Guest Nicole -
Guest Nicole -
By Guest nicole
We know that a good night's sleep is important for our health for all kinds of reasons, but there's a new benefit to add to the list: avoiding dehydration.
A new study suggests that anything under six hours of slumber a night could leave our bodies less than adequately hydrated.
Researchers found that people who slept six hours a night had significantly more concentrated urine and a 16-59 percent higher chance of being dehydrated, compared with adults who were getting a regular eight hours of shut-eye.
And according to the team behind the study, feeling less than 100 percent when you wake up after insufficient sleep might be down to dehydration too, not just the lack of shuteye – so an early morning glass of water could make a big difference.
The researchers think their findings could be traced back to the way the body's hormonal system regulates hydration; they focussed on a hormone called vasopressin, which the body releases during the day and the night to manage fluid levels.
"Vasopressin is released both more quickly and later on in the sleep cycle," says one of the team, Asher Rosinger from Pennsylvania State University.
"So, if you're waking up earlier, you might miss that window in which more of the hormone is released, causing a disruption in the body's hydration."
So, vasopressin does a crucial job of making sure our bodies don't lose too much water while we're sleeping – in fact, it can actually pull water back into the body from our urine.
If we're not staying asleep long enough for the right amount of vasopressin to be released, that can have a knock-on effect.
The study analysed records of more than 25,000 adults in China and the US, who were asked about their sleeping habits and had urine samples taken to look for biomarkers linked to hydration.
Vasopressin in particular wasn't measured, but indicators of it (like the levels of water in pee) were.
It's worth noting that the study isn't enough to prove a causal link – that less sleep causes dehydration – but it does suggest some kind of biological relationship between the two.
If You're Sleeping 6 or Fewer Hours a Night, There's a Weird Health Effect We Didn't Expect
By Guest Nicole
Global warming is said to be bringing temperatures last seen during an interglacial era, when sea level was 6-9 meters (20-30ft) higher than today
A coal-fired power station. ‘Massive CO2 extraction’ costing trillions is needed in order to avoid runaway temperature rises, says a new paper. Photograph: Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty Images
The global temperature has increased to a level not seen for 115,000 years, requiring daunting technological advances that will cost the coming generations hundreds of trillions of dollars, according to the scientist widely credited with bringing climate change to the public’s attention.
A new paper submitted by James Hansen, a former senior Nasa climate scientist, and 11 other experts states that the 2016 temperature is likely to be 1.25C above pre-industrial times, following a warming trend where the world has heated up at a rate of 0.18C per decade over the past 45 years.
This rate of warming is bringing Earth in line with temperatures last seen in the Eemian period, an interglacial era ending 115,000 years ago when there was much less ice and the sea level was 6-9 meters (20-30ft) higher than today.
In order to meet targets set at last year’s Paris climate accord to avoid runaway climate change, “massive CO2 extraction” costing an eye-watering $104tn to $570tn will be required over the coming century with “large risks and uncertain feasibility” as to its success, the paper states.
“There’s a misconception that we’ve begun to address the climate problem,” said Hansen, who brought climate change into the public arena through his testimony to the US congress in the 1980s. “This misapprehension is based on the Paris climate deal where governments clapped themselves on the back but when you look at the science it doesn’t compute, it’s not true.
“Even with optimistic assumptions (future emissions reduction) will cost hundreds of trillions of dollars. It’s potentially putting young people in charge of a situation that is beyond their control. It’s not clear they will be able to take such actions.”
The paper, submitted as a discussion paper to the Earth System Dynamics journal, is a departure from the usual scientific process as it has yet to be peer reviewed and has been launched to support a legal case waged by a group of young people against the US government.
Last year, 21 youths aged between 8 and 19 years old filed a constitutional lawsuit against the Obama administration for failing to do enough to slow climate change. Hansen and his granddaughter are parties to legal challenge, which was filed in Oregon and asserts that the government has violated young people’s rights to life, liberty and property.
Hansen, who has become increasingly outspoken on climate change since retiring from Nasa in 2013, said he recognized some scientists might object to publicizing the paper so soon but that “we are running out of time on this climate issue.”
The courts need to step in to force governments to act on climate change because they are largely free of the corrupting influence of special interests, Hansen said. He repeated his call for a global tax to be placed upon carbon emissions and said that fossil fuel companies should be forced to pay for emissions extraction in the same way the tobacco industry has been sued over the health impact of cigarettes.
“The science is crystal clear, we have to phase out emissions over the next few decades,” Hansen said. “That won’t happen without substantial actions by Congress and the executive branch and that’s not happening so we need the courts to apply pressure, as they did with civil rights.”
Several recent studies have cast doubt over whether the world will stay with an aspirational target set in Paris of a 1.5C limit on the average global temperature rise. This guardrail, and even the 2C limit agreed by 195 nations, appears dependent on as-yet undeveloped technology that would remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
Under this scenario, huge emissions cuts would be supplemented by a widespread conversion to biofuels that would be burned for energy. The emissions from this energy would then be buried underground. Some sort of futuristic technology that sucks CO2 directly from the atmosphere may also be required.
