The storage sites around the UK that could provide cheap power to millions of homes

Amid an energy crisis that has seen bills soar to astronomical levels due to the UK’s staggering dependence on volatile gas markets, Britain has been scrambling to ramp up its energy security to break free from Russian Vladimir Putin’s grip on the market in the hope of driving down bills. And as winter looms, there are even fears that Britain may not be able to shore up enough imports to keep the lights on this winter as National Grid warns there could be a period of 3-hour rolling blackouts during the coldest months of the year.

But there are several energy storage sites around the UK that could already help the UK avoid such a scenario, and with many more planned, these plants could prove vital in driving down bills and harnessing the true potential of Britain’s renewable energy infrastructure.

Energy storage sites work by storing the excess energy produced by renewables, which sends power to the plants when weather conditions generate high amounts of power that is not necessarily required when demand is low.

Instead of the excess power being wasted, storage sites can send power back into the grid at times when demand is high. This has the potential to let millions of homes access cheap power, and can provide a stable supply of energy that could prove vital in avoiding shortages. Express.co.uk has listed several planned and operating sites that area dotted around the UK.

TagEnergy’s battery storage facility is already in operation at the Hawkers Hill site, and some of the energy it stored up has already been exported to the grid. Elon Musk’s Tesla was involved in the construction of the £16m facility, a process which started in September 2021.

The site uses Tesla’s Megapack lithium-ion batteries, together with the firm’s Artificial Intelligence software, which is able to identify when demand is low or high.

Franck Woitiez, Chief Executive Officer, TagEnergy said: “Flexible technology systems like Hawkers Hill Energy Park’s battery storage will play an increasingly important role in boosting the UK’s ability to capture, store and release renewable energy for a more reliable and regular supply. We are proud to be delivering clean power to support the national grid at this critical time and will continue to leverage our battery storage expertise and flexible supply to optimise the market, help stabilise the grid and increase renewables’ share of it.”

TagEnergy’s site is not the only UK storage site up-and-running that is using Tesla’s technology. Harmony Energy’s battery storage site near Hull came online on Monday, four days ahead of schedule. It can store enough electricity to power 300,000 homes for two hours. Like the storage facility at Hawkers Hill, the plant in Pillswood, Cottingham, also uses Tesla’s AI software to match energy supply to demand. This had been due to be switched on in two stages in December 2022 and March 2023.

The Pillswood site can store up to 196 MWh energy in a single cycle and is built next to the National Grid’s Creyke Beck substation, which will be connected to Dogger Bank. This will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm, which is set to launch in the North Sea later this decade.

Peter Kavanagh, director of Harmony Energy, said: “Battery energy storage systems are essential to unlocking the full potential of renewable energy in the UK and we hope this particular one highlights Yorkshire as a leader in green energy solutions.

Low Carbon’s two projects, one in Cleator in Cumbria and the other in Glassenbury in Kent, have a total capacity of 50 megawatts. Running on lithium-ion batteries, the sites “ensure that energy is always available where it is needed”.

The Kent site runs on 3,640 lithium-ion battery modules which provide “almost instantaneous responses to energy supply and demand” and is capable of powering more than 3,250 homes for a day. The Cumbria site is much smaller in scale, running on just 900 lithium-ion batteries and a 10-megawatt capacity.

Although they are not yet operating, Highview Power has plans to significantly scale up the UK’s energy storage capacity in a bid to bring a major boost to Britain’s energy security. While it eventually hopes that 20 plants will be built around the country, it has currently pinpointed two major sites at Carrington, Machester, and Humber, Yorkshire.

It is hoped that the first plant, a £250million Manchester station, will come online as early as 2024. It will have a 30megawatts capacity, able to store 300megawatt hours of electricity, enough to supply 600,000 homes with clean power for an hour.

The next plants will be even larger in scale, with four a five planned for Humberside with a 200megawatt/2.5gigwatt hour capacity. The CRYOBattery site would be able to store excess energy generated by the Dogger Bank, Hornsea and Sofia wind farms.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, HighView Power CEO Rupert Pearce said: “The size of those is a lot bigger. They will be able to each serve around 6 million homes. We are talking about very substantial storage to the UK. 6 million homes is about the size of Sizewell C.”

