Who could know we’re here on Earth?

Image of the Earth as a small dot below Saturn's rings.

Enlarge / This is what Earth looks like from within the Solar System. Imaging it from a different system entirely poses some challenges. (credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

The search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) has primarily involved looking outward and searching nearby stars for signals that can’t be explained by known natural processes. But there has also been consideration given to the possibility that an extraterrestrial intelligence might be looking for us. Investigations have included intentional signals sent to nearby stars and calculations of how far out our civilization’s radio transmissions will reach.

A new study focuses on the question of who might be capable of detecting us and considers how we’re looking for signs of life around other stars. The study estimates that the Earth is surrounded by thousands of star systems from which hypothetical inhabitants would be able to detect our presence via the same techniques we’ve been using to search for life around other stars. And civilizations orbiting a significant number of those stars would also be able to detect things like oxygen in our atmosphere or the radio signals we have produced over the last century or so.

A shifting landscape

The new analysis, done by researchers Lisa Kaltenegger and Jacqueline Faherty, relied on data from the European Space Agency’s Gaia mission, which was put in space to generate a three-dimensional map of the Milky Way. But the Milky Way isn’t static; its stars rotate in synchrony, but they also move relative to each other. For many stars, repeated observations by Gaia also allowed an estimation of their motion relative to the Sun. This allowed Kaltenegger and Faherty to extend their analysis forward and backward in time, creating a window 10,000 years wide and centered on the present.

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#astronomy, #earth, #exoplanets, #science, #seti

A Mysterious Crater’s Age May Add Clues to the Dinosaur Extinction

Boltysh crater in Ukraine formed around the same time as the Chicxulub event, raising questions about its role in this tumultuous era.

#asteroids, #dinosaurs, #earth, #geology, #research, #science-advances-journal, #ukraine, #your-feed-science

Don’t Worry about CO2, Worry about the Earth’s ‘Energy Balance’

The “most fundamental” climate metric takes a troubling turn

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#earth, #sustainability

Giant Ice Shelf Crumbling Faster than Expected

Antarctica’s enormous Pine Island Glacier could follow right behind it, raising global sea level significantly

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#climate, #earth, #sustainability

The World’s Northernmost Town Is Changing Dramatically

Climate change is bringing tourism and tension to Longyearbyen on the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#earth, #features, #the-sciences

Will the Next Space-Weather Season Be Stormy or Fair?

As another 11-year cycle of solar activity begins, scientists debate how violent our stellar friend is likely to be.

#earth, #planets, #radiation, #solar-system, #space-and-astronomy, #stars-and-galaxies, #sun, #weather, #your-feed-science

A Super Blood Moon Dazzles Earthlings

A supermoon and total lunar eclipse combined to put on a big red show.

#earth, #eclipses, #moon, #space-and-astronomy

World’s Largest Iceberg Breaks Off of Antarctica

The chunk of ice is larger than the state of Rhode Island

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#earth, #sustainability

Extraterrestrial Plutonium Atoms Turn Up on Ocean Bottom

The rare form of the element found on the Pacific seabed points to its violent birth in colliding stars.

#earth, #oceans-and-seas, #plutonium, #science-journal, #space-and-astronomy, #your-feed-science

Our Aliens, Ourselves

How would contact with U.F.O.s and other civilizations change ours?

#earth, #extraterrestrial-life, #planets, #reid-harry, #science-fiction, #space-and-astronomy, #unidentified-flying-objects-ufo, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces

Giant Mud Volcano Reveals Its Powerful Explosive Secrets

Scientists probe an exceptionally explosive phenomenon

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#advances, #earth, #the-sciences

When Is China’s Rocket Supposed to Fall?: Here’s What to Know

The Long March 5B, the country’s largest rocket, is expected to come down sometime this weekend, but where and when are difficult to predict.