Hansen said this is a “dubious” proposition because it requires a vast change in land use at a time where a growing global population will require more food. There are also major doubts whether technology to capture CO2 and lock it underground, often touted as a panacea by the fossil fuel industry, will be developed in time to help avoid the dangerous sea level rise, drought, heatwaves and disease spurred by warming temperatures.
Last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that carbon dioxide levels will not drop below the symbolic 400 parts per million (ppm) mark in our lifetimes – the highest concentration of CO2 since the Pliocene era 3m years ago.
The environment of this time, where sea levels were around 65ft higher than today and trees were able to grow near the north pole due to a lack of ice, is a “bellwether for what future climate might be like,” according to Bruce Bauer, a scientist with NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.
Michael Mann, a prominent climatologist at Penn State University, agreed that CO2 removal will be required if the world was to avoid 1.5C warming although the 2C limit “could likely be achieved without negative emissions, but it would require urgent action, as I have argued myself is necessary.”.
Mann added that Hansen’s paper is “interesting” but tackles a huge range of topics and is unconventional in its use as a tool to support a legal case.
“Along with the paper being publicized prior to peer review, this will certainly raise eyebrows about whether or not this breaches the firewall many feel should exist wherein policy agenda should not influence the way that science is done,” Mann told the Guardian via email.
By Jack Ryan
Those who don't have electric cars are genocidal "killers" of other areas of the planet.
via .ORGWorld News
By Guest Nicole
Everyone likes a cheeky lie-in now and again on a weekend, but it comes with the annoying side-effect of guilt. Shouldn’t you be out doing more with your weekend?
Well, we’ve got good news. In a study published in the Journal of Sleep Research, Swedish researchers found that having a lie-in could actually lower your mortality rate, if you’d been missing out on sleep during the week.
Previous research has found that adults under the age of 65 who sleep less than five hours each night of the week had a higher risk of death. But this study suggested that catching up on sleep over the weekend could alleviate that risk.
"The results imply that short (weekday) sleep is not a risk factor for mortality if it is combined with a medium or long weekend sleep," the researchers, led by Torbjörn Åkerstedt from Stockholm University, wrote in their paper.
By Guest Nicole
This year’s Arctic winter is the warmest on record as levels of sea ice hit record lows for the time of year, new US weather data has revealed.
“It’s just crazy, crazy stuff,” said Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, who has been studying the Arctic since 1982. “These heat waves – I’ve never seen anything like this.”
The land weather station closest to the North Pole, at the tip of Greenland, spent more than 60 hours above freezing in February.
By Guest Nicole
The scientific consensus is clear: we need more sleep. Our bodies and brains rely on getting sufficient shuteye, and cutting ourselves short deals a compounding blow to our health. A new study adds to the argument by showing that sleeping too little correlates with a bigger waistline and higher body mass index (BMI), among other negatives.
The study of 1,615 adults found that people who slept an average of six hours a night had a waist circumference three centimeters larger than those who slept nine hours a night (that’s about 1.18 inches). The short sleepers also had a higher BMI on average and lower HDL cholesterol (the so-called “good cholesterol” number that ideally should be higher).
Participants had blood samples taken and their waist circumference, weight and blood pressure recorded. Sleep times fell into three categories: average of about six hours, average of about 7.5 hours and average of about nine hours. Across the board, the six-hour group had worse outcomes than the other two groups.
Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2017/07/30/shorting-yourself-on-sleep-could-be-adding-to-your-waistline/#3f91a3fde067
By Guest Nicole
July 17, 2017
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
More than a third of Americans don’t get enough sleep, and growing evidence suggests it’s not only taking a toll on their physical health through heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and/or other conditions, but hurting their mental health as well.
Read more: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170717120048.htm
By Guest Nicole
We went to Antarctica to understand how changes to its vast ice sheet might affect the world. Flowing lineson these maps show how the ice is moving.
Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/05/18/climate/antarctica-ice-melt-climate-change.html?emc=edit_ta_20170518&nl=top-stories&nlid=54907543&ref=cta&_r=0
By Guest Nicole
President Barack Obama signed a letter to the United Nations in 2016 accepting the Paris climate
Last week, President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. But it will take more than one speech to pull out: Under the rules of the deal, which the White House says it will follow, the earliest any country can leave is Nov. 4, 2020. That means the United States will remain a party to the accord for nearly all of Mr. Trump’s current term, and it could still try to influence the climate talks during that span.
So the next four years will be a busy time for climate policy. Mr. Trump’s aides plan to keep working to dismantle domestic climate programs like the Clean Power Plan. And the world’s nations will meet regularly to hash out details of the Paris agreement, even as the United States’ exit looms. Here is what comes next.
Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/07/climate/trump-paris-climate-timeline.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0
By Guest Nicole
“It is time for states and governors to lead,” Gov. David Ige said.
Hawaiian Gov David Ige (D) signed two new climate bills into law on Tuesday that adhere to the Paris Agreement.
Hawaii has become the first American state to pass environmental measures that adhere to the Paris climate agreement, just days after President Donald Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the international pact.
