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Showing posts with label Research. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Research. Show all posts

Rural Skills Development and Job Creation - South Africa

GeoSolEarth is proud to be a part of rural skills development and job creation. Most of the areas we service are poor with high unemployment rates. The roads we travel on are gravel dirt roads and the areas lack electricity, sanitation and clean drinking water.

We are however very fortunate to still see smiles on the faces of local kids and people... Our Geotechnical Solutions staff are always blown away by the warm welcomes and happy faces.


Happy Faces at Dukuza High School...





Emkhuphula Learners always had the most interesting stories...



Skills Development and Job Creation in Emmaus... Empowering the Community within the Building and Construction Sectors...







Learners at Nteneshana Primary School faces challenges of No Water and No Electricity...


The little ones at Mzomusha Primary hardly left us alone...


There is also a lack of classrooms and no maths or science teachers...




Geotechnical Investigations - Compaction Testing - Mod AASHTO - Soil Grading Analysis - Atterberg Limits - DCP Testing - Concrete Cube Crushing - Concrete Strength Testing - Block Strength Testing - Water Quality Testing...

www.geo-sol.co.za

Durban - Pietermaritzburg - Newcastle - Harrismith - Johannesburg - Pretoria - Bloemfontein - Bethlehem - QwaQwa - Kestel - Reitz - Vereeninging - Ladysmith - Dundee - Estcourt - Glencoe - Vryheid - Greytown - Muden - Colenso - Winterton - Bergville - Drakensberg


More Adventure Videos... GeoSolutions Adventure Videos




Holistic Management - Mob Grazing - Ian Mitchell-Innes

 
Holistic Management Educator using Mob Grazing - Manipulating Soil Fertility - Livestock Nutrition and Farming
Ian Mitchell-Innes
 

 Next - Animal Mineral Supplementation



Animal Mineral Supplementation - Ranching - Farming

Energy is Money, Money is Energy, Time is Money and Water is Money’

‘The Animal Tells The Story'
Any supplementation given to Livestock, is a crutch to help you through a change, be it Environmental or Physical. It is to make sure you do not loose animal performance, while you the manager and animals, are going through a learning curve. To enable these seeds to germinate and grow, we need to change the Environment at soil surface level. There is no argument, that this can be achieved with livestock, by emulating what happened in the past, before man intervened with a rifle and barbed wire. 

Next - Ranching and Ownership Responsibilities



Ranching and Ownership Responsibilities

Taking Ownership

Many Ranchers and Farmers are now ready to make a change from the conventional, whatever that might be, for the area. The biggest problem is most are looking for a System or a Recipe. This might work in business, where most situations tend to be linear. When dealing with the Environment and Agriculture, managers are making decisions and dealing with Chaos. This chaos is complex and multidimensional and operates in ‘Wholes within Wholes, with interconnecting parts’.
The only way to deal with this Chaos, is to remain totally flex able, using ongoing monitoring. For this to be effective, the manager needs to take ownership and responsibility of his/her decisions. There is a learning to this, as knowledge needs to be obtained, to understand why you are doing something and for what reason.

The first thing to consider is animal performance, as this is the financial aspect of all livestock based operations. The Land and what grows on it, is a solar panel. Capturing the Energy from the sun, which is for free and converting it into an edible product. We use livestock to eat this product and convert it into a saleable commodity, which is meat, milk and wool etc.
‘The limiting factor to all animal performance is Energy’, be it re-conception or weight gain.
We can improve this solar panel, by sequestrating Carbon, covering the soil, improving soil life and growing plants which are more effective at capturing Energy from the Sun.
There is ‘nothing for nothing’ in this World, so it is important to fully understand what you are trying to achieve. If it is to save the World and use livestock as a tool only, to improve the soil, there could be a direct cost to you the manager, in loss of animal performance or having to buy a supplement. If you are paying Tax, this might not affect your bottom line as the Government will be paying for it, if not be very careful.
‘Energy is Money, Money is Energy, Time is Money and Water is Money’



Mob Grazing - Ranching - Animal Nutrition

Energy is Money, Money is Energy, Time is Money
Water is Money

Any supplementation given to Livestock, is a crutch to help you through a change, be it Environmental or Physical. It is to make sure you do not loose animal performance, while you the manager and animals, are going through a learning curve.
 
