Hexbyte Glen Cove Nothing funny about bad year for Maine’s clownish puffins

Hexbyte Glen Cove

In this July 1, 2013, file photo, a puffin prepares to land with a bill full of fish on Eastern Egg Rock off the Maine coast. This year’s warm summer was bad for Maine’s beloved puffins. Far fewer chicks fledged than need to to stabilize the population. Credit: AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File

Maine’s beloved puffins suffered one of their worst years for reproduction in decades this summer due to a lack of the small fish they eat.

Puffins are seabirds with colorful beaks that nest on four small islands off the coast of Maine. There are about 1,500 breeding pairs in the state and they are dependent on fish such as herring and sand lance to be able to feed their young.

Only about a quarter of the were able to raise chicks this summer, said Don Lyons, director of conservation science for the National Audubon Society’s Seabird Institute in Bremen, Maine. About two-thirds of the birds succeed in a normal year, he said.

The colonies have suffered only one or two less productive years in the four decades since their populations were restored in Maine, Lyons said. The birds had a poor year because of warm ocean temperatures this summer that reduced the availability of the fish the chicks need to survive, he said.

“There were fewer for puffins to catch, and the ones they were able to were not ideal for chicks,” Lyons said. “It’s a severe warning this year.”

The islands where puffins nest are located in the Gulf of Maine, a body of water that is warming faster than the vast majority of the world’s oceans. Researchers have not seen much mortality of adult puffins, but the population will suffer if the birds continue to have difficulty raising chicks, Lyons said.

In this July 19, 2019, file photo, research assistant Andreinna Alvarez, of Ecuador, holds a puffin chick before weighing and banding the bird on Eastern Egg Rock, a small island off the coast of Maine. This year’s warm summer was bad for Maine’s beloved puffins. Far fewer chicks fledged than need to to stabilize the population. Credit: AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File

The discouraging news comes after positive signs in recent years despite the challenging environmental conditions. The population of the birds, which are on Maine’s state threatened species list, has been stable in recent years.

The birds had one of their most productive seasons for mating pairs in years in 2019. Scientists including Stephen Kress, who has studied the birds for decades, said at the time that birds seemed to be doing well because the Gulf of Maine had a cool year that led to an abundance of food.

The puffins are Atlantic puffins that also live in Canada and the other side of the ocean. Internationally, they’re listed as “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.



© 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Citation:
Nothing funny about bad year for Maine’s clownish puffins (2021, October 15)
retrieved 16 October 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-10-funny-bad-year-maine-clownish.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Read More Hexbyte Glen Cove Educational Blog Repost With Backlinks —

Hexbyte Glen Cove Study: Adolescents’ experiences with police have harmful repercussions for later life outcomes

Hexbyte Glen Cove

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

The criminal justice system has changed dramatically in the past half century and with these changes has come a greater potential for adolescents to encounter police. A new study examined how adolescents’ experiences with police—either directly or vicariously (e.g., via witnessing an encounter)—affected their future orientation during the transition to adulthood. The study concluded that adolescents’ experiences with police can serve as an important life course event with negative consequences for later life outcomes.

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), the University of California, Irvine (UCI), Johns Hopkins University, and the University of South Florida. It is forthcoming in Criminology, a publication of the American Society of Criminology.

Future orientation can encompass an individual’s expectations, aspirations, and plans. Youth with a more positive future orientation tend to have , educational, and occupational outcomes, and are able to overcome adversity more successfully than youth with a less positive future orientation. This type of outlook can be altered by events that shift the value of a future outcome or the perception of obtaining a goal and as such, future orientation (or lack thereof) is a strong determinant of criminal offending.

“We sought to determine if and under what conditions police contact affected youth’s future orientation,” explains Alexander Testa, assistant professor of criminology and at UTSA, who led the study. “From a life-course framework, future orientation is important because it captures an individual’s outlook toward future key milestones and life-course events that may be harmed by the collateral consequences of criminal justice contact.”

Researchers used data from the Pathways to Desistance study, a of 1,354 serious offenders from Arizona and Pennsylvania who were followed from adolescence through young adulthood. The youth, who were mostly male and non-White, were 14 to 17 years old when they were recruited for the study.

The study analyzed participants’ experiences with police, including both in-person encounters (e.g., police stops, the most common form of criminal justice contact during adolescence) and vicarious contact (e.g., seeing someone else in an encounter with police or learning of one involving family or friends). To measure future orientation, researchers used measurements of participants’ perceived likelihood and importance of achieving various milestones (e.g., having a good education, career, and family life). They also examined how characteristics of police contact (i.e., youth’s perceptions of procedural injustice) and demographic characteristics of adolescents (i.e., sex, race/ethnicity) shaped responses to police contact.

The study found that police contact—even in the absence of unjust treatment—can create cognitive shifts during a key period in life, diminishing individuals’ future outlooks. Specifically, the study found that:

  • Both personal and vicarious police contact, compared to no additional police contact, was negatively associated with individuals’ changes in future orientation.
  • Any exposure to police contact, regardless of how just or unjust the contact was perceived to be, was negatively associated with future orientation. That is, adolescents’ perceptions of procedural justice did not meaningfully alter the association between police contact and future orientation.
  • The negative association between police contact and future orientation was larger for White adolescents than for Black or Hispanic adolescents. Researchers suggest that this may be because police contact has largely become an expected occurrence among minority youth.

