There have been quite a few good news postings on the Scientific American website recently, especially on environmental issues, and where policy and Science intersect. Here are two:
May 30, 2008
Which U.S. Cities Contribute Most to Global Warming?
New study ranks U.S. metropolitan areas based on their climate change-causing pollution
By David Biello
If you care about reducing your emissions of greenhouse gases, then you might want to move to Honolulu, Los Angeles or Portland, Ore., according to a new study from The Brookings Institution. These three metropolises boast, respectively, the lowest three per capita levels of world warming pollution (read: carbon dioxide) in the nation’s top 100 metro areas.
“Large metropolitan areas give their inhabitants smaller carbon footprints,” says energy policy expert Marilyn Brown of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta (ranked 67th), lead author of the study. “Footprints are the smallest in areas with high density and good rail transit.”
The report authors say the goal of the study is to show cities how to reduce emissions by taking a page from those already keeping a lid on them. The research also demonstrates that city dwellers in general are faring better than their country (or suburban) cousins, because of mass transit and densely packed populations in smaller areas.
And’s here’s a story about the stormy weather ahead (again):
May 30, 2008
Stormy Weather: Weather Service Predicts Active Hurricane Season
Forecasters call for more than 11 tropical cyclones
The U.S. National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center forecasts six to nine hurricanes—including as many as five major hurricanes with wind speeds above 111 miles (179 kilometers) per hour—this six-month season in the Atlantic, which officially begins on Sunday and ends November 30. Independent experts at Colorado State University in Fort Collins foresee much the same, making this a more active year than most for tropical cyclones in the Atlantic and Caribbean.
The total prediction calls for as many as 16 “named” storms, those whose winds reach more than 74 miles (119 kilometers) per hour. If one is born in the Atlantic Ocean or east of the international date line in the Pacific, it is called a hurricane; in the northwest Pacific, a typhoon; in the southwest Pacific and southeastern Indian oceans, such a storm is dubbed a severe tropical cyclone; in the north Indian, a severe cyclonic storm; and in the southwest Indian, a tropical cyclone. By any name, one of these storms can carry as much energy as 10,000 nuclear bombs—making them nature’s most destructive meteorologic phenomenon.