He added:”We are building offshore wind at an incredible pace. We have gone from 11 gigawatts to 50 gigawatts in seven years and it is transformational for the UK economy. That is taking us from 40 percent of offshore wind generation today to 90 percent to the end of the decade.

“It is in the North Sea, it is off the east and west coast of Scotland and a bit off Wales. Wherever that wind gets landed, we are going to be building our power stations to capture the excess wind.”

“We will be there in Humberside, in Norfolk, Kent and the east coast of Scotland take wind power, keep if refrigerated and ready – stored as liquid air – ready to move it on when the demand is there. We are dotted all around the coastlines.”

Centrica Business Solutions has reportedly started working on the plant, at Brigg in Lincolnshire that could provide energy storage for 43 onshore wind farms across the country. The decommissioned gas station, now set to become a battery storage facility, is set to remain in operation for 25 years after it comes online late next year.

It is claimed that the site will be able to maximise the potential of every megawatt of green electricity to provide enough energy to provide a full day’s consumption to 11,000 homes, or around 15 percent of homes in North Lincolnshire.

Greg McKenna, Managing Director of Centrica Business Solutions, said: “Investing in low carbon energy assets that boost the UK’s ability to store more renewable energy is key to getting to net zero. Lincolnshire has 242MW of onshore wind power capacity but when supply outstrips demand some of those green electrons will go to waste if not stored.”

Kona Energy has struck a deal with Gore Street Energy Storage Fund (GSF) for a 200MW project in North West England. Once constructed, this site will be one of the biggest battery storage facilities in Europe, storing electricity generated a variety of sources, including renewable power.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Andy Willis, the founder of Kona Energy commented: “This project could power up to 200,000 homes for 2 hours when constructed, which we hope to achieve as soon as is feasibly possible.

“Battery storage systems are an irreplaceable piece of the renewable puzzle. Without them, a vast amount of clean energy will continue to be wasted at great cost to the billpayer.

“The more of these projects online, the stronger our position will be in the turbulent global energy market – there is no time to waste.”

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  • 20 минут назад 01.12.2022Science
    Children who watch TV more than two hours a day are more likely to face addictions later in life

    Children who watch more than two hours of TV a night are more likely to be addicted to gambling, cigarettes, cannabis and alcohol when they grow up.

    Researchers in New Zealand looked at data from 1,000 people from when they were children to over 45 years of age. Surveys were carried out every two to six years about their TV use, whether they gambled, and what drugs they took.

    Results showed those who watched more than two hours of TV on week nights from ages five to 15 years were 29 per cent more likely to have a gambling problem in adulthood than those who spent less time glued to screens.

    They were also 20 per cent more likely to be addicted to tobacco products and had had a higher risk of alcohol or cannabis use disorder compared to those who spent less time in front of screens.

    The findings may cause concern, given a separate study revealed earlier this month found American children are now spending about four hours staring at screens a day.

    Researchers suggested endlessly staring at the TV may indicate addictive disorder in children WHY?, and make it easier to slip into another type of addiction.

    Dr Helena McAnally, a preventive medicine expert at the University of Otago who led the paper, said: ‘This research indicates that, for some people, television viewing may be an early expression of an addictive disorder or may lead to later substance-related and other addictive disorders.’

    The results are observational, meaning scientists could not prove that television drives the risk of problem behaviors later in life.

    They cannot definitely rule out other factors such as genetics, parental influence or an absence of social support.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children should not watch more than two hours of television every weeknight.

    In what is believed to be a world-first long-term study on TV use and addiction, researchers recruited 1,000 children after birth between 1972 and 1973.

    Youngsters were invited for screenings every two years until they were 15 years old, where parents filled out questionnaires on how much television they watched.

    Participants were then asked back every three-to-five years for face-to-face interviews to assess four possible addictions.

    Children watched on average two hours and twenty minutes of television every weekday between the ages of five and 15 years.

    Overall 62 per cent watched more than the recommended two hours a day and boys were more likely to than girls.

    In adulthood, 372 of 1,000 participants (37 per cent) were diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder.

