The Human Brain builds Mathematical Structures in 11 different Dimensions

The brain continues to surprise us with its magnificent complexity. Groundbreaking research that combines neuroscience with math tells us that our brain creates neural structures with up to 11 dimensions when it processes information.

By dimensions, they mean abstract mathematical spaces, not other physical realms. Still, the researchers found a world that we had never imagined, said Henry Markram, director of the Blue Brain Project, which made the discovery.

The goal of the Blue Brain Project, which is based in Switzerland, is to digitally create a biologically detailed simulation of the human brain.

By creating digital brains with an unprecedented level of biological information, the scientists aim to advance our understanding of the incredibly intricate human brain, which has about 86 billion neurons.

To get a clearer vision of how such an immense network operates to form our thoughts and actions, the scientists employed supercomputers and a peculiar branch of math.

The team based its current research on the digital model of the neocortex that it finished in 2015. They probed the way this digital neocortex responded by using the mathematical system of algebraic topology.

It allowed them to determine that our brain constantly creates very intricate multi-dimensional geometrical shapes and spaces that look like sandcastles.

Without using algebraic topology, a branch of mathematics that describes systems with any number of dimensions, visualizing the multi-dimensional network was impossible. 

Utilizing the novel mathematical approach, researchers were able to see the high degree of organization in what previously seemed like chaotic patterns of neurons.

Algebraic topology is like a telescope and microscope at the same time. It can zoom into networks to find hidden structures—the trees in the forest—and see the empty spaces—the clearings—all at the same time.

The scientists first carried out tests on the virtual brain tissue they created and then confirmed the results by doing the same experiments on real brain tissue from rats.

When stimulated, virtual neurons would form a clique, with each neuron connected to another in such a way that a specific geometric object would be formed.

A large number of neurons would add more dimensions, which in some cases went up to 11. The structures would organize around a high-dimensional hole the researchers called a cavity. After the brain processed the information, the clique and cavity vanished.

The appearance of high-dimensional cavities when the brain is processing information means that the neurons in the network react to stimuli in an extremely organized manner. 

It is as if the brain reacts to a stimulus by building then razing a tower of multi-dimensional blocks, starting with rods (1D), then planks (2D), then cubes (3D), and then more complex geometries with 4D, 5D, etc.

The progression of activity through the brain resembles a multi-dimensional sandcastle that materializes out of the sand and then disintegrates.

The significance of the discovery lies in allowing us greater understanding into one of the fundamental mysteries of neuroscience – the link between the structure of the brain and how it processes information, elaborated Kathryn Hess in an interview with Newsweek.

The scientists look to use algebraic topography to study the role of “plasticity” which is the process of strengthening and weakening of neural connections when stimulated – a key component in how our brains learn.

They see further application of their findings in studying human intelligence and formation of memories. 

Big Think / Crickey Conservation Society 2022.

What Animals & Bugs Eat Mosquitoes?

Bugs are widespread insects on the earth. We can find them in locations all around the globe, and they come in a wide range of shapes and sizes.

Bugs have many different habitats, but some prefer to live near humans because we provide them with food. Unfortunately, they come in various colors, making it hard to spot them in the wild sometimes.

One of the most common and deadliest bugs in the world is the mosquito. These biting creatures can spread diseases worldwide, and they tend to be highly annoying to most people.

Mosquitoes live in various habitats, including rain forests, deserts, swamps, and Arctic tundra. You will find them near water sources such as lakes, rivers, or ponds and next to damp vegetation such as bogs or marshes that provide them with food and shelter.

They are tiny insects, but they can do much damage once entering homes or camping sites. Most folks would think that mosquitoes only live near water sources, but that is not always the case.

As stated above, mosquitoes can be found in locations worldwide, including near human dwellings. They can lay eggs without water or a blood meal and can see all of the nutrients they need from animal sweat, skin moisture, and pools of water.

Mosquitoes feed on blood, so it’s not surprising that other animals eat them too. However, there are many different kinds of bugs that eat mosquitoes. The most common bugs’ mosquito eaters are the dragonflies, and they make excellent mosquito control in your backyard or pond area.

The dragonfly is a bug that lives in freshwater ponds. Unlike most other bugs, the dragonflies have wings that help them fly from one place to another. When they spot mosquitoes flying around the water near them, they swoop down to eat them.

The dragonfly and the mosquito have a relationship that works in a way for both of them. The dragonflies can eat mosquitoes because they have good vision. They also hover over water to catch their prey, having excellent reactions, so they don’t miss out on any chance to eat.

Spiders hunt mosquitoes, and also they can eat them! Spiders are good at this because they have many legs, so the mosquito can’t escape with them. Tarantulas, orb weavers, and crab spiders all love to catch a blood-lusting mosquito.

