For this module’s discussion, research a recent science news event that has occurred in the last six months. The event should come from a well-known news source, such as ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, NPR, PBS, BBC, National Geographic, The New York Times, and so on. Post a link to the news story, and in your initial post, identify the following:
- Summarize your news story and its contributions to the science or STEM fields.
- If your news event is overtly related to popular culture, how does this event contribute to popular culture studies? If your news event does not directly relate to popular culture, how could the science behind your event be applied to popular culture artifacts?
In response to your peers, provide feedback about their news story and describe the value of the science lens for understanding popular culture.
Reply 1: Mirna Miljevic
According to the article I choose, Radical Warming in Siberia Leaves Millions on Unstable Ground, parts of Eastern Siberia has warmed by more than 5 degrees Fahrenheit since preindustrial times. (Troinanovski, Mooney, & Robinson Chavez, 2019) According to climate scientists, the Earth’s warming should never raise 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, and Siberia’s is twice that. (Troinanovski, Mooney, & Robinson Chavez, 2019) The warming has affected the livelihood of the locals – the thaw is making the farming land useless; rivers are rising, and entire neighborhoods are falling into them; cattle and reindeer herding have fallen as the animals are battling to survive in the new climate. (Troinanovski, Mooney, & Robinson Chavez, 2019) Plants and animals that were frozen for thousands of years are decomposing, sending gases into the atmosphere that further accelerate climate change. (Troinanovski, Mooney, & Robinson Chavez, 2019) These changes are forcing people to migrate into cities, away from the villages and towns that are feeling the worst of the effects. (Troinanovski, Mooney, & Robinson Chavez, 2019)
The changes that are happening due to climate change in the area are vast – ornithologists have identified 48 new species of birds whose flight range has changed; winters are warmer and shorter; villages that depend on the lakes freezing for much of the year have been cut off from civilization as the lakes fail to freeze. (Troinanovski, Mooney, & Robinson Chavez, 2019)
‘Fedorov and other scientists say the degradation of crop and pastureland caused by the thawing permafrost helped bring about the collapse of the region’s agriculture.” (Troinanovski, Mooney, & Robinson Chavez, 2019)
These changes are not unique to Siberia, albeit more drastic in much of the rest of the
world. It’s almost impossible to go a day without hearing about something climate change related – glaciers are shrinking, loss of sea ice leading to rising sea levels, longer hear waves. I live near Birmingham, AL – today, on October 3, 2019 it was over 100 degrees Fahrenheit; on the same day last year, it was 20 degrees cooler; October 4, 2009 it was 40 degrees cooler. (timeanddate.com, 2019) According to scientists, these extreme changes will continue, extreme heat days, which now occur on average every 20 years will occur every couple of years; hurricanes will continue to occur more often and will become stronger; the Arctic is expected to become ice-free by mid-century. (nasa.gov, 2019) NASA has some detailed information for how climate will change the United States in the link I’ve provided for those who’d like to read it.
As I was reading through a lot of this week’s discussion posts I realized how many of us decided to write about climate change, how important it has become to so many of us, and how much more we talk about it as a society than we have in the past. The article I’ve included in the post spends a lot of time discussing how climate change has affected the culture of the people in Siberia; their entire way of life is shifting, changing because of climate change. This is the same for many cultures across the world, and scientists have shifted how they discuss climate change and today a lot more research is being done on how it affects people, entire cultures. I think this has made it a lot more personal for people, has brought the understanding that we are all part of the problem AND the solution.
With the upcoming Presidential election we have seen a shift in how much emphasis is placed on the candidates’ stand on climate change and what their plans are regarding it. Climate change went from not even being discussed during debates to now being an important topic; in fact, this year the Democratic candidates held a town hall to discuss ONLY climate change. (Wagner, Merica, Krieg, & Bradner, 2019)
Past Weather in Birmingham, Alabama, USA – October 2018. (2019). Retrieved from
The Effects of Climate Change. (2019, September 30). Retrieved from
Troianovski, A., Mooney, C., & Robinson Chavez, M. (2019, October 4). Radical warming
in Siberia leaves millions on unstable ground. Retrieved from
Wagner, M., Merica, D., Krieg, G., & Bradner, E. (2019, September 5). CNN’s climate crisis
town hall. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/politics/live-news/climate-crisis-town-hall-august-2019/index.html.
Reply 2: Tosha Cornali
When you think of climate change do you think of Wine? The article I found tracks how climate change has been tracked since the 1300’s based on a region in France known as Burgundy and how they harvested grapes. It is documented that in the summer of 1540 as a very hot summer which dried up the grapes to raisins and ended up producing one of the sweetest and more alcoholic than normal wines. After hundreds of years of wine making time the harvest had come down to a literal science. Record books dating back to 1300 are found reporting what month the grapes were harvested year over year. The earlier they were harvested the hotter that summer was. They vineyards did not want to produce a wine that was too sweet or too overly alcoholic. So, looking at the trends over 700 years could show how the climate has changed and shifted from really hot years to what could have been considered more average years. Then taking a look back since the late 1980’s the trend continued where the temperature has only continued to grow and that 8 years within the last 16 have had the earliest harvests ever recorded. While some might not think wine is a popular culture artifact, wine is a popular item that has been around for hundreds of years that people enjoy with a great dinner to relax after a long day. It is very interesting to see how harvesting grapes for wine production can actually trend the climate and how it is changing.
Borunda, A. (2019). Climate Change is Changing the Flavor of French Wine. Retrieved from: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2019/09…