    Another 36 per cent (369 of 1,003 participants) were found to have a tobacco use disorder, while 18 per cent (190 of 1,003) had a cannabis use disorder.

    Participants were diagnosed with addictions through surveys that asked whether they struggled to control their use, had a physical dependence, face social problems or had a risky use of the substance in question.

    Drinking heavily in the US is defined as 14 drinks a week for men, and seven a week for women.

    The scientists also found 18 per cent (150 of 861 participants) were diagnosed with a gambling addiction.

    This was diagnosed in people who spent a long time considering their gambling experiences, have felt a need to gamble to get more money, or have ever felt restless or irritable when they try to cut down on gambling.

    Results were analyzed based on sex, television viewing and socioeconomic status.

    Researchers said television watching is normally associated with non-problematic motivations such as enjoyment and relaxation.

    But they warned these same motivations are also associated with addictions to other activities — such as gambling or alcohol.

    Dr Bob Hancox, an epidemiologist who co-authored the study, said: ‘Public health agencies have put great effort into advocating for safer alcohol use and safe sexual practices.

    ‘Similar campaigns could be used to advocate for safe screen use.

    ‘The American Academy of Pediatrics’ previous recommendation of a daily average limit of two hours of screen time may remain a reasonable guide for leisure-time screen time in children and adolescents.’

    Increased screen-time is also linked to a higher likelihood of obesity at a young age, raising the risk of a whole host of health conditions later in life.

    The study was published in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction.

    It was drawn from the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, also known as the Dunedin Study.

  • 20 минут назад 01.12.2022Science
    Advert in Canada promotes euthanasia: Slammed for being ‘dystopian’

    A Canadian fashion giant has been accused of glorifying suicide after launching a media campaign that appears to promote euthanasia — a practice increasingly common in Canada.

    The ‘All is Beauty’ video ad, launched by La Maison Simons, centers around a terminally ill woman, Jennyfer, 37, who ended her life with medication intervention in October.

    The three-minute video shows Jennyfer and loved ones waving bubble wands next to the ocean, having picnics in the forest with friends and watching a puppet show.

    In an audio overlay recorded weeks before her death, she says: ‘I spent my life filling my heart with beauty, with nature, with connection. I choose to fill my final moments with the same… Last breaths are sacred. When I imagine my final days, I see music. I see the ocean. I see cheesecake.’

    The campaign comes amid a wave of criticism from disability campaigners and doctors who have denounced Canada’s assisted dying policy as ‘perverted’. Already 10,000 terminally-ill Canadians are dying from euthanasia every year and in March, patients with mental health issues will be eligible.

    Yuan Yi Zhu, a policy expert at the University of Oxford, told DailyMail.com: ‘By presenting a woman’s decision to commit suicide as an upscale lifestyle choice, Simons is glorifying suicide and telling vulnerable Canadians that they would be better off dead than alive.’

    The video has also drawn criticism from social media users who slammed it as ‘ghoulish’ and likened it to ‘sci-fi dystopia’.

    Since it was uploaded about a month ago, the video has garnered more than 1.1 million views on YouTube. A 30-second snippet of the video posted to Twitter has about 1.6 million views.

    The company behind the campaign, La Maison Simons, is a family-owned business headquartered in Quebec that has been a staple in Canada since 1840. The retailer owns 15 department stores across Canada as well as offices in London, Paris, Hong Kong, and Florence.

    DailyMail.com has approached La Maison Simons for comment.

    Ahead of the controversial advert’s release, La Maison Simons executive Peter Simons said the objective in shooting the video was to ‘truly reflect on who we want to be as a company,’ having made ‘the courageous choice to use the privilege of our voice and platform to create something meaningful, something that is less about commerce and more about connection.’

    ‘We felt it was perhaps hard to reconnect with a hope and an optimism [due to the pandemic] and we wanted to do something that really underlined human connection.’

    He added that Jennyfer, who did not disclose her fatal illness, was ‘courageous’ and ‘inspiring’ by sharing her story and hoped it might give people ‘the strength and the courage to see beauty in the more difficult moments in life.’

    Mr Simons’ spot on YouTube describing the rationale for launching the campaign also garnered significant outrage.