So if you see small webs on your deck or around your house, it is very likely that they can catch something for dinner in those tiny webs. Other types of spiders don’t make these webs. Instead, they hang from the underside of leaves and wait for a mosquito to come by so that they can eat it.

Lizards are one of the common bugs that eat mosquitoes. They are fascinating creatures because they have big, green tongues covered in sticky saliva. The lizard will catch the mosquito and then stick its tongue out and hold it there for a second while the saliva takes effect.

Adult and larval aquatic beetles will eat mosquito larvae, pupae, or pretty much any insect that lives in water. The predaceous diving beetle and the water scavenger beetle are two types of beetles that love eating mosquitoes. 

Most snakes have a good sense of smell and will chase down an area where they smell the scent of blood. There are two specific breeds of snakes that eat only mosquitoes.

The first is the rhinoceros viper, which can grow to be almost 5 feet in length. The second is the meter-long desert cobra, which preys on small amphibians and rodents in addition to mosquitoes.

One of the most well-known mosquito eaters is the Grey Plover in southeast Africa. These birds compete with other birds for territories where they can find more mosquitoes for food.

Birds are amongst the most effective predators of adult mosquitoes. Over 500 birds on the record consume mosquitoes, including robins, herons, and other songbirds. A bird such as a swallow can consume up to 5,000 mosquitoes per day without harming its health.

Some species of frogs will eat almost anything, including insects and even other smaller frogs. The grey tree frog is one of the only species in the USA to include mosquitoes on their regular menu.

Adult frogs (such as the spade-foot frog, the green tree frog, and the giant tree frog) don’t often waste their time on something so small as a mosquito. But younger frogs aren’t too picky about what they eat. Tadpoles are another major predator of mosquito eggs.

When tadpoles are very young, they will eat nearly any kind of particle that floats by them in water. Then, as they mature, they focus more on smaller creatures such as mosquito larvae.

Muddy waters can be a breeding ground for millions of mosquitoes, so it makes sense that fish would benefit from eating them. That’s one reason why mosquito control agencies explicitly breed mosquito fish to eat the insects in local ponds and lakes.

Bats are an effective way to kill off the population of mosquitoes. They can eat many mosquitoes in a single hour because they are nocturnal creatures (they sleep during the day and come out at night). They catch and eat them at night when they are unable to fly.

You can build a habitat to lure the mosquitoes away from your home using plants that ward off mosquitoes, such as lemongrass or citronella, which is one of the primary ingredients in candles and sprays. You can also plant marigolds in your yard or garden to get rid of mosquitoes.

Pest Management / Crickey Conservation Society 2022.

Scientists discover Skull of Marine Monster in Peru

Paleontologists have unearthed the skull of a ferocious marine predator, an ancient ancestor of modern-day whales, which once lived in a prehistoric ocean that covered part of what is now Peru.

Rodolfo Salas, chief of paleontology at Peru’s National University of San Marcos, told reporters at a news conference that the roughly 36-million-year-old well-preserved skull was dug up intact last year from the bone-dry rocks of Peru’s southern Ocucaje desert, with rows of long, pointy teeth.

Scientists think the ancient mammal was a basilosaurus, part of the aquatic cetacean family, whose contemporary descendants include whales, dolphins and porpoises. Basilosaurus means King Lizard, although the animal was not a reptile, though its long body might have moved like a giant snake.

Scientists believe the first cetaceans evolved from mammals that lived on land some 55 million years ago, about 10 million years after an asteroid struck just off what is now Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, wiping out most life on Earth, including the dinosaurs.

Salas explained that when the ancient basilosaurus died, its skull likely sunk to the bottom of the sea floor, where it was quickly buried and preserved.

Reuters / Crickey Conservation Society since 2006.

Chili Fish Contamination

Shocking footage of thousands of dead sardines and anchovies washed up on the Coliumo peninsula in Chile’s Bio Bio region are doing the rounds on the internet and has left scientists baffled.

A similar incident was reported last year in Chile when “low amounts of oxygen in the water” pushed a large number of fish to the shores in search of nutrients.

The incident reportedly took place on Sunday when several morning walkers were shocked to see that the beach had apparently turned silver with thousands of dead fish lying on the shore.

Agricultural waste products such as pesticides flow into the ocean every day contaminating entire coastlines in the American, especially Florida has experienced the red algae many times over the past years.

Describing it as an unexplained natural phenomenon, environmental officials are investigating what could have caused the fish to die and are testing the water quality in the region. Several workers have been assigned to conduct a massive clean-up operation on the beach.

Locals believe that the death of so many fish could be because of the low oxygen levels in deeper water that might have driven them to swim close to the shore for oxygen.

We can’t bring down earth-movers (tractors) to clear the dead fish, as is usually the case when there is a clean up of seaweed on our coast. Here we can’t do it. It has to be done with workers. A clean-up operation is currently underway.

