Posts tagged freezing
Discovery of pine beetles breeding twice in a year
helps explain increasing damage, CU researchers say
Long thought to produce only one generation of tree-killing offspring annually, some populations of mountain pine beetles now produce two generations per year, dramatically increasing the potential for the bugs to kill lodgepole and ponderosa pine trees, University of Colorado Boulder researchers have found.
Because of the extra annual generation of beetles, there could be up to 60 times as many beetles attacking trees in any given year, their study found. And in response to warmer temperatures at high elevations, pine beetles also are better able to survive and attack trees that haven’t previously developed defenses.
These are among the key findings of Jeffry Mitton, a CU-Boulder professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, and Scott Ferrenberg, a graduate student in that department. The study is being published this month in The American Naturalist.
This exponential increase in the beetle population might help to explain the scope of the current beetle epidemic, which is the largest in history and extends from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in New Mexico to the Yukon Territory near Alaska.
“This thing is immense,” Mitton said. The duo’s research, conducted in 2009 and 2010 at CU’s Mountain Research Station, located about 25 miles west of Boulder, helps explain why.
“We followed them through the summer, and we saw something that had never been seen before,” Mitton said. “Adults that were newly laid eggs two months before were going out and attacking trees” — in the same year. Normally, mountain pine beetles spend a winter as larvae in trees before emerging as adults the following summer.
These effects may be particularly pronounced at higher elevations, where warmer temperatures have facilitated beetle attacks. In the last two decades at the Mountain Research Station, mean annual temperatures were 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than they were in the previous two decades.
Warmer temperatures gave the beetle larvae more spring days to grow to adulthood. The number of spring days above freezing temperatures increased by 15.1 in the last two decades, Mitton and Ferrenberg report. Also, the number of days that were warm enough for the beetles to grow increased by 44 percent since 1970.
The Mountain Research Station site is about 10,000 feet in elevation, 1,000 feet higher than the beetles have historically thrived. In their study, Mitton and Ferrenberg emphasize this anomaly.
“While our study is limited in area, it was completed in a site that was characterized as climatically unsuitable for (mountain pine beetle) development by the U.S. Forest Service only three decades ago,” they write.
But in 25 years, the beetles have expanded their range 2,000 feet higher in elevation and 240 miles north in latitude in Canada, Mitton said.
Ferrenberg had the idea to monitor the beetles at higher elevations partly because trees at lower elevations have been attacked by beetles for centuries and have developed some defenses.
Lodgepole pines at higher elevations tended to have a lower density of resin ducts, which transport resin, the sole defense against beetles. The number of resin ducts in a tree can be a “marker” for whether a tree has a higher or lower resistance to a beetle attack, Ferrenberg said.
The trees at higher elevations had not faced the same intensity of beetle attacks as those at lower elevations until temperatures warmed, and they have not faced pressures of natural selection exerted by attacking beetles. “The trees in that area are somewhat naïve in their response,” Ferrenberg said.
These data help explain why westbound motorists emerging from the Eisenhower Tunnel on I-70 can look up, from 11,000 feet in elevation, and see beetle-killed trees. “We think we see some of the reason for the fact that this epidemic is so widespread,” Mitton said.
The research was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.
More on this story will appear in the next edition of Colorado Arts and Sciences Magazine at http://artsandsciences.colorado.edu/magazine/
Source: Colorado Arts and Sciences Magazine
It is freezing cold tonight in Boulder. Many Homeless men , women and children will sleep outside by choice because of alcoholism or mental illness. Boulder PD make the rounds through out the night to check on these folks and to try to keep them from becoming a fatality. Twenty chronically ill people died due to exposure in Boulder in 20011.
Today, Wednesday, January 11, 2012, there will be an emergency warming center located @ St. Andrew Presbyterian Church– 3700 Baseline Rd (on Baseline & 37th)
Doors will open at 7 p.m.
The Free Bus will leave the Shelter between 7-7:15pm, stop at 11th & Walnut between 7:15-7:30 p.m., then go to the warming center.
Click here for info about the free HOP bus schedule–it runs Monday through Friday with one schedule and has a different schedule on Saturdays. It does NOT operate on Sundays.
RTD: 203 & 225
View Larger MapIf you are under 18 years of age and need shelter Attention Homes is a good resource. Located at 3080 Broadway in Boulder (just half a block north of Broadway and Elder), Attention Homes’ facilities and programs are designed for youth. The SKIP bus can get you there. The phone number for Attention Homes is 303.447.1207. Please contact them. (You can read more about their services on this site here.)
Valmont Bike Park remains closed until further notice
Parks and Recreation Department requests public cooperation in staying off Valmont Bike Park trails to prevent additional damage
The Parks and Recreation Department has closed Valmont Bike Park due to poor trail conditions, and is asking for public cooperation to stay off Valmont Bike Park trails to prevent further damage. Recent running, snowboarding, sledding, dog walking and biking on the trails have caused excessive damage to not only the top surfacing material, but to the base layer as well. The maintenance required to repair this damage is costly and time-consuming and will extend the re-opening date of the park due to the extra surfacing maintenance work.