“Truly, in this day and age, it is time for states and governors to lead,” Hawaiian Gov. David Ige (D) said at a press conference on Tuesday, ahead of signing the two bills into law.
Senate Bill 559 and House Bill 1578 commit to expanding methods to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the state. They also target agricultural practices with the goals of improving soil health and removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, according to a statement from the governor’s office.
“Hawaii’s natural environment is under threat,” Ige said. “Climate change is real, regardless of what others say. Hawaii is seeing the impacts, first hand.”
Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/hawaii-joins-paris-accord_us_5938096de4b01fc18d3f5f64?d2f&ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009
By Guest Nicole
Here are the brands speaking out on the president’s plan to withdraw from the Paris climate accord.
BY ELIZA BROOKE JUN 2, 2017, 12:57PM EDT
Yesterday, President Trump announced his intention to withdraw the US from the Paris climate accord, a pact signed in 2015 by 195 countries rallying to combat global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Under President Obama, the US pledged to reduce its own emissions by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, and give $3 billion to a climate fund benefiting poorer nations.
It’s the current president’s view that adhering to the agreement would result in sweeping industrial job losses, though economists and executives at companies like Apple and Unilever contend that investing in the renewable energy sector would, in fact, create jobs. Indeed, it didn’t take long for business leaders, politicians, and brands to start speaking out against Trump’s plan and reaffirm their commitment to the goals set out in the Paris agreement.
Read more: https://www.racked.com/2017/6/2/15730376/business-response-trump-climate-policy
By Guest Nicole
Some nights, it’s like you can’t get your brain to shut up long enough for you to fall asleep. You’re mentally reviewing the day you just completed while also previewing the day ahead; sometimes, your mind may even reach way back into the archives and pull up something embarrassing you did back in high school. So fun!
Racing thoughts can be a sign of a serious mental health condition like anxiety. But these nights also happen to everyone from time to time — and once we’re too old for bedtime stories, it’s not always clear what to do. There’s no one solution that will work for everybody, of course, so instead, we’ve rounded up suggestions from eight sleep experts. At the very least, it’s something to read next time you can’t sleep.
Distract yourself with meaningless mental lists.
“The absolute prerequisite for sleep is a quiet mind. Think of something else, rather than what’s worrying you — something with a story to it. It can be anything of interest, but of no importance, so you can devote some brain energy to it without clashing into the real world and going straight back to your worries. I fly a lot, so I imagine I have my own private jet and how would I arrange the furniture on it. If you’re someone who likes going to music festivals, what would your lineup be?” — Neil Stanley, sleep expert
Try to stay awake instead.
“Thinking about sleep and wishing for it to happen is a recipe for staying awake. This is where paradoxical thinking comes in. If you give yourself the paradoxical instruction to stay awake instead, you’ll be more likely to fall asleep. If you can be comfortable with the idea of remaining awake, then the performance anxiety and frustration that are associated with trying to sleep have nowhere to go and your arousal level drops.” — Colin Espie, professor of sleep medicine at the University of Oxford
Or just get out of bed.
“If 20 minutes has gone by as the mind races and is unable to relax back to sleep, it’s best to get out of bed. Without looking at your phone or any other screen devices, go to another dimly lit room where you keep a notebook. Write down the thoughts that are keeping you awake. Finish with the words, ‘It can wait until tomorrow.’ Then, go back to bed, focus on the breath, and mindfully relax into those words, giving yourself permission to yield to sleep.”— Jenni June, sleep consultant
Write down whatever’s freaking you out.
“Spend a maximum of 20 minutes just getting everything out of your head and onto paper every day. It’s a therapeutic way to see that you probably don’t have loads to worry about, rather just a few reoccurring things. You can then see which worries are hypothetical (i.e., what if I make a mistake at work and lose my job) or ‘real’ worries (e.g., I made a mistake and have lost my job). For the real worries you can then make an action plan/problem-solve and for the hypothetical ones, learn to let them go.” — Kathryn Pinkham, National Health Services insomnia specialist
Get back in bed and do some deep breathing.
“Deep breathing … acts as a powerful distraction technique, particularly if paired with counting. You want to aim to breathe out for longer than you breathe in, and pause after breathing in and out; so you might choose to count for three when you breathe in, then pause and count to five when you breathe out, then pause. Really focus on your breathing and counting, and if your mind wanders off, just take note of that and return your attention to the exercise. You may need to do this for ten minutes or so.” — Christabel Majendie, sleep therapist
Try not to try so hard.
“Try not to struggle or ‘try harder’ to overcome the sleeplessness or get rid of unwanted thoughts, as this can worsen insomnia. One successful approach to overcome this negative cycle is to instead learn to observe and accept these struggles, using mindfulness strategies to help.” — Jenny Stephenson, director of HappySleepers
Or maybe plan how you’ll get some sun in the a.m.
