The explosions that blasted holes in the underwater Nord Stream gas pipelines kicked up long-buried toxins at levels high enough to threaten marine life for more than a month, analysis of the site suggests.
Last September, a series of four explosions ruptured the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines — which run from Russia to Germany — close to the Danish island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea, releasing more than 100,000 tonnes of methane into the sea and the atmosphere. It isn’t clear who was behind the explosions, but the most recent speculation is that a pro-Ukrainian group was responsible.
Drinking water and sanitation services in high-income countries typically bring widespread health and other benefits to their populations. Yet gaps in this essential public health infrastructure persist, driven by structural inequalities, racism, poverty, housing instability, migration, climate change, insufficient continued investment, and poor planning. Although the burden of disease attributable to these gaps is mostly uncharacterised in high-income settings, case studies from marginalised communities and data from targeted studies of microbial and chemical contaminants underscore the need for continued investment to realise the human rights to water and sanitation. Delivering on these rights requires: applying a systems approach to the problems; accessible, disaggregated data; new approaches to service provision that centre communities and groups without consistent access; and actionable policies that recognise safe water and sanitation provision as an obligation of government, regardless of factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, ability to pay, citizenship status, disability, land tenure, or property rights.
Another round of powerful atmospheric rivers is hitting California, following storms in January and February 2023 that dumped record amounts of snow. This time, the storms are warmer, and they are triggering flood warnings as they bring rain higher into the mountains – on top of the snowpack.
Professor Keith Musselman, who studies water and climate change at the University of Colorado’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, explained the complex risks rain on snow creates and how they might change in a warming climate.
What happens when rain falls on snowpack?
For much of the United States, storms with heavy rainfall can coincide with seasonal snow cover. When that happens, the resulting runoff of water can be much greater than what is produced from rain or snowmelt alone. The combination has resulted in some of the nation’s most destructive and costly floods, including the 1996 Midwest floods and the 2017 flood that damaged California’s Oroville Dam.
Contrary to common belief, rainfall itself has limited energy to melt snow. Rather, it is the warm temperatures, strong winds and high humidity, which can transport substantial energy in the form of latent and sensible heat, that predominantly drive snowmelt during rain-on-snow events.
The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) late on 10 March sent science and technology start-up companies into chaos, and has left many questioning where investment will come from in future.
Regulators closed the bank after several days of turmoil following an announcement that it needed to raise US$2 billion to cover debts due to rising interest rates. This led to a run on the bank as several large venture-capital firms advised their clients to withdraw funds.
SVB was known for funding technology start-ups. Its location in Silicon Valley, a region in the San Francisco Bay Area of northern California, meant that many of these were green-energy or biotech companies.
Lucien Sève devoted his life to the development of a Marxist theory of the personality. In so doing, and as part of a theoretical debate with both Marxist humanists and structural Marxists within the Parti Communiste Français, he was inevitably drawn to analyse alienation as a category of Marxist analysis. His conclusion was that although Althusser had been right to argue for the ‘epistemological break’ in Marx’s thought, it was wrong to suggest that Marx abandoned the concept of alienation in his later work. Far from it: a transformed conception of alienation derived from historical materialism remains the key to understanding Marxism.
Scientists have found some of the strongest evidence yet that there is volcanic activity on Venus. Because the planet is a close neighbour to Earth and originally had water on its surface, one big question has been why its landscape is now hellish while Earth’s is habitable. Learning more about its volcanic activity could help explain its evolution — and Earth’s.