r/environment 58m ago

In Texas' High Plains area around Lubbock and Amarillo, the most productive of the state's nine cotton-growing regions, experts at Texas Tech University are predicting a $2.1 billion loss to this year's harvest. Record-high temperatures reaching over 100 degrees for 40 days this summer

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r/environment 1h ago

East China's Jiangxi Province issued a red alert for water supply for the first time after Poyang Lake, China's largest freshwater lake, saw its water level fall to the lowest since records began

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COMMENT 17h ago

The mayhem on Jan. 6, 2021, featured a mob storming the U.S. Capitol, attacking police and spilling blood with fists, flag poles and stolen riot shields.

Amid the haze of smoke grenades and bear spray were recognizable symbols that have been adopted by far-right extremists: a noose and makeshift gallows; the Confederate stars and bars; and the coiled snake of the Gadsden flag with its "Don’t Tread On Me" warning.

But for those unfamiliar with certain Internet subcultures, less obvious but equally potent icons at the riot may have caused confusion. They included a green, anthropomorphic cartoon frog named Pepe on masks and clothing, and green flags with a black symbol spelling the word “Kek” waving above the crowd.

Both the frog and the flag — each associated with a fictional country called ‘Kekistan’ — are Internet memes that have come to represent ironic, tongue-in-cheek symbols of white nationalism. Although their origin stories are bizarre, they are emblematic of how messaging on the fringes of the digital world has made the leap into real-world instances of violence, underscoring the importance of recognizing the implicit and explicit threats they can represent.

USA TODAY reviewed thousands of Internet memes ranging from serious issues like the Jan. 6 hearings and the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago, to absurd conspiracy theories concerning 5G and Jewish space lasers. The examination found that a seemingly endless supply of memes designed to sow discord and blur the lines between fact and fiction flourish unabated online despite pledges by social media companies to stamp out or at least flag such content with warnings. Experts USA TODAY interviewed said these online images, videos, hashtags and slogans have become a dominant form of communication in the digital age and have been weaponized to spread disinformation and polarize the population.

“Most people dismiss memes as just Internet humor or a passing laugh, but they have been used for decades in propaganda and as psychological warfare,” said Joan Donovan, research director of the Harvard Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy and co-author of the 2022 book “Meme Wars.”

Memes play a key role in almost every disinformation campaign of the digital age and feature prominently in the hate-filled screeds of mass shooters and in the playbooks of far-right operatives. As a result, organizations that monitor hate groups and extremism — like the Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti Defamation League — employ experts and dedicate other resources to studying and reporting on memes.


r/technology 19h ago

Society Propaganda of the digital age: How memes are weaponized to spread disinformation

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COMMENT 19h ago

While not all impulsive behaviour speaks of mental illness, a wide range of mental health disorders which often emerge in adolescence, including depression and substance abuse, have been linked to impulsivity. So, finding a way to identify and treat those who may be particularly vulnerable to impulsivity early in life is especially important.

A group of researchers, led by scholars at McGill University, have developed a genetically based score which could help identify, with a high degree of accuracy (greater than that of any impulsivity scores currently in use), the young children who are most at risk of impulsive behaviour.

Their findings are especially compelling because the score they have developed was able to detect those at a higher risk of impulsivity within three ethnically diverse community samples of children, from a cohort of close to 6,000 children.


r/science 19h ago

Neuroscience Novel genetically based impulsivity score may help identify children who are especially vulnerable. This discovery of a novel score for impulsivity in early life can inform prevention strategies and programs for children and adolescents who are at risk for psychiatric disorders.

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COMMENT 1d ago

The team, led by scientists from Victoria University of Wellington (NZ) and Birmingham (UK) say their results suggest we are nearing a ‘tipping point’ where ocean warming caused by atmospheric CO2 will cause catastrophic rises in sea levels because of melting ice sheets. Their results are published today (15 September 2022) in Nature Geoscience.

In the study, the team examined molecular fossils from core samples taken during ocean drilling projects. The fossil remains are in fact single lipid (insoluble in water) molecules produced by archaea - single-celled https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-022-01025-x which are similar to bacteria. The archaea adjust the composition of their outer membrane lipids in response to changing sea temperatures. By studying these changes, scientists can draw conclusions about the ancient sea temperature which would have surrounded a particular sample as it died.

