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Interactive Tool Makes Global CO2 Emissions Data Smartphone Accessible
“Big data” has never been bigger. New tools—such as satellites, cloud computing and other technological upgrades—are fueling a “data revolution,” allowing researchers to analyze the world in ways they’ve never been able to before.
But while compiling and analyzing this data is incredibly important, the other piece of the puzzle is making data accessible. Identifying solutions to global environment and development challenges—such as climate change, deforestation and water management—means making data fully available to a wide set of decision-makers from government, business, academia and civil society.
That’s why World Resources Institute (WRI) is launching a fully mobile-accessible version of its Climate Analysis Indicators Tool, or CAIT 2.0. The tool allows users everywhere to access, visualize and compare greenhouse gas emissions data from 186 countries and 50 U.S. states, as well as other comprehensive, global climate data. And now, all of this invaluable information is available via smart phones, iPads and other mobile devices.
Addressing Accessibility in the Data Revolution
Making data accessible to all users around the world is critical for addressing an issue as globally relevant as climate change. Mobile-friendly data is important for ensuring this type of accessibility—especially when it comes to decision-makers in Africa and Asia.
Consider the mobile usage chart below, created by StatCounter. This map and associated research are indicators of the growing importance of mobile-friendly data. Mobile internet access overwhelmingly dominates in Sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia. For example, in India, 65 percent of the total population uses mobile devices to access the Internet; 82.8 percent do so in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Mobile usage is also growing globally. Worldwide, mobile phones already account for 17 percent of global web usage, with Africa and Asia having the major share.
Mobile-Friendly Data Can Support Climate Change Action
Mobile-accessible climate data can be useful for stakeholders like policymakers, businesses, NGOs and academics as they work on climate issues. Imagine, for example, a discussion between two country delegates at a U.N. climate conference in which they come to a disagreement on appropriate mitigation actions. One of the delegates takes out his smart phone to access the most recent available emissions data within CAIT 2.0, which immediately helps to make the conversation more fact-based and allows them to reach a mutual understanding on the best path forward.
Or take a policy analyst, who is in transit and finishing a presentation that will inform a climate policy meeting she is attending the next day. With CAIT 2.0 mobile, from her taxi she is able to directly access GHG emissions numbers for the countries she’s been asked about, and can thus support her arguments with the latest available data.
And importantly, a mobile-friendly CAIT 2.0 gives everyone with internet access the ability to gain information about countries’ and states’ greenhouse gas emissions. This type of data transparency can allow the public to become informed and hold leaders accountable for climate action—or inaction.
Making Data Accessible at Any Time
By introducing a mobile solution, WRI seeks to establish CAIT 2.0 as the go-to source for reliable and accessible climate data. The CAIT 2.0 mobile site is designed with streamlined functionality to accommodate devices such as smart phones and small tablets without sacrificing the level of detail contained in the existing, full-sized CAIT 2.0 platform.
Visit EcoWatch’s CLIMATE CHANGE page for more related news on this topic.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Zulfikar Abbany
Bread has been a source of basic nutrition for centuries, the holy trinity being wheat, maize and rice. It has also been the reason for a lot of innovation in science and technology, from millstones to microbiological investigations into a family of single-cell fungi called Saccharomyces.
