2 comments on “This Week in Science Oct 18-25

  • Study Shows Impact of Global Warming on Economy

    A new paper assessed changes in temperatures and their impact on human societies and the economy. It provides “the first evidence that economic activity in all regions is coupled to the global climate and establish a new empirical foundation for modelling economic loss in response to climate change” at 23% of GDP until 2100.

    Interesting changes are already showing as competition from renewables expands and the marginal nature of remaining “reserves” becomes apparent:-

    Royal Dutch Shell has reported a loss for the third quarter of the year, after taking a big charge to reflect the cost of halting major projects.

    The oil company reported a loss of $6.1bn (£4bn) in the quarter, compared with a $5.3bn profit last year.

    It has taken an $8.6bn charge to cover the cost of halting projects such as Alaskan drilling and the Carmon Creek oil sands project in Canada.

    The charges also reflect its lower predictions for the oil and gas prices.

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  • A new theoretical study, based on data by both the Hubble Space Telescope and Kepler Observatory, reports that 92% of all habitable planets have yet to be born. As the last stars are not estimated to die out within the next 100 trillion years there is plenty of time for many generations of stars and planets to die and form again.

    That is an interesting concept.
    We know that heavy elements needed for the formation and support of life of life, which are also needed for the formation of rocky planets, – are formed in the exploding super novae of giant stars.
    The materials from the explosions, are then remixed with cosmic hydrogen, and go on to form second and third generation stars, which have the heavy elements in their accretion disks to form rocky planets.

    If the process of large star formation can continue for this length of time, and intelligent life can master space travel, that means that technical civilisations (which have the will and the resources), can leave a system with an exploding or dying star, and seek out new nearby planets to colonise. They could even ride solar-systems drifting far across galaxies, or galaxies colliding with other galaxies.

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