As concerns over water scarcity grow, research published in Nature recently documents how freshwater availability has changed over the years, helping water specialists and managers pinpoint how this essential resource’s flows have been changing. Xander Huggins, a PhD candidate at the University of Victoria and Global Institute for Water Security at the University of Saskatchewan, and his fellow researchers decided to explore what exactly these changes would mean for life here on Earth. The team examined 1,024 basins across the world to understand how water availability couples with social processes to create vulnerability in communities. The main factor they studied were freshwater stress, which is the amount of H2O that naturally leaves the watershed or basin per year; the higher the stress, the less water there is available for ecosystems and for people’s demands, according to Huggins. Following this, he and his colleagues coupled the findings with data on how freshwater storage in underground aquifers and glaciers, for example, is changing. - Popular Science / Nature
The climate is changing, and we are the primary cause. These are simple facts that are supported by a vast body of evidence and agreed upon by virtually allcr experts. Nevertheless, many people continue to think that the science isn’t “settled” and there is widespread disagreement among experts. Unfortunately, these myths have been propagated and supported by very active misinformation campaigns, so I want to take a few minutes to explain why they are incorrect. First I will explain what we mean when we say that a topic is “settled” or that there is a “consensus,” then I will demonstrate that such a consensus exists for the topic of anthropogenic climate change. - The Logic of Science (Posted originally on January 20, 2020 and worth sharing again. )
The Arizona Corporation Commission rejected the adoption of a set of clean energy rules on Wednesday in a 3-2 vote. The rules package included a timeline for 100% carbon-free electricity, new demand-side resources standards and integrated resource planning reforms. The package would have expanded energy efficiency programs for Arizona Public Service (APS) and Tucson Electric Power (TEP), offering rebates to customers for replacing inefficient appliances and upgrading lighting. Commissioner Jim O'Connor, R, voted against the rules package despite his work last May with Commissioner Anna Tovar, D, to revive the package through a separate rulemaking. Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) called O'Connor's vote "surprising." - Utility Dive
When something happens earlier than expected, Indians say it has been “preponed”. On November 24th India’s health ministry revealed that a resolution to one of its oldest and greatest preoccupations will indeed be preponed. Some years ahead of un predictions, and its own government targets, India’s total fertility rate—the average number of children that an Indian woman can expect to bear in her lifetime—has fallen below 2.1, which is to say below the “replacement” level at which births balance deaths. In fact it dropped to just 2.0 overall, and to 1.6 in India’s cities, says the National Family Health Survey (nfhs-5), a country-wide health check. That is a 10% drop from the previous survey, just five years ago. - The Economist (via Google Groups)
For all of its ecological baggage, synthetic nitrogen does one good deed for the environment: it helps build carbon in soil. At least, that’s what scientists have assumed for decades. If that were true, it would count as a major environmental benefit of synthetic N use. At a time of climate chaos and ever-growing global greenhouse gas emissions, anything that helps vast swaths of farmland sponge up carbon would be a stabilizing force. Moreover, carbon-rich soils store nutrients and have the potential to remain fertile over time–a boon for future generations. - Grist
This is a way to share science-based info from reliable sources. Click the source link after text to read more. Use this Google Doc or this Google Slides template to summarize an article. An occasional podcast featuring news and topic experts will be included.