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News Article | April 27, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Every year, worldwide wine industry suffers losses of more than ten billion US dollars from damaged assets, production losses, and lost profits due to extreme weather events and natural disasters. A multidisciplinary European-Australian team of researchers led by Dr. James Daniell of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) examines the extent to which regions are affected by the risks and how climate change influences wine industry. At the 2017 Annual Conference of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) in Vienna, Daniell presented a global risk index for wine regions. The wine regions of Mendoza and San Juan in Argentina are exposed to the highest risks due to extreme weather and natural hazards worldwide. Kakheti and Racha in Georgia come in at number 2, followed by Southern Cahul in Moldova (number 3), Northwest Slovenia (number 4), and Yaruqui in Ecuador and Nagano in Japan (number 5). These are the first results of a current worldwide study and the first release of the global risk index for wine regions presented by the head of the study, Dr. James Daniell, of the Geophysical Institute (GPI) and the Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology (CEDIM) of KIT at the 2017 Annual Conference of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) in Vienna in the session of "Natural hazard event analyses for risk reduction and adaptation." The EGU honored Daniell by granting him the "Early Career Scientist Award in Natural Hazards for 2017." The study is carried out and the index is developed in cooperation with seismologists, meteorologists, and representatives of other disciplines from KIT, Australian National University, University of Adelaide, Griffith University, University of New South Wales, and University College London as well as Risklayer GmbH, a company located in Karlsruhe. The "WineRisk" website summarizes the results of the study and presents solutions for wine regions: http://www. The study covers more than 7,500 wine regions in 131 countries. There is no wine region in the world that is not exposed to extreme weather or natural disasters. Events, such as frost, hail, floods, heat, drought, forest fires, and bushfires as well as earthquakes make worldwide wine industry lose more than 10 billion US$ every year according to conservative estimations. These losses result from damaged assets, losses of production, and lost profit. "Cold waves and frost have a large impact," James Daniell says. In the last few days, much frost occurred across Europe, with Slovakia, Bosnia, Serbia, Hungary, Austria, and Czech Republic having the worst impact. Hailstorms are one of the largest yearly natural threats to European winemakers. Traditional wine countries like France and Italy have seen huge losses in the past five years due to hail and frost, with many losses being recorded in the regions of Burgundy and Piedmont. The hail losses from 2012 to 2016 in some vineyards totaled 50 to 90 percent of the value of the crop and caused long-term damage to many old vines. It is not just Europe that is affected by hail. All over the world, winegrowing regions are affected by at least one hail event per year, which can cause damage to the single vintage or to multiple vintages depending on the growth phase of the vines. According to James Daniell, hail nets can save the crop in most cases, given a large hail event. "Cost-benefit analyses generally show that the premium wines should be the ones covered by hail nets, with insurance or other cheaper methods used for other wines." Earthquakes have the ability to knock out the infrastructure of entire wine regions for a number of years. In the past years, earthquakes struck Chile, New Zealand, and the USA, among other smaller events causing damage around the world. Over 125 million liters of wine were lost in Chile in 2010, mainly due to the failure of steel tanks. "Earthquake-resistant design could have saved many millions of liters," Daniell says. Earthquakes also cause large losses to buildings, tanks, barrels, equipment, and chemicals. Even small earthquakes do not only cause financial loss, but also historical loss by destroying tasting rooms and rare wine collections. A few dollars investment in stabilization mechanisms, such as quake wax, zip ties or bolts, can often save millions of dollars loss. In addition, natural disasters are associated with losses of jobs and tourism. Global climate change will have both positive and negative effects on wine industry, according to the study. Researchers expect a general shift of wine-growing regions southward and northward, while some wine regions closer to the equator may be lost. Many wines may indeed improve. "The English, Canadian, and Northern China wine regions will likely increase production markedly and continue to improve their market share and quality of production," predicts Dr. Daniell. The scientists expect that many wineries will master climate changes by changing grape varieties or harvest times. In addition, they will profit from new grape strains, innovative technologies to optimize production and reduce damage due to biological pathogens and insects, and new methods to overcome extreme weather events. The study also covers problems, such as bushfires causing smoke taint to vines. However, smaller-scale studies are required before the results can be included globally in the index. In addition, the effects of floods on vines are being explored. Nevertheless, a major volcanic eruption would likely cause the largest global impact to the wine industry, examples being the Laki eruption of 1783/84 or the Tambora eruption in 1815 which caused the famous "year without a summer" in 1816. Atmospheric changes, lack of sunlight, and global transport problems could cause major issues not only for the wine industry, other food security issues would likely be more important. Despite all these hazards, the wine industry continues to grow and diversify. "Through detailed natural hazard analysis, research can help winemakers and governments alike to prepare adequately for the natural hazards that they face and to reduce losses," Dr. James Daniell says. The geophysicist born in Australia also developed the CATDAT database covering socioeconomic data on natural disasters. Last year, he published CATDAT statistics, according to which 8 million people died and over 7 trillion US$ of loss were caused by natural disasters since 1900. The Biggest Wine Producers in the World and Their Main Threats: More about the KIT Climate and Environment Center: http://www. . Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) pools its three core tasks of research, higher education, and innovation in a mission. With about 9,300 employees and 25,000 students, KIT is one of the big institutions of research and higher education in natural sciences and engineering in Europe. KIT - The Research University in the Helmholtz Association Since 2010, the KIT has been certified as a family-friendly university. This press release is available on the internet at http://www. .


