The Deutscher Wetterdienst or DWD for short, is the German Meteorological Office, based in Offenbach am Main, which monitors weather and meteorological conditions over Germany and provides weather services for the general public and for nautical, aviational or agricultural purposes. It is attached to the Federal Ministry of Digital Infrastructure; the DWDs principal tasks include warning against weather-related dangers and monitoring and rating climate changes affecting Germany. The organization runs atmospheric models on their supercomputer for precise weather forecasting; the DWD manages the national climate archive and one of the largest specialized libraries on weather and climate worldwide. The DWD was formed in 1952. In 1954, the Federal Republic of Germany joined the World Meteorological Organization. In 1975 the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts was formed for numerical weather prediction up to ten days in advance. In 1990, following the reunification, the weather services of the German Democratic Republic were incorporated in the DWD.
Since the 1990s, the DWD has continuously reduced the number of manned weather stations, which entailed substantial staff cutbacks. The DWD does not expect a reduction in forecast quality, given techniques like weather radar or satellites, which have improved weather data collection; the German Meteorological Office runs a global hydrostatic model of its own, the GME, using a hexagonal icosahedral grid since 2002. They developed the High Resolution Regional Model in 1999, run within the operational and research meteorological communities and run with hydrostatic assumptions; the German non-hydrostatic Lokal-Modell for Europe has been run since 2002, an increase in areal domain became operational on September 28, 2005. Since March 2009, the DWD operates a NEC SX-9 with a peak performance of 109 teraFLOPS to help in the weather forecasting process. Since 2005, the DWD has been publishing regional warnings against heat with the aim to reduce heat related fatalities; this decision was made because of the hot summer in 2003, when estimated 7000 people died from direct or indirect effects of the heat.
Additionally it sends out sea weather reports as radioteletype and faxes. Since 2006, the pollen warnings can be subscribed to for free on the DWD web site. Within its duty of primary meteorological information, the DWD offers a free daily weather report for Germany which can be subscribed to by email on their official website. DWD offers free access to its climate data; the Deutsche Wetterdienst is attached to the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure and thus linked to the German federal and local governments, to the business community, to the industrial world in terms of cooperation and consulting. Its work is based on the German Meteorological Office Act; the DWD consists of 2600 occupants. Besides the DWD central in Offenbach, there are regional centers in Hamburg, Leipzig, Essen and Munich. Additionally, it runs Germany's densest network of meteorological measurement points with 183 full-time meteorological stations, as well as about 1784 extraordinal weather stations run by volunteering amateurs.
Official website DWD on Top500.org
Musée National Boubou Hama
Musée National Boubou Hama is the national museum of Niger, located in Niamey. It was founded in 1959 as Musée National du Niger, its first conservator, Pablo Toucet, designed the concept of the museum, according to which it was part of the Culture Valley of Niamey, proposed by Boubou Hama. Adjacent to the museum part of the Valley, are the Franco-Nigerien Cultural Center and the Center of Linguistic and Historical Studies by Oral Tradition; the museum is located in a park, it consists of a scientific section and a zoo. The museum hosts temporary exhibitions. Most of the exhibits represent ethnological and cultural artifacts. In particular, the museum shows traditional dwellings of different Nigerien cultures; as of 2013, 170,000 visitors visited the museum annually. The directors of the museum were Pablo Toucet.
SPOT is a commercial high-resolution optical imaging Earth observation satellite system operating from space. It is run based in Toulouse, France, it was initiated by the CNES in the 1970s and was developed in association with the SSTC and the Swedish National Space Board. It has been designed to improve the knowledge and management of the Earth by exploring the Earth's resources and forecasting phenomena involving climatology and oceanography, monitoring human activities and natural phenomena; the SPOT system includes a series of satellites and ground control resources for satellite control and programming, image production, distribution. Earlier satellites were launched using the European Space Agency's Ariane 2, 3, 4 rockets, while SPOT 6 and SPOT 7 were launched by the Indian PSLV. SPOT Image is marketing the high-resolution images, which SPOT can take from every corner of the Earth. SPOT 1 launched February 22, 1986 with 10 panchromatic and 20 meter multispectral picture resolution capability.
