Abstracts: Paris Agreement, Extinction, and More


• An adviser to President Trump told ministers from several countries that the president still intends to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, as Trump had stated in June. The announcement came after a diplomat asked about a statement someone else from the Trump administration recently made suggesting the president could have changed his stance. (CNN)

President Trump still plans to withdraw from the Paris agreement. Visual: MANDEL NGAN / Getty

• Out of all vertebrate animal species, the largest and the smallest ones are at the greatest risk of extinction. A new study found that the size of animals — specifically whether they are very large or very small — is one indicator of their chances of survival during the ongoing sixth extinction as a result of human activity. (BBC)

• Astronomers have discovered a completely black exoplanet that absorbs at least 94 percent of visible light and glows red in infrared light. Named WASP-12b, the exoplanet is 1,400 light-years away from earth, is twice as big as Jupiter, orbits its star every 1.1 days, and is so hot that it breaks molecular hydrogen — H2 — into atomic hydrogen. (Scientific American)

• A small group of textile artisans near Oaxaca, Mexico are trying to preserve the tradition of using plant and insect dyes when weaving, rather than chemical dyes that are now more accessible. Many of the weavers in this area also want to continue the long, indigenous Zapotec history associated with using natural dyes. (New York Times)

• Octopuses build cities — or at least congregate together in one area and construct barriers and dens — according to new research confirming the suspected phenomenon. The research also suggests that the creatures are much more social than scientists previously thought. (Quartz)

• Americans suffering from the genetic sickle cell disease — the majority of whom are black — describe extremely inadequate care from both physicians and hospital workers due to uninformed health professionals, racism, and the opioid crisis that is making it more difficult to receive pain medications. As a result, the mortality rate for adults with the disease has increased by one percent every year since 1979, with incompetent care a leading cause of death. (STAT)

• The ability to identify colors might be learned, rather than innate, according to a study by cognitive scientists on the language development of the Tsimane, a South American hunter-gatherer society. When asked about colors, the Tsimanes had fewer words to describe them and were more likely to disagree about what to call a given color, especially with cool colors. (Science)

• And finally, as the president prepares to back out of the Paris climate agreement, tribal communities in the West are vowing to honor it. (High Country News)