New York State Now Leads the World in Coronavirus Cases
New York state now has more confirmed coronavirus cases than any single country save the U.S. as a whole.
The state's caseload skyrocketed by 10,000 on Thursday, BBC News reported. It had 161,807 cases as of 4:46 a.m. EST, according to data from Johns Hopkins University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering. That's more than hard-hit Spain and Italy, which now have 153,222 and 143,626 cases respectively. The Empire State still trails the European countries for deaths, but the virus that causes COVID-19 has claimed more than 7,000 lives in the state, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday, more than double the 2,753 people killed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
"9/11 was supposed to be the darkest day in New York for a generation," Cuomo said at a Thursday press conference reported by Business Insider. "And then, in many ways, we lose so many more New Yorkers to this silent killer."
"9/11 was supposed to be the darkest day in New York for a generation," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at his Thursday coro… https://t.co/RKF5HFpBsw— CBS News (@CBS News)1586463964.0
Cuomo said the state saw its highest death toll in a single day Wednesday at 799.
More than 5,000 of the state's deaths were in New York City, the nation's largest. Also on Thursday, the number of New York City patients being treated at special overflow hospitals more than doubled, from fewer than 100 Tuesday to 242, NPR reported.
The city has hired contract labor to bury the surge in dead at its potter's field on Hart Island, Reuters reported. Those with either no family or no family who can arrange a funeral have been buried there since the 1800s. But while typically the city buries around 25 people there per week, that number has jumped to around that many per day Monday to Friday. And while the work is usually done by inmates, the city has hired contractors for public health reasons.
"For social distancing and safety reasons, city-sentenced people in custody are not assisting in burials for the duration of the pandemic," Department of Correction spokesperson Jason Kersten told Reuters.
This drone footage captures NYC workers burying bodies in a mass grave on Hart Island, just off the coast of the Br… https://t.co/C6AvgCwg6s— NowThis (@NowThis)1586470680.0
However, the news out of New York this week wasn't all grim. The number of new cases admitted to the hospital fell for a second day in a row to 200, Reuters further reported. Cuomo said it was a sign that social distancing was working, but said it was far from time to ease restrictions.
"You can't relax," Cuomo said Thursday. "The flattening of the curve last night happened because of what we did yesterday."
In another sign that restrictions are working across the U.S. as a whole, projections for the final nationwide death toll fell from at least 100,000 to 60,000.
The U.S. currently leads the world with 466,299 cases, according to Johns Hopkins. It has the second highest death toll after Italy, at 16,686 to Italy's 18,279. Globally, there are 1,603,330 confirmed cases of the disease. To date, 95,758 have died while 355,983 have recovered.
- U.S. Now Leads the World in Coronavirus Cases - EcoWatch ›
- Coronavirus Slowdown in Washington Suggests Social Distancing ... ›
- Spain Breaks COVID-19 Record for Western Europe With 500,000+ Cases - EcoWatch ›
A tornado tore through a city north of Birmingham, Alabama, Monday night, killing one person and injuring at least 30.
- Tornadoes and Climate Change: What Does the Science Say ... ›
- Tornadoes Hit Unusually Wide Swaths of U.S., Alarming Climate ... ›
- 23 Dead as Tornado Pummels Lee County, AL in Further Sign ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By David Konisky
On his first day in office President Joe Biden started signing executive orders to reverse Trump administration policies. One sweeping directive calls for stronger action to protect public health and the environment and hold polluters accountable, including those who "disproportionately harm communities of color and low-income communities."