“Given the importance of future orientation to subsequent contact with the for future health and generalized life success, actions should be taken to mitigate any of police contact on the future orientation of adolescents,” says Kristin Turney, professor of sociology at UCI and a coauthor of the study. These might include reform efforts that change the nature of interactions between police and youth to reduce surveillance of young people and promote greater connections to civic life in a way that enhances future orientations.

The authors point to some limitations of their study, including that their findings cannot be generalized to other contexts, including adolescents from other geographic areas (e.g., those in rural and suburban areas) and individuals with less serious or no offending experiences. In addition, they say their results should be interpreted as associations and not causal relationships.



More information:
Police Contact and Future Orientation from Adolescence to Young Adulthood: Findings from the Pathways to Desistance Study, Criminology (2021).

Provided by
American Society of Criminology

Read More Hexbyte Glen Cove Educational Blog Repost With Backlinks —

Hexbyte Glen Cove Prosecutors embrace a color-blind approach to prosecution, highlights need for cultural rescripting in prosecution

Hexbyte Glen Cove

A new study explored how prosecutors think about race in criminal justice, providing ideas of how to break the color-blind approach to prosecution that can entrench racial disparities. The study found that prosecutors broadly argue that race should not be considered when processing cases.

Conducted by a researcher at Florida International University (FIU), the study is forthcoming in the American Society of Criminology’s journal Criminology.

“Color-blindness is one piece of a very strong and cohesive prosecutorial culture,” says Rebecca Dunlea, an assistant professor of criminology and at FIU and the author of the study. “Getting prosecutors to see themselves as part of the solution to will require changing their views on how to approach , but it will probably also require that they reevaluate other core beliefs about how they do their work and achieve .”

Color-blindness does not address racial disparities, and may even worsen them by maintaining policies and practices that are facially race-neutral but disproportionately harm people of color. Some scholars argue that colorblindness in criminal justice has done more harm than good.

Based on interviews with 47 prosecutors from Jacksonville and Tampa, Florida, in 2018, the study found that they widely embraced a color-blind approach to processing cases. Interviewees consistently said they believed that the best way to handle these disparities was to not consider the race of defendants, victims, or witnesses when making case decisions.

Support for the color-blind approach was informal and widespread, the study found, with prosecutors saying they worked to appear race-neutral, denying the possibility of discrimination in their offices. Prosecutors of color appeared to support the color-blind approach as much as their White counterparts.

This color-blind approach is reinforced by other scripts deeply embedded in prosecutorial culture, such as “every case is unique,” “poverty and culture cause crime,” and “we only prosecute what the police bring to us,” the study found. All these seemingly race-neutral scripts are used by prosecutors to justify the rejection of their role in reforms that target racial disparities in criminal justice.



More information:
No Idea Whether He’s Black, White, or Purple”: Colorblindness and Cultural Scripting in Prosecution, Criminology (2021).

Provided by
American Society of Criminology

Citation:
Prosecutors embrace a color-blind approach to prosecution, highlights need for cultural rescripting in

Read More Hexbyte Glen Cove Educational Blog Repost With Backlinks —

Hexbyte Glen Cove MIT grapples with early leader’s stance on Native Americans

Hexbyte Glen Cove

David Shane Lowry, distinguished fellow in Native American Studies at MIT, stands for a photograph, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, on the front steps of the Walker Memorial building on the schools campus, in Cambridge, Mass. MIT is grappling with the legacy of one of its founding fathers, whose name graces the iconic building. Francis Amasa Walker was a former head of the U.S. office of Indian Affairs who authored The Indian Question, a notorious treatise on Native Americans that helped justify the nation’s tribal reservation system. Credit: AP Photo/Steven Senne

As the third president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Francis Amasa Walker helped usher the school into national prominence in the late 1800s.

But another part of his legacy has received renewed attention amid the nation’s reckoning with racial justice: his role in shaping the nation’s hardline policies toward Native Americans as a former head of the U.S. office of Indian Affairs and author of “The Indian Question,” a treatise that justified forcibly removing tribes from their lands and confining them to remote reservations.

MIT is now grappling with calls from Native American students and others to strip Walker’s name from a campus building that is central to student life—part of a broader push for the nation’s higher education institutions to atone for the role they played in the decimation of Native American tribes.

“Walker might be the face of Indian genocide and it is troubling that his name is memorialized at MIT,” says David Lowry, the school’s newly-appointed distinguished fellow in Native American studies and a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina.

MIT President L. Rafael Reif wrote in a recent column in MIT Technology Review that addressing Walker’s legacy is an “essential step” in the school’s commitment to its Native American community. Native students account for 155 of the school’s nearly 3,700 students this year.

A late-19th century photo provided by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology shows Francis Amasa Walker, the third president of MIT. Walker helped usher the struggling school into national prominence, but the former Civil War general and former head of the U.S. office of Indian Affairs also authored “The Indian Question,” a treatise on Native Americans that helped cement the young nation’s system of forcibly removing tribes from their native lands to live on far flung, remote reservations. Native American students and their supporters want the university to rename Walker Memorial, a classical-style building named in his honor. Credit: MIT via AP

“The question we are working through now is what to do with these facts, as well as other aspects of the history of MIT and Native communities,” wrote Reif, who stopped short of weighing in on the name change debate in his column and declined to be interviewed.

Built in 1816, Walker Memorial houses student group offices, the college radio station and a campus pub. Its is a great hall decorated with soaring murals meant to depict scientific learning and experimentation.

Alvin Harvey, a doctoral student and president of the MIT Native American Student Association, says the classical-style building overlooking the Charles River is one of the most visible reminders of the school’s white, Western-centric past.

