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Earth’s water cycle, as we have known it, is spinning out of balance as a result of climate change and human activities, threatening long-term water security. Last week, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released a report, The State of Global Water Resources 2022, saying that at one extreme, there were much heavier precipitation events and flooding, and that at the opposite extreme there was more evaporation, drying soils, and intense droughts. It noted that the overwhelming majority of disasters are water related.
Pakistan floods 2022 | Credit: Julien Harneis/Creative Commons
To help meet the president’s climate and energy goals, last week the Biden administration announced plans to jumpstart an entire industry by creating seven regional hubs to make and use hydrogen as a clean burning fuel. Up to $7 billion will be awarded amongst the hubs, which will comprise networks of businesses, local governments, labor, and researchers to collaborate on producing and using low-emission hydrogen.
Hydrogen Innovation Test Truck | Credit: MarcelX42/Creative Commons
As climate change heats the planet and causes drought, the risk of wildfires increases. To protect homes and buildings, many structures incorporate flame retardant materials, which are effective but can contain toxic chemicals that are carcinogenic or can impair neurological function.
Compressed mycelium sheets | Credit: Nattanan (Becky) Chulikavit, RMIT
COVID-19 continues to be a major cause of serious respiratory illnesses in the U.S., with more than 200,000 deaths reported since January 2022. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending vaccination as the most effective way to protect yourself from severe illness this fall and winter. And, according to new research published in the Journal Scientific Reports, you might want to toss in some cups of tea. A study from Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine in Japan found that catechins—the biologically active compounds found in tea—can effectively inactivate some Omicron subvariants of the virus.
Credit: Photo and Share/Creative Commons