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2019-06-10. How Dengue, a Deadly Mosquito-Borne Disease, Could Spread in a Warming World.

posted Jun 14, 2019, 10:23 PM by Alan Gould

By Kendra Pierre-Louis and Nadja Popovich, The New York Times. [https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/06/10/climate/dengue-mosquito-spread-map.html] For GSS Climate Change chapter 8. Excerpt: Climate change is poised to increase the spread of dengue fever, which is common in parts of the world with warmer climates like Brazil and India, a new study warns. Worldwide each year, there are 100 million cases of dengue infections severe enough to cause symptoms, which may include fever, debilitating joint pain and internal bleeding. There are an estimated 10,000 deaths from dengue — also nicknamed breakbone fever — which is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes that also spread Zika and chikungunya. The study, published Monday in the journal Nature Microbiology [https://www.nature.com/articles/s41564-019-0476-8], found a likelihood for significant expansion of dengue in the southeastern United States, coastal areas of China and Japan, as well as to inland regions of Australia....  

2019-06-08. Even as Floods Worsen With Climate Change, Fewer People Insure Against Disaster.

posted Jun 11, 2019, 9:23 PM by Alan D. GOULD

By Christopher Flavelle, The New York Times. [https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/08/climate/climate-flood-insurance.html] For GSS Climate Change  chapter 8. Excerpt: WASHINGTON — Despite years of devastating flooding and hurricanes, the number of Americans with flood insurance remains well below its level a decade ago, undermining the nation’s ability to cope with disasters just as climate change makes them more frequent and severe....

2019-06-06. Automakers Tell Trump His Pollution Rules Could Mean ‘Untenable’ Instability and Lower Profits.

posted Jun 8, 2019, 11:52 PM by Alan D. GOULD

By Coral Davenport, The New York Times. [https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/06/climate/trump-auto-emissions-rollback-letter.html] For GSS Climate Change chapter 9 and Energy Use chapter 9. Excerpt: WASHINGTON — The world’s largest automakers warned President Trump on Thursday that one of his most sweeping deregulatory efforts — his plan to weaken tailpipe pollution standards — threatens to cut their profits and produce “untenable” instability in a crucial manufacturing sector....

2019-06-06. $180 million DNA ‘barcode’ project aims to discover 2 million new species.

posted Jun 8, 2019, 11:49 PM by Alan D. GOULD

By Elizabeth Pennisi, Science Magazine. [https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/06/180-million-dna-barcode-project-aims-discover-2-million-new-species] For GSS Losing Biodiversity chapter 4. Excerpt: For centuries biologists have identified new species at a painstakingly slow pace, describing specimens' physical features and other defining traits, and often trying to fit a species into the tree of life before naming and publishing it. Now, they have begun to determine whether a specimen is likely a novel species in hours—and will soon do so at a cost of pennies. It's a revolution driven by short stretches of DNA—dubbed barcodes in a nod to the familiar product identifiers—that vary just enough to provide species-distinguishing markers, combined with fast, cheap DNA sequencers. ...Biodiversity experts estimate that Earth has between 8.7 million and 20 million kinds of plants, animals, and fungi, but to date only 1.8 million of them have received formal descriptions. Insects, in particular, are a vast realm of undiscovered species. "Yet collectively, they may contribute more biomass in terrestrial habitats than all wild vertebrates combined," says Rudolf Meier, a biologist from the National University of Singapore who has been developing barcoding approaches with a small DNA sequencer....

2019-06-04. Sea Level Rise May Reactivate Growth of Some Reef Islands.

posted Jun 8, 2019, 11:45 PM by Alan D. GOULD

 By Sarah Stanley, Eos/AGU. [https://eos.org/research-spotlights/sea-level-rise-may-reactivate-growth-of-some-reef-islands] For GSS Climate Change chapter 8. Excerpt: Reconstruction of reef island formation in the Maldives suggests the possibility that not all islands will shrink as climate change progresses. ...Rising seas pose serious threats for low-lying coral reef island nations. Widespread assumptions hold that encroaching waters will affect all reef islands in the same way, with many disappearing beneath the waves. However, emerging evidence, including new research by East et al., suggests that reef islands form differently in different settings, and some might actually grow as waters rise....

