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Deep within the Earth’s rocky mantle lies oceans’ worth of water locked up in a type of mineral called ringwoodite, new research shows.
The results of the study will help scientists understand Earth’s water cycle, and how plate tectonics moves water between the surface of the planet and interior reservoirs, researchers say.
The Earth’s mantle is the hot, rocky layer between the planet’s core and crust. Scientists have long suspected that the mantle’s so-called transition zone, which sits between the upper and lower mantle layers 255 to 410 miles (410 to 660 kilometers) below Earth’s surface, could contain water trapped in rare minerals. However, direct evidence for this water has been lacking, until now.
To see if the transition zone really is a deep reservoir for water, researchers conducted experiments on water-rich ringwoodite, analyzed seismic waves travelling through the mantle beneath the United States, and studied numerical models. They discovered that downward-flowing mantle material is melting as it crosses the boundary between the transition zone and the lower mantle layer.
“If we are seeing this melting, then there has to be this water in the transition zone,” said Brandon Schmandt, a seismologist at the University of New Mexico and co-author of the new study published today (June 12) in the journal Science. “The transition zone can hold a lot of water, and could potentially have the same amount of H2O [water] as all the world’s oceans.” (Melting is a way of getting rid of water, which is unstable under conditions in Earth’s lower mantle, the researchers said.)
Excerpt. Read full article at LiveScience
There’s a Huge Underground Ocean That Could Explain the Origin of Seas
The Inner Earth & Realm of Aghartha
A defense contractor better known for building jet fighters and lethal missiles says it has found a way to slash the amount of energy needed to remove salt from seawater, potentially making it vastly cheaper to produce clean water at a time when scarcity has become a global security issue.
The process, officials and engineers at Lockheed Martin Corp say, would enable filter manufacturers to produce thin carbon membranes with regular holes about a nanometer in size that are large enough to allow water to pass through but small enough to block the molecules of salt in seawater. A nanometer is a billionth of a meter.
Because the sheets of pure carbon known as graphene are so thin – just one atom in thickness – it takes much less energy to push the seawater through the filter with the force required to separate the salt from the water, they said.
Text by David Alexander. Via Reuters
Water bridge – surprising phenomenon formed by water exposed to high voltage. This effect represent “Collective Molecular Dynamics”,
“Voeikov: Could the dynamics of formation of the water bridge be also at work in the process of formation of living structures?”
When a high voltage is applied to pure water filling two beakers kept close to each other, a connection forms spontaneously, giving the impression of a floating water bridge. This phenomenon is of special interest, since it comprises a number of phenomena currently tackled in modern water science. The formation and the main properties of this floating water bridge are analyzed in the conceptual framework of quantum electrodynamics.
Via Zyga, Lisa (2007-09-28). “Water forms floating ‘bridge’ when exposed to high voltage”. Science News. Retrieved 2007-09-29
The Hospital Microbiome Project will characterize the taxonomic composition of surface-, air-, water-, and human-associated microbial communities in two hospitals to monitor changes in community structure following the introduction of patients and hospital staff. The specific aim is to determine the influence of population demographics, how the demographic interfaces with a space, and the building materials used to create that space, on the community succession, and rate of colonization by potential pathogens. This will be performed in a newly constructed private US hospital in Chicago, and a US Army medical center in Germany.
This proposed sampling design will test several hypotheses concerning the microbial interaction of multiple demographics with the hospital infrastructure and may lead to recommendations for best practice in reducing HAIs. Four hypotheses that will be tested are:
– Microbial community structure on hospital surfaces can be predicted by human demographics, physical conditions (e.g. humidity, temperature), and building materials for each location and time.
– A patient-room microbiota is influenced by the current patient and their duration of occupancy, and shows community succession with the introduction of a new occupant.
– The colonization of the surfaces and patients by potential pathogens is influenced by composition and diversity of the existing microbial community derived from previous occupants of the space.
– The rate of microbial succession is driven by demographic usage and building materials.
For more information visit Hospital Microbiome
Microbiologist Jack Gilbert swabs the floor of a hospital wing still under construction, looking for bacteria to study.
“When you taste something, you’re comparing the taste of that water to the saliva in your mouth,” says Gary Burlingame, who supervises water quality for the Philadelphia Water Department. “The saliva in your mouth is salty.”
Salty saliva bathes your tongue, drenching every one of your thousands of taste buds. It protects you from nasty bacteria, moistens your food, helps you pronounce the word “stalactite” and even lets you know when you might be drinking something bad for you. Like water.
Excerpt from an article written by Kelly Izlar, Scientific American. Continue HERE
Innovative drinking fountains are being installed in Calgary. Linked to the drinking water system through fire hydrants and designed to have their workings exposed, the fountains have three distinct design “characters” suggesting different gathering around water: “strangers” (or the “dating fountain”), “family” (set up like an family picture with bowls at different heights and the dog bowl), and “group”. Each fountain also has taps to fill bottles and dog bowls.