“As a Native American individual, you feel the full brunt of what MIT built its foundations on,” said Harvey, a 25-year-old New Mexico native and member of Navajo Nation. “The ideology that Western men, white men are going to lead the United States and the world into a new utopia of technological development.”

Alvin Donel Harvey, president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Native American Student Association, stands for a photograph, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, in front of the Walker Memorial building on the schools campus, in Cambridge, Mass. MIT is grappling with the legacy of one of its founding fathers, whose name graces the iconic building. Francis Amasa Walker was a former head of the U.S. office of Indian Affairs who authored The Indian Question, a notorious treatise on Native Americans that helped justify the nation’s tribal reservation system. Credit: AP Photo/Steven Senne

MIT was among the nation’s first colleges to benefit from the Morrill Act, a 1862 law that helped create the U.S. public higher education system. The law allowed for the transfer and sale of federal lands to colleges to help establish their campus, or bolster an existing one. But many millions of those acres were actually confiscated from Native American tribes.

In MIT’s case, it received at least 366 acres scattered across California and a number of Midwest states, High Country News reported last year. At the time, their sales helped generate nearly $78,000, or more than $1.6 million in today’s dollars, the magazine said.

Lowry cautions those land and revenue estimates are likely conservative and that some students in his course on the “Indigenous History of MIT” are working on a fuller accounting.

Simson Garfinkel, an MIT alum who wrote a recent article on Walker’s life and legacy in MIT Technology Review, worries that renaming Walker Memorial would only serve to erase the contributions of a singular figure in MIT history.

David Shane Lowry, distinguished fellow in Native American Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, stands for a photograph, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, in front of the Walker Memorial building on the schools campus, in Cambridge, Mass. MIT is grappling with the legacy of one of its founding fathers, whose name graces the iconic building. Francis Amasa Walker was a former head of the U.S. office of Indian Affairs who authored The Indian Question, a notorious treatise on Native Americans that helped justify the nation’s tribal reservation system. Credit: AP Photo/Steven Senne

“Without Walker there would be no MIT. He was pivotal to making it the institution it is today,” Garfinkel said. “He placed it on vastly better financial footing, dramatically expanded enrollment and brought a discipline to the school that was really needed.”

As president from 1881 until his death in 1897, the former Union Army general and Boston native helped improve student life and oversaw the introduction of the first female and Black students on campus.

Garfinkel also argued that “The Indian Question” offered significant and lasting contributions to the wider understanding of indigenous peoples, even if its analysis and policy recommendations were ultimately racist and “problematic.”

The book, published in 1874, included detailed descriptions of American tribes, their populations and the offenses incurred against them, mainly by illegally settling on their lands and instigating violence.

  • David Shane Lowry, left, distinguished fellow in Native American Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Alvin Donel Harvey, president of the MIT Native American Student Association, stand for a photograph, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, in front of the Walker Memorial building on the schools campus, in Cambridge, Mass. MIT is grappling with the legacy of one of its founding fathers, whose name graces the iconic building. Francis Amasa Walker was a former head of the U.S. office of Indian Affairs who authored The Indian Question, a notorious treatise on Native Americans that helped justify the nation’s tribal reservation system. Credit: AP Photo/Steven Senne
  • Alvin Donel Harvey, president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Native American Student Association, stands for a photograph, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, in front of the Walker Memorial building on the schools campus, in Cambridge, Mass. MIT is grappling with the legacy of one of its founding fathers, whose name graces the iconic building. Francis Amasa Walker was a former head of the U.S. office of Indian Affairs who authored The Indian Question, a notorious treatise on Native Americans that helped justify the nation’s tribal reservation system. Credit: AP Photo/Steven Senne

But Walker also described Native Americans as “an obstacle to the national progress” and concluded the country was justified in pushing Native Americans off their ancestral lands. He recommended confining them to reservations and forcing them to adopt European farming and production methods.

Rather than remove Walker’s name from the building, Garfinkel suggests providing more historical context by installing an informational marker on site.

“Walker was an amazing person who we need to understand in all of his complexity,” he said. “It’s easy to rename buildings, but much harder to learn about the past.”

Harvey said MIT has taken promising steps, such as appointing Lowry, recognizing Indigenous Peoples Day and providing a new campus space for Native American groups.

But it still needs to hire more Native faculty and provide other support for Native students, he said. As for Walker Memorial, Harvey suggests not only renaming it, but turning it into a center for indigenous sciences.

“MIT is missing out on this huge swath of indigenous knowledge,” he said. “Indigenous people are practicing their own valuable sense of science, engineering and knowledge of the natural world, and it’s being completely shut out.”



© 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Citation:
MIT grapples with early leader’s stance on Native Americans (2021, October 15)
retrieved 15 October 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-10-mit-grapples-early-leader-stance.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Read More Hexbyte Glen Cove Educational Blog Repost With Backlinks —

Hexbyte Glen Cove For 50 years, mass incarceration has hurt American families. Here’s how to change it

Hexbyte Glen Cove

Family member incarceration has become exceedingly common among American families. Nearly half of all adults aged 18-49 have an immediate family member who has been imprisoned. Credit: Wikipedia

For nearly 50 years, the incarceration rate in the U.S. has grown at an exponential rate. Today, the U.S. has the largest prison population in the world. Incarceration is especially common in poor communities of color where nearly 70% of Black men who did not finish high school and are approaching midlife will be in prison at some point in their lives.

