Dhaka, Jun 30 (UNB)- The ice around Alaska is not just melting. It's gotten so low that the situation is endangering some residents' food and jobs, reports CNN.
"The seas are extraordinarily warm. It is impacting the ability for Americans in the region to put food on the table right now," said University of Alaska climate specialist Rick Thoman.
Ocean temperatures in the Chukchi and North Bering seas are nearly 10 degrees Fahrenheit (five degrees Celsius) above normal, satellite data shows.
"The northern Bering & southern Chukchi Seas are baking," Thoman wrote this week in a tweet.
There are immediate local and commercial impacts along the state's western and northern coastlines, Thoman told CNN. Birds and marine animals are showing up dead, he said, and sea temperatures are warm enough to support algal blooms, which can make the waters toxic to wildlife.
It's a mounting crisis for many coastal Alaska towns that depend on fishing to support their economy and feed people who live here.
"Much of what the people eat there over the course of the year comes from food they harvest themselves," said climatologist Brian Brettschneider at the International Arctic Research Center. "If people can't get out on the ice to hunt seals or whales, that affects their food security. It is a human crisis of survivability."
Events like this -- when weather patterns align to generate extreme consequences -- are also evidence of the growing climate crisis, scientists say.
A perfect storm for warming waters
Ice cover around Alaska normally lasts through the end of May. This year, it disappeared in March, as side-by-side maps showing the same date in March 2013 (left) and 2019 demonstrate, according to the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy.
The unprecedented warming has been driven by southerly winds in the Bering Sea, with warm air from the south melting the ice at an alarming rate. Ocean temperatures in the region also have never been as warm during the peak of summer, based on seasonal averages. And communities in northern and western Alaska have seen temperatures close to their all-time June records.
In short, everything that could have "gone wrong" this year for the ice around Alaska has gone wrong, Brettschneider said.
This is a signal of global warming
The warming is a sure signal of a warming planet and part of the trend of increasing global temperatures, Brettschneider said.
"This event is unquestionably a reflection of our changing climate," he said. "The sea temperatures and sea ice deficits have not happened before as a random event. The mathematics just do not work out."
"These extraordinary warm waters will take awhile to cool off as winter approaches," Thoman said, adding that a later and thinner ice formation is expected in the coming winter.
Meantime, if some conditions change, that won't negate the global warming trend.
"Next year, the winds could turn northerly. That tends to mask a warming signal," Brettschneider said, referring to the long-term warming trend of the planet. "It is just like in the lower 48 (states), where you can have major Arctic outbreaks if the winds are set up in the right direction. That masks an overall warming.
"What is happening in coastal Alaska is what is coming in one sense for everybody else," he told CNN. "Most people are feeling the effects of climate change even if they don't know it. Changes are happening, and changes will be magnified."
Santa Fe, Jun 29 (AP/UNB) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is launching a new effort to craft legislation that could legalize recreational marijuana sales next year.
The first-year Democratic governor announced Friday her recruitment of health, legal and fiscal policy experts to serve in a new discussion group that provides recommendations on state legalization.
Members of the group include Democratic and Republican legislators who sponsored unsuccessful legislation this year to authorize and tax recreational marijuana sales at state run stores. That proposal passed a House vote but stalled in the state Senate.
Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis is leading the so-called cannabis legalization task force.
Other participants represent a labor union, sheriff’s department, health care business, Native American tribe, medical cannabis business, county government association, commercial bank and hospital company.
Berlin, Jun 29 (AP/UNB) — German says it will return to Italy a painting by Dutch artist Jan van Huysum that was stolen by Nazi troops during World War II.
The government said in a statement Saturday that Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and his Italian counterpart Enzo Moavero will travel to Florence soon to hand the still-life "Vase of Flowers" back to the Uffizi Gallery.
Its director, Eike Schmidt, had made a public appeal for the return of the painting earlier this year.
The oil painting had been part of the Pitti Palace collection in Florence from 1824 until the outbreak of World War II. It was stolen by German troops and didn't surface again until after Germany's reunification.
It wasn't immediately clear whether the family that currently possesses the painting would be compensated.
Dhaka, June 29 (UNB)- People should be focusing on how to prevent harmful microbes from spreading in their homes rather than cleaning the bits that look "dirty", a Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) report says.
Washing hands, cloths and surfaces at the right time is the key to good hygiene - but one in four people think it is not important, it warns, reports BBC.
Getting it right can reduce infections and antibiotic resistance.
And there is no such thing as being "too clean".
According to the RSPH report, there is confusion among the public about the difference between dirt, germs, cleanliness and hygiene.
In a survey of 2,000 people, 23% thought children needed to be exposed to harmful germs to build up their immune systems.
But experts behind the report said this was "a potentially harmful belief" which could lead to exposure to some dangerous infections.
Instead, they said people should concentrate on cleaning specific places at specific times, even if they look clean, to stop "bad" microbes spreading.
What are the hot spots for hygiene?
-preparing and handling food
-eating with fingers
-after using the toilet
-when people are coughing, sneezing and blowing their nose
-handling and washing "dirty" household cloths and clothing
-caring for pets
-handling and taking out the rubbish
-caring for a family member with an infection
Cleaning of hands is particularly important after handling food, using the toilet, coughing, sneezing, handling pets and caring for those who are sick, the report says.
Cleaning kitchen surfaces and chopping boards is vital after preparing raw foods such as meat and poultry, or before preparing food such as sandwiches and snacks.
And cleaning dishcloths and scrubbing brushes is recommended after they have been used to clean a contaminated surface.
Floors and furniture may look dirty, but they usually contain microbes which are not much of a health risk.
How does cleaning remove bacteria?
Washing surfaces and utensils with warm, soapy water removes the bacteria, allowing it to be washed down the drain.
