Daily Archives: January 23, 2015

UCLA Duplicity Threatens Security

“A video of the call to prayer at UCLA, reported by Christian News, showed the north side of the campus near the athletic field off Sunset Boulevard.

“While the audio is faint, Arabic-style chanting can be heard in the footage as students gathered on the lawn,” the report said. ” click here

Jindal warns of U.S. ‘no-go zones’ if we don’t force Muslims to assimilate.

Green Roofs, Water Quality, and Water Reuse

Beecham S, Razzaghmanesh M. Water quality and quantity investigation of green roofs in a dry climate. Water Research. 2014 Dec 17;70C:370-384. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2014.12.015. 

Low-energy pollutant removal strategies are now being sought for water sensitive urban design. This paper describes investigations into the water quality and quantity of sixteen, low-maintenance and unfertilized intensive and extensive green roof beds. The factors of Slope (1° and 25°), Depth (100 mm and 300 mm), Growing media (type A, type B and type C) and Species (P1, P2 and P3) were randomized according to a split-split plot design. This consisted of twelve vegetated green roof beds and four non-vegetated beds as controls. Stormwater runoff was collected from drainage points that were installed in each area. Samples of run-off were collected for five rainfall events and analysed for water retention capacity and the water quality parameters of NO2, NO3, NH4, PO4, pH, EC, TDS, Turbidity, Na, Ca, Mg and K. The results indicated significant differences in terms of stormwater water quality and quantity between the outflows of vegetated and non-vegetated systems. The water retention was between 51% and 96% and this range was attributed to the green roof configurations in the experiment. Comparing the quality of rainfall as inflow, and the quality of runoff from the systems showed that green roofs generally acted as a source of pollutants in this study. In the vegetated beds, the intensive green roofs performed better than the extensive beds with regard to outflow quality while in the non-vegetated beds, the extensive beds performed better than intensive systems. This highlights the importance of vegetation in improving water retention capacity as well as the role of vegetation in enhancing pollutant removal in green roof systems. In addition growing media with less organic matter had better water quality performance. Comparison of these results with national and international standards for water reuse confirmed that the green roof outflow was suitable for non-potable uses such as landscape irrigation and toilet flushing.

Click here for full paper (Open Access).

A Global Database of Terrestrial Biodiversity: Interpretation and Speculation

The shear number of names on this article is all the evidence needed to recognize this as a political effort, not a scientific effort. As with other large databases, presuppositions drive the data interpretation. Good data is hard to come by. The more the better. But safe guards are needed to ensure the data is not arbitrarily changed as has been done with global temperature data. The database may be useful but the “human impacts” discovered will be a matter of interpretation and/or speculation.

Hudson LN and lots of others. The PREDICTS database: a global database of how local terrestrial biodiversity responds to human impacts. Ecology and Evolution. 2014 Dec;4(24):4701-35. doi: 10.1002/ece3.1303

Biodiversity continues to decline in the face of increasing anthropogenic pressures such as habitat destruction, exploitation, pollution and introduction of alien species. Existing global databases of species’ threat status or population time series are dominated by charismatic species. The collation of datasets with broad taxonomic and biogeographic extents, and that support computation of a range of biodiversity indicators, is necessary to enable better understanding of historical declines and to project – and avert – future declines. We describe and assess a new database of more than 1.6 million samples from 78 countries representing over 28,000 species, collated from existing spatial comparisons of local-scale biodiversity exposed to different intensities and types of anthropogenic pressures, from terrestrial sites around the world. The database contains measurements taken in 208 (of 814) ecoregions, 13 (of 14) biomes, 25 (of 35) biodiversity hotspots and 16 (of 17) megadiverse countries. The database contains more than 1% of the total number of all species described, and more than 1% of the described species within many taxonomic groups – including flowering plants, gymnosperms, birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, beetles, lepidopterans and hymenopterans. The dataset, which is still being added to, is therefore already considerably larger and more representative than those used by previous quantitative models of biodiversity trends and responses. The database is being assembled as part of the PREDICTS project (Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity In Changing Terrestrial Systems – http://www.predicts.org.uk). We make site-level summary data available alongside this article. The full database will be publicly available in 2015.

Click here for paper (Open Access).

Mr. Mitt Romney will not Be Successful Running for POTUS

It’s common place now to see pollsters attempt to position candidates for 2016 election for President of the United States (POTUS). Mr. Romney has a very active, well-funded cheering squad. Lots of opinions out there. So here’s one more. Mr. Romney is very a nice person. But having lost previously  he is essentially an unpopular “retread” candidate being pushed to the front. He will not be successful if he runs for President. [Any way you slice it, Massachusetts “conservatives” in general are still too liberal to garner broad-based support across the US.]

“Former Massachusetts Governor and failed presidential candidate Mitt Romney leads another New Hampshire poll, but Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker performed surprisingly well in the very early poll of potential 2016 Granite State primary voters.” click here

Predicting Drought Over India Using Atmospheric Electrical Columnar Resistance

Kulkarni MN. A new tool for predicting drought: An application over India. Scientific Reports. 2015 Jan 8;5:7680. doi: 10.1038/srep07680.

This is the first attempt of application of atmospheric electricity for rainfall prediction. The atmospheric electrical columnar resistance based on the model calculations involving satellite data has been proposed as a new predictor. It is physically sound, simple to calculate and not probabilistic like the standardized precipitation index. After applying this new predictor over India, it has been found that the data solely over the Bay of Bengal (BB) are sufficient to predict a drought over the country as a whole. Finally, two independent new methods to predict drought conditions and a preliminary forecast of the same for India for year 2014 have been given. Unlike the existing drought prediction techniques, the identification of drought conditions in a pre-drought year during 1981-1990 and 2001-2013 over India has been achieved 100% successfully using the suggested new methods. The association between rainfall and this new predictor has also been found on the sub-regional scale. So, the present predictor is expected to get global application and application in climate models. From the analysis, generally, a long period rising trend in aerosol concentration over the BB causes weak monsoon over India but that for a short time i.e. in pre-monsoon period strengthens it.

Click here for full paper (Open Access).