Le Japon va extraire l’électricité du Soleil

La technologie sera testée en 2025. Le Japon prépare une technologie qui lui permettra de “récupérer” l’électricité du Soleil et de l’envoyer sur Terre. La technologie a été testée une fois en 2015, et en 2025, le premier test à plus grande échelle est attendu, rapporte Engadget. En 2015, des scientifiques de…

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El calentamiento global empujará a miles de millones de personas fuera del ‘nicho climático humano’

Una nueva investigación muestra que miles de millones de personas podrían verse obligadas a abandonar el “nicho climático humano” a medida que el planeta se calienta. The Guardian informa que los compromisos climáticos actuales, que prevén un aumento de las temperaturas globales de 2,7 °C por encima de los niveles preindustriales, podrían sacar a 2.000 millones de personas de su…

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The “Via Dinarica” eco-trail will connect Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina

The project includes the extension of the Via Dinarica greenway with around 500 kilometers of new paths and the maintenance of existing paths

In Sarajevo, the “Via Dinarica” project was presented, within the framework of which the green path will be continued, which is financed by the…

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L’ancien aéroport d’Atatürk a ouvert ses portes en tant que plus grand parc public de Turquie

L’ancien aéroport “Ataturk” d’Istanbul a ouvert ses portes aux visiteurs en tant que plus grand parc public du pays, a rapporté “Daily Sabah”. Le nouveau parc, construit sur le territoire de l’ancien aéroport international, couvre une superficie d’environ deux kilomètres carrés. Sa construction…

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Día Mundial de las Abejas 20 de mayo – Todos dependemos de la supervivencia de las abejas

El Día Mundial de la Abeja es el 20 de mayo y coincide con el cumpleaños de Anton Janša, quien en el siglo XVIII fue pionero en las técnicas modernas de apicultura en su Eslovenia natal y elogió a las abejas por su capacidad para trabajar tan duro, mientras necesitan tan poca atención Las abejas y otros polinizadores, como como…

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L’un des plus vieux lions du monde a été tué près d’un parc national au Kenya

Luunkiito, 19 ans, a attaqué du bétail et a été transpercé par des bergers Un lion mâle sauvage, considéré comme l’un des plus anciens représentants de son espèce au monde, a été tué par des bergers près du parc national d’Amboseli, dans le sud du Kenya, a rapporté la BBC. Luunkiito, 19 ans, a été poignardé avec des lances…

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Algas muy contaminadas: un peligro para los humanos – europeantimes.news

Un nuevo estudio realizado por un equipo de investigadores de Alemania, Gran Bretaña y Canadá descubrió que las algas que crecen bajo el hielo marino en el Ártico están “altamente contaminadas” con microplásticos, lo que representa una amenaza para los humanos en la cadena alimentaria, informa UPI. Alga densa conocida como Melosira arctica…

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Frogs may become extinct due to the insatiable appetite for frog legs

Europe’s hunt for frog legs could drive amphibians to ‘irreversible extinction’, warns new study. Between 2010 and 2019, European Union countries imported 40.7 million kilograms of legs – the equivalent of around two billion frogs. Most of the frogs were purchased from Indonesia,…

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Con insectos venceremos el hambre en el mundo – europeantimes.news

El actor estadounidense Nicolas Cage cree que comer insectos puede resolver el problema del hambre en el mundo y ha pedido comer insectos por el bien común. Compartió sus pensamientos sobre comer insectos con Yahoo Entertainment durante una entrevista conjunta con su coprotagonista de Renfield, Nicholas Hoult. “Si usted…

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Aumento del derretimiento extremo en Groenlandia relacionado con el ave fénix y los ‘ríos atmosféricos’ – europeantimes.news

Los eventos de fusión más intensos en el noreste de Groenlandia se deben a bandas largas y estrechas de vapor de agua llamadas “ríos atmosféricos”. Los vientos cálidos y secos de la ladera conocidos como “soplo” también juegan un papel. Los autores de un estudio publicado en Nature Communications combinan el clima regional…

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‘Bloqueadores de metano’ en vacas británicas para reducir las emisiones de carbono – europeantimes.news

Las vacas en el Reino Unido pueden recibir “bloqueadores de metano” en un intento por reducir sus emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero, informa The Guardian. La propuesta surge después de una consulta lanzada en agosto sobre cómo los nuevos tipos de alimentos podrían reducir las emisiones de metano de las vacas, que son la principal causa de las emisiones de…

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Antarctic ice melting slows the circulation of water in the world’s oceans – europeantimes.news

The rapid melting of Antarctic ice is dramatically slowing the circulation of water in the world’s oceans and could have catastrophic effects on global climate, the marine food chain and even the stability of ice shelves. This is what scientists quoted by Reuters warn.

