of interest this week: 3 April 2016

Dry Riverbed

For this week’s list, I grabbed only a couple of the climate change articles making headlines this week. There are plenty of others—eye-opening, frightening, and everything in between—available from solid sources if you go looking for them. It’s easy to resign yourself to thinking that you’re just one person whose actions and attitudes will make very little difference in the ultimate outcome, but I encourage you to take a hard look here and take what actions you feel are appropriate.

  • Arctic Sea Ice Hits Another Terrifying Milestone
    By Maddie Stone

    Our planet is warming up very quickly right now, due to a complex series of heat exchange processes between the ocean and the atmosphere that are being aggravated by the strongest El Niño on record and the ever-rising concentration of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. And the faster the mercury rises, the more we aggravate planetary feedback loops. For instance, as the amount of shiny white surface area shrinks, the Arctic absorbs more heat, which ultimately leads to additional melting of shiny white surfaces.

    There’s been a lot of really horrendously bad but not surprising news coming out lately about climate change. Unless you’ve been living under a rock (as I’m sometimes prone to doing), you’ve probably been exposed to the continuing fallout from a 2015 study from James Hansen, explaining that the consequences of climate change may well be considerably more catastrophic than we’d previously imagined—and coming to a planet near you much sooner, too.

  • Florida Is Screwed
    By Maddie Stone

    A study published in PNAS last fall looked at what would happen to US coastal cities if sea level rose ten meters, and found that six large cities in Florida and two in Louisiana would be totally submerged. Given that this study’s worst case scenario is quite a bit worse, we can only assume that more cities will be added to the list if its projections are borne out. It’s looking increasingly likely that the citizens of Florida are going to have to be permanently resettled to large luxury cruise ships (probably their preference) or the Moon (not a terrible idea).

    More on climate change, because this shit is serious. I can be snarky and say something like, “Better book your trip to Disneyworld now, folks!” but the reality is that there are whole countries (like The Maldives) that will be submerged.

  • Study: People Who Point Out Typos Are Jerks
    By Sophie Kleeman

    The team reported that extraverts were more likely to wave off spelling errors, whereas introverts were basically like, “You’re a fucking idiot, learn to construct a goddamn sentence, Christ almighty.” Less agreeable people were more likely to notice grammar errors, which the researchers mused was because these types “are less tolerant of deviations from convention.” (Or they’re just assholes, but who can say?) People who were more conscientious and less open were more sensitive to typos.

    Okay, so I’m an asshole, apparently. Or a real-life editor.

  • View From Space Hints at a New Viking Site in North America

    Magnetometer readings later taken at the remote site, called Point Rosee by researchers, a grassy headland above a rocky beach an hour’s trek from the nearest road, showed elevated iron readings. And trenches that were then dug exposed Viking-style turf walls along with ash residue, roasted ore called bog iron and a fire-cracked boulder — signs of metallurgy not associated with native people of the region.

    This is exciting stuff! And not just because I’m writing an urban fantasy series steeped in Norse mythology (and humor). I’ve also had a keen interest in archaeology since I was a child. I’m going to see if I can arrange my schedule on Monday to accommodate the stream of the NOVA program.

Creative Commons photo: Dry Riverbed by Shever.

Posted in thoughts from the spiral.

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