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Author: Maya L. Kapoor

Description: Biological synchrony--where different populations of the same animals and plants "operate on the same clock despite being separated by distance." This sounds like a good thing, but it isn't. Weather patterns influenced by climate change push plants and animals in different locations to grow and live in the same way. But "species need population diversity to survive a constantly changing landscape." Synchrony is "a gamble akin to investing all your money in a single stock." Species--even humans--need variation and diversity to survive. Climate change is taking that away.

Title: Climate Extremes Are Putting Species in Sync — And in Danger: Growth rings in the ear stones of rockfish and the trunks of trees are giving researchers glimpses of the effects of climate change on biodiversity.

Year: 2018

Publication: Undark

Full text: https://undark.org/article/climate-extremes-biodiversity/

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Serial Number: 31
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Author: Megan Geuss

Description: According to the U.S. Department of Energy, wind power had a big year in 2017. Over 7,000 MW of new capacity was added, and over 2,000 MW of upgrades to existing wind turbines were completed. $11 billion was invested in wind energy in the U.S. in 2017. While the U.S. is second to China in terms of wind power capacity and annual wind/electricity generation, the U.S. remains well down the list compared to other countries in wind energy penetration. For instance, wind power supplied about 48% of the electricity demand in Denmark; in the U.S., it’s about 7%. However, on an individual U.S. state basis, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, and South Dakota used wind to supply over 30% of “all in-state electricity generation in 2017.” And, “14 states exceeded 10% wind energy penetration.” Also, the cost of wind energy continues to decline–down to as low as $20 per megawatt-hour (compared to $102 per megawatt-hour for coal). In addition, improved wind turbine technology allow new wind turbines to produce over 220% more electricity than “turbines built 20 years ago."

Title: In 2017, four US states generated more than 30% of their electricity from wind: The cost of wind power contracts has fallen to $20 per megawatt-hour since 2009.

Year: 2018

Publication: Ars Technica

Full text: https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2018/08/in-2017-four-us-states-generated-more-than-30-of-their-electricity-from-wind/

Dig deeper: https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2018/08/f54/2017_wind_technologies_market_report_8.15.18.v2.pdf

Serial Number: 43
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Author: Meredith Wadman

Description: For the period 2006-2016, guns were the second-leading cause of death for children (1-18 years of age) in the U.S. (according to statistics compiled by the CDC). Gun violence deaths surpassed deaths from cancer and trailed only deaths due to motor vehicle crashes. Of the gun violence deaths, 63% were homicides, 31% were suicides. Research that could help track, analyze, and contribute toward solutions for gun violence has been hobbled by U.S. Congressional action in 1996 that prevented the “CDC—the government’s lead injury prevention agency—from spending money to advocate or promote gun control. That law was widely interpreted as banning any CDC studies that probe firearm violence or how to prevent it.” This may be changing. The Firearm Safety Among Children and Teens (FACTS) Consortium has received “the largest firearm research grant that the U.S. NIH has awarded in at least 30 years” ($4.9 million). The grant is a 5-year project “to build capacity for researching firearm injuries in children.” The grant is unique in gun violence research in the last 20 years in the U.S. in that “this is the first time that an award has been made not just to do a project, but to set up an infrastructure that would allow a lot of projects to be done.” The politics in the U.S. about guns and gun violence and the reluctance of decision makers to change the status quo have contributed to these thousands of deaths. The FACTS project could be/may be a fresh start–to search for common ground among all involved parties.

Title: Guns kill more U.S. kids than cancer: This emergency physician aims to prevent those firearm deaths

Year: 2018

Publication: Science

Full text: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/12/guns-kill-more-us-kids-cancer-emergency-physician-aims-prevent-those-firearm-deaths

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Serial Number: 70
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Author: Michael J. Coren

Description: Read this interview which looks at the Amish and their relationship to technology. "It's not that the Amish view technology as inherently evil. No rules prohibit them from using new inventions. But they carefully consider how each one will change the culture before embracing it." Perhaps the rest of us should be more thoughtful as well--weighing the real value of tools and gadgets before making them part of our lives. Have we been engaged especially since the 1990's in a great uncontrolled societal experiment run by big tech companies? Is the cost of technological convenience coming due?

Title: The Amish understand a life-changing truth about technology the rest of us don’t

Year: 2018

Publication: Quartz

Full text: https://qz.com/1275194/the-amish-understand-a-life-changing-truth-about-technology-the-rest-of-us-dont/

Dig deeper: https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fcspo.org%2Flegacy%2Flibrary%2F1104251605F53294166SV_lib_WetmoreAmishTech.pdf&h=AT1iVI-WwKHPw3xxQDpuwOpBCYHJUS1ug-efFbn7xfJs9_MRYqxyBlGOwtKZnrf1wQdUBGt2syVcgXVsOLFFoLY8gyNi8bcN9BY1ppOKX8ObPmg3Eps2bA

Serial Number: 30
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Author: Mike Orcutt

Description: Facial recognition systems are being introduced at major U.S. airports–a response to a U.S. Congressional mandate “for recording the entry and exit of non-U.S. citizens at all air, sea, and land ports of entry.” Does use of facial recognition “violate [U.S.] Constitutional protections against unreasonable searches”? In addition, research with facial recognition has shown it to be “less accurate ... with images of women, African Americans, and children.” Mistakes and deliberate abuse can happen. Also, while Congress mandated the use of biometrics for non-U.S. citizens, the faces of U.S. citizens are also being scanned at airports. What happens to this scan data after it is collected? The U.S. Department of Homeland Security says it is deleted … but, we don’t know. Facial recognition is being promoted by airlines as a way to “speed up the boarding process.” However, if you are a U.S. citizen, this may not be an option you want to choose.

