Tag Archives: desert

‘Zeitarbeitsfirma’ (temporary employment agency): The ‘other side’ of Germany’s labour market

There are hundreds of ‘Zeitarbeitsfirma’ or ‘temporary employment agency’ dominating the current German labour market. These agencies lease workers mostly on short-term basis to different industries, supermarkets and other business enterprises. Leased workers (In German: Lieharbeiter or Zeitarbeiter) are normally low-paid and forced to do the heaviest works at their work places. Often they have to accept or bow down to inhuman demands of the ‘Zeitarbeitsfirma’.

Summarized here are few cases from different sources who experienced the hardship under the so-called ‘Zeitarbeitsfirma’:  (more…)

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Invasion in the Desert: Why Some Plant Species are Survivors

Max Li’s research could inform policies to promote sustainable native environments and curb the invasion of alien plant species.

Max Li, a University of Arizona doctoral student in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, is studying mechanisms that determine how competing desert plants can coexist with each other and what factors can cause the destruction of this stable coexistence.

His research could help inform policies to curb the spread of invasive species. (more…)

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Searching for the Lost Royal City of Nubia in Northern Sudan

ANN ARBOR — Geoff Emberling is doing what few archaeologists do anymore in a world that has been worked over pretty well by picks, trowels and shovels. He’s searching for a lost royal city.

The ancient capital was ruled by the kings of Nubia, which now lies in northern Sudan, just south of Egypt. Little is known about the kings who suddenly appeared on the historical stage about 800 B.C. and conquered all of Egypt before eventually fading back into the desert. (more…)

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UA Partners with Saudi Arabia to Create Sustainable Farming Systems

Faculty members from the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences are teaming up with partners at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia to create the Desert Agriculture Research Institute.

Food, clean water and energy – our planet is challenged to meet these basic needs, especially in the harshest environments.

To help solve these global problems, faculty members from the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences are teaming up with partners at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, or KAUST, on the Red Sea Coast, north of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The state-of-the-art, progressive public university has turned to the UA – a leading institution in arid lands studies – for expertise in the creation of the Desert Agriculture Research Institute. (more…)

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Roots of Deadly 2010 India Flood Identified; Findings Could Improve Warnings

On the night of Aug. 5, 2010, as residents slept, water began rushing through Leh, an Indian town in a high desert valley in the Himalayas.

Average total rainfall in the area for August is about a half-inch. During this 24-hour period more than 8 inches fell, causing severe damage and leaving 193 dead, hundreds missing and thousands homeless.

“Flash flooding events don’t happen often but when they do they are some of the scariest, most dangerous and quickest natural disasters that can happen,” said Kristen Rasmussen, a University of Washington graduate student in atmospheric sciences. “But now that we know what types of conditions to look out for, flash flood warnings in remote regions of India might be possible.” (more…)

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Why Are Coastal Salt Marshes Falling Apart?

Too many nutrients can cause extensive loss of marshes

Salt marshes have been disintegrating and dying over the past two decades along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard and other highly developed coastlines without anyone fully understanding why.

This week in the journal Nature, scientist Linda Deegan of the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Mass., and colleagues report that nutrients–such as nitrogen and phosphorus from septic and sewer systems and lawn fertilizers–can cause salt marsh loss.

“Salt marshes are a critical interface between the land and sea,” Deegan says. “They provide habitat for fish, birds and shellfish, protect coastal cities from storms and take nutrients out of the water from upland areas, which protect coastal bays from over-pollution.” (more…)

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Sea Floor Samples Help Explain Arid Southwest

Surface-dwelling algae adjust their biochemistry to surface temperatures. As they die and sink to the bottom, they build a sedimentary record of sea-surface temperature across millennia. Brown’s work on surface temperatures, coupled with work from Texas A&M on rainfall and weather patterns, has helped chart the wetter, lake-filled geological history of the currently arid American West.

During the last ice age, the landscape of the American West was very different. Where now there are deserts and salt flats in the Southwest and Great Basin regions, there once were giant lakes and wetlands. The Great Salt Lake, for example, is a tiny remnant of the prehistoric Lake Bonneville, which at one time covered almost 20,000 square miles. (more…)

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Native Plants in Urban Yards Offer Birds “Mini-Refuges”

Landscaping with native vegetation helps local bird species

Yards with plants that mimic native vegetation offer birds “mini-refuges” and help to offset losses of biodiversity in cities, according to results of a study published on August 22, 2012 in the journal PLOS ONE.

“Native” yards support birds better than those with traditional grass lawns and non-native plantings.

Researchers conducted the study through the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Central Arizona-Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site, one of 26 such sites around the globe in ecosystems from coral reefs to deserts, from forests to grasslands. (more…)

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