The Daily Dose: Despite claims, Europe appears to be making climate change worse.

What good are progressive climate goals and agreements if countries are simply outsourcing harmful practices to other countries? That’s a question beginning to be asked about the European Union and its Green Deal. Per Nature, “EU member states are outsourcing environmental damage to other countries, while taking the credit for green policies at home. Although the EU acknowledges that some new legislation will be required around trade, in the short term, nothing will change under the Green Deal.” Making matters worse, the EU is exporting greenhouse emissions to countries with lax regulations. In essence, the Europeans are making matters worse.

Ever since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a deluge of data being churned out on a daily basis. While this is good, it has also resulted in some cause for concern. An article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has called for researchers to slow down a bit and take time to consider the quality of the data being referenced. According to its authors, “harnessing this type of real-world data is a tricky business. It requires high-quality data collection and proper methodological considerations. There are established guidelines on how best to plan, execute, and report observational studies in a way that ensures the validity and relevance of the evidence gathered. Yet researchers and clinicians can sometimes neglect those guidelines, especially during a health crisis in which the rush to publish has spawned some suspect research practices, according to some observers.” The fact still remains that, net-net, the amount of data circulating is a good thing.

A paper in Science details the many routes of COVID-19 community spread. Many are familiar by now, such as the high potential for spread at home. However, the authors also introduce a less referenced cause. “Both superspreading events and transmission-amplifying settings are part of a more general phenomenon: overdispersion in transmission. Overdispersion means that there is more variation than expected if cases exhibit homogeneity in transmissibility and number of contacts; hence, a small number of individuals are responsible for the majority of infections. This phenomenon has been described for diseases as diverse as measles, influenza, and pneumonic plague. For SARS-CoV-2, studies suggest that ∼10% of cases cause 80% of infections.” It’s hard to see how to mitigate this risk when a significant portion of susceptible individuals refuse to follow even the most basic public health guidelines.

The sulfur dioxide atmosphere of one of Jupiter’s Galilean moons, Io, has baffled scientists ever since it was discovered. Now, a team of researchers claims to have pinned down the cause. Per, “the team was able to see just how much of the moon’s sulfur dioxide is caused by volcanism. ‘When Io passes into Jupiter’s shadow, and is out of direct sunlight, it is too cold for sulfur dioxide gas, and it condenses onto Io’s surface. During that time, we can only see volcanically sourced sulfur dioxide. We can, therefore, see exactly how much of the atmosphere is impacted by volcanic activity,’ study co-author Statia Luszcz-Cook from Columbia University said in the same statement.”

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