Ocean circulation,…

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Comment la nouvelle loi européenne anti-déforestation affecte-t-elle le chocolat ? – Europeantimes.news

Les députés européens ont adopté une nouvelle loi anti-déforestation, avec des règles visant à protéger le climat et la biodiversité. Elles obligent les entreprises à s’assurer que les produits vendus dans l’UE n’ont pas conduit à la déforestation et à la dégradation des forêts. La loi s’appliquera au bétail et aux denrées telles que le cacao, le café, l’huile de palme,…

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What to do when meeting a bear face to face?
What to do when meeting a bear face to face?

One very important thing is that, in fact, people who visit the mountains need to be literate about where they are going, which has been a big problem in recent years. Everyone thinks that the mountain is something wonderful and wonderful, with flowers and herbs, where he can do whatever he wants. In fact, this is not the case. This mountain has its own life and rules that we must follow. One thing is clear – that nature is exploited, in the case of mushrooms, herbs, etc., regardless of the fact that in it find peace various protected species. We have to be very careful and cautious when we go to the mountains. Therefore, we can consult with representatives of the nearby hunting or forestry. People will kindly explain to us where we can and where we cannot go, where it is not allowed or not recommended, where we run the risk of encountering this type of conflict. Keep in mind that the bear is one of the most non-confrontational animals in the mountains. She can feel and smell you for miles and run away. Another issue is that the bear in this case was placed in an ambush situation – there were groups on both sides to pick mushrooms. And she, of course, began to do the most normal thing – to exercise her instincts for self-preservation. So my opinion as a person who has been in the mountains for many years, has met all kinds of wild animals, including bears, is to be careful where we go. In this case, too, the bear should not be punished, as it acted at the first sign to save its life and defend itself.

 What should be our reactions when meeting a bear?

The main thing we have to observe in an area with bears is to talk out loud, to make noise. It would be good to buy a simple whistle, to talk, and not be quiet. The bear will sense us and retreat. She is a non-aggressive creature. When searching for food, sometimes he may not hear us, we may meet and be surprised. If this happens, there are a few rules. First, let’s not look the bears in the eye. We should slowly leave the backpack on the ground, facing it, but lower our heads. Then we have to slowly move away. The bear will growl, turn, maybe see what’s in the backpack. The idea is to leave her something to distract her from us. In the more unacceptable version, it is possible for the bear to chase us. If it’s flat or uphill, we have absolutely no chance. But due to the anatomical specifics of her front paws, which are a little shorter, we have a chance to save ourselves if we start running from a high slope down.

Are teddy bears the most dangerous?

The bears are very curious and agile. If we see a little bear, it should be a clear sign that mom is around and that we need to get away as quickly as possible.

New Insights Into How Central Supermassive Black Holes Influence the Evolution of Their Host Galaxy
New Insights Into How Central Supermassive Black Holes Influence the Evolution of Their Host Galaxy

Galaxy Universe Concept

Emirati national Aisha Al Yazeedi, a research scientist at the NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Center for Astro, Particle, and Planetary Physics, has published her first research paper, featuring some key findings on the evolution of galaxies.

Galaxies eventually undergo a phase in which they lose most of their gas, which results in a change into their properties over the course of their evolution. Current models for galaxy evolution suggest this should eventually happen to all galaxies, including our own Milky Way; Al Yazeedi and her team are delving into this process.

Blob Source Extracted From DESI

Composite RGB image of the Blob Source extracted from the DESI Legacy Imaging Surveys (Dey et al.(2019), legacysurvey.org). MaNGA _eld of view is shown in orange. Gray box corresponds to the GMOS _eld of view. Credit: Dey et al.(2019), legacysurvey.org

Commenting on the findings, Al Yazeedi said: “The evolution of galaxies is directly linked to the activity of their central supermassive black hole (SMBH). However, the connection between the activity of SMBHs and the ejection of gas from the entire galaxy is poorly understood. Observational studies, including our research, are essential to clarify how the central SMBH can influence the evolution of its entire host galaxy and prove key theoretical concepts in the field of astrophysics.”

