In the sci-fi movie Reminiscence, climate change has flooded the coasts and low-lying areas, making Miami and London seem like a toxic Venice. The rich have bought up all the real-estate inland, leaving the poor to exist on the flooded coasts, where they only go out at night because of scorching heat during the day. It’s a wet, hot, miserable life.
We’re not there yet — and we may never get there if we can reduce our reliance on fossil fuels — but as the number of extreme weather events keeps going up, cities are overhauling their storm infrastructure and making their buildings greener with vertical farming and other techniques to make them more self-supporting.
The cities that work on getting green now will be the best cities to call home when the world as we know it ends. If we’re lucky and determined enough to grind climate change to a crawl, these cities will still be attractive, too. Our song of the day (at the bottom of this email) is about one of those cities.
Cities, in particular, are uniquely susceptible to the effects of an escalating climate crisis due to their population density and extensive infrastructure. Very few cities are currently equipped to deal with more frequent extreme weather events, as seen by the devastation of sudden flash floods in New York, New Jersey, and other parts of the northeastern US.
But there are a few cities whose leaders have taken proactive measures to adapt their cities and protect their residents from the climate crisis. These cities serve as models for modifying and strengthening our built environments, reducing human suffering, and protecting urban centers from the effects of a warming planet.
- To avoid catastrophe, this shocking amount of fossil fuels must stay in the ground
- Hurricane Ida and climate change: Scientists explain the deadly connection
- New climate map shows 12 locations that can save the Earth
On August 26, a flare-up erupted from the Sun and set off a “solar tsunami.”
This event sent a giant wave of hot particles flowing through the Solar System at speeds of up to 560 miles per hour, and some of it could reach Earth. The latest wave of solar eruptions has some scientists worried that this may initiate a geomagnetic storm on Earth. But so far, the Earth is safe as the flareup turned out to be minor. However, these storms are hard to predict, and scientists still haven’t figured out what causes the Sun to erupt in these flareups.
- An 'Internet apocalypse' could ride to Earth with the next solar storm, new research warns (Live Science)
- Will there be a new solar superstorm? (Gizmodo)
- A bad solar storm could cause an ‘internet apocalypse’ (ArsTechnica)
NASA’s Webb Telescope gets a launch date — Passant Rabie reports that the James Webb Space Telescope is scheduled for launch December 18. It will help scientists hunt for alien life on exoplanets and look to the beginning of time:
According to NASA, the Webb telescope will travel farther than any current or planned crewed spacecraft. The telescope will help scientists peer back in cosmic time, with a plan to observe galaxies that are over 13 billion light-years away and study alien worlds with the hopes of finding atmospheres conducive to life.
“Together, we’ve overcome technical obstacles along the way as well as challenges during the coronavirus pandemic,” Gregory L. Robinson, Webb’s program director at NASA, says in a press statement. “I also am grateful for the steadfast support of Congress. Now that we have an observatory and a rocket ready for launch, I am looking forward to the big day and the amazing science to come.”
As JWST gears up for launch, Inverse breaks down its mission, orbital path, and its long and complicated road to space.
More on the Webb Telescope:
- Why NASA is shipping the $10 billion Webb telescope down the Panama Canal
- James Webb Space Telescope: Why dirt may ruin our best view of aliens
- Incredible images show a monumental step for NASA's massive new telescope
Flying space objects come in all shapes and sizes, each telling of the origin story behind them.
Astronomers imaged one of the most odd-looking asteroids out there, and the detailed images allowed them to measure the mass and shape of the space rock. The images were released last week, along with two studies in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.
More new space science reporting from Inverse:
- Why NASA may put a telescope on the moon
- Why the next step in Chinese astronomy is cold as hell
- Does Venus have alien biosignatures? Why the biggest debate in astronomy burns so hot
- About the newsletter: Do you think it can be improved? Have a story idea? Want to share a story about the time you met an astronaut? Send those thoughts and more to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- From the archive: This past Saturday was the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The photo above shows what it looked like from space. Read more about that day on the ISS in this story.
- Song of the Day: “Chicago” by Sufjan Stevens
- Before we go: We are hiring! Inverse is hiring a part-time Mind & Body writer.
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