Agroforestry boosts rice and biodiversity in India

first_imgAgroforestry is an ancient agricultural method covering 1 billion hectares globally; it combines trees and woody shrubs with crops to increase food security, mitigate the effects of climate change, and boost biodiversity.India has set a goal to increase its tree cover from the present 24 percent to 33 percent of its total area, primarily by promoting agroforestry in croplands.In West Bengal, the adoption of useful trees into paddy fields has boosted crop yields and crop diversity, and has also sparked a movement that champions organic cultivation methods.Agroforestry has been hailed as one of the top solutions to climate change because it sequesters much carbon dioxide above and below the soil surface. WEST BENGAL, India — For the tough, weather-beaten farmers in the rural heartland of West Bengal, agroforestry is an age-old tradition that even finds mention in their folklore.In the remote village of Bhattadighi, a group of women farmers observes a unique ritual, known as Paakh Pakhali or “welcoming birds,” in which they fill an earthen urn with water and top it with mango leaves and green coconut. Placed under a freshly planted neem tree sapling, it symbolizes the goddess of farming, Bhumi Lakshmi, whose mythical mount is a barn owl. The holy site is adorned with facsimiles of owls, painted storks, herons, egrets and other birds, all painted on white terracotta plates.Villagers adorn a sacred site with terra cotta birds beneath a freshly planted neem tree, beckoning them to the fields. Photo by Sudipto Mukherjee.“Our paddy plants are set to bloom within the next few days. We pray to the Goddess not just for a bountiful harvest, but also to send many owls and birds [to] our fields, to eat away the insects and rats,” says Malati Burman.The neem tree (Azadirachta indica) is also revered by the farmers during the festival for its strong pest-repellant properties. “The bitter leaves of the plant are added to our locally prepared insecticide and its branches are perfect for birds,” Burman says.For the farmers of this village within the Raiganj block of North Dinajpur district, paddy cultivation is not about modern industrialized monoculture farming, but developing multi-crop diversity. Here, miles of tender rice plant seedlings stretch out amid a maze of sprawling trees, shrubs and vines that conjure the appearance of a forest: Dhaan Bagan, or paddy garden, as locals call it.But the trees aren’t there just as scenic dressing. “With forest covers dwindling and giving way to agricultural lands, such landscapes can largely compensate for environmental loss and mitigate climate change impacts,” says Om Prakash Chaturvedi, director of the Central Agroforestry Research Institute. Trees also help retain moisture in the soil and put a check on erosion from storms and gales, he says.Paddy ponds surrounded by trees in Ramchandrapur village of South Dinajpur. Photo by Moushumi Basu for Mongabay.India has set a high target for increasing its tree cover from the present 24 percent to 33 percent of its total area, primarily by promoting agroforestry in croplands, says Chaturvedi. Some 174,500 square kilometers (67,375 square miles) of land in India is cultivated through agroforestry, according to the latest remote sensing data from the Central Agroforestry Research Institute. In West Bengal alone, agroforestry is practiced across 1,800 square kilometers (695 square miles) of the state, according to Pratap Kumar Dhara of the Bidhan Chandra Agricultural University.The benefits of agroforestry are widely acknowledged, including by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). In its manual “Agroforestry in rice-production landscapes in Southeast Asia” (pdf) it states: “Integrating trees into rice-production landscapes [helps] reduce temperatures and improve infiltration of water into the soil, store more carbon and diversify farm production, which lowers both climate and market risks. This adds up to greater adaptability and resilience not only for individual farmers and communities but also their environments.”Boon for biodiversityBiodiversity also flourishes in these diverse croplands. In West Bengal in October, golden yellow butterflies could be seen, while a fork-tailed black drongo bird (Dicrurus macrocercus) made its presence felt with raucous calls from atop miniature scaffolds supporting gourd vines. Nearby, egrets strutted around the watery fields, occasionally popping their heads in and out of the paddy seedlings, the young rice plants that haven’t sprouted grain yet, as a group of black-and-white myna birds hopped merrily on Sesbania pea plants.Edging the fields were trees like papaya, mango and banana, which provide nesting sites for migratory avian guests from the nearby Kulik Bird Sanctuary — Asian openbill storks (Anastomus oscitans), cormorants, herons and egrets, which also forage in the ponds.Black drongo perched on dried Sesbania pea plant above paddy. Photo courtesy of Chinmoy Das.“Birds, insects and butterflies seem to love our fields as there is no trace of chemical fertilizers or pesticides in them. Our paddy is of indigenous, folk variety,” says Chinmoy Das, a farmer from Hatia village in North Dinajpur. The trees and shrubs planted in and around the fields form an essential ecosystem developed with the right mix of multi-utility plants that also provide excellent perches for predatory birds, Das says.“Our paddy ecosystem harbors varied birds such as kingfishers, storks, little green bee-eaters [Merops orientalis] and insects [such] as spiders, dragonfly and damselfly, which control grain-eating pests and aphids,” says Shourin Chatterjee, from Abhirampur village in Bardhaman district.Ancient rice varietiesLike Das, more than 1,000 farmers from across 11 districts of West Bengal have taken to organic cultivation of folk rice varieties (FRVs), spread over more than 1,180 square kilometers (456 square miles) of land, says Anupam Paul, director of the Agricultural Training Centre (ATC) at the West Bengal Agriculture Department. Unlike modern, high-yielding varieties of rice, FRVs can to a great extent withstand weather aberrations due to climate change, while also cutting down on costs. Paul has helped revive more than 420 indigenous varieties of rice from the brink of extinction, with nearly 300 varieties of FRVs now grown by farmers across the state. These include 40 strains of aromatic and red rice each, 25 kinds of fine paddy, 10 high-yielding indigenous types, and 12 deep-water paddy varieties, among others.