Titled “The impact of low luminosity AGN on their host galaxies: A radio and optical investigation of the kpc-scale outflow in MaNGA 1-166919,” the paper has been published in Astronomical Journal. Its findings outline gas ejection mechanisms, outflow properties, and how they are related to the activity of the supermassive black hole (SMBH) at the center of the host galaxy.

To that end, the paper presents a detailed optical and radio study of the MaNGA 1-166919 galaxy, which appears to have an Active Galactic Nucleus (AGN). Radio morphology shows two lobes (jets) emanating from the center of the galaxy, a clear sign of AGN activity that could be driving the optical outflow. By measuring the outflow properties, the NYUAD researchers documented how the extent of the optical outflow matches the extent of radio emission.

MzLS Image Isophotes

Superposition of optical z-band MzLS image isophotes (gray color) and our highest spatial resolution radio image in S band (in blue). Optical image has a spatial resolution of 0:0084, while S-band radio data { 0:009. Credit: NYU Abu Dhabi

Al Yazeedi is a member of NYUAD’s Kawader program, a national capacity-building research fellowship that allows outstanding graduates to gain experience in cutting-edge academic research. The three-year, individually tailored, intensive program is designed for graduates considering a graduate degree or a career in research.

Her paper adds to the growing body of UAE space research and activities. The UAE has sent an Emirati into space, a spacecraft around Mars, and recently announced plans to send a robotic rover to the Moon in 2022, ahead of the ultimate goal to build a city on Mars by 2117.

GMOS Outflow Map

The above figure is a GMOS outflow map with radio contours overlaid in black. The outflow velocities show a clear spatial separation of “red” and “blue” components. It strongly suggests a biconical outflow and nicely shows the correspondence between the optical outflow and radio emission. Credit: NYU Abu Dhabi

Emirati women are playing a key role in the research and development behind these projects. The Mars Hope probe science team, which is 80 percent female, was led by Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Sciences and chairperson of the country’s space agency.

Reference: “The impact of low luminosity AGN on their host galaxies: A radio and optical investigation of the kpc-scale outflow in MaNGA 1-166919” 3 August 2021, Astronomical Journal.
DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/abf5e1

The Environmental Toll of Disposable Masks – And How To Reduce It
The Environmental Toll of Disposable Masks – And How To Reduce It

Discarded Mask

A new study calculates the waste generated by N95 usage and suggests possible ways to reduce it.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began last year, face masks and other personal protective equipment have become essential for health care workers. Disposable N95 masks have been in especially high demand to help prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

All of those masks carry both financial and environmental costs. The Covid-19 pandemic is estimated to generate up to 7,200 tons of medical waste every day, much of which is disposable masks. And even as the pandemic slows down in some parts of the world, health care workers are expected to continue wearing masks most of the time.

That toll could be dramatically cut by adopting reusable masks, according to a new study from MIT that has calculated the financial and environmental cost of several different mask usage scenarios. Decontaminating regular N95 masks so that health care workers can wear them for more than one day drops costs and environmental waste by at least 75 percent, compared to using a new mask for every encounter with a patient.

Mask Waste

The Covid-19 pandemic is estimated to generate up to 7,200 tons of medical waste every day, much of which is disposable masks. Credit: Stock photo

“Perhaps unsurprisingly, the approaches that incorporate reusable aspects stand to have not only the greatest cost savings, but also significant reduction in waste,” says Giovanni Traverso, an MIT assistant professor of mechanical engineering, a gastroenterologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the senior author of the study.

The study also found that fully reusable silicone N95 masks could offer an even greater reduction in waste. Traverso and his colleagues are now working on developing such masks, which are not yet commercially available.

Jacqueline Chu, a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, is the lead author of the study, which appears in the British Medical Journal Open.

Reduce and reuse

In the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, N95 masks were in short supply. At many hospitals, health care workers were forced to wear one mask for a full day, instead of switching to a new one for each patient they saw. Later on, some hospitals, including MGH and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, began using decontamination systems that use hydrogen peroxide vapor to sterilize masks. This allows one mask to be worn for a few days.

Last year, Traverso and his colleagues began developing a reusable N95 mask that is made of silicone rubber and contains an N95 filter that can be either discarded or sterilized after use. The masks are designed so they can be sterilized with heat or bleach and reused many times.

