Story Highlights Farmers in Accompong, St. Elizabeth, who are part of the Government’s cannabis cultivation pilot project are expected to commence harvesting the plant within four months. “The Accompong (farmers) already got their seedlings and they are about to move them out of the greenhouse and into the open field. We have already had 10 acres prepared, and those 10 acres are going to be planted with legal marijuana. We are hoping that we will be reaping within another three to four months,” the Minister informed. This is according to Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. J.C. Hutchinson. Farmers in Accompong, St. Elizabeth, who are part of the Government’s cannabis cultivation pilot project are expected to commence harvesting the plant within four months.This is according to Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. J.C. Hutchinson.“The Accompong (farmers) already got their seedlings and they are about to move them out of the greenhouse and into the open field. We have already had 10 acres prepared, and those 10 acres are going to be planted with legal marijuana. We are hoping that we will be reaping within another three to four months,” the Minister informed.Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. J.C. Hutchinson (left), greets young patrons at the Montpelier Agricultural and Industrial Show, which was held at the Montpelier Showground in St. James on Monday (April 22). He was addressing patrons and participants attending the Montpelier Agricultural and Industrial Show, which was held at the Montpelier Showground in St. James on Monday (April 22).As part of the project, the Government is looking to cultivate 50 acres of the plant for use as raw material in a variety of commercial products, including oils and animal feed.The programme complements the Alternative Development Programme (ADP) that was implemented in Accompong and other communities in March, to provide small-scale farmers with a channel through which to benefit from the cannabis (ganja) industry.The ADP aims to prevent and eliminate illicit ganja cultivation and channel the process through legal streams.The pilot has been initiated in Accompong, St. Elizabeth and Orange Hill, Westmoreland.“We are (also) going to be moving into other areas where we are going to ask the traditional ganja planters to get themselves into groups so we can come and provide you with all the necessary information, so that you can be growing cannabis legally,” Mr. Hutchinson further highlighted.The Montpelier Agricultural and Industrial Show was organised by the St. James Association of Branch Societies of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS).It is staged annually to promote the work of farmers in western Jamaica.
Nevertheless, these cloud seeding techniques are controversial, both for their effectiveness at inducing rainfall and for their possible harmful side effects. In a recent review paper published in the IOP’s Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, a team of scientists from Switzerland and Germany has examined the latest results of laser-induced condensation and discussed the future of the field.One of the first successful demonstrations of laser-induced condensation (http://www.nature.com/ncomms/journal/v2/n8/full/ncomms1462.html) came just last year, when researchers – including the authors of the current review – used a powerful laser to produce tiny water particles in moderately humid air. The water particles were just a few micrometers in diameter, which is about 100 times too small to fall as rain droplets. However, the experiments demonstrated the ability to transform particles in a gas phase to a liquid phase through condensation, and larger droplets are expected to be feasible.“At this stage, our work clearly shows that lasers can induce the formation of tiny particles,” Jérôme Kasparian of the University of Geneva in Switzerland told Phys.org. “This is not, at least at this stage, efficient cloud seeding for making rain, but rather a newly opened direction for research in this direction.” (Phys.org) — Although pointing high-energy lasers at the sky to cause pouring rain is currently a high-tech dream, the motivation behind controlling the weather has existed since the days of our ancient ancestors. Throughout human history, many civilizations developed magical or religious methods in an attempt to increase or decrease precipitation. In light of this history, current techniques that shoot laser beams or launch chemicals into the sky for the same purpose seem to be just the latest manifestation of this goal. Lasers could be used to make rain (w/ Video) Laser-induced condensation in a cloud chamber, illuminated by a green auxiliary laser. The cloud’s deformation reveals the air turbulence due to energy deposited by laser filaments. Image credit: J. Kasparian, et al. ©2012 IOP Publishing Ltd As the researchers explain in this review, laser-induced condensation owes its feasibility in part to the rapid improvement in laser power in recent years. Over the past decade, commercially available laser power has increased by two orders of magnitude, reaching the petawatt level today. Scientists expect laser powers on the exawatt scale in the foreseeable future. In last year’s demonstration, the researchers performed experiments using a 100-TW Draco laser and 5-TW mobile laser called Teramobile, which is the size of a 20-foot freight container. In addition to more powerful lasers, improving the results will also require a better understanding of the underlying mechanism of laser-induced condensation. The technique involves photodissociation, in which photons break down atmospheric compounds in the atmosphere. This process produces ozone and nitrogen oxides, which lead to the formation of nitric acid particles that bind water molecules together to create water droplets. Understanding the details of how this process stimulates particle growth, as well as how atmospheric conditions affect the process, are the most challenging questions in this field, according to the scientists.