“The success story of folk rice cultivation is, however, incomplete without our agroforestry practices,” says Das, noting the importance of having a tiered system of planting with trees that block winds while letting sunshine through to the paddy seedlings.Banana forms a windbreak for vegetables and paddy. Photo courtesy of Chinmoy Das.On his 5.7 hectares (14 acres) of land in Hatia village, Das displayed his four-tiered “paddy forests.” The first level includes pulses (peas, beans or lentils), carrots, potatoes, various kinds of spinach, tomatoes, onions and garlic, all of which grow to a maximum height of 60 centimeters (2 feet). The second tier includes bay leaf, turmeric, ginger, eggplant, mustard and vining vegetables that reach a maximum height of 1.5 meters (5 feet). The next step has taller plants growing above 1.8 meters (6 feet), such as Sesbania peas, maize, bamboo, bananas, papayas and sugarcane.Towering timber trees like mahogany and teak grow beside older mango, jackfruit, neem, drumstick (Moringa oleifera) and full-grown bamboo, making up the fourth tier. Das says such plantings are ideally grown on the western and northern side of croplands because hot and dry afternoon winds from the west reduce soil moisture and increase the rate of evapotranspiration from the plants. “Our plantings, while obstructing such winds, enable the paddy to enjoy ample sunshine for its growth,” he says.Other plants are interspersed among the paddy seedlings, says Gaurav Mandal, a farmer from Bamongola village in Malda district. Shrubs and vegetable-bearing vines on his 1.5 hectares (3.6 acres) are perched on mini scaffolds between rows of paddy. These scaffolds, initially erected with dry bamboo, are gradually replaced with grafts of such multi-utility trees as agati (Sesbania grandiflora) and betel nut (Areca catechu). This way, vegetable vines are then supported on the growing trees’ trunks.Fertilizers au naturelTo achieve a sustainable rice yield, local farmers make their own organic fertilizers. Madanmohan Aich, from Dewanhat village in Cooch Behar district, recounts the recipe for his liquid organic manure: soil, preferably from his agroforest; leaves from at least five pest-repellant plants he grows, such as custard apple (Annona reticulata) and neem; plus cow manure and more. Leguminous plants as Sesbania peas, pulses and azolla are thrown in to maintain the natural health of the soil.Madanmohan Aich displays maize amid climbing vegetables in his agroforestry plot. Photo courtesy of Rajat Chatterjee.Sesbania seedlings are planted at a regular distance of 60 to 90 centimeters (2 to 3 feet) from each other across the field, and 30 to 45 centimeters (1 to 1.5 feet) away from paddy seedlings. They can withstand waterlogged soil, growing rapidly, and their leaves form an excellent green compost that enriches the soil. They also serve as a “catch crop” whose bright yellow flowers attract insect pests away from the paddy plants.Quick stick (Gliricidia sepium) is another effective nitrogen-fixing tree grown here. Pest-repellant trees such as Chinese chastetree (Vitex negundo) and neem are also a part of Aich’s paddy forest. Banana trees, meanwhile, help enrich the soil with their succulent stem parts and fruit peels.A treasure trove of usesThese multi-layered agroforests are storehouses of many varieties of fruit and vegetable that can be sold. Chinmoy Das says he grows at least 36 types of brinjal eggplant along the edge of his paddy field, as well as eight types of okra and more than six varieties of pulses and even cherries. All of these provide food security and nutrition for his family, with the surplus sold at the market to supplement their income.Many of the trees grown in these agroforests provide firewood, livestock fodder and timber. Lumber from the rain tree (Albizia saman), for example, is used as a substitute for more expensive woods for building and household purposes.Betel nut forms mustard field boundary. Photo by Moushumi Basu for Mongabay.The bounty grown here also has medicinal benefits. The leaves of Sesbania, rubbed on a fresh wound, help clot blood, says Shantirani Burman, a farmer from Hatia village. Water clover (Marsilea quadrifolia), which abounds in the fields, is not only tasty and rich in beta-carotene, calcium, iron and phosphorus, but is also used to treat bone disorders, eye ailments, anemia and more, Burman says. Kadam (Neolamarckia cadamba) leaves provide snakebite anti-venom and are also useful for treating worms. Both of these latter ailments are common in the villages.In Pratappur village, Bardhaman district, the farmers also practice aquaculture in their paddy ponds, where they grow FRVs that require at least 1.8 meters (6 feet) of standing water. Enterprising farmers like Abhro Chakroborty make the most of the ponds to cultivate catfish. His 200 square meters of land, about 2,200 square feet, yields 60 kilograms (132 pounds) of paddy and almost as much catfish, he says.Edible crabs, mollusks and carp have also been introduced into these ponds, amid the floating edible water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica) and the useful and sturdy mat grass (Cyperus tegetum Roxb.).Another interesting diversification is led by tribal women from Gangarampur block in South Dinajpur district, who are now cultivating mushrooms on paddy and wheat straw.Many varieties of brinjal (eggplant) are grown. Photo courtesy of Apoorva Sarkar.The future is organicMotivated by such agroforestry success stories, nearly 100 women and men from at least 20 villages have established the Forum for Indigenous Agricultural Movement (FIAM). Aimed at spreading organic farming and promoting the conservation of indigenous paddy, fruits and vegetables, its membership is fast increasing with young people, too.“The Green Revolution of the 1960s that led to cultivation of modern high-yielding varieties of paddy [compelled] our farmers to go for mono-cropping,” says Partha Das, 22, an English honors graduate from Palaibari village in North Dinajpur.This required the extensive use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, Das says, adding he was shocked by incidents of farmer suicide across the country as a result of debt from the rising cost of fertilizers, insecticides and seeds. At FIAM, he is joined by the likes of Anima Mandal, who, at 83, has also witnessed these changes and more, and now envisions an organic future.“Our forefathers practiced organic, low-cost, intensive and healthy farming,” agreed Bablu Barman from Bhattadighi village, another passionate organic farmer. “We believe this is sustainable and here to stay.” Healthy eating is the order of the day, he adds, and there is a growing demand for organically grown farm produce in the big cities.Given all of the environmental and social trends and challenges, agroforestry looks set to help deliver on that growing demand in this part of India.FIAM leader Anima Mandal (second from left) posing with members. Photo courtesy of Chinmoy Das.This article is from Mongabay’s series on global agroforestry, view all the features here.Banner image: Tipu Mandal (left) and Chinmoy Das (right) display diverse paddy varieties. Photo courtesy of Pintu Ghosh. Article published by Erik Hoffner Adaptation To Climate Change, Agriculture, Agroforestry, Archive, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Conservation Solutions, Featured, Natural Resources, Organic Farming, Soil Carbon center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Keeping carbon in the ground can cut emissions and boost food security, study finds