“Our vision was that if we had a reusable system, we could reduce the cost,” Traverso says. “The majority of disposable masks also have a significant environmental impact, and they take a very long time to degrade. During a pandemic, there’s a priority to protect people from the virus, and certainly that remains a priority, but for the longer term, we have to catch up and do the right thing, and strongly consider and minimize the potential negative impact on the environment.”

Throughout the pandemic, hospitals in the United States have been using different mask strategies, based on availability of N95 masks and access to decontamination systems. The MIT team decided to model the impacts of several different scenarios, which encompassed usage patterns before and during the pandemic, including: one N95 mask per patient encounter; one N95 mask per day; reuse of N95 masks using ultraviolet decontamination; reuse of N95 masks using hydrogen peroxide sterilization; and one surgical mask per day.

They also modeled the potential cost and waste generated by the reusable silicone mask that they are now developing, which could be used with either disposable or reusable N95 filters.

According to their analysis, if every health care worker in the United States used a new N95 mask for each patient they encountered during the first six months of the pandemic, the total number of masks required would be about 7.4 billion, at a cost of $6.4 billion. This would lead to 84 million kilograms of waste (the equivalent of 252 Boeing 747 airplanes).

They also found that any of the reusable mask strategies would lead to a significant reduction in cost and in waste generated. If each health care worker were able to reuse N95 masks that were decontaminated with hydrogen peroxide or ultraviolet light, costs would drop to $1.4 billion to $1.7 billion over six months, and 13 million to 18 million kilograms of waste would result (the equivalent of 39 to 56 747s).

Those numbers could potentially be reduced even further with a reusable, silicone N95 mask, especially if the filters were also reusable. The researchers estimated that over six months, this type of mask could reduce costs to $831 million and waste to 1.6 million kilograms (about five 747s).

“Masks are here to stay for the foreseeable future, so it’s critical that we incorporate sustainability into their use, as well as the use of other disposable personal protective equipment that contribute to medical waste,” Chu says.

Environmental burden

The data the researchers used for this study were gathered during the first six months of the pandemic in the United States (late March 2020 to late September 2020). Their calculations are based on the total number of health care workers in the United States, the number of Covid-19 patients at the time, and the length of hospital stay per patient, among other factors. Their calculations do not include any data on mask usage by the general public.

“Our focus here was on health care workers, so it’s likely an underrepresentation of the total cost and environmental burden,” Traverso notes.

While vaccination has helped to reduce the spread of Covid-19, Traverso believes health care workers will likely continue to wear masks for the foreseeable future, to protect against not only Covid-19 but also other respiratory diseases such as influenza.

He and others have started a company called Teal Bio that is now working on further refining and testing their reusable silicone mask and developing methods for mass manufacturing it. They plan to seek regulatory approval for the mask later this year. While cost and environmental impact are important factors to consider, the effectiveness of the masks also needs to be a priority, Traverso says.

“Ultimately, we want the systems to protect us, so it’s important to appreciate whether the decontamination system is compromising the filtering capacity or not,” he says. “Whatever you’re using, you want to make sure you’re using something that’s going to protect you and others.”

Reference: “Thinking green: modelling respirator reuse strategies to reduce cost and waste” by Jacqueline Chu, Omkar Ghenand, Joy Collins, James Byrne, Adam Wentworth, Peter R. Chai, Farah Dadabhoy, Chin Hur and Giovanni Traverso, 18 July 2021, BMJ Open.

The research was funded by the MIT Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, the National Institutes of Health, and MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. Other authors of the paper include Omkar Ghenand, an MIT undergraduate; Joy Collins, a senior clinical research coordinator at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a former MIT technical associate; James Byrne, a radiation oncologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and research affiliate at MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research; Adam Wentworth, a research engineer at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a research affiliate at the Koch Institute; Peter Chai, an emergency medicine physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Farah Dadabhoy, an MIT research affiliate; and Chin Hur, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Columbia University.

Amazing New 3D Images of Shark Intestines Show They Function Like Nikola Tesla’s Valve
Amazing New 3D Images of Shark Intestines Show They Function Like Nikola Tesla’s Valve
Pacific Spiny Dogfish Spiral Intestine

A CT scan image of the spiral intestine of a Pacific spiny dogfish shark (Squalus suckleyi). The beginning of the intestine is on the left, and the end is on the right. Credit: Samantha Leigh/California State University Dominguez Hills

Contrary to what popular media portrays, we actually don’t know much about what sharks eat. Even less is known about how they digest their food, and the role they play in the larger ocean ecosystem.

