July, 2021

Unveiling the Public Health Burden of Natural Gas

Union of Concerned Scientists

Environmental health has always been of concern to me, as it is to many of us.

Stiglitz Versus Cochrane: What Are the Non-Market Quality of Life Impacts of Climate Change?

Environmental and Urban Economics

John Cochrane recently posted an important blog post sketching out his claim that climate change will only have a small impact on world GNP over the next 75 years. He argues that the trend growth (3% growth for 60 years) will swamp the effect of climate change). As I discuss in my 2010 Climatopolis book, Singapore in recent decades has been highly productive despite the nation's heat and humidity.

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Japanese Nobel-prize-winning particle physicist Toshihide Maskawa dies aged 81

Physics World

The Japanese Nobel-prize-winning physicist Toshihide Maskawa died on 23 July at the age of 81. Maskawa shared half the 2008 Nobel prize with the Japanese physicist Makoto Kobayashi for their work on the mechanism of “broken symmetry” that led to the prediction of a new family of quarks.

2008 114

Harvard's Avi Loeb Thinks We Should Study UFOs--and He's Not Wrong

Scientific American

As a SETI scientist, I’m grateful that he has the freedom—and the guts—to go where few would dare to go. -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com. Space & Physics Extraterrestrial Life

2021 114

Cryptoassets as National Currency? A Step Too Far

IMFBlog

By Tobias Adrian and Rhoda Weeks-Brown. New digital forms of money have the potential to provide cheaper and faster payments, enhance financial inclusion, improve resilience and competition among payment providers, and facilitate cross-border transfers. But doing so is not straightforward.

Can Retrofitting Dams for Hydro Provide a Green Energy Boost?

Yale E360

With the era of building big dams over in the U.S., a growing number of existing dams are being modified to produce hydropower. These projects, advocates say, avoid the damaging impacts of new dams and could generate enough renewable electricity for several million homes. Read more on E360

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Tomato fruits send electrical warnings to the rest of the plant when attacked by insects

Frontier Sin

By K.E.D Coan, science writer. Image: Eugenegurkov/Shutterstock. Tomato fruits inform the mother plant when they are being eaten by caterpillars, shows a new study.

Cosmic-ray threat to quantum computing greater than previously thought

Physics World

Cosmic intruders : Energetic particles from space and natural background radiation can trigger hard-to-correct errors when they collide with chips containing superconducting qubits. Courtesy: Chris Wilen).

The Crucial Vaccine Benefit We're Not Talking about Enough

Scientific American

They not only prevent people from getting sick; they also cut down on transmission by those who get infected after immunization. -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com. Health Public Health

2021 114

Taming market power could (also) help monetary policy

IMFBlog

By Romain Duval , Davide Furceri , and Marina M. Tavares. Some central banks are currently debating whether to tighten monetary policy to fight inflationary pressures, after having eased decisively in response to the COVID-19 shock.

Land Grabbers: The Growing Assault on Brazil’s Indigenous Areas

Yale E360

Under President Jair Bolsonaro, illegal miners, loggers and ranchers are invading and occupying ever-larger amounts of Indigenous territory. Brazil’s original inhabitants are increasingly opposing these incursions, leading to conflicts and a surge in killings of local activists. Read more on E360

2021 114

Appalachia Poised to Be Part of Shift to Clean Energy

Union of Concerned Scientists

Federal action is key to cleaning up fossil fuel industry pollution. Energy Transportation clean energy clean energy transformation clean energy transition just transition

Planes Sampling Air Above the Amazon Find the Rainforest is Releasing More Carbon Than it Stores

Inside Climate News

The study, which found greater depletion of carbon storage in the heavily deforested eastern Amazon, confirmed previous research that used satellites or hands-on measuring techniques.

PET imaging tracks ingested microplastics in mice

Physics World

Microplastics, tiny pieces of plastic debris less than five millimetres in length, are designed for commercial use or created through the breakdown of consumer products and industrial waste.

Ocean 114

Quantum Mechanics, Plato's Cave and the Blind Piranha

Scientific American

Can we ever really know the world? -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com. Cognition The Sciences

2021 114

The Glass Octopus is See-Through and Spectacular

Ocean Conservancy

Need a reminder that our ocean is full of unusual animals? Look no further than the glass octopus. The glass octopus ( Vitreledonella richardi ) is a very rarely seen cephalopod found in tropical and subtropical waters around the world.

