New state-of-the-art technology collects a unique time series from methane seeps in the Arctic – Phys.org
A new study published in Ocean Science conducted by CAGE Ph.D. candidate Knut Ola Dølven and co-authors presents time-series data from two methane seep sites offshore western Svalbard, in the Arctic. These unique results show high variability both on hourly and seasonal time-scales and describe the interconnectivity between methane seepage and the ocean.
“The length and location are what makes these time-series unique, as they answer old and raise new questions related to this variability and how we can better constrain it in future emission estimates.” Says Knut Ola Dølven, Dølven, who conducted this study as part of his Ph.D. at CAGE.
Areas of intense methane seepage
In 2015 and 2016, two K-Lander observatories were deployed over distinct intensive methane seepage sites west of Prins Karls Forland, where thousands of gas bubble streams originating from the seafloor were observed.
Despite the knowledge that methane seep sites likely experience high temporal and spatial variability, our understanding of the amount, distribution, and release of methane in the Arctic Ocean has largely relied on studies that were undertaken in the late spring to early autumn due to better ice and weather conditions. Until now.
Long term, continuous monitoring of methane release
Using data from the K-Lander, Dølven and co-authors processed a unique long time-series that spanned 10 months, measuring methane, carbon dioxide and physical parameters at each site. These measurements provided important insights into the short-term and seasonal variations of methane emissions and concentrations.
“It was interesting to observe that, despite the very high short-term variability in methane release, the source of methane emission seemed to be relatively unchanged throughout the 10-month deployment. This has strong implications on future interpretations of methane concentration in seep areas.” Says Dølven.
There is also increased potential for methane release to the atmosphere during the fall and winter, if seepage persists, due to the weaker water column stratification (increased mixing of the layers in the ocean).
While seabed seepage is considered a minor natural source of atmospheric methane, there are large uncertainties related to the current and predicted emission estimates. Dølven and co-authors were, therefore, able to highlight and constrain uncertainties related to variability in methane inventory estimates from seabed methane seepage.
K-Lander technology in future research applications
This work highlighted the successful cooperation between maritime industry and research teams, providing cutting edge technology for monitoring methane to help explain questions on oceanic greenhouse gas emissions. This is the first long term data series providing exceptional multi-sensor data on methane release and other ocean physical and chemical conditions in the Arctic.
“This infrastructure will play a major role in understanding factors controlling methane emissions not only in Arctic, as highlighted in this study, but in other locations worldwide as well. Methane seepage data in combination with other parameters measured by the K-Lander will help in estimating present and future global methane budgets in our oceans” says Bénédicte Ferré, the team leader for WP4 ‘Gas in the Water Column’ and EMAN7, and the responsible for the development, acquisition and data analysis related to the K-Lander.
Knut Ola Dølven et al, Autonomous methane seep site monitoring offshore western Svalbard: hourly to seasonal variability and associated oceanographic parameters, Ocean Science (2022). DOI: 10.5194/os-18-233-2022
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
New state-of-the-art technology collects a unique time series from methane seeps in the Arctic (2022, February 25)
retrieved 25 February 2022
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Made-in-Saskatchewan satellite heading to orbit on SpaceX rocket
SASKATOON – Saskatchewan engineering students will have their eyes on the sky as the province’s first homegrown satellite is to be launched on board a SpaceX rocket headed for the International Space Station.
“I am so excited about it,” said Rylee Moody, a third-year student at the University of Saskatchewan.
“It’s something I would never have dreamed of doing.”
Engineering students at the University of Saskatchewan spent five years developing the cube satellite called RADSAT-SK. It is set to be launched into space Saturday.
RADSAT-SK will be sent into its own orbit for a year, where it will collect radiation data that will be analyzed at a ground station located near the university’s campus.
The project was part of a Canadian Space Agency project that saw 15 universities get grants to build CubeSats — cubical, standard-sized miniature satellites that generally weigh about a kilogram.