    One commenter chastised Mr Simons and the company for ‘promoting and glorifying suicide and murder.’

    Another wrote: ‘Placing this film as an ad just makes it seem like Simons is lobbying for the expansion of MAiD… we don’t need to see euthanasia repeatedly romanticized.’

    Neither Jennyfer nor Mr Simons disclosed the illness, though it is clear that she qualified under the law’s eligibility criteria by having a physical condition that was either deemed ‘intolerable’ or was terminal.

    Canada is one of just a handful of countries to green-light medical assistance in dying (MAID).

    Others include Switzerland, Belgium, Spain, Colombia, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and New Zealand.

    Canada’s laws are poised to become some of the most lax in West.

    The liberal government’s MAiD law dates back to 2016 when parliament legalized both physician-administered euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide to help people who determined to be suffering an imminent death.

    The person interested in MAiD had to be at least 18. They had to have a serious condition or disability that was in an advanced, irreversible state of decline and enduring ‘unbearable physical or mental suffering that cannot be relieved under conditions that patients consider acceptable.’

    Their death also had to be ‘reasonably foreseeable,’ and the request for euthanasia had to be approved by at least two medical professionals.

    But new criteria will come into force on March 17, 2023, when people will only need to give proof they they suffer from a severe mental illness to be eligible for medical assistance in dying.

    The patient will still need to convince two different doctors that they are enduring ‘intolerable physical or psychological suffering that is caused by their medical condition or their state of decline and that cannot be relieved under conditions that the individual finds acceptable.’

    But experts told DailyMail.com that the law does not come with the sufficient safeguards to protect people not in their right mind or prepared to make that decision.

    Mr Zhu said: ‘Whilst morally abhorrent, Simons’ marketing campaign reflects the extent to which Canada’s euthanasia regime has cheapened the value of human life.’

    Canada recorded 10,064 medically assisted deaths in Canada in 2021, up 32 per cent from the previous year, more than any other country where the procedure is legal.

    The policy change has sparked fears among disability rights activists that MAiD has become a viable treatment option for people who believe they have nowhere else to turn, such as the severely mentally ill, the poor, and the homeless.

    ‘Sick, disabled, and suicidal Canadians need adequate support so that they can lead dignified lives, not an open-ended offer of euthanasia,’ Mr Zhu said.

    The story of 54-year-old Amir Farsoud from Ontario made waves nationwide for his grim reason for requesting MAiD.

    Mr Farsoud suffers from debilitating chronic back pain who, faced with an eviction notice and inevitable homelessness, applied for assisted suicide.

    The Canadian government was providing him with insufficient financial and social support, he said. He received one of two necessary approvals from medical professionals before the story got out.

    Upon receiving an outpouring of public support, including crowd-sourced $60,000 to cover housing costs, Mr Farsoud chose to continue living.

    Mr Farsoud said: ‘If society is concerned about people like me, and like the half million other people on (government benefits) in poverty, then bring them out of poverty. That’s the obvious solution.

    ‘If they were out of poverty and if they had a roof over their head and food in their mouths, I guarantee you MAiD wouldn’t be a consideration. The whole debate would become superfluous.’

    Especially vulnerable patients such as seniors and mentally impaired may not be able to give an informed decision when presented with the option of MAiD. And critics argue that safeguards in place to protect people are not sufficient.

    In 2019, 61-year-old Alan Nichols died voluntarily without his family’s input. The man had suffered severe mental health problems as well as a stroke in recent years but was mainly able to live independently.

    He also suffered hearing and vision loss along with a history of seizures, frailty and ‘a failure to thrive,’ his nurse practitioner said.

    Mr Nichols’ family was outraged, arguing that euthanasia forms should never have been placed in Mr Nichols’ hands.

  • 8 часов, 20 минут назад 01.12.2022Science
    Experts unravel the mystery of Westminster Abbey’s lost chapel

    England’s former Queen consort worshipped a disembowelled saint at a ‘long-lost’ chapel at Westminster Abbey, a new study shows.

    The Chapel of St Erasmus was built at a section of Westminster Abbey in the late 1470s under order of Elizabeth Woodville, wife of King Edward IV and Queen consort, also known as the ‘White Queen’.