first_imgAgriculture, Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Emissions, Carbon Sequestration, Climate Change, Environment, food security, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Interns, Land Use Change, Research, Soil Carbon Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Maria Salazarcenter_img A new paper finds that a carbon tax meant to shift agricultural policies could raise food prices and threaten food security.However, improvements in storing carbon in the world’s soils could lessen the potential for worsening food security.The researchers suggest a globally coordinated effort on climate-friendly agriculture and land use would likely result in the best outcome for all. A new study in Environmental Research Letters shows that applying a theoretic carbon tax — one aimed at stimulating changes to farming and land-use practices that minimize emissions —could have a major impact on food security, resulting in as many as 300 million more people suffering food deprivation. But add soil carbon-friendly farming into the mix, and you could limit the impact on food security and reduce calorie loss by 65 percent while at the same time sequestering more carbon in the ground.“Soil carbon sequestration can help to address climate change, and because it also helps to increase productivity, can also help to address food security,” said study co-author Peter Smith, an expert in soils and climate change from Aberdeen University in the U.K. Agriculture is responsible for 10 to 12 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Given the growing global population, experts expect agricultural emissions to continue to rise.Not all farming practices contribute to emissions equally, however. In fact, there is a growing awareness of farming techniques that remove carbon from the atmosphere, a process known as carbon sequestration, storing it in plant material and soils.Locking carbon on the farmDuring photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide. As they grow, the carbon is stored in their stems, leaves and roots. Once the plant dies or its leaves drop, soil microbes break down the material they leave behind. Some carbon is then re-released into the atmosphere, but a percentage can become stabilized and locked in the soil.Scientists have found that certain farming practices can increase the amount of carbon sequestered in the soil. These include zero tillage, in which the soil isn’t disturbed by being cultivated or turned over; crop rotation, or growing different types of crops over several seasons on the same land; and cover cropping, where certain plants are grown primarily to benefit the soil rather than as a crop. As an added bonus, these practices that increase carbon sequestration often reduce soil erosion and help to retain important nutrients in the soil. The result is healthier soil and increased yields. A Colombian cornfield. Agricultural practises such as crop rotation, over cropping and zero tillage can minimize carbon loss and increase soil carbon sequestration. Photo credit: Rhett ButlerIt was these potential “win-win” benefits that led a team of researchers headed by Stefan Frank, from the Austria-based International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), to model the potential benefits of implementing carbon-sequestering farming practices. Using the Global Biosphere Management Model (GLOBIOM) developed by IIASA, the team found that storing carbon in soil could play an important role in reducing agricultural emissions. Combining a widespread change to carbon-sequestering farming practices with a carbon tax, GLOBIOM predicted a potential reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture of 11.4 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year. That’s 44 percent higher than the 7.9 gigatons achievable with only a carbon tax. That difference of 3.5 gigatons of CO2e would be roughly the same as taking just over half the world’s cars, 583 million, off the roads. There are caveats to the findings, though. Like any model, the accuracy of GLOBIOM’s output is ultimately determined by the assumptions underpinning it. As the study’s authors note, the reason predictive models have not previously included soil carbon sequestration is that it’s incredibly complex. One of the key issues is the difficulty in measuring changes in soil carbon. “Across a field … a change in 0.1 percent is a huge amount of carbon either being stored or released, but it’s really difficult to measure that change sensitively and accurately,” said Vanessa Bailey, a soil carbon expert from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, in Washington state, who was not involved in the study. There is a great amount of variation in the soil carbon across a field, Bailey said. “If you take a sample in a depression there might be 1.1 percent carbon there just because we’ve had runoff there,” she said. A peat bog being drained in Kalimantan. The lack of oxygen due to wet conditions in peat bogs prevents the peat from breaking down. When peat bogs dry out they start to decompose and large quantities of stored carbon are released to the atmosphere. Photo credit: Rhett ButlerThe soil carbon cycle is also a two-way street. Under certain conditions, such as when peat is exposed and allowed to dry out, the soil becomes a major emitter of carbon. Another issue is that soil can only capture so much carbon before it becomes saturated, a point known as soil carbon equilibrium.This means that soil carbon sequestration may not be a long-term solution, but, according to Smith, could contribute “to a medium term solution while we fully decarbonise all sectors.”Research has so far mainly focused on how to stabilize carbon in soil, but there is still a lot to learn about what destabilizes carbon in soil. “We don’t have a good way of assessing how long this new carbon … persists in soils,” Bailey said. “That’s the other side of the coin we don’t understand.”Because soil carbon sequestration is such a complex subject, scientists continue to debate exactly how much carbon could be stored in soils. Certainly no one believes soil carbon sequestration can mitigate all manmade emissions. Soil could potentially sequester 1.5 gigatons to 2.6 gigatons CO2e per year — about 5 percent of manmade greenhouse gas emissions, Smith said. David Powlson, a leading soil scientist at Rothamsted Research in the U.K., who wasn’t involved in the study, was more cautious. “I am concerned that many colleagues seem over optimistic about the amount of carbon that can be locked up this way,” he said.In