A review including new data analysis, published Oct. 14 in Science by experts at Washington University in St. Louis and Duke University, exposes the harm mass incarceration has on families and advocates for -friendly criminal justice interventions.

“While mass incarceration has made family member incarceration common, low-income families of color are disproportionately impacted, especially the women who are often the ones bearing the responsibility of taking care of family members on both the inside and the outside,” said Hedwig Lee, study co-author and professor of sociology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University. Lee also is director of the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, & Equity at WashU.

“We cannot afford another 50 years of mass incarceration tearing apart families and communities. It is time to do something revolutionary and invest in data that allows us to fully understand the effects of mass incarceration on families and implement both criminal justice and broader and practices that prevent future damage.”

Collateral damage of criminal justice system

Extensive research exists detailing the effects of incarceration on convicted individuals, yet less is known about the toll mass incarceration has on families and communities. For this review, Lee and co-author Christopher Wildeman, professor of sociology at Duke University, shifted the focus to the families of incarcerated men, who make up the majority of imprisoned people in the U.S.

Family member incarceration has become exceedingly common among American families. Nearly half of all young adults, age 18-49, have an immediate family member—defined as a parent, child, sibling, current romantic partner or anyone who the respondent ever had a child with—who has been imprisoned. Family member incarceration is even more pervasive for African American families, impacting far more than 60% of adults under the age of 50.

The indirect consequences of mass incarceration, experienced by family members, are likely more sizeable than those for the men who experience incarceration, according to Wildeman.

“Family members of the incarcerated have rarely—if ever—been involved in the crimes that their incarcerated family members have committed, and as a result are the collateral damage of the criminal justice system in a very real and tangible way,” he said.

Because mass incarceration disproportionately impacts African American families, it also exacerbates existing inequalities. In their review, Lee and Wildeman found that family member incarceration has on family well-being above and beyond existing disadvantages prior to incarceration. These effects include:

  1. Incarceration affects family structure. Incarcerated men marry at extremely low rates and divorce—and union dissolution more broadly—is more common among current and formerly incarcerated men.
  2. Incarceration affects the overall quality of life for families. Incarcerated fathers are less involved in their family before, during and after incarceration. Mothers are also more likely to engage in harsh parenting and experience depression when fathers are incarcerated.
  3. The loss of income caused by incarceration exacerbates economic hardship for families. Because men often struggle to find employment post-incarceration, these economic hardships can be long-lasting.

For children, the negative effects of parental incarceration are better understood. These children are more likely to struggle with behavioral and . They’re also less prepared to enter school than their peers, have disengaged parents and carry a stigma of parental incarceration.

“Children whose parents will eventually experience incarceration already disproportionately faced challenges even prior to experiencing that event. But for many children, the incarceration of a parent sets off a downward spiral in which negative responses from teachers, correctional officials and even peers due to the stigma of parental incarceration interacts with negative behavioral responses to the trauma of that event to lead children down a difficult path that has dire consequences for their transition to adulthood,” Wildeman said.

Incarceration also impacts the women who are left behind to manage the fallout. According to Lee and Wildeman’s review, a son’s incarceration could increase the parenting burdens place on grandparents. “Mothers who had a child, almost always a son, incarcerated struggle mightily when it comes to a range of indicators of health, including but not limited to self-rated health, depression and health limitations,” they write.

“Taken together, family incarceration may send generational ripples that impact the health of the entire family,” Lee said.

How to break the cycle

Incarceration is a breaking point for families. But Lee and Wildeman’s review highlights how poorly, on average, families were fairing even before experiencing parental incarceration.

Research from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study show drug abuse and domestic violence often precedes incarceration, as does smoking or using drugs and alcohol during pregnancy. Families in which one or both parents are unmarried, and/or the biological father does not live with his children, are also more likely to experience future incarceration. Prior incarcerations also are a strong indicator of future incarceration.

“These families are often in dire need long before incarceration. These needs may include severe forms of material deprivation—getting evicted, being unable to pay for utilities and not having enough money for food consistently—which are amplified by the fact that rates of addiction disorders and other mental health conditions are highly prevalent in these populations,” Lee said.

“Addressing these needs through better social services is a clear way to break the cycle and simultaneously improve the health and well-being of the entire family.”

What would family-friendly criminal justice interventions look like?

According to Lee and Wildeman, at minimum, family-friendly criminal justice interventions would have three features:

  1. Focus more on diversion in combination with high-quality services. For example, rather than arresting a person for drug possession, he or she would receive lower-level sanction—like a ticket or community service—combined with drug rehabilitation and/or mental health services to address underlying issues. “Such policies have the benefit of not putting families in a situation where the choices are essentially either incarceration or chaos,” the authors write.
  2. Broaden the scope of services for families when prison or jail incarceration is necessary. Current family policies are narrow and focus on how to facilitate visitation and provide mentors for children. However, the review shows that incarceration causes significant harm to families. Social services—such as free universal childcare and extensive economic support—are one way to mitigate those negative effects. Families are especially fragile during the time immediately before and after release, yet little work is currently done to intervene on behalf of families during this time.
  3. Consider alternatives to incarceration and eliminate mandatory sentencing laws. In addition to partnering with researchers to determine which types of changes—diversion, in-facility programs, post-incarceration programs—best offset the cost on incarceration for individuals, families and communities, alternative sentencing practices are needed for nonviolent and violent offenses. “There is, to be as blunt as possible, no way to drastically shrink the imprisonment rate without cutting sentences for individuals convicted of violent crimes and convicted multiple times,” the authors write.

