Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Omran Chairman Eng. Mohammed Salim Al Busaidi and Muscat, Oman (iStock)Oman’s sovereign wealth fund is shifting its tourism and real estate investments as part of a long-running effort to diversify the Persian Gulf country’s economy.The $17 billion Oman Investment Authority will transfer a tourism development project as well as resorts to the Omran Tourism Development Company, or Omran Group, according to Bloomberg.Omran Group was established by the Omani government in 2005 to encourage economic diversification and to attract foreign investment, according to the report. The transfer is meant to “drive growth for Omran Group and strengthen its role in supporting economic diversification,” a statement said.Oman has a population of about 5 million people and its economy is heavily dependent on natural resource production. Petroleum activities accounted for 36 percent of gross domestic product in 2018, up 7 percent from the year prior, according to the Brookings Institution.The lack of economic diversification means Oman’s financial health is heavily dependent on the price of natural resources. Lower oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic have pushed the country’s budget deficit to the highest in the region.S&P Global Ratings gave Oman’s credit an A rating as recently as 2015, but that has since been downgraded to junk status because of growing external debt.The economic situation of the last year has also affected Middle East sovereign wealth funds’ investment in foreign real estate. It has constrained their ability to capitalize on opportunities created by the pandemic, namely the overall drop in real estate values. [Bloomberg] — Dennis Lynch Share via Shortlink
bankruptcybrooklynInvestment Sales David Umansky of Civic Builders and 720 Livonia Ave in Brooklyn (Photos via Google Maps, Civic Builders)Civic Builders, which finances and builds school buildings for charter school networks, purchased a 28,000-square-foot school building at 720 Livonia Avenue in New Lots for $11.5 million. David Umansky, CEO of Civic Builders, signed for the buyer, limited liability company Civic Saratoga.The building was last purchased for $4.9 million in 2015 by two limited liability companies formed by controversial real estate figure Chaskiel Strulowitz (also known as Cheskel Strulovitch). Civic Builders bought the building at auction after a lender initiated bankruptcy proceedings against Strulowitz in 2019.A 2017 lawsuit accusing Strulowitz of a Ponzi-type scheme is in arbitration, records show. Brownstoner connected him to an affordable housing project in Bushwick called Knickerbocker Lofts.Crain’s reported in 2012 that Strulowitz began buying northern Brooklyn properties more than 20 years ago, leasing a three-story former loudspeaker factory on the Williamsburg waterfront in 1998 and converting it into 46 loft apartments, only to lose his 13-year lease when it expired.The Livonia Avenue deal was the only investment sale recorded last week in New York City between $10 million and $30 million, although a parcel of land adjacent to the LaGuardia Marriott hotel sold for $17 million as part of a $100 million-plus deal for the hotel itself. In the week prior, two such sales were recorded, totalling $34.2 million.Contact Orion Jones Share via Shortlink Full Name* Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Email Address* Tags Message*
Pc3–4 magnetic pulsations have been observed at Halley, Antarctica (L = 4.2), simultaneously with oscillations in the phase of F-region echoes received using a digital ionosonde. One event, lasting more than 6 hours in the afternoon of 15 December 1982, shows a crossing of the plasmapause as Halley moved into the bulge region of the plasmasphere. On the ionosonde it is marked by a change in frequency of the Pc3–4 oscillations and a short lived or sharply bounded charged particle precipitation event. On the magnetometer it can be deduced from the changes in ellipticity of pulsations occurring simultaneously at three separate frequencies. The amplitude of the ionosonde phase pulsations is shown to peak when the field line with that natural resonant frequency passes through the observation site. Cross spectral analysis techniques have been used on this event to investigate the relationships between the magnetic field components and ionospheric echo parameters, and the physical processes linking the two. The phase difference between the magnetometer and ionosonde pulsations is highly variable. Detailed analysis supports a combination of direct compressional action by the hydromagnetic wave and vertical motion induced by an E × B drift.
 The ocean cavity beneath Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf is observed to respond to the seasonal cycle of water mass production on the continental shelf of the southern Weddell Sea. Here we use a numerical model to investigate the propagation of newly formed shelf waters into the cavity. We find that the model reproduces the most distinctive features of the observed seasonality and offers a plausible explanation for those features. The most saline shelf waters are produced in the far west, where the inflow to the cavity peaks twice each year. The major peak occurs during the short period around midwinter when convection reaches full depth and the densest waters are generated. Once the surface density starts to decline, dynamic adjustment of the restratified water column leads to a gradual fall in the salinity at depth and a secondary peak in the inflow that occurs in summer at the western coast. Beneath the ice shelf the arrival of the wintertime inflow at the instrumented sites is accompanied by a rapid warming, while the slower decline in the inflow leads to a more gradual cooling. Water brought in by the secondary, summer peak flows mainly to the eastern parts of the cavity. Here the seasonality is suppressed because the new inflows mix with older waters that recirculate within a topographic depression. This pooling of waters in the east, where the primary outflow of Ice Shelf Water is generated, dampens the impact of seasonality on the local production of Weddell Sea Bottom Water.
