Science
Thursday, February 2, 2023

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 Aerial Ian before impoact 2

There are several characteristics of the changing climate that are helping to increase the risks of damage from Hurricanes, even though global warming is not directly causing such a storm to spin up.  Katharine Hayhoe, a climate researcher at Texas Tech, put the relationship between climate change and storms such as Florence as follows: "Hurricanes are absolutely being affected by our changing climate, in many ways. As the world warms, the rainfall associated with hurricanes is becoming more intense; they are getting stronger, on average; they are intensifying faster; they are moving more slowly; and, as sea level rises, the storm surge from these events can be more damaging."

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 XBB subvariant of Omicron

A new subvariant of the novel-coronavirus called XBB dramatically announced itself in Mid October, 2022, in Singapore. New COVID-19 cases more than doubled in a day, from 4,700 on Monday to 11,700 on Tuesday—and XBB is almost certainly why. The same subvariant just appeared in Hong Kong, too. A highly mutated descendant of the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that drove a record wave of infections starting around a year ago, XBB is in many ways the worst form of the virus so far. It’s more contagious than any previous variant or subvariant. It also evades the antibodies from monoclonal therapies, potentially rendering a whole category of drugs ineffective as COVID treatments.

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 climate change globe 

US Rejoins the Paris Climate Accord

The United States on February 19, 2021 formally rejoined the Paris climate agreement, the international accord designed to avert catastrophic global warming. President Biden has said tackling the climate crisis is among his highest priorities and he signed an executive order recommitting the United States to the accord only hours after he was sworn into office last month.“We can no longer delay or do the bare minimum to address climate change,” Mr. Biden said on Friday. “This is a global, existential crisis. And we’ll all suffer the consequences if we fail.” The US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord brought cities into the spotlight. Because cities and mayors are acting now, and we must be right beside them as they become necessary leaders in this vital cause. See the world turning green in support of the Paris Climate Accord and the future of our planet. 

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u.s. capitol building insurrection

When Donald Trump stood before his followers on Jan. 6, 2021 and urged them to march on the United States Capitol, he was doing what he had always done. He never took electoral democracy seriously nor accepted the legitimacy of its American version. Even when he won, in 2016, he insisted that the election was fraudulent — that millions of false votes were cast for his opponent. In 2020, in the knowledge that he was trailing Joseph R. Biden in the polls, he spent months claiming that the presidential election would be rigged and signaling that he would not accept the results if they did not favor him. He wrongly claimed on Election Day that he had won and then steadily hardened his rhetoric: With time, his victory became a historic landslide and the various conspiracies that denied it ever more sophisticated and implausible.

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 Misticism

The Seven Wonders of the Natural World may have been named too quickly. Wonders like The Grand Canyon and Victoria Falls are certainly big, and anyone who sees them will surely be impressed—but sheer size isn’t enough to truly leave a person in awe. There are other places in this world, though, that are far stranger. Places that seem almost alien, as if they could only exist on a planet that evolved separately from our own. These are places that scientists have had to struggle just to understand how they ever could have been formed. Places that will truly make you wonder—not just because they’re beautiful, but because they seem to follow scientific laws that don’t exist anywhere else on earth.