Why carbon dioxide has such outsized influence on Earth’s climate – The Conversation

It shouldn’t be surprising that a small amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can have a big effect. We take pills that are a tiny fraction of our body mass and expect them to affect us.

Today the level of carbon dioxide is higher than at any time in human history. Scientists widely agree that Earth’s average surface temperature has already increased by about 2 F (1 C) since the 1880s, and that human-caused increases in carbon dioxide and other
heat-trapping gases are extremely likely to be responsible.

Without action to control emissions, carbon dioxide might reach 0.1% of the atmosphere by 2100, more than triple the level before the Industrial Revolution. This would be a faster change than transitions in Earth’s past that had huge consequences. Without action, this little sliver of the atmosphere will cause big problems.


The Commuting Principle That Shaped Urban History – CityLab

In 1994, Cesare Marchetti, an Italian physicist, described an idea that has come to be known as the Marchetti Constant. In general, he declared, people have always been willing to commute for about a half-hour, one way, from their homes each day.

This principle has profound implications for urban life. The value of land is governed by its accessibility—which is to say, by the reasonable speed of transport to reach it.


‘Nudging’ Looked Like It Could Help Solve Key Problems in Higher Ed. Now That’s Not So Clear. – The Chronicl e of Higher Education

Now the results of those expansions are in, and they are discouraging. In recent months, a report on the academic-success project said that it hasn’t identified anything that made a difference. Both
financial-aid studies announced null results. So did the effort to nudge more students to apply to selective colleges. Why didn’t these nudges work for a larger population? And where does this leave students finding their way through college — and all of the people trying to help them?


Views of Higher Education Divided by Party | Pew Research Center


This broad overview of data on views about higher education in the U.S. reveals a complex set off attitudes – a public that still sees the benefit of a college education but has grown wary about the politics and culture on college campuses and the value of a four-year degree that has an ever-increasing price tag.

Miles Davis Iconic 1959 Album Kind of Blue Turns 60: Revisit the Album That Changed American Music | Open Culture

No amount of continuous repeats in coffeeshops around the world can dull the crystalline brilliance of Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue one bit. The album turned 60 three days ago, and it still stands as one of the most influential albums, jazz or otherwise, of all time… indeed, as “one of the single greatest achievements in American music.”

Why are so many languages spoken in some places and so few in others?

"Despite continually mapping the distribution of languages across the world, scientists have few clear answers about what caused the emergence of thousands of languages. Collectively, human beings speak more than 7,000 distinct languages, and these languages are not uniformly distributed across the planet. For example, far more languages are spoken in tropical regions than in temperate areas."

Chernobyl has become a refuge for wildlife 33 years after the nuclear accident

Over the past 33 years, Chernobyl has gone from the being considered a potential desert for life to being an area of high interest for biodiversity conservation.

It may sound strange, but now we need to work to maintain the integrity of the exclusion zone as a nature reserve if we want to guarantee that in the future Chernobyl will remain a refuge for wildlife.