Precipitation instruments at Rothera Station, Antarctic Peninsula: a comparative study

first_imgDirect measurement of precipitation in the Antarctic using ground-based instruments is important to validate the results from climate models, reanalyses and satellite observations. Quantifying precipitation in Antarctica faces many unique challenges such as wind and other technical difficulties due to the harsh environment. This study compares a variety of precipitation measurements in Antarctica, including satellite data and reanalysis fields atRothera Station, Antarctica Peninsula. The tipping bucket gauges (TBGs) were less sensitive than laser-based sensors (LBSs). The most sensitive LBS (Visibility and Present Weather Sensor, VPF-730) registered 276 precipitation days, while the most sensitive TBG (Universal Precipitation Gauge, UPG-1000) detected 152 precipitation days. Case studies of the precipitation and seasonal accumulation results show the VPF-730 to be the most reliable precipitation sensor of the evaluated instruments. The precipitation amounts given by the reanalyses were positively correlated with wind speed. The precipitation from the Japanese 55-year Reanalysis was most affected by wind speed. Case studies also show that during low wind periods, precipitation measurements from the instruments were very close to the precipitation measurement given by the Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) 1-degree-daily (1DD) data. During strong wind events, the GPCP 1DD did not fully capture the effect of wind, accounting for the relatively small precipitation amount. The Laser Precipitation Monitor (LPM) and Campbell Scientific-700 (CS700H) experienced instrumental errors during the study, which caused the precipitation readings to become exceedingly high and low, respectively. Installing multiple LBSs in different locations (in close proximity) can help identify inconsistency in the readings.last_img read more

News story: Government proposes to tighten firearms licensing to protect the public

first_imgThe Memorandum of Understanding with the BMA marks a new commitment to safeguard doctors involved in the firearms application and monitoring system. This will allow them to work with the police to strengthen the system for assessing the heath information of firearms applicants.It addresses the long-held concerns of GPs around liability, making it clear that the legal responsibility for judging whether someone is suitable to possess a firearm or shotgun certificate rests solely with the police.GPs are asked to provide information about whether firearms applicants have a history of relevant mental or physical conditions which could affect their safe possession of guns. They are also asked to put a firearms flags on patient records so that police can be alerted if a person develops a relevant medical condition after their licence has been issued.The Home Office has worked with the medical profession to encourage doctors’ use of the firearms flagging system. Alongside the Department of Health and Social Care, the Home Office is looking into how this system can be supported by a national IT system to make the use of these flags more widespread. We have some of the toughest firearms controls in the world and we must do everything we can to ensure it stays this way. We need to bring greater consistency to how firearms licences are issued and I am confident that the police, GPs and shooting groups agree. We have listened to their concerns and are proposing a way forward that tightens up the system without creating unreasonable demands. The bottom line is public safety. Firearms must only be in the hands of the most safe and responsible people. This is not something we are prepared to compromise on. The Home Office has today (23 July) launched a consultation on statutory guidance for police issuing firearms licences – which will ensure officers are consistently checking applicants’ medical records in order to better protect the public.The independent police inspectorate, HMICFRS, previously found there was inconsistent police licensing practice across the country and that medical information was not being shared for firearms applications, creating a potential safety risk.The draft statutory guidance, which includes the requirement for police to check medical records, will bring more clarity to the process, with the aim of ensuring licences are only issued to suitable applicants.The department has drafted the guidance following discussions with the police, GPs and shooting organisations, who agreed that greater consistency was needed. It is now seeking further feedback on the draft guidance.The Home Office has also signed an agreement with the British Medical Association (BMA) which the department hopes will improve cooperation between the police and GPs.Nick Hurd, Minister for Policing and the Fire Service, said:last_img read more

