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bronxiteforever

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Name: Andy
Gender: Male
Hometown: Pennsylvania
Home country: Usa
Member since: Fri Jun 30, 2006, 07:47 PM
Number of posts: 6,377

Journal Archives

The Desperate Race to Neutralize a Lethal Superbug Yeast

WIRED
JUAN GAERTNER/SCIENCE SOURCE
August 13,2019

Candida auris, the potentially deadly “superbug yeast” that has alarmed health authorities around the world...as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention detailed in a recent case report. That super-yeast has wreaked havoc...where it has spread explosively in hospitals, infecting surgical wounds, brewing whole-body bloodstream infections, and clinging to every surface that investigators have thought to check...Worst of all, the super-yeast emerged already resistant to the limited drugs available to treat fungal infections...there have been more than 700 cases in the US. C. auris has been diagnosed in patients in more than 30 countries on six continents, and when investigators talk about it, they use ominous phrases such as “pandemic potential.”

C. auris...was suddenly simply present, in multiple places at once.The most provocative hypothesis for the emergence of C. auris, however, is also the most discouraging, because it traces the yeast’s emergence to a problem that humans have been unwilling to control. In this telling, captured in another paper published last month, the super-yeast is a disease of the Anthropocene. It is flourishing because human-caused climate change has given it a boost.

That thinking goes like this: There are possibly millions of species of fungi in the world, yet relatively few of them succeed in attacking humans. What protects us from them is our warmth: At 37 degrees Celsius (or 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit), we are hotter than what most fungi can survive. But if something encouraged fungi to tolerate higher temperatures, more of them could become a threat to us—and the slow heating of the planet may be creating the perfect laboratory in which fungi can adapt. “There is no better explanation for the simultaneous emergence of Candida auris than that, with the globe warming, some strains have adapted and are now able to survive in humans,” says Arturo Casadevall, one of the paper’s authors, who is a physician and the chair of molecular microbiology and immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

I can’t do this article justice. Read the whole story here.

https://www.wired.com/story/the-desperate-race-to-neutralize-a-lethal-superbug-yeast/?verso=true



Posted by bronxiteforever | Tue Aug 13, 2019, 09:44 AM (2 replies)

West Antarctica is melting--and it's our fault (National Geographic)

The fingerprints of human-caused climate change have made it to Antarctica, a new study shows
5 MINUTE READ/ National Geographic
BY ALEJANDRA BORUNDA
PUBLISHED AUGUST 12, 2019

THE TOWERING GLACIERS of West Antarctica hold the fate of the world’s coasts in their flanks. Their collapse could send sea levels up by at least a foot by 2100—and potentially much more.

...a team has unraveled evidence of that human influence. In a study published Monday in Nature Geoscience, a team of scientists showed that over the past century, human-driven global warming has changed the character of the winds that blow over the ocean near some of the most fragile glaciers in West Antarctica. Sometimes, those winds have weakened or reversed, which in turn causes changes in the ocean water that laps up against the ice in a way that caused the glaciers to melt.

The massive West Antarctic ice sheet holds something like 6 percent of the world’s fresh water frozen in its guts. If it all melted away, global sea levels would rise by about 10 feet or more. That’s not likely to happen anytime particularly soon, scientists think, but some parts of the ice sheet are particularly vulnerable, in danger of crossing a crucial “tipping point” if they retreat too far. (Read about the "tipping point" here).

In the past decades, some glaciers in the region have been retreating shockingly quickly. Pine Island Glacier and Thwaites Glaciers, for example, are losing about 100 billion tons of ice each year, and more in bad years.

More here. Short and valuable read

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/08/west-antarctic-glaciers-melting-human-influence/



Posted by bronxiteforever | Mon Aug 12, 2019, 09:32 PM (0 replies)

Saving the Arctic's 'Last Ice Area' Is a Race Against Time

Canada has moved to protect the region, where Arctic wildlife is expected to make its last stand against climate change. Scientists say it's not enough.
Vice (Motherboard )
By Becky Ferreira
Aug 12 2019, 9:00am

...most of the North Pole’s year-round sea ice will be lost by the end of this century—save for one final refuge known as the “Last Ice Area.” Arctic animals that are dependent on sea ice are expected to make a last stand in this region, which is why the Canadian government recently granted protected status to large portions of it.

This narrow band of thick ice encompasses about a million square kilometers flanking the Northern coasts of Greenland and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. The Canadian branch of the World Wildlife Fund coined its popular name, but the general contours of the area were first defined in 2010 by a team of scientists that included Stephanie Pfirman, an expert in Arctic sea ice dynamics at Arizona State University. “The wind and ocean currents transport ice across the Arctic to this region, so by the time it accumulates here, it is old and ridged and therefore thicker than ice in other regions,” Pfirman explained in an email. “This means that it takes longer to melt.”

