Astronomers propose new estimate of Earth-like planets in the Milky Way galaxy.
- Astronomers make new analysis based on data from NASA's Kepler space telescope.
- The researchers estimate there may be as many as six billion Earth-like planets in our galaxy alone.
- The scientists looked for planets that would be able to host life.
Legacy of NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="016eaa43a6faff34c8d0497af019bad0"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_V7J05fK5e0?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Third on the Big Think 2019 countdown reveals this is what the world will be like if we do not act on climate change.
- The third most popular video of 2019 presents a frightening truth: The best-case scenario of climate change is that world gets just 2°C hotter, which scientists call the "threshold of catastrophe".
- Why is that the good news? Because if humans don't change course now, the planet is on a trajectory to reach 4°C at the end of this century, which would bring $600 trillion in global climate damages, double the warfare, and a refugee crisis 100x worse than the Syrian exodus.
- David Wallace-Wells explains what would happen at an 8°C and even 13°C increase. These predictions are horrifying, but should not scare us into complacency. "It should make us focus on them more intently," he says.
Phrases like "Global warming" and "climate change" don't carry any weight.
- A neurological study shows that there are better ways to get someone to care about the threat of a climate in crisis.
- Catastrophe and more visceral words are more likely to make someone take action.
- Framing the problem in a different way can make naysayers come over to the cause.
Neurological study results<p>A company called SPARK Neuro, which measures brain activity to determine people's emotional responses to stimuli conducted the test. They set out to find if the rhetoric of climate change needed some changing. Using millisecond electroencephalography (EEG) and galvanic skin response (GSR) recordings as different political affiliated voters listened to audio of controversial statements. This data was then turned into a quantitative neurological profile. </p> <p>120 people were part of the experiment and evenly split into three groups – Republicans, Democrats and Independents. They wore (EEG) devices on their heads so that researchers could measure electrical activity and webcams videoed them to track their facial expressions. Finally, straps attached to their fingertips measured heightened emotions through the (GSR).</p> <p>With all of this data they were able to accurately predict the change in emotional response and quantify their subject's reaction to new phrasing for climate change.</p><p>The participants of the study listened to six phrases. The ones that performed the worst in terms of emotional engagement or attention were "Global warming" and "climate change". </p><p>Words that seemed to really get people engaged were: "climate crisis", "environmental destruction," "weather destabilization," and "environmental collapse."</p>
Importance of climate crisis language<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTQ1OTYyMS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NDQ3NTgzOH0.bDJYt5lgx_ruIUoTfPHxxaII-zLswVnNWLEDRJ-awa8/img.png?width=980" id="3482e" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="d894dec05ae5cd7e5fb8481b78656a75" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>Something as small as a quick phrase change can have a huge impact. People who want to learn how to communicate the importance of saving our planet in the midst of a climate crisis, need to take note.</p> <p>SPARK Neuro's CEO, Spencer Gerrol stated: "People understand that something is not working about climate change and that some change needs to be made." </p> <p>Gerrol goes on to say that these words are incredibly worn out. The problem with these terms is that they don't signify much. The statement "climate change," doesn't really mean anything. The climate is always changing. What's a laymen or unconcerned citizen supposed to say to that? Take even the phrase "Global warming" at face value. Who after all doesn't like a little bit warmer weather? </p> <p>The problem of course is much greater than that. But before you can get to the facts and tell someone the disconcerting truth of a world ravaged by climatic blight, you need to first get their attention.</p>
Geologists may have spotted evidence of the beginning stages of a subduction zone, a process that drives the movement of Earth's tectonic plates.
- Geologists have long puzzled over a flat, featureless region off the coast of Portugal that's been the location of several earthquakes.
- A team may have confirmed that a drip-shaped mass, buried 155 miles below the seafloor, might be responsible for the seismic activity.
- If confirmed, the drip-shaped anomaly also suggests that geologists have for the first time observed the early stages of a subduction zone.
KDS4444 via Wikipedia<p>Interestingly, several geologists over the decades have theorized that a drip-shaped mass might exist some 155 miles below the surface. In 1975, geologist Michael Purdy even generated an image that looks <a href="https://academic.oup.com/gji/article/43/3/973/821232" target="_blank">strikingly similar to the recent findings</a>. In 2012, a team was able to identify the mass by using seismic waves. And in 2018, a team <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012821X18304308" target="_blank">used 3D teleseismic P-wave tomography</a><em><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012821X18304308">P</a></em><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012821X18304308">-wave tomography</a> technology to examine the anomaly once again.<br></p><p>To figure out why earthquakes were occurring this strange mass, and to test the hypothesis that the mass was caused by the bottom of a tectonic plate peeling away from its top, Duarte and his colleagues created numerical models.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"The key, [Duarte] says, likely lies in an seemingly innocuous layer in the middle of the tectonic plate," wrote Maya Wei-Haas for <em>National Geographic.</em> "Past work suggested that water percolating through the ocean plate's web of fractures had reacted with the rocks below the surface, transforming them into soft green minerals in a process known as serpentinization. Perhaps this layer provided just enough weakness to allow the denser bottom of the plate to peel away. Scientists believe tectonic peeling may be common under thick continental plates through a slightly different mechanism, and possibly even in old subduction zones, but it has never been documented before in pristine oceanic plates."</p><p>Duarte's team said the findings, if confirmed, would help geologists better understand how Earth's tectonic plates interact.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"The identification of a first case of oceanic lithospheric delamination will certainly contribute to further our understanding of the dynamics of tectonic plates," they wrote in a recent <a href="https://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2019/EGU2019-6001.pdf" target="_blank">paper</a>. "Old oceanic lithosphere may be prone to gravitational instabilities, which may play a fundamental role in the process of subduction initiation."</p>
Can sensitive coral reefs survive another human generation?
- Coral reefs may not be able to survive another human decade because of the environmental stress we have placed on them, says author David Wallace-Wells. He posits that without meaningful changes to policies, the trend of them dying out, even in light of recent advances, will continue.
- The World Wildlife Fund says that 60 percent of all vertebrate mammals have died since just 1970. On top of this, recent studies suggest that insect populations may have fallen by as much as 75 percent over the last few decades.
- If it were not for our oceans, the planet would probably be already several degrees warmer than it is today due to the emissions we've expelled into the atmosphere.