The outer radiation belt is often enhanced during storms while the inner belt is usually considered to be unaffected by geomagnetic activity. During the most recent Halloween superstorms, the extreme erosion of the plasmasphere allowed particles to be transported closer to the Earth where they were locally accelerated. Modeling, which now includes transport with resonant acceleration and loss processes and mixed diffusion, shows a rather good correspondence with observations. In this study, we use the same version of the VERB code to model a storm stronger than the Halloween storms, which most likely occurred in the past and may occur in the future. Our simulations indicate that during such a strong event, electrons will be transported into the heart of the inner zone, where they will be accelerated by chorus waves. When the plasmapause extends to larger distances, electrons accelerated by resonant wave-particle interactions in the inner radiation belt will find themselves in a very different plasma environment and strong fluxes may persist for several years after such a storm. Such intensification of the near-Earth plasma environment would substantially decrease satellite lifetimes at LEO. The radiation mitigation strategy for satellites operating in the inner belt should include a consideration of the potential for a dramatic increase in the near-Earth radiation. Such intensification of the near-Earth radiation environment may be truly devastating and would substantially decrease the lifetimes of meteorological, communication, and military satellites.
We document differences in shell damage and shell thickness in a bivalve mollusc (Laternula elliptica) from seven sites around Antarctica with differing exposures to ice movement. These range from 60% of the sea bed impacted by ice per year (Hangar Cove, Antarctic Peninsula) to those protected by virtually permanent sea ice cover (McMurdo Sound). Patterns of shell damage consistent with blunt force trauma were observed in populations where ice scour frequently occurs; damage repair frequencies and the thickness of shells correlated positively with the frequency of iceberg scour at the different sites with the highest repair rates and thicker shells at Hangar Cove (74.2% of animals damaged) compared to the other less impacted sites (less than 10% at McMurdo Sound). Genetic analysis of population structure using Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphisms (AFLPs) revealed no genetic differences between the two sites showing the greatest difference in shell morphology and repair rates. Taken together, our results suggest that L. elliptica exhibits considerable phenotypic plasticity in response to geographic variation in physical disturbance.
When conducting marine seismic surveys, ocean currents noticeably perturb seismic streamers from their desired location. To accurately monitor a reservoir, the receivers in the streamers must be as close as possible to their previous positions. Therefore, it is desirable to know the currents in real time. Previous work has used the position and tension in a streamer to infer the currents. However, in many streamer systems, tension is not measured along the streamer. To overcome this problem, we propose that, by assuming that ocean currents are horizontally divergence-free, it should still be possible to reconstruct the currents from the positions of multiple streamers. Additionally, the previous work assumed that, when modelling a streamer, bending stiffness can be neglected. It is not clear that this assumption is correct when steering devices are attached; we therefore examine this assumption, using a novel finite difference scheme that incorporates bending stiffness, and conclude that it is safe to do so. Should such a method for inferring currents be implemented, the resulting information should not only be of value to the seismic industry, but also of use to oceanographers who wish to study submesoscale processes
Eddies in the Southern Ocean act to moderate the response of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) to changes in forcing. An updated analysis of the Southern Ocean satellite altimetry record indicates an increase in eddy kinetic energy (EKE) in recent decades, contemporaneous with a probable decrease in ACC transport. The EKE trend is largest in the Pacific (14.9 ± 4.1 cm2 s-2 per decade) and Indian (18.3 ± 5.1 cm2 s-2 per decade) sectors of the Southern Ocean. We test the hypothesis that variations in wind stress can account for the observed EKE trends using perturbation experiments conducted with idealised high-resolution ocean models. The decadal increase in EKE is most likely due to continuing increases in the wind stress over the Southern Ocean, albeit with considerable interannual variability superposed. ACC transport correlates well with wind stress on these interannual timescales, but is weakly affected by wind forcing at longer periods. The increasing intensity of the Southern Ocean eddy field has implications for overturning circulation, carbon cycling and climate.
Permafrost and methane hydrates are large, climate-sensitive old carbon reservoirs that have the potential to emit large quantities of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, as the Earth continues to warm. We present ice core isotopic measurements of methane (Δ14C, δ13C, and δD) from the last deglaciation, which is a partial analog for modern warming. Our results show that methane emissions from old carbon reservoirs in response to deglacial warming were small (<19 teragrams of methane per year, 95% confidence interval) and argue against similar methane emissions in response to future warming. Our results also indicate that methane emissions from biomass burning in the pre-Industrial Holocene were 22 to 56 teragrams of methane per year (95% confidence interval), which is comparable to today.
We develop and analyse the first second-order phase-field model to combine melting and dissolution in multi-component flows. This provides a simple and accurate way to simulate challenging phase-change problems in existing codes. Phase-field models simplify computation by describing separate regions using a smoothed phase field. The phase field eliminates the need for complicated discretizations that track the moving phase boundary. However, standard phase-field models are only first-order accurate. They often incur an error proportional to the thickness of the diffuse interface. We eliminate this dominant error by developing a general framework for asymptotic analysis of diffuse-interface methods in arbitrary geometries. With this framework, we can consistently unify previous second-order phase-field models of melting and dissolution and the volume-penalty method for fluid–solid interaction. We finally validate second-order convergence of our model in two comprehensive benchmark problems using the open-source spectral code Dedalus.