Ocean 114

Just 25 mega-cities produce 52% of the world’s urban greenhouse gas emissions

Frontier Sin

By Suzanna Burgelman, Frontiers science writer. Image: Andriy Blokhin/Shutterstock. New research published by the open access publisher Frontiers inventories greenhouse gas emissions of 167 globally distributed cities.

Ask a Scientist: Defending the Right to Vote

Union of Concerned Scientists

Talking to Taryn MacKinney, an investigative researcher with our Center for Science and Democracy, about how science is intertwined with democracy and the prospects for voting reform bills on Capitol Hill. Science and Democracy Ask a Scientist

2021 230

Climate-Driven Changes in Clouds are Likely to Amplify Global Warming

Inside Climate News

New research, using machine learning, helps project how the buildup of greenhouse gases will change clouds in ways that further heat the planet.

Bullying and harassment rife in astronomy and geophysics, finds poll

Physics World

Astronomy and geophysics have a systemic bullying and harassment problem, the effects of which are disproportionately felt by women and individuals belonging to minority groups.

2020 114

At Least Two Million Children Have Lost a Parent or Grandparent Caregiver to COVID

Scientific American

That’s at a minimum. The real number could be significantly higher. -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com. Health Mental Health

2021 114

Once a Rich Desert River, the Gila Struggles to Keep Flowing

Yale E360

The Gila was once a vibrant desert river, providing a lifeline for the riparian habitat and wildlife that depended on it in the U.S. Southwest. But population growth, agricultural withdrawals, and, increasingly, climate change have badly diminished the river and threaten its future.

Constant, Compounding Disasters Are Exhausting Emergency Response

Circle of Blue

Fires, droughts, floods, power outages. The interval between disasters is shortening, or in some cases disappearing altogether. New homes rise from the post-fire rubble in Talent, Oregon. The Alameda Fire destroyed thousands of homes in Talent and nearby Phoenix in early September 2020.

2020 114

Just When You Assumed It Was Safe to Go Outside, the Delta Variant Strikes

Union of Concerned Scientists

The pandemic is far from over. Science and Democracy Science Communication Scientific Integrity COVID-19 and the Coronavirus Pandemic COVID-19 response

2021 221

Can Arctic Animals Keep Up With Climate Change? Scientists are Trying to Find Out

Inside Climate News

New studies suggest that rising temperatures may prove disastrous for species of birds, fish and other animals that are adapted to the cold of Arctic climes.

Highly programmable quantum simulator operates with up to 256 qubits

Physics World

Physicists have demonstrated a large-scale, programmable quantum simulator, featuring a precisely-arranged two-dimensional array of 256 quantum bits (qubits).

2017 114

Should Children Get COVID Vaccines? What the Science Says

Scientific American

With vaccination campaigns underway in some countries while others weigh the options, Nature looks at the evidence for vaccinating younger people. -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com. Health Public Health

2021 114

The Race for EV Parts Leads to Risky Deep-Ocean Mining

Yale E360

The electric vehicle boom is driving a surge in demand for prized metals needed for batteries and other components. Some companies say the solution lies in mining the deep oceans, but scientists say that could irreversibly damage a vast, largely pristine ecosystem. Read more on E360

Ocean 112

Rapid attribution of PNW heatwave

Real Climate

Summary: It was almost impossible for the temperatures seen recently in the Pacific North West heatwave to have occurred without global warming. And only improbable with it.

2003 114

To Transform the Electricity System, We Must Transform Electricity Governance

Union of Concerned Scientists

Most people know very little about the institutions that run the electricity grid.

A Week After the Pacific Northwest Heat Wave, Study Shows it Was ‘Almost Impossible’ Without Global Warming

Inside Climate News

The extreme temperatures have shaken scientists’ fundamental understanding of heat waves and triggered concerns about a climate tipping point.

Multi-party quantum key distribution paves the way for quantum-secure conference calls

Physics World

Researchers in the UK and Germany have used quantum entanglement to securely distribute secret keys among multiple users in a network.

2021 114

Flu Has Disappeared for More Than a Year

Scientific American

Mask wearing, social distancing and other steps to stop COVID-19 have also curtailed influenza. -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com. Features Health Public Health

2021 114

Will Russia’s Forests Be an Asset or an Obstacle in Climate Fight?

Yale E360

New research indicating Russia’s vast forests store more carbon than previously estimated would seem like good news. But scientists are concerned Russia will count this carbon uptake as an offset in its climate commitments, which would allow its emissions to continue unchecked. Read more on E360

2021 113