Withdrawn December 31, 1990. SPOT 2 launched January 22, 1990 and deorbited in July 2009. SPOT 3 launched September 26, 1993. Stopped functioning November 14, 1997. SPOT 4 launched March 24, 1998. Stopped functioning July, 2013. SPOT 5 launched May 2002 with 2.5 m, 5 m and 10 m capability. Stopped functioning March 31, 2015. SPOT 6 launched September 9, 2012. SPOT 7 launched on June 30, 2014; the SPOT orbit is polar, sun-synchronous, phased. The inclination of the orbital plane combined with the rotation of the Earth around the polar axis allows the satellite to fly over any point on Earth within 26 days; the orbit has an altitude of 832 kilometers, an inclination of 98.7°, completing 14 + 5/26 revolutions per day. Since 1986 the SPOT family of satellites has been orbiting the Earth and has taken more than 10 million high quality images. SPOT 1 was launched with the last Ariane 1 rocket on February 22, 1986. Two days the 1800 kg SPOT 1 transmitted its first image with a spatial resolution of 10 or 20 meters.
SPOT 2 joined SPOT 1 in orbit on January 22, 1990, on the Ariane 4 maiden flight, SPOT 3 followed on September 26, 1993 on an Ariane 4. The satellite loads were identical, each including two identical HRV imaging instruments that were able to operate in two modes, either or individually; the two spectral modes are multispectral. The panchromatic band has a resolution of 10 meters, the three multispectral bands have resolutions of 20 metres, they have a scene size of 3600 km2 and a revisit interval of one to four days, depending on the latitude. Because the orbit of SPOT 1 was lowered in 2003, it will lose altitude and break up in the atmosphere. Deorbiting of SPOT 2, in accordance with IADC, commenced in mid-July 2009 for a period of two weeks, with a final burn on 29 July 2009. SPOT 3 is no longer functioning, due to problems with its stabilization system. SPOT 4 launched March 24, 1998 and stopped functioning July, 2013. In 2013, CNES lowered the altitude of SPOT 4 by 2.5 km to put it on a phased orbit with a five-day repeat cycle.
On this orbit, SPOT4 was programmed to acquire a time-lapse series of images over 42 sites with a five days revisit period from February to end of May 2013. The data set it produced is aimed at helping future users of the Sentinel-2 mission to learn working with time-lapse series; the time-lapse series provided by SPOT4 have the same repetitiveness as those that will be delivered by the Sentinel-2 satellites, starting in 2015 and 2016. SPOT 5 was launched on May 4, 2002 and has the goal to ensure continuity of services for customers and to improve the quality of data and images by anticipating changes in market requirements. SPOT 5 has two high resolution geometrical instruments that were deduced from the HRVIR of SPOT 4, they offer a higher resolution of 2.5 to 5 meters in panchromatic mode and 10 meters in multispectral mode. SPOT 5 features an HRS imaging instrument operating in panchromatic mode. HRS points forward and backward of the satellite. Thus, it is able to take stereopair images simultaneously to map relief.