    Experts say the chapel was likely used by the White Queen and other members of the royal family to worship St Erasmus, a Christian saint and martyr.

    The chapel likely contained gruesome images of the saint’s death, as well as one of his teeth, among other relics that were stored there.

    The Chapel of St Erasmus had been in existence for less than a quarter of a century before it was demolished in 1502.

    Now, all that remains of St Erasmus chapel is an intricately carved frame, sculptured out of the mineral alabaster.

    Visitors to Westminster Abbey can still the remnant by looking above the entrance to the chapel of Our Lady of the Pew in Westminster’s north ambulatory.

    This frame would have surrounded a ‘reredos’ – the decoration behind the alter – in the chapel.

    The study speculates that this decoration likely depicted St Erasmus being disembowelled – tied down alive to a table while his intestines were wound out on a windlass (a rotating cylinder often used on ships).

    Little has been known about the role of Chapel of St Erasmus historically, but the new study presents all available evidence, including a newly discovered, centuries-old royal grant, to reveal more.

    ‘Very little attention has been paid to this short-lived chapel,’ said John Goodall, member of the Westminster Abbey Fabric Advisory Commission and one of the authors of the new study.

    ‘It receives only passing mention in abbey histories, despite the survival of elements of the reredos.

    ‘The quality of workmanship on this survival suggestions that investigation of the original chapel is long overdue.’

    Elizabeth Woodville (1437-1492) married King Edward IV in 1464, and together they had 10 children.

    Their eldest child was Elizabeth of York, who would marry Henry VII and give birth to Henry VIII, one of the most famous monarchs in history.

    In the 1470s, the so-called White Queen commissioned the building of Chapel of St Erasmus, likely based on a design by architect Robert Stowell.

    Stowell may have helped salvage the chapel’s most ornate pieces when it was knocked down after less than 25 years.

    What the chapel looked like is ‘inevitably a matter of speculation’, the experts say, although it could have been a semi-octagonal shape, much like a section of Hereford Cathedral.

    According to Goodall and study co-author Westminster Abbey archivist Matthew Payne, the Chapel of St Erasmus was a place of devotion to the ‘cult’ of the disembowelled saint, but also a royal burial site.

    Among those interred there was eight-year-old Anne Mowbray, child bride of Elizabeth’s son Richard, Duke of York.

    Anne Mowbray wed Richard in 1478 when they were both still infants, but they both sadly died a few years after the wedding.

    St Erasmus was responsible for child wellbeing as well as being the patron saint of sailors and abdominal pain, so his link with children may have prompted the building of the chapel.

    ‘The dedication of the chapel to St Erasmus reflects a new and rapidly growing devotion to his cult in 15th-century England,’ the authors say.

    ‘In the second half of the 15th century his cult became very popular throughout southern England, with significant altars and images dedicated to him at Faversham in Kent, in All Saints, High Wycombe, in St John’s, Glastonbury and elsewhere.’

    Although its precise location is unknown, the chapel was almost certainly built on space formerly allotted to a garden and near stalls where English merchant William Caxton sold his wares, according to the authors.

    Ultimately, the demolition of the chapel was on the orders of Henry VII, to make way for his and his wife’s chantry and burial place.

    The Lady Chapel that replaced it features a statue of St Erasmus, which the authors say may be a nod to the now long-forgotten chapel.

    Despite her links to Westminster, after her death in 1492, the White Queen was buried with her husband King Edward IV at St George’s chapel, Windsor Castle.

    Since then, monarchs that have also been buried in St George’s include Henry VIII, George V and Elizabeth II following her death in September.

    The new study has been published today in the Journal of the British Archaeological Association.

  • 10 часов, 9 минут назад 01.12.2022Science
    Amelia Earhart mystery deepens as hidden text found on panel thought to be from her plane

    New evidence has come to light in the mystery of the disappearance of the pioneering American aviator Amelia Earhart, who vanished in 1937 amid an attempt to circumnavigate the globe. Researchers from the Penn State University have used advanced imaging techniques to re-analyse a metal panel, found on the island of Nikumaroro in 1991, that is believed to have come from onto Ms Earhart’s aircraft. Their scans revealed hidden text on the weathered aluminium panel that could help to identify it — and confirm whether or not it did come from the missing plane. If the latter is proven correct, the discovery could add weight to the popular theory that Ms Earhart made it to Nikumaroro after contact was lost with her as she approached Howland Island, one of the last waypoints on her planned route.

