The Science Hub: decrease in Santa Ana winds, rise in syphilis, change in magnetic pole

The Science Hub is a bi-monthly newsletter that informs what you need to know in science today.


Credit: Rachel Chang / The Foothill Dragon Press

Rachel Chang, Jonathan Soriano, and Thomas Weldele

Decrease in Santa Ana winds due to climate change

While the ramifications of climate change are mostly negative, there may be one aspect that will bring joy to Southern Californians.  Climate change is forecasted to decrease the strength of the Santa Ana winds.  This change will mostly be apparent in the spring and fall, with both of those seasons possibly seeing as much as a 50 percent reduction in Santa Ana winds.  Overall, the reduction in Santa Ana winds by the end of the century is predicted to be around 18 percent.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean a reduction in large fires, such as the Thomas Fire and Woolsey Fire.  Rather, the fire season in Southern California will largely shift towards winter from the current peak in mid-October.  

-Thomas Weldele


The rise of syphilis—and how to not be a part of it

The number of reported cases of syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease (STD), rose 55 percent from 2012 to 2016. Moreover, the rate of congenital syphilis (when the disease is passed through childbirth) increased by 87 percent.

Despite the fact that syphilis can easily be treated with antibiotics, the disease is often left untreated because people are unaware of it. This lack of action can lead to consequences as severe as brain damage, paralysis and blindness.

To prevent contracting syphilis, it is important to use condoms or dental dams during sexual intercourse. Birth control does not prevent the transmission of syphilis or any other STD. Frequent STD testing is also recommended in order to treat the disease at earlier stages.

For those who plan to give birth, the Center for Disease Control advises screening at the first prenatal visit, the third trimester and after delivery.

-Rachel Chang


The north magnetic pole changed once more

If Google Maps has ever sent you off course, then you can thank the north magnetic pole for that. The magnetic north is vulnerable to the swirling of liquid iron in the core which creates the magnetic field. Two patches located underneath northern Canada and northern Siberia have controlled the location of the magnetic north. Historically, the path under northern Canada was stronger which kept the magnetic north in place.

Recently, the patch under northern Siberia has gained strength and has pulled the magnetic north further from northern Canada. The magnetic pole was shifting away seven miles each year, but in the 1990s it picked up in speed to 34 miles each year.

How much will it affect most civilians? Those that are under the latitude of 55 degrees will not be drastically affected. However, the further north one travels, the bigger the impact the shift will have.

-Jonathan Soriano

What do you think?