“Planet Earth Report” provides descriptive links to headline news by leading science journalists about the extraordinary discoveries, technology, people, and events changing our knowledge of Planet Earth and the future of the human species.
See a Billion-Year Dance of Earth’s Tectonic Plates in 40 Seconds, offers Singularity Hub –The beauty of science is how far it extends our view into space and time. We now know the sun and stars whip around the center of our galaxy just as the Earth orbits the sun. The universe’s hundreds of billions of galaxies are likewise in ceaseless motion, colliding and coalescing in deep time. And just as the stars are in motion, so too is the ground beneath our feet.
Life found beneath Antarctic ice sheet ‘shouldn’t be there’ reports Adam Vaughn for New Scientist –The inadvertent discovery of sea life on a boulder beneath an Antarctic ice shelf challenges our understanding of how organisms can live in environments far from sunlight, according to a team of biologists.
The Comet –“That Forever Changed Planet Earth” reports The Daily Galaxy –“It must have been an amazing sight, but we don’t want to see that again,” said Harvard astrophysicist, Avi Loeb about the comet that created the the Chicxulub crater off the coast of Mexico that spans 93 miles and runs 12 miles deep that forever changed Earth’s evolutionary history when it crashed 66 million years ago.
How Vulnerable Is Planet Earth asks Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom and Matthew van der Merwe for Aeon –“Sooner or later a technology capable of wiping out human civilization might be invented. How far would we go to stop it? …We call this ‘the vulnerable world hypothesis’. The intuitive idea is that there’s some level of technology at which civilization almost certainly gets destroyed, unless quite extraordinary and historically unprecedented degrees of preventive policing and/or global governance are implemented.”
Why COVID-19 Models Don’t Predict the Future, reports Jordana Cepelewicz for Quanta–To understand what epidemiological models can tell us, it helps to first understand what they can’t. In the fight against COVID-19, disease modelers have struggled against misunderstanding and misuse of their work. They have also come to realize how unready the state of modeling was for this pandemic. “For a few months last year, Nigel Goldenfeld and Sergei Maslov, a pair of physicists at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, were unlikely celebrities in their state’s COVID-19 pandemic response — that is, until everything went wrong.”
Is It Safe to Delay a Second COVID Vaccine Dose? asks Marla Broadfoot for Scientific American –Some evidence indicates that short waits are safe, but there is a chance that partial immunization could help risky new coronavirus variants to develop.
Why Did It Take Dinosaurs 15 Million Years To Reach The Northern Hemisphere? asks Scientific Blogging.–In the age of the dinosaurs, you could have walked from one pole to another. At that time, the continents were all joined together, forming the supercontinent Pangea. Yet they didn’t. Though sauropodomorph dinosaurs first appeared in Argentina and Brazil about 230 million years ago, it took them 15,000,000 years to migrate to the northern hemisphere.
America’s New Vision of Astronauts –Once, American astronauts were white men with buzz cuts. Now they’re billionaires and a few lucky normal people, reports The Atlantic.
Jack Dorsey and Jay Z Invest 500 BTC to Make Bitcoin ‘Internet’s Currency’ reports TechCrunch –“Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey and rapper Jay Z have created an endowment to fund bitcoin development initially in Africa and India, Dorsey said on Friday. The duo is putting 500 bitcoin, which is currently worth $23.6 million, in the endowment called ₿trust. …The mission of the fund is to ‘make bitcoin the internet’s currency,’ a job application describes.”