Discovered: Greenland's darkening ice, ballsy women don't get raises either, a penny soda tax would save 26,000 lives, divorce is bad for health, two new species.
- Greenland's ice is getting darker and its snowflakes get sadder. Not only is climate change ruining ecosystems, it's making snowflakes uglier. As the Earth's temperatures rise, snow grains clump together, forming the dull flake on the right in the photo above, rather than the sharp one on the left. These ugly melty flakes have an overall darkening effect on the ice. Parts of Greenland are reflecting almost 20 percent less than a decade ago, as the image below shows. A sign of climate change, NASA says science expected the ice to lose reflectivity as Earth's temperatures rise, because of this flake effect. But it's not just an effect, it's a cause: as the ice darkens it absorbs more light, meaning it warms quicker as its color gets darker. [NASA]
- Women don't get raises -- even when they ask. Forever research has told women they don't get raises because they're not assertive enough, not because men are sexist or anything silly like that. Turns out it does have something to do with discrimination. Even pushy women don't get raises. Looking at thousands of MBA grads, research from Catalyst, a a non-profit research organization that focuses on businesses, found no significant difference in the proportion of men and women who asked for raises or promotions. Yet, the women received slower compensation growth than the women who said nothing at all, whereas for the men it paid off. [The Washington Post]
- A penny soda tax would save 26,000 lives per year. Not the most popular legislation, as it targets low-income families, having just a $.12 tax on a can of Coke would save lives. Researchers from UCSF estimate that the tax would decrease soda consumption by 15 percent among adults ages 25-64. That reduction would save 26,000 lives, prevent 95,000 coronary heart events, and 8,000 strokes, avoiding more than $17 billion in medical costs.[UCSF]
- Divorce is bad for you. Divorced couples had a whole host of health problems, including a 23 percent high risk of dying found a meta-analysis of literature published about the health of separated couples. The researchers compared the public health risk of divorce to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Though, we imagine unhappily married folk would resort to smoking 15 cigarettes a day, or some other unhealthy habit, so it's a lose-lost either way. [University of Arizona]
- Some new species. Today we get two new animals to add to the kingdom. Matilda's horned viper, a snake discovered in Tanzania. And, a born again tortoise of the helonoidis elephantopus species, which science thought was extinct, but still lives in Galapagos. Welcome! [Wildlife Conservation Society, Current Biology]