Tag Archives: Global Warming

Siberia Views: The Nomadic Nenets Reindeer Herders

BBC Earth – Arctic Siberia’s Nomadic Nenets herders have migrated with reindeer for generations. Reindeer were among the last animals domesticated by humans.

According to the Nenets legend, the humans promised the reindeer that they would protect them on their long migration from the mainland to the seashores as long as the reindeer provide humans with all their needs, including milk, fat, meat, bones, horns, and skins. The nomadic reindeer herders reside in the taiga forests of the Russian tundra and northern Mongolia. 

Food Science: Developing Hardier Coffee Beans (FT)

Financial Times – One of world’s favorite drinks is under threat from global warming. The world’s top coffee producing nations all lie at similar tropical latitudes, where even small rises in temperature are forecast to have severe consequences for people and agriculture. But as the FT’s Nic Fildes reports, in Australia, scientists are tackling the problem by trying to develop a better, hardier coffee bean.

Home Design: ‘Land On Water’ – MAST Studio (2022)

Land on Water by Copenhagen-based Architecture Studio MAST 

Land on Water

The system is based on simple flat pack modules made from recycled reinforced polymer. These are extremely strong and resilient and can be easily transported and assembled on location

The modules can be assembled in different configurations to provide floating foundations for floating infrastructure, public spaces or housing.

A growing acknowledgement of sea level rise and an increased risk of urban flooding has contributed to a sharp increase in interest in building on water, but current solutions, including polystyrene filled concrete foundations and plastic pontoons are inflexible, difficult to transport and highly unsustainable. 

MAST has envisioned a new system of simple of flat-packed modules made from recycled reinforced plastic, that can be easily transported around the globe and assembled into countless configurations, providing a secure floating foundation. The system offers a sustainable and highly flexible solution for building almost anything on the water; from floating houses in Seattle, to floating campsites on Oslo fjord, to saunas on Hobart’s riverfront.

The system was inspired by gabion construction, an ancient technology which utilises mesh cages filled with rubble to create extremely sturdy, low cost foundations. In this case the concept is inverted; and the modular ‘cages’ are filled with locally sourced, up-cycled floatation supporting the weight of any structure built on top. they are also much more adaptable than existing solutions since floatation can be added or adjusted at any time if weight is added or shifted around above.

Land on water will provide a climate resilient and adaptable solution for the construction of new floating buildings worldwide but could also lead to an entirely new type of dynamic and organic off-grid floating community and an alternative to the large master-planned floating cities currently under development which repeat many of the mistakes made by urban planners in the middle of the 20th century.

Cover Preview: Scientific American – November 2022

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Antarctica’s Collapse Could Begin Even Sooner Than Anticipated

Two expeditions to the Thwaites Ice Shelf have revealed that it could splinter apart in less than a decade, hastening sea-level rise worldwide

Engineered Metamaterials Can Trick Light and Sound into Mind-Bending Behavior

Advanced materials can modify waves, creating optical illusions and useful technologies

Fossils Upend Conventional Wisdom about Evolution of Human Bipedalism

For most of human evolution, multiple species with different ways of walking upright coexisted

Climate: The Future Of Our Frozen Planet – Sir David Attenborough (BBC)

“We can do it. We must do it.”

Sir David Attenborough. This is life on thin ice.

Frozen Planet II (2022): This six-part series – narrated by Sir David Attenborough – explores the wildlife found in the world’s coldest regions: the Arctic and Antarctic, high mountains, frozen deserts, snowbound forests, and ice-cold oceans. From polar bears to penguins, and from snow monkeys to Siberian tigers, each species must overcome a unique set of challenges to endure its extreme environment.

Phoenix: How America’s Hottest City Cools Itself

Phoenix, Arizona is coming up with innovative ways to beat the heat.

Phoenix, the capital of Arizona, is accustomed to a hot desert climate, but day and night temperatures have been rising due to global heating and the city’s unchecked development, which has created a sprawling urban heat island.

Scorching temperatures have made summers increasingly perilous for the city’s 1.4 million people, with mortality and morbidity rates creeping up over the past two decades, but 2020 was a gamechanger when heat related deaths jumped by about 60%.

Research Preview: Science Magazine – Sept 9, 2022

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Twisty device explores alternative path to fusion

Revamped German stellarator should run longer, hotter and compete with tokamaks

New tech law offers billions for research

CHIPS act will fund microelectronics innovation and training through large partnerships

Warming of 1.5°C carries risk of crossing climate tipping points

Scientists call for concerted effort to forecast points of no return for ice, weather patterns, and ecosystems

California EV rules jolt battery science

Move to phase out gas-powered cars will force progress toward faster charging batteries

Fauci looks back—and ahead

Loved and hated, NIAID’s chief plots life after government

Cover Preview: Science Magazine – June 17, 2022

The triumph and tragedy of the Higgs boson

Ten years ago, physicists found what they predicted. Little new has followed

Ancient DNA reveals Black Death source

Graves in Kyrgyzstan hold early victims of plague that swept medieval Europe

Studies tying weather extremes to global warming gain rigor

Record-shattering events spur climate attribution advances

Science: Global Warming Pledges, Energy Storage, Leeches And Biodiversity

What COP26 promises will do for climate

At COP26 countries made a host of promises and commitments to tackle global warming. Now, a new analysis suggests these pledges could limit warming to below 2˚C — if countries stick to them.

03:48 Efficiency boost for energy storage solution

Storing excess energy is a key obstacle preventing wider adoption of renewable power. One potential solution has been to store this energy as heat before converting it back into electricity, but to date this process has been inefficient. Last week, a team reported the development of a new type of ‘photothermovoltaic’ that increases the efficiency of converting stored heat back into electricity, potentially making the process economically viable.

Science: ‘Thermal batteries’ could efficiently store wind and solar power in a renewable grid

07:56 Leeches’ lunches help ecologists count wildlife

Blood ingested by leeches may be a way to track wildlife, suggests new research. Using DNA from the blood, researchers were able to detect 86 different species in China’s Ailaoshan Nature Reserve. Their results also suggest that biodiversity was highest in the high-altitude interior of the reserve, suggesting that human activity had pushed wildlife away from other areas.

ScienceNews: Leeches expose wildlife’s whereabouts and may aid conservation efforts

11:05 How communication evolved in underground cave fish

Research has revealed that Mexican tetra fish are very chatty, and capable of making six distinct sounds. They also showed that fish populations living in underground caves in north-eastern Mexico have distinct accents.

New Scientist: Blind Mexican cave fish are developing cave-specific accents

14:36 Declassified data hints at interstellar meteorite strike

In 2014 a meteorite hit the Earth’s atmosphere that may have come from far outside the solar system, making it the first interstellar object to be detected. However, as some of the data needed to confirm this was classified by the US Government, the study wasn never published. Now the United States Space Command have confirmed the researchers’ findings, although the work has yet to be peer reviewed.

LiveScience: An interstellar object exploded over Earth in 2014, declassified government data reveal

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