—has joined the charge this year. The space Centre will pass around asteroids and meteorites, and explain how their compositions are unlike anything found on Earth.
Pacific Museum of Earth: twitter
PME offers a variety of education programs to small or large groups, families, social clubs, summer camps, and school groups of all ages.
Kids get to enjoy the event screens “The Little Prince” movie, featuring a young girl discovering the extraordinary world of the Little Prince—who just happens to live on an asteroid.
OmniGlobe is one of the PME’s newest permanent exhibits and is Canada’s first and only OmniGlobe. It is a spherical interactive display on which you can project images and animations of planets, real time weather, ocean currents, tsunami wave data, forest fires, ancient ice coverage and much more.
OmniGlobe in Pacific Museum of Earth: twitter
PME gives guided tours of the museum to interactive Earth Science themed workshops.
It also offers virtual tours and enables anyone to get its tour while sitting at home.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Rate at which Ocean absorbs and releases gases and heat predicts future climate change scenarios: NASA report
Atlantic Ocean: Wikimedia Commons
NASA, #AnastasiaRomanou, #NASA'sGoddardInstituteforSpaceStudies, #ClimateChange, #JohnMarshall #MassachusettsInstituteOfTechnology
Toronto, June 18 (ICanadian-Media): New NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) research, one of the first studies to estimate how much and how quickly the ocean absorbs atmospheric gases and contrast it with the efficiency of heat absorption revealed that that gases are more easily absorbed over time than heat energy and that release of buried gases and heat from the oceans will keep raising temperatures, media reports said.
“Most of the excess heat from climate change will go into the ocean eventually…most of the excess chemical pollutants and greenhouse gases will be buried in the ocean. But the truth is that the ocean recirculates that extra load and, at some point, will release some of it back to the atmosphere, where it will keep raising temperatures, even if future carbon dioxide emissions were to be much lower than they are now” said Anastasia Romanou, lead author and climate scientist at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) and Columbia University in New York City.
Romanou added people will have to cope with this release of buried gases and heat from the oceans, sometimes called the “warming in the pipeline” or “warming commitment.”
Goddard Institute for Space Studies
The Goddard Institute for Space Studies, reportedly is a laboratory in the Earth Sciences Division of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and a unit of the Columbia University Earth Institute. The institute is located at Columbia University in New York City.
Using two computer models that simulate the ocean, NASA and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) scientists found that over time gases were absorbed more easily than heat energy.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Facebook
These findings formed the basis of further research to study these impacts on climate change.
The world’s oceans have considerably slowed down, said reports, by storing atmosphere heat, carbon dioxide and other gases in their depths for decades to centuries and millennia.
Over the last ten years, reportedly one-fourth of human-emissions of carbon dioxide as well as 90 percent of additional warming due to the greenhouse effect have been absorbed by the oceans.
“As the ocean slows down, it will keep uptaking gases like carbon dioxide more efficiently, much more than it will keep uptaking heat. It will have a different behavior for chemistry than it has for temperature,” said Romanou.
She and colleagues at the MIT, Massachusetts used the NASA GISS ocean model and the MIT General Circulation Model to simulate one of the Atlantic's major current systems that delivers absorbed heat and gases to the depths.
NASA GISS ocean model
MIT General Circulation Model: Facebook
To understand the ocean's sponge-like capabilities, the researchers used two independent models of Atlantic Ocean currents with shipboard observations of chlorofluorocarbons, also called passive tracer, as a starting point.
This allowed scientists to see how much of the gas is absorbed from the atmosphere into the ocean and then follow it as it travels around the world in the currents.
These findings by the scientists of how efficiently gases and heat are absorbed by ocean, and consequently their release, will improve global climate model projections for future climate scenarios, said co-author John Marshall, a professor of oceanography at MIT.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
David Miller: Twitter
CanadaHealthAssessment, #ThreatAssessment, #CanadaWatersheds, #DavidMiller, #CatherineMcKenna
Toronto, June 17 (Canadian-Media): Urbanization, forestry, municipal and industrial pollution, fragmentation, pipeline incidents, oil and gas development as well as climate change had drastically disrupted Canada's watersheds adversely effecting health, economy and the wellbeing of wildlife, the first nationwide assessment of Canada’s freshwater report said.
Both health assessment, continued the report, which looked at river flow, water quality, fish and benthic invertebrates and threat assessment for examining stressorrs, including pollution, habitat loss, fragmentation, water use, invasive species, alteration to water flows and climate change were carried out and was found that lack of data deficiency at the national level.
This fact was of great concern, considering that Canada is home to 20 percent of the world's freshwater and is home to Canada’s large population, industry, agriculture and over 100 at-risk species.
"It's a very patchy system," he said. "For example, if the urban area of Calgary is measuring the health of the Bow River, but upstream is not being measured, you don't have a proper and full picture," David Miller, president of World Wildlife Fund-Canada, CBCNews reports said.
Canada's five major ocean watersheds: the Arctic, the Atlantic (including the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River), Hudson Bay, the Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico are are fed by smaller rivers called sub-watersheds, which drain their water into ocean. watersheds the report said.
Assessment of health and stress levels of each of 167 sub-watersheds, identified for testing, revealed climate change had impacted every water-shed, habitat loss was seen in more than half of these watersheds, due to climate change as well as construction of homes and buildings close to the water, and almost two thirds of the sub-watersheds were reported to be fair or poor in water quality.
"Like most Canadians, I have an image of our country as a haven of fresh water. When I started canoeing I could dip my cup in a lake in Algonquin Park and I could drink it without treating it and that's not true anymore," said Miller, CBCNews news reports said.
The report identified the North and South Saskatchewan watersheds, the Peace-Athabasca watershed and, the Great Lakes and the Ottawa River as main areas lacking detailed information about the water quality.
"I think that's a result that Canadians, when they learn it, will be deeply concerned about," said Miller in an interview with CBC News.
Data collected by WWF-Canada, over the past four years, by collaborating with community organizations, water agencies, First Nations, researchers, governments and industry, and discovered that about 60 percent had poor or fair water quality, one third watersheds’ flow was interrupted by dams, roads or railways and only 11 key health and threat indicators is being collected in only 14 of our 167 sub-watersheds, and 15 of 25 watersheds are data deficient at the watershed level.
"We have a pretty good handle on what the threats are and potential impacts of those threats, so not having the information to measure the actual health of a majority of watersheds is extremely concerning," said Miller, CBCNews reports said.
Marie-Pascale Des Rosiers, Press secretary to Min. Catherine McKenna, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, said considering the fact that water is a shared responsibility, federal government was collaborating with provinces, territories and municipalities and aboriginal people to protect water.
"Our government has a comprehensive approach to help ensure clean, secure and sustainable water resources for present and future generations," Des Rosiers told CBCNews.
Government of Canada had invested millions of dollars, added Des Rosiers, in the last two budgets for protection of freshwater including $197.1 million in 2016 for promotion of research on ocean and freshwater, $3.1 million for improvement of shore and ecosystem health in the Great Lakes and had allocated $70.5 million in the 2017 budget to protect water in the Great Lakes and Lake Winnipeg basins.
The federal government had also introduced a 11-year plan to improve wastewater systems across the country.
But a national system, argued Miller from WWF-Canada, to properly track the health of fresh water and the impacts from human activity is the need of the hour.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)