Gene variants may increase methylmercury risk in children

first_imgAbout 30 percent of children carry a gene variant that may make them more susceptible to prenatal exposure to methylmercury, according to a new study led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.Senior author of the study was Philippe Grandjean, adjunct professor of environmental health.Prenatal exposure to methylmercury — mercury that is converted by bacteria in oceans, lakes, and rivers and accumulates in fish and shellfish — has been linked with adverse effects on brain development in children, as well as with negative neurocognitive and cardiovascular impacts in adults.For the new research, scientists looked at data from a long-term study of 2,172 children in the United Kingdom, according to a July 3, 2019 article in Medical Xpress. They measured mercury concentrations in umbilical cord samples, evaluated the children’s IQs at age 8, and explored more than 240 variants in genes related to neurodevelopment and neurotoxicity.Overall, the average concentration of methylmercury in cord blood was low, and no negative association was found between methylmercury concentrations and the childrens’ IQ scores at age 8. But children with variants in certain genes had lower IQ scores, suggesting that methylmercury — even at very low levels — may pose greater risk to those children. Read Full Storylast_img read more

Live tracker notes COVID cases, deaths by congressional districts

first_imgResearchers at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, Harvard Center for Geographic Analysis at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science, and Microsoft AI for Health have created a COVID-19 live tracker that monitors the current status of virus cases and deaths, as well as the reduction of new cases, in U.S. congressional districts.It is the first compilation of this data, which could be key for elected officials and their constituents to monitor and develop testing strategies, vaccine deployment strategies, and other measures to enable their districts to open safely.“By connecting previously separate reporting geographies for public health and electoral data, this data set represents an important effort,” said Gary King, director of the Institute for Quantitative Social Science, and Weatherhead University Professor at Harvard.“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spiral out of control in the U.S. (and elsewhere), innovations such as this, which combine both science and public policy, are sorely needed,” said Douglas Richardson, distinguished researcher at Harvard Center for Geographic Analysis.Nearly a year into the global pandemic, data breakdown by U.S. congressional districts has not been readily available. S.V. Subramanian and researchers in the Geographic Insights Lab, who had previously applied a geographical method to convert county-level opioid prescriptions data to the congressional district level, noticed that similar data was lacking for the pandemic. The team developed COVID-19 metrics for congressional districts and, working with Geographics Analysis center member Wendy Guan, developed a dashboard to share the data. John Kahan, vice president and chief data analytics officer at Microsoft, noted that the team’s work was similar to a project underway at Microsoft, and the groups joined forces to provide mutual scientific support, such as methodologies and data verification.“The research provides critical insight,” said Nydia M. Velázquez, Congresswoman of New York’s 7th Congressional District and chair of the House Small Business Committee. “Because of this information, the House Small Business Committee can better examine the efficacy of federal programs in reaching the areas most impacted by this virus. Data like this is critical to policymakers, as it improves our ability to legislate changes that ensure aid is going to those that need it most.”The live tracker contains COVID-19 metrics for each congressional district, such as confirmed cases and deaths per 100K/1M people, cumulative cases and deaths, and new cases and deaths. It also provides the progress-to-zero metric to monitor progress on addressing the pandemic. The tracker gives elected representatives and their constituents precise information about COVID’s spread in their district. In Texas, for example, a graph reflecting infection by county gives the initial impression that west Texas is doing better than east Texas. When broken down by congressional district, however, the northwestern and southwestern parts of the state actually have the greatest number of COVID cases. The two districts with the most cases “are not even geographically close to the counties with the highest number of cases (Harris County and Dallas County),” said Weixing Zhang of the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies.“We’ve heard from many Congressional members that they want to have a better understanding of the disease’s spread in their districts, and so do their constituents,” said Kahan. “The data will be key for policymakers to create policies to ensure safer communities, and allow the public to see the progress we are making together.” Related Study findings support use of county-level cell phone location data as tool to estimate future trends of the COVID-19 pandemic Strong signalslast_img read more