The results of a “business as usual” scenario in which greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate will be much more dire, however, according to the models. “Under the ‘business as usual’ assumption, you do eventually lose even the Last Ice Area”... It is a bleak contrast in possible futures for this polar haven. As the Arctic warms over the coming decades, animals that depend on the sea ice habitat—such as polar bears, walruses, and eiders—will retreat to the Last Ice Area’s borders to survive. Nobody knows how well they will fare within its confines...“It is a race against time—we will need more than just switching away from carbon-based energy sources, we also need to sequester carbon in order to quickly slow the warming,” she noted. “Otherwise the last ice will be lost in summer along with the devastation of the ice-dependent ecosystem that we're trying to protect.”

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/pa7ym7/saving-the-arctics-last-ice-area-is-a-race-against-time
Posted by bronxiteforever | Mon Aug 12, 2019, 09:51 AM (3 replies)

Brexit Party's Farage ridicules royals

says he wants William 'to live forever to stop Harry becoming king'
Washington Post via Canada.com
August 12,2019

LONDON — Nigel Farage didn’t hold back.

The leader of the Brexit Party lashed out at the “irrelevant” views of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the “overweight” late Queen Mother, and Prince Charles – or “Charlie Boy” – whom he hopes never becomes king.

Farage made the comments on Saturday at a dinner of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Sydney, inspired by the American gathering of the same name. Media outlets were banned from the dinner, but the Guardian newspaper obtained a partial recording of the speech.

(As to Harry) ...”he met Meghan Markle, and it’s fallen off a cliff.”Farage told the Sydney gathering that since Harry wed Meghan, he has become the “prince of wokeness.” ...Prince Charles, 70, the heir to the British throne, did not fare well...
“When it comes to Charlie Boy and climate change, oh dear, oh dear, oh dear,” Farage said. He said that he hoped that the queen, 93, would live “a very, very long time” to stop Charles from becoming monarch.

David Lammy, a Labour Party member of Parliament in the London borough of Tottenham, urged Farage to “lay off” the Duchess of Sussex in a tweet on Monday, labeling the Brexit Party leader a “bellicose toad.”


https://beta.canada.com/news/world/brexit-partys-farage-ridicules-royals-says-he-wants-william-to-live-forever-to-stop-harry-becoming-king/wcm/05287be5-0c28-4d61-a0e8-57af998870aa/amp/

“Bellicose toad” love it
Posted by bronxiteforever | Mon Aug 12, 2019, 09:22 AM (8 replies)

Rapid, high ocean temperature spikes occurring at double the expected rate

Rapid, high ocean temperature spikes occurring at double the expected rate affecting marine ecosystems and humans
The researchers, who identified these extreme ocean temperature "surprises" all over the world, say it affects diversity and productivity of marine ecosystems.
MEAWW
By Mihika Basu
Published on : 11:44 PST, Aug 11, 2019

The research team led by Dr. Andrew Pershing, Chief Scientific Officer at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute...examined 65 large marine ecosystems from 1854-2018. The world’s oceans are divided into large marine ecosystems. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), such ecosystems “covering large swaths of the world’s coast” have some of its richest marine biodiversity and provide goods and services to billions of people worth over $12 trillion each year.

The researchers found that the number of "surprising" warming events across the large marine ecosystems increased with global warming, especially after 1998. While the researchers expected that about six or seven of 65 ecosystems examined would experience these “surprises" each year,” they instead found an average of 12 ecosystems experiencing these warming events each year, over the past seven years. This includes a high of 23 "surprises" in 2016, says the team. In his previous research, Dr. Pershing had identified the Gulf of Maine as one of the most rapidly warming ecosystems in the global ocean.

The team predicts that surprising temperatures are likely to reduce the diversity and productivity of marine ecosystems. ... in ecosystems that are experiencing change much faster, these natural communities are expected to suffer reductions in both biomass and diversity. “Our model of natural communities suggests that this will result in a decline in the abundance of species occupying a similar trophic niche; however, the decline will be less strongly felt by fast-reproducing species. This creates the potential for decoupling between different components of the food web. According to the researchers, humans are also significantly impacted by an increase in the number of unusually high ocean temperatures.

More here
https://meaww.com/rapid-unusually-high-ocean-temperature-common-double-rate-scientists



Posted by bronxiteforever | Sun Aug 11, 2019, 05:03 PM (0 replies)

Appalachia to become Hotter Wetter AND Drier in Climate Model with Severe Economic Impacts

WVTF Public Radio

By ROBBIE HARRIS
August 11,2019

A new climate projection by hydrologists at West Virginia University warns that Appalachia could become as much as 10 degrees hotter by mid-century. Working with other universities and a worldwide climate matrix, known as MACA they created scenarios for what the 4-hundred-20 counties that comprise the region could look like weather-wise.

