Electric vehicles: benefits, technology, obstacles

Vehicles (cars and trucks) can be powered partially or wholly by electricity. “All-electric vehicles (EVs) have an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine. The vehicle uses a large traction battery pack to power the electric motor and must be plugged in to a charging station or wall outlet to charge. Because it runs on electricity, the vehicle emits no exhaust from a tailpipe and does…

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Wildfires and climate change

There is a direct connection between wildfires in the western United States and climate change. Featured article: Park Williams, A., Abatzoglou, J. T., Gershunov, A., Janin Guzman‐Morales, Bishop, D. A., Balch, J. K., & Lettenmaier, D. P. (2019). Observed impacts of anthropogenic climate change on wildfire in California. Earth’s Future, 7(8), 892-910. [PDF] [Cited by] “Recent fire seasons have fueled intense speculation regarding the effect…

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Revisiting: Hurricanes are slowing down and becoming more dangerous

In 2017, Hurricane Harvey moved very slowly across parts of Texas (US) dropping “more than 30 inches of rain in two days and nearly 50 inches over four days.” “Harvey’s rainfall exceeded every known flooding event in American history since 1899.” The reason for the high rainfall totals was the slow movement of the storm–and a 2018 study (Kossin) reports that “between 1949 and 2016,…

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Climate change and human behavior

In the face of the many and significant challenges of a changing climate, how and why do humans act the way they do? Does it take a crisis for people to actually do something? And, when the crisis passes, does the action stop? Are human beings, collectively, doomed to failure due to inaction, denial, greed, corruption, and, the most challenging barrier, outright fear? Quick bibliography–articles…

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Arabidopsis: model organism in Biology

Arabidopsis thaliana is a small, annual rosette plant. It belongs to the family of the Brassicaceae in the eudicotyledonous group of angiosperm vascular plants. This family also includes related oilseed crops, vegetables and spice plants–rapeseed, brussel sprouts, various cabbages, cauliflower, garden radish, and mustard. From: eLife 2015;4:e06100, “The Natural History of Model Organisms: Planting molecular functions in an ecological context with Arabidopsis thaliana“, Ute Krämer….

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