#accidents-and-safety, #aerospace-corp, #china, #earth, #indian-ocean, #rocket-science-and-propulsion, #space-and-astronomy, #space-stations, #tianwen-1-mars-mission

‘Mother Trees’ Are Intelligent: They Learn and Remember

And ecologist Suzanne Simard says they need our help to survive

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#biology, #earth, #sustainability, #the-sciences

Millions of Groundwater Wells Could Run Dry

Overpumping, drought and climate change are lowering water tables worldwide

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#earth, #environment, #sustainability

Why Biden Must Save Bears Ears National Monument

‘We are rooted to Mother Earth through her body like the plants are rooted to the soil.’

#bears-ears-national-monument-utah, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #earth, #federal-lands, #indigenous-people, #land-use-policies, #language-and-languages, #lee-michael-s-1971, #monuments-and-memorials-structures, #national-parks-monuments-and-seashores, #obama-barack, #trump-donald-j, #united-states, #united-states-politics-and-government, #utah, #women-and-girls

Biden Promises to Slash Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 50 Percent by 2030

The goal sets a high bar for other countries attending today’s global climate summit

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#climate, #earth, #policyethics, #sustainability

A Healthy Environment as a Human Right

U.N. recognition would strengthen legal arguments for preserving nature

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#earth, #policyethics, #sustainability

Lyrid Meteor Shower 2021: How to Watch

Meteor showers can light up night skies from dusk to dawn, and if you’re lucky you might be able to catch a glimpse.

#content-type-service, #earth, #meteors-and-meteorites, #solar-system, #space-and-astronomy

Glacier Is Surging Down Denali Mountain in Alaska

The slumping ice is moving 50 to 100 times faster than usual

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#earth, #sustainability

Heat-Trapping Methane Surged in 2020

Aquatic ecosystems, many altered by human activities, played a surprisingly large role

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#earth, #environment, #sustainability

Nations Claim Large Overlapping Sections of Arctic Seafloor

The five coastal countries will have to rectify their science and their politics

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#earth, #environment, #features, #policyethics, #sustainability, #the-sciences

Seagrass Forests Counteract Ocean Acidification

More of the coastal vegetation could lessen stress on corals and shellfish

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#conservation, #earth, #sustainability

Brazil’s iFood outlines sustainability initiatives aiming to reduce its carbon footprint

The Brazilian-based pan-Latin American food delivery startup iFood has announced a series of initiatives designed to reduce the company’s environmental impact as consumers push companies to focus more on sustainability.

The program has two main components — one focused on plastic pollution and waste and another aiming to become carbon neutral in its operations by 2025.

Perhaps the most ambitious, and surely the most capital intensive of the company’s waste reduction initiatives is the development of a semi-automated recycling facility in Sao Paulo.

“We want to transform the entire supply chain for plastic-free packaging in Brazil. By controlling the national supply chain, from production to marketing and logistics, we can offer more competitive pricing for packaging to industries that already exist but do not have a scale of production and demand today,” said  Gustavo Vitti, the chief people and sustainability officer at iFood. 

 The company has also created an in-app option that allows customers to decline plastic cutlery when they’re getting their food delivered. 

“These initiatives will contribute to reducing the consumption of plastic items, which are often sent without being requested and end up going unused into the garbage bin,” said Vitti. “In the first tests that we did, 90 percent of consumers used the resource, which resulted in the reduction of tens of thousands of plastic cutlery and shows our consumers’ desire to receive less waste in their homes.”

On the emissions front, the company will work with Moss.Earth, a technology company in the carbon market, which developed the GHG inventory to offset its emissions by buying credits tied to environmental preservation and reforestation projects. 

But the company is also working Tembici, a provider of electric bikes in Brazil to move its delivery fleet off of internal combustion powered mopeds or scooters.

“We know that compensation alone is not enough. It is necessary to think of innovative ways to reduce CO2 emissions. In October last year, we launched the iFood Pedal program, in partnership with Tembici, a project developed exclusively for couriers that offers affordable plans for renting electric bikes,” said Vitti. “Currently, more than 2,000 couriers are registered and are sharing 1,000 electric bikes in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in addition to the educational aspect of program that we have contemplated. With good adherence indicators, our plan is to gradually expand the project, taking it to other cities and, thus, increase our percentage of clean deliveries.”