The incident, which happened in the country’s Biobío Region, covered the shorelines of Coliumo with a colorful array of dead marine animals.

Euronews Green / Crickey Conservation Society 2022.

Jellyfish now officially known as the only Immortal Creature

The good news is that you can be immortal. The bad news is that you have to become a floating blob of jelly to do so. Scientists have discovered a jellyfish which can live forever.

The Immortal Jellyfish known scientifically as Turritopsis dohrnii is now officially known as the only immortal creature. The secret to eternal life, as it turns out, is not just living a really, really long time. It’s all about maturity, or rather, the lack of it.

The immortal jellyfish (as it is better known popularly) propagate and then, faced with the normal career path of dying, they opt instead to revert to a sexually immature stage.

Immortal Jellyfish Lifespan :

It turns out that once the adult form of the 4.5 mm-wide species Turritopsis dohrnii have reproduced, they don’t die but transform themselves back into their juvenile polyp state. Does immortal jellyfish turning into a baby again? Simply explained, yes. Here is what actually happens.

Their tentacles retract, their bodies shrink, and they sink to the ocean floor and start the cycle all over again. Among laboratory samples, all the adult Turritopsis observed regularly undergo this change.

And not just once: they can do it over and over again. Thus, the only known way they can die is if they get consumed by another fish or if a disease strikes the jelly.

However, there are still many mysteries surrounding the turritopsis dohrnii. While the process of reverting from its adult-phase to a polyp was observed several times, it hasn’t been observed yet in nature, only in laboratory environments.

There was a lot of confusion even inside the scientific community between the three types of turritopsis jellyfish: the dohrnii, the nutricula and the rubra.

Simply put, the turritopsis genus can be found in many parts of the world and it it is not an easy task to differentiate between these tiny jellyfishes.

The nutricula was for a long time mistakenly the one referred to as the immortal jellyfish, while the jellyfish used in the lab observations was the turritopsis dohrnii, as they were collected from the Mediterranean, where the dohrnii is found.

Piraino et al. 1996, 2004) was published, the difference between the dohrnii and nutricula wasn’t clear yet and afterwards the media distributed the information that the nutricula would be the immortal one.

It’s also an increasingly aggressive invader. Marine species have long been known to hitch rides around the world in the ballasts of ships. Researchers have recently identified the immortal jellyfish as an “excellent hitchhiker,” particularly well-suited to surviving long trips on cargo ships.

And finally the rubra is a turritopsis that can be found next to New Zealand waters.

Its photos can be found all over the web describing the nutricula, but the rubra wasn’t even observed to be immortal. Its shape is similar to that of the nutricula, but it is bigger (it can reach 7 mm versus the 4.5 mm of the nutricula).

So chances are that if you ever hear about the nutricula being immortal, it is in fact the dohrnii but a picture of a rubra will be attached.

Copyright © 2022 Immortal Jellyfish / Crickey Conservation Society Blog.

US Wildlife Officials hunting down rare Florida Panther?

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency formed to protect wildlife, has taken an unprecedented step and marked for death a rare Florida panther known as FP 260. The wild panther is still alive, but has been targeted for capture and euthanasia, Craig Pittman reports for the Florida Phoenix.

Because of an Immokalee rancher’s persistent complaints that FP 260 was killing her calves, the federal agency decided the endangered panther should die, despite protests from biologists to relocate the panther.

FP 260 is the renegade panther with a taste for veal, unfortunately,” one state biologist wrote, per Pittman, who reviewed some 400 agency emails about the panther.

The endangered Florida panther has been in decline in the last half century or so, from hunting before it was illegal, then from development and cars.

There are around 200 Florida panthers left on the southern tip of the peninsula, a rebound from fewer than 30 in the 1990’s.

FP 260 first caught biologists’ attention after it was struck by a car in 2020 and crawled off the road and onto the Immokalee ranch of Liesa Priddy.

FP 260 was treated by veterinarians, fitted with a tracking collar, then turned loose a few weeks later in the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge.

But Priddy, a former state wildlife commissioner, has complained about panthers killing her cows for a decade. She said FP 260 killed 10 of her calves in a matter of months. Annual losses to panthers topped $25,000, she reported.

Wildlife officials tried everything, from hazing the animal to firing “shell crackers” to scare it off. They eventually relocated the panther 18 miles south, but it returned to the ranch.

In late December, federal panther coordinator David Shindle wrote that his agency had determined FP 260 should be “permanently” removed from the wild after Priddy said she feared the panther would attack a human.

Shindle wrote that the law “provides for removing animals that constitute a demonstrable but non-immediate threat to human safety, but now Calving season has ended at Priddy’s ranch and the panther has gone back to the wild

Axios / Crickey Conservation Society 2022.