The collaborative effort between the City and County of Denver, Regional Transportation District, Downtown Denver Partnership, the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District, the Denver Urban Renewal Authority and the Federal Transit Administration will follow the National Environmental Policy Act process to consider social and environmental impacts when reviewing possible alternatives for the mall, which may include a recommendation to leave the mall as-is. Re-design possibilities may include new shuttle lane alignments, sidewalk enhancements, expanded seating and other placemaking concepts or alternate surface materials, all of which would help the corridor to meet 21st century needs. Targeting construction completion of the redevelopment by 2022, if an alternative is chosen through the NEPA process, CH2M will assist the agencies in preparing preliminary design and environmental clearance for the transformation, with a focus on protecting the historic and cultural significance of the 16th Street Mall, maximizing safety and mobility and easing maintenance concerns of the shuttle operations. "As a hometown company, this opportunity to partner with the City and County of Denver and stakeholders to improve the Mall for transit, pedestrians and leisure activities is exciting," said CH2M City of Denver Account Manager, Scott Ingvoldstad. "We're passionate about improving Denver's livelihood—gaining the support of our neighbors and fostering pride in our city—to preserve the 16th Street Mall's identity as the heart of Denver's vibrant downtown." More than just a transportation corridor, the 16th Street Mall is truly a jewel of downtown Denver and a connection to many activities and events. Nearly 45,000 weekday riders use the Free MallRide shuttle, which runs the length of the Mall. Participating agencies officially kicked off the project on June 28 with a 3-day workshop to guide the vision for optimizing the corridor. With this new work on the 16th Street Mall, and its appointment as the program manager for the National Western Center campus development, CH2M is proving its commitment to creating new pathways for human progress, breathing fresh life, energy and enterprise into every community they touch – starting right at home in Denver. CH2M leads the professional services industry delivering sustainable solutions benefiting societal, environmental and economic outcomes with the development of infrastructure and industry. In this way, CH2Mers make a positive difference providing consulting, design, engineering and management services for clients needing world-class solutions in environmental; industrial and advanced facilities; transportation; and water markets, from iconic infrastructure to global programs like the Olympic Games. Ranked among the World's Most Ethical Companies and top firms in environmental consulting and program management, CH2M in 2016 became the first professional services firm honored with the World Environment Center Gold Medal Award for efforts advancing sustainable development. Connect with CH2M at www.ch2m.com; LinkedIn; Twitter; and Facebook. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/city-and-county-of-denver-selects-ch2m-to-help-determine-the-future-of-the-16th-street-mall-300481589.html