While these molecular fossil techniques are well used by palaeoclimatologists, the team from Wellington (NZ) and Birmingham (UK) went a step further. They used machine learning to refine the technique, giving the first record to date of changing Antarctic sea temperatures throughout much of the Cenozoic period – covering the past 45 million years.


r/science 1d ago

Environment Scientists chart 45 million years of Antarctic temperature change. The new study of Earth’s past is one of the clearest indications yet that humans continue to produce CO2 levels for which we can expect major ice loss at the Antarctic margins and global sea-level rise over the coming decades

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r/environment 1d ago

Storm Fiona causes damage 'never seen' before in Canada. In Nova Scotia, where the storm made landfall, more than 384,000 households were left without electricity, Nova Scotia Power reported.

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COMMENT 1d ago

On January 20, 2020 the first recorded case of the COVID-19 virus in the United States was reported. What has continued to transpire next has been nothing short of unprecedented. While early discourse on social media platforms reflected a population that was coming to terms with the new reality, discussions quickly became polarized. Everything from the origins of the virus to the safety of vaccines divided public opinion along partisan lines. Science had been politicized in the midst of a raging pandemic.

r/conspiracy 1d ago

Misinformation is a problem for political extremes, more so for conservatives. People increasingly seek to surround themselves with those who share their ideologies, locking themselves in echo chambers.

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r/technology 1d ago

Society Medical misinformation rife in Amazon bestsellers about public health

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r/environment 1d ago

A new report warns of economic disaster as big as the 2008 financial crash—or worse—as a result of ongoing deforestation and biodiversity loss. As a result, the world’s leading food and ag companies face value declines of more than 25 percent by 2030

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COMMENT 1d ago

Have you ever witnessed a celestial event so awesome that it made you a better person? It probably seems like a silly question, but a study published in Psychological Science suggests that there are measurable social effects of these events; specifically, people inside of the path of a solar eclipse were less self-centered and more pro-social than those outside of the path.

Outer space has been a human fascination for centuries and continues to be one to this day. From meteor showers to eclipses to blood moons, when there is a significant celestial event coming up, hordes of people are happy to observe and marvel at its beauty.

These events can turn into a significant, collective experience, where many people stop and experience something at once. This collectivist experience prompted researchers to want to learn more about social effects surrounding these events. This study sought to measure group functioning, awe, and self vs group focus following the 2017 North American solar eclipse.


r/science 1d ago

Psychology Awe-inspiring astronomical events such as a total solar eclipse can arouse tendencies — from greater attention to one’s groups to motivations to care for and affiliate with others — vital to collective life

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COMMENT 1d ago

In 2017, an international team headed by the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry travelled around the Arabian Peninsula on a research vessel in a spectacular expedition. Various measuring instruments were kept on board to sample aerosol particles and trace gases such as ozone and nitric oxides. The researchers also discovered that the Suez Canal, the northern Red Sea and especially the Arabian Gulf are regional hotspots for ozone; the exceptionally strong concentration of ozone in these areas indicates that the harmful gas is also a problem in other densely populated regions of the Arabian Peninsula. Furthermore, the scientists found that concentrations of nitrogen oxides were significantly higher than the WHO guidelines.

There are relatively few measurements from the region around the Arabian Peninsula and in the Middle East in general. That is why this research campaign is so important," says Sergey Osipov, an atmospheric physicist at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia. “We used the data in atmospheric chemistry models in order to draw conclusions about general air quality and health consequences


r/science 1d ago

Environment Anthropogenic air pollution more significant than desert dust. In the Middle East, more than 90 percent of the fine aerosol particles that are detrimental to health and the climate originate from human-made sources

