Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest NOAA and its research partners are forecasting that western Lake Erie will experience a significant harmful algal bloom (HAB) this summer.This year’s bloom is expected to measure 7.5 on the severity index, but could possibly range between 6 and 9. An index above 5 indicates blooms having greater impact. The severity index is based on bloom’s biomass — the amount of algae — over a sustained period. The largest blooms occurred in 2011, with a severity index of 10, and 2015, at 10.5. Last year’s bloom had a severity index of 3.6, while 2017‘s was 8.0.Lake Erie blooms consist of cyanobacteria, also called blue-green algae, that are capable of producing the liver toxin microcystin that poses a risk to human and wildlife health. Such blooms may result in higher costs for cities and local governments that need to treat drinking water, prevent people from enjoying fishing, swimming, boating and visiting the shoreline, and harm the region’s vital summer tourism economy. These effects will vary in location and severity due to winds that may concentrate or dissipate the bloom.“Communities along Lake Erie rely upon clean, healthy water to support their community’s well-being and economic livelihoods,” said Nicole LeBoeuf, acting director of NOAA’s National Ocean Service. “This forecast provides timely and trusted science-based information to water managers and public health officials so they can better anticipate blooms, mitigate impacts and reduce future outbreaks.”The size of a bloom isn’t necessarily an indication of how toxic it is. For example, the toxins in a large bloom may not be as concentrated as in a smaller bloom. Each algal bloom is unique in terms of size, toxicity, and ultimately its impact to local communities. NOAA is actively developing tools to detect and predict how toxic blooms will be.This year, the lake temperature has remained relatively cool due to the higher-than-average rainfall in the region, so the bloom is not expected to start until late July when the water temperature reaches 65 to 70 degrees F. This contrasts with 2018, when exceptionally warm weather at the beginning of June caused an early start. Calm winds in July, especially in western Lake Erie, tend to allow the algal toxins to concentrate, making blooms more harmful. The bloom typically peaks in the western part of the lake in September. Most of the rest of the lake will not be affected.“This extremely wet spring has shed light on the movement of nutrients from the land into Lake Erie,” said Christopher Winslow, Ph.D., director of Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory. “Despite the predicted size of this year’s bloom, portions of the lake will be algae free during the bloom season and the lake will remain a key asset for the state. Ongoing research continues to help us understand bloom movement and toxin production, and remains vital to providing our water treatment facilities with the tools, technology and training they need to keep our drinking water safe.”The Lake Erie forecast is part of a NOAA ecological forecasting initiative that aims to deliver accurate, relevant, timely and reliable ecological forecasts directly to coastal resource managers and the public. In addition to the early season projections from NOAA and its partners, NOAA also issues HAB bulletins twice a week during the bloom season.NOAA continues to expand the use of satellite data into its Lake Erie Harmful Algal Bloom Forecast System, which is helping improve the accuracy of bloom forecast products. The data comes from the European Union’s Copernicus Sentinel-3 satellite, which has instruments that measure coastal water color, and have proven to be especially useful for detecting and tracking algal blooms. NOAA is also continuing to work with its research labs and academic partners to refine and improve the models used to develop the forecasts.“This spring brought regular, heavy rainfall to the Maumee River watershed which would normally carry a lot of nutrients into the lake,” said Richard Stumpf, Ph.D., NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science’s lead scientist for the seasonal Lake Erie bloom forecast. “However, due to the amount of rain this year, farmers were unable to plant their fields which reduced the nutrient concentration. That combined with higher than normal lake levels, presents an opportunity to test the accuracy of our models.”Nutrient load data for the forecasts came from Heidelberg University. The various forecast models are run by NOAA’s NCCOS, the University of Michigan, North Carolina State University, LimnoTech, Stanford University, and the Carnegie Institution for Science. Field observations used for monitoring and modeling are done in partnership with NOAA’s Ohio River Forecast Center, NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research, Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory at The Ohio State University, University of Toledo and Ohio EPA.