Teotihuacan the City of the Gods

Teotihuacan is the oldest ancient Mesoamerican city located 30 miles (50 km) northeast of modern-day Mexico City. The city, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, was settled as early as 400 B.C. and became the most powerful and influential city in the region by 400 A.D.

By the time the Aztecs found the city in the 1400s and named it Teotihuacan (meaning “the place where the gods were created”), the city had been abandoned for centuries. Teotihuacan’s origins, history, and culture largely remain a mystery.

Teotihuacan (also written Teotihuacán) is arranged in a grid layout that covers about 8 square miles (20 square kilometers). It contains around 2,000 single-story apartment compounds, as well as various pyramids, plazas, temples and palaces of nobles and priests.

The main buildings of Teotihuacan are connected by the Avenue of the Dead (or Miccaotli in the Aztec language Nahuatl). The Avenue of the Dead is a 130-foot- (40-meter-) wide, 1.5-mile- (2.4-km-) long road that’s oriented slightly east (15.5 degrees) of true north and points directly at the nearby sacred peak of Cerro Gordo, an extinct volcano.

The city contains several large, important structures: The Pyramid of the Moon, the Pyramid of the Sun, the Ciudadela (“Citadel”) and the Temple of Quetzalcoatl (the Feathered Serpent).

Pyramid of the Sun

Surrounded by smaller pyramids and platforms, the Pyramid of the Moon is situated at the northern end of the Avenue of the Dead and faces south. Standing at 140-feet (43-meters) high with a base measuring 426 by 511 feet (130 by 156 meters), the Pyramid of the Moon is the second largest structure in Teotihuacan.

Less than half a mile south of the Pyramid of the Moon stands the largest structure in Teotihuacan, the Pyramid of the Sun. Facing west, the pyramid stands at 216 feet (66 meters) with a base measuring approximately 720 by 760 feet (220 by 230 meters).

The Ciudadela is situated at the south end of the Avenue of the Dead. The 38-acre (15-hectare) courtyard contains multiple elite residential complexes and is dominated by the Temple of Quetzalcoatl, a kind of truncated pyramid that is adorned with numerous stone heads of the Feathered Serpent deity.

Who Built Teotihuacan?

It’s unknown who built the ancient city. Scholars once believed the ancient Toltec civilization may have built the massive city, based largely on colonial period texts. But the Toltec culture (900-1150 A.D.) flourished hundreds of years after Teotihuacan peaked.

Other scholars believe the Totonacs, a tribe from the east, built and inhabited the city.

Another theory holds that immigrants flooded into the Teotihuacan valley following the eruption of a volcano, and those immigrants built or augmented the city. Teotihuacan appears to contain features of various cultures, including the Maya, Mixtec and Zapotec.

Whatever the case, Teotihuacan was founded as early as 400 B.C., though the largest structures of the city weren’t completed until about 300 A.D. However carbon dating can be inaccurate if it was affected the by proven radiation.

It’s thought that the city reached its peak around 100 years later, with a population as high as 200,000 people. Little is known about the language, politics, culture and religion of the Teotihuacan people. They had a glyph-based written language, but it may have been limited to dates and names.

The art and architecture of the city shows it was a polytheistic society, with the primary deity being the Great Goddess of Teotihuacan, which is depicted as a spider goddess.

Other deities include Quetzalcoatl (a vegetation god whose meaning changed in subsequent civilizations), the rain god Tlaloc, and the god of spring Xipe Totec, among others. The Teotihuacan priests practiced ritual sacrifices of animals and people to these gods.

In 1989, researchers discovered 18 sacrificial victims buried in a long pit just south of the Temple of Quetzalcoatl. Other sacrifices at the pyramid include five canines (wolves or coyotes), three felines (jaguar or puma) and 13 birds (many thought to be eagles)—animals believed to be symbols of warriors.

Artifacts found in the city and sites across Mexico suggest Teotihuacan was a wealthy trade metropolis in its prime. Teotihuacan had a monopoly on obsidian trade—the most important deposit in Mesoamerica was located near the city.

Ceramics, such as pottery and other luxury goods, were also highly prized export goods because of their elaborate decorations. Other goods coming into and out of the city likely included cotton, cacao and exotic feathers and shells, among other things.

Local harvests included beans, avocados, peppers and squash, and the city farmers raised chickens and turkeys. The art and architecture styles of Teotihuacan are found widely throughout Mesoamerica, suggesting the city had far-reaching influence.

Around 600 A.D., major buildings were deliberately burned and artworks and religious sculptures were destroyed. By 750 A.D., the remaining inhabitants of the city had all abandoned their homes to join neighboring cultures or return to their ancestral homes. / Crickey Conservation Society 2022.

