climate change, global warming, Greenlamd, permafrost thaw, dangerous microbes
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Scientists: What Might Be Lurking in the Deep Freeze as Permafrost Thaws? (Maria)

The author writes, “In the summer of 2022, a team of researchers visited Greenland to take soil samples from heaps of human and animal waste, or middens, dating from the [deadly 1700s] smallpox epidemic and before. Their goal is to assess the risk that, as the Arctic warms and the permafrost thaws, long-frozen soil could release dangerous pathogens. Such ‘zombie viruses’ are fodder for Hollywood, but they are not science fiction. Temperatures in the Arctic are rising twice as fast as in the rest of the world. And viable pathogens are clearly lurking in the soil, says Marion Koopmans, a virologist at the Erasmus Medical Center. … ‘What you see now is studies that find infectious viruses from permafrost.’” 

Deaths of FDNY Responders From 9/11-Related Illnesses Reach ‘Somber’ Milestone (Mili)

The author writes, “The number of City of New York Fire Department workers who’ve died from World Trade Center-related illnesses reached a grim milestone over the weekend, equaling the number of responders killed on Sept. 11, 2001, a department official said.”

Decision to Halt Program Analyzing Seattle Police Bodycam Video Under Scrutiny (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Civil libertarians, police accountability advocates and government officials are questioning a decision by the Seattle Police Department to cancel a contract with a firm that analyzes body-camera video, just weeks after a police union official was inadvertently recorded laughing and joking following the death of a young woman killed by another officer.”

Florida School District Orders Purge of LGBTQ+ Books From All Libraries and Classrooms (Dana)

From LGBTQ Nation: “The school district superintendent of Charlotte County, Florida has ordered all books with LGBTQ+ themes and characters to be removed from district classrooms and libraries. The order extends beyond instruction materials to books that students are allowed to bring into classrooms and libraries as well. ‘These characters and themes cannot exist,’ Superintendent Mark Vianello stated explicitly when asked about students’ ‘self-selected’ reading materials by school librarians.” 

Revealed: Almost Everyone in Europe Is Breathing Toxic Air (Laura)

From The Guardian: “Europe is facing a ‘severe public health crisis,’ with almost everyone across the continent living in areas with dangerous levels of air pollution, an investigation by the Guardian has found. Analysis of data gathered using cutting-edge methodology — including detailed satellite images and measurements from more than 1,400 ground monitoring stations — reveals a dire picture of dirty air, with 98% of people living in areas with highly damaging fine particulate pollution that exceed World Health Organization guidelines. Almost two-thirds live in areas where air quality is more than double the WHO’s guidelines.”

Why Dollar General Might Just Be the Worst Retail Job in America (Jonathan)

From Bloomberg: “Rat infestations, blocked fire exits, expired kids’ food, machete-wielding and watermelon-throwing shoppers and other nightmares at the biggest dollar chain in the US.”

Scientists Have Two Ways to Spot Gravitational Waves. Here Are Some Other Ideas (Sean)

The author writes, “Until recently, gravitational waves could have been a figment of Einstein’s imagination. Before they were detected, these ripples in spacetime existed only in the physicist’s general theory of relativity, as far as scientists knew. Now, researchers have not one but two ways to detect the waves. And they’re on the hunt for more. The study of gravitational waves is booming, says astrophysicist Karan Jani of Vanderbilt University in Nashville. ‘This is just remarkable. No field I can think of in fundamental physics has seen progress this fast.’”


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