Tag Archives: Salon

Climate change and the Moon are teaming up to create record floods on Earth | Salon.com

The Moon’s orbit is “wobbling” — and that plus climate change will wreak havoc on the ground

By Matthew Rozsa, Published July 18, 2021 10:00AM (EDT)

Coastal village during a storm, UK. (Getty images/Peter Cade)

At the time of this writing, at least 120 people have been confirmed dead because of severe flooding in Western Europe.

It is tragically likely that, when this story is over, the number will be significantly higher. A German weather service (DWD) spokesman told CNN that in some areas there has not been this much rainfall in 100 years.

These extreme weather events are inextricably linked to climate change, politicians and experts have noted.

But there is another culprit, one above, that is also affecting the weather: a “wobble” in the orbit of the Moon. Indeed, only days before the flooding, a study in the journal Nature Climate Change by scientists from NASA and the University of Hawaii warned that the Earth may experience record flooding in the mid-2030s because of changes in the Moon’s orbit.

Source: Climate change and the Moon are teaming up to create record floods on Earth | Salon.com

Is there a scientific case for literature? A neuroscientist novelist argues yes | Salon.com

Illogical as it might seem, there may be an evolutionary reason that humans love consuming fiction

By Erik Hoel, April 18, 2021 11:30PM (UTC)
A parent and child tell each other stories inside a cosy tent lit up in a dark room of their home (Getty Images)

You do something strange every day. You consume fictions. It’s such an omnipresent habit, shared by all, that we rarely consider the oddity of it.

I’m a fiction writer myself, but I’m also a neuroscientist, so this activity fascinates me. What’s the cognitive utility of learning things that aren’t true? We’re evolved biological beings who need to understand the world to survive, and yet all facts we learn about Hogwarts are literally false. How can any of this information be useful?

Still, fictions surround us. I grew up in my mother’s independent bookstore and I’ve been a writer since I can remember. A significant change in my lifetime is that media, like TV channels, books, magazines, and films, have been condensed into a single one-stop shop: the screen. I call this the supersensorium. Screens are now supermarkets for entertaining experiences. Such easy access to fictions means we often binge watch, we stuff our faces.

The average American adult spends about half their day consuming screen media.

–from article

Source: Is there a scientific case for literature? A neuroscientist novelist argues yes | Salon.com