Spiders use Earth’s Electric Field to Fly Hundreds of Miles

On October 31, 1832, a young naturalist named Charles Darwin walked onto the deck of the HMS Beagle and realized that the ship had been boarded by thousands of intruders.

Tiny red spiders, each a millimeter wide, were everywhere. The ship was 60 miles offshore, so the creatures must have floated over from the Argentinian mainland. All the ropes were coated and fringed with gossamer web.

Spiders have no wings, but they can take to the air nonetheless. They’ll climb to an exposed point, raise their abdomens to the sky, extrude strands of silk, and float away. This behavior is called ballooning.

It might carry spiders away from predators and competitors, or toward new lands with abundant resources. But whatever the reason for it, it’s clearly an effective means of travel. Spiders have been found two and a half miles up in the air, and 1,000 miles out to sea.

It is commonly believed that ballooning works because the silk catches on the wind, dragging the spider with it. But that doesn’t entirely make sense, especially because spiders balloon only during light winds.

But Erica Morley and Daniel Robert have an explanation. The duo, who work at the University of Bristol, has shown that spiders can sense Earth’s electric field, and use it to launch themselves into the air.

Every day, around 40,000 thunderstorms crackle around the world, collectively turning Earth’s atmosphere into a giant electrical circuit. The upper reaches of the atmosphere have a positive charge, and the planet’s surface has a negative one.

Even on sunny days with cloudless skies, the air carries a voltage of around 100 volts for every meter above the ground. In foggy or stormy conditions, that gradient might increase to tens of thousands of volts per meter.

Ballooning spiders operate within this planetary electric field. When their silk leaves their bodies, it typically picks up a negative charge. This repels the similar negative charges on the surfaces on which the spiders sit, creating enough force to lift them into the air.

And spiders can increase those forces by climbing onto twigs, leaves, or blades of grass. Plants, being earthed, have the same negative charge as the ground that they grow upon, but they protrude into the positively charged air.

This creates substantial electric fields between the air around them and the tips of their leaves and branches—and the spiders ballooning from those tips.

This idea—flight by electrostatic repulsion—was first proposed in the early 1800’s, around the time of Darwin’s voyage. Peter Gorham, a physicist, resurrected the idea in 2013, and showed that it was mathematically plausible. And now, Morley and Robert have tested it with actual spiders.

In response, the spiders performed a set of movements called tiptoeing—they stood on the ends of their legs and stuck their abdomens in the air. That behavior is only ever seen before ballooning.

Many of the spiders actually managed to take off, despite being in closed boxes with no airflow within them. And when Morley turned off the electric fields inside the boxes, the ballooning spiders dropped.

It’s especially important, says Angela Chuang, from the University of Tennessee, to know that spiders can physically detect electrostatic changes in their surroundings. That’s the foundation for lots of interesting research questions.

How do various electric-field strengths affect the physics of takeoff, flight, and landing? Do spiders use information on atmospheric conditions to make decisions about when to break down their webs, or create new ones?

Air currents might still play some role in ballooning. After all, the same hairs that allow spiders to sense electric fields can also help them to gauge wind speed or direction.

And Moonsung Cho from the Technical University of Berlin recently showed that spiders prepare for flight by raising their front legs into the wind, presumably to test how strong it is.

Still, Morley and Robert’s study shows that electrostatic forces are, on their own, enough to propel spiders into the air. This is really top-notch science. It seemed very clear that electric fields played a central role, but we could only speculate on how the biology might support this.

The Atlantic / Crickey Conservation Foundation

Melting Glaciers threaten Wildlife in Asia

Kyrgyzstan is one of the most bio-diverse areas of central Asia, but species are in danger from global warming. Kyrgyzstan’s glaciers are receding at what scientists say is an alarming rate, fueled by global warming.

And while experts warn of a subsequent catastrophe for energy and water security for Kyrgyzstan and neighbor states downstream reliant on its water flows, devastation to local ecosystems and the effects on plant and wildlife could be just as severe.

Animals and vegetation will not be unaffected and the risks for some species will be great. More than 4% equal to – 8,400 square kilometers – of Kyrgyzstan’s territory consists of glaciers.

A natural process of water release from summer melting of the glaciers, which freeze again during the winter, feeds many of the country’s rivers and lakes. Up to 90% of water in Kyrgyzstan rivers comes from glaciers, local experts claim.

This flow of water is not just important to energy needs and farming, it also feeds interconnected ecosystems providing habitats for some of the world’s most diverse flora and fauna.

Kyrgyzstan’s biodiversity is among the greatest in the region and stretches through a variety of climatic habitats, ranging from glaciers to subtropical and temperate ecosystems.

Although it only covers 0.1% of the world’s landmass, Kyrgyzstan is home to 1% of its species, according to reports submitted by the government to UN bodies.

