How to Make it Rain in the Desert: UAE Fires Salt Rockets in Attempt to Seed Clouds and Trigger Much-Needed Downpours

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is trying to squeeze every last drop of rain from its clouds by launching salt missiles into them from planes. The technique is known as cloud seeding, and its purpose is to increase condensation in the hope that it might trigger a downpour… A leading academic told how he got a mysterious phone call asking whether foreign countries could be triggering droughts or flooding. Professor Alan Robock, from Rutgers University in New Jersey, said: ‘Consultants working for the CIA rang and said we’d like to know if someone is controlling the world’s climate would we know about it?’ ‘Of course they were also asking – if we control someone else’s climate would they then know about it."… The professor is one of many scientists from around the world are actively looking at manipulating the weather as a way of combating climate change. Professor Robock told the callers that any attempts to meddle with the weather on a large scale would be detectable.

Read the entire article at www.dailymail.co.uk »

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Society Formed to Tap Nutritional Payload

The Spanish HQ’d Oleocanthal International Society (OIS) is comprised of scientists, nutririonists and players in the sector and research will look into the brain health and inflammation. It has been set up as a non-profit organization… Other EVOO phenolic compounds like oleaceina will also be studied by the group that was formed in Greece in May… A founding committee has been established consisting of Prokopios Magiatis, professor of the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Athens; Maureen O’Leary, PhD, of the Monell Center in Philadelphia; and Dr. Jose Amerigo, president of the Oleocanthal Society of Andalusia (OSA), who instigated the project… Other members include professor Gary Beauchamp, also of the Monell Center, professor Paul Breslin, from Rutgers University in New Jersey and professor Eleni Meillu, from the University of Athens.

Read the entire article at www.nutraingredients.com »

Study Finds Last Time it Was This Warm, Sea Levels Were 20 Feet Higher

Icebergs near Timiamuit, in southeastern Greenland. Photo by Antony Long.

Icebergs near Timiamuit, in southeastern Greenland. Photo by Antony Long.

In a new research study, Professor of Marine and Coastal Sciences Ben Horton and an international team of scientists assessed evidence of higher sea levels in the past 3 million years to understand how polar ice sheets respond to warming. Using observations from the geologic record, supported by computer modeling, they found that during past periods with average temperatures 1 to 3 °C (1.8 to 5.4 °F) warmer than pre-industrial levels, sea level peaked at least 20 feet higher than today. The findings, published in the journal Science showed that the seas rose in response to melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. Read more at Rutgers Today.

Investing in Global Food Security: Doctoral Student David Byrnes Named Kirchner Food Fellow

David Byrnes

David Byrnes

Rutgers doctoral student David Byrnes has been selected as one three Kirchner Food Fellows for 2015-2016. The purpose of the Kirchner Food Fellowship program is to foster the development of individuals who have the practical skills and knowledge to make effective investments in emerging agricultural technologies that can address global food security. David Byrnes is a Ph.D. Candidate in Plant Biology and Pathology at Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences in the Plant Breeding and Genomics track. Byrnes’s dissertation is on selecting African leafy green vegetables as a delivery mechanism for problem micronutrients.

Byrnes has three years of experience contributing to projects in East and Southern Africa using agriculture as a tool for economic growth and improvement of nutritional status for smallholder farmers. Byrnes was named a Borlaug Fellow in Global Food Security in 2013-2014, has authored AgriSETA registered training materials for farmers in Zambia, and has assisted in the planning and installation of low-cost drip irrigation kits for community farms. [Read more…]

Rutgers 4-H Hosts Azerbaijani Youth Learning About Democracy and Entrepreneurship

County agent, Alayne Torretta, 2nd from left and Azeris meet with Gregory Marcus, in suit and tie in back, from the US Department of State.

County agent, Alayne Torretta, 2nd from left and Azeris meet with Gregory Marcus, in suit and tie in back, from the US Department of State.

Over the course of three weeks in June this year, 18 youth and two adult educators from Azerbaijan participated in a Youth Leadership Program funded by the U.S. Department of State and facilitated by the 4-H programs of University of Delaware and Rutgers University. During this exchange program, which focused on the general themes of civic education, leadership development, entrepreneurship, and community service, the Azerbaijani youth toured parts of the U.S., learning about democracy and hearing tips and tricks from successful entrepreneurs from New Jersey.

Each of the entrepreneurs the youth heard from had their own methodology for success. One family owned business, Wild West City – a theme park in Netcong, NJ, has been tremendously successful in keeping true to the mission set forth in 1963, while another amusement park ,the Land of Make Believe in Hope, NJ, found success in expanding and growing. “Each of them gave the youth sage advice: Stay focused and realize that no job is beneath you,” said Alayne Torretta, County 4-H Agent for Rutgers Cooperative Extension and program coordinator for the Rutgers grant. In addition, they met entrepreneur Carol Bailey who holds a patent in England for reusable shopping bags that fold into one another called Shopparoos. She spoke with the teens about patenting great ideas and how to market them by keying in on their unique selling point. “We were able to take advantage of the New Ventures and Entrepreneurship http://orc.rutgers.edu/Entrepreneurship/home program at Rutgers as well,” said Torretta, “Lori Dars was amazing and got the kids thinking of how to write a business plan. They also met a graduate student entrepreneur who spoke about the exciting work he is doing. Several of the teens expressed interest in attending Rutgers once they are finished with schooling in Azerbaijan. [Read more…]