"In recent decades, advances in forecasting have been rapid, arising from improved observations and models, and better integration of these through data assimilation and related techniques. Investment in weather forecasting pays large dividends, ranging from 3 to 10 times the costs. [But] the developing world is especially vulnerable to weather disasters yet is underserved by forecasting."
25 January 2019
Richard B. Alley, Kerry A. Emanuel, Fuqing Zhang write in Science about Advances in weather prediction...
14 January 2019
09 January 2019
Roberto Stefan Foa and Yascha Mounk in The Signs of Deconsolidation in the Journal of Democracy share evidence of a global pattern of disaffection with democratic systems...
"Americans’ dissatisfaction with the democratic system is part of a much larger global pattern. It is not just that the proportion of Americans who state that it is “essential” to live in a democracy, which stands at 72 percent among those born before World War II, has fallen to 30 percent among millennials. It is also that [...] a similar cohort pattern is found across all longstanding democracies, including Great Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, and New Zealand. In virtually all cases, the generation gap is striking, with the proportion of younger citizens who believe it is essential to live in a democracy falling to a minority."
"What is more, this disaffection with the democratic form of government is accompanied by a wider skepticism toward liberal institutions. Citizens are growing more disaffected with established political parties, representative institutions, and minority rights. Tellingly, they are also increasingly open to authoritarian interpretations of democracy. The share of citizens who approve of “having a strong leader who does not have to bother with parliament or elections,” for example, has gone up markedly in most of the countries where the World Values Survey asked the question -- including such varied places as Germany, the United States, Spain, Turkey, and Russia"
08 January 2019
The Getty Research Institute shares timelapse maps of Los Angeles Instrastructure, Networks, Settlements, Population, Economy, and Conflicts!
WEForum shares the Human Life Indicator (HLI) proposed by Sergei Scherbov, Simone Ghislandi, and Warren Sanderson as an alternative measure of development solving several problems of the Human Development Index (HDI)...
"The HDI is like a country’s report card. In a single number, it tells policymakers and citizens how well a country is doing. The HDI has been wildly successful in changing the way people think about the development process. However, it still suffers from real flaws. First, it implicitly assumes trade-offs between its components. The HDI also struggles with the accuracy and meaningfulness of the underlying data. Finally, data on different domains may be highly correlated. The HLI looks at life expectancy at birth, but also takes the inequality in longevity into account. If two countries had the same life expectancy, the country with the higher rate of infant and child deaths would have a lower HLI."
Nice timelapse animation of Manhattan's Densities changing over two centuries based on data collected by Shlomo Angel and Patrick Lamson-Hall of the NYU Stern Urbanization Project!
06 January 2019
Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in 1973 engaged in...
“experimental forestry” and one of the experiments was to try and measure the effect of tree spacing on growth. The experiment was carried out by planting sugi (Japanese cedar) trees in 10 degree radial increments forming 10 concentric circles of varying diameters."