Monday, September 29, 2008

Using Jatropha ‘wonder plant’ to mitigate soil degradation

Even as government strives to mitigate the impact of desetification, the effort has not made much impact, even in the face of the threat of climate change.
Besides desertification in the North, many areas in the Southern part of the country, especially in the South-East, are ravaged by erosion.
Efforts to check the Agulu Nanka erosion menace in Anambra have not yielded much success.
This is also the case in most erosion prone parts of the country.
The erection of concrete barriers and the channelisation of water courses to check erosion have not helped matters.
It is against this background that experts suggest the adoption of natural measures such as the cultivation of special plants on degraded soils as the most adaptable measure to contain the menace.
One plant that comes to mind, according to experts, is Jatropha, ''the wonder plant''.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Rip Rap Alternative, Scour Stop - Green Erosion Control Solution

ScourStop is a no-maintenance post-construction BMP.

- ScourStop is a semi-rigid, high-density polyethylene plastic mat (4 ft X 4 ft X ½ inch) designed with voids throughout the structure which enable vegetative growth. ScourStop is formulated with 10+ years, UV protection which colors it a dark green. Additionally, once vegetated, the mat is mostly shielded from the sun and undetectable – making it a permanent installation.

- ScourStop integrates vegetation with modern polymer material technology to mechanically protect the soil from scour and erosion until the shear forces have dissipated. This synergy of mechanical protection and vegetation enables this BMP system to resist much higher shear stresses and velocities than vegetation alone or rock rip rap.

* ScourStop is only one element of a channel protection BMP protecting the scour area; the other element of the BMP is the downstream channel protection. Sod and/or turf-reinforcement mats can carry the water load once expansion of the channel has enabled a decrease in the shear forces and velocity.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Spain 'to fight desertification' with 45m trees

The Spanish Government says it will plant 45 million trees over the next four years to counter desertification caused by global warming.

The massive tree-planting scheme aims to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, the cause of global warming.

The Spanish Government estimates that in the long term, the trees could absorb more than 3.5 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.

The trees will also help to prevent desertification, or land degradation by consolidating soils and preventing erosion.

Environmental groups say one-third of Spain is threatened by desertification that leaves soils dead and landscapes barren.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

As Andean glacier retreats, tiny life forms swiftly move in

A University of Colorado at Boulder team working at 16,400 feet in the Peruvian Andes has discovered how barren soils uncovered by retreating glacier ice can swiftly establish a thriving community of microbes, setting the table for lichens, mosses and alpine plants.

The discovery is the first to reveal how microbial life becomes established and flourishes in one of the most extreme environments on Earth and has implications for how life may have once flourished on Mars, said Professor Steve Schmidt of CU-Boulder's ecology and evolutionary biology department. The study also provides new insights into how microorganisms are adapting to global warming in cold ecosystems on Earth.

A paper on the subject was published online Aug. 27 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the United Kingdom's national academy of science. Co-authors included CU-Boulder's Sasha Reed, Diana Nemergut, Stuart Grandy, Andrew Hill, Elizabeth Costello, Allen Meyer, Jason Neff and Andrew Martin as well as the University of Montana's Cory Cleveland and the University of Toledo's Michael Weintraub.

The researchers found that ...
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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Field Performance of Erosion Control Products

These documents outline extensive field testing by the Texas Transportation Institute Hydraulic and Erosion Control Laboratory and provides the latest performance data for rolled and spray-on erosion control and re-vegetation products.

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