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Hidden Figures (2016) HD

Director : Theodore Melfi.
Producer : Donna Gigliotti, Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Pharrell Williams, Theodore Melfi.
Release : December 10, 2016
Country : United States of America.
Production Company : Fox 2000 Pictures, Chernin Entertainment, TSG Entertainment, Levantine Films.
Language : English.
Runtime : 127 min.
Genre : History, Drama.

‘Hidden Figures’ is a movie genre History, was released in December 10, 2016. Theodore Melfi was directed this movie and starring by Taraji P. Henson. This movie tell story about The untold story of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson – brilliant African-American women working at NASA and serving as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history – the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big.

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Giant red crabs invade the Antarctic abyss

Giant red crabs invade the Antarctic abyss – environment – 07 September 2011 – New Scientist.

 

 

 

Huge crabs more than a metre across have invaded the Antarctic abyss, wiped out the local wildlife and now threaten to ruin ecosystems that have evolved over 14 million years.

Three years ago, researchers predicted that as the deep waters of the Southern Ocean warmed, king crabs would invade Antarctica within 100 years.

But video taken by a remotely operated submersible shows that more than a million Neolithodes yaldwyni?have already colonised Palmer Deep, a basin that forms a hollow in the Antarctic Peninsula continental shelf.

They are laying waste to the landscape. Video footage taken by the submersible shows how the crabs prod, probe, gash and puncture delicate sediments with the tips of their long legs. “This is likely to alter sediment processes, such as the rate at which organic matter is buried, which will affect the diversity of animal communities living in the sediments,” says Craig Smith of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, whose team discovered the scarlet invaders.

Hungry invaders

The crabs also appear to have a voracious appetite. Echinoderms – sea urchins, sea lilies, sea cucumbers, starfish and brittle stars – have vanished from occupied areas, and the number of species in colonised areas is just a quarter of that in areas that have escaped the invasion.

“[Echinoderms] constitute a significant proportion of the large animals on the seafloor in many Antarctic shelf habitats,” says Smith.

The crabs come from further north and moved in as Antarctic waters have warmed, probably swept into Palmer Deep as larvae in warm ocean currents. They now occupy the deepest regions of Palmer Deep, between 1400 and 950 metres. In 1982, the minimum temperature there was 1.2 °C – too cold for king crabs – but by last year it had risen to a balmier 1.47 °C.

Melting ice sheets tend to make shallower waters in Antarctica cooler than deeper ones. There were no king crabs at depths of 850 metres or less, suggesting that these waters are still too cold for them. But with waters warming so rapidly, they could spread to regions as shallow as 400 metres within as little as 20 years, says Smith.

Onwards

“Several years ago, my colleagues and I predicted that warming sea temperatures off the west Antarctic Peninsula would allow predatory sea crabs to invade and disrupt the completely unique marine bottom fauna,” says Richard Aronson of the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne.

“Craig Smith and his team have now discovered a population in a deep basin gouged into the continental shelf off the western peninsula,” says Aronson. “What’s exciting, new and a bit scary about their find is that somehow, the crabs had to get from the deep sea over part of the continental shelf and then into the basin that is the Palmer Deep.”

“That means they’re close to being able to invade habitats on the continental shelf proper, and if they do the crabs will probably have a radical impact on the bottom communities.”

The best long-term solution? To slow the rate of global warming, says Smith.

Journal reference: Proceedings of the Royal Society B, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2011.1496

Roadwork Can Spread Invasive Species

Roadwork Can Spread Invasive Species: Scientific American Podcast.

Invasive species get a bad rap—but we humans are usually to blame for their spread. Take Japanese stiltgrass, an invasive that arrived from Asia nearly 100 years ago as a packing material for porcelain. When it creeps into forests, it forms dense carpets that can choke out native tree seedlings. And in the last 15 years, the grass has infested rural roads throughout Pennsylvania’s Rothrock State Forest—much faster than foresters expected.

Researchers thought the cause could be another human activity—road maintenance. They spray-painted 320,000 dead safflower seeds, and placed them along state forest roads. After routine road grading, they combed through the gravel to recover them. And they found that some seeds had been carried hundreds of feet down the road. Much farther than the few feet seeds can travel on their own—perhaps explaining the grass’ rapid spread.

They presented those results at a meeting of the Ecological Society of America. [Emily Rauschert and David Mortensen, Human-mediated spread of invasive plants across a landscape]

Still, roads need to be safe for drivers. So the researchers propose smoothing shorter segments at a time, or doing it less frequently. Because where humans go, invasives often follow—whether by sea or on land.

