Chinese Gas Pipeline Explosion Injures 24 People
A natural gas pipeline operated by the state-owned China National Petroleum Corp. exploded in the southwestern Guizhou province on Sunday night.
At least 24 people were "seriously injured," Xinhua reported Monday, citing local government authorities. Eight people are reportedly in critical condition and 16 in serious condition. No deaths were reported.
The explosion occurred around 11:20 p.m. local time in the Shazi district of Qianxinan County.
The pipeline was shut down and the fire was put out by 2:30 a.m. on Monday. An investigation into the gas leak is underway and authorities are still searching for any more casualties.
The pipeline transports natural gas from Myanmar's Kyaukpyu port to southwest China, Reuters reported.
A similar explosion happened on a nearby section of the pipeline in Shazi district in July 2017. That blast, which was caused by heavy rains and a landslide, took eight lives and injured 35, Xinhua reported then.
The latest blast comes amid the Chinese government's efforts to boost natural gas to combat the country's notorious air pollution. Natural gas is considered "clean" because it emits 50 percent less carbon dioxide than burning coal. But the primary ingredient of natural gas is methane, a greenhouse gas about four times more powerful at trapping heat than CO2.
Chinese regulators are planning to merge the oil and gas pipeline assets owned by three state energy giants—China National Petroleum Corp., China Petrochemical Corp. and China National Offshore Oil Corp.—under one national pipeline network, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
#CNPC #Naturalgas #pipeline #exploded SW #China #Shazi #Guizhou Sunday, killing at least 8 people and injuring anot… https://t.co/2ZsNMdU1jc— Yicai Global 第一财经 (@Yicai Global 第一财经)1499158287.0
Sweden's reindeer have a problem. In winter, they feed on lichens buried beneath the snow. But the climate crisis is making this difficult. Warmer temperatures mean moisture sometimes falls as rain instead of snow. When the air refreezes, a layer of ice forms between the reindeer and their meal, forcing them to wander further in search of ideal conditions. And sometimes, this means crossing busy roads.
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By Aaron W Hunter
A chance discovery of a beautifully preserved fossil in the desert landscape of Morocco has solved one of the great mysteries of biology and paleontology: how starfish evolved their arms.
The Pompeii of palaeontology. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<h2></h2><p>Although starfish might appear very robust animals, they are typically made up of lots of hard parts attached by ligaments and soft tissue which, upon death, quickly degrade. This means we rely on places like the Fezouata formations to provide snapshots of their evolution.</p><p>The starfish fossil record is patchy, especially at the critical time when many of these animal groups first appeared. Sorting out how each of the various types of ancient starfish relate to each other is like putting a puzzle together when many of the parts are missing.</p><h2>The Oldest Starfish</h2><p><em><a href="https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/216101v1.full.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Cantabrigiaster</a></em> is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. It was discovered in 2003, but it has taken over 17 years to work out its true significance.</p><p>What makes <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> unique is that it lacks almost all the characteristics we find in brittle stars and starfish.</p><p>Starfish and brittle stars belong to the family Asterozoa. Their ancestors, the Somasteroids were especially fragile - before <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> we only had a handful of specimens. The celebrated Moroccan paleontologist Mohamed <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.06.041" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Ben Moula</a> and his local team was instrumental in discovering <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031018216302334?via%3Dihub" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">these amazing fossils</a> near the town of Zagora, in Morocco.</p><h2>The Breakthrough</h2><p>Our breakthrough moment came when I compared the arms of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> with those of modern sea lilles, filter feeders with long feathery arms that tend to be attached to the sea floor by a stem or stalk.</p><p>The striking similarity between these modern filter feeders and the ancient starfish led our team from the University of Cambridge and Harvard University to create a new analysis. We applied a biological model to the features of all the current early Asterozoa fossils in existence, along with a sample of their closest relatives.</p>
Cantabrigiaster is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<p>Our results demonstrate <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> is the most primitive of all the Asterozoa, and most likely evolved from ancient animals called crinoids that lived 250 million years before dinosaurs. The five arms of starfish are a relic left over from these ancestors. In the case of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em>, and its starfish descendants, it evolved by flipping upside-down so its arms are face down on the sediment to feed.</p><p>Although we sampled a relatively small numbers of those ancestors, one of the unexpected outcomes was it provided an idea of how they could be related to each other. Paleontologists studying echinoderms are often lost in detail as all the different groups are so radically different from each other, so it is hard to tell which evolved first.</p>
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