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Observed circulation in the Solomon Sea from SADCP data

first_imgThe Solomon Sea, in the western tropical Pacific, is part of a major oceanic pathway for waters connecting the tropics to the equator via low latitude western boundary currents. Shipboard Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler data from 94 various cruises and transits are used to describe the Solomon Sea mean circulation and its seasonal variability above 300 m depth, providing an unprecedently detailed picture from observations. The circulation in the near-surface (20-100 m) and thermocline (100-300 m) layers were analyzed separately but found to have many similar features. They are compared with circulations inferred from hydrological and satellite data. The New Guinea Coastal Undercurrent enters the Solomon Sea east of the Louisiade Archipelago (15 Sv inflow above 300 m), splits and rejoins around the Woodlark Chain, then divides against the coast of New Britain forming two branches flowing westward and eastward. The westward branch has been previously observed flowing through Vitiaz Strait; in the present SADCP data this transport is found to be 7-8 Sv in the upper 300 m. The eastward branch has been suspected and occurs in some models; it exits the Solomon Sea through St. George’s Channel (1-2 Sv) and Solomon Strait (4-5 Sv) in the thermocline. At the surface, waters enter the Solomon Strait from the north. The seasonal variability can be documented in locations of sufficient data coverage. It is shown that this western boundary system strengthens in June-August. A summary of transport variability in the straits of the Solomon Sea from individual cruises is also presented. Transports in the straits display some stable features, but also high non-seasonal variability.last_img read more


Time Appears to Be Running Out for Colstrip Units in Montana

first_imgTime Appears to Be Running Out for Colstrip Units in Montana FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Jay Kohn for KTVQ (Billings):Two separate actions, by two separate state legislatures, could lead to the future closure of all four coal-fired power plants at Colstrip, Montana.In Oregon, the state legislature passed a bill this week that sets a deadline for Oregon utilities to eliminate coal-fired electricity within 20 years.In Washington state, a bill that paves the way to close the two oldest coal-fired plants in Colstrip, passed the House of Representatives Friday afternoon.The bill allows Puget Sound Energy (PSE) to use a special fund to cover the costs of closing Colstrip plants 1 & 2.PSE, which owns half of Colstrip Units 1 & 2,, is the largest electric utility in Washington state.Supporters of the Colstrip plants say both measures are bad news for the plants future, although the Washington bill could have impacts much sooner.A spokesman for Puget Sound says the bill does not force the closure of Colstrip., but Montana state senator Duane Ankney says he doesn’t trust what Washington officials are saying.“You never get the same story out of anybody over there when you talk to them,” said Ankney.“What I do know, just from being an old coal miner, I know that you can’t count on anything they say,” Ankney said.Meanwhile, an energy economist told the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission Friday that market forces alone, are putting the squeeze on all four Colstrip plants.“Puget Sound Energy has said that Talen Energy, that owns half of Units 1 & 2, is hemorrhaging dollars, and we believe that’s true,” said economist David Schlissel, Director of Resource Planning Analysis for The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).“We also believe the same market and economic forces that are hurting Units 1 & 2 at Colstrip, are affecting Units 3 & 4 as well,” said Schlissel.“We’re not saying they’re going to be retired in the very near future, but their relative economics and financial viability have been weakened,” said Schlissel.Colstrip Power Plants 1 & 2, the oldest of the Montana plants, are co-owned by Puget Sound Energy & Talen Energy, the company that manages & operates the plants.Colstrip Units 3 & 4 are owned by five separate utilities, including Puget Sound, Pacific Corps, Avista, Portland General Electric, Northwestern Energy and Talen.Energy economist David Schlissel also told the Washington commission Friday that due to rising operating costs at Colstrip, Talen Energy’s share in Colstrip Unit 3 now has zero to negative value over the next 20 years.Sen. Ankney told MTN News that he believes the Washington State bill primarily protects Puget Sound Energy shareholders, from paying for the cost of closing Colstrip 1 & 2.Full article: Oregon and Washington legislatures advance bills targeting coal fired powerlast_img read more


