Gleanings of the Week Ending August 17, 2019

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

Well-Preserved Mosaic Floor Found in Roman Egypt - Archaeology Magazine – Lotus patterns!

Nations with strong women's rights likely to have better population health and faster growth-- ScienceDaily – A study analyzed databases which held information on health, human rights, and economic and social rights for 162 countries for the period 2004 to 2010.  The results suggest that gender equality is not just a women’s issue but a development issue.

More Climate Surprises Expected – THE DIRT – “Climate change together with environmental degradation and social and political instability is the threat multiplier.” It seems like more and more climate-linked surprises/disasters are happening every year. When do we reach a tipping point where everyone realizes that we cannot continue the status quo?

Liver transplants could be redundant with discovery of new liver cell -- ScienceDaily – From Kings’ College London. It would be a big step forward if this finding translates into standard treatment for liver failure.

Viking Woman Warrior May Have Been Slavic | Smart News | Smithsonian – Not all ‘Vikings’ were Nordic men…some were Slavic and some were women! It’s good to understand long ago cultures in more depth…particularly when it causes us to rethink our assumptions.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Birding – National Geographic Society Newsroom – Variety and beauty of birds…I always enjoy the ‘25’ collections.

How to keep buildings cool without air conditioning – according to an expert in sustainable design – We are going to need all the technology we know (and some new ones) to keep buildings and homes cool as the planet gets warmer.

America's packaged food supply is ultra-processed: Americans are overexposed to products that are high in calories, saturated fat, sugar and salt -- ScienceDaily – Unhealthy ‘food’ --- most of us have an inkling about this but it doesn’t keep us from indulging. The article mentions the Foodswitch app that allows consumers to scan packaged foods to determine their healthfulness; I loaded the app and scanned things in my pantry. The pasta I buy (whole wheat and green) rates a 5 of 5! Soymilk was 4.5. The canned tamales my husband likes are a 3 (salt and fat).

Thamugadi, a Roman outpost in Algeria, was saved by the Sahara – Buried in sand after it was abandoned around AD 700…and rediscovered in the 1700s but not explored. In the 1870s it was again rediscovered. It was excavated by the French from 1881 to 1960 in its entirety. It became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1982.

100 days, 100 nights: Sensor network reveals telltale patterns in neighborhood air quality: Custom-built sensors deployed for 100 days and nights to track black carbon pollution -- ScienceDaily – A test was done in West Oakland with new technology to monitor air pollution with more specificity over the area and time of day(s) than has been done before now. The technology worked and demonstrated that the finer grain measurements provide deeper understanding of what impacts localized air quality…something we have to understand to make progress in improving city environments.

Gleanings of the Week Ending April 28, 2018

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

Significant role for nitrate in the Arctic landscape -- ScienceDaily – There is much we need to learn about how the arctic ecosystems work today….and what will likely happen as they warm. The carbon and nitrogen cycles will speed up…but how does that translate to the types of plants that will grow there.

The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act at Fifty – Protection of some special places….rivers and the banks.

Artist Paints Imaginary Ecosystems Bursting with Colorful Flora and Fauna – Eye candy for the week! (The paintings are also inspiration for Zentangles.)

A is for Aerosol: Earth Matters – A little tutorial that includes satellite pictures of different kinds of aerosols like volcanic ash, sand/dust storms, fog/haze, smoke.

New NOAA Report Looks at National Coastal Flood Vulnerability – The whole report can be found here. Figure 6 (page 26 of the PDF…14 of the report) shows annual high tide floods days per year from 1950 onward. There is a color skew toward more days in the last decade for many areas. Another flood related article: Flood risk denial in US coastal communities -- ScienceDaily – research about how to move communities from denial to taking mitigation actions to reduce the risk to their community.

Without Birds, Lizards, and Other Vertebrate Pollinators, Plant Reproduction Could Decline by Two-Thirds - Yale E360 – Pollination drops an average of 63% when vertebrates (like lizards, birds, bats, mice) are kept away. Wow! Pollinators are not all insects.

When Going Gluten-Free Is Not Enough: New Tests Detect Hidden Exposure – It’s hard to live a gluten-free diet in the modern world…and that is what 3M people in America are trying to do. This article increased my awareness of how hard it it….and how many people are impacted by celiac disease.

The Sahara Desert Has Grown 10 Percent Since 1920 - Yale E360 – The expansion has happened mostly to the south…during the historically rainy summer months. This is one of the first studies to look at precipitation over the course of a century rather than a shorter time.

Influence of global warming on U.S. heat waves may be felt first in the West and Great Lakes regions | NOAA Climate.gov – Maryland is included in the ‘Great Lakes’ region based on the map; in this area more than half of all heat waves would be predominately due to global warming by the mid-2030s. In the west it happens even earlier (by the end of the 2020s). Lots of people live in those areas and the statistics currently tell us that more people in the US die each year of heat-related illness than any other weather disaster.

Sweet potato history casts doubt on early contact between Polynesia and the Americas -- ScienceDaily – DNA studies of sweet potatoes show something about history…and about its closest wild relative (good for the long-term viability of the domesticated crop).