—Christopher Intagliata

Warming oceans cause largest movement of marine species in 2m years

Warming oceans cause largest movement of marine species in two million years – Telegraph.

Swarms of venomous jelly fish and poisonous algae are migrating into British waters due to changes in the ocean temperatures, a major new study has revealed.

Warming oceans causing largest movement of marine species in two million years

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The venomous warm-water species Pelagia noctiluca  Photo: ALAMY
A Pacific grey whale was sighted in the Meditteranean after swimming through a passage that melted in the Arctic sea ice

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A Pacific grey whale was sighted in the Mediterranean after swimming through a passage that melted in the Arctic sea ice

Warming ocean waters are causing the largest movement of marine species seen on Earth in more than two million years, according to scientists.

In the Arctic, melting sea ice during recent summers has allowed a passage to open up from the Pacific ocean into the North Atlantic, allowing plankton, fish and even whales to into the Atlantic Ocean from the Pacific.

The discovery has sparked fears delicate marine food webs could be unbalanced and lead to some species becoming extinct as competition for food between the native species and the invaders stretches resources.

Rising ocean temperatures are also allowing species normally found in warmer sub-tropical regions to into the northeast Atlantic.

A venomous warm-water species Pelagia noctiluca has forced the closure of beaches and is now becoming increasingly common in the waters around Britain.

The highly venomous Portuguese Man-of-War, which is normally found in subtropical waters, is also regularly been found in the northern Atlantic waters.

A form of algae known as dinoflagellates has also been found to be moving eastwards across the Atlantic towards Scandinavia and the North Sea.

Huge blooms of these marine plants use up the oxygen in the water and can produce toxic compounds that make shellfish poisonous.

Plankton sampling in the north Atlantic over the past 70 years have also shown that other species of plankton, normally only found in the Pacific ocean, have now become common in Atlantic waters.

The scientists, who have been collaborating on the Climate Change and European Marine Ecosystems Research project, found the plankton species, called Neodenticula seminae, traveled into the Atlantic through a passage through the Arctic sea ice around that has opened up a number of times in the last decade from the Pacific Ocean.

Larger species including a grey whale have also been found to have made the journey through the passage, which winds it’s way from the Pacific coast of Alaska through the islands of northern Canada and down past Greenland into the Atlantic Ocean, when it opened first in 1998, and then again in 2007 and 2010.

Professor Chris Reid, from the Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, said: “It seems for the first time in probably thousands of years a huge area of sea water opened up between Alaska and the west of Greenland, allowing a huge transfer of water and species between the two oceans.

“The opening of this passage allowed the wind to drive a current through this passage and the water warmed up making it favourable for species to get through.

“In 1999 we discovered a species in the north west Atlantic that we hadn’t seen before, but we know from surveys in the north Pacific that it is very abundant there.

“This species died out in the Atlantic around 800,000 years ago due to glaciation that changed the conditions it needed to survive.

“The implications are huge. The last time there was an incursion of species from the Pacific into the Atlantic was around two to three million years ago.

“Large numbers of species were introduced from the Pacific and made large numbers of local Atlantic species extinct.

“The impact on salmon and other fish resources could be very dramatic. The indications are that as the ice is continuing to melt in the summer months, climate change could lead to complete melting within 20 to 30 years, which would see huge numbers of species migrating.

“It could have impacts all the way down to the British Isles and down the east coast of the United States.”

He added: “With the jellyfish we are seeing them move further north from tropical and subtropical regions as a result of warming sea temperatures.”

Researchers say the invading plankton species is likely to cause widespread changes to the food web in the Atlantic ocean as the invading species are less nutritious than native species, which are eaten by many fish and large whales.

Changes in populations of tiny animals called copepods, which are an essential food source for fish such as cod, herring and mackerel, are already being blamed for helping to drive the collapse of fish stocks as the native species of copepods have been replaced with smaller less nutritious varieties.

This has resulted in declines in North Sea birds, the researchers claim, while Harbour porpoises have also migrated northwards North Sea after sand eels followed the poleward movement of the copepods they ate.

Scientists taking part in the project from the Institute for Marine Resources & Ecosystem Studies, in the Netherlands, found that warmer water would also lead more species in the North and Irish sea as species move from more southerly areas.

But they found that the Atlantic ocean west of Scotland would have fewer species.

Dr Carlo Heip, director general of the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, which led the project that is a collaboration of more than 17 institutes in 10 different countries, said: “We need to learn much more about what’s happening in Europe’s seas, but the signs already point to far more trouble than benefit from climate change.