“Getting more sun exposure in the midmorning can help readjust the brain’s internal clock and make it easier to fall asleep later that night. In my book, I write about how sun exposure is now a key part of many professional athletes’ travel schedules, and seen as a way of preventing jet lag. Non-athletes can do similar things. Someone who can’t seem to fall asleep at night may want to try getting as much exposure to natural light in the morning, essentially prepping themselves to fall asleep when they want to.” — David K. Randall, author of Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep
And if all else fails …
“The great era of tinkering with sleep aids was popular in early modern Europe. Here are a few of my favorites:
• Put some blood-sucking leeches behind your ears. When they bore holes in the skin, pull them out and place a grain of opium in each hole. (From 16th-century French physician André du Laurens.)
• Kill a sheep, and then press its steaming lungs on either side of the head. Keep the lungs in place as long as they remain warm. (From 16th-century French surgeon Ambroise Paré.)
• After the evening meal, eat lettuce, drink wine, and rub an ointment made of the oil of violets or camphor on the temples. Dissolve a mixture of poppy seeds, lettuce seeds, balsam, saffron, and sugar and cook it in poppy juice. Then listen to pleasant music and lie down on a bed covered with the leaves of fresh, cool plants. (From 15th-century philosopher Marsilio Ficino.)” — Benjamin Reiss, author of Wild Nights: How Taming Sleep Created Our Restless World
By Guest Nicole
The changes are already visible in the region, which has had largely ice-free summers since 2011
The Arctic is undergoing an astonishingly rapid transition as climate change overwhelms the region.
New research sheds light on the latest example of the changes afoot, showing that parts of the Arctic Ocean are becoming more like the Atlantic. Warm waters are streaming into the ocean north of Scandinavia and Russia, altering ocean productivity and chemistry. That’s making sea ice recede and kickstarting a feedback loop that could make summer ice a thing of the past.
“2015 was a really anomalous year when we had problems finding a suitable ice flow to launch our drifting buoys,”Igor Polyakov, an oceanographer at the University of Alaska who led the new study, said. “(There was) nothing like that in the past, and it became a motivation to our analysis: why was ice in 2015 so rotten? What drives this huge change?”
The findings, published in Science on Thursday, show that while warming air has a role to play, processes are playing out in the ocean itself that are fundamentally altering the region.
Those changes will have impacts on the people, plants and animals that call the Arctic home. They could also create more geopolitical tension as resources previously locked under ice become available and shipping lanes open up.
In the east Arctic Ocean, the shift is manifesting itself in changing the layers of the ocean. There’s a cap of cold, less salty water that covers the eastern portion of the Arctic Ocean. Underneath it sits a pool of warm, salty Atlantic water that until recently hasn’t been able to find a way to surface. That stratification of layers has kept ice relatively safe from its warm grip.
The ocean has become gradually less stratified since the 1970s. Using data from buoys and satellites, Polyakov and his colleagues have found a more marked shift over the past decade and a half. Since 2002, the difference in water temperatures between the layers has dropped by about 2°F.
In winter from 2013-2015, the cap separating the deep water and surface water disappeared completely in some locations, allowing the warm Atlantic waters to reach the surface and cut further into sea ice pack. At the same time, warm air has further reduced sea ice, which is allowing still more mixing of the ocean layers.
The result is a feedback loop that is essentially turning roughly a third of the eastern Arctic Ocean into something resembling the ice-free Atlantic Ocean.
“Rapid changes in the eastern Arctic Ocean, which allow more heat from the ocean interior to reach the bottom of sea ice, are making it more sensitive to climate changes,” Polyakov said. “This is a big step toward the Arctic with seasonal sea-ice cover.”
The changes are already apparent in the region, which has largely been ice-free during the summer since 2011. The sea ice winter maximum, which has set a record low for three years running, has been largely driven by a lack of ice in the eastern Arctic.
Polyakov said he’s seen the rapid changes in ice firsthand. When they first put buoys in the eastern Arctic in 2002, researchers had to reach the sites on heavy icebreakers.
“Now we can reach them using an ice class ship,” he said. Ice class ships are not necessarily as reinforced as icebreakers.
The sea ice changes are having profound impacts outside of researchers’ ability to access more remote sites. Other research published earlier this week in Science Advances shows that thinning sea ice is allowing phytoplankton to bloom across the region.
Phytoplankton are tiny plants, and like your average potted plant, they need sunlight to bloom. Sea ice has been thick enough to prevent that from happening until very recently. The new findings show that over the past decade, up to 30 percent of the Arctic has become primed for summer blooms.
“Both of our results show the Arctic becoming a very different place than it has been in the past,” Christopher Hovart, an oceanographer at Harvard who led the plankton study, said. “Water pathways are changing, the ecology is changing, all driven by the declining sea ice field.”
This article is reproduced with permission from Climate Central. The article was first published on April 6, 2017.
Footage shows severe coral bleaching in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef for the second year in a row...By TheWorldNewsOrg
via TheWorldNewsOrgWorld News
By Guest Nicole
After a mild winter across much of the United States, February brought abnormally high temperatures, especially east of the Rockies. Spring weather arrived more than three weeks earlier than usual in some places, and new research released Wednesday shows a strong link to climate change.