CARICOM has Successfully Kept Low COVID-19 Infection Rates

first_imgGEORGETOWN, Guyana – The Guyana-based Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat says the 15-member regional integration grouping has managed the challenges posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to great effect, ensuring that its cases have been kept low relative to larger and more affluent parts of the international community. This work was guided by the CARICOM Secretariat and the Community Institutions and their international partners led by the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and including the CARICOM Implementing Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS), the Regional Security System (RSS) and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA). The Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), continues to be a major partner. The Community’s evidence-based response efforts to COVID-19 were heavily underpinned by daily surveillance and modelling from the George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre at the University of the West Indies. It said the member states have been ranked among the best in the world in their response to the pandemic in many global assessments. There has been no complacency as they maintain their science-based approach to containing this virus. CARICOM is attributing this success to the coordinated regional approach across the 20-member grouping, the swift and deliberate actions taken by its leadership, and the expert guidance and support from its specialised Community Institutions. CARICOM IMPACS and the Regional Security System further teamed up to help Member States prevent and mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 to prisons and correctional facilities, with air-lifted supplies of sanitary and other COVID-19 related supplies during May and June. CMC The donated items included infrared thermometers, and cleaning products including bleach and hand sanitisers. The region has to date avoided outbreaks of the disease among its prison populations. The Centre worked closely with CARPHA to provide critical scientific statistical analysis used to guide Member States understanding of the disease processes (cases, deaths, outbreak growth rates etc) and non-pharm interventions to determine management of measures to restrict or re-open. The daily monitoring also helped to guide changes to national responses including decisions by governments on easing the controls they put in place. As at July 10, the figures show that CARICOM member states and Associate Members with a combined population of about 19 million, had recorded just over 9,000 positive cases from which almost 5,000 had recovered, and there were only 220 deaths. The virtual training equipped the officers on the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) particularly in the conduct of their daily duties at ports of entry and with investigations. The training, hosted in collaboration with the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative – Connect programme, reached more than 500 frontline workers from various security divisions – police, prisons, customs, immigration and military. The Secretariat noted that regional governments began their engagement from January this year when regional interest in the disease first began to develop and continued to collaborate on best approaches to combat the spread, as the first cases reached the region in March.center_img The IMPACS operated Joint Regional Communications Centre, which provides advanced passenger information, has been allowing for better management at the ports of entry across the region though collaboration with port health authorities,” the Secretariat added. As the Ministries of Health steadily built up their own testing capacity, the RSS facilitated the transportation of their samples to CARPHA’s Trinidad and Tobago-based testing facilities that uses World Health Organization (WHO) recommended procedures for testing, verification or validation. Direct presentations were made to special emergency meetings of CARICOM Heads of Government, and to CARICOM Health Ministers through the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD). In May, as the region began preparing to ease COVID-19 restrictions, CARPHA and CARICOM IMPACS teamed up to train front-line security officers across Member States on measures to protect themselves in the line of duty. CARPHA, through its Tourism/Travellers and Health Programme, has facilitated training sessions in the critical tourism sector while also using the programme to help restore visitor confidence in the Region’s tourism product. Going forward, the Secretariat said the Caribbean Community has been offered access to the African Union Medical Supplies Platform, a procurement system for additional supplies and equipment in the fight against COVID-19. The Platform provides immediate access to an African and global base of vetted manufacturers and procurement strategic partners at more competitive costs. Active cases in 13 CARICOM countries were in single figures, and in double figures for a further three, with only one member state above a thousand. It has also published other guidelines to assist with facilitating reopening of Member States, including Interim Guidance for Domestic Workers and an Interim Guidance document on Resuming Office Operations. CDEMA, through its long-standing Regional Response Mechanism, has been coordinating the logistical arrangements for critical COVID-19 related supplies. A specialised Core Coordination Cell (for Health), which also includes CARPHA, the CARICOM Secretariat and PAHO was established for this this purpose. Regional health ministers began a series of Special Emergency Meetings from 3 February from which a regional protocol establishing minimum standards for dealing with the COVID-19 virus emerged.last_img read more