All together now

Sarà una conseguenza di Laudato si’? Nature apre con un editoriale che fiancheggia l’appello del Papa, occupandosi di adattamento dell’agricoltura ai cambiamenti climatici:

Ignore the climate sceptics who set up a straw man of the need for ‘settled science’ and then burn it to the ground. (…)   The future of global agriculture is one of the most urgent issues in a warming world. Farmers must prepare for, and adapt to, a changed climate that is likely to feature more erratic rainfall, temperature extremes, drought, soil erosion, invasive weeds and durable pests. Science, error bars included, has much to offer these efforts. But if adaptation is to work, climate scientists, agricultural researchers, farmers and government officials must work closely together.

Le soluzioni – alcune già adottate – sono altrettanto varie delle pratiche contadine, ma

Models of different scenarios concerning crops, climate and economics can help, but only up to a point. Agriculture is an early adopter when it comes to using science to inform and guide adaptation. However, this use of science does not rely only on the scale of models and the skills of modellers: trust, intuition and cultural empathy are just as important.

Fra i programmi pilota, il Modelling European Agriculture with Climate Change for Food Security (MACSUR), e per i paesi poveri l’Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) raggiunto da poco dalla Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture della FAO.

A proposito di fiducia, intuito ed empatia culturale, Quirin Schiermeier ha sentito ricercatori e contadini,

Martin Schönhart, an agro-economist at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, presented preliminary forecasts for average agricultural yields in 2040. Some crops and fruit benefited from the amount of warming expected. But the yields of other crops — including maize — decreased by up to 20% because changes in precipitation and extreme weather events wiped out the benefits brought by warmer temperatures.
Hearing such negative projections, some farmers shook their heads in disbelief. “I would rather trust my own experience than any such forecast,” said Untersmayr.

Da far girare nelle Ong insieme alle “related stories”, in open access anche se uscite su Nature Climate Change.

In tema, Emily Sohn segnala un modo per cuocere il riso ed eliminarne gran parte dell’arsenico, pubblicato su PloS One:

Six randomly chosen wholegrain and polished rice samples were cooked from the packet in a domestic environment, at quantities required to feed a large family, using an off-the-shelf coffee percolator with no adaptations. The coffee percolator chosen for these experiments was a catering model that is used to fill vacuum flasks, a Bravilor Bonamat. (link aggiunto)

La tecnica potrebbe eliminare anche alcune vitamine, scrivono i ricercatori, da reintegrare con il condimento. (Ho cercato novità sugli ibridi che resistono ai picchi di temperatura notturna, ancora niente.)


Fra le notizie, Plutone, of course; il caso della ragazza francese nata con l’HIV, curata con antiretrovirali per 6 anni, e da allora senza traccia rilevabile del virus, presentato alla riunione dell’International AIDS Society; il miliardario Yuri Milner che ha donato $100 milioni a SETI per captare le comunicazioni da civiltà extraterrestri, confermando così che SETI si salva sempre in corner:

“In recent years, the total worldwide support for SETI was about half a million dollars, mostly in the United States, and all from private gifts,” says Frank Drake, one of the pioneers of modern SETI, who is also on the Breakthrough Listen team. “Now we’re getting $100 million, so that’s real progress.” (link aggiunto)


Kepler 452b, lo racconto al giornale di popolare network, alle 19.30.