“Although we believe that the consequences of for families are now becoming clear,” added Wildeman, “the reality is that the data we have available to understand how, when and why family member matters is woefully inadequate to the task, making future data collections that prioritize this incredibly prevalent stressor absolutely vital.”



More

Read More Hexbyte Glen Cove Educational Blog Repost With Backlinks —

Hexbyte Glen Cove Facial recognition, cameras and other tools police use raise questions about accountability

Hexbyte Glen Cove

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

Facial recognition, body cameras and other digital technologies are increasingly used by police departments, municipalities and even gated communities, but these tools manufactured by private companies raise the specter of unchecked surveillance, a University of California, Davis researcher suggests.

“These tools raise concerns about a lack of balance between police, who need tools to do their jobs, and the rights of individuals to privacy,” said Elizabeth Joh, professor of law at UC Davis and author of a new article scheduled to be published Friday in the journal Science.

Joh points out in the article that private companies making millions of dollars on these tools are effectively shielded from appropriate public scrutiny. Further, she recommends that state- and national-level legislation be implemented to regulate the use of such equipment.

The article, “The corporate shadow in democratic policing: Technology companies can elude accountability,” appears in a special policy section of the journal.

“Communities and individuals subjected to these policing technologies deserve transparency about how their police use these tools, whether there are potential flaws, and of course, whether these tools are worth using at all,” she said. “And although companies do have justifiable concerns about their intellectual property, invocations of proprietary information cannot become an all-purpose shield against public accountability when their customers are .”

Most of the forms of automation technology in policing, observed Joh, are developed by , raising concerns that the companies are becoming de facto policymakers, she said.

The surveillance tools, she added, could have flaws that cause doubts about how individual defendants in a are identified, raising concerns about whether the defendant’s rights were violated.

“When it comes to new investigative methods used by police departments, may be concerned that a proposed approach may have racially discriminatory impacts, may be flawed in design or in execution, or may simply be unjustified given its cost balanced against limited public resources,” she said in the article.

Use of these tools will only increase, Joh predicts, making it imperative that there be some oversight of their use to allow for public accountability and transparency.

Recent nationally known police incidents in which cameras were used, such as the death of George Floyd, “were not calls for technological tools,” Joh said in the article. “If anything, this national attention to policing reminds us that policing remains a social institution.”



More information:
Elizabeth E. Joh, The corporate shadow in democratic policing, Science (2021). DOI: 10.1126/science.abi9150

Citation:
Facial recognition, cameras and other tools police use raise questions about accountability (2021, October 14)
retrieved 15 October 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-10-facial-recognition-cameras-tools-police.html

Read More Hexbyte Glen Cove Educational Blog Repost With Backlinks —

Hexbyte Glen Cove Strongest quake since volcano erupted shakes Spanish island

Hexbyte Glen Cove

Lava from a volcano flows destroying a banana plantation on the Canary island of La Palma, Spain, on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021. A new river of lava has belched out from the La Palma volcano, spreading more destruction on the Atlantic Ocean island where molten rock streams have already engulfed over 1,000 buildings. The partial collapse of the volcanic cone has sent a new lava stream heading toward the western shore of the island. Credit: AP Photo/Daniel Roca

A 4.5-magnitude earthquake shook La Palma in Spain’s Canary Islands in what was the strongest recorded temblor since volcanic eruptions began 26 days ago, authorities said Thursday.

The quake was one of around 60 recorded overnight, Spain’s National Geographic Institute said, as the Cumbre Vieja volcano continued to spew fiery rivers of lava that are destroying everything in their path and dumping molten rock into the Atlantic Ocean.

The lava has partially or completely destroyed more than 1,600 buildings, about half of them houses, officials said, though prompt evacuations have so far prevented any deaths. Around 7,000 people have had to abandon their homes, 300 of them Thursday.

“This is definitely the most serious eruption in Europe of the past 100 years,” Canary Islands President Ángel Víctor Torres said.

“The only good news is that…so far, nobody has been hurt,” he said.

The flow from three rivers of molten rock broadened to almost 1.8 kilometers (just over a mile), the La Palma government said, but their advance has slowed to a crawl.

Hard, black lava now covers 674 hectares (1,665 acres) on the western side of the island, authorities said, though most of la Palma is unaffected.

Authorities advised locals against traveling by car because volcanic ash was ankle-deep in some places. The volcano’s plume was 2,600 meters (about 8,500 feet) high as of Thursday.

La Palma is part of Spain’s Canary Islands, an Atlantic Ocean archipelago off northwest Africa whose economy depends on tourism and the cultivation of the Canary plantain.



© 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Citation:
Strongest quake since volcano erupted shakes Spanish island (2021, October 14)
retrieved 14 October 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-10-strongest-quake-volcano-erupted-spanish.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Read More Hexbyte Glen Cove Educational Blog Repost With Backlinks —

Hexbyte Glen Cove China set to send 3 astronauts on longest crewed mission yet

Hexbyte Glen Cove

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, the Shenzhou-13 manned spaceship atop a Long March-2F carrier rocket is transferred to the launching area of Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China, Oct. 7, 2021. China is preparing to send three astronauts to live on its space station for six months—a new milestone for a program that has advanced rapidly in recent years. Credit: Wang Jiangbo/Xinhua via AP

China is preparing to send three astronauts to live on its space station for six months—a new milestone for a program that has advanced rapidly in recent years.