Before it became a popular ski destination and home to events during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, prospectors founded Park City for its resources in silver mining. CH2M's design for the new facility will focus on treating mining-influenced waters discharging from the City's Judge tunnel to drinking water and stream discharge standards. The treated water will serve 5,200 residential and business connections. "The 3Kings Water Treatment Facility will help to keep natural streams healthy with reduced metals concentrations, augment the beauty of the Park City area, and provide a dependable drinking water source for the community," said Paul Swaim, CH2M project manager and the firm's drinking water and reuse master planning global practice leader. Additionally, CH2M will develop a residuals handling and disposal program, and design the new facilities for construction in a residential neighborhood and adjacent to a municipal golf course. Said Swaim, "Partnering with Park City Municipal Corporation, one of the industry's leading utilities, we will develop a sustainable and energy-efficient design and support the integration of a new water treatment facility into the heart of the Park City community." Designing more than 4,000 water and wastewater treatment facilities since its founding, CH2M is a leader in treatment for direct discharge to water bodies strengthening the environmental and economic viability of businesses and communities around the world. CH2M leads the professional services industry delivering sustainable solutions benefiting societal, environmental and economic outcomes with the development of infrastructure and industry. In this way, CH2Mers make a positive difference providing consulting, design, engineering and management services for clients needing world-class solutions in environmental; industrial and advanced facilities; transportation; and water markets, from iconic infrastructure to global programs like the Olympic Games. Ranked among the World's Most Ethical Companies and top firms in environmental consulting and program management, CH2M in 2016 became the first professional services firm honored with the World Environment Center Gold Medal Award for efforts advancing sustainable development. Connect with CH2M at www.ch2m.com; LinkedIn; Twitter; and Facebook.


News Article | September 8, 2016
Site: www.biosciencetechnology.com

University of Oregon researchers have found links between the levels of antimicrobial chemicals and antibiotic-resistance genes in the dust of an aging building used for athletics and academics. One of the antimicrobials seen in the study is triclosan, a commonly used antibacterial ingredient in many personal care products. It is among antimicrobials that will be phased out within the next year from hand and bar soaps, according to a ruling Sept. 2 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The findings of the new study reflect relationships in the dust, not that the antimicrobials are the reason for antibacterial genes being present. "We might be tempted to think of the antimicrobial chemicals as being guilty by association," said Erica M. Hartmann, a postdoctoral fellow at the UO's Biology and the Built Environment Center and Institute of Ecology and Evolution who led the study. She joined the faculty at Northwestern University this month. "We don't really know how the genes or the chemicals got there," she said. "They may have arrived by completely different routes and their being found together is a coincidence. However, we know that antimicrobial chemicals can cause an increase in antibiotic resistance in other situations, so I think these results provide a good reason to take a closer look at what's going on in dust." The FDA's ruling, Hartmann noted, does not yet require that antimicrobials be removed from many other products such as paints, baby toys, bedding, and kitchen utensils. "We don't have solid proof that putting antimicrobials in these products makes them any healthier, but we do know that triclosan in the environment can be harmful," she said. The study, published online ahead of print in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, is the first to document the coexistence of the chemicals and genes in indoor dust. In all, the paper reports six significant associations. Levels of triclosan in dust were determined in collaboration with the Biodesign Center for Environmental Security at Arizona State University. Triclosan has been linked with a gene that alters the ribosome -- a complex of RNA and protein in cells that is responsible for RNA translation -- in a way that makes bacteria antibiotic resistant. The research team identified several antibiotic-resistance genes, the most common of which conferred resistance to tetracycline antibiotics. "While present at low abundances, together these genes cover resistance to a wide spectrum of antibiotics," the researchers wrote. The chemicals and genes came from 44 samples from 31 varied-use spaces, using vacuum-fitted collectors. The building, completed in 1921, has window ventilation as well as infiltration of outdoor air through cracks around doors and windows. DNA processing involved the UO Genomics Core Facility, and data were processed with assistance from the lab of co-author Curtis Huttenhower of Harvard University's School of Public Health. Despite the findings, Hartmann said, people don't need to be readily alarmed. Antibiotic-resistance genes in the environment, for example, are 10 to 100 times less abundant than in the human gut, she said. In infants, the genes occur naturally in the absence of antibiotics during initial microbial colonization. "Antibiotic resistance is common in a lot of different places," she said. "Just because we find it in a certain building doesn't mean that everyone who goes into that building is going to get a MRSA infection. The building is still as safe as it was before the study, but now we have a better idea of how many antibiotic-resistance genes there are, and we have reason to believe that the amount of antibiotic resistance genes may be tied to the amount of antimicrobial chemicals." Triclosan and antibiotic resistance have been found in other places and in the environment, Hartmann said, but finding them in indoor dust brings the threat loser to home. Median concentrations of triclosan found in the dust were much less than those found as the active ingredient in toothpaste, where it helps to reduce plaque and gum disease. The new FDA ban does not include toothpaste. "The World Health Organization has said that we're underestimating community-acquired antibiotic-resistant infections," she said. "We know that hospitals and other healthcare settings are burdened by antibiotic-resistant pathogens. Homes and other buildings also can contain antibiotic resistance genes and and the use of antimicrobial chemicals in these buildings may be a contributing factor."


