Terrestrial planet – Sinia Planeta http://sinia-planeta.com/ Thu, 12 May 2022 05:36:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://sinia-planeta.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-50-120x120.png Terrestrial planet – Sinia Planeta http://sinia-planeta.com/ 32 32 Studying the invisible in terrestrial ecosystems to save our planet https://sinia-planeta.com/studying-the-invisible-in-terrestrial-ecosystems-to-save-our-planet/ Thu, 12 May 2022 02:29:00 +0000 https://sinia-planeta.com/studying-the-invisible-in-terrestrial-ecosystems-to-save-our-planet/ Our climate is warming rapidly and rising temperatures are impacting the physical environments that support entire ecosystems. Humans and animal species are facing daunting challenges to their survival due to climate change. The perspective is not lost on NUS climate change ecologist, Assistant Professor Luo Xiangzhong. For him, childhood admirations for the work of early […]]]>

Our climate is warming rapidly and rising temperatures are impacting the physical environments that support entire ecosystems. Humans and animal species are facing daunting challenges to their survival due to climate change. The perspective is not lost on NUS climate change ecologist, Assistant Professor Luo Xiangzhong. For him, childhood admirations for the work of early natural philosophers such as German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt, coupled with a desire to tackle the problem of climate change, introduced him to the world of science. climate change ecology.

A doctoral trip to a Foucault covariance tower in a Canadian forest sealed the deal. There, looking at the colorful canopies of autumn, he realized that the tower was monitoring something invisible – the amount of water and carbon dioxide the forest was using and absorbing. Knowing that the uptake of carbon dioxide by the forest had increased for 10 years for reasons still unknown crystallized his interest in the links between the visible and the invisible, and how climate can impact on ecosystems in ways that we cannot directly see.

A recent study he conducted clearly illustrates this relationship. The study found that the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by terrestrial ecosystems, such as forests, may be linked to the availability of water, which becomes scarce during droughts. This highlighted the significant impact of droughts on the ability of forests to absorb carbon dioxide (or CO2) – the main greenhouse gas causing climate change – from the atmosphere.

We recently caught up with the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences geographer to learn more about the importance of climate change ecology, its sister questions of the carbon cycle and global photosynthesis, and his research.

What is the ecology of climate change?

Assistant Professor Luo: Climate change ecology studies the interactions between climate change and natural ecosystems. It is a two-way process. On the one hand, climate change is influencing ecosystems, leading to questions about whether rising temperatures and reduced rainfall can cause rainforests to collapse. On the other hand, ecosystems can impact climate by modulating the carbon and water cycles on Earth. For example, ecosystems can mitigate global warming by absorbing CO2 of the atmosphere through photosynthesis. Many environmental interactions and feedbacks morph into a rather complex relationship between terrestrial ecosystems and climate change.

When we talk about ecosystems, we often think of trees and leaves. However, advances in Earth observation techniques over the past 20 years, such as eddy covariance, leaf gas exchange, and Earth system modeling, have helped us see far beyond that. It also represents a great opportunity for us to push the boundaries of knowledge and better understand the dynamics of ecosystems.

Could you share more details about your recent study on the link between droughts and the ability of forests to absorb carbon dioxide?

Assistant Professor Luo: Ecosystems absorb different amounts of CO2 of the atmosphere each year, resulting in variations in atmospheric CO2 concentration (for example, when terrestrial ecosystems absorb more CO2CO2 the level of concentration in the atmosphere increases more slowly). Scientists discussed the reason for ecosystem CO variations2 absorption and atmospheric CO2 level of concentration, and provided rather contrasting explanations – some suggest temperature anomalies are the main reason, some suggest soil moisture, others point to historical land use changes.

In this study, we examined the change in magnitude of variation over the past 60 years and found a dominant role played by tropical extreme droughts in modulating atmospheric CO2 variation. This new discovery advances our understanding of the global carbon cycle, and sheds light on how tropical droughts, previously neglected and poorly accounted for in climate and carbon models, have in fact modulated the long-term variation of atmospheric CO2. When extreme droughts occur, ecosystems experience downregulation of photosynthesis, as well as tree mortality, fires, regeneration and decay of dead wood. These processes would make the ecosystem CO2 absorption more variable in the long term. In particular, we found that droughts in tropical Asian ecosystems have outsized impacts on the long-term variation of the global carbon cycle, which will motivate our future studies to examine the impacts of drought on ecosystems in Asia. Tropical Asia, including those from Singapore.

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Financial analysis: Planet Labs PBC (NYSE: PL) and BlackSky Technology (NYSE: BKSY) https://sinia-planeta.com/financial-analysis-planet-labs-pbc-nyse-pl-and-blacksky-technology-nyse-bksy/ Sun, 08 May 2022 20:10:04 +0000 https://sinia-planeta.com/financial-analysis-planet-labs-pbc-nyse-pl-and-blacksky-technology-nyse-bksy/ Planet Labs PBC (NYSE:PL – Get Rating) and BlackSky Technology (NYSE:BKSY – Get Rating) are both small-cap IT and technology companies, but which is the best investment? We’ll compare the two companies based on their risk strength, dividends, profitability, valuation, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations and earnings. Profitability This table compares the net margins, return on […]]]>

Planet Labs PBC (NYSE:PL – Get Rating) and BlackSky Technology (NYSE:BKSY – Get Rating) are both small-cap IT and technology companies, but which is the best investment? We’ll compare the two companies based on their risk strength, dividends, profitability, valuation, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations and earnings.

Profitability

This table compares the net margins, return on equity and return on assets of Planet Labs PBC and BlackSky Technology.

