August, 2021

With Census Data Now Available, You Can Help Protect Democracy: Here’s How

Union of Concerned Scientists

2020 US Census data are now available and accessible–and there are an exciting variety of tools for science and democracy advocates to use this data to demand fair and unbiased districting. Science and Democracy Democracy Democracy Reform science and democracy Voting rights

2020 277

How AI Enabled Asset Management is Driving Down the Cost of Renewable Energy

Environmental Leader

The world is experiencing a revolution in how electricity is generated. As climate poses an existential threat to global ecologies and economies, the future—and increasingly the present—belongs to those companies that can reliably and efficiently generate electricity from low or no carbon sources.

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Droughts Push More People to Migrate Than Floods

Circle of Blue

World Bank report sheds light on the nuanced connections between “water shocks” and human migration.

2006 114

The Dream of Carbon Air Capture Edges Toward Reality

Yale E360

Next month, an industrial facility in Iceland will join a growing number of projects to remove CO2 from the air and put it underground. But major hurdles, including high costs, remain before this technology can be widely deployed and play a key role in tackling climate change. Read more on E360

Electron interaction with heavy nucleus calculated from first principles

Physics World

Effective theorists: Sonia Bacca (left), Bijaya Acharya (centre) and Joanna Sobczyk. Courtesy: Sabrina Hopp/Angelika Stehle). The interaction between an electron and a calcium-40 nucleus has been calculated from first principles for the first time.

Not declaring the Great Barrier Reef as ‘in danger’ only postpones the inevitable

Environmental News Bits

by Jon C. Day, Scott F. Heron, and Terry Hughes (James Cook University) After much anticipation, the World Heritage Committee on Friday decided against listing the Great Barrier Reef as “in danger”.

Loved to Death? The Risks of Simplistic Campaigning for Wildlife Conservation

Union of Concerned Scientists

A conservationist writes about how many anti-trophy hunting conservation efforts miss the real needs of the people, environment, and animals most affected. Science and Democracy #ScienceforPublicGood conservation disinformation misinformation

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Shrinking Reservoirs Trigger Deeper Water Cuts for Lower Colorado River

Circle of Blue

Federal government declares, for the first time, a Tier 1 shortage due to low water at Lake Mead. Mineral deposits on the canyon walls show where Lake Mead water levels used to touch. The reservoir is the lowest it’s been since it was first filled in the 1930s. Photo © J.

CHART OF THE WEEKPutting Public Investment to Work

IMFBlog

By Mariano Moszoro. For countries on the path to recovery, reviving economic activity is a major priority. And what better way to support a come-back than by creating jobs. Our new IMF staff research shows that when governments spend on infrastructure, they create many new jobs.

The physics of candyfloss – on Earth and in space

Physics World

If you’ve ever read Roald Dahl ’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory , you must surely have dreamed of tearing back the silver foil from your favourite chocolate bar and winning a golden ticket.

The IPCC Sixth Assessment Report

Real Climate

Climate scientists are inordinately excited by the release of a new IPCC report (truth be told, that’s a bit odd – It’s a bit like bringing your end-of-(seven)-year project home and waiting anxiously to see how well it will be received).

Methane Madness: 5 Reasons Why Natural Gas Doesn’t Belong in a Clean Electricity Payment Program

Union of Concerned Scientists

The Senate just released a federal budget resolution that includes a measure that could subsidize the production of natural gas. Here are 5 reasons why we shouldn't do that.

A Scientist Reveals the Bioluminescent Magic of the Deep-Sea World

Yale E360

In an interview with Yale Environment 360 , marine biologist Edith Widder talks about her pioneering research into the world of bioluminescent organisms in the deep oceans and warns of the dangers, from trawling to oil drilling, that imperil this hidden realm. Read more on E360

Ocean 114

Surface Water Vulnerable to Widespread Pollution From Fracking, a New Study Finds

Inside Climate News

The research suggests that the impacts of the fracking boom may have outrun the science documenting its effects. By Bob Berwyn Fossil fuels don’t just damage the planet by emitting climate-warming greenhouse gases when they are burned.

Coming Together

IMFBlog

By Vitor Gaspar and Gita Gopinath. Differences in vaccine access and the ability to deploy policy support are creating a growing divergence between advanced economies from many emerging market and developing economies.

The unsung theory: why thermodynamics is as important as quantum mechanics and general relativity

Physics World

Like many science writers, I have often adopted the conceit that quantum mechanics and general relativity are our two principal (if incompatible) theories of the physical world.

We are not reaching 1.5ºC earlier than previously thought

Real Climate

Guest commentary by Malte Meinshausen, Zebedee Nicholls, and Piers Forster.

