Measuring War's Carbon Footprint
Some researchers have explored whether warfare might be explained in part by swings in climate. But what about the opposite effect? Can humanity's skirmishes change the climate?
A new study in The Holocene by Julia Pongratz of the Carnegie Institution for Science says it all comes down to a trade-off between people and trees: when a brutal war or devastating plague significantly reduces a human population, forests have the chance to re-grow and absorb carbon dioxide, mitigating the greenhouse effect. Pongratz reconstructed global land cover from 800 AD to the present and modelled the carbon cycle for the same time period in order to test how land usage influenced climate change.
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A new study explores how certain personality traits affect individuals' attitudes on obesity in others.
- The study compared personality traits and obesity views among more than 3,000 mothers.
- The results showed that the personality traits neuroticism and extraversion are linked to more negative views and behaviors related to obesity.
- People who scored high in conscientiousness are more likely to experience "fat phobia.
Meanwhile, Spaniards are the least likely to say their culture is superior to others.
- Survey by Pew Research Center shows great variation in chauvinism across Europe.
- Eight most chauvinist countries are in the east, and include Russia.
- British much more likely than French (and slightly more likely than Germans) to say their culture is "superior" to others.
The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.
- Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
- Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
- Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
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