a recent study, Powlson evaluated the potential of the French government’s “4 per 1,000” initiative to increase global soil carbon stocks by 0.4 percent per year. Based on his research, Powlson said he believed agricultural practices that increase carbon sequestration “are limited by practical and economic factors.” “[M]any ‘good practices’ are already being applied in many places, so scope for [expanding carbon-sequestering farming practices] is further limited,” he said.Deforestation in Belize for cattle ranching. Land use change is one of the major sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Photo credit: Rhett ButlerThe food security wrenchAnother important area that the team was keen to investigate was the impact on food security of tax measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Land-use change and agriculture, as major emitters, have long been the focus of much mitigation research. However, with the global population expected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050, scientists are faced with the difficult proposition of simultaneously reducing emissions even as the human population looks to continue growing. A carbon tax would theoretically increase the cost of farming practices that produce high greenhouse gas emissions. This cost would then be passed on to consumers as higher food prices. As prices rise, producers and consumers will, in theory, alter their behavior and switch to products and practices with lower greenhouse gas emissions because they are cheaper. At first glance this would seem like an ideal solution. But the GLOBIOM model highlights an important problem: If global warming is to be limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2050, the aspirational target set in the Paris Agreement, then major changes will be required from the agriculture and land-use sector. Potential changes range from technical solutions such as the use of anaerobic digesters (which break down waste to produce fuel) to broader structural solutions, such as shifting production across regions. According to Frank’s predictions, a carbon tax sufficient to stimulate this change in behavior would increase the cost of food so much that, theoretically, every person would consume on average 285 kilocalories less per day. GLOBIOM predicts that over the next 20 years, economic development will reduce chronic undernourishment from its current level of 850 million to 200 million. However, with a carbon tax in place, the higher cost of food could reverse some of that progress, resulting in an additional 300 million people unable to meet their calorie requirements.GLOBIOM’s predictions suggest that sequestering more carbon in soils could reduce the carbon tax required, cutting calorie loss by 65 percent while still hitting the 1.5-degree target.It’s important to note, however, that when predicting scenarios without a carbon tax, GLOBIOM does not model the impact of climate change on food security. As Smith says, the food security consequences if we do not act on climate change will certainly be far worse than if we do.“Massive losses of productivity for crops and livestock, mostly in countries already at risk of food insecurity,” he said, “so there is no option to just let it happen.” Unequal risk, unequal rewardsAs is so often the case with climate change, the impacts would be far from evenly distributed. For those in developed countries, where food costs a relatively small percentage of income, a hypothetical rise in price is not likely to greatly affect consumption. In the developing world, where food can cost a large proportion of people’s income, a rise in food costs could prove devastating. There is also a major imbalance in the mitigation potential available to different countries depending on the type of agriculture and how much standing forest remains. In land-rich countries like Brazil, where a large proportion of emissions stem from converting rainforest to cropland or for grazing, targets can be met by limiting deforestation and forest degradation with little impact on food cost. “Reducing emissions from land use change is a very cost-efficient and important strategy,” Frank said. However, in densely populated countries like India, most agricultural emissions come from food production. The carbon tax required to stimulate agricultural change could have a major impact on the cost of food there. With such stark regional differences, the authors emphasize the importance of a globally coordinated strategy. The GLOBIOM model predicts that any scenario without full global buy-in would result in a worse impact to food security than a globally coordinated approach. For Frank, the show of global support for the Paris Agreement offers a glimmer of hope.“Personally I hope that the momentum of the Paris Agreement will be maintained and even further strengthen[ed] so that we can achieve this tremendous challenge,” he said.Cattle ranching in Colombia. Livestock production produces a large quantity of greenhouse gas emissions. The methane produced by cows is 30 times more heat trapping than carbon dioxide. Photo credit: Rhett ButlerNo simple answersPromoting farming practices that help store carbon in the soil could help offset the side effects of carbon tax policies, but more must be done to tackle climate change on a wider scale, Smith said. “It’s not a climate solution in itself — but makes a valuable contribution toward addressing climate change,” he said.“We really have to balance sequestration with mitigation with adaption to new conditions,” Bailey added. “That’s the three legs of a stool we all have to be aware of.” For Powlson, changes in human consumption patterns and behavior are also key. “It’s almost certainly necessary that we reduce food consumption and eat less meat,” he said. Although the exact findings of any model can be open to debate, this study emphasizes the important relationship between soil carbon, food security and tackling climate change.“There are no magic bullets,” Smith said. “It will be tough, but it has to be done.” References:Frank, S., Havlík, P., Soussana, J. F., Levesque, A., Valin, H., Wollenberg, E., … & Smith, P. (2017). Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture without compromising food security?. Environmental Research Letters, 12(10), 105004.Poulton, P., Johnston, J., MacDonald, A., White, R., & Powlson, D. Major limitations to achieving “4 per 1000 ″increases in soil organic carbon stock in temperate regions: evidence from long‐term experiments at Rothamsted Research, UK. Global Change Biology.last_img read more