SPOT 6 was launched by India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle on flight C21 at 04:23 UTC on 9 September 2012, while SPOT 7 was launched on PSLV flight C23 at 04:42 UTC on 30 June 2014. They form a constellation of Earth-imaging satellites designed to provide continuity of high-resolution, wide-swath data up to 2024. EADS Astrium took the decision to build this constellation in 2009 on the basis of a perceived government need for this kind of data. Spot Image, a subsidiary of Astrium, funded the satellites alone and owned the system at time of launch. In December 2014, SPOT 7 was sold to Azerbaijan's space agency Azercosmos; the architecture is similar to that of the Pleiades satellites, with a centrally mounted optical instrument, a three-axis star tracker, a fiber-optic gyro and four control moment gyros. SPOT 6 and SPOT 7 are phased in the same orbit as Pléiades 1A and Pléiades 1B at an altitude of 694 km, forming a constellation of 2-by-2 satellites - 90° apart from one another. Image product resolution: Panchromatic: 1.5 m Colour merge: 1.5 m Multi-spectral: 6 m Spectral bands, with simultaneous panchromatic and multi-spectral acquisitions: Panchromatic Blue Green Red Near-infrared
The Niger River is the principal river of West Africa, extending about 4,180 km. Its drainage basin is 2,117,700 km2 in area, its source is in the Guinea Highlands in southeastern Guinea. It runs in a crescent through Mali, Niger, on the border with Benin and through Nigeria, discharging through a massive delta, known as the Niger Delta or the Oil Rivers, into the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean; the Niger is the third-longest river in Africa, exceeded only by the Congo River. Its main tributary is the Benue River; the Niger has different names in the different languages of the region: Manding: Jeliba or Joliba "great river" Igbo: Orimiri or Orimili "great water" Tuareg: Egerew n-Igerewen "river of rivers" Songhay: Isa "the river" Ijaw: Toru Beni "the river water" Zarma: Isa Beeri "great river" Hausa: Kwara Yoruba: Oya Fula: Maayo JaalibaThe earliest use of the name "Niger" for the river is by Leo Africanus in his Della descrittione dell’Africa et delle cose notabili che iui sono published in Italian in 1550.
The name may come from Berber phrase ger-n-ger meaning "river of rivers". As Timbuktu was the southern end of the principal Trans-Saharan trade route to the western Mediterranean, it was the source of most European knowledge of the region. Medieval European maps applied the name Niger to the middle reaches of the river, in modern Mali, but Quorra to the lower reaches in modern Nigeria, as these were not recognized at the time as being the same river; when European colonial powers began to send ships along the west coast of Africa in the 16th and 17th centuries, the Senegal River was postulated to be the seaward end of the Niger. The Niger Delta, pouring into the Atlantic through mangrove swamps and thousands of distributaries along more than 160 kilometres, was thought to be no more than coastal wetlands, it was only with the 18th-century visits of Mungo Park, who travelled down the Niger River and visited the great Sahelian empires of his day, that Europeans identified the course of the Niger and extended the name to its entire course.
The modern nations of Nigeria and Niger take their names from the river, marking contesting national claims by colonial powers of the "Upper", "Lower" and "Middle" Niger river basin during the Scramble for Africa at the end of the 19th century. The Niger River is a "clear" river, carrying only a tenth as much sediment as the Nile because the Niger's headwaters lie in ancient rocks that provide little silt. Like the Nile, the Niger floods yearly. An unusual feature of the river is the Inner Niger Delta, which forms where its gradient decreases; the result is a region of braided streams and lakes the size of Belgium. The river loses nearly two-thirds of its potential flow in the Inner Delta between Ségou and Timbuktu to seepage and evaporation. All the water from the Bani River, which flows into the Delta at Mopti, does not compensate for the'losses'; the average'loss' is estimated at 31 km3/year, but varies between years. The river is joined by various tributaries, but loses more water to evaporation.
The quantity of water entering Nigeria measured in Yola was estimated at 25 km3/year before the 1980s and at 13.5 km3/year during the 1980s. The most important tributary of the Niger in Nigeria is the Benue River which merges with the river at Lokoja in Nigeria; the total volume of tributaries in Nigeria is six times higher than the inflow into Nigeria, with a flow near the mouth of the river standing at 177.0 km3/year before the 1980s and 147.3 km3/year during the 1980s. The Niger takes one of the most unusual routes of any major river, a boomerang shape that baffled geographers for two centuries, its source is just 240 km inland from the Atlantic Ocean, but the river runs directly away from the sea into the Sahara Desert takes a sharp right turn near the ancient city of Timbuktu and heads southeast to the Gulf of Guinea. This strange geography came about because the Niger River is two ancient rivers joined together; the upper Niger, from the source west of Timbuktu to the bend in the current river near Timbuktu, once emptied into a now dry lake to the east northeast of Timbuktu, while the lower Niger started to the south of Timbuktu and flowed south into the Gulf of Guinea.