By the 2017 calendar, the first day of spring is March 20. But spring leaves arrived in mid-January in some parts of the South, and spread northward like a wave. The map above plots the date of “first leaf,” a temperature-based calculation of when vegetation that has been dormant starts to show signs of life. This year, with the exception of a few small areas, the wave has arrived much earlier than the 30-year average.
An early spring means more than just earlier blooms of fruit trees and decorative shrubs like azaleas. It can wreak havoc on schedules that farmers follow for planting and that tourism officials follow for events that are tied to a natural activity like trees blooming. Some plant species that bud early may be susceptible to a snap frost later, and early growth of grasses and other vegetation can disrupt some animals’ usual cycles of spring feeding and growth.
First leaf can vary greatly from year to year and location to location, but the general long-term trend is toward earlier springs.
By Guest Nicole
Being mistreated at work can make people take out their frustrations on loved ones at home. But a new study suggests that getting more exercise and sleep may help people better cope with those negative emotions by leaving them at work, where they belong.
People who burned more calories on a daily basis—by doing the equivalent of a long walk or swim—were less likely to take out their anger about work issues on people they lived with, the researchers found in the new study, which was published in the Journal of Applied Psychology.
The researchers used activity trackers to record sleep patterns and physical activity of 118 graduate students with full-time jobs. Each participant, and one person he or she lived with, also completed surveys about sleep, exercise and feelings of mistreatment at home or work.
Previous research shows that employees who are belittled or insulted by colleagues are likely to vent their frustrations and behave angrily toward people outside of work, says study co-author Shannon Taylor, a management professor at the University of Central Florida's College of Business.
The new study backs up this idea, but offers a bit of good news, as well: Employees who averaged more than 10,500 steps a day or burned at least 2,100 calories were less likely to mistreat their cohabitants than those who averaged fewer steps or burned fewer calories.
The researchers even calculated the exact energy expenditure needed to protect against work-to-home emotional spillover. Burning an additional 587 calories, the equivalent of a 90-minute brisk walk or an hour-long swim for a 195-pound male, can “substantially reduce the harmful effects of workplace undermining,” they wrote.
The findings also revealed that when employees felt they had a bad night’s sleep because of work issues, they were more likely to be grouchy at home. “When you’re tired, you’re either less able or less motivated to regulate yourself,” says co-author Larissa Barber, professor of psychology at Northern Illinois University.
Physical activity seems to counterbalance poor sleep, Barber says, because it promotes healthy brain functions needed to properly regulate emotions and behavior. “This study suggests that high amounts of exercise can be at least one way to compensate for sleep troubles that lead to negative behaviors at home,” she says.
Barber acknowledges that finding time to work out and get a full night’s sleep can be difficult when work pressures are mounting—and that often, job stress can directly relate to sleep quality. (Her previous research suggests that not only can a bad day at the office keep us up at night, but that poor sleep can also affect how we interpret events at work.)
But, she says, making the effort to burn some extra calories—and blow off some steam—can be worth it. It’s not only good for you, says Taylor, but it can benefit the people you live with as well.
“I would advise people to think of sleep and exercise from an investment perspective rather than another task on the to-do list,” Barber says. “It may seem like more work upfront, but the boost in motivation and energy can help you avoid sinking deeper into workplace stress and productivity problems.”
By Guest Nicole
January 16, 2017
Taylor & Francis
One in five young people regularly wake up in the night to send or check messages on social media, according to new research. This night-time activity is making teenagers three times more likely to feel constantly tired at school than their peers who do not log on at night, and could be affecting their happiness and wellbeing.
1 in 5 young people regularly wake up in the night to send or check messages on social media, according to new research published today in the Journal of Youth Studies. This night-time activity is making teenagers three times more likely to feel constantly tired at school than their peers who do not log on at night, and could be affecting their happiness and wellbeing.
Over 900 pupils, aged between 12-15 years, were recruited and asked to complete a questionnaire about how often they woke up at night to use social media and times of going to bed and waking. They were also asked about how happy they were with various aspects of their life including school life, friendships and appearance.
1 in 5 reported 'almost always' waking up to log on, with girls much more likely to access their social media accounts during the night than boys. Those who woke up to use social media nearly every night, or who didn't wake up at a regular time in the morning, were around three times as likely to say they were constantly tired at school compared to their peers who never log on at night or wake up at the same time every day. Moreover, pupils who said they were always tired at school were, on average, significantly less happy than other young people.
"Our research shows that a small but significant number of children and young people say that they often go to school feeling tired -- and these are the same young people who also have the lowest levels of wellbeing. One in five young people questioned woke up every night and over one third wake-up at least once a week to check for messages. Use of social media appears to be invading the 'sanctuary' of the bedroom." Said author Professor Sally Power, Co-Director (Cardiff) Wales Institute for Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD).
The study findings support growing concerns about young people's night-time use of social media. However, because of the complex range of possible explanations for tiredness at school, further larger studies will be needed before any firm conclusions can be made about the social causes and consequences of sleep deprivation among today's youth.