One of the antimicrobials seen in the study is triclosan, a commonly used antibacterial ingredient in many personal care products. It is among antimicrobials that will be phased out within the next year from hand and bar soaps, according to a ruling Sept. 2 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The findings of the new study reflect relationships in the dust, not that the antimicrobials are the reason for antibacterial genes being present. "We might be tempted to think of the antimicrobial chemicals as being guilty by association," said Erica M. Hartmann, a postdoctoral fellow at the UO's Biology and the Built Environment Center and Institute of Ecology and Evolution who led the study. She joined the faculty at Northwestern University this month. "We don't really know how the genes or the chemicals got there," she said. "They may have arrived by completely different routes and their being found together is a coincidence. However, we know that antimicrobial chemicals can cause an increase in antibiotic resistance in other situations, so I think these results provide a good reason to take a closer look at what's going on in dust." The FDA's ruling, Hartmann noted, does not yet require that antimicrobials be removed from many other products such as paints, baby toys, bedding, and kitchen utensils. "We don't have solid proof that putting antimicrobials in these products makes them any healthier, but we do know that triclosan in the environment can be harmful," she said. The study, published online ahead of print in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, is the first to document the coexistence of the chemicals and genes in indoor dust. In all, the paper reports six significant associations. Levels of triclosan in dust were determined in collaboration with the Biodesign Center for Environmental Security at Arizona State University. Triclosan has been linked with a gene that alters the ribosome—a complex of RNA and protein in cells that is responsible for RNA translation—in a way that makes bacteria antibiotic resistant. The research team identified several antibiotic-resistance genes, the most common of which conferred resistance to tetracycline antibiotics. "While present at low abundances, together these genes cover resistance to a wide spectrum of antibiotics," the researchers wrote. The chemicals and genes came from 44 samples from 31 varied-use spaces, using vacuum-fitted collectors. The building, completed in 1921, has window ventilation as well as infiltration of outdoor air through cracks around doors and windows. DNA processing involved the UO Genomics Core Facility, and data were processed with assistance from the lab of co-author Curtis Huttenhower of Harvard University's School of Public Health. Despite the findings, Hartmann said, people don't need to be readily alarmed. Antibiotic-resistance genes in the environment, for example, are 10 to 100 times less abundant than in the human gut, she said. In infants, the genes occur naturally in the absence of antibiotics during initial microbial colonization. "Antibiotic resistance is common in a lot of different places," she said. "Just because we find it in a certain building doesn't mean that everyone who goes into that building is going to get a MRSA infection. The building is still as safe as it was before the study, but now we have a better idea of how many antibiotic-resistance genes there are, and we have reason to believe that the amount of antibiotic resistance genes may be tied to the amount of antimicrobial chemicals." Triclosan and antibiotic resistance have been found in other places and in the environment, Hartmann said, but finding them in indoor dust brings the threat loser to home. Median concentrations of triclosan found in the dust were much less than those found as the active ingredient in toothpaste, where it helps to reduce plaque and gum disease. The new FDA ban does not include toothpaste. "The World Health Organization has said that we're underestimating community-acquired antibiotic-resistant infections," she said. "We know that hospitals and other healthcare settings are burdened by antibiotic-resistant pathogens. Homes and other buildings also can contain antibiotic resistance genes and and the use of antimicrobial chemicals in these buildings may be a contributing factor." More information: "Antimicrobial chemicals are associated with elevated antibiotic resistance genes in the indoor dust microbiome" Environmental Science & Technology, pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.6b00262


News Article | November 14, 2016
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