    Ms Earhart — along with her navigator, Fred Noonan — disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean in mid-1937 during her attempt to become the first woman to fly around the globe.

    The pair, flying in a Lockheed Model 10-E Electra, were last seen departing from the city of Lae, New Guinea on July 2, on one of the final legs of their journey. However, their plane never arrived as expected at their next stop at Howland Island, which lies nearly halfway between Hawaii and Australia.

    According to the radio logs of the the United States Coast Guard Cutter Itasca — on station at Howland to support the flight — in one of her last transmissions, Ms Earhart broadcast that her plane was running out of gas, and only had half-an-hour left.

    Despite rescue efforts that lasted 17 days, covered a whopping 150,000 square miles of the Pacific and cost the US Coast Guard and Navy a then-record-breaking $4million, no conclusive physical evidence of the Electra 10-E or her crew were ever found.

    Nearly 18 months later, on January 5, 1939, Ms Earhart and Mr Noonan were declared dead — and their disappearance became one of aviation’s most enduring mysteries.

    Explanations proposed ranged from the prosaic — that they simply crashed into the ocean and sank after running out of fuel — to the outlandish, with one popular conspiracy theory suggesting that Ms Earhart survived the flight, assumed a new identity, and moved to New Jersey.

    One location searched in the immediate aftermath of the disappearance was Gardener Island — now known as Nikumaroro — which records said had been uninhabited for 40 years. Aircraft from the US Navy battleship Colorado flew over the island as part of the rescue efforts around a week after the pair vanished.

    A subsequent report from the USS Colorado’s senior aviator to the Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics read: “Here [on Gardener] signs of recent habitation were clearly visible but repeated circling and zooming failed to elicit any answering wave from possible inhabitants and it was finally taken for granted that none were there.”

    (Curiously, the official summary published by the USS Colorado’s commander, one Captain Friedall, made no mention of the island appearing to have been recently occupied.)

    “At the western end of the island a tramp steamer (of about 4,000 tons) lay high and almost dry head onto the coral beach with her back broken in two places. The lagoon at Gardner looked sufficiently deep and certainly large enough so that a seaplane or even an airboat could have landed or takenoff [sic] in any direction with little if any difficulty.

    The report concluded: “Given a chance, it is believed that Miss Earhart could have landed her aircraft in this lagoon and swum or waded ashore.”

    Nikumaroro was the target of a series of eleven later expeditions conducted by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR — pronounced “tiger”) with the aim of determining whether Ms Earhart did end up on the island.

    The group have reported the discovery of various artefacts on Nikumaroro — including improvised tools, a size-9 woman’s shoe heel (Ms Earhart reportedly wore a size 6), a strangely-shaped piece of clear plexiglass and a weathered aluminium panel, around 19 by 23 inches in size.

    According to TIGHAR head and aviator Richard Gillespie, the panel — which he found in 1991 — matches one that can be seen covering a window on the right side of the Electra 10-E in a photograph taken of the plane when it departed Miami on June 1, 1973.

    Some experts are sceptical about this theory. In 2017, analysis by the New England Air Museum, however, noted that that the unique pattern of rivets seen on the panel matches those seen on the top of the wing on a Douglas C-47 Skytrain — a military transport aircraft that did not enter into service until late 1941, years after Ms Earhart vanished.

    Furthermore, a C-47B is recorded to have crashed elsewhere in the Phoenix Island Group during World War 2, with villagers having said that they transported aluminium from that wreck to Nikumaroro.

    In a new study, however, researchers from Penn State University have analysed the aluminium panel in unprecedented detail using neutron radiography. This non-destructive technique — which uses a collimated beam of neutrons to create an image of the object in its path — can both reveal hidden details and even the slighted hints of contaminants.

