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Articles on Modeling

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Nurses and other health care workers in New York mourned colleagues who have died during the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Coronavirus deaths in San Francisco vs. New York: What causes such big differences in cities’ tolls?

Why one city suffers significantly more deaths than another isn't always obvious. A simple experiment shows how failing to consider certain factors can point policy makers in the wrong direction.
An all-renewable grid will mean more electricity and more transmission lines. Russ Allison Loar/flickr

How to have an all-renewable electric grid

We have all the technologies needed to make the electric grid run on renewables and lower pollution. What are they and what are the barriers to adopting them widely?
Images created by NASA with satellite data helped the U.S. Department of Agriculture analyze outbreak patterns for southern pine beetles in Alabama, in spring 2016. NASA

Can scientists learn to make ‘nature forecasts’ just as we forecast the weather?

Big data open-access publishing and other advances offer ecologists the ability to forecast events like pest outbreaks over days and seasons rather than decades. But scholars need to seize this opportunity.
People currently speak 7,000 languages around the globe. Michael Gavin

Why do human beings speak so many languages?

There's little research into origins of the geographic patterns of language diversity. A new model exploring processes that shaped Australia's language diversity provides a template for investigators.

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