A number of species are found only in Kyrgyzstan with endemic species and subspecies including over 200 plant species, more than 3,000 invertebrate species and 17 vertebrate species, as well as a further 47 sub-endemic vertebrates.

The country is home to some of the world’s rarest animals, such as the Marco Polo sheep, the Himalayan brown bear and the Siberian ibex, as well as the endangered snow leopard, whose habitat is closely linked to the glaciers.

These glaciers are part of often unique mountain ecosystems. In some places one can go from a dry desert to lush green pastures in the space of two hours’ drive. Glaciers are driving much of that.

But scientists in Kyrgyzstan and at international climate monitoring bodies say that the glaciers have receded by as much as 35% in the 20th century and the melting is becoming more rapid.

According to the Institute of Hydro Energy at the National Academy of Sciences in Bishkek the glaciers are now receding at a rate more than three times as in the 1950’s. Some groups say they have observed glaciers shrinking by 50 meters a year. Local experts say glaciers have their own ecosystems.

Their melting water flows into the soil which affects vegetation which acts as food for animals at lower altitudes, some of which are prey for other animals and so on. Certain animals are deeply connected to the glaciers, such as the snow leopard, and they will be affected by the rapid melting.

What will happen is that in the short term the level of underground water will rise but in the long term it will actually fall as glaciers disappear and this will have an impact on ecological systems around rivers.

There are other serious threats to ecosystems from the process. As glaciers melt large deposits of sediment are deposited in valleys below. This affects the local land and rivers and their existing ecosystems.

Glacial melting can also lead to huge floods as natural dams formed by the ice burst, sending lethal torrents down mountains and destroying entire forests.

There have also been warnings from local experts that the melting of the glaciers, combined with a predicted rise in temperatures, will lead to an increase in desertification.

The BIOM group told IPS studies it had been involved in predicted that climate change behind glacial melting could see a shifting of entire ecological belts with the altitudes of deserts, steppes, meadow-lands and mountain regions shifting between 100 and 400 meters.

One of the country’s most prominent areas of biodiversity is the Issyk-Kul Lake. At an altitude of 1,600 meters in the Tien-Shan mountains in the north of Kyrgyzstan it is the world’s second largest high mountain lake.

It has no water outlets and the rivers which flow into it are fed primarily by glacial waters. It has over 20 species of fish in the lake alone.

A host of species live in the diverse landscapes around the lake which range from arid semi-deserts to the Tien-Shan mountain range – which is home to an estimated over 4,000 different native plant species.

The lake itself is also an important stop for migrating birds and as many as 80,000 water birds gather around it for wintering. Farmers say rivers once fed by glaciers have begun to dry up and plants are dying out from lack of water in some areas.

Shepherds have told local media that they can no longer see some glaciers on mountains. In Kyrgyzstan’s submission to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, published last year, it was predicted that the country’s glaciated area would recede by up to 95% over the next century.

Some of the glaciers will have gone by the end of our lifetimes. We must accept a degree of global warming now whatever we do because of all the CO2 in the atmosphere. All we can do is hope that it can be limited.

Al Jazeera / ABC Flash Point News 2021.

World Animal Day since 1931

World Animal Day is celebrated every year on October 4th and is a day that unites all of us advocating for the improvement of animal rights and welfare standards.

The day has become a platform to pool knowledge and start proactive discussions on issues facing all animal kind, including pets, livestock and wildlife from around the world.

World Animal Day was created by Heinrich Zimmermann, a German writer, publisher and animal protection activist, and held its first-ever event at the Sport Palace, Berlin in March 1925 where over 5,000 people attended the celebration.

A few short years later, the day was moved to October 4th, the feast day of Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology. This was no accident – Saint Francis is often depicted in the company of animals, as according to legend, he had the ability to talk to them.

He was said to preach to animals, in particular birds that would gather to listen to him and is claimed to have bartered with a wolf, persuading the city of Gubbio to feed the wolf regularly, and in return, it would no longer prey upon the townsfolk or their livestock.

Initially, Heinrich Zimmermann had found following in only a few European countries, notably Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Czechoslovakia, though through his continuous and tireless efforts to promote the day, it was universally accepted by the International Animal Protection Congress in Italy in 1931.

World days are a platform for everyone to become involved in raising awareness and creating mass action for important issues around the globe.

World Animal Day allows us to look at the ways in which individuals, businesses and nations affect the lives of animals on a daily basis, and see how we can become part of a social movement to effect legal reforms and provide a better future for all animals.

There are many international conservation days which focus on a particular species or group of animals such as pets and livestock, but World Animal Day is the one day of the year which encompasses all animals and the unique concerns of each.

The participation in celebrating World Animal Day also continues to grow each year, with an estimated 1000 events in over 100 countries last year – an incredible increase from the 44 events held in 13 countries back in 2003.

