DAILY DOSE: Africa’s glaciers under threat; Chinese moon rocks reveal lunar volcanic history.

With the U.N. climate conference set to kick off at the end of the month, environmental reports are coming in at a furious clip. A recent study highlighted the effects of climate change on Africa’s snow-capped mountains. The news is not good. Per the Associated Press, “Africa’s rare glaciers will disappear in the next two decades because of climate change, a new report warned Tuesday amid sweeping forecasts of pain for the continent that contributes least to global warming but will suffer from it most. The report from the World Meteorological Organization and other agencies, released ahead of the U.N. climate conference in Scotland that starts Oct. 31, is a grim reminder that Africa’s 1.3 billion people remain ‘extremely vulnerable’ as the continent warms more, and at a faster rate, than the global average. And yet Africa’s 54 countries are responsible for less than 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions.” As with many other global crisis, Africa is being forced to bear the brunt of other nations’ sins. https://bit.ly/2Xri2D3

The Covid-19 pandemic is showing signs of a resurgence in England. Lax school mitigation rules and slow vaccine rollout among the general population appear to be the cause. Per Reuters, “The spread of COVID-19 among children in England is fueling a rise in cases nationally and causing concern among some scientists that vaccines are being rolled out in schools too slowly, risking the welfare of children and adults alike.” COVID-19 cases in the United Kingdom as a whole are much higher than in other European countries. They continue to rise. https://reut.rs/2Z9jGKj

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Other parts of Europe are also experiencing the strain caused by Covid-19 and exacerbated by slow vaccine uptake. According to Reuters, “Romania reported record numbers of daily coronavirus deaths and infections on Tuesday, as a hospital system stretched to breaking point by the EU’s second-lowest vaccination rate ran out of intensive care beds. New infections in the preceding 24 hours topped 18,800 while 574 people died of the virus, official data showed.” https://reut.rs/3aRpZEL

It’s hard not to be amazed by auroras here on Earth. They look great. Our planet is not the only one to have naturally occurring light shows in the sky. Uranus also has them. It has been the subject of a great deal of research. Now, astronomers have taken a significant step in understanding them better. Per space.com, “Scientists have imaged the whole globe of Uranus in the infrared part of the light spectrum for the first time, hoping to shed light on the planet’s mysterious auroras and weird magnetic field. Just like on Earth, auroras on Uranus are triggered by the interaction of the solar wind, the stream of charged particles emanating from the sun, with the planet’s magnetic field.” Because of differences between the two planets, the auroras on Uranus behave very differently than the Earth’s famous northern and southern polar lights. https://bit.ly/30H9XLS

Chinese astronomers have officially announced initial findings about the moon’s past volcanic activity. According to the Associated Press, “Moon rocks brought back to Earth by a Chinese robotic spacecraft last year have provided new insights into ancient lunar volcanic activity, a researcher said Tuesday. Li Xianhua said an analysis of the samples revealed new information about the moon’s chemical composition and the way heat affected its development. Li said the samples indicate volcanic activity was still occurring on the moon as recently as 2 billion years ago, compared to previous estimates that such activity halted between 2.8 billion and 3 billion years ago.” https://bit.ly/3DUcKzt

Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out there.

IMAGE SOURCE: Sergey Pesterev.

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