Title: If You Get Your Face Scanned the Next Time You Fly, Here’s What You Should Know

Year: 2017

Publication: MIT Technology Review

Full text: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/608255/if-you-get-your-face-scanned-the-next-time-you-fly-heres-what-you-should-know/

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Serial Number: 14
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Author: MIT Technology Review Editors

Description: You've heard of cryptocurrency, bitcoin, and Ethereum-and something that they are based on called "blockchain." What is a blockchain? Click the link below and understand ... Instead of using governments and banks as the trusted intermediary in an exchange of value (as we do currently for credit cards, checks, and paper currency), blockchains "distributed across thousands of computers ... mechanize trust"; provide for exchanges of cash and other valuables with no government or bank in-between. Do you trust a blockchain?

Title: Explainer: What is a blockchain? Where it came from, what it does, and how you make one.

Year: 2018

Publication: MIT Technology Review

Full text: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/610833/explainer-what-is-a-blockchain/

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Serial Number: 48
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Author: Nadja Popovich, et al.

Description: See this interactive graphic that illustrates an impact of climate change–the increase in the number of 90+ degree (F) days since 1960 in locations world-wide. The impact of hotter weather has been variable to date; some regions–like the midwestern U.S.–have yet to see noticeable increases in 90+ degree days. Other areas though have already seen substantial increases. For example, Delhi, India has seen a 27% increase in 90+ degree days from 1960 to 2017, Karachi, Pakistan has seen a 32% increase, and Miami, Florida has seen a 56% increase (from an average of 85 days in 1960 to 133 days in 2017). The graphic then projects warming to the year 2089. For example, the further increase in 90+ degree days may be at least 13% for both Delhi and Karachi, 23% for Miami (from 133 days to 163 days), and a 140% increase for the midwestern U.S. “More very hot days worldwide bring direct and dangerous impacts on people and the systems on which we depend. Food, water, energy, transportation, and ecosystems will be affected both in cities and the country. High-temperature health effects will strike the most vulnerable”–the elderly, infants, people with chronic medical conditions, and people with lower incomes.

Title: How Much Hotter Is Your Hometown Than When You Were Born?: As the world warms because of human-induced climate change, most of us can expect to see more days when temperatures hit 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) or higher. See how your hometown has changed so far and how much hotter it may get.


Year: 2018

Publication: New York Times

Full text: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/08/30/climate/how-much-hotter-is-your-hometown.html

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Serial Number: 44
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Author: Nathanael Johnson

Description: Farmers are dealing with climate change now. It's not theoretical or a myth--it's happening and it's impacting the decisions farmers are making today, the farm economy, and the food supply in the U.S. and around the world. Read this story of fruit and nut farmers in California and the decisions they make to adapt, stay solvent, and stay in business--decisions which can impact the rest of us.

Title: Are avocados toast? California farmers bet on what we'll be eating in 2050

Year: 2018

Publication: The Guardian/Grist

Full text: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/30/avocado-california-climate-change-affecting-crops-2050

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Serial Number: 28
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Author: Oliver Milman

Description: As the number, size, and explosiveness of wildfires increases in the U.S. and other countries, it brings danger not only due to the destructiveness of fire but also due to the widespread exposure to wildfire smoke. “A big wildfire event not only impacts local communities but also people hundreds of miles away.” The smoke contains gases and microscopic particles. These can cause symptoms like “coughing, burning eyes and shortness of breath" as well as trigger asthma attacks or lead to heart problems and have even been linked to the development of cancer. There is a connection between wildfire smoke and illness or death especially in that the smoke “exacerbates a range of conditions that cause the sickness.” “Almost every place in the U.S. … could be impacted by upwind smoke." “Wildfires are a growing problem and climate change is making them worse.” “This is what climate change looks like."

Title: Wildfire smoke: experts warn of 'serious health effects' across western US -- Smoke from fires has been linked to asthma attacks and heart problems and has contributed to a decline in air quality

Year: 2018

Publication: The Guardian

Full text: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/02/wildfire-events-air-quality-health-issues-in-western-us

Dig deeper: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/07/10/1804353115.short

Serial Number: 18
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Author: Oliver Milman

Description: With more frequent/stronger hurricanes, torrential/ extended rainfall, expanding wildfires, increasing heat, inexorable sea level rise, and more, climate migration is already happening in the U.S. “By the end of this century, sea level rise alone could displace 13 million people, including 6 million in Florida.” Climate pressure will not only be on the U.S. coasts. Inland, heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and other climate-fueled changes will also push people to migrate. Research indicates “that the economies of the southern states, along with parts of the west, will suffer disproportionally as temperatures rise.” Wealth in the U.S. is expected to shift north and west. “By 2065, southern states are expected to lose 8% of their U.S. population share.” People may be moving to the northwest and to areas close to the Great Lakes and in New England–areas where temperatures are expected to remain more bearable and where weather extremes are less likely to happen. As a result, the population of the northeast U.S. may increase 9%, the western U.S. by more than 10% over the next 50 years. The true cost of relocation is huge–perhaps $200,000 to $1 million per person. Governments–local, state, and federal–either won’t be able to afford this or will decide not to help pay for it. The U.S. is not “set up to deal with slow-moving disasters like this”; people around the country will be on their own.

Title: 'We're moving to higher ground': America's era of climate mass migration is here: By the end of this century, sea level rises alone could displace 13m people. Many states will have to grapple with hordes of residents seeking dry ground. But, as one expert says, ‘No state is unaffected by this’

Year: 2018

Publication: The Guardian

Full text: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/sep/24/americas-era-of-climate-mass-migration-is-here

Dig deeper: https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate3271

Serial Number: 56





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