Reconstructed streamflow for Citarum River, Java, Indonesia: linkages to tropical climate dynamics

first_imgThe Citarum river basin of western Java, Indonesia, which supplies water to 10 million residents in Jakarta, has become increasingly vulnerable to anthropogenic change. Citarum’s streamflow record, only similar to 45 years in length (1963-present), is too short for understanding the full range of hydrometeorological variability in this important region. Here we present a tree-ring based reconstruction of September-November Citarum streamflow (AD 1759-2006), one of the first such records available for monsoon Asia. Close coupling is observed between decreased tree growth and low streamflow levels, which in turn are associated with drought caused by ENSO warm events in the tropical Pacific and Indian Ocean positive dipole-type variability. Over the full length of record, reconstructed variance was at its weakest during the interval from similar to 1905-1960, overlapping with a period of unusually-low variability (1920-1960) in the ENSO-Indian Ocean dipole systems. In subsequent decades, increased variance in both the streamflow anomalies and a coral-based SST reconstruction of the Indian Ocean Dipole Mode signal the potential for intensified drought activity and related consequences for water supply and crop productivity in western Java, where much of the country’s rice is grown.last_img read more

Toxic mercury springs from a hidden source

first_imgEnvironmental scientists at Harvard have discovered that the Arctic accumulation of mercury, a toxic element, is caused both by atmospheric forces and by the flow of circumpolar rivers that carry the element north into the Arctic Ocean.While the atmospheric source was previously recognized, it now appears that twice as much mercury actually comes from the rivers.The revelation implies that concentrations of the toxin may further increase as climate change continues to modify the region’s hydrological cycle and release mercury from warming Arctic soils.“The Arctic is a unique environment because it’s so remote from most anthropogenic (human-influenced) sources of mercury, yet we know that the concentrations of mercury in Arctic marine mammals are among the highest in the world,” says lead author Jenny A. Fisher, a postdoctoral fellow in Harvard’s Atmospheric Chemistry Modeling Group and the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences (EPS). “This is dangerous to both marine life and humans. The question from a scientific standpoint is: Where does that mercury come from?”The results of the study, which was led jointly by the  Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), were published in the journal Nature Geoscience on May 20.Mercury is a naturally occurring element that has been enriched in the environment by human activities such as coal combustion and mining. When converted to methylmercury by microbial processes in the ocean, it can accumulate in fish and wildlife at concentrations up to a million times higher than the levels found in the environment.“In humans, mercury is a potent neurotoxin,” explains co-principal investigator Elsie M. Sunderland, Mark and Catherine Winkler Assistant Professor of Aquatic Science at HSPH. “It can cause long-term developmental delays in exposed children and impair cardiovascular health in adults.”Mercury is considered a persistent bioaccumulative toxin because it remains in the environment without breaking down; as it travels up the food chain, from plankton to fish, to marine mammals and humans, it becomes more concentrated and more dangerous.“Indigenous people in the Arctic are particularly susceptible to the effects of methylmercury exposure because they consume large amounts of fish and marine mammals as part of their traditional diet,” Sunderland says. “Understanding the sources of mercury to the Arctic Ocean and how these levels are expected to change in the future is therefore key to protecting the health of northern populations.”Sunderland supervised the study with Daniel Jacob, Vasco McCoy Family Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry and Environmental Engineering at SEAS, where Sunderland is also an affiliate.Mercury enters the Earth’s atmosphere through emissions from coal combustion, waste incineration, and mining. Once airborne, it can drift in the atmosphere for up to a year, until chemical processes make it soluble and it falls back to the ground in rain or snow. This deposition is spread worldwide, and much of the mercury deposited to Arctic snow and ice is re-emitted to the atmosphere, which limits the impact on the Arctic Ocean.“That’s why these river sources are so important,” says Fisher. “The mercury is going straight into the ocean.”The most important rivers flowing to the Arctic Ocean are in Siberia: the Lena, the Ob, and the Yenisei. These are three of the 10 largest rivers in the world, and together they account for 10 percent of all freshwater discharge to the world’s oceans. The Arctic Ocean is shallow and stratified, which increases its sensitivity to input from rivers.Previous measurements had shown that the levels of mercury in the Arctic lower atmosphere fluctuate over the course of a year, increasing sharply from spring to summer. Jacob, Sunderland, and their team used a sophisticated model (GEOS-Chem) of the conditions in the Arctic Ocean and atmosphere to investigate whether variables like melting ice, interactions with microbes, or the amount of sunlight (which affects chemical reactions) could account for the difference.Incorporating those variables, however, was not enough.The GEOS-Chem model, which is backed by rigorous environmental observations and more than a decade of scientific review, quantifies the complex nuances of the ocean-ice-atmosphere environment. It takes into account, for example, ocean mixing at various depths, the chemistry of mercury in the ocean and the atmosphere, and the mechanisms of atmospheric deposition and re-emission.When the Harvard team adapted it for their Arctic mercury simulations, the only adjustment that could explain the spike in summertime concentrations was the incorporation of a large source to the Arctic Ocean from circumpolar rivers. This source had not been recognized previously.As it turns out, approximately twice as much mercury in the Arctic Ocean originates from the rivers as from the atmosphere.“At this point we can only speculate as to how the mercury enters the river systems, but it appears that climate change may play a large role,” says Jacob. “As global temperatures rise, we begin to see areas of permafrost thawing and releasing mercury that was locked in the soil; we also see the hydrological cycle changing, increasing the amount of runoff from precipitation that enters the rivers.”“Another contributing factor,” he adds, “could be runoff from gold, silver, and mercury mines in Siberia, which may be polluting the water nearby. We know next to nothing about these pollution sources.”As the contaminated river water flows into the Arctic Ocean, Jacob says, the surface layer of the ocean becomes supersaturated, leading to what scientists call an “evasion” of mercury from the ocean into the lower atmosphere.“Observing that telltale supersaturation, and wanting to explain it, is what initially motivated this study,” says Fisher. “Relating it to Arctic rivers was detective work. The environmental implications of this finding are huge. It means, for example, that climate change could have a very large impact on Arctic mercury, larger than the impact of controlling emissions to the atmosphere. More work is needed now to measure the mercury discharged by rivers and to determine its origin.”Fisher, Jacob, and Sunderland were joined on this work by co-authors Anne L. Soerensen, a research fellow at SEAS and HSPH; Helen M. Amos, a graduate student in EPS; and Alexandra Steffen, an atmospheric mercury specialist at Environment Canada.The work was supported by the National Science Foundation’s Arctic System Science Program.last_img read more

