Profile

Michał Słupski

Website: mslupski.com

Summaries

Which city is most polluted? No one knows

engineering.wustl.edu
  • There is not enough data about PM2.5 -- pollution associated with $3 trillion in health costs in 2015.
  • It can’t be collected because there’s not enough equipment monitoring the air quality -- for example, India has only 1 monitor per 6.8 million people.
  • Study authors indicate that, because of this, any rankings of most polluted cities are simply not based on enough data to be true.
  • For accurate measurements, it would take 1 monitor per 1 million people around the world joined in an integrated monitoring framework.
  • Achieving this goal would enable more precise atmospheric modeling and air quality forecasting.

New date for 'Late Heavy Bombardment' may change life's timeline on Earth

astronomy.com
  • There might have been no extraordinary asteroid bombardment -- new theory questions the nature of the event and proposes new date.
  • Implications are big, as this would push back the age of hospitable Earth.
  • First hints of life appeared up to 3.9 billion years ago, so it’s unlikely that the storm happened then.
  • Also, it may have been no extraordinary storm, but just the aftermath of the chaos that occured in the young solar system.
  • Ultimately, the new theory states that Earth couldn’t suffer ocean-boiling, surface-liquifying asteroid strikes since 4.48 billion years ago.

Shift to renewable electricity a win-win at statewide level

globalchange.mit.edu
  • Study of northern USA shows that the health co-benefits of increasing renewable energy are bigger than the cost of implementing climate policies.
  • One of such policies is RPS - Renewable Portfolio Standards, requiring electricity suppliers to use a percentage of renewable power.
  • MIT research team developed a new framework, combining economic and air-pollution models to study the effect of policies on air quality, health and economy.
  • These results confirm other studies that found health co-benefits of policies to be bigger than the cost of implementing them.
  • The benefits come from reducing healthcare costs of treating people who have been exposed to too much PM2.5, the main pollutant from burning fossils.

Trendy e-scooters might not be as green as they seem

nature.com
  • E-scooters can benefit your local environment only if you use them instead of your car.
  • Mining materials for them, and manufacturing these vehicles generates pollution.
  • So does collecting them and transporting them to charging stations, which is usually done by employees in private cars.
  • If you don’t use e-scooters to replace your vehicle, then it’s less carbon intensive to just walk or bike.

Prebiotic amino acids bind to and stabilize prebiotic fatty acid membranes

pnas.org
  • New clues to the origin of cells on Earth found by adding amino acids to protocells that self-assembled from fatty acids.
  • Fatty-acid protocell membranes are stabilized after adding amino acids, and become fertile ground for basic life.
  • As the substances bond, they create molecular building blocks which eventually may have aided the formation of proteins.

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