The University of Kansas (KU) in Lawrence is a school known for its commitment to students, faculty and the community. Thanks to a recently completed expansion project, the School of Engineering is now better able to fulfill that commitment to its current and future engineering and computing students and faculty.  The $105-million project added 185,000 square feet of new construction and renovated existing structures to become a truly well-engineered success story for the university. The success of its academic programs has never been an enrollment-only numbers game for KU. Nonetheless, KU Engineering’s goal was to increase the number of engineering graduates by more than 60 percent by 2021. “You can increase enrollments all you want, but the School of Engineering took a different approach,” Robert Parsons, Director of Construction for the Engineering Expansion Project, told Laboratory Equipment. “KU looked at these numbers and said, 'yes, we need to do more.' We want to support our students so they have everything they need to succeed and feel at home here.” That attitude, Parsons said, helps with both recruitment and retention. Michael Branicky, KU's Dean of Engineering since 2013, said he believes the overarching goal of this project was to help graduates continue to go on to be leaders and innovators who affect the state, the country and the world. “We have KU graduates everywhere, from the aerospace industry to the headquarters of Uber. It's this real-world notion that you're both learning and learning for a purpose,” Branicky said. “For that, we know we need excellent faculty and an excellent facility.” For this project, that excellent facility meant more space for classrooms, instructional labs, research labs and conveniently located space for student services. With the help of the Treanor Architects Science and Technology design team, it also meant an emphasis on collaborative learning spaces and multifunctional labs. The first phase of the project, the construction of the Measurement, Materials and Sustainable Environment Center (M2SEC), was primarily funded by a grant from the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) with the goal of promoting thematically based projects like materials characterization, sustainable building practices and alternative fuels research. Today, the building is a hotbed for innovation, including two “living walls” that monitor environmental change, and a space to grow algae on the roof so it can be compressed and refined to produce biofuels. Completed in 2012, the 47,000 square foot facility was the first step in the School of Engineering facilities' master plan, said Tim Reynolds, Principal at Treanor Architects. “M2SEC brought such a tremendous boost in research, which allowed KU to pursue other research funding and, as a byproduct, increase opportunities for undergraduates to actually work in the laboratories,” Reynolds said. “We know retention and graduation rates are higher if engineering students can get hands-on experience in laboratories early on in their studies. It's really critical.” Completed in Fall 2015, another critical component to the engineering expansion was the construction of the Learned Hall Engineering Expansion Phase 2 (LEEP2) building, which was built as a literal and figurative bridge between the existing engineering facility and the newly constructed M2SEC building. LEEP2 boasts six active learning classrooms that hold 60 to 160 students. In these innovative spaces, students are engaged in small groups or complete collaborative work more often, thanks in part to a commitment to eliminate tiered or sloped floor classrooms like those often seen in traditional lecture halls. Traditional lectures still occur in LEEP2, of course, but classrooms are strategically designed with enough flexibility to support any pedagogy. “Employers are looking for engineers who can work across disciplines,” Reynolds said. “So learning to work on problem solving, team building and how to rely on other partners in the room is important.” Besides classrooms, LEEP2 has a number of teaching laboratories—more than 11,500 square feet of them—including spaces specialized for instrumentation, environmental engineering, building thermal science and more. Nearly 17,000 square feet is dedicated to research laboratories, such as those for analytical chemistry and bioengineering. These collaboration classrooms and labs are designed for specific uses, but there are other ways LEEP2 promotes more casual interaction among faculty and students. For example, there are walls covered in marker boards for brainstorming sessions, a large atrium and a new, welcoming dining space. LEEP2 also houses the Career Center and Student Success Suite, spaces dedicated to helping students with scholarships, recruitment, internships and career placement. The collaborative nature of LEEP2 and all the opportunities for hands-on learning have “dramatically changed the culture of the building,” Parsons said. Branicky agreed, saying there are professors who prefer to come to the McClendon Atrium in LEEP2 to work rather than their offices because they “get energized by all the activity.”