For more than a century, researchers have relied on flat sketches of sharks’ digestive systems to discern how they function — and how what they eat and excrete impacts other species in the ocean. Now, researchers have produced a series of high-resolution, 3D scans of intestines from nearly three dozen shark species that will advance the understanding of how sharks eat and digest their food.

Smooth Dogfish

Three smooth dogfish sharks (Mustelus canis). Credit: Elizabeth Roberts/Wikimedia Commons

“It’s high time that some modern technology was used to look at these really amazing spiral intestines of sharks,” said lead author Samantha Leigh, assistant professor at California State University Dominguez Hills. “We developed a new method to digitally scan these tissues and now can look at the soft tissues in such great detail without having to slice into them.”

The research team from California State University Dominguez Hills, the University of Washington, and University of California, Irvine, published its findings July 21 in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

CT Scan Dogfish Shark Spiral Intestine

A CT scan image of a dogfish shark spiral intestine, shown from the top looking down. Credit: Samantha Leigh/California State University Dominguez Hills

The researchers primarily used a computerized tomography (CT) scanner at the UW’s Friday Harbor Laboratories to create 3D images of shark intestines, which came from specimens preserved at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. The machine works like a standard CT scanner used in hospitals: A series of X-ray images is taken from different angles, then combined using computer processing to create three-dimensional images. This allows researchers to see the complexities of a shark intestine without having to dissect or disturb it.

Pacific Spiny Dogfish

A live Pacific spiny dogfish shark (Squalus suckleyi). Credit: Samantha Leigh/California State University Dominguez Hills

“CT scanning is one of the only ways to understand the shape of shark intestines in three dimensions,” said co-author Adam Summers, a professor based at UW Friday Harbor Labs who has led a worldwide effort to scan the skeletons of fishes and other vertebrate animals. “Intestines are so complex — with so many overlapping layers, that dissection destroys the context and connectivity of the tissue. It would be like trying to understand what was reported in a newspaper by taking scissors to a rolled-up copy. The story just won’t hang together.”

Smooth Dogfish Spiral Intestine

A CT scan image of a smooth dogfish shark (Mustelus canis) spiral intestine, shown
from the top looking down. Credit: Samantha Leigh/California State University Dominguez Hills

From their scans, the researchers discovered several new aspects about how shark intestines function. It appears these spiral-shaped organs slow the movement of food and direct it downward through the gut, relying on gravity in addition to peristalsis, the rhythmic contraction of the gut’s smooth muscle. Its function resembles the one-way valve designed by Nikola Tesla more than a century ago that allows fluid to flow in one direction, without backflow or assistance from any moving parts.

This finding could shed new light on how sharks eat and process their food. Most sharks usually go days or even weeks between eating large meals, so they rely on being able to hold food in their system and absorb as many nutrients as possible, Leigh explained. The slowed movement of food through their gut caused by the spiral intestine probably allows sharks to retain their food longer, and they also use less energy processing that food.

This video shows the 3D image of a Pacific spiny dogfish (Squalus suckleyi) spiral intestine. Credit: Samantha Leigh/California State University Dominguez Hills

Because sharks are top predators in the ocean and also eat a lot of different things — invertebrates, fish, mammals and even seagrass — they naturally control the biodiversity of many species, the researchers said. Knowing how sharks process what they eat, and how they excrete waste, is important for understanding the larger ecosystem.

“The vast majority of shark species, and the majority of their physiology, are completely unknown. Every single natural history observation, internal visualization and anatomical investigation shows us things we could not have guessed at,” Summers said. “We need to look harder at sharks and, in particular, we need to look harder at parts other than the jaws, and the species that don’t interact with people.”

This video shows the soft tissue of a Pacific spiny dogfish (Squalus suckleyi) spiral intestine, rotated and viewed from different angles. Credit: Samantha Leigh/California State University Dominguez Hills

The authors plan to use a 3D printer to create models of several different shark intestines to test how materials move through the structures in real time. They also hope to collaborate with engineers to use shark intestines as inspiration for industrial applications such as wastewater treatment or filtering microplastics out of the water column.

Reference: 20 July 2021, Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2021.1359

Other co-authors on the paper are Donovan German of University of California, Irvine, and Sarah Hoffmann of Applied Biological Services.

This research was funded by Friday Harbor Laboratories, the UC Irvine OCEANS Graduate Research Fellowship, the Newkirk Center Graduate Research Fellowship, the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program and UC Irvine.

