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May 1, 2016 / 23 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘water’

Lake Kinneret Rising Due to Sabbath Rain

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

Israel’s Water Authority announced Sunday that due to the rain this weekend some 60 mm of water was gathered in cisterns in the northern region and a total of 30 mm of water fell in the center of the country.

Since the Sabbath, the water level in Lake Kineret, also known as the Sea of Galilee, rose another two centimeters, nearly one inch.

The Kinneret is Israel’s largest reservoir of drinking water.

The level of the lake now stands at -212.77 cm, which is 23 cm above the lower red line — the mark which is considered dangerously low.

The Kinneret lacks only 3.97 meters more until it is filled to capacity — and rain is predicted for parts of Israel on Sunday.

Hana Levi Julian

Mei Barak in Bnei Brak

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

A new water facility, “Mei Barak”, was built in Bnei Brak.

Mei Barak

Mei Barak

Photo of the Day

Water Level Rising in Lake Kinneret

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

The water level in Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) rose again last night by three centimeters (a bit over one inch) after heavy rain Tuesday.

Israel’s Water Authority reported the lake now stands at 212.85 meters below sea level.

The level is four meters below the lake’s optimal capacity.

Lake Kinneret is the main source of drinking water for the population in the State of Israel.

Hana Levi Julian

Lake Kinneret ‘Under the Weather,’ Water Level Dropping

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

Lake Kinneret is a little ‘under the weather’ these days, according to Israel’s Water Authority.

The northern body of water which is Israel’s main source of drinking water is also known as the Sea of Galilee. It started this year “rainy season” with a head start but now is showing signs of heading into a drought level.

Israel’s Water Authority reported Tuesday that the lake’s water level has dropped four centimeters below the “lower red line,” and stands at 213.04 meters below sea level.

“Kinneret water level declines at the end of December are unusual circumstances, occurring most recently only in 2008,” the Water Authority said in a statement.

On Tuesday morning, a very brief flash of rain swept across the northern Negev – but it had no effect on the level of the lake.

It is hoped that the winter storm expected this coming weekend will bring with it enough precipitation to boost the basin back up to where it should be at this time of year.

The water level in Lake Kinneret really needs to reach above the higher red line in order to avoid a drought alert for the summer months.

Hana Levi Julian

Water Level Starts to Rise in Lake Kinneret

Monday, November 9th, 2015

For the first time this season, the water level in Lake Kinneret has started to rise.

The level of the lake, also known as the Sea of Galilee, rose by one centimeter to reach a level of 212.965 meters below sea level. The rise came as a direct result of the downpours that drenched various parts of the country over the past several days.

The southern Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon was flooded on Monday morning in fact, with its streets transformed into little rivers and drivers left to navigate vehicles that were turned into boats.

More than an inch of rain dropped on to the city within the space of a few minutes; navy police were called to help rescue crews in the port city. The water flooded parts of Ashkelon’s Barzilai Medical Center as well, reaching the Emergency Room.

The Kinneret, which is the lowest freshwater lake on the planet, is one of the most important sources of water for the State of Israel.

Hana Levi Julian

Obama to Meet Putin at Paris Climate Change Conference

Monday, November 9th, 2015

On the surface, it seems odd that U.S. President Barack Obama and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin both are taking the time and trouble to attend a global climate change conference this month in Paris.

But both were asked to speak on the first day of a conference in which thousands from around the world are planning to participate. Both are also involved in a life-threatening battle in Syria that now appears to have spread to Egypt despite the best efforts of Western fighters.

It is possible — likely even — the two leaders may find time to discuss their mutual concerns while at the conference for climate control as well, albeit away from the very interested eyes of the media.

More than 100 other leaders of nations joined the two world leaders Sunday as they arrived in Paris to prepare the groundwork for the talks at the COP 21 event. The three-day conference is convened with the aim of reaching the most ambitious accord ever — aimed at limiting greenhouse emissions that cause global warming.

Despite being one of the driest nations in the world, has become a world leader in the management of precious ecological and environmental resources, particularly water.

The European Union Ambassador Lars Faaborg-Andersen sat down with Avi Gabbay, Israel’s Environmental Protection Minister last week and ambassadors of EU member states for a working breakfast to prepare for the Paris conference.

