The warmest winter ever
Jaak Jaagus recalls last winter, which was exceptionally warm and brings forward some reasons why such poor skiing weather is becoming more and more frequent in Estonia. Based on recorded air temperatures in different weather station of Estonia, it can be stated that the mean average air temperature of last winter was the highest ever. As the climate of Estonia can differ regionally considerably because of Estonia’s geographic location, the winter of 2007/2008 is viewed in two locations: Tartu as an example of continental and Vilsandi of marine climate. Different diagrams of air temperatures and climate indicators illustrate the climate patterns of last winter in these two locations. The article also attempts to explain the reasons for such weather by explaining the characteristics of atmospheric circulation. The dominant winds of last winter were from South-West that brought warm air, causing the exceptionally warm weather.
Warm winters are fatal for the seals
Mart Jüssi states that our seals are in real trouble in ice-poor winters and that men should show more care for the animals in these conditions. The article gives an interesting overview of the descent of seals and how they have become adapted to their specific marine environments. They need to ice to give birth and raise their puppies. The seal species of the Baltic Sea are trapped in this inland sea and in poor ice conditions the white puppies are quickly killed by different predators.
The winter with the least ice cover on the Baltic Sea
Heino Mardiste and Riina Vahter describe the influence of warm winters on the ice conditions of the Baltic Sea: the icebreakers are out of job and sea abrades the coasts. They look at annual data regarding ice cover on the Baltic Sea and draw interesting comparisons. During last winter, the ice cover occupied only 49 00 km2, whereas in very harsh winters ice can cover the whole sea (420 000 km2). The authors also observe the temporal and regional genesis of ice cover during last winter.
Estonian Nature enquires
Olle Hints sheds some light on the national program of art and science collections.
Irja Saar rounds up the year of 2008 for the Society of Mycology.
A retrospect on the 75-year old history of „Estonian Nature”
Erki Tammiksaar brings some clarity to the founding of the magazine „Estonian Nature”: why there were two Estonian-language nature magazines instead of one during the first Estonian Republic? The first magazine called “Loodus” (Nature) was founded in 1922 by the publishing house Loodus. The venture did not pay off and after three years the magazine was closed. In 1929 there was a new attempt by the Estonian Naturalists’ Society. However, they gave up publishing because of clear lack of contributions. Simultaneously, Gustav Vilbaste founded a new magazine called “Loodusevaatleja” (Nature observer) in 1930. But a conflict arouse between Gustav Vilbaste and Theodor Lippmaa (the secretary of the Society), the latter trying to hinder the members of the society to publish in Vilbaste’s magazine. The society decided to found their own magazine again and succeeded in doing so in 1933 the first issue of “Eesti Loodus” was published. The end of 1930ies was difficult for both magazines. “Eesti Loodus” was re-established in 1958. The article gives an exciting overview of many of the people and conflicts involved during these 75 years.
Our Boletuses 12
Vello Liiv finishes his picture series.
Interview: It’s increasingly important to research biodiversity
Toomas Kukk has interviewed Martin Zobel, Professor of plant ecology.
On the effectiveness of pollution fees in Estonia
Airi Andersson introduces the results of the National Audit Office of Estonia regarding pollution fees: there are no such things as free lunch. So far the rates of pollution fees are too low for the polluting enterprises to prefer investing into clean technology. While energy sector and oil-shale related industries contribute for 2/3 of the pollution of Estonia, the pollution fees for such industries are lower compared to less polluting industries. New fees will be implemented in 2010.
The story of Vaga
Mati Laane explains the biography and ancestry of August Vaga (1893–1960), professor of Botany, as well as of his brothers who were art critics. They were sons of peasants; their father was a gardener in different manors and later in Tallinn. The Vaga boys went to school in Tallinn.
Tree of the Year: There are pollens, but no blooms; there are seeds, but no fruits
Ülle Reier and Arne Sellin describe the peculiarities of the sexual reproduction of coniferous trees and bring some clarity to the Estonian-language terminology. All coniferous trees are gymnosperms, forming a phylum with 7 families and 68 genuses. The article explains the function and formation of cones and the reproduction characteristics of the coniferous trees.