It will be China’s longest crewed space mission and set a record for the most time spent in space by Chinese astronauts. The Shenzhou-13 spaceship is expected to be launched into space on a Long March-2F rocket early Saturday morning from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on the edge of the Gobi Desert in northwestern China.

The first crew who served a 90-day mission aboard the main Tianhe core module of the space station returned in mid-September.

The new crew has two veterans of space travel. Pilot Zhai Zhigang, 55, performed China’s first spacewalk. Wang Yaping, 41, and the only woman on the mission, carried out experiments and led a science class in real-time while traveling on one of China’s earlier experimental space stations. Ye Guangfu, 41, will be traveling into space for the first time.

The three later spoke to reporters through a glass barrier at the Jiuquan base, with Zhai saying the length of the mission would be a challenge, but one he was confident they were prepared to meet.

“After almost two years of training (together), our crew members now know each other well and have a tacit understanding. I believe that with the power and wisdom of our team, (we) will definitely resolve all difficulties,” Zhai said.

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese astronauts, from left, Ye Guangfu, Zhai Zhigang and Wang Yaping wave to reporters as they arrive for a press conference at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center ahead of the Shenzhou-13 launch mission from Jiuquan in northwestern China, Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021. China is preparing to send three astronauts to live on its space station for six months—a new milestone for a program that has advanced rapidly in recent years. Credit: Ju Zhenhua/Xinhua via AP

Russian cosmonaut Valery Polyakov, who lived on Russia’s old Mir space station in 1994 and 1995, holds the record for the longest stay in space at more than 14 months.

The mission is expected to continue the work of the initial crew, who conducted two spacewalks, deployed a 10-meter (33-foot) mechanical arm, and held a video call with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

China Manned Space Agency Deputy Director Lin Xiqiang said the rocket was fueled and ready to fly. “All systems conducting the Shenzhou-13 mission have undergone a comprehensive rehearsal. The flight crew is in good condition and our pre-launch preparations are in order,” Lin said at a Thursday briefing.

The crew’s scheduled activities include up to three spacewalks to install equipment in preparation for expanding the station, verifying living conditions in the module and conducting experiments in space medicine and other areas, Lin said.

China’s military, which runs the space program, has released few details but says it will send multiple crews to the station over the next two years to make it fully functional. Shenzhou-13 will be the fifth mission, including trips without crews to deliver supplies.

When completed with the addition of two more modules—named Mengtian and Wentian—the station will weigh about 66 tons, a fraction of the size of the International Space Station, which launched its first module in 1998 and will weigh around 450 tons when completed. Lin said the two additional modules would be sent before the end of next year during the stay of the yet-to-be-named Shenzhou-14 crew.

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, the Shenzhou-13 manned spaceship onto of a Long March-2F carrier rocket prepares to be transferred to the launching area of Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China, Oct. 7, 2021. China is preparing to send three astronauts to live on its space station for six months—a new milestone for a program that has advanced rapidly in recent years. Credit: Wang Jiangbo/Xinhua via AP

China was excluded from the International Space Station largely due to U.S. objections over the Chinese program’s secretive nature and close military ties. It made plans to build its own space stations in the early 1990s and had two experimental modules before starting on the permanent station.

U.S. law requires congressional approval for contact between the American and Chinese space programs, but China is cooperating with space experts from countries including France, Sweden, Russia and Italy.

Lin said China was expanding such cooperation, with Ye Guangfu having undergone training with the European Space Agency in 2016, and European astronauts participating in China’s sea survival training in 2017.

“We welcome astronauts from other countries entering our space station and conducting international cooperation,” Lin said. “We believe that after the station enters the operation and utilization phase, more foreign astronauts will visit our station.”

Commenting on his time with the ESA, Ye called it an unforgettable experience that “made me realize that the exploration of the vast space and the construction of a home in space are a shared mission and pursuit for astronauts.”

“I look forward to the day when international colleagues can travel in space together (with us), and I welcome them to visit China’s space station,” Ye said.

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese astronauts, from left, Ye Guangfu, Zhai Zhigang and Wang Yaping meet the reporters at a press conference at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center ahead of the Shenzhou-13 launch mission from Jiuquan in northwestern China, Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021. China is preparing to send three astronauts to live on its space station for six months—a new milestone for a program that has advanced rapidly in recent years. Credit: Ju Zhenhua/Xinhua via AP

China has launched seven crewed missions with a total of 14 astronauts aboard since 2003, when it became only the third country after the former Soviet Union and the United States to put a person in space on its own. Two Chinese astronauts have flown twice.

Along with its crewed missions, China has expanded its work on lunar and Mars exploration, including placing a rover on the little-explored far side of the Moon and returning lunar rocks to Earth for the first time since the 1970s.

China this year also landed its Tianwen-1 space probe on Mars, whose accompanying Zhurong rover has been exploring for evidence of life on the red planet.

Other programs call for collecting soil from an asteroid and bring back additional lunar samples. China has also expressed an aspiration to land people on the moon and possibly build a scientific base there, although no timeline has been proposed for such projects. A highly secretive space plane is also reportedly under development.



© 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Citation:
China set to send 3 astronauts on longest crewed mission yet (2021, October 14)
retrieved 14 October 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-10-china-astronauts-longest-crewed-mission.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Read More Hexbyte Glen Cove Educational Blog Repost With Backlinks —

Hexbyte Glen Cove Death threats, law suits: COVID experts targeted

Hexbyte Glen Cove

A poll shows scientists who speak in the media about Covid-19 are often subject to harassment as a result.