Net margins Return on equity return on assets
Planet Labs PBC N / A -60.83% -19.82%
BlackSky Technology N / A -469.15% -77.07%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of the current ratings for Planet Labs PBC and BlackSky Technology, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sales Ratings Hold odds Buy reviews Strong buy odds Rating
Planet Labs PBC 0 0 4 0 3.00
BlackSky Technology 0 0 0 0 N / A

Planet Labs PBC currently has a consensus target price of $10.38, suggesting a potential upside of 120.28%. Given Planet Labs PBC’s likely higher upside, equity research analysts clearly believe Planet Labs PBC is more favorable than BlackSky Technology.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

43.3% of Planet Labs PBC shares are held by institutional investors. By comparison, 17.8% of BlackSky Technology’s shares are held by institutional investors. 2.0% of Planet Labs PBC shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership indicates that endowments, large fund managers, and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Valuation and benefits

This chart compares the revenue, earnings per share (EPS), and valuation of Planet Labs PBC and BlackSky Technology.

Gross revenue Price/sales ratio Net revenue Earnings per share Price/earnings ratio
Planet Labs PBC $131.21 million 9.62 -$137.12 million N / A N / A
BlackSky Technology $34.08 million 4.84 -$245.64 million N / A N / A

Planet Labs PBC has higher revenue and profit than BlackSky Technology.

Summary

Planet Labs PBC beats BlackSky Technology on 9 out of 9 factors compared between the two stocks.

Planet Labs PBC Company Profile (Get a rating)

Planet Labs PBC designs, builds and launches constellations of satellites to provide high-rate geospatial data delivered to customers via an online platform worldwide. The company offers Open Geospatial Consortium, a proprietary, cloud-native technology that performs critical image processing and global harmonization for time series and data fusion and analysis; and space hardware and related software systems. It serves agriculture, mapping, forestry, finance and insurance, and federal, state and local government agencies. The company was incorporated in 2010 and is based in San Francisco, California.

BlackSky Technology Company Profile (Get a rating)

BlackSky technology logoBlackSky Technology Inc. provides geospatial intelligence, imagery and related data analysis products and services, and mission systems that include the development, integration and operation of satellite and ground systems to commercial customers and governments around the world. The company processes a range of observations from its constellation, as well as various space, Internet of Things and terrestrial sensors and data streams. Its products are used in defense and government intelligence; commercial, construction and industrial; and disaster, climate and environmental applications. The company was incorporated in 2014 and is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia.



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Planets with unstable orbits may have expelled Planet 9 https://sinia-planeta.com/planets-with-unstable-orbits-may-have-expelled-planet-9/ Sat, 07 May 2022 13:30:07 +0000 https://sinia-planeta.com/planets-with-unstable-orbits-may-have-expelled-planet-9/ Billions of years ago, when it first emerged from the clouds of gas and dust, the solar system was supposed to be in order. Then gravitational forces turned everything upside down. What happened at the start of the solar system wasn’t exactly like the thermonuclear explosion that knocked the Moon out of its orbit in […]]]>

Billions of years ago, when it first emerged from the clouds of gas and dust, the solar system was supposed to be in order. Then gravitational forces turned everything upside down.

What happened at the start of the solar system wasn’t exactly like the thermonuclear explosion that knocked the Moon out of its orbit in space: 1999. Even though no nuclear waste was lying around like in the movie, the phenomena that occurred at the time still had enough power to get rid of huge planets. The gas giants – Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus and possibly another unknown body that could have been the elusive Planet 9 – floated around the nascent Sun in circular orbits and even…until they be disturbed.

How did these huge planets end up where they are now? As the dusty, gaseous protoplanetary disk slowly dissipated, the orbits of the gas giants are thought to have changed from being evenly spaced and circular to irregularly spaced and oblong. The Nice model (as in Nice, France) states that this happened due to chaotic instability. University of Michigan researcher Seth Jacobson, co-author of a study recently published in Nature, and his team suspected something else and wanted to find out what was really behind this change.

“Terrestrial planets would have finished forming at the time of the Nice instability, but their orbits don’t seem to register such massive dynamical instability,” Jacobson told SYFY WIRE. “This got us wondering if a different giant instability triggered earlier in the solar system’s history could explain many of the same phenomena as the original Nice model.”

Something else that looks almost out of Space: 1999 caused Jacboson to rethink this model. The Moon was thought to have suffered rapid impacts from asteroids and other objects in what was called a terminal cataclysm. But he thinks those strikes, which eventually formed huge pools, probably didn’t all happen at once. It was more likely a series of impacts that occurred over a long period of time as chunks of rock left over from the planetary formation hit the lunar surface. Maybe those planetesimals were jealous.

Instead of the kind of lunar instability and bombardment suggested by the Nice model, it’s possible that a “bounce” effect reorbited the gas giants. Such planets tend to crawl towards their star during its early stages of development. When the protostar reaches puberty, it has already accumulated most of the primordial gas around it, and the gas in the disc becomes less dense. It also heats up and creates a photoevaporation front. This is where the disk is eaten from the inside out, the gas closest to the star being ionized (molecules gain or lose electrons) by its intense radiation.

“The gravitational interactions between each planet and the disk change because there is no longer as much gas inside the planet as there was before photoevaporation,” Jacobson said. “This causes a change in the direction of the planet’s migration, what we call the rebound effect.”

So when the gas giants were too close to the photoevaporation front, that explains why they started to retreat. The only exception is Jupiter because it has already vented enough gas into the disk to grow to the immense size it is now. However, when the others retreated from the Sun, they destabilized the solar system. Their orbital resonances caused by their movement towards the Sun have been disturbed. An orbital resonance is the gravitational influence of bodies orbiting in space on each other because their orbital periods are in a ratio of two whole numbers (such as 3:5). After the resonances of the gas giants were shattered, everything they passed reacted to them.

The chaos finally subsided, so the new orbits of the gas giants stabilized, but their eccentric orbits bear witness to this ancient disturbance. Jacobson and his team created simulations of these interactions in which gravitational forces constantly change the positions and speeds of the Sun and planets. But what does all this have to do with Planet 9? Researcher David Nesvory of the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) thinks a shift in Jupiter’s axis could have thrown an additional ice giant into the solar system.

