Currently, meteorologists are adding onto the legends of existing weather maps–which were popularized in the early 20th century–to accommodate new records. Because of the incredible amount of rainfall in Houston–16.7 inches on Sunday alone–the NWS decided to add colors to the map that would represent rainfall greater than 20 inches. While the original map had simple dark purple for 15 inches or more of rain, the new, more accurate version of the NWS’s graphic uses dark purple for 15 inches to 20 inches, plum for 20 inches to 30 inches, and a light pinkish lavender for more than 30 inches. The storm dumped about 2 feet of rain over the weekend, and the total rainfall could reach 50 inches by the end of the week–about the same amount of rain that Hawaii receives in a year. … [Read more...] about Weather Maps Are Failing Us
While no official has claimed that either the Hawaii or Japan false alert was due to a hack, one can imagine why a hostile actor would hack an alert system if causing chaos–or starting a war–was their goal. Trump’s documented enthusiasm for using nuclear weapons (“If we have them, why not use them?” he famously said ) is matched by his disdain for expertise . Despite having skilled advisers at his beck and call, Trump largely takes his policy cues from Fox News– in particular the show, Fox and Friends–to the point that intelligence experts worry spies will manipulate him through the network. … [Read more...] about Could False Alerts and Fake News Start A Nuclear War?
Humans have dumped so much trash in the ocean between California and Hawaii that this area–known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch–is now three times the size of France. But it’s far from the only part of the ocean that has been overwhelmed with detritus. According to Cyrill Gutsch, founder of the environmental startup Parley For The Oceans, plastic waste in the oceans are killing marine life. “We’re finding plastics in the stomachs of whales and fish,” he says. “And part of it is ending up in the foods we eat.” … [Read more...] about These eco-friendly water bottles could help divert plastic from the oceans
Here in the United States, this may seem like an uphill battle, since the current presidential administration has focused on reversing environmental protections, and has already rolled back nearly 100 laws. But in the midst of all of this, states have been stepping up to protect the planet. California, for instance, is actively working to increase fuel emissions standards so they are higher than the federal government’s. Hawaii and New York are among the states that are phasing out single-use plastics. State and local governments could play a role in establishing clothing recycling facilities or compelling washing machine companies to include microplastic filters or punishing companies that burn excess inventory. … [Read more...] about It’s time to regulate fashion the way we regulate the oil industry