“Our staff is evaluating trail and feature surfacing daily to determine if any areas of the bike park can be opened, and we will notify the public once those areas open,” said Kirk Kincannon, Parks and Recreation Department director. “However, due to moisture deep in the soil and surfacing material, no areas of the park will be opened within the next few days.”
The Boulder Mountainbike Alliance (BMA) also urged the public to refrain from using the trails at this time.
“We need your cooperation to protect the coolest bike park on Planet Earth,” said Jason Vogel, BMA president. “Warm weather does not mean Valmont Bike Park is ready to ride. We are contending with upwelling groundwater freezing subsurface as well as snowcover and snowmelt. These conditions are a perfect storm for destroying the park we’ve all worked so hard to make a reality. BMA urges all park users to respect park closures.”
Samples of icy spray shooting from Saturn’s moon Enceladus collected during Cassini spacecraft flybys show the strongest evidence yet for the existence of a large-scale, subterranean saltwater ocean, says a new international study led by the University of Heidelberg and involving the University of Colorado Boulder.
The new discovery was made during the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn, a collaboration of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. Launched in 1997, the mission spacecraft arrived at the Saturn system in 2004 and has been touring the giant ringed planet and its vast moon system ever since.
The plumes shooting water vapor and tiny grains of ice into space were originally discovered emanating from Enceladus — one of 19 known moons of Saturn — by the Cassini spacecraft in 2005. The plumes were originating from the so-called “tiger stripe” surface fractures at the moon’s south pole and apparently have created the material for the faint E Ring that traces the orbit of Enceladus around Saturn.
During three of Cassini’s passes through the plume in 2008 and 2009, the Cosmic Dust Analyser, or CDA, on board measured the composition of freshly ejected plume grains. The icy particles hit the detector’s target at speeds of up to 11 miles per second, instantly vaporizing them. The CDA separated the constituents of the resulting vapor clouds, allowing scientists to analyze them.
The study shows the ice grains found further out from Enceladus are relatively small and mostly ice-poor, closely matching the composition of the E Ring. Closer to the moon, however, the Cassini observations indicate that relatively large, salt-rich grains dominate.
“There currently is no plausible way to produce a steady outflow of salt-rich grains from solid ice across all the tiger stripes other than the salt water under Enceladus’ icy surface,” said Frank Postberg of the University of Germany, lead author of a study being published in Nature on June 23. Other co-authors include Jürgen Schmidt from the University of Potsdam, Jonathan Hillier from Open University headquartered in Milton Keynes, England, and Ralf Srama from the University of Stuttgart.
“The study indicates that ‘salt-poor’ particles are being ejected from the underground ocean through cracks in the moon at a much higher speed than the larger, salt-rich particles,” said CU-Boulder faculty member and study co-author Sascha Kempf of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics.
“The E Ring is made up predominately of such salt-poor grains, although we discovered that 99 percent of the mass of the particles ejected by the plumes was made up of salt-rich grains, which was an unexpected finding,” said Kempf. “Since the salt-rich particles were ejected at a lower speed than the salt-poor particles, they fell back onto the moon’s icy surface rather than making it to the E Ring.”
According to the researchers, the salt-rich particles have an “ocean-like” composition that indicates most, if not all, of the expelled ice comes from the evaporation of liquid salt water rather than from the icy surface of the moon. When salt water freezes slowly the salt is “squeezed out,” leaving pure water ice behind. If the plumes were coming from the surface ice, there should be very little salt in them, which was not the case, according to the research team.
The researchers believe that perhaps 50 miles beneath the surface crust of Enceladus a layer of water exists between the rocky core and the icy mantle that is kept in a liquid state by gravitationally driven tidal forces created by Saturn and several neighboring moons, as well as by heat generated by radioactive decay.
According to the scientists, roughly 440 pounds of water vapor is lost every second from the plumes, along with smaller amounts of ice grains. Calculations show the liquid ocean must have a sizable evaporating surface or it would easily freeze over, halting the formation of the plumes. “This study implies that nearly all of the matter in the Enceladus plumes originates from a saltwater ocean that has a very large evaporating surface,” said Kempf.
Salt in the rock dissolves into the water, which accumulates in a liquid ocean beneath the icy crust, according to the Nature authors. When the outermost layer of the Enceladus crust cracks open, the reservoir is exposed to space. The drop in pressure causes the liquid to evaporate into a vapor, with some of it “flash-freezing” into salty ice grains, which subsequently creates the plumes, the science team believes.
“Enceladus is a tiny, icy moon located in a region of the outer Solar System where no liquid water was expected to exist because of its large distance from the sun,” said Nicolas Altobelli, ESA’s project scientist for the Cassini-Huygens mission. “This finding is therefore a crucial new piece of evidence showing that environmental conditions favorable to the emergence of life may be sustainable on icy bodies orbiting gas giant planets.”
