Restoring California’s Forests to Reduce Wildfire Risks Will Take Time, Billions of Dollars and a Broad Commitment | Best States

By Roger Bales and Martha Conklin

Many of California’s 33 million acres of forests face widespread threats stemming from past management choices. Today the U.S. Forest Service estimates that of the 20 million acres it manages in California, 6-9 million acres need to be restored.

Forest restoration basically means removing the less fire-resistant smaller trees and returning to a forest with larger trees that are widely spaced. These stewardship projects require partnerships across the many interests who benefit from healthy forests, to help bring innovative financing to this huge challenge.

The California Wildfires in Photos

california wildfires

We are engineers who work on many natural resource challenges, including forest management. We’re encouraged to see California and other western states striving to use forest management to reduce the risk of high-severity wildfire.

But there are major bottlenecks. They include scarce resources and limited engagement between forest managers and many local, regional and state

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New England Cancer Specialists will soon offer scalp-cooling technology to help reduce hair loss in cancer patients

By Chiara Battelli MD, President & Lead Physician at New England Cancer Specialists

A cancer diagnosis can change many things about our lives. As patients move forward with their doctor to examine treatment options, one of the major concerns they express is hair loss associated with chemotherapy. Unfortunately, it is hard to predict who will lose their hair even though it is a common and significant side effect of cytotoxic chemotherapy. Studies have shown that hair loss during cancer treatment can lead to lower self-esteem and feelings of depression, ultimately causing up to 10% of patients to forego chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy drugs damage hair follicles in a variety of ways: some drugs cause hair thinning or hair loss only on the scalp, while others can cause hair to thin or fall out on the arms, legs, underarms, eyebrows, or eyelashes. If a person is going to lose hair during treatment, it

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Cyber Command has sought to disrupt the world’s largest botnet, hoping to reduce its potential impact on the election

The effort is part of what Gen. Paul Nakasone, the head of Cyber Command, calls “persistent engagement,” or the imposition of cumulative costs on an adversary by keeping them constantly engaged. And that is a key feature of CyberCom’s activities to help protect the election against foreign threats, officials said.

“Right now, my top priority is for a safe, secure, and legitimate 2020 election,” Nakasone said in August in a set of written responses to Washington Post questions. “The Department of Defense, and Cyber Command specifically, are supporting a broader ‘whole-of-government’ approach to secure our elections.”

Trickbot is malware that can steal financial data and drop other malicious software onto infected systems. Cyber criminals have used it to install ransomware, a particularly nasty form of malware that encrypts users’ data and for which the criminals then demand payment — usually in cryptocurrency — to unlock.

Brian Krebs, who writes the

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New woodlands can help reduce flooding risk within 15 years — ScienceDaily

The planting of woodlands in upland areas could play a significant role in preventing the flash flooding which has increasingly affected communities across the world in recent years.

A new study by the University of Plymouth (UK) has shown that within just 15 years of being planted, native broadleaf trees can have a marked impact on soil’s response during extreme weather events.

It means the huge quantities of rainwater generated can be more readily absorbed, rather than it simply running over the surface and into rivers where it subsequently causes severe flooding.

Writing in Land Degradation & Development, scientists say their findings show the establishment of more native woodlands in upland areas could be an effective and natural flood management tool.

This nature-based solution could be extremely timely, given the UK government commitment to planting 30 million trees a year by 2025 and other environmental schemes designed to enhance

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Volcanic ash could help reduce CO2 associated with climate change — ScienceDaily

University of Southampton scientists investigating ways of removing carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases from our atmosphere believe volcanic ash could play an important role.

A team from the University’s School of Ocean and Earth Science has modelled the impact of spreading volcanic ash from a ship to an area of ocean floor to help amplify natural processes which lock away CO2 in the seabed. They found the technique has the potential to be cheaper, technologically simpler and less invasive than other techniques to remove harmful gases.

The researchers’ findings are published in the journal Anthropocene.

Human-caused climate change is one of the most pressing topics in contemporary science and politics. The impact of hundreds of years of greenhouse gas emissions are becoming clearer every year, with environmental changes including heatwaves, droughts, wildfires, and other extreme weather events.