School girls beaten up for protesting eve-teasing in Bihar’s Supaul

first_imgOver 30 girls of a government school in Bihar were beaten up brutally by a group of villagers for resisting harassment by some boys. Some of the girls have been admitted to the primary health centre for treatment. ‘Beaten with sticks’The students of the Kasturba Gandhi Residential School in Daparkha village in Supaul district, some 250 km from Patna, were beaten up by a group of people from the neighboring village when they protested after they were teased. The incident happened on Saturday evening when the girls were playing at the school ground. Some local boys from the next village had allegedly been harassing the girls regularly by passing lewd comments and writing obscene words on the boundary wall of the school. The girls had complained about it to the school administration.Police said on Saturday some girls had caught some boys trying to write a vulgar comment on the school wall and scolded them. But, after some time a group of about two dozen people, including parents of some of the boys, attacked the girls playing in the school ground and some staff members. “The girls were kicked and beaten up with sticks”, said Ms. Reema Raj, warden of the school. Many girls sustained injuries, and 12 of them had to be admitted to the PHC. An FIR was later lodged in the case but no one has been arrested yet. “Action will be taken against all those found involved in the attack on the girls,” said Baidyanath Yadav, District Magistrate of Supaul. Meanwhile, the local Congress MP Ranjeet Ranjan visited the PHC. Education Minister Krishnanadan Prasad Verma said in Patna “no one will be spared.”last_img read more

Touch Football Australia forges closer ties with Japan Touch Association through historic agreement

first_imgFollowing the successful hosting and securing of the 2015 Touch World Cup mid last year, Touch Football Australia today confirmed an historic partnership with Japan Touch Association (JTA). The agreement (MoU) demonstrates the strong desire and commitment of the world’s leading Touch Football nation to help facilitate growth of the game internationally and build further on the great relationship between both countries. The key elements of the five-year agreement focus on improving Japan’s competitive standard of international competition through coaching support and athlete improvement and participation at events.Touch Football Australia CEO, Colm Maguire was in Japan last week with an Australian touring party of High Performance representatives, signing off on the MoU together with JTA Chairman, Shusaku Kuchimoto, and officials in Tokyo. “We are delighted to be in a position to partner with and form a long-standing agreement with Japan Touch Association and help shore up their future on the international stage,” he said.“The agreement provides a robust pathway for their growth and competitiveness against international teams in future years and enshrines our commitment to support them in their quest for excellence and improvement,” Maguire added.“The overall objective of the MoU is to assist the overall High Performance and development objectives of the JTA by facilitating overall access to TFA resources both human and material: these are inclusive of coaching support which we have thoroughly enjoyed through our current visit and participation in international and domestic events.“To this end, this will see Japanese teams joining the 2016 Trans Tasman Series event in Auckland (April) for the first time and expanding their presence in future years’ instalment of the Trans Tasman and other events.”By extension, Australian Men’s Open captain, Steve Roberts, fresh from his Touch World Cup success and who was also in Japan conducting coaching clinics alongside TFA High Performance Manager, Wayne Grant, has been confirmed as head coach of the Japanese teams, effective from the 2016 Trans Tasman event. Maguire went on to say the agreement is part of the ongoing commitment by both Touch Football Australia and Touch New Zealand to open the doors to the world to participate more often against the two best nations in the world. “Notwithstanding the level of competition but our events are also the best in the world and buoyed by the overwhelmingly positive feedback from the 2015 Touch World Cup and the mounting desire to participate in our events, we will further expand into 2017,” Maguire said. “This will include the facilitation of entry of Japan and other nations around the world to join the 2017 Trans Tasman event in Open and Senior divisions.“Our key partners at Touch New Zealand are equally excited to extend the invitation for Japan to compete and significantly open up their development and exposure opportunities.”  Related Files160125_tfa_and_jta_mou_media_release_v1_0-pdfRelated LinksTFA/JTA Agreementlast_img read more

St. James Municipal Corporation Plans for Early Flood Warning System

first_imgAs part of its disaster-preparedness strategy, the St. James Municipal Corporation is seeking to establish an early flood-warning system in Montego Bay, aimed at providing advanced information on flooding.In an interview with JIS News, Mayor of Montego Bay and Chairman of the St. James Municipal Corporation, Councillor Homer Davis, said the system “will alert citizens and business operators when a flood is imminent for Montego Bay”.The Mayor emphasised that the system is needed, as Montego Bay, being a coastal town, is easily inundated during heavy rains.Councillor Davis said the projected cost to implement the system is $10 million, and preliminary consultation has commenced with various stakeholders regarding the project.“It is a work in progress, and that is something we are hoping to get the necessary funding for, because it is an expensive system. We are probably looking at seven to 10 million dollars, but it will be money well spent,” he added.He pointed out that documents are being prepared in order to approach international funding agencies for grant assistance.“The Inter-American Development Bank is interested in climate change; the Canadian Government is interested in climate change. So we are presently putting that document together, so we can begin to pursue grant funding to do this project,” the Mayor outlined.In the meantime, the Mayor told JIS News that he welcomes plans by the Government to commission an engineering company to assess the city’s drains, with a view to improving them.last_img read more

VANCOUVER COUPLE SOUND OFF ON SURPRISE AMAZING RACE CANADA ELIMINATION

first_img“We keep hearing that,” Aarthy says. “We’re sorry we let people down.”The couple from Vancouver were the sixth team sent home from the Race this season. Advertisement Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Going from first to last on The Amazing Race Canada is a gut punch not just for the team being sent home, but fans as well.When 25-year-old human resources professional Aarthy Ketheeswaran and 28-year-old software developer Thinesh Kumarakulasingam hear that they were fan-favourites before their elimination in Thunder Bay, Ont., this week, they collectively let out a sigh. Facebook Advertisement Twitterlast_img

