It was the Christmas of 2009. My brother gave me a book as a present, whose picture you can see below. I loved that book so much that I participated in the Human Document Project in 2010. That is another story, and shall be told another time. Today, I would like you to understand the concepts presented in this book.
James Lovelock formulated the hypothesis of Gaia, which proposes that organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on Earth to form a synergistic self-regulating, complex system that helps to maintain and perpetuate the conditions for life on the planet [Wikipedia]. In order words, a new vision about out planet Earth, considering it as a self regulator system.
Gaia for me was the idea of considering the Earth as an alive system. When I read this book, whose original title is "The Revenge of Gaia: Why the Earth Is Fighting Back", I discovered this vision of the climate change as never heard before. If we considered Gaia's homeostasis, maybe the fate of humanity could be less devastating by providing some positive feedbacks into the system.
There is a wide room for discussion here. In my opinion, you should read this book if you are really interested in global warming, future of human kind and the planet Earth.
However, the topic of my post today focuses on the idea of planetary health. Let's called it Gaia, or Earth, at the end the question is: how can we diagnose the health of our planet, and what are the measures to "cure" it?
The Rockefeller Foundation–Lancet Commission on Planetary Health was launched in 2015, and its mission is to take care of that.
I invite you to read more in the foundation website, and also a general article about planetary health can be found HERE.
Two big questions came to my mind this September:
1. Is this hurricane season specially busy and more catastrophic than before?
2. Has the climate change something to do with it?
When I was flying to my holidays in the Caribbean, I was a bit scared for the recent news about the hurricane Irma, which was on its way to Florida at that time. I just couldn't believe another hurricane could come right after. And not one, but five hurricanes or big storms were active at the same time on Earth at that moment.
The picture below shows exactly what I had to face when I was in the french island of Guadeloupe, and yes, Maria hit the island, and it was a (hopefully) once in a lifetime experience.
When the windspeed of a tropical storm reaches certain level a hurricane is formed.
The hurricane categories are also based on the windspeed. See the stages of development from tropical depression to hurricane HERE.
The best way to have an overview of cyclones around the globe is in the National Hurricane Center website.
Now, I am looking for answers to those questions I had this summer.
It seems that indeed this hurricane period has been just slightly more active than normal, although the main difference is that the amount of tropical storms that have evolved to hurricanes and the number of hurricanes that have reached high categories have increased. Moreover, climate change appears to be one of the main reasons this is happening.
You can find a good summary by clicking on the image below.
Climate change is real, and we have devastating proofs of it.
In the Physicsworld magazine of this month there are very interesting articles about physicists working in fields related to the dangers of our own planet: fire, earthquakes, tornadoes, volcanoes...
These scientists get very very close to these hazards to be able to study them. Still, it seems we are far away of understanding the mechanisms and the science behind them.
To get a taste of this kind of research you can enjoy a couple of videos if you click on the image below.
HAPPY NEW YEAR Science freaks!!! To start the new year with a bit of information about the climate situation, it seems that the forecast is not really optimistic. For example, look at the 2015 resume HERE, where it is possible to observe that the climate change has influenced a lot, and we know it, since it has been anomalously hot the past year. And not only that, but it seems El Niño comes stronger than ever in 2016. Discover more by clicking on the image below!
We all recognize Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus Rex.. but every year new extinct species are discovered. And 2015 has been particularly lucky in this aspect. Discover more about these new exciting dinosaurs which existed once in our planet!
This time I would like to share an article about the next mass extinction. Do you think it is accurate? Share your thoughts!
It is not new that the amount of natural disasters has experienced an increase in the last decades. Often in the news we hear of an earthquake, flood or tornado in any part of the world. But what it can be unknown until now it is the result of some studies agree on 20130 as the year where floods will triple, for example.
In the link below you can read more about this:
Also, if you are interested about USA, please check this interactive map:
And more on the 2030 scenario by the Population Institute here:
Can you imagine to work in Antarctica? Looking for the key parameters regarding the climate change? It can be challenging.. it can be boring.. make up your mind after this video!
I will continue today with the climate change topic. In case that you didn´t know.. 2047 will be THE year... Have a look here.