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Scientists Warn Climate Change Could Bring the Dust Bowl Back Out of the History Books. If there’s anything that just about sums up the desperation of the Great Depression in one filthy package, it’s photos of the Dust Bowl, when over- farming resulted in roving dust storms choking large swathes of the Great Plains region. Watch The Keeping Room Instanmovie. Now, scientists are projecting that climate change could bring those hardscrabble days to a dystopian landscape near you. In a study published on July 1. Scientific Reports, researchers at Princeton University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory used satellite data from 2.

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Their research projects that “climate change will increase dust activity in the southern Great Plains from spring to fall in the late half of the twenty- first century – largely due to reduced precipitation, enhanced land surface bareness, and increased surface wind speed.”In other words, deforestation and the mega- droughts which are increasingly becoming a feature of our changing climate are likely to create conditions ideal for the return of massive dust storms. On the flip side, the researchers projected a decrease in dust activity in the northern Great Plains during the spring due to “increased precipitation and reduced bareness.”Exposure to the dust itself is, obviously, very unpleasant but is also linked to a wide variety of respiratory and other ailments, including the possibility of potentially deadly pathogens and agricultural chemicals like fertilizer and pesticide hitchhiking on the storms. The original Dust Bowl accelerated the flight of hundreds of thousands of people from 1. Though the researchers noted the original Dust Bowl was caused in large part by rapid agricultural development of the Great Plains region combined with “improper” farming techniques like lack of irrigation or use of “dust mulch,” they wrote the “influences of land use on future dust emission are minor compared to climate change.”The new data is merely preliminary, according to Princeton researcher Bing Pu, but it lays the groundwork for the climate community to gauge the level of the threat.“Few existing climate models have captured the magnitude and variability of dust across North America,” Pu said in a statement on Princeton’s website. This is an early attempt to project future changes in dust activity in parts of the United States caused by increasing greenhouse gases. Our specific projections may provide an early warning on erosion control, and help improve risk management and resource planning.”[Scientific Reports via Princeton].

Researchers Are Sorry They Used 'Derpy' in a Research Paper. Much like the universally true advice to “never tweet,” it’s probably a good idea to just avoid internet language and memes when you’re working in a professional capacity. Two well- intentioned researchers learned that the hard way recently when they didn’t do enough research on the term “derpy.”In April of 2.

Angela Willey and Banu Subramaniam published a paper in Archives of Sexual Behaviorthat was titled, Fighting the Derpy Science of Sexuality. The paper was a response to a proposal by Sari M. Anders, and the two researchers argued against the notion that science can provide biological evidence of differences between human groups: The various sciences of ‘‘difference’’ – sex, gender, race, class, sexuality, nationality – where studies that claim evidence for biological differences between two groups often make the cover stories in scientific journals and popular magazines. In- group variation rarely leads to a re- consideration of a priori categories and studies with negative results do not get the same space, in journals or in the press… biological research marches on in its derpy ways. The authors of the paper understood “derpy” to mean one thing, and they later found out that it has different uses that aren’t so great. Van Anders shot back with a piece that criticized the use of the word because it is an “ablist slur.” In their apology, the authors say: The word “derpy” was introduced to us as a pop- cultural term that meant believing in something despite the fact that it has been disproven. A provocative notion, given that our aim was to suggest that while queer theory has effectively undone “sexuality” as a concept, empirical research (even thoughtful, feminist sexual science) persists as if the complexity of sexuality is ultimately map- able and as if the right set of variables will resolve the epistemological differences of critical theory and neuroscience once and for all.

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As that long second sentence shows, academic papers are filled with dense language. The authors pulled a sort of “how do you do, fellow kids,” by throwing in some new slang. The problem with memes and language that starts on the internet is that it’s always changing. Pepe the Frog went from being a cartoon frog that was shapable for various meme purposes, to being one of the most recognizable symbols of the alt- right and white supremacy. Likewise, “derp” has changed meanings over time. The Oxford Living Dictionary defines it as a noun meaning “foolishness or stupidity.” But there are variations like “merpy derp” which Urban Dictionary defines as “a word used when a f*cking idiot is speaking.” Other variations, likederp face, is defined on the website with offensive ablist language that associates a facial expression that “often involves eyes turned in different directions and a stupid smile” with people with disabilities. This offensive meaning for derp has pretty much taken over the word’s usage and anyone who uses it without that intention runs the risk of being misunderstood.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic reinforced the association between derpy and language mocking people with disabilities when it controversially renamed a character previously called “Derpy” that was clumsy and had crossed eyes. Fan boys petitioned to “save Derpy,” failed, and the term officially became part of the war on “politically correct” language. Another key mistake made by the researchers was to let New York Times columnist Paul Krugman define internet slang for them. The original paper quoted a column from Krugman in which he claimed: “Derp” is a term borrowed from the cartoon “South Park” that has achieved wide currency among people I talk to, because it’s useful shorthand for an all- too- obvious feature of the modern intellectual landscape: people who keep saying the same thing no matter how much evidence accumulates that it’s completely wrong. As it turns out, the term ‘derpy’ has also been appropriated as an ablist slur,” the researchers write in their apology. We regret our negligence in not figuring that out before the Commentary was published.” They also recognize the tragic irony of the use of a term that “is deeply implicated in ablist white supremacist legacies of the science of intelligence,” the very science that they were critiquing. Yeah, just leave the internet language out of your professional work entirely.

The web is a horrible place and people will always ruin everything.[Springer via Discover Magazine].

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