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Amazon Ecosystem Could Collapse in Less Than 50 Years, Study Finds
Bigger ecosystems like the Amazon rainforest and the Caribbean coral reefs could be in danger of collapsing more rapidly than was previously assumed, a study has found.
The findings, published Tuesday, also indicated that larger ecosystems may disintegrate at a faster rate than smaller ones.
"The messages here are stark. We need to prepare for changes in our planet's ecosystems that are faster than we previously envisaged," said Professor John Dearing of the University of Southampton, who led the study published in the journal Nature Communications.
According to the study, once the threshold is passed, the Amazon rainforest could die in 49 years, while the Caribbean coral reefs would take less than 15 years to collapse completely. In the first case, rapid deforestation is seen as the main culprit, while pollution and acidification is the main factor affecting the health of the corals.
"These findings are yet another call for halting the current damage being imposed on our natural environments that pushes ecosystems to their limits," Dearing concluded.
While large ecosystems take longer to reach their tipping point because of their size, once this point is reached, the deterioration occurs at a faster pace than smaller systems, the study found.
It studied 42 different ecosystems - including terrestrial, marine and freshwater ecosystems - that varied vastly in size. Critics of this study, however, think that this was not enough, as there was no tropical rainforest included in the terrestrial ecosystems studied.
"It is very unlikely, if not dystopian, to expect that an area half the size of Europe will experience a complete shift in vegetation in just 50 years," Erika Berenguer, a senior research associate at the University of Oxford, told the Reuters news agency.
"While there is no doubt that the Amazon is at great risk and that a tipping point is likely, such inflated claims do not help either science or policymaking," she added.
However, the study's authors think that humanity may need to prepare for change sooner than expected, as the Amazon rainforest could reach its tipping point as early as next year.
Reposted with permission from Deutsche Welle.
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'How Dare You Put Our Lives at Risk': Pennsylvania Democrat Brian Sims Rips GOP Members for 'Coverup' of Positive COVID-19 Tests
Brian Sims, a Democratic representative in the Pennsylvania legislature, ranted in a Facebook Live video that went viral about the hypocrisy of Republican lawmakers who are pushing to reopen the state even though one of their members had a positive COVID-19 test.
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By Linda Lacina
World Health Organization officials today announced the launch of the WHO Foundation, a legally separate body that will help expand the agency's donor base and allow it to take donations from the general public.
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Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
By Nicholas Joyce
The coronavirus has resulted in stress, anxiety and fear – symptoms that might motivate a person to see a therapist. Because of social distancing, however, in-person sessions are less possible. For many, this has raised the prospect of online therapy. For clients in need of warmth and reassurance, could this work? Studies and my experience suggests it does.
Telehealth Versus Traditional Therapy<p><a href="https://www.cigna.com/hcpemails/telehealth/telehealth-flyer.pdf" target="_blank">Private insurance companies</a> like Cigna and Aetna, have come around; they now provide coverage for what they see as a "legitimate" service. And <a href="https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/american-wells-2019-consumer-survey-finds-majority-of-consumers-open-to-telehealth-adoption-continues-to-grow-300906438.html" target="_blank">surveys show</a> consumers are receptive to telehealth counseling: no driving to an appointment, no searching for a parking space, no worries about childcare while they're away, no need to switch providers if they move, and no problem if the specialist happens to be far away.</p><p>Online therapy opens doors for clients who wouldn't otherwise seek help, <a href="https://www.worldcat.org/title/empirical-examination-of-the-influence-of-personality-gender-role-conflict-and-self-stigma-on-attitudes-and-intentions-to-seek-online-counseling-in-college-students/oclc/941976505" target="_blank">particularly patients</a> who feel stigmatized by therapy or intimidated by a stranger sitting across the room from them. Often, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1089/1094931041291295" target="_blank">people open up</a> more easily in telehealth sessions. Firsthand accounts have detailed <a href="https://www.romper.com/p/i-tried-online-therapy-for-a-month-this-is-what-happened-13630" target="_blank">positive experiences from consumers</a>.</p>
Overcoming Prejudices About Online Counseling<p>Now COVID-19 is forcing most traditional psychotherapists to adapt their practice to <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/expressive-trauma-integration/202003/covid-19-etherapy-in-times-isolation" target="_blank">online counseling</a>. After experiencing the medium, they are <a href="https://www.wecounsel.com/blog/why-every-therapist-in-private-practice-needs-a-telehealth-option/" target="_blank">overcoming their prejudices</a>. Many will convert some or all of their caseloads to telehealth after the pandemic ends. Most of our clients seem to be good with it: responding to a satisfaction survey, 85% of USF students strongly or somewhat agreed their telehealth experience was comparable to an in-person visit.</p><p>All this allows a continuity of care for clients that before was impossible; there is, however, a caveat. Because of the coronavirus, some of my clients at USF who live out-of-state have moved back home. That means, legally, I can no longer serve them. Even though they are still USF students, my license is valid only in Florida.</p><p>For telehealth to work effectively, our national system of licensing and regulation law needs to adapt. Although the federal government temporarily halted HIPAA regulations to promote telehealth during this time, not all states are allowing out-of-state practice. The coronavirus may not be here forever, but spring break and Christmas holidays always will. We need seamless telehealth across state lines.</p>
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