Accurately and Appropriately Accounting for Risk: Why Steven Koonin and George Will Are Unsettling

Union of Concerned Scientists

A Science Network guest blogger reacts to Dr. Steven Koonin's controversial book on climate science, and a perhaps overly credulous review of this book by George Will in the Washington Post. Climate Change climate impacts disinformation risk assessment science-based decision making

2021 242

Climate Change Is Intensifying the Water Cycle, New IPCC Report Finds

Circle of Blue

The climate crisis will jeopardize key sources of fresh water and make extreme weather events more severe. But experts say there’s still time to prevent the worst outcomes. A farmer in the Mekong Delta uses plastic, mud, and sticks to hold back the rising sea.

In a Summer of Deadly Deluges, New Research Shows How Global Warming Fuels Flooding

Inside Climate News

New attribution research shows that climate change primed the pump and increased the odds of deadly July floods in northwestern Europe.

2021 113

Microplastics hinder the growth of microscopic marine animals

Frontier Sin

By Tania Fitzgeorge-Balfour, science writer. Example of marine dinoflagellates ( Dinophysis sp., not the species studied in the paper). Image credit: Rattiya Thongdumhyu/Shutterstock.com. Plastic pollution is not just a problem for larger marine animals.

Ocean 113

A personal mission: one scientist’s search for a theory of everything

Physics World

Jesper Grimstrup is a Danish theoretical physicist who received his PhD in 2002. His life’s mission is to find a theory of everything.

2002 113

As Disasters Mount, Central Banks Gird Against Threat of Climate Change

Yale E360

From the Bank of England to the People’s Bank of China, monetary authorities of the world’s largest economies are gauging how climate change could rock the financial system. Though long committed to being “market neutral,” some are even starting to push greener investments. Read more on E360

I Toured “the Best Damn Plant in the Fleet.” Two Years Later It Exploded.

Union of Concerned Scientists

Two years ago, I went on a tour of the Russell City Energy Center. Two months ago, the power plant exploded. Energy California explosion grid reliability natural gas Power Plant

“We Can’t Have Land Back Without Water Back”

Circle of Blue

Julia Bernal came of age while living in a watershed turned upside down by dams and diversions. Now an activist, she campaigns for Indigenous rights — and the water to sustain them. Pictured at the Santa Elena Canyon in Texas, the flow of the Río Grande shrinks during the summer.

2016 113

New Research Explores the Costs of Climate Tipping Points, and How They Could Compound One Another

Inside Climate News

The findings could help policy makers determine a price for carbon that better reflects future economic impacts like sea level rise. By Bob Berwyn Calculating the future cost of global warming is one of society’s most urgent challenges.

Bringing Reusable Cups Back to Starbucks

Ocean Conservancy

By now, we all know the damage single-use items can do to our ocean and the creatures that call it home. That’s why thousands of people have taken Ocean Conservancy’s pledges to reduce waste in their daily lives by skipping the straw and quitting the cutlery.

Ocean 113

Wind farms get noisier at night, say physicists

Physics World

Noise from wind farms may be more bothersome at night than it is during the day – and not only for the reasons you might expect.

2021 113

AR6 of the best

Real Climate

Half a dozen takeaways from a first read of the new IPCC AR6 report. As climate scientists we tend to look at the IPCC reports a little differently than the general public might.

What We Told the White House about Science Communication and Scientific Integrity

Union of Concerned Scientists

Center for Science and Democracy Director Andrew Rosenberg summarizes the testimony he and his colleagues provided to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Dry Wells in Northern California Bring Home the Costs and Stresses of Drought

Circle of Blue

In this hot, dry summer, household wells are failing and wait lists for replacements stretch up to a year. A dry field north of Maralee and Noal Child’s house in Glenn County, California, used to be an olive orchard. Now it is slated to be planted with almond trees, Maralee said.

2014 112

Global Climate Panel’s Report: No Part of the Planet Will be Spared

Inside Climate News

A new IPCC science assessment, coming before COP26 in November, called for immediate action and showed that this summer’s extremes are only a mild preview of the decades ahead.

Chart of the WeekHow To Escape The Perils of Fragility

IMFBlog

By Olusegun Akanbi , Kenji Moriyama , Keyra Primus.

Introducing the non-radiating antenna

Physics World

An international team of physicists has created what might seem like a contradiction in terms: a non-radiating source of electromagnetism.

Sea level in the IPCC 6th assessment report (AR6)

Real Climate

My top 3 impressions up-front: The sea level projections for the year 2100 have been adjusted upwards again.

Historic Black Community Put at Risk by Truck Bridge

Union of Concerned Scientists

A historic black community fights to improve its air quality. Transportation pm 2.5

2021 230

UN Climate Panel Contends With Models Showing Implausibly Fast Warming

Yale E360

Next week, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will unveil its latest scientific assessment, widely considered the most authoritative review of climate research.