“Despite the many unknowns, it’s obvious that we can expect damaging upheaval as we overturn the workings of a system that’s so complex and important.

“The migrations are an example of how changing climate conditions cause species to move or change their behaviour, leading to shifts in ecosystems that are clearly visible.”

The researchers conclude that these changes will have serious implications for commercial fisheries and on the marine environment.

Among the other species to have migrated from the Pacific Ocean into the Atlantic was a grey whale that was spotted as far south as the Mediterrean off the coast of Spain and Israel.

Grey whales have been extinct in the Atlantic Ocean for more than a hundred years due to hunting and scientists found the animal had crossed through openings in the Arctic sea ice.

Dr Katja Philippart, from the Royal Netherland’s Institute for Sea Research, added: “We have seen very small plankton and large whales migrating from the Pacific into the North Atlantic, so there will certainly be many other species, including fish, that we haven’t detected yet.

“To see a whale in this part of the world was quite remarkable and when we looked at it we concluded it can only have come from one place.”

Can’t Eliminate an Invasive Species? Try Eating It!

Can’t Eliminate an Invasive Species? Try Eating It. – NYTimes.com.

Erik Olsen/The New York Times

Although the lionfish appears off-putting, some see a growing place for it on American plates.”

With its dark red and black stripes, spotted fins and long venomous black spikes, the lionfish seems better suited for horror films than consumption. But lionfish fritters and filets may be on American tables soon.

Multimedia
Ty Cacek/The New York Times

Some invaders have successfully been turned into food, like tilapia.

Enlarge This Image

Vone Research/Lionfishhunters.Org

Among the less endearing qualities of the lionfish are their venomous spines.

An invasive species, the lionfish is devastating reef fish populations along the Florida coast and into the Caribbean. Now, an increasing number of environmentalists, consumer groups and scientists are seriously testing a novel solution to control it and other aquatic invasive species — one that would also takes pressure off depleted ocean fish stocks: they want Americans to step up to their plates and start eating invasive critters in large numbers.

“Humans are the most ubiquitous predators on earth,” said Philip Kramer, director of the Caribbean program for the Nature Conservancy. “Instead of eating something like shark fin soup, why not eat a species that is causing harm, and with your meal make a positive contribution?”

Invasive species have become a vexing problem in the United States, with population explosions of Asian carp clogging the Mississippi River and European green crabs mobbing the coasts. With few natural predators in North America, such fast-breeding species have thrived in American waters, eating native creatures and out-competing them for food and habitats.

While most invasive species are not commonly regarded as edible food, that is mostly a matter of marketing, experts say. Imagine menus where Asian carp substitutes for the threatened Chilean sea bass, or lionfish replaces grouper, which is overfished.

“We think there could be a real market,” said Wenonah Hauter, the executive director of Food and Water Watch, whose 2011 Smart Seafood Guide recommends for the first time that diners seek out invasive species as a “safer, more sustainable” alternative to their more dwindling relatives, to encourage fisherman and markets to provide them.

“What these species need now is a better — sexier — profile, and more cooks who know how to use them,” she said. She has enlisted celebrity chefs to promote eating the creatures.

Scientists emphasize that human consumption is only part of what is needed to control invasive species and restore native fish populations, and that a comprehensive plan must include restoring fish predators to depleted habitats and erecting physical barriers to prevent further dissemination of the invaders.

“We are not going to be able to just eat our way out of the invasive species problem,” Dr. Kramer said. “On the other hand, there are places where this can be a very useful part of the strategy.”

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is now exploring where it might be helpful. Models suggest that commercial harvest of Asian carp in the Mississippi would most likely help control populations there, “as part of an integrated pest management program,” said Valerie Fellows, a spokeswoman.

In practice, it is still unclear whether commercial fishing pressure could be high enough to have a significant impact, she said. The Army Corps of Engineers has spent millions of dollars to erect electronic barriers to keep Asian carp from moving from the Illinois River into the Great Lakes.

There are risks to whetting America’s appetite. Marketing an invasive species could make it so popular that “individuals would raise or release the fish” where they did not already exist, Ms. Fellows said, potentially exacerbating the problem; tilapia were originally imported into Latin America for weed and bug control, but commercialization helped the species spread far more widely than intended.

Dr. Kramer is concerned that the marketing of lionfish might increase the number of traps on reefs, which could trap other fish as well. He said spearfishing was the sustainable way to catch lionfish, which are reef dwellers.

Cookbooks do not say much about how to filet an Asian carp, which has an unusual bony structure. And even if one developed a taste for, say, European green crab soup, there is nowhere to buy the main ingredient, though it is plentiful in the sea.