The Brazilian electric motorcycle company, Voltz Motors is also working with iFood, which ordered 30 electric motorcycles for use by some of its delivery partners. The company hopes to roll out more than 10,000 motorcycles over the next 12 months. 

Coupled with internal facing initiatives to improve water reuse, deploy renewable energy and develop a green roof at its Osasco headquarters, iFood is hoping to hit sustainability goals that can improve the environment across Brazil and beyond. 

“We know that we have a long way to go, but we trust that together with important partners and this set of initiatives, in addition to others that are under development, it will be possible to reduce plastic generation and CO2 emissions impact on the environment. Our relevance and presence in the lives of Brazilian families further reinforces the importance of these environmental commitments for the planet,” said Vitti.

#articles, #brazil, #earth, #electric-bicycle, #environmentalism, #food, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #ifood, #moss, #recycling, #renewable-energy, #reuse, #sao-paulo, #sustainability, #tc, #technology, #tembici

Sunlight Changes Unequally All Year Long

Some days we gain one minute; some days we gain three

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#earth, #graphic-science, #physics, #space, #the-sciences

How We Can Better Predict Weather Catastrophes

We need to develop an early warning system to forecast climate-induced extreme weather events.

#arctic-regions, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #carbon-dioxide, #earth, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #national-aeronautics-and-space-administration, #siberia, #united-nations-framework-convention-on-climate-change, #weather

How We Can Better Predict Weather Catastrophes

We need to develop an early warning system to forecast climate-induced extreme weather events.

#arctic-regions, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #carbon-dioxide, #earth, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #national-aeronautics-and-space-administration, #siberia, #united-nations-framework-convention-on-climate-change, #weather

New World Map Tries to Fix Distorted Views of Earth

You’re going to need some double-sided tape.

#earth, #geography, #maps, #mathematics, #research, #your-feed-science

A Hitchhiker’s Guide to an Ancient Geomagnetic Disruption

A shift in Earth’s poles 42,000 years ago may have drastically altered the planet’s climate, scientists have found — and they’re naming the period after the author Douglas Adams.

#adams-douglas, #archaeology-and-anthropology, #earth, #endangered-and-extinct-species, #magnets-and-magnetism, #neanderthal-man, #ozone, #paleontology, #research, #science-journal, #your-feed-science

What NASA’s Perseverance Rover Hopes to Find on Mars

Our early days on Earth have almost entirely disappeared, but on Mars, the past is entombed.

#earth, #mars-planet, #perseverance-mars-rover, #space-and-astronomy

Where Did the Dinosaur-Killing Impactor Come From?

A new study blames a comet fragment for the death of the dinosaurs 66 million years ago. But most experts maintain that an asteroid caused this cataclysmic event.

#asteroids, #comets, #dinosaurs, #earth, #research, #scientific-reports-journal, #space-and-astronomy, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science, #yucatan-peninsula-mexico

The Coming Technology Boom

Politics is grim but science is working.

#alternative-and-renewable-energy, #automobiles, #driverless-and-semiautonomous-vehicles, #earth, #electric-and-hybrid-vehicles, #geothermal-power, #productivity, #research, #rna-ribonucleic-acid, #science-and-technology, #vaccination-and-immunization

Whales’ Long, Loud Calls Reveal Structure beneath Ocean Floor

Sound waves from fin whales can help scientists probe Earth’s crust

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#biology, #earth, #the-sciences

Watch This Billion-Year Journey of Earth’s Tectonic Plates

A new simulation offers a different view of how the continents we live on drifted into their current configuration.

#earth, #earth-science-reviews, #geology, #oceans-and-seas, #research, #your-feed-science

Earth Has Lost 28 Trillion Tons of Ice since the Mid-1990s

Melt has accelerated over recent decades, contributing to sea level rise

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#climate, #earth, #sustainability

Warming May Push Ecosystems to Release Carbon, Instead of Absorbing It

Nearly half of terrestrial ecosystems could reach this tipping point in just a few decades

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#earth, #environment, #sustainability

Earth’s Biodiversity Bursts Do Not Follow Expected Pattern

Life’s great radiations do not always line up with mass extinctions, a new study shows

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#biology, #earth, #the-sciences

Mountain Water Supply to Two Billion People Could Change

Data about Earth’s 78 most important mountaintops foretell changes in the amount and timing of snowmelt

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#earth, #features, #the-sciences

Inside the C.I.A., She Became a Spy for Planet Earth

Linda Zall is disclosing how she toiled anonymously within the intelligence agency to help scientists intensify their studies of a changing planet.