    Unlike in X-ray images, in which the radiation attenuates based on the density of the object being scanned, images in neutron radiography are created because neutrons pass through some particles but not others. This creates a contrast which can be used to build up a picture of the object, revealing details that wouldn’t appear in an X-ray photograph.

    The study was led by Penn State engineering program manager Daniel Beck, who became interested in the panel after learning about it on the 2019 National Geographic documentary “Expedition Amelia”, which covered the deep-sea explorer Professor Robert Ballard’s unsuccessful attempt to locate the Electra 10-E in the waters around Nikumaroro.

    (Prof. Ballard is famous for uncovering the wrecks of the RMS Titanic, the German battleship Bismarck and the USS Yorktown.)

    Mr Beck felt sure that analysis using neutrons from Penn State’s Breazeale Reactor would be able to determine if the panel had any hidden secrets to tell.

    He said: “We thought it was a good fit — we were fairly confident we’d be able to see the remnants of marks worn away or paint particles. The first images were really exciting, but we knew we needed to do better to confirm what we thought we saw.

    “We were already in the process of upgrading the neutron imaging facility, so the panel provided the perfect sample to optimise our neutron radiography capabilities.”

    Following the upgrade, Mr Beck and his colleagues imaged the panel once again — and made a new discovery. Nuclear engineer Professor Kenan Ünlü explained: “We found what looks like stamped or painted marks that could be from the original manufacturer.

    “D24 and 335, or maybe 385. We don’t know what they mean, but they are the first new information from this panel that has been examined by various experts with different scientific techniques for over 30 years.”

    Other writings revealed on the panel include the letters “XRO” and the characters “3” and “D”. Armed with this new information, Mr Gillespie is now working with forensic analysts to attempt to determine what these six characters could mean.

    If they represent some kind of production number, they might be used to identify the plate as having definitely come — or not — from Ms Earhart’s plane.

    Mr Gillespie said: “My mission — the mission of TIGHAR — is to use science to help solve aviation mysteries. Whether this information provides more evidence or disproves that the panel belonged to Earhart’s plane, I’ll be glad to know.”

  • 10 часов, 9 минут назад 01.12.2022Science
    Lava fountains 200 feet high erupting from Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano

    Lava fountains reaching up to a whopping 200 feet high are erupting from the Mauna Loa volcano on the Island of Hawaii, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) have reported. Experts say that four fissures have opened up on the mountain, which began to erupt last Sunday, with vast clouds of steam and smoke now billowing up into the sky above. According to the geologists, there is presently no risk to people and property from the eruptions, with the lava flows not having reached the nearest roads.

    In a statement on Monday, the USGS said: “Estimates of the tallest fountain heights are between 100–200 feet, but most are a few yards tall.”

    In an update published earlier today, the experts added that lava fountains from fissure 4 are now consistently 15–30 feet tall, while those from fissure 3 are 130–160 feet tall.

    They added: “There is a visible gas plume from the erupting fissure fountains and lava flows, with the plume primarily being blown to the North. Sulphur dioxide emission rates are approximately 250,000 tonnes per day.”

    The largest and longest lava flow is issuing from fissure 3, heading out in a northeasterly direction. This has reportedly crossed the road that leads up to the Mauna Loa Weather Observatory and is now 4.5 miles from Saddle Road, the main route at the foot of the volcano’s northern flank.

    Based on past events, however, scientists have warned that eruptions from the Mauna Loa rift zone can be very dynamic — meaning that “the location and advance of lava flows can change rapidly.”

    The USGS’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, they added, “is in close consultation with emergency management partners and will monitor the volcano closely to provide further updates on activity.”

    Even though the lava is not presently posing a threat to the island’s residents, experts have warned that winds could carry volcanic gas and ash down the side of the mountain — alongside fine strands of volcanic glass known at Pele’s hair.

    This material — which forms when lava from fountains, cascades and more vigorous flows is stretched into thin strands — is typically extremely brittle and sharp, and can cause damage to the skin and eyes.

    Mauna Loa, which reaches an elevation of 13,679 feet above sea level at its summit, is the largest land-based volcano on the planet.

    The mountain is an example of shield volcano — so named because the runny, non-explosive nature of the magma that formed it resembles a large shield on the ground.