Comments being taken on federal court rules

first_img Comments being taken on federal court rules The Judicial Conference of the U.S. Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure is seeking comment on the preliminary draft of proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Appellate, Bankruptcy, Civil, and Criminal Procedure.The text of the proposed amendments can be found at Comments being taken on federal court rules November 15, 2005 Regular Newslast_img

Assange extradition hearing resumes in London

first_img‘Abuse trial’ Clean-shaven and wearing a dark suit and maroon tie, Assange spoke to confirm his name and date of birth, and said he did not consent to extradition.It was the first time he has been seen in public since the first part of the hearing in February, when he appeared weak and confused.  The second part of the hearing, due in April, was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. It is set to last three to four weeks.Supporters of Assange gathered outside the court, including fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, who said he was “shining the light on all the corruption in the world”.His father, John Shipton, said the hearing was an “abuse trial.”Assange’s partner, Stella Moris, took a 80,000-strong petition opposing his extradition to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Downing Street office, but was turned away.She has said she feared Assange would take his own life — leaving their two young sons, who were conceived during his asylum in Ecuador’s London embassy, without a father.US journalism lecturer Mark Feldstein, from the University of Maryland, was the first witness to be called in the hearing, giving evidence via videolink.He said leaks of classified information, either to the media or Congress, were commonplace.”Leaks shed light on decision-making by the government and inform the public powerfully, but they also expose government deceit, corruption and illegality and abuse of power,” he told the court.At the February hearing, James Lewis, representing the US government, said WikiLeaks was responsible for “one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of the United States”.”Reporting or journalism is not an excuse for criminal activities or a license to break ordinary criminal laws,” he added. Lawyers for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Monday failed to persuade a British judge to throw out new US allegations against him, as he resumed his fight to avoid extradition to the United States for leaking military secrets.Protesters gathered outside London’s Old Bailey court as the 49-year-old Australian was brought in, brandishing placards reading “Don’t Extradite Assange” and “Stop this political trial”.Inside, Assange’s lawyers sought to “excise” new allegations lodged by Washington in recent weeks, saying they had not had time to formulate a proper response. Long-running saga The extradition hearing is the latest in a series of legal battles faced by Assange since the leaks a decade ago.In 2010, he faced allegations of sexual assault and rape in Sweden, which he denied.He was in Britain at the time but dodged an attempt to extradite him to Sweden by claiming political asylum in Ecuador’s embassy in London.For seven years he lived in a small apartment in the embassy, but after a change of government in Ecuador, Quito lost patience with its guest and turned him over to British police in April 2019. Swedish prosecutors confirmed last year they had dropped the rape investigation, saying that despite a “credible” account from the alleged victim there was insufficient evidence to proceed.Topics : Assange faces 18 charges under the US Espionage Act relating to the 2010 release by WikiLeaks of 500,000 secret files detailing aspects of US military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.Washington claims he helped intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to steal the documents before exposing confidential sources around the world. If convicted, Assange — who has been held at the high-security Belmarsh Prison for the last 16 months — could be jailed for up to 175 years.US authorities recently laid out new evidence against Assange alleging that he and others at the whistleblowing site recruited hackers. In court on Monday, defense lawyer Mark Summers protested against the “11th hour” allegations, noting the difficulties Assange already had in communicating with his legal team due to coronavirus restrictions.”What is happening is abnormal, unfair and liable to create injustice if allowed to continue,” he said.But District Judge Vanessa Baraitser said: “These are issues which must take place in the context of considering the extradition request and not before it.”last_img read more