#central-intelligence-agency, #classified-information-and-state-secrets, #cold-war-era, #earth, #espionage-and-intelligence-services, #global-warming, #gore-al, #oceans-and-seas, #russia, #satellites, #science-and-technology, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government, #your-feed-science, #zall-linda

A Breakdown of Beavers

Environmental journalist Ben Goldfarb talks about his book Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter.

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#biology, #conservation, #earth, #environment, #evolution, #policyethics, #sustainability, #the-sciences

Earth Is on Fire

Our planet is burning, both literally and figuratively, because of climate change—and COVID is no excuse to ignore it

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#earth, #forum, #sustainability

A Year of Watching Earthly Beauty Burn

From orbit, satellites send tragic evidence of climate change’s destructive power. This film covers 10 days, Sept. 7-16, 2020, a period of intense fires activity in North and South America.

#air-pollution, #amazon-jungle, #anxiety-and-stress, #australia, #brazil, #california, #canada, #carbon-capture-and-sequestration, #china, #colombia, #colorado-state-university, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #deaths-fatalities, #earth, #endangered-and-extinct-species, #european-union, #fires-and-firefighters, #floods, #forests-and-forestry, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #gulf-coast-us, #hurricane-laura-2020, #international-space-station, #marshall-tex, #new-zealand, #north-america, #oregon, #pantanal-brazil, #politics-and-government, #sacramento-calif, #seasons-and-months, #stanford-university, #texas, #united-states, #washington-state, #weather, #western-states-us, #wildfires

A Winter Solstice, a Meteor Shower, Jupiter and Saturn Walk Into Your Night Sky

One day that has room for three distinct astronomical events.

#earth, #jupiter-planet, #meteors-and-meteorites, #saturn-planet, #seasons-and-months, #solar-system, #space-and-astronomy, #sun, #winter-season

How the First Life on Earth Survived Its Biggest Threat–Water

Living things depend on water, but it breaks down DNA and other key molecules. So how did the earliest cells deal with the water paradox?

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#biology, #chemistry, #earth, #the-sciences

Wildfires Blast Smoke Corkscrews to the Top of the Atmosphere

Record-breaking blazes in Australia spewed as many particles into the sky as a volcanic eruption

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#earth, #natural-disasters, #sustainability

Three Signs a ‘New Arctic’ Is Emerging

Record wildfires, dwindling sea ice and ecosystem disruptions all point to the rapid change besetting the region

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#climate, #earth, #environment, #sustainability

Human-Made Stuff Now Outweighs All Life on Earth

The sheer scale of buildings, infrastructure and other anthropogenic objects underscores our impact on the planet

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#earth, #sustainability

Japan’s Hayabusa2 Asteroid Journey Ends With a Hunt in Australia’s Outback

The Hayabusa2 mission cements Japan’s role in exploring the solar system, but finding its asteroid cargo presents one last challenge.

#asteroids, #australia, #earth, #hayabusa2, #japan, #japan-aerospace-exploration-agency, #research, #solar-system, #space-and-astronomy

2020 Is a Record Year for Disaster Shelters, Red Cross Says

The combination of hurricanes, wildfires, and the pandemic meant the organization provided four times as much assistance as in an average year

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#climate, #earth, #natural-disasters, #public-health, #sustainability

Watch a Lunar Eclipse, or at Least Try To

Penumbral eclipses are subtle, but there are good reasons to try to notice one.

#content-type-service, #earth, #eclipses, #moon, #space-and-astronomy

Duckbill Dino Odyssey Ended in Africa

A duckbill dinosaur jawbone found in Morocco means that dinosaurs crossed a large body of water to reach Africa.  

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#earth, #natural-disasters, #the-sciences