Sean Maw, a principal investigator and chair in innovative teaching at the College of Engineering, said Saskatchewan’s project began in 2018 with about 20 engineering undergraduate students. Since then, hundreds of students have put in tens of thousands of hours to ensure ideas became reality.
It was no easy task to get from a satellite concocted in a Saskatchewan university to infinity and beyond. Students designed, built, tested and integrated the satellite.
They also navigated the complicated international regulatory environment to get it approved for launch. A global pandemic certainly didn’t make it easier, Maw added.
“Students persevered through the whole COVID crisis to get this project done,” Maw said. “Especially in the last 12 months or so they fought tooth and nail to get RADSAT-SK to the finish line.”
The team came up with a motto to get through the tough times: fail hard, fail fast, recover.
The satellite’s payload, what it carries as it orbits earth, is focused on radiation research. A Saskatchewan-made dosimeter board will measure radiation from space and a fungal melanin coating on board will test the feasibility of the polymer to shield space radiation.
Arliss Sidlowksi, a fourth-year student, said it has been an incredible and challenging experience getting the satellite ready for orbit.
“I am so proud of our team for their resilience,” she said.
“We experienced numerous challenges over the years. Our members viewed each setback as an opportunity to learn, adapt and proving time and time again their perseverance and intelligence.”
Sidlowksi said she hopes it will inspire other students to see themselves working in the space industry while also showing the rest of the country what Saskatchewan has to offer.
“I think it’s really opening up Saskatchewan to the space sector.”
It’s very important students have the support to dream for the stars, Maw added. Decades ago when he was getting his undergraduate degree at the University of Waterloo he brought a group of students together to build a satellite.
The project wasn’t supported. And the satellite never got off ground.
“I wasn’t going to let that happen to these guys,” Maw said.
“Their efforts were truly remarkable.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 29, 2023.
Why do animals keep evolving into crabs?
A flat, rounded shell. A tail that’s folded under the body. This is what a crab looks like, and apparently what peak performance might look like — at least according to evolution. A crab-like body plan has evolved at least five separate times among decapod crustaceans, a group that includes crabs, lobsters and shrimp. In fact, it’s happened so often that there’s a name for it: carcinization.
So why do animals keep evolving into crab-like forms? Scientists don’t know for sure, but they have lots of ideas.
Carcinization is an example of a phenomenon called convergent evolution, which is when different groups independently evolve the same traits. It’s the same reason both bats and birds have wings. But intriguingly, the crab-like body plan has emerged many times among very closely related animals.
The fact that it’s happening at such a fine scale “means that evolution is flexible and dynamic,” Javier Luque, a senior research associate in the Department of Zoology at the University of Cambridge, told Live Science.
Related: Does evolution ever go backward?
Crustaceans have repeatedly gone from having a cylindrical body plan with a big tail — characteristic of a shrimp or a lobster — to a flatter, rounder, crabbier look, with a much less prominent tail. The result is that many crustaceans that resemble crabs, like the tasty king crab that’s coveted as a seafood delicacy, aren’t even technically “true crabs.” They’ve adopted a crab-like body plan, but actually belong to a closely related group of crustaceans called “false crabs.”
When a trait appears in an animal and sticks around through generations, it’s a sign that the trait is advantageous for the species — that’s the basic principle of natural selection. Animals with crabby forms come in many sizes and thrive in a wide array of habitats, from mountains to the deep sea. Their diversity makes it tricky to pin down a single common benefit for their body plan, said Joanna Wolfe, a research associate in organismic and evolutionary biology at Harvard University.
Wolfe and colleagues laid out a few possibilities in a 2021 paper in the journal BioEssays. For example, crabs’ tucked-in tail, versus the lobster’s much more prominent one, could reduce the amount of vulnerable flesh that’s accessible to predators. And the flat, rounded shell could help a crab scuttle sideways more effectively than a cylindrical lobster body would allow.
But more research is needed to test those hypotheses, Wolfe said. She is also trying to use genetic data to better understand the relationships among different decapod crustaceans, to more accurately pinpoint when various “crabby” lineages evolved, and pick apart the factors driving carcinization.