“Making rain would require first to have tiny water particles grow into droplets with a size sufficient to fall as raindrops,” Kasparian said. “This depends on the atmospheric conditions, in particular the relative humidity, that these particles will encounter. For example, if the air mass in which the particles have been produced lifts along a mountain hill, it will cool down and condensation will be favored.“Making rain would also require the production of an adequate number density of particles. If there are too few particles, we would only get a few drops at most. On the other hand, if there are too many particles, they will compete with each other to grab the water molecules available in the atmosphere. Ultimately, none of them will grow sufficiently to make raindrops, which may even reduce precipitation.“Finally, the technique would also need to activate a large volume of the atmosphere, i.e., to sweep the laser sufficiently fast.”Despite these challenges, the scientists also noted that using lasers to induce rain has its advantages, particularly its minimal side effects compared to other techniques. For example, cloud seeding methods that involve injecting silver iodide particles into clouds run the risk of having unintended consequences for the surrounding atmosphere, a problem that lasers avoid. Laser-assisted methods also offer better control than chemical methods, since the lasers can be turned on and off and precisely positioned. This control also makes it easier to determine how effective the technique is, since critics often question whether rain might have occurred even without intervention.In the future, the researchers recommend investigating the ability of lasers to seed clouds on a larger scale. Such a task will require further experimental data as well as theoretical modeling.“Our aim now is to tackle the questions that remain open, especially to determine the optimal laser conditions to maximize the condensation process, and to assess for the possibility to obtain macroscopic quantities of condensed water,” Kasparian said. “This also requires an understanding of the physical mechanisms at the root of laser-induced condensation, with the ultimate goal of being able to model the process quantitatively.“Besides the technical feasibility, as discussed above, further experiments will allow us to assess whether laser rainmaking could be cost-effective. This can easily be expressed in terms of the cost per unit rainwater volume obtained. This will depend very much on the ultimate laser power required to get a significant amount of water, which we need to further investigate.” Copyright 2012 Phys.org All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. A high-powered laser pulse 10-cm in diameter generates multiple filaments, which is necessary for laser-induced condensation. Laser filaments can be generated at kilometer-range distances. Image credit: J. Kasparian, et al. ©2012 IOP Publishing Ltd Journal information: Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics Explore further Citation: Scientists analyze potential of using lasers to make rain (2012, July 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-07-scientists-potential-lasers.html More information: J. Kasparian, et al. “Laser-assisted water condensation in the atmosphere: a step towards modulating precipitation?” J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 45 (2012) 293001 (13pp). DOI:10.1088/0022-3727/45/29/293001 http://iopscience.iop.org/0022-3727/45/29/293001 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B New fossils suggest ancient origins of modern-day deep-sea animals For most of modern science, ocean scientists have believed that the open ocean is a near desert, with few living creatures in it. Because of that, the consensus has been that most of the animals that do live in the deep sea today, likely evolved in shallow waters and then migrated there over millions of years. In this new effort, the researchers report on an excavation in the Austrian Alps that has yielded many fossils from ancient deep sea animals.The team has thus far found over 2,500 fossils which have been identified as deep sea animal remains because they were clearly sea dwellers that were not light dependant. Also the rock in which they were found was similar to rock on ocean seafloors. Closer analysis of the fossils dates them back approximately 180 million years. Prior discoveries of ancient sea creature remains had been found in shallow waters, which was another reason scientists have believed deep sea creatures evolved from shallow water creatures. But the new fossil find predates any other existing find by 25 million years, suggesting they evolved from a deep sea ancestor. In comparing the deep sea fossils with fossils from shallow living creatures from the same time frame, the researchers made another discovery. The deep sea appeared to have more biodiversity millions of years ago, than more shallow waters, turning conventional thinking on its head. (Phys.org) —A team of researchers with members from several European countries has published a paper in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, arguing that new archeological evidence suggests not all deep sea creatures evolved in shallow waters and then moved deeper. Fossil discoveries in the Austrian Alps, they claim, offer evidence that some deep sea creatures actually evolved in the deep sea and are the ancestors of many modern deep sea creatures. Explore further Credit: © Ben Thuy The findings by the team add more credence to the more recent view that areas of the deep sea actually have some of the highest levels of biodiversity on the planet. But, they caution, such conclusions should not imply that the deep sea may be better able to withstand changes wrought by us humans, because no one really knows if that is true or not. Credit: © Ben Thuy More information: First glimpse into Lower Jurassic deep-sea biodiversity: in situ diversification and resilience against extinction, Published 21 May 2014 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.2624 © 2014 Phys.org This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Fossil discovery in Alps challenges theory that all deep sea animals evolved from shallow water ancestors (2014, May 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-05-fossil-discovery-alps-theory-deep.html Credit: © Ben Thuy