 

There is increasing evidence, that we humans, particularly since the advent of barbed wire, have managed in such a way that we have reduced the effectiveness of our soils. The result being the plants growing on those soils, do not capture the amount of Energy from the Sun, which used to be captured. The loss of these plants is not as dramatic as we thought it might be, as Nature knew we were going to mess up and the seeds of those good Energy capturing plants are still in and on the soil.
To enable these seeds to germinate and grow, we need to change the Environment at soil surface level. There is no argument, that this can be achieved with livestock, by emulating what happened in the past, before man intervened with a rifle and barbed wire.

Some of the things we have learnt are :-
The bigger the herd, the better the animals do and the quicker the soil is restored.
The more Carbon (plant material) is trodden onto and into the soil, the better the soil does.
We need to manage the livestock to make sure the soil is covered with growing plants or litter, to keep the soil at a more constant temperature and feed life in the soil.
We also know that selection of grazing makes animals perform (fat).
This is all achieved with Time and Timing
Before committing yourself to any change in grazing, take out a pen and calculator and work out which form of Grazing you can afford. You will be doing a “Marginal Reaction”. Which form of grazing, costs you the least, to achieve what you want (in terms of improving the soil) and getting animal performance.
Use the heading of this article, Energy, Money, Time and Water.
If you do not get animal performance you will go broke!
29 December 2015


Ian Mitchell-Innes                          
 



The Future of Earth - Global Warming




Video - The Future of Earth with Global Warming

Abbreviated version of the visualization 'Heating Up,' which depicts climate model projection of 21st century global temperatures. Credit: NASA Scientific Visualization Studio.


“Do we think about the aerosol propellant in our underarm deodorant every day?” Gavin Schmidt, climatologist and director of The Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), asked me. “I don’t think we even have aerosols anymore,” I answered, wondering where he was going with this.

“That’s the point,” he continued, “and nobody cares. Nobody cares where your energy comes from; nobody cares whether your car is electric or petrol. People confuse energy supply with where the energy is supplied from.” He was trying to make the point that as long as people have the things they want, it doesn’t matter, to the vast majority of us, how we get them. This means that as long as the light switch still turns on the lights, most people would barely notice if we were to shift from burning fossil fuels to energy sources with less impact on Earth’s climate (just as people don’t notice that ozone-depleting propellants aren’t used in aerosol cans any more).

I was eager to speak with Dr. Schmidt because of his passion for communicating climate science to public audiences on top of his work as a climatologist. Schmidt is a co-founder and active blogger at Real Climate and was also awarded the inaugural Climate Communications Prize, by the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in 2011. “My goal in communicating,” he explained, “is a totally futile effort to raise the level of the conversation so that we actually discuss the things that matter.”

Since the mere mention of a computer model can cause an otherwise normal person’s face to glaze over, I thought Schmidt, a leader in climate simulations and Earth system modeling, would be the ideal candidate to explain one of the most important, yet probably one of the most misunderstood, instruments scientists have for studying Earth’s climate. See, people commonly confuse climate and weather, and this confusion is perhaps most pronounced when it comes to understanding the difference between a weather forecast and a climate simulation.
Numerical laboratory

Schmidt’s work routine is much like that of any other scientist. He spends a few months preparing experiments, then a few more months conducting the experiments, then a few more months refining and improving the experiments, then a few more months going back and looking at fine details, then a few more months … you get the idea. Climate scientists use complex computer simulations as numerical laboratories to conduct experiments because we don’t have a bunch of spare Earths just lying around. These simulations model Earth’s conditions as precisely as possible. “A single run can take three months on up on super computers,” Schmidt said. “For really long runs, it can take a year.” NASA scientists can reserve time at the NASA Supercomputer Center with High-End Computing Capability to run simulations. Like an astronomer who reserves time on a large telescope to run her experiments, Schmidt books time on these computers to run his.

Schmidt asks the computer to calculate the weather in 20-minute time steps and see how it changes. Every 20 minutes it updates its calculation over hundred-year or even thousand-year periods in the past or the future. “The models that we run process about three to four years of simulation, going through every 20 minute time step, every real day.”

