Scientists cool on cloud cooling climate change effect

Climate change scientists have long factored the cooling effect of the earth’s cloud cover into their global warming calculations. Now new research suggests that their calculations could be overoptimistic The New York Times reports. It cites a new paper in the journal Science that suggests the “effects of a flaw in the [cloud cooling effect] model could be serious: Based on its analysis of one model of climate change, the cloud error could mean an additional 1.3 degrees Celsius of warming than expected.”

News of the death of coral has not been exaggerated

New evidence of climate change-related coral damage in the Pacific is alarming scientists another New York Times story reports. The damage is part of a part of a “mass bleaching of coral reefs around the world, only the third on record and possibly the worst ever,” it writes. The scientific community believes that climate change combined with the effects of the current El Nino weather effect is to blame. More than a third of Earth’s coral reefs are effected and “many may not recover, the NYT writes.   

The Sugar Conspiracy?

Today, too much sugar - notably the highly refined and engineered forms like fructose - is being identified as a major contributor to health problems in the world. But this isn’t new news, notes the Guardian, as it looks back at the work of John Yudkin - a British professor of nutrition who identified the problem back in 1972 when he wrote a book called Pure, White, and Deadly. The book sold well so why were Yudkin’s warnings not heeded? “Prominent nutritionists combined with the food industry to destroy his reputation, and his career never recovered. He died, in 1995, a disappointed, largely forgotten man,” the Guardian writes.

SpaceX lands resusable rocket

Elon Musk might be hitting it out of the park in terms of consumer interest for his new Tesla X car but he’s probably more satisfied with the success of his other X project - SpaceX. As the Wall Street Journal reports, the space-transportation company has successfully vertically landed part of a used rocket on a floating platform after a number of failures that had brought into question the viability of Musk’s space vision. SpaceX executives “have long described such a feat as essential to their long-term goal of dramatically reducing the cost and accelerating the pace of launching payloads beyond the atmosphere,” it writes.

How green home insulation could come home to roost

Finally today, we’re sticking on the innovation beat albeit with a slightly more down-to-earth story about sustainable home insulation using chicken feathers. The Guardian profiles an entrepreneurial idea out of Imperial College London that hopes to make better use of the 2,000 tonnes of feather waste that the poultry industry creates each week. The students are developing a method to mix chicken feathers with the foam currently used in home insulation boards to create “a potentially cheaper - and greener - alternative. Talk about a plucky idea.

 

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