News Article | December 5, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Population is growing, climate is warming - hence, emission of ammonia (NH3) trace gas from e.g. agriculture will increase worldwide. Recently, scientists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) for the first time detected NH3 in the upper troposphere. Together with researchers from Colorado/USA and Mexico, they analyzed satellite measurements by the MIPAS infrared spectrometer and found increased amounts of NH3 between 12 and 15 km height in the area of the Asian monsoon. This suggests that the gas is responsible for the formation of aerosols, smallest particles that might contribute to cloud formation. The researchers present their work in the Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics journal. (DOI: 10.5194/acp-16-14357-2016) Ammonia, a chemical compound of nitrogen and hydrogen, mainly originates from agricultural processes, in particular from lifestock farming and fertilization. Wide application of ammonia as a basic substance of fertilizers became possible by the development of artificial ammonia synthesis in Karlsruhe more than 100 years ago. Today, highest ammonia emissions are encountered in North India and Southeast China. Due to population growth and global warming, global ammonia emissions are expected to increase strongly in the future. Gaseous ammonia reacts with acids, such as sulfuric acid or nitric acid, to the corresponding ammonium salts. However, ammonia does not only pollute the ecosystems. Particles of ammonium salts can attach to each other and form aerosol particles acting as condensation nuclei in cloud formation. Such aerosols of anthropogenic origin have a cooling effect in the atmosphere and might compensate part of the anthropogenic greenhouse effect. In this connection, it is important to determine vertical distribution of atmospheric ammonia. Concentrations of ammonia in the middle and upper troposphere, the bottom layer of the atmosphere, have hardly been studied so far. Now, researchers of the Atmospheric Trace Gases and Remote Sensing Division of KIT's Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK-ASF) as well as of the University of Colorado at Boulder and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México for the first time detected ammonia in the upper troposphere. They evaluated measurements made by the MIPAS infrared spectrometer on the European environmental satellite ENVISAT from 2002 to 2012. MIPAS, an instrument designed by KIT, recorded highly resolved spectra in the middle infrared range, from which gases can be identified clearly. Every gas emits specific infrared radiation. The scientists calculated the average of three-month measurements in areas of ten degrees longitude and ten degrees latitude each. At 12 to 15 km height, in the area of the Asian monsoon, they found an increased concentration of ammonia of up to 33 pptv (33 NH3 molecules per trillion air molecules). Similarly high concentrations were measured in no other season and no other region. "Observations show that ammonia is not washed out completely when air ascends in monsoon circulation. Hence, it enters the upper troposphere from the boundary layer close to the ground, where the gas occurs at relatively high concentrations," Dr. Michael Höpfner, Head of the Remote Sensing Using Aircraft and Balloons Group of IMK-ASF. "It is therefore assumed that part of the Asian tropopause aerosol layer consists of ammonium salts." Outside of the area of the Asian monsoon, concentrations of ammonia in the upper troposphere were found to be below the detection limit of a few pptv. This finding can contribute to refining global models. As far as the Asian monsoon is concerned, a large measurement campaign with the GLORIA instrument is planned in 2017. GLORIA is a novel type of infrared camera that decomposes the thermal radiation emitted by atmospheric gases into its spectral colors and, hence, yields ammonia concentration results near the tropopause, the boundary layer between the troposphere and the above stratosphere, of higher temporal and spatial - horizontal and vertical - resolution. Michael Höpfner, Rainer Volkamer, Udo Grabowski, Michel Grutter, Johannes Orphal, Gabriele Stiller, Thomas von Clarmann, and Gerald Wetzel: First detection of ammonia (NH3) in the Asian summer monsoon upper troposphere. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 2016. DOI: 10.5194/acp-16-14357-2016 For further information, please contact: Margarete Lehné, Press Officer, Phone: +49 721 608-4 8121, Fax: +49 721 608-4 3658, Email: margarete.lehne@kit.edu More about the KIT Climate and Environment Center: http://www. . Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) pools its three core tasks of research, higher education, and innovation in a mission. With about 9,300 employees and 25,000 students, KIT is one of the big institutions of research and higher education in natural sciences and engineering in Europe. KIT - The Research University in the Helmholtz Association Since 2010, the KIT has been certified as a family-friendly university. This press release is available on the internet at http://www. .