Lords propose ban on boiling lobsters alive
Lords propose ban on boiling lobsters alive

Snappily dressed shellfish campaigners gathered outside the House of Lords today as Peers put forward amendments[i] to the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill to recognise that crabs and lobsters can feel pain. The move could see these animals given new legal protections, and means that restaurants and fishmongers could be banned from boiling crabs alive or sending live lobsters through the post.

The Animal Sentience Bill was introduced by the government on May 11th as part of a raft of animal welfare reforms. It replaces EU legislation which legally recognised that animals can feel pain and experience emotions. The UK Animal Sentience Bill currently only applies to “vertebrate” animals – animals with a backbone. However, Crustacean Compassion, whose supporters include Chris Packham, Bill Bailey, the RSPCA and the British Veterinary Association, argue that the Bill does not go far enough. Scientific evidence shows that decapod crustaceans, a group which includes crabs and lobsters, can feel pain and suffer and should be included in animal welfare legislation. The amendment also requests that cephalopods, which includes octopus and squid, are also protected by the Bill. In 2020, in response to pressure from animal welfare campaigners, the government commissioned an independent scientific review of the evidence for the sentience of decapod crustaceans and cephalopod molluscs. However, they have given no release date for the report despite repeated Parliamentary[ii] and House of Lords[iii] requests.

Whilst other countries such as Switzerland, Norway and New Zealand include decapod crustaceans in their animal welfare laws, decapods are not currently included in the definition of ‘animal’ in most of the UK’s animal welfare legislation. Crustacean Compassion points out that this means that they can be routinely treated as if they were no more sentient than a vegetable. Decapod crustaceans are frequently boiled and/or dismembered alive, and research shows that a brown crab may take up to three minutes to die in boiling water[iv]. Electrical stunning before slaughter, they argue, is currently the most humane method of dispatching the animals. Last year, a fishmonger came under fire for using Amazon to deliver live lobsters through the ordinary post, and a London supermarket was criticised in 2015 for selling crabs shrink-wrapped whilst still alive.

Maisie Tomlinson of Crustacean Compassion, said:

“We hope the House of Lords votes to accept this amendment at the earliest opportunity. Decapod crustaceans are Britain’s forgotten animals, widely recognised as sentient but subject to brutal treatment in the food industry. The government made a manifesto commitment to promote high standards of animal welfare, and prides itself on being led by the science. It cannot decide which animals are sentient based on political convenience, and if the independent review of decapod and cephalopod sentience is so critical to the Lords’ decision-making, we urge them not to delay its release any further”.

Notes to Editors

Crustacean Compassion is an animal welfare organisation campaigning for the humane treatment of crabs, lobsters and other decapod crustaceans in the UK.

For an accessible overview of the issues, please see our report

Media Enquiries: 0203 871 3302 or email info@crustaceancompassion.org

Photographs of the protest will be uploaded by 4pm here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/151949698@N06/albums/72157719507058967

Further royalty-free photos are available here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/151949698@N06/albums/72157676726405414


[i] https://bills.parliament.uk/publications/42074/documents/470 – search “decapod”

[ii] https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-03-25/HL14638




[iii] https://hansard.parliament.uk/lords/2021-06-16/debates/81851658-6B9F-4739-8199-22398F81085F/AnimalWelfare(Sentience)Bill(HL) – search “decapod”.

[iv] Roth, B. and Øines, S., 2010. Stunning and killing of edible crabs (Cancer pagurus), Animal Welfare, Volume 19, Number 3, August 2010 , pp. 287-294(8). Universities Federation for Animal Welfare

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Crustacean Compassion, on Tuesday 6 July, 2021. For more information subscribe and follow https://pressat.co.uk/

A new ocean has appeared on the world map. The end of a century-old dispute
A new ocean has appeared on the world map. The end of a century-old dispute

The National Geographic Society of the United States announced the official recognition of the fifth ocean – the South, washing the shores of Antarctica. This decision is the result of many years of research efforts. So in the XXI century – although, it would seem, the era of major geographical discoveries is already far in the past – the map of the world has changed.

History of the issue

For the first time the designation “Southern Ocean” was used by the Spanish conquistador Vasco Nunez de Balboa at the beginning of the 16th century, describing the cold currents coming from the south to the shores of South America. Later, Antarctic expeditions equipped ships “to the Southern Ocean”. But officially it appeared, perhaps, only on maps published in Australia – all waters located south of the Australian continent were attributed to it.

