A year ago (+2 days) I wrote for @sciam about whether the planet would "remember" covid, based on drops in emissions and changes in pollution and how that will show up in ice cores, tree rings, and so on. The primary answer was yes, it will. 1/

Some pollutants, like soot and some aerosols from smokestacks and tailpipes, clearly ended up dropping enough as the world locked down to show up in those paleoclimate records. 2/
But the big one, CO2 -- probably not? As it turned out, even though the pandemic did stretch out, CO2 emissions only dropped less than 7%, and bounced back by the end of 2020. 3/
But the one I find most interesting is plastics, which one expert I spoke with discussed last May. And we have REALLY followed through on her predictions/concern.
Anyway, now that we're through more than a year of it, it seems clear, based on what those experts told me, that a paleoclimatologist 1000 years from now could *absolutely* find a weird little blip in 2020. This left a mark on the planet itself.

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More from @davelevitan

25 Apr
As usual, a fear-mongering tweet devoid of context from the Post. This is almost entirely a result of a dramatic lack of bat coronavirus sequencing effort in most parts of the world. It's not a new virus; we just haven't looked for them much yet.
Not to mention the fact that the virus is likely not any danger to humans.

From the paper, the virus "is unlikely to be zoonotic" -- meaning jump from animals to humans -- "without mutation."

But hey, get them clicks!
What the study really says is that far more resources should probably be designated for better understanding of bat coronaviruses, as well as for bat conservation.
Read 5 tweets
18 Apr
I don't have access so I can't see the paper this story is about to get the details, but couldn't this at least partially be reflecting that the more jargon-heavy papers are simply more niche and less broadly applicable and thus citation-worthy?
Jargon is usually bad, I'm just not entirely sure the work as described justifies the conclusion in full.

Anyway, if someone wants to send me the paper: royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rs…
Okay I read the paper. And... yeah, I still have the same concern! The authors are more or less ignoring the fact that many, many scientific papers are simply not intended to be widely read outside of extremely specialized fields.
Read 5 tweets
15 Mar
Deb Haaland confirmed as Secretary of the Interior, 51-40.
Fun fact, DOI manages around one-fifth of all the land in the United States. It is called "public land," which certainly has some historical baggage, and now the first Native American in the Cabinet is in charge.
Haaland succeeds David Bernhardt, a fossil fuel enthusiast described as a "walking conflict of interest," and Ryan Zinke, who tried to silence DOI officials worried about climate change's effects on Native communities. So.
Read 6 tweets
2 Mar
A thing I've been thinking about is how the US no longer appears capable of what is generally considered "national trauma." Like, post 9/11 or JFK assassination you had this general, collective grief, manifested in things like enormously high presidential approval ratings.
But more than half a million Americans have died of COVID, and there's barely a hint of collective grief.

Which is not surprising when a decent chunk of the country and the leaders that chunk exalts have spent the entire year more or less denying the tragedy's existence.
"For perpetrators, the memory of trauma poses a threat to collective identity that may be addressed by denying history, minimizing culpability for wrongdoing, transforming the memory of the event, closing the door on history, or accepting responsibility."
Read 8 tweets
20 Feb
This study from researchers @Grantham_IC and elsewhere found that solar geoengineering could increase number of El Nino/Nina events, with some changes in magnitude. The selling point is that they ran the model for 1000 years, rather than just ~50. BUT...

...I am not so sure that running a model where the geoengineering portion -- ie, a dimming of the sun's energy in the stratosphere -- is continuous over that whole period is that relevant? The idea in real life would be to use it briefly while emissions are lowered, right?
One of the study authors took the results to mean something pretty definitive about geoengineering, which is almost certainly true but also not really justified by these results.
Read 4 tweets
20 Jan
lol he's just a retiree eating shitty roast beef at a buffet in Florida now
playing the same two golf courses every day for the next six years, hosting the CEO of a mid-sized refrigeration company based in Dayton, texting Eric that no this weekend's no good for a visit maybe next month
berating the help when even the 15th flush won't banish the floater, calling into Judge Jeannine to announce that Kid Rock will play his 4th of July party prompting Kid Rock to tweet "bitch I'm in Cabo," publishing a book called NO COLLUSION ghost-written by Sarah Huckabee
Read 6 tweets

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