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Climate Change Is Disrupting the Global Supply Chain Too

Supply chains are, in essence, strings of potential bottlenecks. Each stopping point is a node in a tree-like system that conveys raw materials from the system’s farthest tendrils to sub-assemblers along its roots to manufacturers, who are the system’s trunk. Products like smartphones possess hundreds of components whose raw materials are transported from all over the world; the cumulative mileage traveled by all those parts would “probably reach to the moon,” Mims said. These supply chains are so complicated and opaque that smartphone manufacturers don’t even know the identity of…

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Underwater Permafrost Is a Big, Gassy Wild Card for the Climate

The result is the worrisome image shown above—a massive sinkhole indicating that the subsea permafrost has thawed and collapsed. This sinkhole is a giant among dozens of pockmarks the researchers found on the seafloor. Scientists have already documented this violent phenomenon, called thermokarst, on land. Because permafrost is made of soil suspended in a matrix of frozen water, when it thaws the land shrinks, gouging massive holes across the Arctic landscape. And as these images of the seafloor show, it’s also happening underwater. “I think it’s just absolutely remarkable that…

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