Six hunting dogs were found dead in Larnaca

Six hunting dogs were found dead by their owner in Melini, Larnaca, on Wednesday, police said.

Police were informed of the incident on Thursday afternoon. Officers visited the scene and spoke to the owner who confirmed finding six of his seven dogs dead. The surviving animal was taken to a vet for treatment.

The man said he did not know police had been informed of the incident. The matter was reported by his sister.

The owner said he buried the dogs immediately and did not wish for them to be exhumed so that a necropsy could be carried out to determine the cause of death.

He said he did not suspect anyone who would want to harm his animals.

Time to Embrace New Technologies

Global warming disasters? Things that could eventually turn our world upside down in environmental havoc? Sometimes it’s hard to take it all in when you’re bombarded with images of the freezing Artic that have so little to do with our daily life. “When I think of global warming it’s all those things you see on TV,” says one colleague. “Disasters, floods, deserts.” But does Cyprus come to mind? “No not really,” he replies nonchalantly. “I think of giant melting ice caps,” says another. “Not much to do with home.”

But we all know very well that our sunny isle isn’t exempt from the world phenomenon. And with the sweltering heat we experienced as August set in this year, one has to wonder what our future is going to be like.

Professor Jos Lelieveld has succeeded in bringing the issues a little closer to home, with his Cyprus based research now painting images of an even hotter future here combined with decreasing rain levels. “People wrongly think that things will be just fine if they continue living like they always have but they’re forgetting that mankind inevitably influences the global environment,” he points out.

Now a professor at the Cyprus Institute, leading the Atmospheric and Climate Modelling group of the EEWRC (Energy, Environment and Water Research Centre), Lelieveld started off his career when he received a PhD from the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy at Utrecht University in 1990. From that point onwards he moved from post to post teaching at various universities in America and Europe, after which, in 2000, he was appointed as a Director of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz.

Walking into his new Nicosia office I’m greeted by no end of books with intriguing titles; Aerosol Technology and Atmospheric Aerodynamics.

With his research here in Cyprus focusing on atmospheric and climate change in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, I wonder how he developed his interest in the field? “I’m a physicist but the kind that would like to do something relevant,” says the polite Dutch man peering over his thin-rimmed glasses. “So I use my personal enthusiasm for physics in relation to the environment.”

His move to Cyprus came about in 2008 through a contact at the Institute and interest in the research conducted at the centre. “The environment we live in here in the Mediterranean is warm enough; our role through research is to figure out exactly how it will affect us.”

So is the future really all doom and gloom? “Let’s say things will get hotter and dryer in the next 50 years. But we are still trying to look into the answers people really want that we can’t yet give. Will we just get more striking heat waves or will there be an overall temperature rise? We can’t yet say,” he explains. “But we are now setting up modelling systems to give people answers about what’s to come. Farmers, the government, the water board; they all want to know precisely what effects to expect.”

And while heat and drought is one issue, we are faced with another problem as sea levels continually rise, with most scientific research pointing to a minimum half a metre increase by the end of the century and then a rather astonishing 25 metres in the next two to five centuries. That means we can wave goodbye to any low lying lands, something which we are now being told over and over again by international scientists and researchers.

But what Lelieveld is keen on pointing out are the repercussions on Cyprus. “It will definitely lead to beach erosion and flooding in certain low lying areas such as that east of Larnaca,” he explains. “It’s not an immediate threat, but a threat nonetheless.”

Bombarded with the idea of floods in some places, droughts in others, and changes in rain patterns, it can only make one wonder if there isn’t even a little ‘shock factor’ added to all the talk. There are, after all, counter arguments that point towards the extensive discussions around global warming being hyped up, with climate change sceptics stating that changes so far have been brought about not by human activity, but normal climatic fluctuations. Then there’s another undisputed fact: the temperature of the earth hasn’t actually risen since 1998.

“It’s true that there has been no real increase compared to the great escalation in the 90s, but that’s not made the problems go away and is down to natural swings of the climate,” Lelieveld replies. “The point is that there is far more evidence pointing towards changes than arguments against it. We’re certainly not looking for problems, there are lots of other ones around we could we dealing with. We can’t ignore that temperatures rose dramatically through most of the 90s and anyone who says otherwise isn’t well informed. Just look at the Artic ice coverage - it’s at the lowest it has ever been. Of course, part of our research includes looking at how much is caused by natural activity and how much is from mankind. But I can say this - unless we stop emitting carbon dioxide the trend will continue.”

It’s all well and good to make predictions but what most people no doubt want to know is what exactly Cyprus should be doing in the face of change? “We must embrace more sustainable methods,” he replies matter of factly. “At this point in time we’re very dependant on fossil fuels but they are just going to get more and more expensive until they completely run out. We simply have to embrace new technologies with solar power being something we should be using far more. It’s unavoidable; there is no feasible alternative.”

Then, of course, there’s also the issue of rain with the serious drought experienced a short time ago indicating that we just can’t sit around and wait for the skies to open. “Desalination should have been investigated a long time ago. Buying water from other countries is an undesirable possibility,” says the professor. “Here at the institute we are now developing a method and test plant - ready within the next year - to desalinate sea water with the use of solar power.” Although we may have enjoyed a great amount of rain this past winter, Lelieveld is keen to stress that rain levels have on the whole decreased over the past 20 years on the island. “Now it’s a question of the governments making the right choices.”