Michael S. Regan, President Biden's nominee to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, grew up near a coal-burning power plant in North Carolina and has pledged to "enact an environmental justice framework that empowers people in all communities." NCDEQ
- Report Urges Biden to Reverse Trump's Environmental Rollbacks ›
- US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ›
- Biden's EPA Pick Michael Regan Urged to Address Environmental ... ›
- Biden Faces Pressure to Tackle 'Unfunded' Toxic Waste Sites ... ›
By Katherine Kornei
Clear-cutting a forest is relatively easy—just pick a tree and start chopping. But there are benefits to more sophisticated forest management. One technique—which involves repeatedly harvesting smaller trees every 30 or so years but leaving an upper story of larger trees for longer periods (60, 90, or 120 years)—ensures a steady supply of both firewood and construction timber.
A Pattern in the Rings<p>The <a href="https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/coppice-standards-0" target="_blank">coppice-with-standards</a> management practice produces a two-story forest, said <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Bernhard_Muigg" target="_blank">Bernhard Muigg</a>, a dendrochronologist at the University of Freiburg in Germany. "You have an upper story of single trees that are allowed to grow for several understory generations."</p><p>That arrangement imprints a characteristic tree ring pattern in a forest's upper story trees (the "standards"): thick rings indicative of heavy growth, which show up at regular intervals as the surrounding smaller trees are cut down. "The trees are growing faster," said Muigg. "You can really see it with your naked eye."</p><p>Muigg and his collaborators characterized that <a href="https://ltrr.arizona.edu/about/treerings" target="_blank">dendrochronological pattern</a> in 161 oak trees growing in central Germany, one of the few remaining sites in Europe with actively managed coppice-with-standards forests. They found up to nine cycles of heavy growth in the trees, the oldest of which was planted in 1761. The researchers then turned to a historical data set — more than 2,000 oak <a href="https://eos.org/articles/podcast-discovering-europes-history-through-its-timbers" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">timbers from buildings and archaeological sites</a> in Germany and France dating from between 300 and 2015 — to look for a similar pattern.</p>
A Gap of 500 Years<p>The team found wood with the characteristic coppice-with-standards tree ring pattern dating to as early as the 6th century. That was a surprise, Muigg and his colleagues concluded, because the first mention of this forest management practice in historical documents occurred only roughly 500 years later, in the 13th century.</p><p>It's probable that forest management practices were not well documented prior to the High Middle Ages (1000–1250), the researchers suggested. "Forests are mainly mentioned in the context of royal hunting interests or donations," said Muigg. Dendrochronological studies are particularly important because they can reveal information not captured by a sparse historical record, he added.</p><p>These results were <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-78933-8" target="_blank">published in December in <em>Scientific Reports</em></a>.</p><p>"It's nice to see the longevity and the history of coppice-with-standards," said <a href="https://www.teagasc.ie/contact/staff-directory/s/ian-short/" target="_blank">Ian Short</a>, a forestry researcher at Teagasc, the Agriculture and Food Development Authority in Ireland, not involved in the research. This technique is valuable because it promotes conservation and habitat biodiversity, Short said. "In the next 10 or 20 years, I think we'll see more coppice-with-standards coming back into production."</p><p>In the future, Muigg and his collaborators hope to analyze a larger sample of historic timbers to trace how the coppice-with-standards practice spread throughout Europe. It will be interesting to understand where this technique originated and how it propagated, said Muigg, and there are plenty of old pieces of wood waiting to be analyzed. "There [are] tons of dendrochronological data."</p><p><em><a href="mailto:email@example.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Katherine Kornei</a> is a freelance science journalist covering Earth and space science. Her bylines frequently appear in Eos, Science, and The New York Times. Katherine holds a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California, Los Angeles.</em></p><p><em>This story originally appeared in <a href="https://eos.org/articles/tree-rings-reveal-how-ancient-forests-were-managed" target="_blank">Eos</a></em> <em>and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.</em></p>
Earth's ice is melting 57 percent faster than in the 1990s and the world has lost more than 28 trillion tons of ice since 1994, research published Monday in The Cryosphere shows.
By Jewel Fraser
Noreen Nunez lives in a middle-class neighborhood that rises up a hillside in Trinidad's Tunapuna-Piarco region.