Nicolas Zegre is director of the Mountain Hydrology Laboratory at WVU. If nothing is done to mitigate temperature rise, the study says, Appalachia is likely to become not only hotter, but wetter and drier. How can it be both? Zegre, an associate professor of forest hydrology in the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design and his team, just completed a study of the entire 7 state region. Here’s how they say it would happen: “As the atmosphere warms, evaporation increases so water that is in the trees, in the soil, in our crops, in wetlands lakes and rivers, evaporates more quickly.” And with all that water held in the atmosphere, when it rains it pours. “In the steep topography of the Appalachian region, what this translates to, is landslides and floods.”

...This study points out, similar climate crises, extreme weather and increased droughts are already well underway. “Climate change used to be a 100 years away, hard for the human brain to understand,” says Zegre. “But, as we open our eyes and use our bodies, (the ultimate sensors) we see that climate change is now.” These intense floods and droughts are already causing disruptions of our economic system, “so that’s the critical thing about our study and others around the globe; Climate change is exacerbating situations by introducing more variability in our water systems and with climate change comes greater variability, which makes it harder to manage any single event.”

https://www.wvtf.org/post/appalachia-become-hotter-wetter-and-drier-climate-model-severe-economic-impacts#stream/0
Posted by bronxiteforever | Sun Aug 11, 2019, 12:58 PM (5 replies)

In the future, only the rich will be able to escape the unbearable heat from climate change.

In Iraq, it’s already happening.Baghdad offers a troubling glimpse into a future where only the wealthy are equipped to escape the effects of climate change, Richard Hall writes
The Independent
By Richard Hall
August 10, 2019

...United Nations report released last month warned that the world is heading for a “climate apartheid” scenario, “where the wealthy pay to escape overheating, hunger and conflict while the rest of the world is left to suffer.” In Baghdad, that is already a reality. On 48C days, which are now coming earlier in the year, air conditioners are the most effective way of staying cool. But an electricity crisis in the country is putting even that essential tool out of reach to low-income families.

The crisis – caused by a combination of corruption, mismanagement and a creaking national grid – has exacerbated the country’s energy divide. The result is a huge gap between electricity supply and demand, especially in the summer. A diesel generator can be used to meet some of the shortfall, but running an air conditioner from a generator is a luxury only a few can afford.

Mahmoud Abdul Latif Hamed, a weather forecaster and manager of environment at Iraq’s Meteorological Organisation, says Iraq is experiencing extreme temperatures earlier in the year.
“In 2011, the temperature in Baghdad reached 50 degrees in August. Now it’s June and the temperature in Baghdad is already 49 degrees. That means there has been a two-month shift in reading the temperature,” he says.

“Fifty degrees is very dangerous if you’re out in the open. For the poor it is even more dangerous. They have no air conditioning to cool down. We expect the future climate of Iraq to be very dangerous,” Mr Hamed, the meteorologist says. “I expect that if the issue isn’t fixed, it will bring down the government.”


https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/climate-change-apartheid-poor-iraq-effects-heatwave-a9049206.html


Worth the read. The Pentagon has warned that climate change also creates political instability.
Posted by bronxiteforever | Sat Aug 10, 2019, 08:48 AM (19 replies)

That Summer When Climate Change Baked Alaska

An Anchorage-based wildlife biologist describes what life is like in our northernmost state—one that’s been dramatically altered by rising temperatures.
NRDC
August 09, 2019
By Jeff Turrentine

Chris McKee lived down the street from me when we were kids growing up...I’m going to move to Alaska and work with animals when I grow up,” nine-year-old Chris would say with perfect self-assurance as we kicked the soccer ball in his backyard, imagining our futures. Remarkably, Chris did exactly what he said he would do all those many years ago. Today he’s a wildlife biologist living and working in Alaska, the place he’s called home for the past three decades. Over that period of time he’s watched closely—with a scientist’s eye—as the physical environment of his beloved state has changed and continues to change.

...Thanks to climate scientists, we know that the average global temperature has risen by 1 degree Celsius over the past century. What many people may not realize is that over the same time frame, Alaska’s average temperature has risen twice as much. To hear Chris tell it, the changes resulting from this phenomenon can be seen—and felt—just about everywhere. “My first winter here, in Fairbanks from 1988 to 1989, was the coldest I’ve ever experienced. Temperatures of minus 40 were common, and even 50 and 60 below weren’t unheard of.”