This initiative was developed by the City of Calgary UEP department through the WATERSHED+ art program, the fountains were designed by Sans façon and built by the municipal fabrication workshop.
Text and Images via WATERSHED+
WATERSHED+ is an innovative and unique public art project hosted by Utilities and Environment Protections department of the City of Calgary. Learn more HERE
It is so named for its pink waters, caused by Dunaliella salina in the water. The color is particularly visible during the dry season. The lake is also known for its high salt content, which, like that of the Dead Sea, allows people to float easily. The lake also has a small salt collecting industry and is often the finishing point of the Dakar Rally.
Many salt collectors work 6–7 hours a day in the lake, which has a salt content close to 40%. In order to protect their skin, they rub their skin with “Beurre de Karité” (shea butter, produced from shea nuts obtained from the Shea nut tree), which is an emollient used to avoid tissue damage.
This lake was used on a task of the Amazing Race 6 in which teams had to collect salt in a basket from the bottom of the lake floor.
Text via Wiki
“In this beautifully illustrated work, Pietro Laureano shares with us the fruits of more than a quarter of a century of careful observation of traditional knowledge and techniques applied to urban settlements and landscape resources management in all regions of the world. The book introduces us to very sophisticated, thousand-year-old, capacities developed by local communities and civilizations around the world, amongst which water harvesting techniques, recycling of organic wastes and used waters for soil fertility conservation or, in more general terms, the ecosystemic approach to town planning, are anything but new! The volume is also the most convincing illustration of the fact that, whereas modern technological solutions rely on separation and specialization and for most of the time imply the mobilization of external resources, traditional knowledge, which by its very nature applies the principle of integration and uses internal renewable inputs, has proved over time to be effective in the daily struggle of civilizations against adverse environments and, more recently, against desertification.”–Howard Moore, Director Unesco Regional Bureau for
Science in Europe (ROSTE)
Download PDF HERE
Evolution of Water Supply Through the Millennia
“If you ever fly over San Francisco Bay, be sure to peer out of the window to catch a glimpse of one of the world’s most incredibly colored landscapes – the salt evaporation ponds operated by Cargill, Inc.
Salt evaporation ponds are shallow artificial ponds designed to produce salts from sea water or other brines. The seawater or brine is fed into large ponds and water is drawn out through natural evaporation which allows the salt to be subsequently harvested. During the five years it takes for the bay water to mature into salt brine, it is moved from one evaporation pond to another. In the final stages, when the brine is fully saturated, it is pumped to the crystalizer where a bed of salt 5 to 8 inches thick is ready for harvest.
Salt ponds range from blue green to deep magenta – colored naturally by the microorganisms that thrive as salinity levels increase. The color indicates the salinity of the ponds and the type of microorganisms that’s breeding on it. Three microorganisms in particular, Synechococcus, Halobacteria, and Dunaliella, influence the color of salt ponds.”
Text and Images via Amusing Planet
The idea behind Don’t Flush Me is to allow NYC residents to help reduce the amount of pollution in the harbor. Some 27 billion gallons of raw sewage is dumped into the harbor every year. This comes from Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) that open when the sewer system is overloaded. The idea is to enable residents to understand when the overflows happen and reduce their wastewater production before and during an overflow event.
An hour south of Lethbridge, Alberta, and twenty minutes from Montana, Milk River is one of the last Canadian towns before the border. The one-block downtown is Prairie minimalist: a Chinese restaurant near a lonely stop sign, beyond it a bank, and across the highway, yellow and green grain elevators. Just west of town, the pavement peters out to a gravel range road, and to the south the Milk River surges with flood water. From the Rockies to Medicine Hat, this usually dry country, where researchers scour barren coulees for dinosaur bones, was awash in six days of uninterrupted rain. Pincher Creek declared an emergency; High River faced its namesake. Though troubling, this spring’s wet weather provided an ironic counterpoint to my objective: to find the century-old Spite Canal, an artifact of Canadian-American history born of drought and embodying the enmeshed nature of the two countries’ relationship with water.
Looking north across treeless hills, I saw a conspicuously straight line emerge from the rain. My rental car vibrated over a Texas gate, and minutes later I scrambled up a grassy embankment. Beyond it was a ditch about two metres deep that followed the contour of the land northward. This crude trench — unmarked, largely unremembered, and now crumbling back into the prairie — is the physical fact on the ground that induced Teddy Roosevelt’s chest-beating America to sign a treaty with Canada that is still lauded today.
Its origins can be traced to the late 1800s when settlers north and south of the forty-ninth parallel relied on two rivers: the St. Mary and the Milk. Both flow from Montana into Canada before diverging; the St. Mary carrying on to Hudson Bay, the Milk turning back into Montana after looping 250 kilometres through Canada. Rising high in the mountains, the snow-fed St. Mary ran strongly all summer; the Milk, born in the foothills, often dried to a trickle. That led the Americans to launch a plan in 1901 to divert water out of the St. Mary and move it across the foothills to the Milk and their ranches in Montana.
Written by Chris Wood, The Walrus. Continue HERE