2019-06-04. Judges Give Both Sides a Grilling in Youth Climate Case Against the Government.

posted Jun 8, 2019, 11:40 PM by Alan D. GOULD

By John Schwartz, The New York Times. [https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/04/climate/climate-lawsuit-juliana.html] For GSS Climate Change chapter 10. Excerpt: Three federal judges heard arguments Tuesday about whether young people have a constitutional right to be protected from climate change. In the lively, hourlong hearing, the judges, from the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, pushed skeptically on the arguments of both sides. ...The group of 21 young people first sued the United States government through a group called Our Children’s Trust. The case, and the children, are aging. “We’ve been doing this four years,” said Vic Barrett, one of the plaintiffs. “For some of us, that’s a quarter of our lives.” Five of them are now old enough to buy beer and 14 of them can vote....

2019-06-03. Déjà Vu: Understanding Subduction Zones’ Cycle of Seismicity.

posted Jun 8, 2019, 11:37 PM by Alan D. GOULD

By Terri Cook, Eos/AGU. [https://eos.org/research-spotlights/deja-vu-understanding-subduction-zones-cycle-of-seismicity] For GSS Energy Flow chapter 2. Excerpt: A unique geodetic data set from Japan’s Nankai subduction zone offers an unparalleled opportunity to study surface deformation spanning almost an entire seismic cycle....  

2019-06-04. GSS activity selected for the CLEAN collection.

posted Jun 4, 2019, 9:55 PM by Alan D. GOULD   [ updated Jun 4, 2019, 10:04 PM ]

The GSS Climate Change activity 6-1, The Findings From Mauna Loa, from chapter 6 (Is the Atmosphere Really Changing? - http://www.globalsystemsscience.org/uptodate/cc/ch6) was selected for inclusion in exemplary activities in the Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) collection. [https://cleanet.org/resources/49319.htmlCLEANet.org is an internationally-recognized portal (funded by NSF, NOAA, and the Department of Energy) that features high-quality online resources that have passed rigorous review by scientists and educators.

2019-06-04. Companies See Climate Change Hitting Their Bottom Lines in the Next 5 Years.

posted Jun 4, 2019, 9:24 PM by Alan D. GOULD

By Brad Plumer, The New York Times. [https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/04/climate/companies-climate-change-financial-impact.html] For GSS Climate Change chapter 8. Excerpt: WASHINGTON — Many of the world’s biggest companies, from Silicon Valley tech firms to large European banks, are bracing for the prospect that climate change could substantially affect their bottom lines within the next five years, according to a new analysis of corporate disclosures [https://www.cdp.net/en/research/global-reports/global-climate-change-report-2018-tcfd]. Under pressure from shareholders and regulators, companies are increasingly disclosing the specific financial impacts they could face as the planet warms, such as extreme weather that could disrupt their supply chains or stricter climate regulations that could hurt the value of coal, oil and gas investments. Early estimates suggest that trillions of dollars may ultimately be at stake. ...“The numbers that we’re seeing are already huge, but it’s clear that this is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Bruno Sarda, the North America president for CDP.... In 2018, more than 7,000 companies [https://www.cdp.net/en/responses?utf8=✓&queries%5Bname%5D=] submitted such reports to CDP, formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project. And, for the first time, CDP explicitly asked firms to try to calculate how a warming planet might affect them financially....

2019-06-03. The Shorebirds of Delaware Bay Are Going Hungry.

posted Jun 4, 2019, 9:22 PM by Alan D. GOULD

By Jon Hurdle, The New York Times. [https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/03/science/bird-migration-horseshoe-crabs.html] For GSS Losing Biodiversity chapter 6. Excerpt: ...challenges like severe Arctic weather during breeding, or coastal development along the migration route, could lead to the bird’s extinction. Populations of other migratory shorebirds, like semipalmated sandpipers and ruddy turnstones, have also declined. The problem, conservationists say, is the overfishing of horseshoe crabs for commercial fishery bait and the harvesting of the animals for their blood, which contains an extract called L.A.L., used by the biomedical industry to detect certain bacteria. ...Now, conservationists are renewing calls to halt the harvest for bait altogether, and to persuade the biomedical industry to switch to recombinant Factor C (rFC), a synthetic alternative to LAL, to ease pressure on the horseshoe crab population. ...Recognizing the threat to the birds, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, an interstate regulator, banned the harvest of female horseshoe crabs for bait starting in 2013, in the hope that a recovering population of females would lay more eggs and allow the birds to rebound....  

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