Albertson Man Admits to $30M Fraud

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York An Albertson man has admitted to stealing $30 million from a bank over a five-year span while he was the chief financial officer of a Brooklyn-based energy company.Thomas Torre, the ex-CFO of Metro Fuel Oil Corp., pleaded guilty Wednesday at Brooklyn federal court to a charge of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.“Through his deceit and trickery, Torre defrauded New York Commercial Bank in an amount exceeding $30 million,” said Kelly Currie, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.Prosecutors said the 63-year-old man schemed to overstate Metro Fuel’s accounts receivable in order to draw from a revolving line of credit issued by the bank from July 2007 to July 2012.He and others allegedly misrepresented the true accounts receivable by deliberately failing to account for the cash payments received from customers and by creating fictitious invoice amounts, authorities said.Metro Fuel filed for bankruptcy in September 2012 when company could no longer pay its bills. The company owed the bank more than $30 million by that time.Torre faces up to 30 years in prison, plus fines.last_img read more

Stock futures rise after Monday’s record-setting session

first_img“Value and smaller companies typically have more leverage to economic recoveries so a vaccine that would remove the weight of COVID-19 off the economy is a distinct positive,” wrote Bill Stone, chief investment officer at Stone Investment Partners. “Time will tell if this reversal in trends proves durable or starts “makin’ the tears rain down like a monsoon” for value proponents like the many recent false starts.”The recent outperformance in value stocks comes even as the number of coronavirus cases continues to increase, dampening the country’s near-term economic outlook.More than 1 million cases were confirmed in less than a week in the U.S., bring the country’s total to more than 11 million, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Data from The Covid Tracking Project also showed U.S. coronavirus-related hospitalizations have risen to nearly 70,000.“The near-term COVID backdrop remains bleak with exploding cases, rising hospitalizations, and additional mitigation measures,” wrote Adam Crisafulli, founder of Vital Knowledge. “But the broader tape is willing to overlook all this for the time being.”Subscribe to CNBC PRO for exclusive insights and analysis, and live business day programming from around the world. – Advertisement – Earlier in the day, the Dow and S&P 500 posted all-time closing highs. The Dow also notched an intraday record. Those gains came after Moderna released trial data showing its coronavirus vaccine was more than 94% effective, further raising expectations of a sharp economic recovery.That marked the second positive announcement related to a coronavirus vaccine in a week. Pfizer and BioNTech said Nov. 9 that their Covid-19 vaccine candidate was more than 90% effective among participants in a late-stage trial.Value stocks led the advance on Monday, building on their strong gains from last week. The iShares Russell 1000 Value ETF (IWD) jumped 1.9%, while its growth counterpart closed higher by just 0.5%.- Advertisement – Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.Source: NYSEcenter_img – Advertisement – U.S. stock futures opened slightly higher on Monday night after two of the three major market benchmarks closed at record levels.Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up marginally and S&P 500 futures gained 0.1%. Nasdaq 100 futures outperformed, rising 0.6%.Tesla shares jumped more than 10% after S&P Dow Jones Indices said the electric car maker would join the S&P 500 index, effective Dec. 21.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Sunshine Coast penthouse sells off-the-plan for $1.5m-plus

