2021

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Hurricane Ida Shows Why We Urgently Need Bold, Just and Equitable Climate Action

Union of Concerned Scientists

More catastrophic storms are coming.

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Perspective: More Attention Needed on Freshwater Biodiversity

Circle of Blue

Freshwater species are dying off and decreasing in abundance. Yet conservation funding centers on lands and oceans. Boats ply the waters of the Mekong River Delta, near Can Tho, Vietnam. Home to about 65 million people across four countries, the lower Mekong is also prized for its diversity of aquatic species. Photo © J. Carl Ganter/Circle of Blue. By Stefan Lovgren – December 16, 2021.

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Sensing gravity, the quantum way

Physics World

Much of quantum technology is linked to computing. It is easy to imagine how a better, more powerful computer, capable of solving complex problems, could be useful. But what is a computer, after all, if not a data-processing machine. Computers, quantum or otherwise, transform data into information, which is then used to steer scientific, medical, industrial processes.

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Why Putting Solar Canopies on Parking Lots Is a Smart Green Move

Yale E360

Solar farms are proliferating on undeveloped land, often harming ecosystems. But placing solar canopies on large parking lots offers a host of advantages — making use of land that is already cleared, producing electricity close to those who need it, and even shading cars. Read more on E360 ?.

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Implementing D.E.J.I. Strategies in Energy, Environment, and Transportation

Speaker: Antoine M. Thompson, Executive Director of the Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition

Diversity, Equity, Justice, and Inclusion (DEJI) policies, programs, and initiatives are critically important as we move forward with public and private sector climate and sustainability goals and plans. Underserved and socially, economically, and racially disadvantaged communities bear the burden of pollution, higher energy costs, limited resources, and limited investments in the clean energy and transportation sectors.

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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. It’s been clear for at least a decade that global warming has been in general increasing the intensity of heat waves, with clear trends in observed maximum temperatures that match what climate models have been predicting.

2003 364
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Human brain cells in a dish learn to play Pong faster than an AI

New Scientist

Hundreds of thousands of brain cells in a dish are being taught to play Pong by responding to pulses of electricity – and can improve their performance more quickly than an AI can

More Trending

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Squirrel Parkour? The Science Behind Squirrel Acrobatics

Cool Green Science

Your bird feeder doesn’t stand a chance. New research shows squirrels combine incredible physical abilities with split-second decision making. The post Squirrel Parkour? The Science Behind Squirrel Acrobatics appeared first on Cool Green Science.

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When and why did human brains decrease in size 3,000 years ago? New study may have found clues within ants

Frontiers

By Suzanna Burgelman, Frontiers science writer. Image: Yongkiet Jitwattanatam/Shutterstock.com. The brain is the most complex organ in the human body. Now, a new study has brought us closer to understanding some of its evolution. It shows that human brains decreased in size approximately 3,000 years ago. By studying ants as models to illustrate why brains may increase or decrease in size, the researchers hypothesize that brain shrinkage parallels the expansion of collective intelligence in human

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How do Flying Fish “Fly”?

Ocean Conservancy

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a … fish? Although most fish don’t take to the skies, flying fish are one spectacular exception (kind of). Read on to see how flying fish get their distinctive name and learn more fun facts about this small but impressive species. See more wonderful ocean animals! Sorry, but we failed to add you to the list. Please try again or contact 1.888.780.6763.

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The Rate of Global Warming During Next 25 Years Could Be Double What it Was In The Previous 50, a Renowned Climate Scientist Warns

Inside Climate News

Former NASA climate scientist James Hansen urged Congress decades ago to act on climate change. Now he says he expects reduced aerosol pollution to lead to a steep temperature rise. By Bob Berwyn James Hansen, a climate scientist who shook Washington when he told Congress 33 years ago that human emissions of greenhouse gases were cooking the planet, is now warning that he expects the rate of global warming to double in the next 20 years.

