Tags: environmental issues, Nature, Science, sustainable development
The ozone hole over the Antarctic has been linked with climate change in the entire southern hemisphere of the Earth, from the south pole to the equator, according to a study published in Science on April 22.
The ozone layer absorbs harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun, protecting the Earth’s surface below. Since the 1960s, man-made chemicals such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) from aerosol cans, have damaged the ozone layer and created a hole above the Antarctic, first observed in the 1980s.
By comparing two independent climate models, the researchers found that the ozone hole influences rainfall patterns throughout the southern hemisphere.
“It’s really amazing that the ozone hole, located so high up in the atmosphere over Antarctica, can have an impact all the way to the tropics and affect rainfall there—it’s just like a domino effect,” said lead author Sarah Kang, a postdoctoral research scientist at Columbia University’s Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics, in a press release.
According to the researchers, international agreements about mitigating climate change must consider ozone, as well as carbon.
“The ozone hole is not even mentioned in the summary for policymakers issued with the last IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report,” said co-author Lorenzo Polvani, also at Columbia University, and a senior researcher at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.
“We show in this study that it has large and far-reaching impacts. The ozone hole is a big player in the climate system!” Polvani added. “This could be a real game-changer.”
Tags: Body & Mind, Children, psychology
Repeated stressful events experienced by women during pregnancy can increase the risk of behavioural problems in their children, according to a new study.
Common stressful events such as financial and relationship problems, difficult pregnancy, job loss, and major life stressors like a death in the family have a direct correlation with behavioural problems in children, the study finds.
Released by the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research in Perth, Australia, the study was published online in the latest edition of the international journal Development and Psychopathology.
Registered psychologist Dr. Monique Robinson, lead author of the study, said that although previous studies have shown a link between stress and negative effects, this one goes further by analysing the timing, amount, and kinds of events that lead to poorer outcomes.
“What we have found is that it is the overall number of stresses that is most related to child behaviour outcomes,” she said. “Two or fewer stresses during pregnancy are not associated with poor child behavioural development, but as the number increases to three or more, then the risks of more difficult child behaviour increases.”
The actual type of stress experienced was of less importance than the number of stresses, Robinson said, and there was no specific risk associated with the timing of the stressful events—whether they occurred early or late in the pregnancy.
Tags: CCP, censorship, China, human rights, persecution of dissidents
On Easter Sunday, Beijing police placed 500 Chinese Christians under house arrest to prevent one of the largest underground so-called “house churches” from publicly celebrating the holiday, according to China Aid Association. At least 34 church members were detained at the police station.
The rest of the congregation of Shouwang Church showed up at the designated meeting place in the city, said the rights group that seeks to draw attention to China’s human rights violations against Christians.
During the past two Sundays, police waited at the usual meeting place of the non-state sanctioned church and corralled worshipers into buses to prevent them from holding a public precession.
“We are deeply disappointed that the Chinese authorities chose to disrupt peaceful worshipers who were simply celebrating Easter today,” ChinaAid founder and president Bob Fu stated.
By restricting the rights of churchgoers on Easter, the Chinese regime “again demonstrates its total disregard for Chinese citizens’ basic religious freedom and freedom of assembly,” he added.
Several Shouwang pastors and leaders have been placed under house arrest over the past several weeks leading up to Easter. China Aid said that the church’s choir was also detained.
According to China Aid, more than 60 million Christians worship in underground (sometimes literally so) “house” churches, while about 20 million belong to state-controlled organizations: the Three-Self Patriotic Movement for Protestants and the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association for Catholics.