“If the solar system was still in its natal stellar birth cluster, then it’s possible that, rather than this hypothetical ice giant becoming a free-floating planet, it could have been deflected by nearby stars into a distant orbit around our Sun, just like the alleged Planet 9,” Jacobson said.

There is a chance that there really is a rejected ice giant lurking 80 billion kilometers from the Sun. So you get an idea of ​​the distance, it’s 47 billion miles further from our star than Neptune. Maybe one day he will come out of hiding.

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Instability in the Early Solar System – Implications for the Mysterious “Planet 9” https://sinia-planeta.com/instability-in-the-early-solar-system-implications-for-the-mysterious-planet-9/ Sun, 01 May 2022 16:09:06 +0000 https://sinia-planeta.com/instability-in-the-early-solar-system-implications-for-the-mysterious-planet-9/ All stars, including our sun, are born from a cloud of dust and gas. This cloud can also seed planets that will orbit around the star. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech The instability at the beginning of the solar system A new explanation of why our solar system is the way it is – and why others are […]]]>

All stars, including our sun, are born from a cloud of dust and gas. This cloud can also seed planets that will orbit around the star. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The instability at the beginning of the solar system

A new explanation of why our solar system is the way it is – and why others are too.

Michigan State University’s Seth Jacobson and his colleagues in China and France have unveiled a new theory that could help solve a galactic mystery about the evolution of our solar system. Specifically, how the gas giants — Jupiter, Saturn, Uranusand Neptune – end up where they are, orbiting the sun as they do?

The findings have ramifications for how terrestrial planets like Earth developed, as well as the possibility of a fifth gas giant planet lurking 80 billion miles away.

“Our solar system has not always looked like it does today. Over its history, the orbits of the planets have changed dramatically,” said Jacobson, an assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the College of Natural Sciences. “But we can understand what happened.”

Hypothetical early solar system

An artist’s rendering shows a hypothetical early solar system with a young star picking its way through the gas and dust left over from its formation. This compensation action would affect the orbits of the gas giants orbiting the star. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle (SSC)

The research, published in the journal Nature on April 27, 2022, offers an explanation of what happened to gas giants in other solar systems and our own.

It’s a beautiful model

Massive, swirling clouds of cosmic gas and dust give rise to stars. The early solar system was still filled with a disc of primordial gas when our sun ignited, and it played an important role in the formation and evolution of planets, including gas giants.

In the late 20th century, scientists began to believe that gas giants initially orbited the sun in sharp, compact, and evenly spaced orbits. Jupiter, Saturn, and the others, however, have long since settled into relatively oblong, misaligned, and splayed orbits.

Seth Jacobson

MSU Assistant Professor Seth Jacobson

So the question for researchers now is, why?

In 2005, an international team of scientists offered an answer to this question in a trio of landmarks Nature papers. The solution was originally developed in Nice, France, and is known as the Nice model. He posits that there was instability among these planets, a chaotic set of gravitational interactions that ultimately set them on their current paths.

“It was a tectonic shift in how people thought about the early solar system,” Jacobson said.

The Nice Model remains a major explanation, but over the past 17 years scientists have found new questions to ask about what triggers the instability of the Nice Model.

For example, the instability of the gas giants was originally thought to have taken place hundreds of millions of years after the dispersal of that disk of primordial gas that gave rise to the solar system. But new evidence, including some found in moon rocks recovered by Apollo missions, suggests it happened faster. It also raises new questions about the evolution of the inner solar system that houses Earth.

Sean Raymond University of Bordeaux

Sean Raymond, astronomer at the University of Bordeaux.

Working with Beibei Liu of Zhejiang University in China and Sean Raymond of the University of Bordeaux in France, Jacobson helped find a solution that has to do with how the instability started. The team came up with a new trigger.

“I think our new idea could really ease a lot of tension on the ground, because what we’ve come up with is a very natural response to when the instability of the giant planet happened,” Jacobson said.

The new trigger

The idea originated from a conversation Raymond and Jacobsen had in 2019. They speculated that the gas giants may have been placed on their current path due to the way the primordial gas disk has evaporated. This could explain how the planets spread out much earlier in the evolution of the solar system than the Nice model originally postulated and perhaps even without the instability to push them there.

“We wondered if the Nice model was really necessary to explain the solar system,” Raymond said. “We had the idea that the giant planets could eventually spread out through a ‘bounce’ effect as the disk dissipates, perhaps without ever becoming unstable.”

Beibei Liu

Beibei Liu, research professor at Zhejiang University.

Raymond and Jacobsen then contacted Liu, who pioneered this rebound effect idea through extensive simulations of gas disks and large exoplanets — planets from other solar systems — that orbit near their stars.

“The situation in our solar system is slightly different because Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are spread out in wider orbits,” Liu said. “After a few iterations of brainstorming sessions, we realized that the problem could be solved if the gas disk dissipated from within.”

The team found that this inside-out dissipation provided a natural trigger for Nice’s model instability, Raymond said.

“We ended up strengthening the Nice model rather than destroying it,” he said. “It was a fun illustration of testing our preconceptions and following the results wherever they lead.”

With the new trigger, the image at the beginning of the instability is the same. There is still a rising sun surrounded by a cloud of gas and dust. A handful of young gas giants orbit the star in sharp, compact orbits through this cloud.

“All solar systems are formed in a disk of gas and dust. It’s a natural byproduct of star formation,” Jacobson said. “But when the sun ignites and begins to burn its nuclear fuel, it generates sunlight, heating the disk and eventually blowing it from the inside out.”