By Guest Nicole
Residents of Shishmaref, Alaska, voted in August 2016 to relocate because of climate change. The coast is thawing and eroding, toppling a home into the sea and forcing others back from the edge.
By Guest Nicole
UPDATE: Dec. 22, 2016, 11:54 a.m. EST
A buoy located within about 100 miles of the North Pole recorded a temperature of 0.4 degrees Celsius, or 32.7 degrees Fahrenheit, on Dec. 22, 2016. This confirms the computer model projections for unusually high temperatures on Thursday.
It's happening again: The temperature at the North Pole is projected to spike to around the melting point, or 32 degrees Fahrenheit, on Wednesday into Thursday, despite the complete lack of sunshine that far north in December.
Such temperatures would be about 50 degrees above average for this time of year, exceeding the color scale on some weather maps. (Typically, air temperatures at the pole don’t start periodically rising above freezing until at least May.)
By Guest Nicole
(CNN) We're all doomed. Unless we can figure out how to get the heck off this planet.
Don't believe it? Then ask noted theoretical scientist and astronomer Stephen Hawking. He says humanity won't survive another 1,000 years on Earth because of, you know, the usual suspects -- climate change, nukes, robots.
Hawking, speaking earlier this week at Oxford University Union, says our best chance for survival as a species is to leave the only home we've ever known and establish colonies on other planets.
"Although the chance of a disaster to planet Earth in a given year may be quite low, it adds up over time, and becomes a near certainty in the next 1,000 or 10,000 years," Hawking said in the speech, according to the Christian Science Monitor. "By that time we should have spread out into space, and to other stars, so a disaster on Earth would not mean the end of the human race."
And the pace of space exploration seems to be ramping up. NASA is busy searching for "goldilocks" -- exoplanets that might be able sustain human life. Meanwhile, Space X CEO Elon Musk has already laid out his plans to colonize Marswithin the next century.
Despite all of his gloom and doom, Hawking did end with some positive notes, according to British newspaper The Independent.
"Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, wonder about what makes the universe exist," he said. "Be curious. However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don't just give up."
By Guest Nicole
Start Your Day With an Omega-Rich Breakfast
Want to sleep well? Start your day with omega-3s! These healthy fats lower anxiety and help your body produce the hormones you need to sleep at night. Get your daily dose by adding a couple tablespoons of chia seeds, flaxseeds orwalnuts to your breakfast. Aim for 600 mg or about four tablespoons of flaxseeds a day.
Limit Your Caffeine Intake
Coffee is rich in disease-fighting antioxidants, but drinking it in the afternoon can wreak havoc on your sleep. While a little caffeine is good for you, it can linger in your system for hours and keep you up long after your last cup. Protect your sleep by avoiding caffeinated drinks after 2 p.m.
Set a Kitchen Curfew
While heavy meals and alcohol close to bedtime may make you feel drowsy, they actually undermine your sleep by stimulating you late at night. Instead of snoozing soundly, you'll wake up in the middle of the night and have a hard time getting back to sleep. Avoid this by setting a kitchen curfew! Close the kitchen at 7 p.m. and stop snacking.
Keep Your Bedroom Cool
Research shows that insomniacs have a warmer core body temperature than normal sleepers. You can’t maintain your sleep if you’re too hot, so cool down by keeping your bedroom between 65 and 67 degrees.
Replace Pills with Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Skip sleeping pills! While they may seem like a smart idea at the time, they can cause dependency, prolonged drowsiness and overeating. Instead, opt for an all-natural sleep-better solution: progressive muscle relaxation. Systematically tensing and relaxing your muscles signals to your brain it's time to go to sleep and helps distract you from anxieties that may be keeping you up. For beginners, try listening to this guided muscle relaxation from sleep expert Dr. Michael Breus.
By Guest Nicole
A new study from the University of California, Berkeley, published in the journalBiological Conservation, found that fewer than one-third of global snow leopards' habitats will be safe from the consequences of climate change by 2070.
As habitats in the Himalaya and Hengduan mountains in Asia become warmer, and less inhabitable, snow leopards and other species are at risk. This threatens not only to the longevity of these species, most of which live in and around China, but also to the health of the ecosystem.
"Getting ahead of and addressing these challenges now is imperative for snow leopards, their landscape, and all the unique wildlife those landscapes support," saidJuan Li, a postdoctoral fellow in conservation biology professor Steven Beissinger's lab, in a statement.
Snow leopards are native to "the roof of the world", a high-elevation area nearby the Tibetan Plateau, which is heating up twice as quickly as the Northern Hemisphere on average. The study refers to this as the "alpine zone”, the area between snow line and tree line, which contracts and expands with the temperature during glacier-interglacier cycles.
Moreover, as "apex predators", which are at the top of the food chain, snow leopards play a vital role in the ecosystem's equilibrium. Getting rid of them would disrupt the balance.
To carry out the study, researchers analyzed the impacts of climate change on the snow leopards' habitat from the "last glacial maximum", or ice age 21,000 years ago, until the late 21st century. Using occurrence records of snow leopards between 1983 and 2015, and a "maximum entropy algorithm," they built a model of the snow leopard habitat, projecting it into 2070.