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Shaping a Resilient Future: Climate Impact on Vulnerable Populations

Speaker: Laurie Schoeman Director, Climate & Sustainability, Capital

As households and communities across the nation face challenges such as hurricanes, wildfires, drought, extreme heat and cold, and thawing permafrost and flooding, we are increasingly searching for ways to mitigate and prevent climate impacts. During this event, national climate and housing expert Laurie Schoeman will discuss topics including: The two paths for climate action: decarbonization and adaptation.

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Can the US Survive California’s Drought?

Union of Concerned Scientists

California's drought is a national and international crisis.

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Utah’s Water Dilemma

Circle of Blue

Utah’s Water Dilemma Record-breaking drought along the Wasatch Front forces tough decisions about water supply. Brett Walton, Circle of Blue November 29, 2021. BOX ELDER COUNTY, Utah – Sitting inside a shepherd’s trailer hitched to his white pickup truck, Robert Child recounts a lifetime spent running sheep in the pastures of northern Utah. Wind gently rocks the compact trailer as Child, who is 75, describes the grazing rotations for his 2,000-head flock.

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Entangling a live tardigrade, radiation warning on anti-5G accessories

Physics World

Tardigrades are tiny organisms that can survive extreme environments including being chilled to near absolute zero. At these temperatures quantum effects such as entanglement become dominant, so perhaps it is not surprising that a team of physicists has used a chilled tardigrade to create an entangled qubit. According to a preprint on the arXiv server, the team cooled a tardigrade to below 10 mK and then used it as the dielectric in a capacitor that itself was part of a superconducting transmon

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Climate Clues from the Past Prompt a New Look at History

Yale E360

As scientists rapidly improve their ability to decipher past climate upheaval through ice cores and other "proxies,” historians are re-examining previous political and social turmoil and linking it to volcanic eruptions, prolonged droughts, and other disturbances in the natural world. Read more on E360 ?.

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Sustainability at Retail

Sustainability impacts every nation, company, and person around the world. So much so that, in 2015, the United Nations (UN) issued a call for action by all countries to work toward sustainable development. In response to this and as part of a global Sustainability at Retail initiative, Shop! worked collaboratively with its global affiliates to address these critical issues in this white paper.

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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). So, in an uncharacteristically enthusiastic burst of effort, we have a whole suite of posts on the report for you to read.

Sea Level 363
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7200-year-old DNA suggests Denisovans bred with humans on Sulawesi

New Scientist

For the first time, DNA has been extracted from a Stone Age person who lived on Sulawesi – the genetic data suggests Denisovans lived on the island and interbred with humans there

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To Look or Not to Look? That Is the Question

Scientific American

The search for technological relics of extraterrestrial civilizations will inspire the public and attract talent to the field of astronomy. -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com.

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Rising Cost of Water in Michigan Leads to Affordability Problems

Circle of Blue

A growing number of Michigan households are burdened by high water bills, report finds. The community action group Detroit Water Brigade delivered water in August 2014 to city residents whose water had been shut off because of late payments. Photo © J. Carl Ganter/Circle of Blue. The rising cost of water and sewer service is a problem across Michigan, but especially for high-poverty communities.

2018 363
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Why Protecting Tribal Rights Is Key to Fighting Climate Change

Yale E360

Fawn Sharp, president of the National Congress of American Indians, talks with Yale Environment 360 about how climate change is hitting Native Americans especially hard and why protecting tribal sovereignty is critical for tackling the climate crisis. Read more on E360 ?.

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Three Myths About Renewable Energy and the Grid, Debunked

Yale E360

Renewable energy skeptics argue that because of their variability, wind and solar cannot be the foundation of a dependable electricity grid. But the expansion of renewables and new methods of energy management and storage can lead to a grid that is reliable and clean. Read more on E360 ?.

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As the Climate Bakes, Turkey Faces a Future Without Water

Yale E360

No nation in the Mediterranean region has been hit harder by climate change than Turkey. But as heat and drought intensify, Turkey is doubling down on large-scale agriculture and development and spurring a water-supply crisis that is expected to get much worse. Read more on E360 ?.