Over time upstream erosion by the lower Niger resulted in stream capture of the upper Niger by the lower Niger. The northern part of the river, known as the Niger bend, is an important area because it is the major river and source of water in that part of the Sahara desert; this made it the focal point of trade across the western Sahara, the centre of the Sahelian kingdoms of Mali and Gao. The surrounding Niger River Basin is one of the distinct physiographic sections of the Sudan province, which in turn is part of the larger African massive physiographic division; the origin of the river's name remains unclear. What is clear is that "Niger" was an appellation applied in the Mediterranean world from at least the Classical era, when knowledge of the area by Europeans was better than fable. A careful study of Classical writings on the interior of the Sahara begins with Ptolemy, who mentions two rivers in the desert: the "Gir" and farther south, the "Nigir"; the first has been since identified as the Wadi Ghir on the north western edge of the Tuat, along the borders of modern Morocco and Algeria.
This would have been as far as Ptolemy would have had consistent records. The Ni-Ger was speculation, although the name stu
Seyni Kountché was a Nigerien military officer who led a 1974 coup d'état that deposed the government of Niger's first president, Hamani Diori. He ruled the country as military head of state from 1974 to 1987. Stade Général Seyni Kountché, Niger's national stadium in Niamey, is named after him. Born in 1931 in the town of Damana Fandou, the child of Djerma aristocracy who traced their origins to the Djermakoy Tondikandie, Kountché began his military career in 1949 serving in the French colonial army. In 1957, he was promoted to the rank of sergeant; the French territory of Niger became independent as the Republic of Niger on 3 August 1960. One year after his country gained its independence, Kountché transferred to the Niger Army. From 1965 to 1966, he studied at the officer's training school in Paris and became deputy chief of staff of the armed forces soon after, he was promoted to armed forces chief of staff in 1973. During this same period, the newly independent country of Niger faced many problems.
Politically, the nation was ruled as a one-party state led by president Hamani Diori. Opposition to the regime was suppressed, sometimes violently. A severe drought lasted from 1968 to 1974, leading to food shortages and growing dissatisfaction with the government; the economy remained weak despite attempts to exploit the large reserves of uranium in the country. Widespread civil disorder followed allegations that some government ministers were misappropriating stocks of food aid. On 15 April 1974, Seyni Kountché led a military coup. Kountché's first official acts were to suspend the Constitution, dissolve the National Assembly, ban all political parties, release political prisoners. A Supreme Military Council was established on 17 April 1974 with Kountché as president, its stated mandate was to distribute food aid and to restore morality to public life. A consultative National Council for Development replaced the National Assembly. Although political parties were outlawed, opposition activists who were exiled during Diori's regime were allowed to return to Niger.
The military government's major preoccupation was planning an economic recovery. Amicable relations were maintained with France, new links were formed with Arab states. Domestically, the country stabilized although personal and policy differences developed within the CMS. Plots to remove Kountché were thwarted in 1975 and again in 1976. In 1981 Kountché began to increase civilian representation in the CMS, in 1982 preparations were undertaken for a constitutional form of government. A civilian prime minister, Mamane Oumarou, was appointed on 24 January 1983. One year in January 1984, he established a commission to draft a pre-constitutional document, termed a'national charter', it was approved in a national referendum. The charter provided for the establishment of non-elective, consultative institutions at both national and local levels. Economic adjustment efforts during this period were impeded by the recurrence of drought in 1984 and 1985 along with the closure of the land border with Nigeria from 1984 to 1986.