Airport staff have insufficient air, report says

THE NEW Larnaca airport has an insufficient air supply and fosters bacteria cultures in some of its air ducts, according to a study conducted by Monimax, a private company specialising workspace air quality.

The company was hired to carry out the survey after airport staff complained of respiratory problems and of feeling faint.

According to the Director of the Civil Aviation. Leonidas Leonidou, members of staff exhibited symptoms such as dizziness, nausea and a general discomfort during working hours.

“For this reason, the Civil Aviation Authority, in order to satisfy the requests of its employees, hired a private company that was actually chosen by the airport’s staff, to carry out an independent survey of the airport’s air quality,” Leonidou said.

The results of the survey found two major problems in the structure of the airport’s Civil Aviation offices, according to a Monimax representative. “First, the structure of the ventilation system was not designed for conditions such as those that exist now in the Civil Aviation offices. There are more people per office than first calculated. Furthermore, there is a bacterial load in the air ducts, which need to be disinfected,” he said.

According to an article in Politis, other problems include temperatures being higher than the acceptable range of 19-24 degrees Celsius, a great concentration of carbon dioxide in certain areas and an increased concentration of ammonia.

The press spokesman for Hermes Airports, Adamos Aspris, however, said that Hermes Airports was already in the process of re-stabilising the ventilation system in the airport’s Civil Aviation Authority offices.

“The complaints by members of the Civil Aviation staff at the airport came to our attention earlier in the summer, and immediately Hermes Airports appointed a Greek company to carry out a study of the workspace’s atmosphere, the results of which were almost exactly the same as Monimax’s,” Aspris said.

He also added that Hermes Airports started working on ameliorating air quality and the ventilation system on July 20, some days after the Civil Aviation had hired another company to take samples of the work environment.

“The process of fixing the problem is now in its final stage, and when it is over, Hermes Airports will conduct yet more research in order to make sure that the problem has been eradicated. If not, then further action will be taken,” Aspris added.

Aspris also reassured the public that these problems did not affect the entire airport, and that the public was in no danger whatsoever.

Yesterday, Civil Aviation employees met and gave Hermes Airports until the September 3 to fix the ventilation system. “We will remain in our offices, on condition that windows will be constructed so that air comes in. If this does not happen, as of September 13, we will stop working in the problematic offices,” said Christakis Solomou, President of the Civil Aviation Employees in the Larnaca and Paphos airports.

Maritime Academy opens its doors in Larnaca from September 2015

A Maritime Academy opens its doors in Larnaca from September 2015 onwards where students from Cyprus and abroad will be able to follow English language courses such as Shipping & Logistics Management, Maritime Transport, Marine Engineering and Marine Electrical Technology.

The agreement for the Academy`s establishment was signed on Saturday, in Larnaca, between the University of Nicosia, the Arab Academy of Sciences, Technology and Maritime Transport and the Eastern Mediterranean Institute of Maritime Affairs, with the support of Intercollege Larnaca, at the premises where the new Academy will operate.

Addressing the event Transport Minister Marios Demetriades said the signature “marks an important milestone in our roadmap towards what has been the vision for the last twenty years.”

“In the last decade the shipping industry has on several occasions warned against an impending shortage of qualified labour on board CY-REGION-flagged ships,” he said, adding that “with the loss of the national maritime training systems the amount of active CY-REGION seafarers continuously reduced to today’s alarming low levels in the region.”

“The availability of skilled human resources is at the very core of economic growth and employment in the sector as more and more of maritime activities become `knowledge dependent`”, he said.

“Therefore, access to high quality maritime education and training should be on top of the national agendas of all maritime nations, ” the minister said.

According to Demetriades in Cyprus, maritime education is non-existent although Cyprus is one of the largest maritime clusters worldwide. Universities were only established in Cyprus during the last two decades and maritime technology and transportation studies need to be also integrated in their programmes, he added.
“Maritime education and training should be designed to provide potential recruits with skills, which are of the highest quality, and which can provide multiple employment opportunities,” he stressed.

Defence Minister Christoforos Fokaides said that launching the academy was “an achievement that is indicative of the long standing ties of friendship, trust and mutual respect that Cyprus and Egypt share.”

An achievement, he added, “that reflects the high importance that both our countries attach to the promotion of stability, development and prosperity in our region of Eastern Mediterranean.”

Referring to hydrocarbon reserves and new economic prospects, he said they illustrated the need for coordinated action to develop capabilities in the field of maritime security. “In this context maritime education and training is of outmost importance,” Fokaides said.

He expressed his conviction that “the establishment of a Maritime Academy in Cyprus would effectively bridge the gap between education, science and industry and it could also serve as a bridge between the EU and the Arab world in promoting development, regional cooperation and maritime security.”
President of the Board of University of Nicosia Nicos Peristianis spoke of the need to offer academic degrees, specialised certificates and courses of study as well as possibilities for research and innovation in shipping, an area the EU considers of great importance especially in view of the demand in the Mediterranean region.

Intercollege and Maritime Academy`s Executive Director Stylianos Mavromoustakos said the Academy would offer academic courses such as Shipping & Logistics Management, Maritime Transport, Marine Engineering and Marine Electrical Technology.

At the same time the Maritime Centre would offer security courses in accordance with STCW, courses on safety for the hydrocarbons industry (OPITO), courses for cooking on board vessels, port management and for captains of small vessels.

The event was also addressed by the President of the Arab Academy of Sciences, Technology and Maritime Transport Ismail Abdel Ghafar. (CNA
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...