To increase culinary demand, Food and Water Watch has teamed up with the James Beard Foundation and Kerry Heffernan, the chef at the South Gate restaurant in New York City, to devise recipes using the creatures. At a recent tasting, there was Asian carp ceviche and braised lionfish filet in brown butter sauce.

Lionfish, it turns out, looks hideous but tastes great. The group had to hire fishermen to catch animals commonly regarded as pests. Mr. Heffernan said he would consider putting them on his menu and was looking forward to getting some molting European green crabs to try in soft-shell crab recipes.

Last summer, the Nature Conservancy sponsored a lionfish food fair in the Bahamas, featuring lionfish fritters and more. They offered fishermen $11 a pound — about the price of grouper — and got an abundant supply. Lionfish, native to the Indian Ocean and South Pacific, arrived in the Caribbean in the early 1990s and are spreading rapidly; voracious eaters, they even eat juveniles of native fish.

Lionfish, like grouper, can carry ciguatoxin, which causes vomiting and neurological symptoms, so they cannot be taken from water where the microbe that produces the toxin is found. The fish’s venomous spines must be removed before sale, although that is not a serious marketing obstacle.

Mitchell Davis, vice president of the Beard Foundation, said other species had moved from being pariah pests to must-have items on American plates, like dandelion greens for salads.

A Devilish Grass Invades the West

A Devilish Grass Invades the West – ScienceNOW.

Armed with pointed tips so sharp that neither cows nor deer will eat it, medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae) is an invasive grass species that seems to have stepped right out of the Little Shop of Horrors. With no enemies, it is spreading rapidly throughout the western United States, outcompeting native grasses and even other grass invaders. Unless steps are found to control its spread, medusahead is likely to turn millions of hectares of grazing land into worthless fields, say researchers in a study that determined why this grass is so successful.

“It is a devilish species because it is absolutely not of any worth,” says Seema Mangla, a plant ecologist at Oregon State University, Corvallis, who led the study. “Every animal avoids it.”

That’s because the medusahead’s long, twisting, snakelike seed stems (which give the grass its name) are stiff and pointed like needles. Any animal that leans in for a snack gets jabbed in the eyes and mouth. The grass is loaded with inedible silica, too, providing few nutrients to would-be grazers. As a result, the grass steadily accumulates, forming mounds of thatch, Mangla says. “It’s part of a huge change in vegetation structure,” as native grasses are overwhelmed by invaders. Other studies have shown that medusahead is spreading at a rate of 12% per year in 17 western states. Although it invaded the United States from the Mediterranean in 1880 and is now found only on more than 1 million hectares, Mangla and others worry that it is picking up steam and may be outcompeting not only native grasses, but even cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), a more nutritious invader.

Measures to control medusahead’s spread—mowing or spraying with herbicides—aren’t effective, because they only treat the top of the plants, not the thatch beneath, which protects their seeds, Mangla says. “We need to understand its growth dynamics, what makes it such a successful invader, then we can figure out better ways to disrupt it.”

Invasive plants are thought to have especially high relative growth rates, enabling them to rapidly capture water and nutrients. To determine if the medusahead’s growth rate figures in its success, in 2008 and 2009 Mangla and her team randomly scattered the plant’s seeds on five 1-m2 test plots at the Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center in Burns. At regular intervals throughout the growing season, she and her team weighed harvested seedlings. She then compared the medusahead’s weight to that of two other grasses growing separately in similar plots: the native perennial bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata), which the medusahead is rapidly replacing, and cheatgrass.

When she averaged the grasses’ weights across the two seasons, medusahead came up the winner. Only during 2008, which had below-average rainfall, did the native grass do slightly better. But after the more normal rainfall of 2009, the medusahead raced ahead, growing longer shoots for a longer period of time, the team reported in the 28 October Journal of Arid Environments.

sn-medusahead.jpg

Lush but prickly. Spiky and inedible medusahead is invading the western United States. Researchers plant a test plot with medusahead seeds (inset).

“It’s a good study, and shows why medusahead can be so competitive,” says Joseph Ditomaso, an invasive plant ecologist at the University of California, Davis. “Since animals won’t eat it, medusahead essentially creates its own thatch layer, which is a great tactic for preventing seeds from sprouting, as every gardener knows.” The only seeds that can make it past the medusahead’s thatch barrier are its own sharp, pointy, inedible ones. “It gives itself every advantage,” says Ditomaso, who says the best control right now is simply burning the thatch. Meanwhile, Mangla and her team expect that the medusahead will continue to spread, since climate conditions favoring native grasses are sporadic and rare.

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