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Warming Trends: A Facebook Plan to Refute Climate Myths, ‘Meltdown’ and the Sad Yeti

Facebook Suppresses Climate Myths

Facebook announced this week that it will tackle climate change misinformation with the expansion of the Climate Science Information Center and a new tagging program for climate-related publications.

Collaborating with experts from the George Mason University, Yale Climate Change Communication Program and Cambridge University, the social media platform will begin to add tags to publications about climate change, similar to what they use to prevent misinformation about Covid-19 and 2020. selection. People searching Facebook for climate change or other related topics will be redirected to the headquarters to find real and authoritative information, as users who encounter the tag are already doing in countries where the center is present. The tagging program is starting in the UK, but will add other countries “soon”, according to a report by the social media giant.

Expanding to a dozen new countries this week, the center includes local information about rising temperatures, explanatory about climate change science, climate change news from verified sources, and actions people can take to mitigate climate change. The improvements announced this week include a new feature that refutes common climate myths.

“A healthy planet depends on everyone, everywhere, and it starts with people having access to accurate and timely information,” said Nancy Groves, head of digital strategy at the UN Environment Program. “We look forward to continuing to work with Facebook on this new effort to dispel myths and gain access to the latest science on climate emergency.”

Science

Scientists Fear The Bank Will Not Pay For Trees

Would you give someone an unconvincing promise to get your 401K back in 50 years?

“This is not a deal you will get,” said John Steinman, research scientist at MIT Sloan School of Management.

So now, cutting down trees to burn for energy, down the line for decades, a spare tree – assuming it will survive land development, natural disasters, diseases and other unpredictable tree killers – will hold as much carbon as the first one. has the tree spread?

“This is the proposed deal here,” Steinman said about deforestation for biomass energy.

This lag time and unpredictability is why 500 scientists, including Steinman, sent a letter to world leaders saying the practice is not carbon neutral and should not be included in countries’ net zero plans.

In the letter addressed to the leaders of the United States, the European Union, Japan and South Korea, it was stated that “Trees are more valuable than dead for both climate and biodiversity.” “To achieve future net-zero emissions targets, your governments must work to protect and restore forests, not burn them.”

Biomass energy from forests is included in South Korea’s carbon neutral strategy. The European Union has generated 60 percent of its renewable energy from biomass as of 2019. Biomass energy has also been included in the renewable portfolios of the United States and Japan.

When a tree is cut down for fuel and burned, it immediately emits carbon dioxide, contributing to climate change. This is considered carbon neutral because, in theory, the emissions would be offset by a backup tree. But it will take decades for a new tree to grow to fully offset the emissions from burnt wood.

“All the while, that extra carbon worsens climate change,” Steinman said. “Sea level will rise faster, extreme weather conditions will worsen, crop yields will decrease more. And even after removing that excess carbon, the climate doesn’t revert to what it was before. The glaciers will not recover suddenly, sea levels will not fall suddenly. ”

culture

Talking (and Photographed) Icebergs

In a new climate change documentary, artist Lynn Davis compares photographing icebergs to playing blackjack – you never know what will happen on the next card.

“It’s all about discontinuity,” he says in the movie. “The ice is moving, the water is moving, the clouds are moving, the light is changing and you are moving, so where is the solidity? Relative. ”

The movie “Meltdown”, published on various broadcast platforms this week, is narrated by two characters: Davis, who has been photographing Greenland for nearly 30 years, and social scientist Anthony Leiserowitz from the Yale Climate Change Communication Program, the first to visit the Arctic land mass.

Producer Mike Tollin, known for his Emmy-winning work “The Last Dance,” said the film brought together two people whose lives melted in very different ways to learn from each other and witness climate change in action.

“What we’ve discovered is the juxtaposition of beauty and tragedy, and two different perspectives that lead to a fascinating conversation and unique perspective on climate change,” Tollin said.

The speech format combined with a focus on beauty and emotion makes this movie different from other documentaries about climate change in the Arctic. Both Davis and Leiserowitz find ways to return the meltdown they witnessed in Greenland to their home life.

“We celebrate the beauty and we celebrate the loss in a different way,” said Tollin. “What does it mean for humanity, not in facts and figures?”

Science

Great Lakes, Little Ice

Ice cover over the Great Lakes in January was the second lowest recorded this year, with only 4.4 percent of the lakes frozen.

This January was the second after 2002, when only 4.1 percent of the lakes had ice cover. The past decade has seen six of the top 10 low-ice years since record keeping began in 1973.

The area of ​​ice-covered lakes this year is estimated to be below average, with around 38 percent freezing, compared to a long-term average of 53.3 percent. However, the recent cold weather has increased the ice cover in all five of the Great Lakes last week.

Credit: NOAA

Deviations from the mean are not unusual. In fact, James Kessler, an icecap scientist at NOAA, said that extremely high or extremely low ice years are more common than average years. However, the average long-term ice cover for lakes is trending downward at a rate of about 5 percentage points per decade.

“We’re seeing this kind of extreme variation,” Kessler said. “Fewer years are typical, more of extreme highs and lows.”

Kessler said the ice cover is affected by both air temperature and lake temperature, and complex global weather patterns like El Niño, so determining the root cause of why it has more ice cover in one year than another is a complex task, Kessler said. Still, he said, climate change is likely to be linked to a downward trend in ice cover.

“It’s not a big step to say that this change is related to climate change,” he said. “But it would be nice to have a longer data set.”

culture

Artworks to Veil a Future Winter Carnival

Stacked next to Lake Monona in Madison, Wisconsin, a statue of a disgusting snowman who looks sullen and mournful as he burns natural gas right behind a Madison Gas and Power Plant.

The sculpture “Sad Yeti” was created by two artists from Wisconsin to mourn the loss of winter as the planet warms. One of the few artworks scattered throughout the city this month is part of a climate change-centered winter carnival, along with live performances.

Led by the 57-year-old Madison-based artist Tamsie Rings, the Winter Live Carnival aims to inspire conversations about the warming planet and how it changes winters, especially in the Midwest.

“I’ve noticed the climate changes I’ve been through my whole life: lakes freeze later, thaw earlier, huge changes in temperature. Now you can see that the climate affects everything, “said the Rings.” We have a very short memory, we can accept the normal that is not this new winter, and that is part of our idea. [this carnival]What would the world be like if there were no more winter ”

The statue of the Rings at the carnival is a solar powered light show, reminiscent of a deep water oil rig decorated with holiday lights. The work aims to show, with a little “black humor”, how oil exploration can expand into the region as the North Pole melts. In such a situation, will Santa’s workshop move to an oil rig?

The event will continue in the first week of March, with events broadcast live almost every day until then.

“This is our home, if we don’t do something to make a difference right away, we make it uninhabitable,” Ringler said. “It’s hard for artists to really make changes because we’re not scientists, but at least we can get people to think about it.”

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