Marc Van Ranst, a virologist famous in Belgium for providing expertise about the COVID-19 pandemic, was at home for his first afternoon off in months in May, unaware that his life was under threat and that he would soon be forced to go into hiding.

Jurgen Conings, a soldier aligned with right-wing extremist movements who had stated his intent to harm Van Ranst was sitting in a car nearby armed with four rocket launchers.

It wasn’t until the following day Van Ranst learned he was in danger.

“They called me at noon and half an hour later they came with heavily armoured cars,” Van Ranst told AFP.

“They took my son from school and my wife from the hospital and me… to a safe house. We were in several safe houses over the course of about a month.”

Van Ranst has given hundreds of interviews on COVID-19 since the began and says he has a file of over 150 threats related to his pandemic expertise.

“Some are minor—they compare you to Hitler or Mengele,” he said. “And then some are .”

He is one of dozens of scientists harassed over the pandemic, according to a survey by scientific journal Nature.

Of 321 experts who responded to the journal, 81 percent reported some experience of “trolling or after speaking about COVID-19 in the media”.

Fifteen percent reported receiving death threats and over half had their credibility attacked.

Chart showing the negative experiences of many scientists who have spoken publicly about Covid-19.

‘They find different ways’

In its article on the survey, Nature said it reached out to scientists in the US, the UK, Brazil, Canada, Taiwan, New Zealand and Germany who had given interviews about the pandemic.

The prestigious journal acknowledges that harassment of scientists speaking on hot-button issues such as gun violence, vaccines and climate change is not new.

But they say even experts who were already prominent noted a rise in abuse related to the pandemic. The survey’s respondents described threats by email, online comments, and more.

French virologist Karine Lacombe rose to prominence during the pandemic for her expertise lent during regular television and radio appearances and in articles.

She told AFP that attacks on her—largely driven by French right-wing media supportive of controversial doctor Didier Raoult—began in earnest once she spoke out publicly against Raoult’s advice to use hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID.

She describes being insulted in the street, getting anonymous letters threatening rape, and having her inbox flooded with disparaging personal messages.

“It was totally new to me and extremely violent,” she told AFP.

She left Twitter and even spent several days with friends, imagining people might be waiting for her in front of her home.

The abuse ‘was totally new to me and extremely violent,’ said Lacombe.

“I had a kind of breakdown,” she said.

Both Lacombe and Van Ranst report being targeted by right-wing extremists in their countries, which are often aligned against pandemic measures and vaccines.

Van Ranst describes being repeatedly summoned to Belgian court by anti-vaxers.

“They find different ways of harassing us,” Van Ranst said.

He says he makes a point of defending himself at the mandatory court appearances and that he has never lost—but fighting the suits has taken over 400 hours of his time.

“They’re not keeping me from my job but I have literally no free time,” he said, “This is the third one and they said they would keep doing it.”

‘They want to silence us’

Nature describes a “chilling effect”, with experts who experienced the most harassment also reporting the biggest influence on their willingness to speak to the media.

While Lacombe says she has heard similar feedback from colleagues, that it is not the case for her.

Court battles with his critics have taken up 400 hours of his time, says Van Ranst.

For with support from psychologists and groups fighting bullying and disinformation online, she says she was able to return to Twitter after a month and a half.

“It has reinforced my convictions,” she said.

“They want to silence us, we who have the knowledge and expertise. I’m trying not to give in.”

Van Ranst feels the same.

“I’m not more careful,” he said, “I’m equally outspoken against anti-vaccination messages or fake news or whatever.

“Otherwise they win.”



More information:
Bianca Nogrady, ‘I hope you die’: how the COVID pandemic unleashed attacks on scientists, Nature (2021). DOI: 10.1038/d41586-021-02741-x

COVID scientists in the public eye need protection from threats, Nature (2021). DOI: 10.1038/d41586-021-02757-3

© 2021 AFP

Citation:
Death threats, law suits: COVID experts targeted (2021, October 14)
retrieved 14 October 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-10-death-threats-law-covid-experts.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Read More Hexbyte Glen Cove Educational Blog Repost With Backlinks —

Hexbyte Glen Cove Focal point for climate change is at the top of our world, and agenda

Hexbyte Glen Cove

Danish Meteorological Institute, Denmark – Iceberg, Baffin Bay 2021. Credit: © Steffen M. Olsen

Improved climate modeling can predict fish stocks in the North Atlantic, as well as warming effects across the Northern hemisphere, for instance in Europe and North America.

Fragile and exposed to climate change, the Arctic is warming three times faster than the rest of the planet. As the frozen ground melts, carbon dioxide and methane trapped within it are released into the atmosphere, further contributing to global warming.

Michael Mann, the EU’s Special Envoy for the Arctic, describes the current environmental situation in the Arctic as extremely serious. He warns: “It’s just getting worse and worse.”

The consequences are being felt elsewhere. Extreme events in Europe, such as the unusually heavy snowfall in Greece and Spain last winter, is thought to be linked to warming in the northernmost regions. “The Arctic is the main suspect for larger changes in conditions in the northern hemisphere,” said Dr. Steffen Olsen, a climate researcher at the Danish Meteorological Institute in Copenhagen.

Since the Arctic is the focal point for , being able to better forecast Arctic warming could help mitigate its impact, both in the Arctic and elsewhere.