Arsenal enter race with Manchester United to sign Samuel Umtiti from Barcelona

first_imgArsenal enter race with Manchester United to sign Samuel Umtiti from Barcelona Comment Metro Sport ReporterWednesday 27 Mar 2019 12:35 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link Manchester United are already in the race to sign Umtiti (Getty Images)Umtiti, however, has suggested that he will remain at Camp Nou.AdvertisementAdvertisementDuring an interview with Telefoot last week, Umtiti replied ‘yes’ when asked if he will stay at Barcelona or not.More: Manchester United FCRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseEx-Man Utd coach blasts Ed Woodward for two key transfer errors Samuel Umtiti is on Arsenal’s radar (Getty Images)Arsenal are in the race with Manchester United to sign Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti, according to reports in Spain.Barca are currently in advanced negotiations with Ajax over a summer deal for Matthijs de Ligt and are reportedly open to selling Umtiti if it helps them land the 19-year-old.Barcelona’s willingness to offload Umtiti has reportedly alerted the interest of Manchester United, who are in the market for a new central defender this summer.But according to Mundo Deportivo, Arsenal are also interested in a deal for the France international.ADVERTISEMENTRaul Sanllehi, Arsenal’s director of football, played a key role in signing in Umtiti for Barca in 2016 and could be a major influence in the Gunners’ push to land the 25-year-old this summer. Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

German association VFPK rejects ‘Dutch-style’ pensions

first_imgThe VFPK said this would be “unsuitable” for occupational pension systems.Rather than boosting Pensionskassen and Pensionsfonds, the current proposal would create “ideal conditions for profit-orientated financial service providers”, the association warned.The pension fund association also stressed that existing Pensionskassen were organised by the social partners, as would be the newly proposed vehicles, and that existing vehicles were working as non-profit organisations without expensive sales and distribution activities.Instead of creating new pension vehicles, the VFPK said the government should remove legal hurdles to voluntary employee contributions.One problem currently is that some pensions received via a Pensionskasse from supplementary voluntary contributions are subject to social security taxes while those from life insurers are not. The VFPK, the association of company pension funds in Germany, has rejected the Labour Ministry’s (BMAS) proposal to introduce new industry-wide pension plans.Last month, the BMAS recommended the introduction of industry-wide, Dutch-style pension plans in Germany to increase participation in the second pillar, by allowing, among other things, employers to defer any sponsor support and other responsibilities to a yet-to-be-established protection fund.The VFPK rejected the proposal, pointing out that employers could already set up pension plans without the obligation to make additional payments in difficult times.Further, it expressed concerns that a new insolvency vehicle, which the Ministry proposed to hedge employer risks, would be subject to Solvency II regulations.last_img read more

Bulldogs Grapplers Participate At Spartan Classic

first_imgThe Batesville High School wrestling team traveled to Connersville to compete in the 42nd annual Spartan Wrestling Classic. This two-day event attracts thirty-two teams from all over the state and is considered one of the toughest events in the state. The Bulldogs were able to send nine young men to this tournament and all came away with some valuable experience that will get them ready for the upcoming state tournament.Captain Will Amberger was the lone Bulldog to finish the second day with a win that allowed him to compete in the placement rounds. After winning his first two matches, he wrestled the 2014 5th place State finisher Jonathon Morales of Western Boone High School. Amberger controlled the match with his offensive style wrestling but gave up three reversals allowing Morales to win by a close 8-5 decision. Morales would eventually finish the tournament in 2nd place losing to an undefeated Conner James of Roncalli High School. Following the loss against Morales, Amberger bounced back and finished the day with four decisive wins on the day earning a 3rd place finish in the Spartan classic.Wrestlers competing for the Bulldogs included:Sophomore Hunter Fetters in the 106 lb. class with a record of 2-2Freshman Dallas Lamping in the 120 lb. class with a record of 2-2Sophomore Nick Schneider in the 126 lb. class with a record of 1-2Sophomore Chris Schene in the 132 lb. class with a record of 1-2Sophomore Xavier King in the 145 lb. class with a record of 1-2Freshman Drew McLeod in the 152 lb. class with a record of 0-1Senior Neal Nobbe in the 160 lb. class with a record of 3-2Senior Will Amberger in the 182 lb. class with a record of 6-1, 3rd place finishSenior Allen Hudepohl in the 195 lb. class with a record of 3-2Courtesy of Bulldogs Coach Chris Deal with Wendy Deal.last_img read more