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In Climate Talks, Plans to Keep Planet from Overheating Should Not Ignore Water

Circle of Blue

Carbon-reduction plans, if not well designed, can worsen water scarcity and pollution. Transmission lines in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, stretch to the horizon. Photo © J. Carl Ganter/Circle of Blue. Plans to reduce carbon emissions should take water into account. Some low-carbon energy options require significant amounts of water. Water can also be a climate solution.

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Toxin Levels Spike, Prompting Drinking Water Emergency in Northern California

Circle of Blue

Cyanotoxins in the state’s second-largest freshwater lake soared this month amid a hot, dry summer. Colorful blooms of cyanobacteria, also called blue-green algae, paint the nearshore waters of Clear Lake, California’s second-largest freshwater lake. Toxin levels in the blooms broke records in this hot, dry summer. Photo courtesy of Frank Costner.

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Water Groups Lauded a Side Agreement at the Paris Climate Conference. Then It Languished.

Circle of Blue

The fate of the Paris Pact reveals the difficulties in incorporating water into global climate agreements. The Tigris River watershed is shared by Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Turkey. Photo © J. Carl Ganter/Circle of Blue. National actions take precedent in climate adaptation and mitigation over watershed-level plans. Recognition of water in national climate plans is increasing but more could be done.

2015 363
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Beyond Extinction: A New Emphasis on Species Recovery

Yale E360

Scientists have long drawn up a Red List to alert officials about wildlife and plant species threatened with extinction. Now some say it’s time to flip the script and create a “green status” category that identifies how to bring these species back to sustainable levels. Read more on E360 ?.

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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. Indications of migration due to water scarcity and groundwater depletion came as early as 2006 in Mexico’s Tehuacán Valley where a combination of declining rainfall and factory farms caused community wells to go dry. Francisca Rosas Valencia dabs away tears while praying for her son, Florentine, who left home to work in Los Angeles. “It is not easy to be outside of one’s homelan

2006 363
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‘The Opportunity Is Now’: Water Advocates View Upcoming UN Climate Conference as Moment of Relevance

Circle of Blue

Water was overlooked in past global climate talks. Advocates are focusing on the Glasgow meeting to highlight water’s indispensable climate role. Demonstrators took to the streets at the 2009 global climate convention in Copenhagen. Photo © J. Carl Ganter/Circle of Blue. Adaptation, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and accounting for climate damages will be prominent topics at the UN climate convention in November.

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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. Carl Ganter / Circle of Blue. The federal government acknowledged changing conditions in the drying American Southwest on Monday, declaring a Tier 1 shortage for the lower Colorado River basin.

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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. Read more on E360 ?.

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As a Hot, Dry Summer Begins in California, More Water Wells Are Failing

Circle of Blue

Government agencies and nonprofit groups are preparing for difficult months ahead. Guillermina Andrade (left) and Vicente Tapia filled barrels from a water depot outside the East Porterville, California, fire station. When this photo was taken, in April 2015, the well at their nearby home had been dry for 18 months and they visited the depot twice a week for water.

2012 363
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Tyson Foods Is a Monster in Disguise

Union of Concerned Scientists

Try as they might, Tyson Foods can't dress up the facts.

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The Benefits of Vaccinating Kids against COVID Far Outweigh the Risks of Myocarditis

Scientific American

Vaccination is likely to prevent many more COVID cases than it is to cause a rare and nonfatal heart side effect in 5–11-year-olds. -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com.

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Katherine Johnson memoir: Her incredible life as a NASA mathematician

New Scientist

The Hollywood movie Hidden Figures made a star of Katherine Johnson, the pioneering NASA mathematician whose talents played a key part in putting the first US astronaut into orbit.

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mRNA cancer therapy now in human trials after shrinking mouse tumours

New Scientist

An mRNA cancer treatment developed by BioNTech and Sanofi is being tested in people after shrinking tumours in mice, and is hoped to repeat the success of mRNA covid-19 vaccines

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