The science dispatches for the second week in June 2018. Martian dust storms have halted the progress of NASA’s Opportunity rover. Researchers find a new way of detecting exoplanets around young stars. Work begins on an upgrade to the Large Hadron Collider. And President Trump’s pick for the head of NASA, Jim Bridenstine, shows a positive change in attitude towards climate change.
According to a landmark study published in Nature on 13/065/18, Antartica has lost an incredible 2.7 trillion tonnes of ice since 1992. The study further suggests that if climate change continues unchecked such ice-loss could begin to reshape Earth’s coastlines.
Collecting the most important and interesting science stories for a frankly bizarre week in science, including alien octopus origins refuted, a US Senator who thinks ‘falling rocks’ are responsible or rising sea levels and the American President that doesn’t know the difference between HPV and HIV.
the Trump administration looks to finally appoint a NASA head, Republican Congressman Jim Bridenstine, a politician who you will be unsurprised to learn has no background in science and doesn’t accept man as the key driving factor of climate change. Bridenstine has also clearly pushed the idea that NASA should drop “expansion of human knowledge of the Earth and of phenomena in the atmosphere and space” from its mission statement, instead diverting its attention to what he terms ‘space architecture’, commercial and military interests.
One of the most pressing but often over-looked concerns with increasing global temperatures are the dangers gradually revealing themselves to scientists from unexpected, previously unconsidered sources. Scientists have discovered that permafrosts hide a potentially deadly threat to ecosystems, massive reserves of mercury hidden in permafrost in the Northern Hemisphere.