first_imgA render of the penthouse living roomThe remaining apartments are priced from $869,000 and construction is due to commence in March.CoreLogic property records show that the sale of the Latitude penthouse is one of the highest ever for the Coolum Beach apartment market. It comes after a rooftop penthouse in the Coolum Caprice building sold for $1.57 million in February last year. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:46Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:46 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p216p216p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenChoosing an apartment to invest in01:47A PENTHOUSE has sold off-the-plan for almost four times the average unit price at Coolum Beach.It will be built in the Latitude Coolum Beach development, which launched to the market a month ago. Just seven apartments, including the penthouse, will be built by the developer, HMR Projects.HMR Projects director Ken Reed said the penthouse had sold for “in excess of $1.5 million”.The median apartment sales price in Coolum Beach is $399,000, according to property data firm CoreLogic. The median house sales price is $695,000. More from newsCrowd expected as mega estate goes under the hammer7 Aug 2020Hard work, resourcefulness and $17k bring old Ipswich home back to life20 Apr 2020A render of the Latitude Coolum Beach developmentNorth Shore Realty principal Noel Mooney, who is marketing the project, said the response to the development had been very positive ― both from a sales perspective and from locals who have been interested in what was planned for the premium site.“Coolum has experienced one of its best Christmas/New Year periods, with an influx of holiday-makers to the area and many of them have been excited about the development,” he said.“We’ve also found that people who holiday in Coolum each year have been attracted to the property as they look to secure a home for the future.”Mr Mooney said the vast majority of interest had come from owner occupiers. Once completed, Latitude Coolum Beach will consist of six three-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments, and the 247 sqm penthouse.center_img Aerial view over Coolum Beach. Photo Lachie Millard“Two of the apartments sold within days of being released to the market and the penthouse sold within a few weeks,” HMR Projects director Ken Reed said. “The apartments have appealed to both local and relocating owner occupiers, as well as Brisbane residents looking for a coastal weekender they can escape to.”last_img read more

Port Canaveral Evacuates Workers as Hurricane Irma Closes In

first_imgFlorida’s Port Canaveral has closed commercial operations in preparation for the arrival of the Hurricane Irma, which is packing sustained winds of 180 mph.The Canaveral Port Authority has released all non-essential employees from work at a close of business on Thursday acting upon the Brevard County evacuation order.“As of 12 Midnight tonight, all non-hurricane port operations will have ceased,” the port authority said in a release.Brevard County announced on Thursday that mandatory evacuations will start at 3:00 pm on Friday, September 8 for the barrier islands, Merritt Island, and some of the mainland areas along the Indian River Lagoon.Due to the port closure, Carnival Cruise Line said that its ship Carnival Magic would re-route to New Orleans to avoid the weather.“Carnival Magic current cruise (Sept. 3-9 from Port Canaveral) will proceed directly to New Orleans where we will arrive on Saturday, Sept. 9. Guests will be given the opportunity to disembark and make independent arrangements to travel home. Guests also have the option to remain on board and sail back with us to Port Canaveral, where we will disembark the ship as soon as the port reopens,” the latest update from the company reads.Furthermore, given the storm’s projected path, Carnival canceled the following sailings:– Carnival Liberty – Sept. 7 three-day Bahamas cruise from Port Canaveral– Carnival Victory – Sept. 8 three-day Bahamas cruise from Miami– Carnival Splendor – Sept. 9 – five-day Eastern Caribbean cruise from Port Everglades– Carnival Liberty – Sept. 10 – four-day Bahamas cruise from Port CanaveralThe company said all guests would be provided with a full refund.“We remain in constant contact with port officials regarding potential port closures in South and Central Florida. Given the uncertainty of the storm’s impact, we will be shortening the duration of several upcoming cruises,” the company added.Royal Caribbean said that it was cancelling planned truips of the Empress of the Seas for September 9 Cuba cruise, and the September 8 Bahamas cruises for the Enchantment of the Seas and Majesty of the Seas.The return of the current sailings of Oasis, Harmony and Allure of the Seas, has been delayed until the storm has passed.Virgin Islands seaports are closed to commercial traffic, including the seaplane. There is no ferry service to the BVI or St. Croix.However, there is ferry service between Cruz Bay, St. John and Red Hook, St. Thomas until further notice, Virgin Islands Port Authority said.Port readiness condition whiskey was set for the Ports of Savannah and Brunswick due to the potential impact from the hurricane. Port condition X Ray was set for the Port of Miami and Port Everglades on Thursday, which is likely to switch to condition Zulu by Saturday morning.Port Condition X-RAY was set for the ports of Manatee, St Petersburg, and Tampa Bay.The eye of the category 5 hurricane Irma continues to move north of the coast of Hispaniola, approaching the Turks and Caicos and southeastern Bahamas. It is expected to reach somewhere between Cuba and Florida by early Sunday morning.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

