Despite the IPCC report and the Supremes, global warming accounted for only 5% of total news index

Back in February, I chronicled the problems that the year's first IPCC report had in achieving wider media and public attention. In response, I argued that in today's fragmented media system, relying on traditional news coverage to attract the attention of the wider public just wasn't good enough.

As alternatives, I suggested recruiting and training a national system of opinion-leaders or "science navigators" to connect to fellow citizens on the topic, while also harnessing the power of entertainment media and celebrity culture to reach the massive audience of Americans who pay little or no attention to news about either science or public affairs.

Last week it was a new IPCC release, but similar story when it came to its media impact.

According to the latest Pew analysis, global warming only accounted for roughly 5% of the total news hole, far short of the combined attention to Iran, the 2008 Horse Race, and Iraq.

Even the partisan split at the Supreme Court on the EPA's regulation of greenhouse gases didn't elevate news attention to the issue much. In absolute terms, global warming is enjoying record amounts of news attention, yet it still doesn't register as prominent on the overall news agenda. Indeed, last week was only the third week all year where the issue broke into the top ten of news agenda items as tracked by Pew.

3D printing might save your life one day. It's transforming medicine and health care.

What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.

Northwell Health
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
  • Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
  • Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
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Permafrost is melting 70 years earlier than expected in Arctic Canada

It's a "canary in the coalmine," said one climate scientist.

MARK RALSTON/Contributor
Surprising Science
  • A team of researchers discovered that permafrost in Northern Canada is melting at unusually fast rates.
  • This could causes dangerous and costly erosion, and it's likely speeding up climate change because thawing permafrost releases heat-trapping gasses into the atmosphere.
  • This week, Canada's House of Commons declared a national climate emergency.
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Has a black hole made of sound confirmed Hawking radiation?

One of Stephen Hawking's predictions seems to have been borne out in a man-made "black hole".

Image source: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Surprising Science
  • Stephen Hawking predicted virtual particles splitting in two from the gravitational pull of black holes.
  • Black holes, he also said, would eventually evaporate due to the absorption of negatively charged virtual particles.
  • A scientist has built a black hole analogue based on sound instead of light.
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Watch scientists melt a satellite part to save us from space junk

Not every part of a satellite burns up in reentry. Considering the growing number of satellites in orbital space, that's a big problem.

Technology & Innovation
  • Earth's orbital space is getting more crowded by the day.
  • The more satellites and space junk we put into orbit, the greater a risk that there could be a collision.
  • Not all materials burn up during reentry; that's why scientists need to stress test satellite parts to ensure that they won't become deadly falling objects.
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