Niger's dependence on external financial assistance was increased. Relations with the United States assumed considerable importance. Meanwhile, a period of renewed tension between Niger and Libya had fueled Libyan accusations of the persecution of the light-skinned, nomadic Tuareg population by the Kountché regime. In May 1985, following an armed incident near the Niger-Libya border, all non-Nigerien Tuaregs were expelled from the country. Seyni Kountché's health deteriorated in late 1986 and it continued to worsen during 1987, he died at a Paris hospital of a brain tumor on 10 November 1987. Ali Saïbou succeeded him and on 14 November 1987, he was appointed president of the Supreme Military Council; this article contains a translation from the French language Wikipedia entry fr:Seyni Kountché. Decalo, Samuel. Historical Dictionary of the Niger. Boston & Folkestone: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-3136-8. Visit of his excellency General Seyni Kountche includes text of speech Kountché made while in the US
Pearl millet is the most grown type of millet. It has been grown in the Indian subcontinent since prehistoric times; the center of diversity, suggested area of domestication, for the crop is in the Sahel zone of West Africa. Recent archaeobotanical research has confirmed the presence of domesticated pearl millet on the Sahel zone of northern Mali between 2500 and 2000 BC. Cultivation subsequently moved overseas to India; the earliest archaeological records in the Indian subcontinent date to around 2000 BC, it spread through Northern Indian subcontinent reaching South India by 1500 BC, based on evidence from the site of Hallur. Cultivation spread throughout eastern and southern parts of Africa. Pearl millet is grown in the northeastern part of Nigeria, it is a major source of food to the local villagers of that region. The crop grows in that region due to its ability to withstand harsh weather conditions like drought and flood. Records exist for cultivation of pearl millet in the United States in the 1850s, the crop was introduced into Brazil in the 1960s.
With ovoid grains of 3 – 4 mm length pearl millet has the largest kernels of all varieties of millet which can be nearly white, pale yellow, grey, slate blue or purple. The 1000-seed weight can be anything from 2.5 to 14 g with a mean of 8 g. The height of the plant ranges from 0.5 – 4 m. Pearl millet is well adapted to growing areas characterized by drought, low soil fertility, high temperature, it performs well in soils with high salinity or low pH. Because of its tolerance to difficult growing conditions, it can be grown in areas where other cereal crops, such as maize or wheat, would not survive. Pearl millet is a summer annual crop well-suited for double cropping and rotations. Today pearl millet is grown on over 260,000 km2 of land worldwide, it accounts for about 50% of the total world production of millets. Pearl millet is used to make the flat bread bhakri, it is boiled to make a tamil porridge called kamban choru or "kamban koozh". In Africa: gero, N!u-khwaba, Uwele, mahangu, saɲo, babala, dukkin, petit mil, masago, biltug, mhunga, lebelebele, zembwe, دْرُعْ dro'o, دُخن dokhn mahangu In Australia: bulrush millet In Brazil: milheto In Europe: candle millet, dark millet In India: கம்பு.
In Pakistan: باجرا. India began growing millet before c. 3300 BCE. It is unknown how it made its way to India. Rajasthan is the highest-producing state in India; the first hybrid of pearl millet developed in India in 1965 is called the HB1. Kambu is the Tamil name of pearl millet and is an important food across the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, it is the second important food for Tamil people consumed predominantly in the hot humid summer months from February through July every year. It is consumed along with buttermilk or consumed as dosa or idly; the second largest producer of pearl millet and the first to start cultivation, Africa has been successful in bringing back this lost crop. Pearl millet is an important food across the Sahel region of Africa, it is a main staple in a large region of northern Nigeria, Niger and Burkina Faso. In Nigeria it is grown as an intercrop with sorghum and cowpea, the different growth habits, growth period and drought vulnerability of the three crops maximising total productivity and minimising the risk of total crop failure.
It is ground into a flour, rolled into large balls, liquefied into a watery paste using fermented milk, consumed as a beverage. This beverage, called "fura" in Hausa, is a popular drink in southern Niger. Pearl millet is a food used in Borno state and its surrounding states, it is the most crop grown and harvested. There are many products. In Namibia, pearl millet is locally known as "mahangu" and is grown in the north of that country, where it is the staple food. In the dry, unpredictable climate of this area it grows better than alternatives such as maize. Mahangu is made into a porridge called "oshifima", or fermented to make a drink called "ontaku" or "oshikundu". Traditionally the mahangu is pounded with heavy pieces of wood in a'pounding area'; the floor of the pounding area is covered with a concrete-like coating made from the material of termite mounds. As a result, some sand and grit gets into the pounded mahangu, so products like oshifima are swallowed without chewing. After pounding, winnowing may be used to remove the chaff.
