WTVD: Coronavirus News: Warmer weather, humidity and COVID-19. “While COVID-19 has been spreading like wildfire in locations like Italy and New York, other areas have seen a much more gradual uptick in cases. Public health policy may very well be stemming the tide of the virus in those places, but the weather could also be playing a role. An early analysis by scientists at MIT has found that the novel coronavirus is spreading more slowly in warmer and more humid climates. At least two other studies have drawn a similar conclusion, including one conducted in China before the aggressive lockdown began.” This is a note of hope, not a license to go outside and be stupid.
Government News (Australia): Shade mapping tool helps pedestrians dodge heat. “With the mercury recently hitting 45C in Bendigo, Council has adopted a new tool which helps residents seek out routes with the most shade coverage and avoid the heat. The Shadeways tool, developed by researchers from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, uses satellite imagery to generate a ‘temperature likelihood’ monitor. By analysing surfaces and vegetation type, it creates an urban heat map and generates suggested shaded routes.”
Ars Technica: How Google researchers used neural networks to make weather forecasts. “The researchers say their results are a dramatic improvement over previous techniques in two key ways. One is speed. Google says that leading weather forecasting models today take one to three hours to run, making them useless if you want a weather forecast an hour in the future. By contrast, Google says its system can produce results in less than 10 minutes—including the time to collect data from sensors around the United States.”
Phys .org: The conservation of cultural heritage in the face of climate catastrophe. “Cultural heritage can be destroyed. It can decay. Once it is gone, it is gone forever, sadly. Writing in the International Journal of Global Warming, Portuguese researchers discuss the potential impact of climate change on cultural heritage and how we might lose artifacts as extreme weather has a worsening impact on our world.”
SF Gate: Old journals shed light on climate change. “n the 1940s and 1950s, the hunting guide L.S. Quackenbush lived in a cabin in remote Oxbow, Maine. He rented cabins to hunters, cut, stacked and split wood and used his daily walks to keep detailed notes on the spring arrivals of songbirds and the first appearances of flowers and tree leaves. His journals meticulously documenting the changing seasons grew and grew, eventually totaling more than 5,000 pages. Now they are filling gaps on how trees and migratory birds are responding to a changing climate in northern Maine, where historical data is sparse.”
MakeUseOf: How You Can Prepare for Winter Storms With These Apps and Websites. “What if you still want to go out and enjoy the season in this bad weather? Is there any way to avoid those bad roads without becoming a hermit during the colder winter months? Here’s how to use technology to avoid winter storms, ranging from apps to websites.” Advanced users won’t find anything new here, but good basics to share.
Google Cloud: Big data, big world: new NOAA datasets available on Google Cloud. “A vast trove of NOAA’s environmental data is now available on Google Cloud as part of the Google Cloud Public Datasets Program and NOAA’s Big Data Project, opening up possibilities for scientific and economic advances. We are thrilled to make this valuable data available for your exploration. Google Cloud will host 5 PB of this data across our products, including BigQuery, Cloud Storage, Google Earth Engine, and Kaggle. The stored data is available at no cost, though usual charges may still apply (processing, egress of user-owned data, for example).”