InstaQuiz: your questions answered

InstaQuiz: your questions answered
By Camille Bello, Corey S. Powell, NBC News Tech and Science News, Emma Beswick, NBC Left Field, Alasdair Sandford
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Instaquiz: your questions answered

These are the answers to our InstaQuiz posted on August 20th, to play: follow the stories on our Instagram account

Climate Update: Europe's second warmest July on record


The latest data show that globally July was the third hottest on record, more than 0.4°C warmer than average - almost on par with the last year. Temperatures were unusually high in many regions around the globe.

After devastating Japanese floods early in July, parts of Asia, Northern Europe and the United States faced fierce heatwaves and lack of rain.

The extreme weather conditions aggravated wildfires, hitting Sweden and California especially hard.

Europe, in particular, saw its second warmest July on record. Temperatures topped 30°C in the Arctic Circle. Historical highs were broken across the continent.

How many humans would it take to keep our species alive?

In recent years, astronomers have found thousands of planets orbiting nearby stars, making the old science-fiction trope of off-world colonies seem a bit less absurd.

But it was the 2016 discovery of a potentially habitable Earth-size planet around Proxima Centauri, the nearest star after the sun, that really got people thinking: Are we too vulnerable to asteroid strikes and other cataclysms to stick with our single planet? Could we safeguard our species by sending a space ark to a new home, a la "Battlestar Galactica" or the movie "Passengers?"

Frédéric Marin is among those who are doing the hard thinking. The University of Strasbourg astrophysicist has been focusing not on the engineering issues of interstellar travel (which lie beyond current technology) but on the biology side of the question: How many crew members would be needed for an interstellar voyage that might last dozens of generations? In other words, what is the minimum number of people required to deliver and successfully plant a self-sustaining population of Homo sapiens on another Earth?

"I was reading a lot on the human psychological aspect of spaceflight, and I realized that all books I've read and all the movies I've seen that were dealing with multiple-generation ships were very naïve," Marin says. "Since I have access to huge computing power and state-of-the-art simulation tools, I decided to solve this on my spare time."

Read more here

Which country has the highest child benefits available to foreigners?

The number of parents living in Germany and claiming child benefits for children residing elsewhere has increased by 10% in the last six months, according to government figures reported by news agency DPA last week.

Child benefits were paid for 268,336 children living outside the country in the European Union or in the European Economic Area in June 2018, a Finance Ministry spokesperson told DPA, costing the government €600 million per year.

This issue was a hot talking point in Germany with several mayors of towns home to large immigrant communities claiming people were coming to the country specifically for the social benefits because of the system.

What child benefits are available to parents in Germany and other countries and can people moving from abroad claim them upon arrival?

Read more here

Do protest marches really work?

Round the world when people feel strongly, they gather together and take to the streets.

But do protest marches really work? NBC's Left Field film unit went to find out.

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