    Geologists believe that Mauna Loa has been erupting for at least 700,000 years — peaking about the sea surface some 400,000 years ago — fuelled by magma from the underlying Hawaii hotspot, which is responsible for the creation of the whole Hawaiian archipelago.

    Mauna Loa last erupted in 1984, when a narrow flow of ʻAʻā — a basaltic lava that formed a rough of rubbly surface as it cools — passed within four miles of Hilo, close enough for the glow from the molten rock to illuminate the town at night.

    The eruption follows an increase in seismic activity underneath Hawaii in recent weeks — tremors which scientists said were suggestive of magma bodies shifting beneath the vast volcano.

    Yesterday morning also saw a magnitude-4.0 earthquake strike around 6 miles east of the neighbourhood of Pahala, on the island’s southeastern coast, at a depth of some 20 miles below sea level.

    However, USGS geologists said: “The earthquake is not related to the eruption of Mauna Loa and had no apparent impact on the ongoing eruptions at Mauna Loa and Kīlauea.

    “This earthquake is part of the seismic swarm under the Pāhala area, which has been going on since 2019. Earthquakes in this region have been observed at least as far back as the 1960s.”

  • 10 часов, 20 минут назад 01.12.2022Science
    Christmas trees are set to cost 20 percent more in the US because of the relentless drought

    The relentless drought plaguing the US could steal Christmas.

    The abnormally low rainfall has killed tens of thousands, if not more, of evergreen conifers this year and the trees left will cost, on average, nearly $100 – a 20 percent markup from last year.

    From New England to Texas, tree-cutting farms across the nation have been forced to close in the past few weeks due to this summer’s drought that impacted growth and stressed mature trees until their needles turned brown.

    One farm in Kansas, Prairie Pines Christmas Tree Farm, has not closed its doors, but owner Kip Scott told KWCH-DT that he planted thousands of trees earlier this year but lost 75 percent to the drought.

    The price increase is not just due to a lack of supply, as inflation has forced growers to pay 50 percent more for supplies like fertilizers.

    The latest data from the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) reports more than 59 percent of the lower 48 states were in drought from November 16 through 22.

    And in the same week, 375.4 million crops were impacted.

    Over the summer, drought plagued 40 percent of the country, with Texas, where one tree farm closed, feeling the brunt of it.

    Kathy Radde, co-owner Radde Tannenbaum Farm in Meridian, told KCEN-TV News” ‘It was a hard decision to [shutdown]to say that we just don’t have trees that will be pleasing to people.

    ‘We just knew it is better to lay out a year with cutting and give the trees a chance to be beautiful again.’

    The Newport Daily News spoke to the family who owns Clark’s Christmas Tree Farm in Tiverton, Rhode Island and found they were also struggling.

    Emily Watne, one of the farm’s owners, said: ‘Everyone will show up the first weekend of December expecting acres and acres of healthy trees, and they just won’t be.

    ‘They’ll be thin, they’ll be maybe a little bit brown … I would look into places that do tagging, think about it a little bit earlier than usual.’

    Clarks Christmas Tree Farm announced the closure on Facebook.

    ‘A couple of issues have led to this; this summer’s drought stressed our crop in a way that left many trees susceptible to various pathogens,’ reads the post.

    ‘We don’t think our trees are up to our standards. And 2, we were not able to purchase fresh cut trees from our RI Grower source.’

    Massachusetts was also hit hard by the drought – 80 percent of the state was experiencing moderate to severe drought by mid-July, Gizmodo reports.

    CNBC Boston reported one tree farmer lost more than 1,000 trees planted this spring, which adds up to a 95 percent loss.

    Some farms are bussing in trees from other areas, such as Michigan, states in the Pacific Northwest and the Carolinas, Good Morning America reports.

    Woody Woodruff, owner of Kadee Farm in Greenville, Texas who is trucking in trees, told GMA: ‘Of course those trees are going to be more expensive. So the consumer is going to pay more this year when they go to find a live tree.

    ‘And if you go to any of the big box stores, I’ve noticed that their artificial trees have really skyrocketed as well. That’s again due to inflation and shipping.

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