News Article | August 23, 2016
Site: news.yahoo.com

British researchers have discovered a troubling trend in East Antarctica: As air temperatures become warmer each summer, more and deeper lakes are showing up atop Langhovde Glacier. Their study, published this month in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, is the first to monitor the meltwater pools for an extended period of time in that part of the icy continent. SEE ALSO: A lengthening crack is threatening to cause an Antarctic ice shelf to collapse The findings are significant because they add to mounting evidence that an area once considered the most stable part of Antarctica is now showing signs of increased melting — this time from a process that has sped up the melting taking place in Greenland. Surface melting can weaken glaciers by causing cracks in the ice and making the glacier’s underbelly more slippery, speeding or enabling the ice to slide into the sea. These and other processes can contribute to global sea level rise, which is already damaging coastal communities. The fate of the Antarctic ice sheet, particularly East Antarctica, will help determine how high sea levels rise during the next several decades to centuries in response to human-caused global warming. The surface lakes on Langhovde Glacier are relatively shallow and small, especially compared to the larger pools seen in Greenland. But that could change if warmer-than-average summers happen more often due to climate change, the research team from Durham University and Lancaster University in England found. "The warm years are expected to become more frequent in the future, so we might expect to see even more lakes and even deeper lakes in the future," Amber Leeson, one of the study's co-authors and an expert on ice-climate interactions at Lancaster's Environment Center, told Mashable by phone. "It's not just lakes forming and refreezing in the winter," she added. "They're forming, draining and feeding into a wider 'subglacial' hydrological network. And no one has really thought of that before in East Antarctica." For their study, the team studied about 150 satellite images of Langhovde Glacier taken between 2000 and 2013 during the November-to-February summer season. They compared those with meteorological records for the same period, gathered at a nearby research base. A NASA satellite map of Antarctica shows the rates of mass changes from 2003-2008. The team mapped about 8,000 lakes, although the actual number of lakes on the glacier is likely much smaller than 8,000, said Emily Langley, the study's lead author and a Master's candidate in Durham's Department of Geography.  The researchers counted all the lakes that appeared in satellite images, so the same lakes may have appeared in multiple images and been counted two or more times, Langley said. She explained it was too difficult to quantify the precise number of surface lakes — but the quantity wasn't the most important factor in their study. "Our research was very much looking at the correlation of the lake size and depth with the surface air temperature," she told Mashable in a phone interview. "It tells us their sensitivity [to warmer summers]." Emperor penguins stand on fast ice on the coast of Queen Maud Land in Antarctica. The Langhovde Glacier is one of dozens of glaciers in the region. The lakes on Langhovde Glacier formed when temperatures rose above 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit). And they formed most frequently during the summer of 2012-2013, which saw 37 days with temperatures above the freezing point, the study found. So far, the glacial lakes are probably not deep enough to compromise the ice sheet or the floating ice shelf, Langley said. But researchers did see two lakes disappear, meaning the water likely drained into the core of the glacier. The ice sheet is the part of the glacier that sits on top of land, while the ice shelf is like a canopy, attached to the sheet but protruding into the ocean. Ice flow travels outward, from ground to sea, and can break the ice sheets down into free-floating icebergs. A 'before' satellite image of supraglacial lakes on Langhovde Glacier, captured Jan. 14, 2005. In the 'after' image, captured Jan. 26, 2005, the lakes appear to have drained. Without the buffer of an ice shelf, the grounded ice can flow straight into the ocean, causing substantial sea level rise. NASA projected that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet could disgorge enough ice to drive devastating levels of sea level rise — about 16 feet, or 5 meters, if its Ross Ice Shelf were to melt. In Greenland, which has been seeing far more ice loss than East Antarctica, scientists have observed surface lakes drain within 24 hours after forming.  The Durham-Lancaster team said they saw two very small lakes disappear over a week-long period in January 2005. It's likely the first time lake drainage has been documented in East Antarctica, according to the researchers. "It shows that this is something that can potentially impact the flow of the ice sheet," Leeson said.  "If [the lakes] get bigger in the future, we potentially might start to see the same effect that lakes have in Greenland happening in Antarctica." A separate study from March found that surface melt could greatly accelerate Antarctic ice loss by raising the risk of "hydrofracture," which happens when water formed by the melting of snow and ice atop ice shelves causes them to disintegrate.  The process is one reason why several Greenland glaciers are starting to destabilize, according to research that Rob DeConto of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and David Pollard of Penn State published in the journal Nature. The researchers described a catastrophic scenario if countries fail to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and Antarctica continues to melt.  "Antarctica has the potential to contribute more than a meter [3.3 feet] of sea-level rise by 2100 and more than 15 meters [49 feet] by 2500, if emissions continued unabated," they warned.


