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Melted Memorial: Vanished Ice Immortalized

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Icelanders unveiled a plaque in an official ceremony on August 18 in memory of Okjokull Glacier, or Ok Glacier, the first of its kind officially lost to climate change. The glacier lost its glacier status in 2014 after melting down to only 0.386 square miles, or 6.6 percent of its original 5.8 square miles, and was reclassified as dead ice. The plaque is inscribed with A Letter to the Future, which includes the words, “This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and what needs to be done. Only you know if we did it.” A 2018 documentary, Not Ok, details the glacier’s death and highlights the dire effects of climate change.
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Global Brief: Natural Thinking Spending Time in Nature Increases Cognitive Performance
More of our time is spent indoors than ever before. One of the ways by which nature may improve cognitive function (i.e. the acquisition of and goal-oriented use of knowledge) is by improving memory formation and recall, specifically that of short-term or working memory, and goal-oriented or directed attention; the kind that requires focused effort. By comparing and contrasting 13 studies, a team of researchers has shed light on this complex interaction in research published in Frontiers in Psychology. The studies used the backwards digit span task, which requires participants to invert a series of numbers and repeat them back. All demonstrated significantly improved cognition in nature as compared to urban environments. The benefits of studies like this are two-fold: not only are we learning more about how the brain interacts with its environment, but also how to leverage this interaction to lead healthier, more productive and happier lives.
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