There’s another possible explanation: “It’s possible that having a crab body isn’t necessarily advantageous, and maybe it’s a consequence of something else in the organism,” Wolfe said. For example, the crab body plan might be so successful not because of the shell or tail shape itself, but because of the possibilities that this shape opens up for other parts of the body, said Luque, who is a co-author of the 2021 paper with Wolfe.
For example, a lobster’s giant tail can propel the animal through the water and help it crush prey. But it can also get in the way and constrain other features, Luque said. The crab body shape might leave more flexibility for animals to evolve specialized roles for their legs beyond walking, allowing crabs to easily adapt to new habitats. Some crabs have adapted their legs for digging under sediment or paddling through water.
“We think that the crab body plan has evolved so many times independently because of the versatility that the animals have,” Luque said. “That allows them to go places that no other crustaceans have been able to go.”
The crab-like body plan also has been lost multiple times over evolutionary time — a process known as decarcinization.
“Crabs are flexible and versatile,” Luque explained. “They can do a lot of things back and forth.”
Wolfe thinks of crabs and other crustaceans like Lego creations: They have many different components that can be swapped out without dramatically changing other features. So it’s relatively straightforward for a cylindrical body to flatten out, or vice versa. But for better or worse, humans won’t be turning into crabs anytime soon. “Our body isn’t modular like that,” Wolfe said. “[Crustaceans] already have the right building blocks.”
Rocket Lab Launches Second Batch of TROPICS Satellites
Ibadan, 29 May 2023. – Rocket Lab USA, Inc. has successfully completed the second of two dedicated Electron launches to deploy a constellation of tropical cyclone monitoring satellites for NASA. The “Coming To A Storm Near You” launch lifted off on May 26 at 15:46 NZST (03:46 UTC) from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula, deploying the final two CubeSats of NASA’s TROPICS constellation to orbit.
“Coming To A Storm Near You” is Rocket Lab’s second of two TROPICS launches for NASA, following the first launch on May 8th NZST. Like the previous launch, “Coming To A Storm Near You” deployed a pair of shoebox-sized satellites to low Earth orbit to collect tropical storm data more frequently than other weather satellites. The constellation aims to help increase understanding of deadly storms and improve tropical cyclone forecasts.
Rocket Lab has now launched all four satellites across two dedicated launches within 18 days, enabling the TROPICS satellites to settle into their orbits and begin commissioning ahead of the 2023 North American storm season, which begins in June.
“Electron was for exactly these kinds of missions – to deploy spacecraft reliably and on rapid timelines to precise and bespoke orbits, so we’re proud to have delivered that for NASA across both TROPICS launches and meet the deadline for getting TROPICS to orbit in time for the 2023 storm season,” said Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck. “Thank you to the team at NASA for entrusting us with such an important science mission, we’re grateful to be your mission launch providers once again.”
‘Coming To A Storm Near You’ was Rocket Lab’s fifth mission for 2023 and the Company’s 37th Electron mission overall. It brings the total number of satellites launched into orbit by Rocket Lab to 163.
The Ultimate Solution to Selling Your Used Car in Ontario
Uganda’s president signs into law anti-gay legislation with death penalty in some cases
Alberta votes in the strangest — and closest — election in its political history
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Search for life on Mars accelerates as new bodies of water found below planet’s surface
News23 hours ago
The Hidden Struggles: Uncovering the Reality of Being Black in Canada
Business24 hours ago
Halifax condo residents face obstacles trying to go green with solar panels
Media21 hours ago
Russia says U.S. Senator should say if Ukraine took his words out of context
News20 hours ago
More Canadian companies adopt ‘stay interviews’ amid push to retain staff
Health23 hours ago
B.C. initiative aims to expand genetic screening for Ashkenazi Jewish people at risk of hereditary cancers
Real eState22 hours ago
BCFSA rules on real estate agent’s $50K loan to client
News21 hours ago
Latvians got a surprise day off today. Here’s why
Business20 hours ago
U.S. debt-limit deal brings relief tinged by caution