That was the same winter he witnessed his first glacier: the Portage Glacier, just south of Anchorage. “There was a brand-new visitor center that had just been built,” he recalls. “It had a direct view, and it was a magnificent sight.” But when he went back to visit with his family last month, “the glacier had retreated so that you now have to take a boat to be able to see it. Every glacier I visited in my first decade up here has retreated so much, in fact, that sometimes it takes great effort to be able to see it.”


Despite all the bad news coming out of Alaska, my old friend has managed to retain his youthful optimism—although it’s definitely tempered by a middle-aged melancholy. “I think Alaska, and all polar communities, have already passed the tipping point in terms of preventing widespread problems from happening,” he says. “We’re now in a position of having to try and figure out how to deal with and react to those problems.”... It’s a startling thought, but when today’s nine-year-olds are kicking the soccer ball in the backyard and imagining where they’ll live when they grow up, they have to consider something that Chris and I didn’t: what kinds of places will—and won’t—still be around.

Worth the whole read and the photos are shocking.
https://www.nrdc.org/onearth/summer-when-climate-change-baked-alaska
Posted by bronxiteforever | Fri Aug 9, 2019, 06:13 PM (6 replies)

The heat index in Galveston has remained above 100 for over 30 hours.

Even in the dead of night, there’s no respite. The Texas Gulf Coast city registered its warmest low temperature on record Thursday.
Washington Post
By Matthew Cappucci
August 9 at 4:29 PM

The heat index hit 100 degrees at 5:52 a.m. Thursday in Galveston, Tex. And, as of Friday afternoon, it hadn’t dropped below the century mark since. It’s part of a larger heat wave across the Deep South and Southern Plains that shows no signs of letting up through at least next week.

The National Weather Service in Houston issued an excessive heat warning for “high heat index values between 108 and 114 degrees” during the day on Thursday. Heat advisories stretched over 1,000 miles from the U.S./Mexico border to Georgia, encompassing more than 30 million in the forecast for “dangerous heat.” Galveston failed to drop below 86 degrees Thursday, marking its warmest all-time low temperature on record! Records there date back to 1874. Galveston also set a daily record high Thursday, hitting 96 degrees.

Sure it’s summer, and it’s supposed to be hot. What makes this heat wave noteworthy is the exceptional humidity accompanying it. It’s much more difficult to get high temperatures when there’s copious water in the air. It’s because of water’s inherent “thermal inertia,” or the tendency for water to put the brakes on big temperature swings.

Gulf of Mexico water temperatures are running between 1 and 2 degrees above average. That adds additional water vapor to the air. Thrust atop an environment that’s already warming due to climate change, and these sorts of oppressive heat waves are becoming and will continue to be increasingly common in the years ahead.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/08/09/heat-index-galveston-has-remained-above-over-hours-its-part-another-major-heat-wave/
Posted by bronxiteforever | Fri Aug 9, 2019, 05:11 PM (5 replies)

The heat index in Galveston has remained above 100 for over 30 hours.

Even in the dead of night, there’s no respite. The Texas Gulf Coast city registered its warmest low temperature on record Thursday.
Washington Post
By Matthew Cappucci
August 9 at 4:29 PM

The heat index hit 100 degrees at 5:52 a.m. Thursday in Galveston, Tex. And, as of Friday afternoon, it hadn’t dropped below the century mark since. It’s part of a larger heat wave across the Deep South and Southern Plains that shows no signs of letting up through at least next week.

The National Weather Service in Houston issued an excessive heat warning for “high heat index values between 108 and 114 degrees” during the day on Thursday. Heat advisories stretched over 1,000 miles from the U.S./Mexico border to Georgia, encompassing more than 30 million in the forecast for “dangerous heat.” Galveston failed to drop below 86 degrees Thursday, marking its warmest all-time low temperature on record! Records there date back to 1874. Galveston also set a daily record high Thursday, hitting 96 degrees.

Sure it’s summer, and it’s supposed to be hot. What makes this heat wave noteworthy is the exceptional humidity accompanying it. It’s much more difficult to get high temperatures when there’s copious water in the air. It’s because of water’s inherent “thermal inertia,” or the tendency for water to put the brakes on big temperature swings.

Gulf of Mexico water temperatures are running between 1 and 2 degrees above average. That adds additional water vapor to the air. Thrust atop an environment that’s already warming due to climate change, and these sorts of oppressive heat waves are becoming and will continue to be increasingly common in the years ahead.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/08/09/heat-index-galveston-has-remained-above-over-hours-its-part-another-major-heat-wave/


Posted by bronxiteforever | Fri Aug 9, 2019, 05:10 PM (1 replies)
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