SeaBird cuts losses in fourth quarter 2018

first_imgSeismic company SeaBird Exploration increased its revenues during the last quarter of 2018 and managed to cut its losses compared to the prior-year period.Eagle Explorer; Source: SeaBird ExplorationIn its financial report released on Tuesday SeaBird said it had recorded revenues of $6.8 million in 4Q 2018 compared to $5.4 million in 3Q 2018 and $5.5 million in 4Q 2017.The company reported a net loss of $3.7 million for 4Q 2018 compared to the net loss of $4.9 million in the same period in 2017.The company had a vessel utilization of 58% in 4Q 2018, compared to 55% in 3Q 2018 and 42% in 4Q 2017.The company had three active vessels during the quarter, one vessel starting operations late in 4Q after docking, and one vessel warm stacked. SeaBird said it expects to maintain four vessels in operation for the first quarter of 2019 and expects utilization for 1Q 2019 to be higher than 4Q 2018. Tendering activity healthy SeaBird said that the improved oil & gas sentiment seen earlier in the year continued in quarter four, although the reduction in the oil price created some near-term uncertainty in the financial markets. Tendering activity continued at a healthy level.According to the company, most contracts year to date have been related to ocean bottom seismic surveys (OBN) largely driven by the oil & gas companies’ focus on increased oil recovery on producing fields, as well as near-field exploration. The OBN market is thus experiencing strong growth with tenders coming from all geographic regions. OBN-related source vessel tenders have a high conversion rate.“We continue to see a healthy number of exploration-related 2D and 3D streamer survey tenders, and we were recently awarded two 2D contract surveys in South America.“Multi-client streamer activity is still lagging given limited prefunding. We would expect this market segment to improve as exploration spending by the oil companies increases,” SeaBird said.“With many oil companies now indicating increased exploration activity and spending in 2019, we expect tender activity to recover and continue at a solid rate going forward. Moreover, we believe the ongoing consolidation of the seismic fleet and the reduction in seismic streamer operators have improved the company’s position in its core markets,” SeaBird stated.Seismic spending in 2018 has largely been targeting increased oil recovery (IOR) from producing fields and near-field exploration, and this has resulted in a commensurate increase in source vessel demand related to ocean bottom seismic surveys. SeaBird stated it expects the growing volume of ocean bottom seismic activity to continue in 2019.last_img read more

No rental fee for a year for vendors at Cacho property

first_imgAfter one year, according to the citygovernment’s Public Safety and Transportation Management Office (PSTMO) headJeck Conlu, the Cachos and vendors would discuss the rental rate. Cacho also promised to further improvethe area to ensure the comfort of the vendors and customers, said Dorado. ILOILO City – Displaced sidewalkvendors relocated at the vacant Cacho lot along JM Basa Street won’t berequired to pay rent for a year. It’s a good news for displaced sidewalk vendors of Iloilo City! They will get one-year free rental for using the Cacho property along J.M. Basa Street. Dorado said there more than 254vendors’ stalls at the Cacho property. “Nalipaygid kami,” said Dorado, because it could helpease their financial difficulties. “Sangwala ‘ya pa kami naistorya pinsar namon indi kami magdugay diri,” he added. PSTMO led the road and sidewalkclearing operations that displaced the vendors. The road clearing was in line withPresident Rodrigo Duterte’s order to local government units to reclaim publicroads being used for private ends. “Ga-amat-amatna kami adjust sa amon sitwasyon. We hope nga mahuman tani ang plano kag maplastarkami sang maayo,” said Dorado./PN No less than Panay Electric Co.administrative manager Marcelo Cacho brought them the good news during a visiton Wednesday, according to Jimmy Dorado, federation president of the city’ssidewalk vendors.last_img read more