As the years have gone by, various small and large scale wins in terms of animal welfare, conservation and environmental issues have been celebrated.

In 2018 it was reported that a third of Britain’s population were vegetarian, vegan or have significantly reduced their meat consumption, London Fashion Week went fur-free and many travel giants stopped selling tickets to marine amusement parks such as Sea World.

The UK parliament passed a bill to end the use of wild animals in traveling circuses. Now, since the unusual year of 2020, nature began to thrive during nationwide lock-downs and live animal markets have been called into question.

Now’s the time for all animal-lovers to show us their compassion because October 4 is World Animal Day and we’re planning to make a big roar.

Animals can’t talk in the conventional way that humans communicate with each other. But there’s one day where we can all give a voice to the animals who can’t speak for themselves.

On October 4, people spanning the globe will come together to celebrate World Animal Day. In any corner of the planet, no matter which country you explore, animals will consistently have a strong impact on the region’s culture.

The Great / Crickey Conservation Society since 2007.

California Wildfires threaten famous giant Sequoia Trees

THREE RIVERS, Calif. — Firefighters wrapped the base of the world’s largest tree in a fire-resistant blanket as they tried to save a famous grove of gigantic old-growth sequoias from wildfires burning Thursday in California’s rugged Sierra Nevada.

The colossal General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park’s Giant Forest, some other sequoias, the Giant Forest Museum and other buildings were wrapped as protection against the possibility of intense flames.

The aluminum wrapping can withstand intensive heat for short periods. Federal officials say they have been using the material for several years throughout the U.S. West to protect sensitive structures from flames.

Near Lake Tahoe, some homes that were wrapped in protective material survived a recent wildfire while others nearby were destroyed.

The Colony Fire, one of two burning in Sequoia National Park, was expected to reach the Giant Forest, a grove of 2,000 sequoias, at some point this weekend. The fire didn’t grow significantly as a layer of smoke reduced its spread, fire spokeswoman Katy Hooper said.

It comes after a wildfire killed thousands of sequoias, some as tall as high-rises and thousands of years old, in the region last year.

The General Sherman Tree is the largest in the world by volume, at 52,508 cubic feet (1,487 cubic meters), according to the National Park Service. It towers 275 feet (84 meters) high and has a circumference of 103 feet (31 meters) at ground level.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks Superintendent Clay Jordan stressed the importance of protecting the massive trees from high-intensity fire during a briefing for firefighters.

Giant sequoias are adapted to fire, which can help them thrive by releasing seeds from their cones and creating clearings that allow young sequoias to grow. But the extraordinary intensity of fires — fueled by climate change — can overwhelm the trees.

That happened last year when the Castle Fire killed what studies estimate were 7,500 to 10,600 large sequoias, according to the National Park Service.

A historic drought and heat waves tied to climate change have made wildfires harder to fight in the American West. Scientists say climate change has made the region much warmer and drier in the past 30 years and will continue to make weather more extreme and wildfires more frequent and destructive.

The wildfires are among the latest in a long summer of blazes that have scorched nearly 3,550 square miles (9,195 square kilometers) in California, destroying hundreds of homes.

Crews had limited ground access to the Colony Fire and the extreme steepness of the terrain around the Paradise Fire prevented it completely, requiring extensive aerial water and flame-retardant drops on both fires. The two fires were being managed collectively as the KNP Complex.

ABC Flash Point Nature News 2021.

Woongebied of Toeristisch Recreatie gebied?

Mag Eilandelijk woongebied ook aangewend worden toeristische en recreatie bestemmingen op Jan Thiel. Mogen EOP bestemmingen zonder Landsverordening gewijzigd worden teneinde wettelijk Conserverings gebied voor toeristische doeleinden aan te ontwikkelen.

LOB verzoek werd ingediend, maar werd verwijderd uit het computer bestand van de ventana di informashon? Bij Vista Royal op Jan Thiel, beter bekend als Little Holland, worden vakantie huurwoningen gebouwd om grote winsten te boeken, zonder daar ook maar 1 cent belasting over te betalen.

De verhuur wordt in Holland afgerekend, dus wordt er ook geen OB afgedragen. De vakantiegangers zeggen bij aankomst op HATO vervolgens dat zij bij familie/vrienden op bezoek gaan en klaar is Kees.

Het EOP bevat wettelijke richtlijnen hoe de maatschappij ingericht dient te worden, zodat alles in goede delen ingericht kan worden en hinderlijke activiteiten niet teveel in woongebieden geschieden.

Op Vista Royal te Jan Thiel neemt de ontwikkelaar APC het niet zo nauw met de richtlijnen en welstandsbepalingen, omdat zij immers naar de pijpen dansen van de netwerken uit Den Haag.