Each Contenders Path To The College Football Playoff

For every team in the College Football Playoff hunt, the path forward remains an arduous one, filled with peril at every turn. But some of those paths are at least relatively straightforward; others involve a bunch of different moving parts. Today, let’s take a look at what each significant playoff contender needs to go its way — keeping things vaguely within the realm of the likely — in order to get to at least 90 percent playoff odds in the eyes of our prediction model. In each case, we’ll try to get it there in as few results as possible,1It’s important to note that this is without regard to chronology. So for instance, winning the conference championship could be the simplest way a team gets to 90 percent playoff odds, but that team would also need to win some easy games beforehand to make the conference title game matter. Our approach would still consider a conference title game win to be the simplest path, because the high probability of getting to that game in a position to make the playoff is “baked in” to the conditional probabilities. (Yes, my head hurts, too.) which is easier said for some teams than others.ClemsonCurrent playoff chances: 87 percentPath to 90+ percent:Clemson wins the ACC championship (Week 14): +9 percentage pointsConditional playoff chances: 96 percentChance of happening: 85 percentAlabamaCurrent playoff chances: 76 percentPath to 90+ percent:Alabama beats Georgia in the SEC championship (Week 14): +23 percentage pointsConditional playoff chances: 99 percentChance of happening: 64 percentGeorgiaCurrent playoff chances: 39 percentPath to 90+ percent:Georgia beats Alabama in the SEC championship (Week 14): +52 percentage pointsConditional playoff chances: 91 percentChance of happening: 36 percentThese three are pretty basic. The undefeated Tigers and Crimson Tide are both practically assured of making the playoff if they just win their respective conference title games — even if they don’t otherwise win out. There are a few scenarios in which the two teams could miss the playoff with losses in between now and championship Saturday, but our model says the Tigers would still have an 80 percent playoff shot even if they lose to, say, Boston College this weekend but win the ACC. Likewise, Bama would be at 92 percent if it loses the Iron Bowl against Auburn but still wins the SEC.Alabama and Clemson’s chances if they win all their remaining games except the conference championship are 45 and 44 percent, respectively. But for the one-loss Bulldogs, that number is 12 percent. So for all intents and purposes, they have no choice but to hand the Tide a huge upset defeat if they want to extend their national championship hopes. The good news, though, is that if we assume UGA plays to the model’s expectations in its other three games (against Auburn, UMass and Georgia Tech), the SEC title game is the big win-and-you’re-in matchup to circle on the Bulldog calendar. In other words, for all three teams, the simplest playoff road leads through the conference championship.Notre DameCurrent playoff chances: 58 percentPath to 90+ percent:Notre Dame beats Florida State in Week 11: +5 percentage pointsNotre Dame beats Syracuse in Week 12: +15 pointsNotre Dame beats USC in Week 13: +14 pointsConditional playoff chances: 92 percentChance of happening: 49 percentOklahomaCurrent playoff chances: 41 percentPath to 90+ percent:Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State in Week 11: +4 percentage pointsOklahoma beats Kansas in Week 12: +1 pointsOklahoma beats West Virginia in Week 13: +21 pointsOklahoma wins the Big 12 championship (Week 14): +24 pointsConditional playoff chances: 91 percentChance of happening: 37 percentOhio StateCurrent playoff chances: 18 percentPath to 90+ percent:Ohio State beats Michigan State in Week 11: +12 percentage pointsOhio State beats Michigan in Week 13: +32 pointsOhio State wins the Big Ten championship (Week 14): +28 pointsConditional playoff chances: 90 percentChance of happening: 18 percentNotre Dame doesn’t have a conference and therefore doesn’t have a chance to pad its resume with another signature win, so it has no room for error. Luckily, the Irish’s remaining schedule is quite reasonable. Florida State is a shell of its former self, Syracuse is having a good season but not on the Irish’s level, and USC isn’t what it used to be either. And our model says an undefeated Notre Dame is essentially a playoff shoo-in. The only cause for concern might be the health of quarterback Ian Book, who will miss Saturday’s game against FSU with a rib injury. But the Irish are still 16½-point favorites over the Seminoles even with backup QB Brandon Wimbush at the helm.Oklahoma and Ohio State can basically control their own destinies as well — the model says both have playoff chances of greater than 91 percent if they just win out. An Irish loss could potentially help the Sooners and Buckeyes, too. Oklahoma has a greater than 90 percent playoff probability conditional on just three outcomes: beating West Virginia and winning the Big 12 while Notre Dame loses at least one game. And any Notre Dame loss would nudge OSU’s chances above the 90 percent threshold as well, provided the Buckeyes beat Michigan and win the Big Ten.MichiganCurrent playoff chances: 40 percentPath to 90+ percent:Syracuse beats Notre Dame in Week 12: +9 percentage pointsMichigan beats Ohio State in Week 13: +28 pointsMichigan wins the Big Ten championship (Week 14): +15 pointsConditional playoff chances: 92 percentChance of happening: 13 percentUnlike Notre Dame, Ohio