"Analysis of snow leopard habitat map from LGM [last glacial maximum] to 2070 indicates that three large patches of stable habitat have persisted from the LGM to present in the Altai, Qilian, and Tian Shan-Pamir-Hindu Kush-Karakoram mountain ranges," according to the study.
These areas should function as refuges from climate change, both in regard to extreme heat and cold, the study said. But rapid global warming in the 21st century will take a toll on snow leopards’ ability to adapt to climate change, and further fragment habitats. In one climate change scenario, researchers predicted that 82 percent of snow leopard population in Nepal and 85 percent in Bhutan could be lost.
While the researchers are optimistic about the results of the study, said Li, snow leopard climate refuges need to be protected from human interference.
By Guest Nicole
This story was originally published by Mother Jones and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
California Gov. Jerry Brown signed historic legislation Thursday, establishing one of the most ambitious carbon reduction goals in the world. The bill, SB 32, has enormous implications for the state’s economy and for its efforts to combat climate change. It requires that California reduce its carbon pollution to at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.
“This is big, and I hope it sends a message across the country,” Brown said at the bill-signing in Los Angeles, according to the Sacramento Bee. “The bills today, they really are far reaching, and they keep California on the move to clean up the environment, to encourage vast innovation and to make sure we have the environmental resilience that the Californians really want and expect.” (Brown also signed into law AB 197, a measure that creates additional legislative oversight of the California Air Resources Board, the regulatory agency that had led the efforts to cut emissions.)
California has already made progress in cutting its carbon dioxide emissions, following a landmark 2006 law that called for the state to reduce carbon pollution to 1990 levels by 2020. A report from the California Environmental Protection Agency last June showed that the state was on track to meet those goals, and California has one of the lowest carbon dioxide emission rates per capita. SB 32 would require California to reduce its emissions levels even more drastically. It also ensures that the state’s climate change efforts will continue for at least another 10 years.
Opponents of the legislation argued that making such significant cuts to greenhouse gas emissions would hurt the economy. But supporters counter that that hasn’t been the case: California’s GDP has continued to grow while emissions have decreased, according to data from the California Air Resources Board.* California also didn’t lose manufacturing jobs, as opponents predicted it would, and continued to add jobs, according to the same group.
The bill’s goals will not be easy to accomplish, especially since it doesn’t specify what will happen to California’s cap-and-trade program, which sets a price and a limit on carbon emissions. The policy has been billed as a low-cost, revenue-generating way of cutting carbon pollution but has struggled in recent years. Without an effective cap-and-trade system, the state would have to find another way to meet its targets. The challenge facing California is a daunting one; here’s one possible scenario, as laid out by Vox:
We’re talking about a world where California gets more than 50 percent of its electricity from renewables in 2030 (up from 25 percent today), where zero-emissions vehicles are 25 percent of the fleet by 2035 (up from about 1 percent today), where high-speed rail is displacing car travel, where biofuels have replaced a significant chunk of diesel in heavy-duty trucks, where pastures are getting converted to forests, where electricity replaces natural gas in heating, and on and on.
Possible? Sure. Easy? Hardly. The level of effort is just orders of magnitude different from anything California has done so far.
For more on Brown’s efforts to fight climate change, read our feature detailing the history of California’s energy policies.
By Guest Nicole
After the Brexit vote, climate hawks voiced concern that a new British government could be less aggressive in fighting climate change. Looks like they may have been right: New British Prime Minister Theresa May hasn’t even unpacked her bags at 10 Downing Street and she’s already got green groups very worried.
May announced Thursday that she would axe the Department for Energy and Climate Change and replace it with the newly formed Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Climate experts and politicians called the move “plain stupid,” “terrible,” and “beyond daft.”
“The decision to shut down DECC is a deeply worrying move from Theresa May,” said Green Party Member of Parliament Caroline Lucas. “Climate change is the biggest challenge we face, and it must not be an afterthought for the Government.”
Also troubling, May appointed Andrea Leadsom as the new environment secretary, a woman who has regularly opposed climate action. One of the first questions Leadsom asked officials when she became energy minister last year was, “Is climate change real?” Leadsom also supported selling off British forests in 2011, a thwarted proposal that proved to be deeply unpopular with British citizens.
By Guest Nicole
British citizens have voted to leave the European Union by 52–48 percent. Environmentalists and climate hawks are worried about what that might mean.
Many green leaders had called on voters to oppose a British exit from the EU — or Brexit — arguing that the EU has raised environmental standards in the U.K. and the rest of Europe. They noted that environmental problems are international in nature, so international cooperation is necessary to fight them effectively.
Outgoing United Nations climate head Christiana Figueres also warned against Brexit, saying earlier this week that the U.K. increased the ambition of European climate negotiators before and during the Paris climate talks last December.
So now what happens?
With respect to the climate, the short-term effects of Britain’s decision could potentially be positive. Economists have predicted a Brexit-driven, economy-wide slowdown, which almost certainly implies a drop in Britain’s carbon emissions. During the 2008 recession, for example, global emissions fell by about 1.5 percent. Already today the British pound fell to its lowest level since 1985, and global financial markets have taken a big tumble.
