Nobel Prize in Physics awarded to study in climate change (The New York Times)
This Tuesday, three scientists – Syukoro Manabe, Klaus Hasselmann, and Giorgio Parisi – were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for their work surrounding climate change and how exactly humans are causing this phenomenon. Complex systems such as the climate are often characterized by their disorder, and these scientists were able to shed some light on the chaos that is our climate by describing it and predicting its long-term behavior. “The discoveries being recognized this year demonstrate that our knowledge about the climate rests on a solid scientific foundation, based on a rigorous analysis of observations,” said Thors Hans Hansson, chair of the Nobel Committee for Physics.
Analysis reveals extent of global coral reef damage (NPR)
Rising ocean temperatures have killed off about 14% of coral reefs around the world in less than a decade. This statistic was revealed in a recently-released report, The Sixth Status of Corals of the World: 2020 Report, published by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network. However, this report was not all negative, in fact, it gave us a glimpse of hope in noting that coral reefs are very resilient and may be able to recover should we take immediate steps to combat climate change.
Check it out: Read the report here.
How the climate crisis is affecting American life (NY Times)
After the climate-adaptation plans of 23 agencies were released this past Thursday, they revealed “the dangers posed by a warming planet to every aspect of American life.” Some of the main themes highlighted in the plans were using less energy and water, improving protection of workers against extreme heat, and educating staff members about climate science. As the climate crisis has disproportionately affected minority groups, the plans also place emphasis on racial equity.
The lasting consequences of California’s oil spill (NY Times)
After over 126,000 gallons of oil were spilled into the Pacific Ocean due to a pipeline failure, some of our coastal communities have been threatened, and many of Southern California’s most popular beaches have been forced to close. Though local residents began to complain about the smell of oil earlier, it took longer for state authorities to act in response to these complaints, raising questions about the speed of response. The cause of the oil leak is still unclear, but the spill could cause lasting consequences, such as calls for a permanent end to offshore oil production.
Last January, President Biden ordered 23 federal agencies to report how climate change would affect our everyday lives and how they would respond to these changes. For example, the Department of Agriculture found that extreme weather events and rising temperatures will threaten America's food supply. The increase of pests, ticks, and mosquitos due to changing weather patterns is also a concern for the Department of Agriculture as well as the Department of Health and Human Service, as they can lead to an increase of disease and infections in the U.S. population. Despite these reports, Biden’s climate initiatives are at risk of being cut as he negotiates his infrastructure and social spending bills with lawmakers.
To read more about federal policy on sustainability and environmental action in the U.S. visit: https://www.sustainability.gov/
Mining Bitcoin can have a huge environmental impact (CBS News)
As investing in cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, becomes more popular, industrial-scale bitcoin mining operations are becoming more commonplace. Mining Bitcoin - a process by which new Bitcoins are entered into the blockchain technology where cryptocurrency circulates- requires tons of energy. With thousands of supercomputers mining this digital currency, machines need more energy to continue mining. Bitcoin mining companies have started to buy powerplants to fuel their operations. Currently, Bitcoin mining uses more energy than Google, Amazon, and Facebook combined. If more large-scale mining efforts use power plants, they could considerably add to the amount of carbon dioxide and methane emissions the US produces.
Silenced Voices: Climate change researchers from locations worst hit by global warming aren’t being published (BBC)
A new study analyzed 100 of the highest cited climate research papers from the past five years. The study reveals that fewer than one percent of authors published were based in Africa, a continent that houses 16 percent of the world population, and only 12 papers were led by a female. The study’s author said that the lack of diverse perspectives concludes that there are disregarded voices. The analysis concludes that there are climate academics who are struggling to be listened to due to their gender or location base.
Never Seen Before: Extreme rainfall levels in Europe (CNN)
Over 29 inches of rain fell in only 12 hours, breaking records for rainfall: the high rainfall broke records in both a region of Italy known for rain and a location in Oman never known for rain. The rain levels are brought on by global warming, as increased temperatures allow for more rainfall. An increase in heavy storms is occurring across the globe. Each one degree Celsius increase in air temperatures allows the global atmosphere to hold onto about seven percent more water vapor.