Met 30.000 vlieg toeristen per maand, waarbij minder dan de helft in hotels verblijven, kan men inschatten dat minstens 25% lokale woningen huren, omdat dit per persoon goedkoper uitkomt.

Als 7.500 toeristen per maand in vakantiewoningen verblijven, betekend dat a fl.125 p/p dit per jaar bijna 7 miljoen gulden aan OB zou moeten opleveren. Maar dat gebeurt dus niet en worden alleen de huisjes-melkers daar rijker van.

De hotels klagen over dit fenomeen en weigeren op hun beurt 9% room tax (kamer belasting) af te dragen. Echter verloren zij de rechtzaken en moesten tot betaling overgaan.

Maar resorts zoals Morena en Chogogo gaven hier geen gehoor aan. Deurwaarders betekenen beslagleggingen aan, maar tot incasso overgaan gebeurt in de praktijk bijna nooit.

Aangezien de lokale belasting betaler de infrastructuur bekostigd en betaalt is de return on investment voor Curacao nihiel en komt de overheid in de problemen.

Stichting Crickey Amigu di Natura 2021.

In 2019 Cruise ships dumped more than 3 million pounds of trash in alaska

During the 2019 summer tourism season, cruise ship companies dumped more than 3 million pounds of trash at Juneau’s private landfill. That’s a concern to some in the community, especially since the local landfill is expected to be full in 20 years.

At a public hearing for the city’s Visitor Industry Task Force in January, Juneau resident Linda Blefgen listed a few of the items taken from cruise ships to the landfill last year.

Bedding, 200 chairs in September, furniture, slot machines with electronics removed, water ship line and much more,” Blefgen said. “Why do they choose to dump here? Why are they allowed to dump this volume when we have such limited space for our landfill?

Blefgen said cruise ships dumped 3 million pounds of trash. And while she wouldn’t share where she got her information, data provided by the City of Borough of Juneau back up her figures — more than 3 million pounds of garbage came off of the ships between Jan. 1 and Oct. 31 in 2019.

City Manager Rorie Watt was not happy to learn that cruise ships are regularly dumping trash here. He said he immediately reached out to the industry to ask them to stop.

But there’s not much the city can do beyond that. The landfill’s a private operation. The cruise ships are private operations,” Watt said. “We don’t regulate waste, garbage and hauling of garbage. So anything that we’re able to do will be by negotiation with the cruise lines.

Juneau’s landfill is operated by a Texas-based company called Waste Management. Last year, that company reported to the city that it accepted 1,534 tons of cruise ship garbage — more than 3.3 million pounds.

That’s even more than in 2018, when 830 tons, or 1.8 million pounds, of trash from cruise ships ended up in the landfill. About 30,000 tons of garbage typically go into the landfill each year.

Even though cruise ship waste only makes up less than 5% of the total amount of garbage that went into the landfill in both 2018 and 2019, it’s still waste piling up in a space with a limited lifespan.

In November, landfill manager Eric Vance said Waste Management regularly surveys the area to determine how much space is left. Our model tells us we’ve got just over 20 years, and it’s been pretty consistent,” Vance said.

So in the next two decades, Juneau will need an alternative option to dispose of waste.

There’s not a lot of extra space available to just open a new landfill site. Juneau could end up shipping it south like several other Southeast communities.

Vance said when the landfill accepts waste from cruise ship companies, they have to follow the same requirements as anyone else. That means no hazardous waste.

Mike Tibbles with Cruise Lines International Association Alaska said the organization became aware of the increase in dumping last year.

“Right now we’re researching the issue a little bit more amongst our member lines to see which vessels are offloading and how much,” Tibbles said. “We definitely have a goal of trying to reduce that amount as much as we can going forward.”

Tibbles said the majority of trash produced on cruise ships is offloaded in the ports where they start — Seattle, Vancouver and Victoria.

He said his organization is working quickly, but he’s not sure whether there will be time to completely address the issue before next cruise season begins.

Kirby Day is the Juneau director of shore operations for Princess Cruises and Holland America Line. He said the increase in trash coming off the ships is an unintended consequence of trying to reign in air pollution.

“I noticed it in the last couple years, that we were offloading a lot more garbage, both Princess and Holland America ships — and I think the industry in general — because many of the ships lost an incinerator when they went to the scrubber system for emissions,” Day said.

Scrubbers allow cruise ships to filter their exhaust. Many companies have added the systems to their ships in the last few years to meet new federal standards.

But Day said that cut down the space available on board.

“Larger ships and less incinerators means you can incinerate less garbage,” he said, adding that Princess and Holland America are working to significantly cut down or end trash disposal in Juneau.

He said he’s also asked the ship’s hotel departments not to throw out furnishings while in port. Sometimes they donate items locally, like chairs no longer needed on board. But other things, like mattresses, often end up in the landfill.

Alaska Public Media / NPR / PBS 2021