News Article | December 9, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

About 90 percent of precipitation over land depends on the formation of ice crystals in clouds, which fall down due to their increasing weight. But water in clouds only freezes when certain particles are present, on which ice crystals can grow. Of all aerosol particles, i.e. solid suspended particles in the atmosphere, however, only few act as ice nuclei. These rare aerosol particles decisively determine precipitation on earth. Hence, it is important to understand what makes them differ from other particles. "Such an understanding would improve our ability to predict ice and precipitation formation in a future changed climate with changed aerosol loading," says Professor Thomas Leisner, Head of the Atmospheric Aerosol Research Division of KIT's Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK-AAF). Scientists of IMK-AAF, in cooperation with researchers of the KIT Laboratory of Electron Microscopy (LEM) and University College London (UCL) have now succeeded in solving this question for the most important class of inorganic atmospheric ice nuclei, i.e. mineral dust particles consisting of feldspar. As is reported in the Science magazine, the scientists combined electron microscopy observations with molecular modeling to determine for the first time the atomic nature of this important inorganic ice nucleus. They showed that ice starts to grow on feldspar crystallites not on the accessible crystalline faces, but at microscopic defects like edges, cracks, and small depressions. Even though these defects are distributed randomly at the crystallite surface, the ice crystals grow with the same orientation relative to the feldspar crystal lattice. From these observations and from extensive molecular modeling, the scientists concluded that a specific crystal face that only occurs at defects on the surface of the feldspar crystallite is the underlying nucleus for ice formation. "Feldspar is one of the most active atmospheric ice nucleating agents, but why it is so good at making ice has remained unclear," said Professor Angelos Michaelides of UCL. "By identifying the active site for ice nucleation on feldspar, we have found an important piece of the puzzle." The researchers now expect similar studies to reveal the properties of other minerals acting as ice nuclei. Alexei Kiselev, Felix Bachmann, Philipp Pedevilla, Stephen J. Cox, Angelos Michaelides, Dagmar Gerthsen, and Thomas Leisner: Active sites in heterogeneous ice nucleation - the example of K-rich feldspars. Science, 2016. DOI: 10.1126/science.aai8034 More about the KIT Climate and Environment Center: http://www. . Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) pools its three core tasks of research, higher education, and innovation in a mission. With about 9,300 employees and 25,000 students, KIT is one of the big institutions of research and higher education in natural sciences and engineering in Europe. KIT - The Research University in the Helmholtz Association


News Article | August 17, 2016
Site: www.labdesignnews.com

That attitude, Parsons said, helps with both recruitment and retention. Michael S. Branicky, KU's Dean of Engineering since 2013, said he believes the overarching goal of this project was to help graduates continue to go on to be leaders and innovators who affect the state, the country and the world. "We have KU graduates everywhere from the aerospace industry to the headquarters of Uber. It's this real world notion that you're both learning and learning for a purpose," Branicky said. "For that, we know we need excellent faculty and an excellent facility." For this project, that excellent facility meant more space for classrooms, instructional labs, research labs and conveniently located space for student services. With the help of the Treanor Architects Science and Technology design team, it also meant an emphasis on collaborative learning spaces and multifunctional labs. Design Delivers New Collaborative Learning Spaces and State of the Art Laboratories The first phase of the project, the construction of the Measurement, Materials and Sustainable Environment Center (M2SEC), was primarily funded by a grant from the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) with a goal of promoting thematically based projects like materials characterization, sustainable building practices and alternative fuels research. Today, the building is a hotbed for innovation, including two "living walls" that monitor environmental change and a space to grow algae on the roof so that it can be compressed and refined to produce biofuels. Completed in 2012, the 47,000 sf facility was the first step in the School of Engineering facilities' master plan, said Tim Reynolds, Principal at Treanor Architects. "M2SEC brought such a tremendous boost in research, which allowed KU to pursue other research funding and, as a byproduct, increase opportunities for undergraduates to actually work in the laboratories," Reynolds said. "We know retention and graduation rates are higher if engineering students can get hands-on experience in laboratories early on in their studies. It's really critical."

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