The Huygens probe was released from the main spacecraft and parachuted through the atmosphere to the surface of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, in 2005.
The Cassini spacecraft is carrying 12 science instruments, including a $12.5 million CU-Boulder ultraviolet imaging spectrograph designed and built by a LASP team led by Professor Larry Esposito.
It’s a nice cold freezing ass day for the homeless in Boulder! where’s your Wallet!? Story by Joy Eckstine5
Dear Boulder Channel 1
Joy Eckstine has posted a story on trauma and has some excellent points to make in the piece that she wrote. As a Homeless person, let me add my opinion to the facts that she shared. Homeless People are driven by the threat of trauma. If a person gets beat up, for example, they can seek medical attention and find some closure with the trauma as they heal. If a person, on the other hand, has to live each minute (even while asleep) worrying about that beating, then the beating never has to occur to have a dramatic effect on the person. I doubt that the effects of the threat of trauma ever truly diappear. I’ve bveen beaten and i have faced the threat of being beaten and I can say without equivocation, that the actual beatings never even enter my mind, but the feeling of the threat comes back quite often.
Having “said’ all of that, I invite you to learn more by going to the web link i included below and reading Joy’s piece. Then, if you are moved to, please sign the petition. This effort to raise awareness to a point that policies in agencies are improvced to take account for trauma and its effect on people, will serve more People than only the Homeless, starting with the people that work at social service agencies. This is important work and Joy needs a few dozen more signatures to achieve success, so plese lend her your name in a worthy cause that could help someone that you know.
Thanks, Be Well,
How Surviving Trauma Can Kill
by Joy Eckstine ·
It is imperative that homeless shelters and services embrace the best practice of trauma-informed care. The sequelae, or after-effects, of childhood trauma can literally ruin one’s life or lead to deadly circumstances. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA, provides an excellent curriculum and lots of resources and research to help homeless providers get up to speed on this approach, though I can imagine the response of the typical director of an agency (having heard it just a few times): “We save people’s lives by providing overnight shelter. That is the most important thing.” “We don’t have the time and money to train staff.” “We have to treat everyone the same way, otherwise we are not being fair.”
There are simple answers to each of these responses — the SAMHSA training is free and the entire curriculum and resource guide to providing trauma-informed care is on its website. And yes, it is important to treat everyone the same way. However, the standards of care outlined are a way to treat everyone humanely, not just trauma survivors. The irony is that so many adult homeless people are trauma survivors that treating the eight percent or so who are not is not likely to offend anyone.
Indeed, I would argue that homelessness is so traumatic that even without a history of trauma, by the time a homeless person has observed a few beatings or struggled through a winter on the streets, they are pretty darn traumatized. And I do understand that providing overnight shelter is the central mission of most shelters, but for those who are interested in saving lives, please read this real-life example to understand how understanding trauma can save lives, too.
Rod has worked his way out of homelessness twice in the time that I have known him. Most recently, he got a job on the night shift at a 7-11, and saved money until he was able to afford a run-down trailer. He slowly fixed it up, and has a picture of himself standing proudly in front of the repainted trailer. Last spring he was running to catch a bus, and slipped on the ice. Nine months later his leg is still swollen from a blood clot, and the doctors are suggesting amputation. Rod is hesitant to agree to the amputation, although he is exhausted, taking drugs to prevent clotting and fighting infection. He is allergic to opiate pain medications and does not drink alcohol, so he is using meditation to deal with his pain. He chooses to sleep in a tree rather than accept a medical respite program in a different city.
How does this relates to the after-effects of trauma? Trust.
Rod’s lack of trust is the fundamental reason that he will not accept the doctor’s recommendation. He was raised by an alcoholic mother and was verbally and physically abused. He left home as a young teen after his mother shot a bullet into the ceiling in an alcohol-fueled rage. He learned early on that the world is not a safe place, and even those whom you trust the most can be unpredictable and dangerous. That same self-reliance and independence which gave him the determination to work his way out of homelessness also must undoubtedly frustrate the doctors who work with him. Rod is understandably focused on survival — How will I walk outside in the snow with a prosthetic? How will I find a place to sleep with my limited mobility? How will I defend myself when I am attacked and robbed?
Considering his history of trauma, how can he trust a doctor to amputate his leg when he learned early on that even the people who love you will betray you? How can he trust a doctor to amputate his leg when experience tells him that the weak and vulnerable are targeted? How can he trust a doctor to amputate his leg when his experience tells him that bad things happen to good people?
So Rod uses a pulley to hoist himself into a tree each night. (He tells me that the police rarely look up when they patrol.) His eyes are rimmed with pink from fatigue and his worn and lined face is exhausted beyond description. Last week his leg had small black streaks, and he is fighting cellulitis.