Tag Archives: Israel

Gulf Aqaba corals resilient to ocean warming and acidification

Jessica Bellworthy, Malika Menoud, Thomas Krueger, Anders Meibom, Maoz Fine. Developmental carryover effects of ocean warming and acidification in corals from a potential climate refugium, the Gulf of Aqaba. Journal of Experimental Biology, 2019, 222: doi: 10.1242/jeb.186940 Published 2 January 2019.

Coral reefs are degrading from the effects of anthropogenic activities, including climate change. Under these stressors, their ability to survive depends upon existing phenotypic plasticity, but also transgenerational adaptation. Parental effects are ubiquitous in nature, yet empirical studies of these effects in corals are scarce, particularly in the context of climate change. This study exposed mature colonies of the common reef-building coral Stylophora pistillata from the Gulf of Aqaba to seawater conditions likely to occur just beyond the end of this century during the peak planulae brooding season (Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5: pH −0.4 and +5°C beyond present day). Parent and planulae physiology were assessed at multiple time points during the experimental incubation. After 5 weeks of incubation, the physiology of the parent colonies exhibited limited treatment-induced changes. All significant time-dependent changes in physiology occurred in both ambient and treatment conditions. Planulae were also resistant to future ocean conditions, with protein content, symbiont density, photochemistry, survival and settlement success not significantly different compared with under ambient conditions. High variability in offspring physiology was independent of parental or offspring treatments and indicate the use of a bet-hedging strategy in this population. This study thus demonstrates weak climate-change-associated carryover effects. Furthermore, planulae display temperature and pH resistance similar to those of adult colonies and therefore do not represent a larger future population size bottleneck. The findings add support to the emerging hypothesis that the Gulf of Aqaba may serve as a coral climate change refugium aided by these corals’ inherent broad physiological resistance.

“Greening” deserts creates positive climate change

“Desertification is supposedly one result of catastrophic global warming – but reversing desertification through intensive agriculture is not high on the list of the “solutions” proposed by politicians and pundits in Washington and Geneva. Creating new markets, not destroying existing ones, has been the modus operandi in both Chinese and Israeli desert reclamation efforts.” click here

Nazi German war crimes in Poland violated “the law above the law”

The perpetrators of the Nazi German war crimes thought they could do whatever they wanted to do without consequence, including the killing 6 million people in Poland (including 3 million Jews). Those who were brought before the court argued the moral relativism view that no one has the right to tell them what is right or wrong. They thought they could decide for themselves what is right or wrong and there was nothing wrong about what they had done. But the judge ruled they had violated “the law above the law.” Even the judge understood that there is indeed a universal moral standard of right and wrong with a universal moral duty to do what is right.  

“Poland on Wednesday amended a controversial Holocaust law that sparked outrage in Israel by imposing jail terms on anyone claiming the government was responsible for Nazi German war crimes.” click here

Desalination may help Cape Town water crisis

“For months, Cape Town, a city of four million people, has been facing the doomsday scenario of taps running dry. The city’s Theewaterskloof Dam, a water reservoir which once supplied the city 50 percent of its supply, looks more like a desert area.” click here

What America Must Learn from Israeli Gun Laws

“When mass shootings take plan in the U.S., commentators routinely raise Israel as a case study to prove that guns in the hands of citizens save lives.” click here

Dead Sea Scrolls validate the Biblical text

“Israeli scholars have pieced together and deciphered one of two previously unread manuscripts of the Dead Sea Scrolls more than half a century since their discovery, an Israeli university has said.” click here

Desalinated Seawater in a Regional Urban Water Cycle, Israel

Kloppmann W, Negev I, Guttman J, Goren O, Gavrieli I, Guerrot C, Flehoc C, Pettenati M, Burg A. Massive arrival of desalinated seawater in a regional urban water cycle: A multi-isotope study (B, S, O, H). The Science of the total environment. 2017 Nov 14;619-620:272-280. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.10.181.

“Man-made” or unconventional freshwater, like desalinated seawater or reclaimed effluents, is increasingly introduced into regional water cycles in arid or semi-arid countries. We show that the breakthrough of reverse osmosis-derived freshwater in the largely engineered water cycle of the greater Tel Aviv region (Dan Region) has profoundly changed previous isotope fingerprints. This new component can be traced throughout the system, from the drinking water supply, through sewage, treated effluents, and artificially recharged groundwater at the largest Soil-Aquifer Treatment system in the Middle East (Shafdan) collecting all the Dan region sewage. The arrival of the new water type (desalinated seawater) in 2007 and its predominance since 2010 constitutes an unplanned, large-scale, long-term tracer test and the monitoring of the breakthrough of desalination-specific fingerprints in the aquifer system of Shafdan allowed to get new insights on the water and solute flow and behavior in engineered groundwater systems. Our approach provides an investigation tool for the urban water cycle, allowing estimating the contribution of diverse freshwater sources, and an environmental tracing method for better constraining the long-term behavior and confinement of aquifer systems with managed recharge.