It’s unclear how Brexit will affect energy markets. Oil prices plummeted on Friday. Businesses and investors planning new energy developments in the U.K. — renewable energy projects and fracking projects alike — may postpone them, Politico notes. In the EU emissions trading system (ETS), carbon prices have already fallen more than 15 percent.
Another big unknown is how this will affect the Paris climate agreement. Britain’s climate-action pledge was included in the EU’s pledge. “From the point of view of the Paris agreement, the U.K. is part of the EU and has put in its effort as part of the EU, so anything that would change that would require then a recalibration,” said Figueres. As it sorts out what to do without the U.K., the EU will likely see a slowdown in its ratification process.
Climate hawks are also concerned that a new government in Britain could be less committed to climate action. Prime Minister David Cameron pushed for the Paris Agreement, but he won’t be around for much longer. He had led the failed “Remain” campaign, and on Friday morning, after the results of the referendum came in, he announced his intention to resign in October. At that point, another member of the Conservative Party will become prime minister. Many of the conservatives who had campaigned for Brexit are also climate deniers, and they will likely have more power in a new government.
The impact could go beyond the climate. Farming minister George Eustice, a notable Brexiteer, previously announced his desire to get rid of EU environmental directives that protect birds and habitats. He and other campaigners have advocated for a new, more flexible approach to environmental protection, but opponents of the Vote Leave campaign are skeptical that such an approach will be equally effective.
“Don’t tell me that a new Brexit-led British government is going to put environmental regulations at top of its pile on June 24,” Stanley Johnson, co-chair of Environmentalists for Europe, told the Guardian late last month. “It is not going to happen.”
Other energy experts, though, point to Britain’s leadership on clean energy and climate action and argue that the vote will ultimately be good news for the climate. Michael Liebreich, founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, calledthe referendum a “historic opportunity to loosen the ties that bind” Britain to Europe’s “anti-innovation bias.”
Britain’s exit from the EU won’t be immediate; first comes a two-year exit negotiation process. As the U.K. cuts and restitches ties to Europe, the world will be watching to see if the nation emerges as a climate leader.
By Guest Nicole
MONDAY, April 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- In news that's sure to have mothers everywhere saying, "I told you so," scientists have confirmed that a good night's sleep may keep colds and other infections at bay.
The odds that someone who sleeps five or fewer hours a night had caught a cold in the past month were 28 percent higher than for folks who regularly get more shuteye, the study found.
And for other infections -- including flu, ear infections and pneumonia -- short sleepers had more than 80 percent higher odds of having an infection in the past month compared to those sleeping seven or eight hours, the study said.
"People who sleep five or fewer hours on average are at substantially increased risk for both colds whether head or chest or other infections, compared to people who sleep seven to eight hours on average," said study researcher Aric Prather. He's an assistant professor of psychology at the University of California, San Francisco.
The researchers also found that people who have sleep disorders or those who have ever told their physician that they have sleep troubles had about 30 percent higher odds of having had a cold in the previous month. The odds of infection in the past month for people with sleep disorders were more than doubled, the study said.
Experts cannot say for sure why lack of sleep helps increase susceptibility to infections. However, Prather said, it is known that T-cells, a type of white blood cells that fight off infection, don't work as well when you are sleep-deprived.
The new study builds on Prather's previous work. In a past study, he exposed people to a cold virus and found there was a link between sleep duration and the risk of catching a cold.
In the current study, he wanted to see if real-world data would back up those findings. However, Prather noted that this study wasn't designed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship.
Prather used data from the large U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination surveys (NHANES) from 2005 to 2012. He examined records of nearly 23,000 men and women, average age 46. The study volunteers reported sleep duration, if they had sleep problems or disorders, and whether they had a cold or other infection such as the flu, pneumonia or ear infection in the previous month.
The findings were published as a letter April 11 in JAMA Internal Medicine.
The new research echoes some findings of previous studies, said Sheldon Cohen, professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh. Cohen has previously studied sleep habits and susceptibility to colds. "We found that seven hours is about the breaking point," he said. "People who got less than seven hours were at greater risk, basically."
When many studies are examined, "the consistency across studies really does suggest that sleep is playing a role [in susceptibility to colds]," Cohen said. "Whether it is because sleep maintains a strong immune system, we can't say for sure at this point."
Other factors, such as lack of exercise, could help explain it, he said. Even so, "the data suggest that sleep may be altering the immune function in some way," with sufficient sleep helping it.
People can become better sleepers, Prather said. Getting up at the same time every day is a start, he said. "Make sure your bedroom is cool, quiet and dark," he advised. "Have a wind-down period [before going to sleep]."
To learn more about good sleep habits, visit the National Sleep Foundation.
SOURCES: Aric Prather, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco; Sheldon Cohen, Ph.D., professor of psychology, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh; April 11, 2016, JAMA Internal Medicine, online
Last Updated: Apr 11, 2016
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