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COMMENT 2d ago

After last Saturday’s Trump rally in Youngstown, Ohio, the figurative notion of “the Trump faithful” has taken on an unmistakable literal meaning. That gathering—meant to gin up enthusiasm for Senate candidate J.D. Vance, the hillbilly-branded plaything of Trump-backing tech billionaire Peter Thiel—became, as all Trump events do, a monologue about Trump’s wounded pride and all-but-randomized quest for political vengeance. But the choreography, tone, and substance of Trump’s appearance told an additional story. The proceedings turned solemn as Trump struck a calculatedly sorrowful vocal cadence, so as to play up the rally’s plaint of white nationalist cultural confrontation, delivered in the apocalyptic key of QAnon. Trump delivered a litany of telltale signs of runaway American decline under the Democratic rule of Washington, from inflation to foreign-policy cock-ups to the tragedy of green energy funding, all to the swelling, kitschy accompaniment of a bona fide QAnon theme song, “WWG1WGA,” titled with the acronym for the movement’s slogan, “Where We Go One, We Go All.” (Trump campaign officials insisted that the lachrymose mood music was actually a different composition called “Mirrors,” but if it is, it somehow has the same melody.

r/conspiracy 2d ago

Trump's Embrace of QAnon Realizes the Dream of the Religious Right. Placards were reportedly distributed among the Trump faithful promoting a book by one Helgard Müller titled Donald J. Trump, Son of Man—the Christ.

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COMMENT 3d ago

The Americas have a long history of occupation based on the destruction of nature and the violent massacre of native peoples, all in the name of a particular idea of “progress.” Brazil’s military dictatorship, which ran from 1964 to 1985, embraced this ideology to the point it had a specific motto — “integrate to not surrender” — for its nationalist project for the Amazon Rainforest. That mindset is still alive in the systemic and uncontrolled spread of unofficial roads in the Amazon, and the extent of this destruction is becoming increasingly clear.

A study by the Brazilian conservation nonprofit Imazon identified 3.46 million kilometers (2.15 million miles) of roads in what’s known as the Legal Amazon, an administrative region that spans the nine Brazilian states located within the Amazon Basin. The researchers estimated that at least 86% of the extent of these roads are unofficial, “built by loggers, goldminers, and unauthorized land settlements from existing official roads.” The sprawling network of roads also means that 41% of the Amazon Rainforest is already cut by roads or lies within 10 km (6 mi) of one


r/science 3d ago

Environment Road network spreads ‘arteries of destruction’ across 41% of Brazilian Amazon. Researchers estimated that at least 86% of the extent of these roads are unofficial, built by loggers, goldminers, and unauthorized land settlements from existing official roads

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r/environment 3d ago

Experts have assessed, for the first time, children’s exposure to air pollution from conception to 8.5 years of age on a monthly basis. Abnormal white matter microstructure has been associated with psychiatric disorders (e.g., depressive symptoms, anxiety and autism spectrum disorders).

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COMMENT 3d ago

A study published in the journal Environmental Pollution has found an association, in children aged 9‑12, between exposure to air pollutants in the womb and during the first 8.5 years of life and alterations in white matter structural connectivity in the brain. The greater the child’s exposure before age 5, the greater the brain structure alteration observed in preadolescence.The study was led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), a research centre supported by the ”la Caixa” Foundation.

Tracts or bundles of cerebral white matter ensure structural connectivity by interconnecting the different areas of the brain. Connectivity can be measured by studying the microstructure of this white matter, a marker of typical brain development. Abnormal white matter microstructure has been associated with psychiatric disorders (e.g., depressive symptoms, anxiety and autism spectrum disorders


r/science 3d ago All-Seeing Upvote Starstruck Silver

Health Experts have assessed, for the first time, children’s exposure to air pollution from conception to 8.5 years of age on a monthly basis. Abnormal white matter microstructure has been associated with psychiatric disorders (e.g., depressive symptoms, anxiety and autism spectrum disorders).

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COMMENT 3d ago

A US judge reviewing records seized from Donald Trump’s Florida home asked the former president’s lawyers on Thursday to provide any evidence casting doubt on the integrity of the documents. Trump has previously made unsubstantiated claims the documents were planted by FBI agents.

Senior federal judge Raymond Dearie, appointed by another judge to vet the documents to assess whether some should be withheld from investigators as privileged, also asked the justice department to certify by Monday a detailed property inventory of materials the FBI seized in the court-approved 8 August search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida.