How the Calif. Drought Will Hit Your Wallet
With California experiencing one of its worst droughts on record, grocery shoppers across the country can expect to see a short supply of certain fruits and vegetables in stores, and to pay higher prices for those items. Prof. Timothy Richards of the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State Univ. recently completed research on which crops will likely be most affected and what the price boosts might be.
“You’re probably going to see the biggest produce price increases on avocados, berries, broccoli, grapes, lettuce, melons, peppers, tomatoes and packaged salads,” says Richards, the Morrison Chair at the Morrison School of Agribusiness. “We can expect to see the biggest percentage jumps in prices for avocados and lettuce – 28 percent and 34 percent, respectively. People are the least price-sensitive when it comes to those items, and they’re more willing to pay what it takes to get them.”
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/how-calif-drought-will-hit-your-wallet
Reservoir to Flush Millions of Gallons Because of Urine
Call it the Big Flush 2, and this time the sequel promises to be much bigger than the original.
Portland officials say they are flushing away millions of gallons of treated water, for the second time in less than three years, because someone urinated into a city reservoir. In June 2011, the city drained a 7.5 million-gallon reservoir at Mount Tabor in southeast Portland. This time, 38 million gallons from a different reservoir at the same location will be discarded after a 19-year-old was videotaped in the act.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/reservoir-flush-millions-gallons-because-urine
Water Treatment Guidelines May Not Be Best
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) recommendations for treating water after a natural disaster or other emergencies call for more chlorine bleach than is necessary to kill disease-causing pathogens and are often impractical to carry out, a new study has found. The authors of the report, which appears in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, suggest that the agency review and revise its guidelines.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/water-treatment-guidelines-may-not-be-best
Coffee is Getting Less Green
The proportion of land used to cultivate shade grown coffee, relative to the total land area of coffee cultivation, has fallen by nearly 20 percent globally since 1996, according to a new study by scientists from Univ. of Texas at Austin and five other institutions.
The study’s authors say the global shift toward a more intensive style of coffee farming is probably having a negative effect on the environment, communities and individual farmers.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/coffee-getting-less-green
Puget Sound’s Waters Come from Deep Canyon
The headwaters for Puget Sound’s famously rich waters lie far below the surface, in a submarine canyon that draws nutrient-rich water up from the deep ocean. New measurements may explain how the Pacific Northwest’s inland waters are able to support so many shellfish, salmon runs and even the occasional pod of whales.
Univ. of Washington oceanographers made the first detailed measurements at the headwater’s source, a submarine canyon offshore from the strait that separates the U.S. and Canada. Observations show water surging up through the canyon and mixing at surprisingly high rates, according to a paper published in Geophysical Research Letters.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/puget-sound%E2%80%99s-waters-come-deep-canyon
Ecologists Research Fish-safe Dams
Think of the pressure change you feel when an elevator zips you up multiple floors in a tall building. Imagine how you’d feel if that elevator carried you all the way up to the top of Mt. Everest — in the blink of an eye.
That’s similar to what many fish experience when they travel through the turbulent waters near a dam. For some, the change in pressure is simply too big, too fast and they die or are seriously injured. In an article in Fisheries, ecologists from the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and colleagues from around the world explore ways to protect fish from the phenomenon, known as barotrauma.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/ecologists-research-fish-safe-dams
Fish from Acidic Waters Less Able to Smell
Fish living on coral reefs where carbon dioxide seeps from the ocean floor are less able to detect predator odor than fish from normal coral reefs, according to a new study.
The study confirms laboratory experiments showing that the behavior of reef fishes can be seriously affected by increased carbon dioxide concentrations in the ocean. The new study is the first to analyze the sensory impairment of fish from CO2 seeps, where pH is similar to what climate models forecast for surface waters by the turn of the century.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/fish-acidic-waters-less-able-smell
Fracking Discussed at Alcohol Summit
New York’s alcoholic beverage industry was on display at a summit this week organized by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to focus on bolstering the business. Cuomo said that New York is home to more than 600 wineries, breweries, distilleries and cideries and ranks third in the nation in wine and grape production.