State and Oklahoma, Michigan can’t get to 90 percent simply by winning its remaining games. (That maxes them out at 82 percent.) The Wolverines need help, then, most likely in the form of an Irish loss against Syracuse at Yankee Stadium on Nov. 17. Michigan has other potential paths — Boston College beating Clemson this weekend, for instance, would push UM’s odds to 88 percent if coupled with Wolverine wins over Ohio State and whomever they’d play for the Big Ten title. But watching some other team vicariously avenge Michigan’s early season loss in South Bend would be a fitting way for the Wolverines to stamp their ticket into the playoff.West VirginiaCurrent playoff chances: 12 percentPath to 90+ percent:West Virginia beats TCU in Week 11: +2 percentage pointsWest Virginia beats Oklahoma State in Week 12: +6 pointsWest Virginia beats Oklahoma in Week 13: +19 pointsWest Virginia wins the Big 12 championship (Week 14): +38 pointsMichigan loses the Big Ten championship (Week 14): +14 pointsConditional playoff chances: 91 percentChance of happening: 2 percentWVU needs even more help than does Michigan. And in fact, it might need help from Michigan. Generally speaking, it needs whoever wins the Michigan-Ohio State game — which will torpedo the chances of one member of the one-loss club — to then proceed to lose in the Big Ten title game. (Our model gives West Virginia slightly higher odds under the configuration where Michigan beats OSU, then loses.) Either way, the one-loss Mountaineers need as many teams with a similar resume as possible to move aside. But West Virginia isn’t necessarily putting all its eggs in the Big Ten basket. It could also see its playoff odds soar into the high-80-percent range if Notre Dame loses one of its remaining games (while WVU wins out).Washington StateCurrent playoff chances: 13 percentPath to 90+ percent:Washington State beats Colorado in Week 11: +5 percentage pointsWashington State beats Arizona in Week 12: +3 pointsUSC beats Notre Dame in Week 13: +5 pointsWashington State wins the Pac-12 championship (Week 14): +48 pointsMichigan loses the Big Ten championship (Week 14): +17 pointsConditional playoff chances: 91 percentChance of happening: 1 percentOne-loss Wazzu is in the same boat as West Virginia in terms of benefiting from a Michigan defeat in the Big Ten title game. (Assuming it wins its own remaining games — including the Pac-12 title, most preferably over Utah.) Washington State could get another boost if USC beats Notre Dame since both teams would then have one loss, against the Trojans in each case. It’s unclear how realistic this actually is (since our model doesn’t have a specific Notre Dame adjustment reflecting its tendency to, um, get the benefit of the doubt), but the Irish make the playoff only 18 percent of the time in the scenario laid out above, compared with the Cougars’ 91 percent mark.Central FloridaCurrent playoff chances: 4 percentPath to 90+ percent:¯\_(ツ)_/¯I’m kidding. But not really. This one is far more difficult to pin down than the others above, just because it’s so rare in our data for UCF to make the playoff (and the specifics of each scenario are rarer still). So I’ll just list some of the common outcomes in what few simulations give UCF a relatively large probability of making the playoff:UCF wins all four remaining games, including the American championship. (Duh.)Both Notre Dame and Washington State lose at least one remaining game, and at least one loses twice.Oklahoma and Michigan both fail to win their respective conference championships.Chance of happening: less than 1 in 2,000These probably aren’t the only scenarios under which UCF makes the playoff, but there just aren’t very many UCF-friendly combinations that come up in the simulations. Their 4 percent overall probability of making the playoff is more about adding up a bunch of fractional chances over the course of many simulations — where they’re not overly likely to make it in any given one, but there’s enough uncertainty that they could potentially get in.And that’s the important thing to remember when discussing UCF’s playoff chances: The selection committee has never taken an undefeated Group-of-Five conference team2Schools from the American Athletic Conference, Conference USA, the Mid-American Conference, the Mountain West Conference and the Sun Belt Conference. in four years of picking playoff squads, and similar undefeated candidates (UCF last year, Western Michigan two years ago) have been denied entry by the committee. So all of this is, by definition, theoretical. Our model bases its predictions on the way in which college football’s power structure has traditionally grouped teams into tiers and given priority to different types of resumes, which is why there are at least some universes where a team like UCF can get real consideration if all hell breaks loose elsewhere. But more likely, they’re getting stray points of probability from the fact that we still don’t always know how the committee will react to a team like the Knights.Of course, a cynic would say we do know — and the answer will always be “no.” But that’s part of what’s interesting about the playoff. There’s much we still don’t know when it comes to who will win upcoming games, and that’s one source of uncertainty built into our model. But we also can’t perfectly predict how the committee itself will react. All UCF and the rest of this year’s contenders can do is win the games in front of them and hope for the right combination to fall into place around them.Check out our latest college football predictions. read more

