Science and Medicine

Extreme Summer Temperatures Occur More Frequently in United States

This supports the conclusion that extreme summertime temperatures are already occurring more frequently in parts of the lower 48 states.

Extreme summer temperatures are already occurring more frequently in the United States, and will become normal by mid-century if the world continues on a business as usual schedule of emitting greenhouse gases.

By analyzing observations and results obtained from climate models, a study led by Phil Duffy of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory showed that previously rare high summertime (June, July and August) temperatures are already occurring more frequently in some regions of the 48 contiguous United States.

“The observed increase in the frequency of previously rare summertime-average temperatures is more consistent with the consequences of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations than with the effects of natural climate variability,” said Duffy, who is the lead author of a report in a recent edition of the journal, Climatic Change. “It is extremely unlikely that the observed increase has happened through chance alone.”

The geographical patterns of increases in extreme summer temperatures that appear in observations are consistent with those that are seen in climate model simulations of the 20th century, Duffy said.

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Many Hits, Not One, May Cause Concussions

A two-year study of high school football players suggests concussions are likely caused by many hits over time and not a single blow

A two-year study of high school football players suggests concussions are likely caused by many hits over time and not a single blow.

Purdue University researchers have studied football players for two seasons at Jefferson High School in Lafayette, Ind., where 21 players completed the study the first season and 24 the second season, including 16 repeating players.

Helmet-sensor impact data from each player were compared with brain-imaging scans and cognitive tests performed before, during and after each season.

“The most important implication of the new findings is the suggestion that a concussion is not just the result of a single blow, but it’s really the totality of blows that took place over the season,” said Eric Nauman, an associate professor of mechanical engineering and an expert in central nervous system and musculoskeletal trauma. “The one hit that brought on the concussion is arguably the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

Brain images

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Obesity is Painful, Study of 1 Million People Finds

“Our findings confirm and extend earlier studies about the link between obesity and pain.

A clear association between obesity and pain—with higher rates of pain identified in the heaviest people—was found in a study of more than one million Americans.

“Our findings confirm and extend earlier studies about the link between obesity and pain. These findings hold true after we accounted for several common pain conditions and across gender and age,” said Arthur Stone, professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at Stony Brook University.

Previous small-scale studies have shown links between obesity and pain. The Stony Brook study took a very large sample of American men and women who answered health survey questions. The researchers calculated respondents’ body mass index (BMI) based on questions regarding height and weight. Respondents answered questions about pain, including if they “experienced pain yesterday.”

The new findings, published online in the journal Obesity, are based on analysis of 1,010,762 respondents surveyed via telephone interview by the Gallop Organization between 2008 and 2010.

Read more: Obesity is Painful, Study of 1 Million People Finds

   

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