January 14, 2013

Climate Change Effects Already Being Seen – The Daily Orbit

Global warming effects are heating up.

Marriage is good for your health?

And California earthquakes could get a whole long stronger.

Let’s shake things up on today’s Daily Orbit!

Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit…I’m Emerald Robinson.

So I watched the “Day After Tomorrow” yesterday, you know that disaster movie, with Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal, and I must have ESP because we have a lot of “disaster” news for you today — so let’s get it started!

Last week the asteroid Apophis passed closely by Earth. Astronomers had ruled out the chance that it could collide with Earth in 2029 and now they say we’re safe in 2036 as well. They say there is less than a one-in-a-million chance that the 3 football field sized asteroid will collide with Earth, so technically we’re “all clear.” One in a million? There’s still that one chance. Should I be worried?

And Californians, this natural disaster prediction only pertains to you, so the rest of us are safe. Geologists had previously thought that a statewide earthquake would be impossible, that the San Andreas Fault would act as a natural barrier, preventing Northern and Southern California from feeling a quake at the same time. Now scientists aren’t sure if that’s true. They believe so-called “creeping” segments in a fault — long thought to be harmless because they slip slowly – might actually build up stress over time and finally rupture. This is what happened in the devastating 2011 earthquake in Japan. But don’t get too worried, California. The chance of a major quake like this occurring along the San Andreas Fault is extremely unlikely. But if it were to happen, it would involve both the San Francisco and Los Angeles metropolitan areas. But you all know what do anyway. I mean you do it in the movies!

So some of you may think marriage is a natural disaster, but it’s actually good for you. A new study suggests that marriage is linked with higher survival rates during mid-life. Researchers have even gone as far as to say that marriage during middle-age is a defense mechanism against premature death. In a study of over 4,000 people, singles who had never married had more than double the likelihood of dying early than their married counterparts. While they’re not completely sure why this phenomenon happens, they believe spouses may help to encourage healthy habits. So there ya go, get married for survival.

In keeping with our natural disaster theme today, let’s talk about one of our favorite topics here on the Daily Orbit…Global Warming! The newly released draft of the “National Climate Assessment,” commissioned by the federal government, claims that climate change has already had an impact on the day-to-day lives of Americans. So it’s not just an abstract idea anymore. We are at an increased risk of extreme weather events – like floods and droughts, wildfires, a decline in air quality, increased risk of disease spread by insects, food, or water, and even potential mental-health related risks. Researchers are saying that up until now we’ve had a “not here, not now, not me” attitude, and that this sobering report is just another reminder of how we need to be acting NOW to prevent further damage. And in the words of Jack Hall, you know the climatologist from Day After Tomorrow: “What I do know, is that if we do not act soon, it is our children and our grandchildren who will have to pay the price.” Well all you climate scientists out there, if it makes you feel any better, no one listened to him either, until they got flooded and thrown into an instant Ice Age.

Let’s go out today with a lighter story. Tea made from the leaves of the coffee plant might actually be healthier than either tea or coffee alone. The beverage, which is regularly consumed in Indonesia, Ethiopia, and the South Sudan, contains more antioxidants that tea, and has anti-inflammatory effects which can help lower the risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even some cancers. But before you run out looking for these magic leaves, scientists say the taste might turn you away. They say it tastes a bit like cut-grass. Yum.

And that’s all for today’s Daily Orbit. Whoa…it’s happening!!! (earthquake effect)

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