This created a growing hole in the gas cloud, centered on the sun. As the hole grew, its edge crossed each of the gas giant orbits. This transition leads to the required instability of the giant planet with very high probability, according to the team’s computer simulations. The process of moving these large planets to their current orbits is also moving rapidly relative to the original Nice Model timeline of hundreds of millions of years.

“The instability occurs as soon as the sun’s gaseous disk dissipates, limited to a few million years to 10 million years after the birth of the solar system,” Liu said.

The new trigger also leads to the mixing of materials from the outer solar system and the inner solar system. Earth’s geochemistry suggests that such mixing must have occurred while our planet was still forming.

“This process will really shake up the inner solar system and Earth can grow from this,” Jacobson said. “It’s pretty consistent with the observations.” Exploring the link between instability and the formation of the Earth is a future work topic for the group.

Finally, the team’s new explanation also applies to other solar systems in our galaxy where scientists have observed gas giants orbiting their stars in configurations similar to those we see in ours.

“We are just one example of a solar system in our galaxy,” Jacobson said. “What we show is that the instability happened in a different, more universal and more consistent way.”

Planet 9 seen from space

Although the team’s paper doesn’t highlight it, Jacobson said the work has implications for one of the most popular and sometimes heated debates about our solar system: How many planets does it have?

Currently, the answer is eight, but Nice’s model turns out to work slightly better when the early solar system had five gas giants instead of four. Unfortunately, according to the model, this extra planet was ejected from our solar system during the instability, helping the remaining gas giants find their orbits.

Artist's illustration of the ninth planet

An artist’s conception of Planet 9. Credit: ESO/Tom Ruen/nagualdesign

In 2015, however, Caltech researchers found evidence that there could still be an undiscovered planet on the outskirts of the solar system about 50 billion kilometers from the sun, about 47 billion kilometers further than Neptune.

There is still no concrete proof that this hypothetical planet – dubbed Planet X or Planet 9 – or the “extra” planet in the Nice model actually exists. But, if they do, could they be one and the same?

Jacobson and his colleagues couldn’t answer that question directly with their simulations, but they could do the next best thing. Knowing that their instability trigger correctly reproduces the current picture of our solar system, they could test whether their model works best by starting with four or five gas giants.

“For us, the result was very similar whether you start with four or five,” Jacobson said. “If you start with five, you’re more likely to finish with four. But if you start with four, the orbits end up matching better.

Either way, humanity should soon have an answer. The Vera Rubin Observatory, which should be operational by the end of 2023, should be able to spot Planet 9 if it is there.

“Planet 9 is super controversial, so we didn’t highlight it in the paper,” Jacobson said, “But we like to talk about it with the public.”

It’s a reminder that our solar system is a dynamic place, still full of mysteries and discoveries to be made.

Reference: “Early Solar System Instability Triggered by Gas Disk Scattering” by Beibei Liu, Sean N. Raymond, and Seth A. Jacobson, April 27, 2022, Nature.
DOI: 10.1038/s41586-022-04535-1

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A planet in danger of mass extinction in the oceans https://sinia-planeta.com/a-planet-in-danger-of-mass-extinction-in-the-oceans/ Fri, 29 Apr 2022 09:25:43 +0000 https://sinia-planeta.com/a-planet-in-danger-of-mass-extinction-in-the-oceans/ Back then it was a meteorite and volcanoes destroyed life on Earth, but now it’s because of humans. If there is no drastic and rapid response to climate change, greenhouse gases that heat the oceans and consume their oxygen, along with “habitats” and coastal pollution will destroy marine life. The article, signed by scientists from […]]]>

Back then it was a meteorite and volcanoes destroyed life on Earth, but now it’s because of humans.

If there is no drastic and rapid response to climate change, greenhouse gases that heat the oceans and consume their oxygen, along with “habitats” and coastal pollution will destroy marine life.

The article, signed by scientists from the University of Washington and Princeton, recalls that high anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are radically modifying the Earth’s climate system and threatening many species.

The study warns that it is difficult to observe the impact of climate on biodiversity, especially marine life, when considering the fossil record that explains previous episodes of mass extinction caused by environmental changes drastic.The future of marine life as we know it, under widespread climate change, is uncertain“.

Using a comprehensive ecological model that measures an organism’s physiological limits based on estimates of ocean temperature and oxygen, study authors Justin Ben and Curtis Deutsch have estimated the extinction risk of marine species under different warming conditions.

The result is, If global warming continues unabated, by the end of the Permian Period, known as the Great Mortality of 250 million years ago, the planet’s marine ecosystems will have suffered massive destruction in scale. and in intensity. Two-thirds of marine animals.

As a result of the study, tropical oceans are at risk of losing more species due to climate change, although many are migrating to higher latitudes and have more favorable survival conditions.

Conversely, polar species should disappear because their “habitats” will disappear completely.


One more warning

In another article published with the cited article, Malin Pinsky and Alexa Friedston, scientists at Rutgers University in New Jersey, “Climate change is driving organisms from the ends of the earth“.

But they pointed out that reducing the risk of greenhouse gas emissions could reduce the risk of extinction by up to 70%.

In this way, they reinforced that preventing widespread biodiversity loss and the sixth mass extinction was now a “global priority”.

Whether humanity faces the worst or the worst situation depends not only on climate change, but also on community decisions regarding the destruction of “habitats”, overfishing and the pollution of beaches.“, he warned.

In this way, Pinsky and Friedston argued that “with a concerted focus on countering multiple threats, marine life has the best chance of survival through this century and beyond”.