“As a result of overwhelming evidence, politicians

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Findings show even small doses of insecticides reduce capacity of insects to survive — ScienceDaily

New research has identified a mechanism by which low levels of insecticides such as, the neonicotinoid Imidacloprid, could harm the nervous, metabolic and immune system of insects, including those that are not pests, such as our leading pollinators, bees.

A study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences led by researchers at the University of Melbourne and Baylor College of Medicine, shows that low doses of Imidacloprid trigger neurodegeneration and disrupt vital body-wide functions, including energy production, vision, movement and the immune system, in the vinegar fly, Drosophila melanogaster.

With insect populations declining around the world and intense use of insecticides suspected to play a role, the findings provide important evidence that even small doses of insecticides reduce the capacity of insects to survive, even those that are not pests.

“Our research was conducted on one insecticide, but there is evidence that other insecticides cause

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Wingsail Technology Uses Wind To Reduce Ships’ Emissions By 30%

Shipowners and operators may be able to decrease their fuel-related costs and pollutant emissions up to 30%, thanks to a new system created by Bound4blue.

The Spanish company aims at delivering automated wind assisted propulsion systems (also called wingsails) that can be integrated onto a wide range of vessels. The project was founded by Cristina Aleixendri, David Ferrer and José Miguel Bermúdez.

“The three of us are aeronautical engineers, which clearly served as the foundation of the technology developed,” Bermúdez says. “We found soft sails installed in sailing boats or yachts, but none in commercial vessels. We believed we could apply our knowledge in aeronautics to build a high-lift device for the shipping industry adapted to its requirements, that could be the solution to the two showstopper challenges they are facing: high fuel operating expenses and emissions reduction pressure from international entities.”

Before Bound4blue, the co-founders worked

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Reusing tableware can reduce waste from online food deliveries — ScienceDaily

Lifestyles in China are changing rapidly, and ordering food online is an example. However, those billions of delivery meals produce an enormous amount of plastic waste from packaging, but also from food containers and cutlery; in one year, some 7.3 billion sets of single-use tableware accompany the food. Around one-third of the 553 kilotons of municipal solid waste that is generated each day comes from packaging. That is why a group of scientists analysed whether using paper alternatives or reusable tableware could reduce plastic waste and associated life cycle emissions.

Alternatives

Ya Zhou (associate professor at Guangdong University of Technology) and Yuli Shan are the first authors of this paper. Yuli Shan, Dabo Guan (Professor at Tsinghua University) and Yanpeng Cai (Professor at Guangdong University of Technology) are the corresponding authors.

‘We quantified the environmental impact and modelled different alternatives,’ explains Shan. The alternatives to the single-use plastic tableware were

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Statins reduce COVID-19 severity, likely by removing cholesterol that virus uses to infect — ScienceDaily

There are no Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved treatments for COVID-19, the pandemic infection caused by a novel coronavirus. While several therapies are being tested in clinical trials, current standard of care involves providing patients with fluids and fever-reducing medications. To speed the search for new COVID-19 therapies, researchers are testing repurposed drugs — medicines already known to be safe for human use because they are FDA-approved for other conditions — for their abilities to mitigate the virus.

UC San Diego Health researchers recently reported that statins — widely used cholesterol-lowering medications — are associated with reduced risk of developing severe COVID-19 disease, as well as faster recovery times. A second research team at UC San Diego School of Medicine has uncovered evidence that helps explains why: In short, removing cholesterol from cell membranes prevents the coronavirus from getting in.

The clinical study, published September 15, 2020 in American Journal

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Microsoft And Shell Announce New Partnership To Use Artificial Intelligence And Tech To Reduce Carbon Emissions

Tackling carbon emissions is one of the biggest challenges faced by the world today. For big business, this means making a strategic and managed move towards increasing the use of renewable energy sources, as well as creating efficiencies across all aspects of their operations.

It’s a difficult task to manage alone, even for an enterprise on the scale of tech giant Microsoft or energy titan Shell. But working together creates new possibilities that go further than what it is likely they could accomplish individually. Beyond meeting their own zero-carbon commitments, there’s the opportunity to help other companies within their vast ecosystems of customers and suppliers to meet their environmental and safety goals, too.

This was the topic of a conversation I had this week with Judson Althoff, Microsoft’s executive vice

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