Chemical leavening<p>If you like a little heft in your loaf, you will need a leavening agent.</p><p>For those short on time, you can use baking soda. That's a chemical compound of sodium bicarbonate mixed with potassium bitartrate, or cream of tartar.</p><p>Soda breads have their traditions in parts of eastern and central Europe, and in Ireland and Scotland, with Melrose loaves and "farls."</p><p>They can taste a bit bland, though, and are often considered only as an emergency solution on Sundays. No disrespect intended: They taste just fine fresh from the oven.</p><p>Whether it's chemical or more "natural," leavening relies largely on the production of carbon dioxide.</p><p>When you mix an acid, such as vinegar, buttermilk, yogurt or apple cider, with an alkaline compound like baking soda, you get CO2. That CO2 creates bubbles, which in turn capture steam in the oven and allow a bread to rise.</p><p><span></span>But it's better with yeast. Tastes better, too. It just takes more time. </p>
What is yeast?<p>There are yeasts all around us — on grains, in the air, in biofuels. It even lives inside us, but that's not always a good thing.</p><p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1090575/pdf/1471-2334-5-22.pdf" target="_blank">Candida yeast</a> can cause infections of the skin, feet, mouth, penis or vagina if it builds up too much in the body.</p><p>One of the most common yeasts, however, is <em>Saccharomyces cerevisiae</em>. That's <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/an-early-beer-archaeologists-tap-ground-at-worlds-oldest-brewery/a-45480731" target="_blank">"brewer's"</a> or "baker's" yeast.</p><p>You can get fresh baker's yeast, often in 42-gram (1.48-ounce) cubes, or as dried yeast (quick action or active, which requires rehydration) in a sachet of 7 grams.</p><p>There's little difference: One is compressed and the other is dehydrated and granulated. But they do the same thing, essentially. </p><p>Some commercial yeast producers add molasses and other nutrients. But natural yeast has plenty of useful nutrients in it anyway, including B group vitamins, so who knows whether it's good or necessary to add them. </p>
How does yeast work?<p>When you mix flour, yeast and water, you set off a veritable chain reaction. Enzymes in the wheat convert starch into sugar. And the yeast creates enzymes of its own to convert those sugars into a form it can absorb.</p><p>The yeast "feeds" on the sugars to create carbon dioxide and alcohol. The yeast burps and farts, releasing gases into the mix, and that creates bubbles to trap CO2. </p><p>It's a vital fermentation process that breaks down the gluten in the flour and helps make your bread more digestible.</p><p>The yeast cells split and reproduce, generating lactic and carbonic acid, raising the temperature and ultimately adding flavor to the mix.</p><p>The longer you leave the yeast to do its thing, the better for your bread. Time is more important than the amount of yeast. </p><p>In fact, that's an enduring question — how much yeast? I'll use 20 grams fresh yeast for 500 grams of flour. Others say that's enough yeast for 1 kilo. If you are converting a dry-yeast recipe to fresh yeast, some bakers advise tripling the weight. So, if a sachet of dried yeast is 7 grams, your fresh yeast is 21 grams.</p><p><span></span>But that also depends on the flours you are using, temperatures in the bowl and the room, and a host of other things. You'll just have to experiment and see. No number of books (and I've read a stack on bread) will help as much as trial and error.</p>
Wild yeast: Sourdough<p>So, good bread needs time. If you have a lot of time, why not move it up a notch and grow wild yeast — a sourdough starter — in your own home?</p><p>A sourdough starter is not to be mistaken (as it often is) for the leaven, or "mother," "sponge," or <em>levain</em>. That's more a second stage, a descendant of the starter. You take a scoop from your starter and add it to another flour and water mixture when you prepare the dough for a new loaf. </p><p>The sourdough process utilizes yeasts naturally present in flour and … yet more time. A longer fermentation process allows a richer lactic acid bacteria <em>lactobacilli</em> or LAB to evolve, and that can be healthy for your gut microbiome.</p><p>It's simple enough to start a sourdough starter. All you need is flour, warm water and time.</p><p>Some suggest equal measures of whole-grain flour and water at 28 degrees Celsius (82 degrees Fahrenheit), some say room temperature — just don't let the water exceed 40 C or the yeasts will die. Some suggest two parts flour to three parts water. But it's up to you whether you want a drier or wetter starter. You will know only through experimentation. </p><p>Some say you should filter tap water to remove chemicals like fluoride and avoid using water that's boiled and then cooled. Others say that really doesn't matter.</p><p>The main thing is, keep it clean and give it time. Days, weeks, months and years.</p>
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