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More than 1 in 5 reptiles on the planet are endangered, especially those in forests https://sinia-planeta.com/more-than-1-in-5-reptiles-on-the-planet-are-endangered-especially-those-in-forests/ Thu, 28 Apr 2022 09:38:47 +0000 https://sinia-planeta.com/more-than-1-in-5-reptiles-on-the-planet-are-endangered-especially-those-in-forests/ Thousands of species of reptiles are threatened with extinction around the world. According to a new study, 21% of all reptile species are vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered. Crocodiles and turtles are most at risk of extinction, with 57.9% and 50.0% of species threatened, respectively. The tuatara (Spotted Tufted Tufted) has existed for nearly 20 […]]]>

Thousands of species of reptiles are threatened with extinction around the world. According to a new study, 21% of all reptile species are vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered. Crocodiles and turtles are most at risk of extinction, with 57.9% and 50.0% of species threatened, respectively.

The tuatara (Spotted Tufted Tufted) has existed for nearly 20 million years. Now it is endangered, along with hundreds and hundreds of reptile species around the world. Image credits: Sid Mosdell.

The fact that human activity is driving species to extinction is nothing new, and things are going from bad to worse in many parts of the world. Having a good understanding of the gravity of the situation is a first step in focusing conservation efforts where they are needed most.

With this in mind, a team of researchers set out to assess just how bad the situation is for reptiles. While assessments have been made for birds, mammals and amphibians, they are lacking for reptiles. In total, the researchers analyzed 10,196 species from 24 countries on six continents, finding that about 1 in 5 species is threatened with extinction. The survey covered 24 countries across six continents. The study found that 30% of reptiles living in forests are threatened with extinction, compared to 14% of reptiles in arid habitats.

“The most important finding is that more than 21% of the world’s reptiles, or more than 1,800 species, are threatened with extinction,” says Bruce E. Young, chief zoologist and senior conservation scientist at NatureServe, a non-profit organization, and co-author. of the study, at ZME Science.

If that doesn’t sound alarming, well, it should. The current rate of species extinction is estimated to be 100 to 1,000 times higher than natural background extinction rates, and the main culprit for this is human activity. We are causing species extinctions at a rate comparable to the great extinctions of human history, and reptiles are not spared from all this.

“The potential loss of a fifth of all reptile species reminds us of just how much biodiversity on Earth is disappearing, a crisis that threatens all species, including humans,” said Maureen Kearney, director program at the US National Science Foundation, which has funded much of the research study conducted in Latin America and the Caribbean. “Understanding data on extinction risk for all species is essential if society is to develop strategic and effective conservation efforts, and this study fills a gap in that understanding.”

This study included a large and diverse international team, and Kearney says that it is only through this type of international effort (which often includes underappreciated “on the ground” work) that we can fully understand the challenges facing biodiversity is confronted.

The researchers also mapped the areas with the highest concentration of extinct species – often forested areas. This not only indicates areas where conservation action is most important, but also indicates what types of conservation efforts would be most helpful.

“The greatest concentrations of endangered reptiles are found in Southeast Asia, West Africa, northern Madagascar, the northern Andes and the Caribbean. The most effective conservation effort would be to ‘prevent forest destruction and restore degraded forests in these places,’ adds Young.

Areas with the highest concentration of endangered reptiles. The areas most at risk are in Africa, Southeast Asia and South America. Image credits: Cox et al (2022) / Nature.

In fact, it was surprising that the biggest threats to reptiles were also the biggest threats to other animals, especially birds, mammals and amphibians. Again, this highlights the best conservation pathways, as it suggests that measures that help reptiles will also help other biodiversities (and vice versa).

“The biggest surprise is the similarity of threats to terrestrial vertebrates (birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians). Agriculture, logging and invasive species are major threats to all four groups. This means that reducing any one of these threats will help reduce the threat of extinction for species in all four groups,” Young adds in an email.

“This is good news because extensive efforts to protect better-known animals have also likely helped to protect many reptiles. Habitat protection is essential to protect reptiles, as well as other vertebrates, from threats such as as agricultural activities and urban development.

However, reptiles are a diverse group, and efforts to help them will also need to be diverse — and they must be scaled up quickly, the researchers insist, before irreversible damage begins to spread through ecosystems.

Reptiles threatened with extinction. Left to right: Zhou box turtle (Cuora zhoui), IUCN Red List Status: Critically Endangered;
Otago Skink (Oligosoma otagense), IUCN Red List Status: Endangered; King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah), IUCN Red List Status:
Vulnerable. Image credits: NatureServe / IUCN.

Young, who has been based in Costa Rica since the 1980s, recalls how a species of reptile was thriving in the country’s forests when he first arrived. But deforestation for agriculture has brought the species to the brink of extinction.

“I have been based in Costa Rica since the 1980s. A snake called the Black-headed Bushmaster (Melanocephalic lachesis), which feeds on small forest mammals such as rats, was widespread in lowland rainforests along the country’s Pacific slope when I arrived. Widespread deforestation, including the conversion of forests to oil palm plantations and other forms of agriculture, has fragmented the habitat to the point that the species is now restricted to a few large tracts of forest and listed as vulnerable. at extinction in our analysis.

Although the challenges reptiles face are global, we can also play a part and help them. Specifically for reptiles, the easiest thing to do, says Young, is to resist the temptation to keep reptiles as pets. Often these animals are taken from the wild. Most importantly, we must take action to reduce global trade that leads to forest loss that harms reptiles (as well as mammals, birds, amphibians and other creatures).

The study “Global Reptile Assessment Highlights Shared Conservation Needs of Tetrapods” was published in Nature.

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Does it portend an unknown planet? https://sinia-planeta.com/does-it-portend-an-unknown-planet/ Thu, 28 Apr 2022 02:31:45 +0000 https://sinia-planeta.com/does-it-portend-an-unknown-planet/ All stars, including our sun, are born from a cloud of dust and gas. This cloud can also seed planets that will orbit around the star. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech Michigan State University’s Seth Jacobson and his colleagues in China and France have unveiled a new theory that could help solve a galactic mystery about the evolution […]]]>

All stars, including our sun, are born from a cloud of dust and gas. This cloud can also seed planets that will orbit around the star. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Michigan State University’s Seth Jacobson and his colleagues in China and France have unveiled a new theory that could help solve a galactic mystery about the evolution of our solar system. Specifically, how did the gas giants – Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune – end up where they are, orbiting the sun the way they do?