The debate over whether to recognize the fifth ocean or not flared up in 1921, the year of the creation of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), designed to coordinate internationally shipping and trade in the oceans. In 1937, the term “Southern Ocean” was officially enshrined in the publications of the IHO.

Scientists supported this – after all, the waters adjacent to Antarctica and united by the Antarctic circumpolar current have a special specificity. In terms of physicochemical and biological characteristics, they are not similar to the other three oceans, merging in the southern circumpolar zone.

However, in 1953, the International Hydrographic Organization canceled its own decision due to the impossibility of drawing clear boundaries of the Southern Ocean. And therefore, to regulate navigation and commercial activities within its limits.

Scientists disagreed: they increasingly mentioned this term in scientific publications, emphasized the uniqueness of the Southern Ocean and the importance of a separate study of its hydrological and biosystems. As a result, in 2000, the IHO again adopted the classification, according to which the oceans were divided into five parts. But in order to make changes to all geographical atlases and textbooks, ratification at the level of official departments of the leading countries of the world was required.

The key was the recognition of the Southern Ocean this year by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Even earlier, in 1999, the term was coined by the American Board of Geographical Names. And now the point has been set – on June 8, World Oceans Day, the National Geographic Society of the United States announced: from now on, the Southern Ocean will be marked on all maps.

The boundaries of the new ocean

The ancient Greeks understood the ocean as the world’s greatest river, which surrounds the land from all sides. It was named after the mythological titan Ocean – the son of Uranus and Gaia, that is, Heaven and Earth, brother and husband Tethys, the goddess of the primeval waters.

From the point of view of geographical science, there is only one ocean on Earth – the World, global water envelope. Everything else is its parts, and how many there are depends on the selection criteria. The simplest and most obvious is the location between the continents, that is, limited land mass on all sides. On this basis, the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Arctic oceans are classified as oceans.

No less important from the point of view of scientists – hydrographers, oceanologists, biologists – and other criteria: the presence of its own water circulation system, their physicochemical characteristics, the species composition of flora and fauna, the scheme of interaction with the atmosphere. And in this regard, the Southern Ocean is an absolutely independent part of the hydrosphere, although it does not have a clearly delineated northern border by islands or continents.

The International Hydrographic Organization, which recognized the Southern Ocean in 2000, determined its territory conditionally – from the coast of Antarctica to the north to the 60th parallel of the south latitude. This decision was taken by a majority vote for formal reasons – the 60th parallel does not cross land anywhere, and it is within these limits that the United Nations Antarctic Treaty operates.

It is clear that geographers were not satisfied with this approach. In their opinion, the northern boundary of the Southern Ocean should be drawn along the Antarctic Polar Front, within which the cold waters of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current circulate. This zone surrounding Antarctica is also called the Antarctic Convergence.

On its northern border, located between the 48th and 61st parallels south latitude, the cold waters of Antarctica flowing northward meet with the warmer Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Heading south, the convergence boundary is precisely defined by the sudden drop in sea water temperature from 5.6 degrees Celsius to below two degrees Celsius. The Antarctic Convergence Line separates two regions that differ in climate and biodiversity.

The boundaries of the Southern Ocean are no less clearly manifested in the bottom topography – in the form of underwater uplifts practically along the entire Antarctic Polar Front.

Areas along the Antarctic Polar Front are extremely rich in fish and marine mammals. The dense cold waters drain here under the warm ones, and the nutrient-rich, rising deep streams form a favorable habitat for Antarctic krill and other marine organisms.

The Atlantic circumpolar current, which moves in a circle from west to east, crossing all meridians, is the most powerful on Earth, it carries a hundred times more water than all the rivers of the world. Scientists believe that it originated 34 million years ago, when Antarctica separated from South America. Moving cold waters along the bottom from Antarctica to the north, it draws in surface warm waters from the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean into the polar region. It is the most important element of the global “conveyor belt” of currents, which determines the heat transfer scheme and regulates the climate on the planet.

Diagram of ocean currents in Antarctica. The boundaries of the Southern Ocean are determined by the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, which moves from west to east

The area of ​​the new ocean is 20.3 million square kilometers: this is approximately two territories of the United States. It is larger than the Artic Ocean and the fourth largest in the world after the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian.

The average depth is 3270 meters, and the lowest point of the bottom is at 8264 meters, in the South Sandwich Trench.