New York’s alcoholic beverage industry employed 85,000 people and the combination of manufacturing, agriculture, distribution and retail had an economic impact of $27 billion in 2012, according to the National Beer Wholesalers Association and New York Wine and Grape Foundation.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/fracking-discussed-alcohol-summit
A study by researchers at Columbia Univ. reports that schoolchildren from three school districts in Maine, exposed to arsenic in drinking water, experienced declines in child intelligence. While earlier studies conducted by the researchers in South Asia, and Bangladesh in particular, showed that exposure to arsenic in drinking water is negatively associated with child intelligence, this is the first study to examine intelligence against individual water arsenic exposures in the U.S. Findings are reported online in the journal, Environmental Health.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/kids-exposed-arsenic-water-have-lower-iqs
Mineral Study May Have Caused Overestimation of Moon Water
The amount of water present in the moon may have been overestimated by scientists studying the mineral apatite, according to a team of researchers led by Jeremy Boyce of the UCLA Department of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences.
Boyce and his colleagues created a computer model to accurately predict how apatite would have crystallized from cooling bodies of lunar magma early in the moon’s history. Their simulations revealed that the unusually hydrogen-rich apatite crystals observed in many lunar rock samples may not have formed within a water-rich environment, as was originally expected.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/mineral-study-may-have-caused-overestimation-moon-water
Pure Lab Water: The Essential Lab Component
Increasing analytical instrumentation capabilities are expected to drive the demand for higher performance, easier-to-use and more flexible lab water systems.
"Ultrapure lab water is essential to research laboratory applications,” says Wayne Darsa, Director of Business Development at ELGA LabWater, Woodridge, Ill. “Often, however, it’s taken for granted even though it makes up the vast majority of reagents. In a worst case scenario, months of lab work can be called into question if inconsistencies in the ultrapure lab water source are identified in its delivery, jeopardizing published data.”
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/articles/2014/03/pure-lab-water-essential-lab-component
Moisture Models May Aid Farmers
Global farmers could get better decision-making help as refinements are made to North Alabama soil moisture modeling research being done by an atmospheric science doctoral student at The Univ. of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).
The models indicate how much added moisture would be needed in a given area versus historical data to achieve various crop yields, and they could aid in making expensive infrastructure investments by helping to determine their economic viability.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/03/moisture-models-may-aid-farmers
Technique Enables Frequent Monitoring of Water Quality
Researchers from North Carolina State Univ. have developed a new technique that uses existing technology to allow researchers and natural resource managers to collect significantly more information on water quality to better inform policy decisions.
“Right now, incomplete or infrequent water quality data can give people an inaccurate picture of what’s happening – and making decisions based on inaccurate data can be risky,” says François Birgand, an assistant professor of biological and agricultural engineering at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the work. “Our approach will help people get more detailed data more often, giving them the whole story and allowing them to make informed decisions.”
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/03/technique-enables-frequent-monitoring-water-quality
More Understanding Needed to Conserve Water
Many Americans are confused about the best ways to conserve water and have a slippery grasp on how much water different activities use, according to a national online survey conducted by an Indiana Univ. researcher.
Experts say the best strategy for conserving water is to focus on efficiency improvements such as replacing toilets and retrofitting washing machines. However, the largest group of the participants, nearly 43 percent, cited taking shorter showers, which does save water but may not be the most effective action. Very few participants cited replacing toilets or flushing less, even though toilets use the most volume of water daily.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/03/more-understanding-needed-conserve-water
Cleaning Technology Needs to Catch up to Fracking
If fracking is to be a viable option for energy production, the industry must find a way to deal with the naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) that are released as a byproduct of the process. These radioactive materials and their environmental consequences must be accounted for.
Radioactive substances occur naturally within the shale rocks that contain gas resources. These include uranium and thorium, and their decay products such as radium and radon. While the uranium and thorium are immobile, over millennia the radium has dissolved into the water trapped in the pores of the rocks when they were formed, along with high concentrations of dissolved minerals.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/03/cleaning-technology-needs-catch-fracking