The research also has implications for how terrestrial planets such as Earth formed and the possibility of a fifth gas giant lurking 80 billion miles away.

“Our solar system has not always looked like it does today. Over its history, the orbits of the planets have changed dramatically,” said Jacobson, an assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the College of Natural Sciences. “But we can understand what happened.”

The research, published in the journal Nature on April 27, offers an explanation of what happened to gas giants in other solar systems and ours.

It’s a beautiful model

Stars are born from massive, swirling clouds of cosmic gas and dust. After our sun was lit, the early solar system was still filled with a disk of primordial gas that played a vital role in the formation and evolution of planets, including gas giants.

In the late 20th century, scientists began to believe that gas giants initially orbited the sun in sharp, compact, regularly spaced orbits. Jupiter, Saturn and the others, however, have long since settled into relatively oblong, skewed, and spread out orbits.

So the question for researchers now is “Why?” »

In 2005, an international team of scientists offered an answer to this question in a trio of landmarks Nature papers. The solution was originally developed in Nice, France, and is known as the Nice model. He posits that there was instability among these planets, a chaotic set of gravitational interactions that ultimately set them on their current paths.

“It was a tectonic shift in how people thought about the early solar system,” Jacobson said.

The Nice Model remains a major explanation, but over the past 17 years scientists have found new questions to ask about what triggers the instability of the Nice Model.

For example, the instability of the gas giants was originally thought to have taken place hundreds of millions of years after the dispersal of that disk of primordial gas that gave rise to the solar system. But new evidence, including some found in moon rocks recovered by Apollo missions, suggests it happened faster. It also raises new questions about the evolution of the inner solar system that houses Earth.

Working with Beibei Liu of Zhejiang University in China and Sean Raymond of the University of Bordeaux in France, Jacobson helped find a solution that has to do with how the instability started. The team came up with a new trigger.

“I think our new idea could really ease a lot of tension on the ground, because what we’ve come up with is a very natural response to when the instability of the giant planet happened,” Jacobson said.

An artist’s rendering shows a hypothetical early solar system with a young star picking its way through the gas and dust left over from its formation. This compensating action would affect the orbits of the gas giants orbiting the star. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle (SSC)

The new trigger

The idea originated from a conversation Raymond and Jacobsen had in 2019. They speculated that the gas giants may have been placed on their current path due to the way the primordial gas disk has evaporated. This could explain how the planets spread out much earlier in the evolution of the solar system than the Nice model originally postulated and perhaps even without the instability to push them there.

“We wondered if the Nice model was really necessary to explain the solar system,” Raymond said. “We had the idea that the giant planets could eventually spread out through a ‘bounce’ effect as the disk dissipates, perhaps without ever becoming unstable.”

Raymond and Jacobsen then contacted Liu, who pioneered this rebound effect idea through extensive simulations of gas disks and large exoplanets — planets from other solar systems — that orbit near their stars.

“The situation in our solar system is slightly different because Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are spread out in wider orbits,” Liu said. “After a few iterations of brainstorming sessions, we realized that the problem could be solved if the gas disk dissipated from within.”

The team found that this inside-out dissipation provided a natural trigger for Nice’s model instability, Raymond said.

“We ended up strengthening the Nice model rather than destroying it,” he said. “It was a fun illustration of testing our preconceptions and following the results wherever they lead.”

With the new trigger, the image at the beginning of the instability is the same. There is still a rising sun surrounded by a cloud of gas and dust. A handful of young gas giants orbit the star in sharp, compact orbits through this cloud.

“All solar systems are formed in a disk of gas and dust. It’s a natural byproduct of star formation,” Jacobson said. “But when the sun ignites and begins to burn its nuclear fuel, it generates sunlight, heating the disk and eventually blowing it from the inside out.”

This created a growing hole in the gas cloud, centered on the sun. As the hole grew, its edge crossed each of the gas giant orbits. This transition leads to the required instability of the giant planet with very high probability, according to the team’s computer simulations. The process of moving these major planets to their current orbits is also moving rapidly relative to the original Nice Model timeline of hundreds of millions of years.

“The instability occurs as soon as the sun’s gaseous disk dissipates, limited to a few million years to 10 million years after the birth of the solar system,” Liu said.

The new trigger also leads to the mixing of materials from the outer solar system and the inner solar system. Earth’s geochemistry suggests that such mixing must have occurred while our planet was still forming.

“This process will really shake up the inner solar system and the Earth can grow from this,” Jacobson said. “It’s pretty consistent with the observations.” Exploring the link between instability and the formation of the Earth is a future work topic for the group.







This animation shows the results of a simulation showing how the solar system could have been rearranged by a cloud of evaporating dust and gas. The inner edge of this cloud, represented by a vertical gray line, begins near the sun (far left) and sweeps through the orbits of Jupiter, Saturn, a hypothetical fifth gas giant, Uranus, and Neptune. Credit: Courtesy of Liu et al.

Finally, the team’s new explanation also applies to other solar systems in our galaxy where scientists have observed gas giants orbiting their stars in configurations similar to those we see in ours.

“We are just one example of a solar system in our galaxy,” Jacobson said. “What we show is that the instability happened in a different, more universal and more consistent way.”

Planet 9 seen from space

Although the team’s paper doesn’t highlight it, Jacobson said the work has implications for one of the most popular and sometimes heated debates about our solar system: How many planets does it have?

Currently the answer is eight, but it turns out that Nice’s model worked slightly better when the early solar system had five gas giants instead of four. Unfortunately, according to the model, this extra planet was ejected from our solar system during the instability, helping the remaining gas giants find their orbits.