Organizers are hoping to reach a new global climate deal at the conference by the time the event reaches its last day in December.

“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a win-win situation, for the environment and for the economy, in Israel and in the EU,” said Gabbay. “Governments and business leaders must work together to reduce emissions, and foster a global transition to a low-carbon economy. We look forward to continuing our cooperation with the EU and its members on this issue,” he said.

“French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabian told international media that Putin accepted an invitation to speak on the first day of the conference, scheduled for Nov. 30-Dec. 11. He is to be joined by Obama, as well as the leaders of India and China on that first day, but the Kremlin has yet to confirm his participation, according to the Associated Press.

Some 40,000 people are expected to attend the gathering in addition to thousands of activists from the fields of human, environmental and ecological rights.

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Scientists Find Coral Reefs Under Attack From Sun Screen

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

A new study published this week in the journal Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology has found that a chemical widely used in personal care products such as sun screen, poses an ecological threat to corals and coral reefs, threatening their existence.

Oxybenzone (also known as BP-3; Benzophenone-3) is found in over 3,500 sun screen products worldwide. It pollutes coral reefs from swimmers wearing sun screens, and through wastewater discharges from municipal sewage spillage and from coastal septic systems.

The study comes less than two weeks after NOAA declared the third-ever global coral bleaching event and warned that locally produced threats to coral – such as pollution – stress the health of corals and decrease the likelihood that they will resist bleaching, or recover from it.

Toxic effects of the sun screen UV filter, oxybenzone, on coral planulae (baby coral) demonstrates that exposure of the coral to the chemical produces gross morphological deformities, damages their DNA, and, most alarmingly, acts as an endocrine disruptor.

The latter causes the coral to encase itself in its own skeleton leading to death. These effects were observed to be as low as 62 parts per trillion, the equivalent to a drop of water in six and a half Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Measurements of oxybenzone in seawater within coral reefs in Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands found concentrations ranging from 800 parts per trillion to 1.4 parts per million. This is over 12 times higher than the concentrations necessary to impact on coral.

The research team involved in the study included marine scientists from Israel, Virginia, Florida, the U.S. National Aquarium and the U.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.

Among the Israeli researchers were two from Ben Gurion University of the Negev.

Prof. Ariel Kushmaro is head of the Environmental Biotechnology Lab, The Avram and Stella Goldstein-Goren Department of Biotechnology Engineering, The Ilse Katz Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology and National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev. Researcher Yona Lichtenfeld is a member of the university’s Department of Life Sciences.

“We have lost at least 80% of the coral reefs in the Caribbean,” warned lead study author Dr. Craig Downs of Haereticus Environmental Laboratory Virginia.

“Any small effort to reduce oxybenzone pollution could mean that a coral reef survives a long, hot summer, or that a degraded area recovers. Everyone wants to build coral nurseries for reef restoration, but this will achieve little if the factors that originally killed off the reef remain or intensify in the environment.”

Professor Kushmaro added, “There is widespread use of sun screens which utilize chemicals from the benzophenone group in sun and UV-intensive Israel. According to measurements not included in the article, similar concentrations of benzophenone have been found near the coral reefs in Eilat.

“Since it is likely that these chemicals are being washed off of swimmers’ bodies, it stands to reason that concentrations would be higher in swimming and snorkeling areas such as the coral reef reserve in Eilat,” the professor said.

The study found that oxybenzone is a photo-toxicant with adverse impacts exacerbated in light. But even in darkness, planulae were transformed from a motile (mobile) state to a deformed, sessile (immobile) condition and showed an increasing rate of coral bleaching in response to increasing concentrations of oxybenzone.

Between 6,000 and 14,000 tons of sun screen lotion are leaked into coral reef areas each year, much of which contains between one and 10% oxybenzone, the researchers said.

They estimated this puts at least 10 percent of global reefs at risk of high exposure, based on reef distribution in coastal tourist areas. This study is one of less than two dozen scientific studies that closely examine the impact of personal care product ingredients on marine organisms and habitats.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-scientists-find-coral-reefs-under-attack-from-sun-screen/2015/10/22/

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