Another month has begun and another weekend to be enjoyed…..these are the news items that were not important enough to make corporate news…..
Some worrying news….the earth’s fresh water reserves are shrinking at an alarming rate…..
Less than 3 percent of Earth is covered in freshwater. And while that percentage has remained pretty constant, population growth has not. Only 1 percent of freshwater is accessible to the 7.7 billion people and counting.
As concerns over water scarcity grow, research from 2018 documents how freshwater availability has changed over the years, helping water specialists and managers pinpoint how this essential resource’s flows have been changing. Xander Huggins, a PhD candidate at the University of Victoria and Global Institute for Water Security at the University of Saskatchewan, and his fellow researchers decided to explore what exactly these changes would mean for life here on Earth. Their results were published in Nature this month.
The team examined 1,204 basins across the world to understand how water availability couples with social processes to create vulnerability in communities. The main factor they studied were freshwater stress, which is the ratio of H2O that is used versus the amount that naturally leaves the watershed or basin each year; the higher the stress, the less water there is available for ecosystems and for people’s demands, according to Huggins. Following this, he and his colleagues coupled the findings with data on how freshwater storage in underground aquifers and glaciers, for example, is changing.
Huggins learned that 42 percent of the 478 most stressed basins around the planet are also the ones disproportionately losing storage. These basins, including ones in the American South and Southwest, central Argentina, and throughout the Middle East, are the ones where people and living things are already under pressure. By his team’s calculations, around 2.2 billion people and 27 percent of all global food crop production is located within drying-out freshwater basins.
Is there a human-like species out there in the reaches of space?
If conditions on a distant planet allowed life to flourish, would it look anything like life here on Earth? It’s a question that’s seen a Darwinian rise of contradictory theories over the years.
Now, in an interview with the BBC’s Science Focus magazine, Simon Conway Morris, an evolutionary palaeobiologist at the University of Cambridge, says “with reasonable confidence” that human-like evolution has occurred in other parts of the universe.
The idea is part of a wider school of thought called “convergent evolution.” It states that the random mutations driving evolution average out in any given environment, meaning that similar organisms are likely to evolve independently of each other. This has, in fact, been observed on Earth, where birds, bats, insects, and pterosaurs all evolved to fly independently. Eyes may also have evolved independently as many as 40 times on Earth.
There is always someone somewhere that has a prediction of some disaster waiting on the horizon….
An extremely powerful solar storm pummeled our planet 9,200 years ago, leaving permanent scars on the ice buried deep below Greenland and Antarctica.
A new study of those ancient ice samples has found that this previously unknown storm is one of the strongest outbursts of solar weather ever detected and would have crippled modern communications systems if it had hit Earth today.
But perhaps most surprising, the massive storm appears to have hit during a solar minimum, the point during the sun’s 11-year cycle when solar outbursts are typically much less common, according to the study, published Jan. 11 in the journal Nature Communications. Because of this unexpected discovery, the study researchers are concerned that devastating solar storms could hit when we least expect them — and that Earth might not be prepared when the next big one arrives.
This is FYI for all the old farts that take the ‘boner’ pill….Viagra.
A new study has claimed that combining a squeeze of lime with Viagra can quadruple the effects of the impotence drug.
The study, conducted by the Federal University of Technology in Akure, Nigeria, consisted of giving impotent lab rats the drug by itself or with the juice of two limes.
The rats given Viagra – the branded version of the generic drug sildenafil – with lime juice began having sex within 15 seconds (while the other rats took over a minute to get busy) and had sex with twice as many female rats as their citrus-free counterparts.
According to the research, the lime juice increases the levels of nitric oxide in the body, leading to better blood flow to the organs – including the penis.
That ought to make lime stock shoot up.
Now aren’t you happy you stopped by?
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”