In 2015, however, Caltech researchers found evidence that there could still be an undiscovered planet on the outskirts of the solar system about 50 billion kilometers from the sun, about 47 billion kilometers further than Neptune.

There is still no concrete proof that this hypothetical planet – dubbed Planet X or Planet 9 – or the “extra” planet in the Nice model actually exists. But, if they do, could they be one and the same?

Jacobson and his colleagues couldn’t answer that question directly with their simulations, but they could do the next best thing. Knowing that their instability trigger correctly reproduces the current picture of our solar system, they could test whether their model works best by starting with four or five gas giants.

“For us, the result was very similar whether you start with four or five,” Jacobson said. “If you start with five, you’re more likely to finish with four. But if you start with four, the orbits end up matching better.

Either way, humanity should soon have an answer. The Vera Rubin Observatory, which should be operational by the end of 2023, should be able to spot Planet 9 if it is there.

“Planet 9 is super controversial, so we didn’t highlight it in the paper,” Jacobson said, “But we like to talk about it with the public.”

It’s a reminder that our solar system is a dynamic place, still full of mysteries and discoveries to be made.


Simulations suggest a planet the size of Earth or Mars could lurk beyond Neptune


More information:

Beibei Liu et al, Early solar system instability triggered by gas disk dispersion, Nature (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41586-022-04535-1

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University of Michigan

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Up to 40% of the planet’s land degraded: UN https://sinia-planeta.com/up-to-40-of-the-planets-land-degraded-un/ Wed, 27 Apr 2022 16:16:52 +0000 https://sinia-planeta.com/up-to-40-of-the-planets-land-degraded-un/ New Delhi, April 27 (IANS): How Earth’s resources – soil, water and biodiversity – are currently mismanaged and misused, threatening the health and survival of many species on earth, including our own, according to a stark new report from the Convention United Nations Committee to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) warned on Wednesday. It also points […]]]>

New Delhi, April 27 (IANS): How Earth’s resources – soil, water and biodiversity – are currently mismanaged and misused, threatening the health and survival of many species on earth, including our own, according to a stark new report from the Convention United Nations Committee to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) warned on Wednesday.

It also points decision-makers to hundreds of practical ways to carry out land and ecosystem restoration at local, national and regional levels.

UNCCD’s flagship, evidence-based Global Land Outlook 2 (GLO2) report, in development for five years with 21 partner organizations and with over 1,000 references, is the most comprehensive consolidation of information ever compiled on the subject.

It offers insight on an unprecedented scale and projects the planetary consequences of three scenarios out to 2050 – the status quo, the restoration of 50 million square kilometers of land, and increased restoration measures through the conservation of significant natural areas. for specific ecosystem functions.

It also assesses the potential contributions of land restoration investments to climate change mitigation, biodiversity conservation, poverty reduction, human health and other key sustainable development goals.

The report warns: “At no other time in modern history has humanity faced such an array of familiar and unfamiliar risks and dangers, interacting in a hyper-connected and rapidly changing world. We cannot afford to underestimate the scale and impact of these existential threats. .”

“The conservation, restoration and sustainable use of our earth’s resources is a global imperative, which requires action in times of crisis. The status quo is not a viable path to our survival and prosperity.

GLO2 features hundreds of examples from around the world that demonstrate the potential of land restoration. It is published ahead of the 15th session of the UNCCD Conference of Parties to be held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (COP15, May 9-20).

According to Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive Secretary of the UNCCD: “Modern agriculture has changed the face of the planet more than any other human activity. We need to urgently rethink our global food systems, which are responsible for 80% of deforestation, 70% of freshwater use, and the biggest cause of terrestrial biodiversity loss.”

“Investing in large-scale land restoration is a powerful and cost-effective tool to combat desertification, soil erosion and loss of agricultural production. As a finite resource and our most precious natural asset, we cannot not allow us to continue to take the earth for granted.”

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Time is running out to protect our planet’s biodiversity https://sinia-planeta.com/time-is-running-out-to-protect-our-planets-biodiversity/ Fri, 22 Apr 2022 21:00:00 +0000 https://sinia-planeta.com/time-is-running-out-to-protect-our-planets-biodiversity/ On this Earth Day, we face a harsh reality: we are running out of time. Our planet is in the midst of a biodiversity crisis. We could be facing our last chance to change the course of action for our planet, and we need everyone on deck. We must commit to investing in our planet […]]]>

On this Earth Day, we face a harsh reality: we are running out of time.

Our planet is in the midst of a biodiversity crisis. We could be facing our last chance to change the course of action for our planet, and we need everyone on deck. We must commit to investing in our planet — we cannot afford not to.

The documented rate of biodiversity loss is having a profound impact on the fragile web of life on our planet. As different species are pushed towards extinction, the systems that provide us with clean air, abundant food and clean water are under increasing strain. Our elected officials must take deliberate and conscious action to meet these challenges head-on.

We need a plan, a coordinated effort that harnesses the power and resources of the federal government, to preserve the fragile biodiversity and interdependence of our ecosystem. Nature can no longer simply adapt to the rapid changes in our environment, and our entire planet is increasingly under threat. That’s why, on this Earth Day, our call for the Biden administration to develop a national biodiversity strategy is so urgent.

The threat of another great extinction is not exaggerated. According to the 2019 report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services written by scientists around the world, as a result of human activities, up to one million species could be lost forever – many within a few decades.