Some industrial grain processing facilities now exist, such as those operated by Namib Mills. Efforts are being made to develop smaller scale processing using food extrusion and other methods. In a food extruder, the mahangu is milled into a paste before being forced through metal die. Products made this way incl
A ceramic is a solid material comprising an inorganic compound of metal, non-metal or metalloid atoms held in ionic and covalent bonds. Common examples are earthenware and brick; the crystallinity of ceramic materials ranges from oriented to semi-crystalline and completely amorphous. Most fired ceramics are either vitrified or semi-vitrified as is the case with earthenware and porcelain. Varying crystallinity and electron composition in the ionic and covalent bonds cause most ceramic materials to be good thermal and electrical insulators. With such a large range of possible options for the composition/structure of a ceramic, the breadth of the subject is vast, identifiable attributes are difficult to specify for the group as a whole. General properties such as high melting temperature, high hardness, poor conductivity, high moduli of elasticity, chemical resistance and low ductility are the norm, with known exceptions to each of these rules. Many composites, such as fiberglass and carbon fiber, while containing ceramic materials, are not considered to be part of the ceramic family.
The earliest ceramics made by humans were pottery objects or figurines made from clay, either by itself or mixed with other materials like silica and sintered in fire. Ceramics were glazed and fired to create smooth, colored surfaces, decreasing porosity through the use of glassy, amorphous ceramic coatings on top of the crystalline ceramic substrates. Ceramics now include domestic and building products, as well as a wide range of ceramic art. In the 20th century, new ceramic materials were developed for use in advanced ceramic engineering, such as in semiconductors; the word "ceramic" comes from the Greek word κεραμικός, "of pottery" or "for pottery", from κέραμος, "potter's clay, pottery". The earliest known mention of the root "ceram-" is the Mycenaean Greek ke-ra-me-we, "workers of ceramics", written in Linear B syllabic script; the word "ceramic" may be used as an adjective to describe a material, product or process, or it may be used as a noun, either singular, or, more as the plural noun "ceramics".
A ceramic material is an inorganic, non-metallic crystalline oxide, nitride or carbide material. Some elements, such as carbon or silicon, may be considered ceramics. Ceramic materials are brittle, strong in compression, weak in shearing and tension, they withstand chemical erosion that occurs in other materials subjected to acidic or caustic environments. Ceramics can withstand high temperatures, ranging from 1,000 °C to 1,600 °C. Glass is not considered a ceramic because of its amorphous character. However, glassmaking involves several steps of the ceramic process, its mechanical properties are similar to ceramic materials. Traditional ceramic raw materials include clay minerals such as kaolinite, whereas more recent materials include aluminium oxide, more known as alumina; the modern ceramic materials, which are classified as advanced ceramics, include silicon carbide and tungsten carbide. Both are valued for their abrasion resistance and hence find use in applications such as the wear plates of crushing equipment in mining operations.
Advanced ceramics are used in the medicine, electronics industries and body armor. Crystalline ceramic materials are not amenable to a great range of processing. Methods for dealing with them tend to fall into one of two categories – either make the ceramic in the desired shape, by reaction in situ, or by "forming" powders into the desired shape, sintering to form a solid body. Ceramic forming techniques include shaping by hand, slip casting, tape casting, injection molding, dry pressing, other variations. Noncrystalline ceramics, being glass, tend to be formed from melts; the glass is shaped when either molten, by casting, or when in a state of toffee-like viscosity, by methods such as blowing into a mold. If heat treatments cause this glass to become crystalline, the resulting material is known as a glass-ceramic used as cook-tops and as a glass composite material for nuclear waste disposal; the physical properties of any ceramic substance are a direct result of its crystalline structure and chemical composition.
Solid-state chemistry reveals the fundamental connection between microstructure and properties such as localized density variations, grain size distribution, type of porosity and second-phase content, which can all be correlated with ceramic properties such as mechanical strength σ by the Hall-Petch equation, toughness, dielectric constant, the optical properties exhibited by transparent materials. Ceramography is the art and science of preparation and evaluation of ceramic microstructures. Evaluation and characterization of ceramic microstructures is implemented on similar spatial scales to that used in the emerging field of nanotechnology: from tens of angstroms to tens of micrometers; this is somewhere between the minimum wavelength of visible light and the resolution limit of the naked eye. The microstructure includes most grains, secondary phases, grain boundaries, micro-