The EU is preparing to adapt to the rapid changes that the Arctic is experiencing. One of the goals of the EU missions, namely Adaptation to Climate Change, is to provide new strategies and solutions and empower communities to lead the societal transformation. The EU mission Restore Our Ocean and Waters by 2030 will deploy innovative solutions at basin-scale (sea basin and river basin) through mission lighthouses which will each lead on one of the mission objectives. A lighthouse initiative covering the Atlantic and Arctic sea basin is part of the mission objective to protect and restore marine ecosystems and biodiversity.

The new EU Arctic policy is also on the horizon to address new challenges and opportunities.

Why aren’t climate models better at predicting Arctic warming?

Danish Meteorological Institute, Denmark – Arctic monitoring setup on sea ice NW Greenland 2021. Credit: © Steffen M. Olsen

Existing typically describe the physics of large-scale processes in the atmosphere and the ocean, such as atmospheric jet streams or how ice is retreating. However, many small-scale phenomena are not well represented. This is particularly true of predictions for the Arctic, which lack accuracy. “Apart from uncertainties in representing different aspects of the atmosphere, we also see that the pathways of ocean currents from the North Atlantic to the Arctic are poorly represented in our model systems,” Dr. Olsen said.

Together with his colleagues in the Horizon 2020 funded Blue-Action project, Dr. Olsen aims to improve how the climate in the northern hemisphere, including the Arctic, is modeled and predicted. They focused on variability from one year to the next and between decades. Predictions at these mid-range timescales are often lacking, despite their potential to reveal significant details about climatic changes. “That may mean that you have a number of years where conditions don’t follow the more linear track of (predicted) scenarios,” explained Dr. Olsen. “A warming tendency can be reversed for some years, for example.”

Members of the Blue-Action team first conducted several complex experiments where they were able to identify strengths and deficiencies in current climate models. Then, they were able to make improvements, for example by incorporating additional data such as the effect of cracks in Arctic sea ice on . They also figured out how to predict the key components contributing to atmospheric variability over the North Atlantic Ocean. These factors are known to have a major effect on winter conditions in Europe.

From forecasting fish stocks to heat wave early warning

These enhanced climate models were used to develop new prediction systems. The team developed a system that can forecast certain fish stocks in the North Atlantic Ocean over a 10-year period, for example, changes such as surface water temperature fluctuations play a role in when fish will migrate and reproduce. “It’s the first time you will see predictions of years in advance, based on climate model predictions,” said Dr. Olsen.

They also created an early warning system for European regions to help reduce the impact of heat waves on human health, which have caused more fatalities on the continent than any other extreme weather event in recent decades. By combining their new climate models with heat mortality data from 16 countries, the system allows for preventative measures to be taken if high temperatures are expected. “That has been one very promising line of service development,” said Dr. Olsen.

Making the best use of good observations

Better use of existing monitoring systems could also help improve climate models. Dr. Thomas Jung, head of the Climate Dynamics section at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, Germany and his colleagues, were also aiming to improve climate predictions in the Arctic as part of the APPLICATE project, partly by investigating the role of observations. “You need observations in the right place and once you have good observations, you need to make best use of them,” said Dr. Jung.

Arctic monitoring on sea-ice with Inuit hunters NW Greenland 2021. Credit: © Peter Avike, Qillaq Danielsen

The team performed experiments where they removed certain types of observations from climate models of the Arctic to see how this would affect forecasts. They found that microwave observations from satellites, which can indicate temperature and moisture levels, had the most significant impact on medium-term forecasts.

The project also aimed to develop more detailed and accurate medium-range climate models for the Arctic that could be put to practical use. To ensure they would be widely adopted they partnered with modeling experts from weather prediction centers in Europe. Since there are a few Arctic countries on the continent, such as Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden and Finland, more advanced weather predictions would benefit local policymakers, businesses and people so that they can be better prepared for upcoming changes.

Arctic climate’s link with lower latitudes

To figure out how climate change in the Arctic impacts regions further south, the scientists conducted experiments with multiple climate models. They focused on understanding the physical mechanisms through which warming in the Arctic would affect climate and weather in lower latitudes.

The team’s results suggest that the link between change in the Arctic and extreme weather events in Europe and North America might be overestimated. “There is a link; there’s no doubt about this,” noted Dr. Jung. “But it’s probably not as large as suggested by observations.”

There is another link between Arctic warming and what happens in lower latitudes, too. Climatic changes in polar regions aren’t primarily caused by its inhabitants, obviously, but rather by emissions produced by the rest of the world. “The problem has to be dealt with more globally,” said Mann.

An ambitious climate action plan for the Arctic

In an attempt to do just this, the European Union (EU) Arctic policy aims to tackle effects in the region as well as promote sustainable development and international cooperation. Tackling permafrost thaw in the Arctic is one of the issues that will be addressed when the policy is updated this month. Satellites that are part of the EU’s Copernicus program, for example, can help track changes, since they are able to measure the thickness of frozen ground. “I think Copernicus will play a major role,” said Mann.

The new policy will also target black carbon, or soot. It attracts sunlight and heat when deposited on snow and ice in the Arctic, contributing to warming. However, it is currently hard to follow changes in these emissions: There are few monitoring sites and large areas where no observations are made. “Establishing monitoring stations has to be the starting point,” noted Mann. “Hopefully, the EU can give that a helping hand.”



Citation:
Focal point for climate change is at the top of our world, and agenda (2021, October 13)
retrieved 13 October 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-10-focal-climate-world-agenda.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Read More Hexbyte Glen Cove Educational Blog Repost With Backlinks —