House Resolution 69, a bipartisan resolution that calls for the creation of a national biodiversity strategy, continues to attract co-sponsors even a year after its introduction, and 50 members recently called on President Biden to take immediate action. The resolution calls on our government to address the five main drivers of biodiversity loss: the alteration of the land and marine environment, the overexploitation of wildlife and plant species, climate change, pollution and invasive species. Furthermore, it offers several inclusive and collaborative pathways to reverse the loss of nature, especially if we start now

We are truly at a conservation crossroads. We must do better to live lightly on the earth and to coexist with nature. This is a pivotal time for our planet, and the United States has an opportunity to be a world leader in conserving and combating biodiversity loss. Establishing a National Biodiversity Strategy would reinvigorate our efforts to protect and preserve all species, habitats, ecosystems and genetic diversity on the planet and give us a sustainable path forward. Protecting wildlife and habitats is the first step to more effectively safeguarding the clean air, clean water, pollination, food production, and other benefits of our ecosystem that humans depend on.

It’s time for America to lead by example and demonstrate how we can live better in harmony with our environment. We cannot think of a more important roadmap to a sustainable future than a national biodiversity strategy. This will help us prioritize and protect the natural resources essential to human survival.

Now is the time to invest in our planet, before it’s too late. On this Earth Day, we urge President Biden to make this commitment to our nation, our planet, and our future.

Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) is a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources. Jamie Rappaport Clark is president and CEO of the non-profit conservation organization Defenders of Wildlife.

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dMY Technology IV: Planetary Data Fuels Canadian Boreal Forest Research as Planet E&R Program Celebrates Fifth Anniversary https://sinia-planeta.com/dmy-technology-iv-planetary-data-fuels-canadian-boreal-forest-research-as-planet-er-program-celebrates-fifth-anniversary/ Wed, 20 Apr 2022 07:37:34 +0000 https://sinia-planeta.com/dmy-technology-iv-planetary-data-fuels-canadian-boreal-forest-research-as-planet-er-program-celebrates-fifth-anniversary/ The boreal forest is one of the largest intact ecosystems on the planet; However, an increasing number of human-induced environmental changes are impacting this vast ecosystem. Many integrated research programs focused on Canada’s boreal forests have joined forces to use the advanced satellite data available on Planet to document how past, present and future changes […]]]>

The boreal forest is one of the largest intact ecosystems on the planet; However, an increasing number of human-induced environmental changes are impacting this vast ecosystem. Many integrated research programs focused on Canada’s boreal forests have joined forces to use the advanced satellite data available on Planet to document how past, present and future changes are altering the ability of the boreal forest to sustain biodiversity and ecosystems. people who inhabit this ecosystem. . Through the Planet Education and Research program, the University of Alberta, Yukon University and University of Calgary are now using Planet data to map, monitor and model the dynamic systems of Canada’s boreal forest.

Map of Canada’s boreal forests. Data sources: Natural Earth, University of Maryland, Natural Resources Canada. Card by Leanne Abraham.

“Biodiversity in the boreal region is facing new challenges due to growing industries and climate change, but Planet’s high-speed satellite imagery is helping us assess the changing ecosystem dynamics in the region and to support data-informed decision-making in Canada,” said Erin Bayne, PI for the Boreal Avian Modeling Project. “A network of research initiatives are now leveraging Planet data to assess bird populations, vegetation dynamics and industrial disturbances. This data then helps us model sustainable interventions to put these forests on a recovery trajectory. proper recovery.”

These interconnected projects support a comprehensive scientific understanding of this ecosystem using data from Planet:

  • The Boreal Avian Modeling Project (BAM) at the University of Alberta is a collaborative project engaged in new research that assesses the impact of extractive industries, agricultural conversion, and climate change on boreal birds. BAM combines historical point count surveys, digital bird song recordings, and satellite data, including PlanetScope, to determine the size of boreal bird populations. BAM uses this information in models to quantify the impacts of land use and climate change on past, present and future bird populations.

  • BAM feeds into Yukon University’s Boreal Ecosystem Analysis for Conservation (BEACON) networks. Hydrological and terrestrial connectivity, natural disturbance regimes, and species dynamics are all analyzed to identify ecological benchmarks that serve as reference areas for understanding the influence of human activity on boreal ecosystems. Using data from Planet, BEACONs is able to document the temporal and spatial scale of natural and human disturbances, supporting discussions with local stakeholders on proactive planning to maintain the full range of cultural, environmental and cultural values. economics of boreal systems.

  • Boreal Ecosystem Recovery and Assessment (BERA), led by the University of Calgary, is a multi-sector research partnership whose goal is to understand the effects of industrial disturbances, such as resource extraction, on natural ecosystems, and to develop strategies to restore landscapes affected by climate change. BERA leverages data from Planet, combined with other high-resolution remote sensing products like LiDAR, to conduct large-scale assessments of the status of natural recovery and the effectiveness of human interventions in the face of such disturbances.

  • BAM, BEACONS and BERA are working to address the growing number of challenges facing biodiversity in the boreal forest. To effectively share their research to facilitate policy and societal impact, they have created online data products and decision support tools, including those offered by the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI ) from the University of Alberta.

“At Planet, we believe you can’t manage what you can’t measure. Protecting Earth’s critical biodiversity requires innovative programs like BAM, BEACONS, BERA and ABMI that conduct new research by measuring, monitoring and modeling ecosystem dynamics. We are excited to provide our daily satellite datasets to researchers working to protect vital ecosystems,” said Joe Mascaro, director of science programs at Planet.

This new collaboration comes as Planet’s education and research program celebrates its fifth anniversary. Launched on Earth Day (April 22) 2017, our E&R program was designed to offer students, researchers and professors, associated with accredited universities, the opportunity to access our unique satellite datasets. Through this access, participants can view, download and analyze Planet’s remote sensing data archive and publish key results.

The program has grown over the past five years, and to date the number of universities purchasing Planet’s Education and Research site licenses for science applications has reached 80 schools in 16 countries, including the University of Yamaguchi in Japan, MIT and Arizona State University in the United States. , and Stockholm University in Sweden. Including Planet’s education and research program, their NICFI satellite data program, the company’s recent acquisition of VanderSat, and their partnerships with NASA and DLR, Planet’s data has now contributed to more than 1 800 academic publications since 2016.

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