EU Science Hub: World’s biggest city database shines light on our increasingly urbanised planet. “The JRC [Joint Research Centre] has launched a new tool with data on all 10,000 urban centres scattered across the globe. It is the largest and most comprehensive database on cities ever published.”
Phys.org: Powerful new dataset reveals patterns of global ozone pollution. “Although ozone pollution is dropping across many parts of the United States, western Europe and Japan, many people living in those countries still experience more than a dozen days every year in which levels of the lung irritant exceed health-based standards. That’s one conclusion from a new health assessment based on the Tropospheric Ozone Assessment Report or TOAR, an effort by the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry Project to create the world’s most comprehensive database of surface ozone observations from all available ozone monitoring stations around the globe. The paper was published today in the journal Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene.”
Wired: The EPA Website Is ‘still Updating’ Climate Change Info. “In the year he’s been in office, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt has personally directed his webmasters to remove climate-related content on the website, scrubbing material that doesn’t fit his pro-business goals of rolling back regulations and casting doubt on the science of global warming and climate change. Under Pruitt’s orders, EPA managers removed pages on climate change science and information about the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era effort to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from fossil-fuel burning plants.”
Imagining America: Climate Change and the Stories We Tell: The Making of a Collaborative Digital Archive in Rural Maine. “Climate change is one of the most important issues facing humanity. But the very nature of this phenomenon—the physical and temporal scale at which it plays out, the specificity of the scientific language often used to describe it, and the complex set of interests already shaping this discourse—make it a difficult phenomenon to discuss. Scientific papers about climate change tend to be jargon-heavy and largely incomprehensible to the general public. Meanwhile, apocalyptic narratives like those popularized in film and fiction often foster fear, despondency, and withdrawal from the civic sphere (Swyngedouw 2010). Journalistic attempts to cover the topic in a newsworthy manner often end up sounding repetitive, as each month leads to the shattering of yet another climate-related record. Finally, climate change is a deeply polarizing issue, with ‘believers’ and ‘nonbelievers’ often splitting along party lines (Stoknes 2015). The question remains: How can we communicate ongoing environmental transformations in a manner that is engaging and factually accurate, urgent and memorable, pointed and capable of speaking to people of varied political persuasions?”
Vermont: New Public Noticing System Puts Information into the Hands of all Vermonters . “Once considered out-of-sight, the state’s environmental permitting system just got a massive makeover that’s turning heads. The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently launched the Environmental Notice Bulletin (ENB). Now, for the first time ever, there is an online hub that gives anyone the ability to easily track permit applications and add public comments. DEC issues more than 9,000 permits annually. Nearly half of these permits will be publicly noticed on ENB in the coming year, making the entire process more straightforward and transparent. ENB gives users the power to add comments directly to the website, request a public meeting, and receive notice of the final permit application decision.”
Columbia University: New Tracker Keeps Tabs on Government Attacks on Science. “The tracker is aimed at documenting government attempts to restrict or prevent scientific research, education, discussion or publication. It currently contains 96 entries drawn from media reports, and links to other resources that complement the database. The tracker organizes attacks into specific categories: government censorship (currently 41 entries); personnel changes (20); budget cuts (15); self-censorship (11); bias and misrepresentation (8); and research hindrance (5). (Some entries are listed under more than one category.) The tracker will be updated on an ongoing basis.” Currently the site only tracks federal-level actions, but state-level actions are for the future.
University of Washington: Civil War-era U.S. Navy ships’ logs to be explored for climate data, maritime history. “The new $482,018 grant to the UW, the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration and the National Archives Foundation will support ‘Seas of Knowledge: Digitization and Retrospective Analysis of the Historical Logbooks of the United States Navy.’ This will allow the project to digitize the logbooks, muster rolls and related materials from U.S. naval vessels, focusing on the period from 1861 to 1879.”