Daily Links Apr 27

Big data (first URL) is not an end in itself, it’s important for the evidence base. It’s what we do with it that counts, how is it used to inform action? The second URL will take you to a brilliant three part series, All watched over by machines of loving grace, perfect for these times of COVID19 lockdown. The series takes you to Jay Forrester of Limits to Growth, Ayn Rand so beloved of libertarian think-tanks and Alan Greenspan who did use data to inform action (unfortunately). 

Post of the Day

Big data reveals we’re running out of time to save environment and ourselves

The use of big data can help scientists’ chart not only the degradation of the environment but can be part of the solution to achieve sustainability, according to a new commentary paper.

 

On This Day

Apr 26

 

Ecological Observance

Day of Remembrance of the Chernobyl Tragedy

 

Coronavirus Watch

Confirmed cases: 6,695. Deaths: 81

 

Sentinel testing might help Australia ease coronavirus restrictions. Here’s what the Government is looking at now

Australians are seeing more days with low (or even no) new coronavirus cases in their state. But alone, that’s not enough to see restrictions ease. Can more testing help?

 

Climate Change

A Europe covered in grasslands or forests: innovation and research on climate models

An experiment to better understand how atmospheric variables respond to land use changes. For the first time, research in this field integrates nine different models: giving birth to a study that, with the CMCC Foundation’s contribution within an international team, looks at increasingly advanced climate models to identify concrete and effective strategies to tackle climate change.

 

National

Bushfires leave 470 plants and 200 animals in dire straits – government analysis

The most severely affected invertebrates and plants lost at least 30% of habitat to the fires

 

When does a drought end?

Kate Doyle

“When it rains” may sound like the obvious answer, but nothing in the real world is that easy.

 

Tasmania

Australia’s only deciduous tree is changing colour while nobody watches

Tasmanian national parks are closed so we’re unlikely to see this year’s beautiful display by the deciduous beech first hand. So here are some photos of the stunning yellow, orange and red fagus.

 

Western Australia

The 11 WA projects fast-tracked for economic recovery [$]

The McGowan Government is set to fast-track 11 infrastructure projects worth $2.3 billion to help reboot the COVID-19-hit WA economy.

 

Sustainability

Big data reveals we’re running out of time to save environment and ourselves

The use of big data can help scientists’ chart not only the degradation of the environment but can be part of the solution to achieve sustainability, according to a new commentary paper.

 

Environment-friendly compound shows promise for solar cell use

In research published today in Advanced Functional Materials, a team of engineers, material scientists, and physicists demonstrated how a new material — a lead-free chalcogenide perovskite — that hadn’t previously been considered for use in solar cells could provide a safer and more effective option than others that are commonly considered.

 

Falling visibility shows African cities suffering major air pollution increases — study

Falling visibility in three major African cities reveals that air pollution has increased significantly over the last 45 years – leaving citizens facing further short-term increases in man-made pollution due to increasing urbanization and economic development, a new study reveals.

 

Reducing the carbon footprint of artificial intelligence

MIT system cuts the energy required for training and running neural networks.

 

Highly concentrated aqueous electrolytes could replace solvents used in batteries

The review article by researchers at the University of São Paulo shows the advantages of this technological alternative, which is nontoxic and much cheaper than other methods.

 

Satellite data used to detect marine plastic

A new method of detecting patches of floating macroplastics — larger than 5 millimeters — in marine environments is presented in Scientific Reports this week. The approach, which uses data from the European Space Agency Sentinel-2 satellites, is able to distinguish plastics from other materials with 86% accuracy.

 

Nature Conservation

Tales of love and loss: people from Oceania share their ‘extinction stories’

The first time poet Craig Santos Perez encountered a bird native to his homeland of Guam it was in a cage at San Diego zoo.

 

Iceland whaling cancelled again this year

The company that hunts fin and minke whales in Iceland for export to Japan will not operate this season due to coronavirus concerns, local media reports say.

 

Learn from past to protect oceans

History holds valuable lessons — and stark warnings — about how to manage fisheries and other ocean resources, a new study says.

 

Climate change may push some species to higher elevations — and out of harm’s way

A new study reveals that mountain-dwelling species fleeing warming temperatures by retreating to higher elevations may find refuge from reduced human pressure.

 

Dramatic loss of food plants for insects

Plummeting insect numbers are becoming a concern. A team of researchers have now demonstrated for the first time that the diversity of food plants for insects in the canton of Zurich has dramatically decreased over the past 100 years or so.

 

Warming climate undoes decades of knowledge of marine protected areas

A new study highlights that tropical coral reef marine reserves can offer little defence in the face of climate change impacts. And the changes that are being observed will force scientists, conservationists and reserve managers to rethink the role these protected areas can bring.

 

Ocean biodiversity has not increased substantially for hundreds of millions of years — new study

A new way of looking at marine evolution over the past 540 million years has shown that levels of biodiversity in our oceans have remained fairly constant, rather than increasing continuously over the last 200 million years, as scientists previously thought.

Maelor Himbury

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