Womens Volleyball Ohio State loses 32 to No 3 Penn State and

Ohio State head coach Geoff Carlston instructs members of the women’s volleyball team during a timeout in a match against No. 3 Penn State on Oct. 6. The Buckeyes lost 3-2. Credit: Rebecca Farage | Lantern ReporterOhio State split two home matches this weekend as it fell 3-2 to No. 3 Penn State Friday, but returned to the court the next day and picked up a 3-0 victory versus Rutgers.No. 3 Penn StateDespite losing 3-2 to Penn State, outside hitter Bia Franklin had a big night with 10 kills and nine digs, both career-highs for the sophomore. Setter Taylor Hughes also played a solid game with a match-high 50 assists, a total she had only matched just once previously this season.Penn State quickly jumped ahead in the first set with an 8-3 lead. Even after two timeouts, the Buckeyes could not match Penn State’s energy. The Nittany Lions delivered 18 kills with a .500 hitting percentage, leaving the Buckeyes behind and allowing Penn State to take the first set 25-13.The Buckeyes did not let the first set affect their performance as they stormed out to an 11-8 lead in the second set.The game grew more intense by the point as both teams fought back-and-forth for the second set with three lead changes. Outside hitter Luisa Schirmer was responsible for five kills and Hughes added 14 assists, leading the Buckeyes to win the set 25-23.The third set was just as competitive as the second, this time with 12 ties. Penn State middle blocker Haleigh Washington helped her team with seven kills on a .364 clip. Tensions were high as both teams played a close point-by-point set, ending in a 30-28 victory for the Buckeyes.The fourth set was quite a turnaround as the Buckeyes fell to a 13-6 deficit, forcing them to call a timeout. The Nittany Lions maintained their momentum and did not relinquish their lead. With 14 kills and 13 digs, Penn State took the set 25-9.The Nittany Lions carried their vibrant energy into the fifth set, leaving the Buckeyes to trail behind them 8-0. Although the Buckeyes attempted to catch up, Penn State took the set and the match with a decisive 15-7 victoryAlthough he sees room for improvement, Ohio State head coach Geoff Carlston thought his team played well against Penn State and recognized the tough moments the Buckeyes worked through.“In this conference and to go where we want to go, you have to be able to do it,” Carlston said. “If it’s a 2 1/2 hour match, you got to do it for 2 1/2 hours. It’s hard.”RutgersThe Buckeyes dominated Saturday night, bouncing back from their loss with a 3-0 sweep against Rutgers. Outside hitter Ashley Wenz was the star of the night with a career-high 18 kills.Wenz said she was not anticipating setting any records this weekend, but sees this as a success for the team as a whole, not just for herself.“I think it helps playing all the way around,” Wenz said. “We’re running the back row attack and it’s been working really well. We have a really nice rhythm with it right now, so that definitely helps.”Ohio State played a sound first set with 11 kills and 10 digs. Wenz put away four kills in the first set, and Rutgers had just a -.050 hitting percentage. The Buckeyes won the opening set 25-15.The second set went just as well for the Buckeyes as they were able to play strong offensively with 13 kills and posses a powerful defensive line with two blocks from middle blocker Madison Smeathers and Hughes. Ohio State claimed the set 25-12 to take a 2-0 lead in the match.  The Buckeyes played no differently in the third set, leading with a 9-1 opening run before the Scarlet Knights called a timeout. Although Rutgers was able to pull within just a couple points, Ohio State maintained a steady pace and won the third set 26-24, taking the match.Wenz thought playing these two teams were completely different experiences, but was proud of her team’s progress despite the weekend split.“I think [Rutgers was] pretty scrappy on defense and [we were] able to make the smart shots that we needed to make to be able to put the ball down,” Wenz said.The team’s success Saturday has shown Carlston what the Buckeyes are capable of, but he is only focused on making the team the best they can be.“We made some strides in some areas this weekend, but we just need to come back and keep getting better on Monday,” Carlston said. “We just got to stay focused. We can be really good, but we need to keep challenging ourselves to get better.”The Buckeyes will hit the road again as they face Illinois at 8 p.m. Friday and Northwestern at 8 p.m. Saturday. read more

Roy Keane tips Liverpool to maintain title charge

first_imgFormer Manchester United captain Roy Keane has backed Liverpool to sustain their Premier League title challenge to the very end of the season.Liverpool are top the Premier League table after their impressive 3-1 home win against rivals Manchester United on Sunday.Keane believes the winning mentality and confidence in Jurgen Klopp’s side can take them all the way this season.“Can they maintain it? Without a shadow of a doubt,” Keane told Sky Sports.Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedLiverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“They have the squad, they all seem onside – when you win football matches you get that momentum, confidence. Unless they have a disaster with injuries to their attacking players, they’ll be in the mix.“We’ve thought with Liverpool over the last few years, yes, they’re nice to watch but are they really going to be good enough to win the big prizes?“I think the signing of Virgil van Dijk was massive. I know the goalkeeper made a mistake but he’ll be a massive player for Liverpool and if they stay injury-free with the attacking players, there are trophies on the way to Anfield, without a shadow of a doubt.”last_img read more

Ikea smart blinds set to go on sale in the US this

first_img Read Lenovo Smart Clock review DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Now playing: Watch this: Read Google Home Hub review 0 $999 Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. See at Amazon Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. Check out Ikea’s Tradfri smart lights HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) Comments Turo: Save $30 on any car rental We’re still waiting to find out how much they’ll cost. Ikea Ikea’s Fyrtur smart blinds are expected to launch in the US in October, the Swedish retailer confirmed on Friday. Ikea says you’ll be able to control the blinds with an included remote and its Trådfri smart home app, as well as voice controls via Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant.An Ikea spokeswoman said the price for the blinds will range between $129 and $179 — that’s well below competing products from Lutron and Somfy.The voice-compatible smart shades were previously scheduled to launch in April, but Ikea delayed them to make firmware improvements. There’s not much information yet on what sizes the shades will come in yet, but Ikea previously said they’ll launch with a single color option: gray. The blinds will sell in two styles internationally, Fyrtur and Kadrilj, but only the former will be available in the US. Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) Chris Monroe/CNET Share your voice $60 at Best Buy Best Buy The Cheapskate Sarah Tew/CNET Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). Read DJI Osmo Action preview See it Boost Mobile Post a comment Amazon Sarah Tew/CNET 9 Photos I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. Rylo This robot builds Ikea furniture $59 at eBay The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express CNET may get a commission from retail offers. $299 at Amazoncenter_img $155 at Google Express 1:02 Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) $999 An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. Apple iPhone XS Turo DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. Read the AirPods review $999 $999 Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. Angela Lang/CNET Sarah Tew/CNET See at Turo Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) See It JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) Tags What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) Sprint Sarah Tew/CNET Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. Read the Rylo camera preview Smart Home,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. See It See It TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) $210 at Best Buy Share your voice $520 at HP 7 Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. $6 at Tidal Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. Tagslast_img read more