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Heroes

NASA made an adorable video explaining climate change. l think a lot of people will FINALLY get it.

You've probably *heard* that the earth is warming. But how do scientists actually *know* it's happening?

Here's your Hot Planet 101, courtesy of NASA. Take a minute to watch it, then we'll see how it's affecting life on earth right now.

If the symptoms of planetary fever are shrinking glaciers, rising sea levels, hotter heat waves, stronger hurricanes, and shifting plant and animal ranges, it's worth asking: Is that stuff really happening? Well, let's take them on one at a time.


1. Are the glaciers shrinking?

"The collapse of the Larsen [Ice Shelf] appears to have been due to a series of warm summers on the Antarctic Peninsula, which culminated with an exceptionally warm summer in 2002. Significant surface melting due to warm air temperatures created melt ponds that acted like wedges; they deepened the crevasses and eventually caused the shelf to splinter." — NASA Earth Observatory

Yo, this ice shelf the size of Rhode Island disintegrated in four months.

NASA's scientists estimate that the Larsen Ice Shelf Complex shed 2 to 4 billion metric tonnes into the ocean per year in 1996 and 2000. But in 2006, that increased a startling 10 times to 22 to 40 billion tonnes lost.

2. Are plants and animal ranges shifting?

Plants and animals get cues from the world around them. They know when to go dormant, where to grow, and when to reproduce by the temperature patterns around them.

As weather patterns change, those same cues lead them to live and breed in new areas. It might sound harmless, but scientists are concerned. Not every species is welcome in its new haunt.

An invasive species is any organism that is not native to an area and poses a threat to plants or wildlife native to the area. Usually, an invasive species is brought to an area by humans (sometimes by accident and sometimes intentionally to adorable and horrible effects).

But climate change is transforming the temperature trend lines across the United States, and species like the kudzu that normally stay in warmer climes are taking notice and slowly creeping their way north.


Many species that live in colder climates are simply migrating north as their stomping grounds become too warm for them. For some species, this is a gradual change, but for others, it's astonishingly fast ( the comma butterfly's habitat has shifted north nearly 7 miles annually over the last 20 years).

But this cutie pie (above — OMG, look at those ears!) lives in the mountains of the western U.S. The America pika can't fly to a new mountain range like a bird or butterfly. And because it can die from overheating in just hours, it can't hop to another zone either. It may just be doomed to slowly lose its habitat completely to warming.

3. Are sea levels rising?

Increases in sea level have tracked strongly with human activity. We started burning fossil fuel during the Industrial Revolution (1760-1850), and our use of coal, oil, and natural gas has increased every year. Sea levels, in response to steadily warming temperatures, also rose steadily.

Unfortunately, the sea level projections don't look like a straight line. It looks like an upward sloping curve. Sea levels aren't increasing at the same rate every year — that rate is increasing.

At present, sea levels are projected to rise by as much as 3 feet by 2100.

With the planet's ice reserves falling into the oceans faster than humanity has ever seen, the excess water has to go somewhere. 1.6 million people live in the islands scattered across the Pacific (3 million, if you count Hawaii), and they are all in danger of slowly losing their homelands.

But rising sea levels won't just affect faceless people of nations you've never heard of that you don't pronounce correctly (like Kiribati).

Ever heard that saying "A rising tide lifts all boats"? Let's revise that: "A rising tide sinks all coastal communities."

Nearly 40% of Americans live in a coastal county.


Rising sea levels could make significant portions of New York City unlivable.

4. Have recent heat waves been more intense?


Heat waves — unusually long periods of unusually hot weather — have become more frequent in the last 30 years.

The heat patterns that have emerged in the last 30 years have been shared across the globe. (I see you eyeing that big spike in the middle, but the extreme heat and drought that created the Dust Bowl was an anomaly almost exclusively experienced by North America.)

Global temperature has been rising since the end of the Industrial Revolution; there's no question about it.

Dark blue indicates areas cooler than average. Dark red indicates areas warmer than average.

"Most of this warming has occurred since the 1970s, with the 20 warmest years having occurred since 1981 and with all 10 of the warmest years occurring in the past 12 years." — NASA Global Climate

It seems Earth's hottest days are ahead of it.

5. Have recent storms been more intense?

Damn skippy. In the 23-year period from 1980 to 2003, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recorded 58 weather related disasters that cost at or over a billion dollars in damages.

"But yesterday it was unseasonably cold, and there's a massive blizzard in the Northeast."

Well, weather and climate are different. Weather is an event. Climate is a pattern of events. Any one of these years is an example of a weather event, but the red line is climate pattern (warming, obvi).

It's time to take our medicine. Let's change the way we treat the planet so we can keep on having it.


Live green. Save your world.

Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

via Dion Merrick / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.09.21


At 1:30 am on Monday morning an AMBER Alert went out in southern Louisiana about a missing 10-year-old girl from New Iberia. It was believed she had been kidnapped and driven away in a 2012 silver Nissan Altima.

A few hours later at 7 am, Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine, sanitation workers for Pelican Waste, were on their daily route when they noticed a vehicle that fit the description in the alert.

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Joy

Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

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