A typical climate simulation code is large, as in 700,000 lines of computer code large. For comparison, the Curiosity Rover required about 500,000 lines of code to autonomously descend safely on Mars, a planet 140 million miles away with a signal time delay of about 14 minutes. The size of a typical app, such as our Earth Now mobile app, is just over 6,000 lines of code. Climate simulations require such a large quantity of code because Earth’s climate is so extraordinarily complex. And, according to Schmidt, “Complexity is quite complex.”

Like a scientist who runs an experiment in a science lab, climate modelers want code that’s consistent from one experiment to another. So they spend most of their time developing that code, looking at code, improving code and fixing bugs.

The model output is compared to data and observations from the real world to build in credibility. “We rate the predictions on whether or not they’re skillful; on whether we can demonstrate they are robust.” When models are tested against the real world, we get a measure of how skillful the model is at reproducing things that have already happened. Then we can be more confident about the accuracy in predicting what’s going to happen. Schmidt wants to find out where the models have skill and where they provide useful information. For example, they’re not very useful for tornado statistics, but they're extremely useful on global mean temperature. According to Schmidt, the credible and consistently reliable predictions include ones that involve adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. “You consistently get increases in temperature and those increases are almost always greater over land than they are in the ocean. They’re always larger in the Arctic than in the mid-latitudes and always more in the northern hemisphere than the southern, particularly Antarctica. Those are very, very robust results.”

Lately, his team has been working on improving the code for sea ice dynamics to include the effects of brine pockets (very salty fluid within the ice matrix) as well as the wind moving the ice around. For example, to understand the timeline for Arctic sea ice loss, his team has to work on the different bits of code for the wind, the temperature, the ocean and the water vapor and include the way all these pieces intersect in the real world. After you improve the code, you can see the impact of those improvements.

I asked Schmidt what people’s behavior would look like “if they understood that burning fossil fuels produces carbon dioxide, which causes global warming.” He replied, “People would start focusing on policies and processes that would reduce the amount of fossil fuels without ruining the economy or wrecking society.” Then he added, “I think, I hope! that people will get it before it’s too late.”

I hope so, too...


Gavin Schmidt

Communications Specialist                                           NASA Climate - Earth Right Now
Laura Faye Tenenbaum is a science communicator at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and teaches oceanography at Glendale Community College.           Contact Laura


A History of the Landsat Science Satellite

Landsat 1 • Landsat 2 • Landsat 3 • Landsat 4 • Landsat 5 • Landsat 6 • Landsat 7 • Landsat 8

From the Beginning

“The Landsat program was created in the United States in the heady scientific and exploratory times associated with taming the atom and going to the Moon,” explains Dr. John Barker. In fact, it was the Apollo Moon-bound missions that inspired the Landsat program. During the early test bed missions for Apollo, photographs of Earth’s land surface from space were taken for the first time.






“This photography has been documented as the stimulus for Landsat,” explains Dr. Paul Lowman, who proposed the terrain photography experiment for the last two Mercury missions, the Gemini missions, and the Apollo 7 and 9 missions.


Thor-Delta rocket prepared to launch Landsat 1, 1972.
Thor-Delta rocket prepared to launch Landsat 1, 1972.

In 1965, director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), William Pecora, proposed the idea of a remote sensing satellite program to gather facts about the natural resources of our planet. Pecora stated that the program was “conceived in 1966 largely as a direct result of the demonstrated utility of the Mercury and Gemini orbital photography to Earth resource studies.”


While weather satellites had been monitoring Earth’s atmosphere since 1960 and were largely considered useful, there was no appreciation of terrain data from space until the mid-1960s.
So, when Landsat 1 was proposed, it met with intense opposition from the Bureau of Budget and those who argued high-altitude aircraft would be the fiscally responsible choice for Earth remote sensing.


Concurrently, the Department of Defense feared that a civilian program such as Landsat would compromise the secrecy of their reconnaissance missions.
Additionally, there were also geopolitical concerns about photographing foreign countries without permission.


In 1965, NASA began methodical investigations of Earth remote sensing using instruments mounted on planes. In 1966, the USGS convinced the Secretary of the Interior, Stewart L. Udall, to announce that the Department of the Interior (DOI) was going to proceed with its own Earth-observing satellite program.


