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As Clock Ticks, ACA Seeks Minority Enrollment | Hashtag Activists Come Out Against 'Colbert Report' | Space Tourism Provides Balloon to the Brink of Space

Monday, March 31, 2014

As Clock Ticks, ACA Seeks Minority Enrollment | The Takeaway TV Smackdown Elite 8: Tony Soprano Vs. Data | Activists Come Out Against 'Colbert Report' | Turkey's Elections & A Prime Minister's Future | Retro Report Looks Back at Sex Abuse in the Catholic Church | 2001: How The United States ...

PRI's The World

UN scientists tell us, ready or not, here comes climate change

Monday, March 31, 2014

Get ready, 'cause here it comes.

That's one way to summarize the latest message from the world's largest group of climate change scientists.

A new report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is out and makes it clearer than ever that global warming is already changing the world and affecting our lives, and that the impacts are only going to get worse. The report contains a litany of sobering impacts, from too much water some places, to too little water elsewhere, shifting disease risks, failing infrastructure and food shortages.

"Nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change,” said IPCC chair Rajendra Pachauri in Yokahama, Japan, where the report was released on Monday.

And Pachauri says the consequences could be immense. “The very social stability of human systems could be at stake,” he declared.

The new report is the second part of a three part review of climate science and related issues released every few years by a huge group of scientists from around the world who make up the IPCC. The organization won the Nobel Peace Prize after its last report was released in 2007.

Volume one of its Fifth Assessment Report, released last fall, reviewed the basic science, and established more clearly than ever that climate change is happening, that humans are largely responsible and that it's going to trigger sweeping global changes for centuries into the future.

Volume three, which will examine technological and other options for limiting climate change, is due out in April.

Volume two, released this week, looks at the impact climate change is already having and likely will have in the future, how vulnerable societies are to those changes, and how societies might adapt to them.

The report outlines significant changes already underway, including:

  • Water supplies being increased or decreased based on changes in precipitation and melting snow and ice.
  • Terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems being altered, with potentially big impacts on human communities.
  • Agriculture being hurt by temperatures changes and changes in water availability, though there will be some improvements.

The report also found that climate change is already making existing economic and social problems worse, especially for the world’s poor.

Looking ahead, the report identifies eight key risks that it says are almost certain to kick in, including:

  • Widespread risk of illness and death from flooding and heat waves.
  • High risk of breakdown of critical infrastructure from extreme weather events.
  • High risk to food security and access to water.

It also found that many regions are ill-equipped to cope with these sorts of events.

But the report is not without its silver lining. As is common in such reports, it makes clear that we're not locked into a worst-case scenario, and that how bad things get is largely dependent on how seriously the world takes the problem and what changes it makes to address it.

There was a flicker of dissent within the group of scientists, though. One of the roughly 750 authors had his name taken off the report because he felt its projections on impacts were “too alarmist.”

Panel Vice Chair Jean-Pascal van Ypersele responded to the criticism by saying "it's because the facts and the science and the data show that there are reasons to be alarmed."

Note: This report reflects a correction from the original broadcast version. The IPCC's AR 5 Working Group II report has roughly 750 (745) authors and editors, not 1,500, along with 1,729 expert and government reviewers.

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No-Kill Caviar Aims To Keep The Treat And Save The Sturgeon

Sunday, March 30, 2014

A method of extracting eggs from sturgeon without killing or cutting aims to revamp the industry and lower prices for this long-luxe treat. Critics say the idea is great. The taste? That's debatable.

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WNYC News

The Inside of Bodies, at Home in Times Square

Sunday, March 30, 2014

An exhibit that probes the wonders of the human body is moving into a permanent home in Times Square.

"Body Worlds: Pulse" is an exhibit of preserved human bodies with skin and muscles selectively peeled back to display body systems. It's been on display at Discovery Times Square for ...

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Radiolab

The Most Unusual Boy Band In The World

Saturday, March 29, 2014

They sing. They leap. They do crazy cartwheels, landing with pinpoint perfection. They finish with a wild cry of joy. But it's what they don't do that's most remarkable.

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Earthquake Hits Area Near Los Angeles; Some Damage Reported

Saturday, March 29, 2014

An earthquake shook part of Southern California Friday night, breaking water pipes and rattling nerves with aftershocks that went on into the night. The 5.1-magnitude quake hit just after 9 p.m.

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The Most Unusual Boy Band In The World

Saturday, March 29, 2014

They sing. They leap. They do crazy cartwheels, landing with pinpoint perfection. They finish with a wild cry of joy. But it's what they don't do that's most remarkable.

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In U.S., Mudslides Common, But Usually Few Deaths

Friday, March 28, 2014

As teams continue digging through the wreckage of the small communities destroyed by the Washington state mudslide, we answer some questions about this natural phenomenon.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Please Explain: Arthritis

Friday, March 28, 2014

More than 40 million Americans have arthritis, and it's the leading cause of disability for people who are 65 and older. Almost everyone over 70 has some form of arthritis, but it can affect much younger people too. Dr. Clark Smith, an Assistant Clinical Professor of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, explains what causes arthritis and how to treat it.

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On The Media

How Much Oil Really Spilled?

Friday, March 28, 2014

On the 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Southwest Alaska, the media reported, as they have since the disaster happened, that the amount of oil spilled was 11 million gallons. In 2010, Brooke spoke with Riki Ott - a marine toxicologist and author - who explained that the 11 million number is in fact a disputed figure the media have incorrectly adopted.

 

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On The Media

Obamacare In Spanish, Cartographers vs. The World, and More

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Obamacare advertising blitz tries to reach the young and uninsured, the annexation of Crimea creates a dilemma for map makers, and the history of those ubiquitous online quizzes. 

Soundcheck

Why Does Music Make Us Nostalgic?

Friday, March 28, 2014

We've spent the past week documenting nostalgia for bygone eras of the New York music scene. But one thing we haven’t tackled yet: Why do we get nostalgic in the first place? And why does music seem to conjure up such strong feelings of it?

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All Things Considered

How Being Ignored Helped A Woman Discover The Breast Cancer Gene

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Twenty years ago, many scientists didn't think that genes could cause diseases like cancer. The discovery of the BRCA gene for hereditary breast cancer changed that. Mary-Claire King tells how.

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All Things Considered

Custom Chromo: First Yeast Chromosome Built From Scratch

Thursday, March 27, 2014

It's not about making designer beer. Johns Hopkins scientists and undergrads stitched together strands of yeast DNA as a step in exploring the essential genetics of various species: What makes us us?

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Science Friday

SciFri: Dwarf Planet Found at the Edge of the Solar System

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Dwarf planet 2012 VP-113 takes approximately 4,000 years to orbit the sun once.

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Science Friday

SciFri: Movie Night for Scientists

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Movie theaters and scientists pair up to present a National Evening of Science on Screen.

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Science Friday

SciFri: Engineering Life Through Synthetic Biology

Thursday, March 27, 2014

From designer yeast genomes to batteries made from bacteria, an update on synthetic biology.

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Science Friday

SciFri: Racing Towards Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Toyota plans to release a hydrogen fuel cell car in California by 2015.

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Science Friday

SciFri: The Wind Comes Sweeping Down the Plains—of Iowa

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Texas and California dominate the U.S. in wind power generation—but Iowa isn't far behind.

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Science Friday

SciFri: Robot Builders with Bugs for Brains

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The bugs meet the bots in the world of swarm robotics.

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