In the picturesque Garhwal Hills, 95 kilometres from Dehradun, a short walk from the nearest motorable road leads to Panchur, a sleepy village from where hails the new Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Ajay Singh Bisht, popularly known as Yogi Adityanath.Throughout Sunday, Adityanath’s teary-eyed mother, proud father and brothers spent most of the time receiving hundreds of friends and relatives visiting to congratulate the family.As crowds shouted Har har Yogi, ghar ghar Yogi, drummers played the dhol. The village in Pauri district of Uttarakhand came alive as people celebrated with fervour. For Adityanath’s family, it was a moment “beyond imagination”.“We have not been able to congratulate Mahantji yet… We have been trying to call him, but his phone is switched off,” Adityanath’s younger brother Mahendra Bisht said on Sunday evening.In 1994, 22-year-old Ajay became Yogi Adityanath when Mahant Avaidyanath, a native of Kandi village, three kilometres from Panchur, and the then head of the powerful Gorakhnath Peeth in Gorakhpur, chose him as his successor.From then on, for his family and relatives too, Ajay became Mahantji.However, even as Adityanath’s stature has risen in the past years, his typical Garhwali family here lives a life of simplicity.The family members say Adityanath’s image as a Hindu hardliner is in stark contrast to the personality he had when he lived in the village as a young man. His father, Anand Singh Bisht, 85, attributed his present image to the time he spent with Mahant Avaidyanath.Contribution as MPFor the villagers, however, Adityanath is synonymous with “progress”. “Being a postgraduate in Mathematics, he believes that education is the building block towards progress… When he first became an MP in 1998, he got a degree college built in the village,” Surendra Singh Rawat from the village, said.Adityanath’s recent visit to the house was in February.His sister-in-law Asha Devi said: “Whenever Mahantji comes home, his father sits with him and tells him to keep calm. His father tells him to keep certain things in his heart and not be too vocal about everything he feels.”Adityanath has been at the centre of several controversies. His father said he was “aware of the flak Mahantji draws”.“I do try to tell Adityanath to keep a check on his speeches, but he follows his own mind,” he said. “I hope that he follows the BJP’s agenda of Sabka saath, sabka vikas. This is also my advice to him that he should follow the BJP’s agenda, which is inclusive of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, the rich and the poor.”
In Gujarat, the BJP won a crucial byelection for the Jasdan Assembly constituency on Sunday.Kunvarji Bavalia, Minister for Water Resources, won the poll by a margin of almost 20,000 votes, defeating his nearest rival Avsar Nakia from the Congress.Mr. Bavalia’s victory from this rural seat in the Saurashtra region came as a huge sign of relief to the ruling party which had suffered heavily in the region in December 2017 owing to farm distress.Mr. Bavalia polled 90,268 votes, 19,985 votes more than his Congress rival.‘Clear indication’Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said the victory in Jasdan was a clear indication that the BJP would win all 26 seats in Gujarat in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.“This is a clear indication that the BJP will win 26 seats in the Lok Sabha elections in Gujarat under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership,” Mr. Rupani said in Gandhinagar.In Jasdan, the bypoll was necessitated after the Congress legislator, Mr. Bavalia, had defected to the BJP and became a Cabinet Minister within hours of his joining the ruling party. He had to resign as a legislator and get re-elected from Jasdan within six months.Koli communityTo take on him, the Congress has fielded Mr. Nakia, once his protege and local panchayat member.Both Mr. Bavalia and Mr. Nakia are from the numerically significant Koli community, which dominates close to 40 Assembly seats in Saurashtra and south Gujarat.Traditionally, Jasdan has been a stronghold of Mr. Bavalia, who has been winning the seat since 1995.In 2009, he became Rajkot MP and resigned as MLA. In the 2009 bypoll too, the BJP wrested the Assembly seat when Mr. Bavalia’s daughter lost to BJP candidate Bharat Boghra.
New Delhi: Cyber manipulators are circulating fake videos on social media which is posing a risk to the country, Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh said Thursday, highlighting the scenario after the withdrawal of the special status to Jammu and Kashmir.Addressing the first National Conference on Cybercrime Investigation and Forensics, organised by the CBI, the minister said the study of cybercrime is important for India, keeping in mind that India has a huge population and that India has the second-largest internet users in the world. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’He further said the nature of crime also evolves with the evolution of society, which makes it essential on the part of investigative agencies to evolve their techniques. “Speaking about the recent developments in the country, Dr Singh said that we are in the post-Article 370 abrogation scenario. He expressed concern over the fact that the cyber manipulators are posing risk to the nation by circulating fake videos on the social media, which needs to be addressed,” a government statement said. Singh said the thrust of the government has been on clarity in fight against terrorism and decisive actions have been taken in this regard. CBI Director R K Shukla said the conference is a platform for state police and enforcement agencies to share their best practices and to replicate them.