Daily Archives: March 28, 2019

Explaining the US measles outbreak – BBC News

Cyclone Idai Aftermath – YouTube

The biggest revolution in gene editing: Crispr-Cas9 explained

‘Doomsday vault’ town warming faster than any other on Earth – CNN

By Sarah Lazarus, CNN  Updated 0550 GMT (1350 HKT) March 27, 2019

(CNN) In 2014, Mark Sabbatini noticed cracks in his apartment walls. Then a mysterious bulge appeared in his bedroom and the apartment block’s communal staircase became crooked. “Doors and windows weren’t shutting properly,” he says.

Sabbatini, the editor of a local newspaper, was living in Longyearbyen, the world’s northernmost town located just 800 miles from the North Pole, which is also the capital of a cluster of Norwegian islands called Svalbard.

A landscape of jagged mountains, fjords and glaciers, Svalbard — which experiences four months of darkness in winter, and four months of daylight in summer — is built on permanently frozen ground called permafrost.

For years, permafrost provided a base as hard as concrete. But now it’s melting — and that’s proving to be a problem.
Sabbatini says his building was damaged because it started sinking into the softening ground.

Inger Hanssen-Bauer, senior researcher at the Norwegian Meteorological Institute and editor of a new report about Svalbard, says the climate in Longyearbyen is probably warming faster than in any other town on Earth. That’s because of accelerated Arctic warming.

…(read more).


Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rose to All-Time High in 2018 + U.N. Secretary-General: Cyclone Idai Latest Warning Sign on Climate

Mar 27, 2019

In more climate news, global greenhouse gas emissions rose to an all-time high in 2018, with countries adding over 33 billion tons of heat-trapping carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. An International Energy Agency study found global CO2 levels rose by 1.7 percent last year. U.S. emissions rose by over 3 percent, while Europe and Japan saw slight decreases.

U.N. Secretary-General: Cyclone Idai Latest Warning Sign on Climate

Mar 27, 2019

Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said Tuesday that Cyclone Idai is the latest “alarm bell” about the dangers of climate change. The storm killed over 750 people and has left nearly 2 million people in need of assistance in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

Secretary-General António Guterres: “Cyclone Idai was an uncommonly fierce and prolonged storm, yet another alarm bell about the dangers of climate change, especially in vulnerable, at-risk countries. Such events are becoming more frequent, more severe and devastating and more widespread, and this will only get worse if we do not act now.”

Senate Votes Down Green New Deal as Democrats Decry “Stunt Vote”

Mar 27, 2019

The Senate on Tuesday rejected the Green New Deal, after 43 Democrats voted “present” on the measure introduced by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Four other Democrats joined all 53 Republican senators in voting against the Green New Deal. Democrats—including the bill’s champion, New York Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—blasted McConnell’s move as a “stunt vote.”

The Green New Deal seeks to transform the U.S. economy through funding renewable energy while ending U.S. carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. Democratic leaders have resisted backing the deal, which has the support of all 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls in Congress.