Number of people suffering extreme droughts will double

Science Daily  January 11, 2021 Using ensemble hydrological simulations, an international team of researchers (USA – Michigan State University, Japan, Austria, Germany, UK, Greece, Switzerland, China, Belgium, the Netherlands) shows that climate change could reduce TWS (Terrestrial water storage ) in many regions, especially those in the Southern Hemisphere. Strong inter-ensemble agreement indicates high confidence in the projected changes that are driven primarily by climate forcing rather than land and water management activities. Declines in TWS translate to increases in future droughts. By the late twenty-first century, the global land area and population in extreme-to-exceptional TWS drought could more than […]

New method adds and subtracts for sustainability’s true measure

Science Daily  September 17, 2020 A team of researchers in the US (State University of Michigan, UC Merced) used a new integrated framework to guide socioeconomic-environmental interactions within and across adjacent or distant systems (SDG) synergy and trade-off analysis within and across systems, as influenced by cross-boundary tourism and wildlife translocations. The world’s terrestrial protected areas alone receive approximately 8 billion visits per year. Globally, more than 5000 animal species and 29,000 plant species are traded across country borders, and the wildlife trade has arguably contributed to zoonotic disease worldwide, such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. They synthesized 22 cases […]

Protecting emerging and existing technology investments with escrow

Defense Systems  August 14, 2020 One of the key concerns for all government agencies — especially DOD with its national security mission — is what happens to the technology they have procured when a commercial developer determines that it will no longer support that version of the technology, merges with or is acquired by another company, goes out of business or no longer has the ability to make changes to the software source code or underlying technology. On a basic level technology escrow is a legal agreement between all parties involved in a technology transaction. It is managed by a […]

U.S. and Japan Seeking to Break China’s Grip on Rare Earths Production

IEEE Spectrum  July 23, 2020 Over time China has monopolized the rare earth elements (RREs) production with government partnerships and lax production regulations. China restricts REE exports when aggrieved. The Japanese were quick to respond to the threat of blocked exports by encouraging recycling and diversification of REE supplies. The state and private sector collaborated to and importing more rare earth from Asian countries. They discovered rich supplies of REEs in deep sea mud within Japan’s exclusive economic zone in the Pacific Ocean. In 2016 the U.S. and Australia agreed to work together on securing REE resources and to support […]

For 75 Years, The US Had an ‘Endless Frontier’ of Science. Now It’s Coming to an End

Science Alert  March 14, 2020Science The Endless Frontier released by the first US presidential science adviser engineer Vannevar Bush in 1945 became the blueprint for postwar science. It led to the development of the modern American research university, the National Science Foundation and increased government funding for science research from the 1940s to 1960s. According to the attendees at a symposium marking the 75th anniversary of the report, many facets of the plan aren’t working anymore, and the structural framework laid out in The Endless Frontier needs refreshing for 2020. Maintaining and bolstering trust in science has never been more […]

The World Could Soon Run Out of a Crucial Resource And Nobody Is Talking About It

Science Alert  October 7, 2019 Phosphorous is an essential mineral for all plants and animals on Earth, including humans. It is not a renewable element, and there are currently no known substitutes and there are very few areas in which it is mined. In a report a group of 40 international experts have warned that if nothing is done to conserve this crucial element, our planet might soon run out completely. The world is entirely unprepared for the looming phosphorous crisis. There is no collaboration or coordination on a global scale that takes the responsibility of governing the global P-resource, […]

Beyond borders: Understanding migration requires understanding changing land systems

Science Daily  September 9, 2019 With a focus on Latin America, an international team of researchers (USA – Utah State University, Ohio University, Pennsylvania State University, Indiana State University, Mexico, Chile, Norway, Germany) reviews research on how land change affects migration and how migration affects land systems, to demonstrate that the relationship is complex and context-specific. Various types of migration evidence the challenges of managing land for multiple goals and the needs of diverse groups. Land system science must understand how the movement of people is integral to land system transitions both at the origin of migration and at its […]

Bangladesh, China and India Could Have Conflicts Over the Brahmaputra River

Next Big Future  August 2, 2019 The Brahmaputra River starts in China and runs through India and Bangladesh. There are serious concerns for regional stability in conflicts over the water of the Brahmaputra River. China and India are actively constructing dams and considering water diversion plans to meet domestic needs, especially for irrigation. India has plans to build hundreds of dams in the Northeast region. Bangladesh faces human security pressures that will be magnified by upstream river practices. The Brahmaputra basin has been comparatively underexamined, despite the complex geopolitics involved and potential threats to regional stability. The Brahmaputra basin covers […]

Soaring temperatures will raise the risk of armed conflict

MIT Technology Review   June 13, 2019 According to an international team of researchers (USA – Stanford University, National Bureau of Economic Research, University of Denver, Peterson Institute for International Economics, UK, Norway, Belgium, Germany, Sweden) climate change has likely played a relatively small role in driving armed conflict so far. Other factors were far more influential in raising conflict risks, including greater levels of poverty, inequality between groups, and a recent history of violent conflict. But if temperatures rise by 2 °C, there is a 13% chance of substantial increase in the risk of armed conflict, the analysis found. That […]

Spanish flu may have lingered two years before 1918 outbreak and vaccine could have treated it

Science Daily  May 23, 2019 A team of researchers in the UK revisited the literature published in Europe and the United States, and the notes left by physicians who lived at the time. According to them the science of 2018 provides us with tools which did not exist at the time. Two such tools are ‘gain of function’ where a potential pandemic virus, such as influenza A (H5N1), can be deliberately mutated in the laboratory in order to change its virulence and spreadability. Key mutations can then be identified. A second tool lies in phylogenetics, combined with molecular clock analysis. […]