This savvy political stunt coerced NASA to expedite the building of Landsat. But, budgetary constraints and sensor disagreements between application agencies (notably the Department of Agriculture and DOI) again stymied the satellite construction process.
Finally, by 1970 NASA had a green light to build a satellite. Remarkably, within only two years, Landsat 1 was launched, heralding a new age of remote sensing of land from space.


The Landsat satellite record stretches from 1972 to the present. This gallery includes all Landsat images published on the Earth Observatory, Visible Earth, and Landsat Science web sites from all seven Landsat satellites (Landsats 1-8, Landsat 6 failed to achieve orbit). All of the images are in the public domain and may be used with attribution. The correct attribution for imagery obtained from this site is:


“Landsat imagery courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and U.S. Geological Survey” or “USGS/NASA Landsat”





More History

 












Learn about the Landsat Legacy project        Landsat Science



Slideshow - Climate Change is Real - The Inconvenient Truth

In 2009, Al Gore followed up with the publication of Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis, a book that "gathers in one place all of the most effective solutions that are available now and that, together, will solve this crisis". "It is now abundantly clear that we have at our fingertips all of the tools we need to solve the climate crisis. The only missing ingredient is collective will."








One thousand years of temperature history obtained from isotope analysis of ice cores.


Measured since 1958, atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) has been increasing steadily.






One thousand years of CO2 and temperature data -- the curves have similar shape.







650,000 years of CO2 and temperature history, from Antarctic ice cores. Dips record ice ages. CO2 concentration and temperature are related. CO2 has spiked upward in recent years.







If no changes are made, CO2 concentration is predicted to climb much higher (to 600 ppm) in 45 years.







Ocean temperatures since 1940. Blue indicates normal range, green indicates range predicted by climate models due to human causes.







Ocean temperatures (see previous chart). Red line indicates actual ocean temperature history (outside and above normal range -- climate models were right).







As ocean temperatures rise, storms intensify, causing increased insurance pay-outs.







Incidents of major flooding have increased in recent decades.







37 inches (94 cm) of rain in 24 hours flooded Mumbai, India in July 2005.






Global precipitation has increased in last century by 20% but not evenly; some areas have received less. Sub-Sahara Africa is severely affected.







Arctic sea ice extent and thickness has diminished precipitously since the 1970's.







The 'Global Ocean Conveyor Belt' carries heat around the globe, in particular, to Europe. However, disruption due to ice melt has stopped heat flow to Europe in the past.











Global warming shifts the seasons, disrupting ecological relationships. The time of Black Tern bird arrival (blue) and bird hatching (yellow); hatching no longer coincides with insect peak (orange), starving chicks in the Netherlands.







Antarctic ice shelf break-up predicted by models has occurred. Larsen ice shelf (green) broke up from 1995 to 2002. Sea levels are rising. A 20 ft (6m) rise in sea level would create over 100 million refugees.







Population has exploded in the last 200 years. In 1945 there were 2.3 billion people, in 2006 there are 6.5 billion, and in 2050 there may be 9.1 billion.



Much of the population growth is occurring in developing countries.



Population growth and rising living standards drive demand for food.



... and demand for water.



Lights from fishing fleets (blue), fires (red), gas flares (yellow), and cities (white).



Relative contribution to global warming, by country. "USA is responsible for more greenhouse gas pollution than South America, Africa, the Middle East, Australia, Japan, and Asia -- all put together."



Carbon emissions per person, for selected countries.



Carbon emissions per country, for selected countries.







"We don't have to choose between a healthy economy and a healthy environment. Without a planet, we won't enjoy gold bars, and if we do the right things, we'll have both."



Comparison of vehicle fuel economy and emission standards around the world.



California proposes standards that exceed US national standards. US car manufacturers suing California, saying targets are unreachable in 10 years -- despite manufacturers in other countries already doing it now.



Companies building more efficient cars are doing well; US car manufacturers are losing market capitalization.



USA can reduce its emissions by 2050 to pre-1970 levels by a combination of approaches...



... more efficient use of electrical energy (blue), more efficient buildings (purple), improved vehicle efficiency (green), more efficient transport network (light green), increased reliance on bio and wind energy (tan), CO2 sequestering (white).



"Future generations may well have occasion to ask themselves, What were our parents thinking? Why didn't they wake up when they had the chance? We have to hear that question, from them, now."


The Inconvenient Truth - www.web.ncf.ca                                @algore


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