Bernard Arnault overtakes Jeff Bezos as the richest man on the planet. Heatwaves cause massive ice melt in Greenland. NASA detects water vapor on Jupiter’s largest moon. The eviction moratorium expires in the US, putting millions of people at risk of losing their homes. Here are this week’s stories:
1. Bernard Arnault becomes world’s richest person after Jeff Bezos loses $14 billion In one day
Bernard Arnault overtakes Jeff Bezos as the richest man on the planet. Bezos lost billions after Amazon plunged due to multiple factors. The e-commerce giant reported disappointing results and gave a sluggish outlook for the third quarter, causing shares to drop 7.6% and wiping out $75 billion in market value. The decline caused Bezos to lose nearly $14 billion in one day, giving room for Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH, to surpass him. LVMH is a French Holding multinational corporation, and its subsidiaries include Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Christian Dior, Tiffany & Co, and many more. Arnault has made over $100 billion during the pandemic as his company has thrived. Most billionaires saw a boost in their wealth during the pandemic. The world’s 2,365 billionaires saw a combined wealth boost of over $4 trillion to their net worths. They now have a combined net worth of over $12.39 trillion.
2. Heatwaves cause massive ice melt in Greenland
A heatwave in Greenland has caused massive ice melting over the past week. Wednesday was the third-biggest ice loss for Greenland in a single day since 1950, and the other two records happened in 2012 and 2019. On Wednesday, 22 gigatons of ice melted, with 12 gigatons flowing to the ocean and 10 gigatons absorbed by the snowpack where it can refreeze. In total, more than 26 gigatons have melted this week, which is enough to cover the entire state of Florida with six inches of water. Greenland’s ice sheet accounts for 25% of global sea-level rise, and it continues to melt along with Antarctica. Sea levels are rising at an alarming rate and will reach three feet by 2050. While it may not sound like much, it will have a great impact on coastal areas. We have to be prepared and adapt to the changing climate.
3. NASA detects water on Jupiter’s largest moon
NASA has discovered water vapor in the atmosphere of Ganymede, the largest satellite in the solar system. Prior research points towards Ganymede containing more water than all of Earth’s oceans combined. However, the water on the surface is frozen solid, and any liquid water is likely 100 miles below its crust. According to NASA, the water vapor on Ganymede forms when ice from the moon’s surface transitions from solid to gas, skipping the liquid phase. If there is a substantial amount of water, then there is a possibility of alien life. That’s why NASA and the ESA are conducting missions to Jupiter’s moon. Recently, NASA’s Juno probe flew by and took photos of Jupiter and Ganymede. In 2022, The ESA will launch its Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) to spend several years observing the planet and its largest moons for potential habitats.
4. Eviction moratorium expires
The eviction moratorium has expired in the US, putting millions of people at risk of losing their homes. Over 11 million Americans are behind on their rent as states have been slow to distribute federal rental assistance. $45 billion in federal rental assistance was allocated by Congress back in March and December, but only $3 billion has reached households. The eviction crisis will hit some states harder than others. In southern states like South Carolina and Georgia, almost 30% are behind on rent; however, in western states like Idaho, only 6% are behind. People of color are also more likely to be behind on their rent. 25% of Black renters face evictions, whereas 10% of white renters are in arrears. Forcing people out of their homes could cause an increase in Covid cases, as research shows that eviction rates are higher in communities with lower vaccination rates. Last year alone, 400,000 Covid cases and 10,000 deaths could be linked to evictions. The US government needs to extend the eviction moratorium and distribute federal rental assistance promptly.
5. Covid vaccinations are on the rise
Covid-19 vaccinations in the US have started rising again, particularly in states with poor vaccination rates and strong hesitancy against the shot. New doses administered nationwide are about 650,000, up 26% from three weeks ago. Alabama has the country’s lowest rate of its total population fully vaccinated, at 34%, but vaccine rates have nearly tripled over the past three weeks. CDC data shows that 49.5% of Americans were fully vaccinated, and 57.9% of people 12 and older. Despite the high vaccination rates, cases across the country are surging. The US is reporting more than 70,000 cases a day, mostly among the unvaccinated. Florida is currently the epicenter of the virus, reporting over 20,000 cases a day. Covid infections are not only surging in the US, but the entire world and global cases are about to surpass 200 million.
Above were my top stories for the week of August 1st, 2021. I hope you enjoyed them. Thank you and see you next week!