But to kill the bacteria completely, scalding water over 70C, is needed - and for some time, the Food Standards Agency says.
What products to use?
Most fall into three categories, which each do something different.
- Detergents : clean the surface and remove grease, but they do not kill bacteria.
- Disinfectants : kill bacteria but do not work effectively on a surface covered in grease or visible dirt.
- Sanitisers : can be used to both clean and disinfect. First use the sanitiser to clean the surface, removing any dirt, food and grease then apply to the clean surface to disinfect
It is important to read the instructions carefully, experts say.
Instead of using a cloth to clean surfaces after food preparation, try using paper towels instead. This saves the kitchen cloth from becoming contaminated.
What do experts say?
Prof Sally Bloomfield, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said the public should know the difference between hygiene and cleanliness.
"Whereas cleaning means removing dirt and microbes, hygiene means cleaning in the places and times that matter - in the right way - to break the chain of infection whilst preparing food, using the toilet, caring for pets etc."
Prof Lisa Ackerley, food hygiene expert and trustee at Royal Society for Public Health, said: "Getting outdoors and playing with friends, family and pets is great for exposure to 'good bacteria' and building a healthy microbiome, but it's also crucial that the public don't get the wrong end of the stick. This doesn't need to get in the way of good hygiene.
"Targeted hygiene undertaken at the crucial times and places is a way of preventing infection that is cheap on time and low effort, and still exposes you to all the 'good bacteria' your body benefits from."
She added: "Good hygiene in the home and everyday life helps to reduce infections, is vitally important to protecting our children and reducing pressure on the NHS, and has a huge role to play in the battle against antibiotic resistance."
Dhaka, June 29 (UNB) - Native to India, mangoes were first cultivated in the Northeast India, Bangladesh and Myanmar about 25-30 million years ago. Also called the king of fruits, mangoes have enjoyed their own prized place in the history of India and its relationship with the world, reports NDTV.
Food Historian KT Achaya in his book, 'A Historical Dictionary of Indian Food' writes, "From it's very first mention as 'amra' in the Brahadarnayaka Upanishad (c.1000 BC) and in the slightly later Shatapatha Brahmana, the virtues of mango fruit have been extolled for three thousand years." It is said that mangoes were also very dear to Lord Buddha. He used to meditate in the tranquillity of lush mango groves. Of the most popular legends and yore, the Mughal fixation with mangoes wins hands down.
Mangoes were used as tenderisers in the making of the delectable Mughlai kebabs. Mango grafting too was issued only by royal patronage until Emperor Shah Jahan lifted limitations, KT Achaya writes in his book 'A Historical Dictionary of Indian Food'. During the 16th century, the sea-faring Portuguese were so lured with the mangoes in Kerala, that they also took the fruit and its seeds and introduced it to Africa.
With a history as delicious, mangoes make for one of the most popular fruits across the world. In addition to being sumptuous, pulpy and amazing, mangoes pack a host of health benefits too! (As if we needed any more reason to gorge on to this amazing fruit)
Here are some benefits of mangoes you may not have known.
1. Helps in digestion
Mangoes could help facilitate healthy digestion. According to the book, 'Healing Foods' by DK Publishing, mangoes contain enzymes that aid the breakdown and digestion of protein, and also fibre, which keeps the digestive tract working efficiently. Dietary fibre helps lowering risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes. Green mangoes have more pectin fibre than ripe mangoes.
2. Promotes Healthy Gut
According to the book 'Healing Foods', mango flesh contains prebiotic dietary fibre, which helps feed good bacteria in the gut. Healthy gut is detrimental for a healthy state. Leaky gut, apart from poor digestion results in skin conditions like IBS, asthma, slow metabolism and other health issues.
3. Boosts Immunity
You would be surprised to know that an average sized mango contains upto two-third of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C. The powerful antioxidant helps boost immunity system and prevents cold/flu.
4. Promotes eye health
Including mangoes in the diet may also help promote your eye health. Mangoes are rich in beta-carotene that helps in the production of Vitamin A. The powerful antioxidant helps improve vision, boosts overall eye health and even prevents age-related macular degeneration or loss of vision.
5. Lowers Cholesterol
Eating mangoes could help regulate your cholesterol levels too. The high levels of fibre pectin may help bring down the low-density lipoprotein (LDL or bad cholesterol) which causes plaques in the vessels and blocks blood flow.
6. Clears the Skin
Mangoes are filled with skin-friendly vitamin C and Vitamin A, both of which are crucial for healthy skin and skin repair. Mangoes, eaten in moderation are also known to exfoliate and eliminate dead pores. According to Macrobiotic nutritionist and Health Practitioner Shilpa Arora ND, "Mangoes are loaded with skin healing nutrients; for example, fibre in mangoes cleanses your gut that is overloaded with toxic substances."
7. Even Diabetics Could Enjoy it
Yes it is sweet, and should be eaten sparingly, but that doesn't make mangoes a strict no-no for diabetics. The glycemic index of mangoes ranges between 41 to 60, with an average of 51. The value of 51 is on the lower end of the glycemic index scale. Foods that are less than 55 are consider to be low glycemic food, which is safe for diabetics to consume. Foods with low glycemic index, makes sure the release of sugar in the blood is slow, and there is no sudden spike in the blood glucose levels. Besides that, mangoes are also rich in dietary fibres, which again helps regulate the blood sugar levels.
8. Aids Weight Loss
Mangoes when eaten in moderation could also help in weight loss. The phytochemicals in the mango skin act as natural fat busters. The mango flesh is filled with dietary fibres. Fibres induce a feeling of satiety. On eating high-fibre fruits or veggies you feel full for a longer time, which prevents you from tucking in other high fattening snacks.
Summers are here and so are mangoes. So what are you waiting for, let the digging begin!