Henderson won’t dwell on United win

first_imgLiverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson insists the team must not dwell on beating old rivals Manchester United and instead focus solely on maintaining their winning run. Press Association “That will start again next week against Cardiff and we will see where we are at the end of the season.” Defender Jon Flanagan believes their title rivals cannot fail to be concerned by the Reds’ challenge as they go in search of a first championship since 1990. “I think they are going to be worried,” said Flanagan. “We put a marker down (at Old Trafford). I think we are ready to push on and keep going. “We all believe but our priority was to finish in the top four at the start of the season. We are on track for that and anything else is a bonus. “It’s always good when you see other teams around us losing. We saw the Chelsea result (losing at Aston Villa on Saturday) but we just concentrate on ourselves. “We are just taking it a game at a time and keeping our feet on the ground. “Momentum is building though. The lads are really happy but we are taking it step by step and hopefully we can keep that going.” Their 3-0 triumph at Old Trafford on Sunday was their fifth league win in succession and in the 10 matches since the turn of the year they are unbeaten, amassing 26 points to drive them into title contention in the Barclays Premier League. The Reds head to second-bottom Cardiff at the weekend looking to extend their winning streak and maintain the pressure on leaders Chelsea, who are four points ahead having played one match more. Henderson said they have to put the euphoria of their first success at Old Trafford since 2009 – and only their 16th league win on the ground in 118 years – behind them and focus on what immediately lies ahead. “It was a big win but it was just another game for us really,” said the England international. “We went there trying to do the same thing, put on a good performance, get three points and thankfully we did that so we can move on to the next performance and hopefully win that. “We knew it was a massive game but we have been brilliant of late and we felt as though we were capable of doing what we have been doing all season and have a really good chance of winning the game. “We dominated from start to finish and I am very pleased in that respect, but we just move on to this week against Cardiff, that will be a difficult task as we are away from home so we need to prepare well for that.” Manager Brendan Rodgers is reluctant to talk about their title chances but the players are not so reticent, with captain Steven Gerrard insisting the Reds are genuine contenders. Further afield there appears to be no doubt the Reds are in the hunt but Henderson is happy for others to talk up their chances. “I am sure they will but we have just got to keep focused on what we are trying to do as a team and take each game as it comes and not get too carried away,” he said. last_img read more

Super Eagles: Enyeama drops big retirement hint

first_imgSuper Eagles goalkeeper and captain, Vincent Enyeama, has hinted at international retirement after making his 100th appearance for Nigeria in Wednesday’s international friendly against Uganda at the Akwa Ibom Stadium in Uyo, southeast Nigeria.The match ended in a 1-0 defeat for the Super Eagles against a Ugandan Cranes side who grabbed the only goal of the game in the 75th minute through Faruku Miya.And Enyeama, speaking after the game, couldn’t hide his disappointment over the loss even though he was glad to be the second Nigerian player to hit the century mark after erstwhile Super Eagles skipper, Joseph Yobo.“I want to say a big thank you to Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora. Everywhere in the world; everyone that has supported me; that has rooted for me all these years. I want to say a big thank you to them. I love them and words cannot express how I feel,” said the Lille goalkeeper, who made his Super Eagles debut in May 2002 against Kenya.He was speaking to Supersport.He added: “It was a great disappointment [we lost] but this is football. It is a training game. There was prestige at stake, there was pride at stake but it is part of life. We played with a new team and it’s going to take time for us to blend; for us to get to know ourselves.” “Thirteen years in these colours? It hasn’t been that easy. There have been ups and downs but I just want to thank God. He has been good [to me]. It has been a successful career all the way. It has been one feat to another. It has been one form of greatness to another, so I want to thank God and everyone that has been there for me.”And regarding rumours that the 33-year-old is contemplating international retirement in order to concentrate on his club career, Enyeama said: “I have to stop at some point. I cannot keep playing until I get old. I have to stop at some point and concentrate on my club football. But for now I don’t know.“[I now have a] hundred caps in the bag and I am going to sit with the coaches and see the way forward because a whole lot of things have to be sorted out. So we will sit and sort things out.”–last_img read more