🏝️ Could this help solve climate change? ⋆ This is 🍌🍌!! ⋆ πŸ§™β€β™‚οΈ Nugget of wisdom

Flooding areas like the Qattara Depression could help mitigate climate change, while banana candy tastes different because it mimics an extinct banana variety. What? Yes. Read for more.

🏝️ Could this help solve climate change? ⋆ This is 🍌🍌!! ⋆ πŸ§™β€β™‚οΈ Nugget of wisdom
Photo by Lance Asper

I started reading this cool new book this week and inhaled the first few chapters.

The AI revolution in medicine - GPT-4 and beyond - by Peter Lee, Carey Goldberg and Isaac Kohane

This consumed most of my AI budget for the week. I gotta let my other interests run wild at times. πŸ˜‰

And boy, oh boy, run it did!

Here are the things that blew my mind this week.

Thing 1 - Seaflooding - solution for climate change?

Skiathos beach on a sunny afternoon
Photo by Nick Karvounis

Mediterranean - that cool place with beaches and boats and hot people with the perfect tan...

It was once as dry and salty as a bag of chips left open overnight. But then this massive flood, the Zanclean Megaflood, happened about 5.3 million years ago, and poof! Instant seaside resort.

infinity pool in Thailand
Photo by Sasha Kaunas

There are several places in a similar position to what the Mediterranean used to be. Dry, salty, and depressed. (like your ex?)

Dead Sea, Qattara Depression, Sahara, Afar region of Ethiopia, Salinas Grandes in Argentina...

Salar de Uyuni
Photo by Samuel Scrimshaw

Qattara Depression

  • It’s dead today because it’s too salty, hot, and dry
  • It would be cheaper than most other places to bring seawater to it
    (the closest sea is just 55km away)

It would provide electricity, which could be used for the rest of Egypt like the Aswan Dam, or to generate freshwater.

It can:

  • lower ocean levels by 3mm
    (this is how much sea levels raise each year due to climate change)
  • cool down the atmosphere
    (by transferring heat from the warm Mediterranean water to the cooler underground)
  • increase moisture and rainfall in the Sahara desert
    (which would create more favorable conditions for plant growth and reduce erosion)
  • increase economic activity, including agriculture, tourism, salt extraction, and seawater mining
    (by creating a new sea with fish, birds, and plants, and by attracting people to the new beaches and wildlife)

There are some downsides but the benefits might outweigh the risks if proper measures are put into place.

(source 1, source 2)

Thing 2 - Why banana candy doesn't taste like bananas

This is bananas! 🍌🍌

Bananas in Salalah, Oman
Photo by Arisa S.

The OG banana was Gros Michel (a.k.a. Big Mike, can't make this stuff up). It was the king of bananas back in the day. It was fat, juicy, and full of flavor.

But then, a wicked fungus called Panama disease came along and ruined everything. It infected and killed most of the Big Mike plants by the 1960s.

Coming to the rescue was another banana, Cavendish. It was… okay. It wasn’t as tasty or as sexy as Big Mike - no one was - but it had one thing going for it: it could resist the evil fungus. That’s how we ended up with the bananas we have today.

Meanwhile, artificial banana flavor, which is made from a chemical called isoamyl acetate, kept reminding people of what they had lost. It's kinda funny that banana flavor isn't made from bananas at all, but... It tastes like Big Mike, not Cavendish, because that’s what bananas were supposed to taste like. Every time you eat a banana-tasting product, it's a reminder of what you're missing out.

And now, history is repeating itself. A new strain of Panama disease has emerged and is threatening to wipe out Cavendish bananas too.


Thing 3 - Nugget of wisdom

It’s better to be alone than to spend time with toxic people.
It’s better to do nothing than to work on something that doesn’t matter.
It’s better to rest than to climb the wrong mountain.

- James Clear

Pick your crew. Pick work that matters. Go after it.

Cheers, Zvonimir