Day: August 9, 2021

IPCC WGI Interactive Atlas

The IPCC Interactive Atlas allows users to use the data in the 6th Assessment Report to look at different parts of the world and overlay that region with various weather variables, times and seasons.

Major U.K. science funder to require grantees to make papers immediately free to all

Read the full story in Science.

The United Kingdom currently has one of the highest rates of open-access publication in the world, with many researchers posting their research papers on websites that make them publicly available for free. But the country’s leading funding agency today announced a new policy that will push open access even further by mandating that all research it funds must be freely available for anyone to read upon publication.

The policy by the funder, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), will expand on existing rules covering all research papers produced from its £8 billion in annual funding. About three-quarters of papers recently published from U.K. universities are open access, and UKRI’s current policy gives scholars two routes to comply: Pay journals for “gold” open access, which makes a paper free to read on the publisher’s website, or choose the “green” route, which allows them to deposit a near-final version of the paper on a public repository, after a waiting period of up to 1 year. Publishers have insisted that an embargo period is necessary to prevent the free papers from peeling away their subscribers.

But starting in April 2022, that yearlong delay will no longer be permitted: Researchers choosing green open access must deposit the paper immediately when it is published. And publishers won’t be able to hang on to the copyright for UKRI-funded papers: The agency will require that the research it funds—with some minor exceptions—be published with a Creative Commons Attribution license (known as CC-BY) that allows for free and liberal distribution of the work.

Green Scissors

Green Scissors is produced by Friends of the Earth, Taxpayers for Common Sense, R Street Institute, U.S. PIRG and Environment America to highlight and end wasteful and environmentally harmful federal spending. This diverse coalition of environmental, taxpayer and free-market groups has come together to show how the government can save billions of tax dollars and improve our environment.

Geocaching while Black: Outdoor pastime reveals racism and bias

Read the full story at NPR.

On a sweltering day earlier this summer, Marcellus Cadd was standing in a trendy neighborhood in downtown Austin.

His phone told him he was 20 feet from an object he was honing in on using GPS coordinates. He walked over to a bank of electrical meters on a building, got down on one knee, and started feeling underneath.

“Holy crap, I found it!” he said as he pulled out a small metallic container. Inside was a plastic bag with a paper log. Cadd signed it with his geocaching handle, “Atreides was here.”

Cadd is one of more than 1.6 million active geocachers in the United States, according to Groundspeak, Inc., which supports the geocaching community and runs one of the main apps geocachers use.

Every day for the past three years, he has taken part in what is essentially a high tech treasure hunt. It’s a volunteer-run game: some people hide the caches, other people find them.

But soon after he started, Cadd, who is Black, read a forum where people were talking about how they were rarely bothered by the police while geocaching.

“And I was thinking, man, I’ve been doing this six months and I’ve been stopped seven times.”..

He writes about encountering racism on the road on his blog, Geocaching While Black. He’s had some harrowing encounters, such as being called “boy” in Paris, Texas. Or finding a cache hidden inside a flagpole that was flying the Confederate flag.

Athens will be the first European city to appoint a chief heat officer

Read the full story in Fast Company.

The Greek capital—the hottest city in mainland Europe—follows Miami in creating a new role to specifically focus on adapting to higher temperatures.

Solar, efficiency money trickles into damaged Minneapolis neighborhoods

Read the full story from Energy News Network.

Several business and building owners in South Minneapolis’ Lake Street corridor have received or are seeking money for solar installations, though some say it’s been harder to tackle energy efficiency.

Dogs’ medical records are helping machine learning researchers track ticks

Read the full story at Massive Science.

Text classification turns tick talk into data that even a machine can understand

Venice says no to cruise ships

Read the full story at Treehugger.

The city of Venice, Italy, has finally made a long-awaited decision. Starting on August 1, 2021, cruise ships will no longer be allowed to enter the city’s waters and the fragile lagoon that surrounds it has been declared a national monument in an effort to protect against further damage.

U.S. seeks to speed rooftop solar growth with instant permits

Read the full story from Reuters.

The Biden administration on Thursday will roll out a tool that enables instant local permitting of rooftop solar installations, addressing a major source of industry delays and possibly lowering costs for homeowners, the Energy Department said.

The Solar Automated Permit Processing (SolarAPP+) platform, developed by DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, will be an optional portal for local governments to process permit applications automatically.

EPA releases Cyanobacteria Assessment Network (CyAN) web tool to help monitor water quality

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the release of a new tool, CyANWeb, that can help federal, state, Tribal, and local partners identify when a harmful algal bloom (HAB) may be forming where people swim, fish, and boat. The tool uses satellite data to alert users based on specific changes in the color of the water in over 2,000 of the largest lakes and reservoirs across the United States. 

Cyanobacteria, also called blue-green algae, occur naturally in many water bodies. However, when they multiply, they can form potentially toxic HABs, which can increase drinking water treatment costs for communities and impact lakes and other recreational areas. CyANWeb, developed by the Cyanobacteria Assessment Network (CyAN) with input from users across the country, makes cyanobacteria satellite data more accessible to water quality managers, communities, and anyone interested in knowing more about water quality in their area. 

“Making this satellite data available across more platforms will improve our ability to respond to harmful algal blooms,” said Jennifer Orme-Zavaleta, Acting Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Research and Development and the EPA Science Advisor. “The release of this update is another step towards ensuring the quality of our nation’s drinking and recreational waters.” 

CyANWeb uses historical and current satellite data to develop daily and weekly images that serve as an early warning system for HABs. These images can help federal, state, Tribal, and local partners in their efforts to monitor and assess water quality. They can also help lake managers and people who swim, fish, or boat in lakes identify when a HAB may be forming. CyANWeb is easy to use and has features that let users view comparisons of multiple water bodies over time, as well asmark locations for future reference.

Users can access CyANWeb with the help of a desktop computer, tablet, smart phone, and most other internet-browsing devices. CyANWeb uses satellite data that was previously only available within the CyAN Android™ app EPA released in 2019. CyAN Android™ is available for download in the Google Play™ store for Android™ devices. 

EPA researchers developed CyANWeb as the latest effort stemming from the CyAN partnership with researchers at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

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