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n2doc

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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 47,953

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No more pause: Warming will be non-stop from now on

by Michael Slezak

Enjoy the pause in global warming while it lasts, because it's probably the last one we will get this century. Once temperatures start rising again, it looks like they will keep going up without a break for the rest of the century, unless we cut our greenhouse gas emissions.

The slowdown in global warming since 1997 seems to be driven by unusually powerful winds over the Pacific Ocean, which are burying heat in the water. But even if that happens again, or a volcanic eruption spews cooling particles into the air, we are unlikely to see a similar hiatus, according to two independent studies.

Masahiro Watanabe of the University of Tokyo in Japan and his colleagues have found that, over the past three decades, the natural ups and downs in temperature have had less influence on the planet's overall warmth. In the 1980s, natural variability accounted for almost half of the temperature changes seen. That fell to 38 per cent in the 1990s and just 27 per cent in the 2000s.

Instead, human-induced warming is accounting for more and more of the changes from year to year, says Watanabe. With ever-faster warming, small natural variations have less impact and are unlikely to override the human-induced warming.

more

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn26122-no-more-pause-warming-will-be-nonstop-from-now-on.html

Earth's tectonic plates have doubled their speed

SO MUCH for slowing down as you age. Earth's tectonic plates are moving faster now than at any point in the last 2 billion years, according to the latest study of plate movements. But the result is controversial, since previous work seemed to show the opposite.

If true, the result could be explained by another surprising recent discovery: the presence of more water within Earth's mantle than in all of the oceans combined.

Plate tectonics is driven by the formation and destruction of oceanic crust. This crust forms where plates move apart, allowing hot, light magma to rise from the mantle below and solidify. Where plates are being pushed together, the crust can either rise up to form mountains or one plate is shoved under the other and is sucked back into the mantle.

The planet's inner heat powers plate tectonics. That heat is ebbing away as Earth ages, and this was expected to slow plate motion. A study last year by Martin Van Kranendonk at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and colleagues measured elements concentrated by tectonic action in 3200 rocks from around the world, and concluded that plate motion has been slowing for 1.2 billion years.

Now Kent Condie, a geochemist at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro and his colleagues have used a different approach and concluded that tectonic activity is increasing. They looked at how often new mountain belts form when tectonic plates collide with one another. They then combined these measurements with magnetic data from volcanic rocks to work out at which latitude the rocks formed and how quickly the continents had moved.

more

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22329843.000-earths-tectonic-plates-have-doubled-their-speed.html

NYT Editorial: Stop Hiding Images of American Torture

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD

A hooded man standing on a box, electrodes wired to his fingers. A naked prisoner lying on a cement floor, a leash around his neck held casually by an American soldier. The bloody bodies of dead inmates with their heads bashed in.

Ten years later, the photos leaked from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq remain seared into the American consciousness. But while the United States government was unable to prevent their release, more than 2,000 other photos taken at various American military facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan have remained hidden under a 2009 law. By one account, the images — which officials say are a mix of snapshots by soldiers and photos by military investigators documenting allegations of abuse — are “worse than Abu Ghraib.”

On Wednesday, the American Civil Liberties Union won an important victory for transparency when a federal district judge in New York City, Alvin Hellerstein, rejected the government’s blanket claim of privilege for all the photos. Judge Hellerstein ordered the government to show why the release of the photos would endanger American lives, and to show that it had considered each photo individually.

President Obama agreed to the photos’ release after taking office in 2009 but changed his mind after pleas from military officials and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. The 2009 law — the Protected National Security Documents Act — created a three-year exemption from the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act.

more

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/31/opinion/sunday/stop-hiding-images-of-american-torture.html?_r=0

Bill Nye The Science POTUS?

"Bill Nye The Science POTUS" may have a nice ring to it, but would the famed "Science Guy" ever run for office?

A listener of the StarTalk Radio program, which was first hosted by renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, asked Nye that question in a recent episode.

His answer just may make your ears perk up. Check out the video above.

"Oh, sure, so Neil deGrasse Tyson and I are working on our cabinet," Nye says in the video, before offering positions to guest hosts comedian Eugene Mirman and former NASA astronaut Mike Massimino.

more
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/31/bill-nye-neil-degrasse-tyson-for-president-video_n_5739052.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000043

I would be fine with that...

GOP-backed fake news sites target Dems in congressional races

Unlike The Onion and other satire sites, the goal is to fool voters, not make them laugh
By Anna Clark


DETROIT, MI—Deceptive political ads are one thing. But how about deceptive ads that trade on the credibility of journalism?

That’s what a Republican political group is trying out. This month, the National Republican Congressional Committee debuted at least 20 websites in key congressional districts—from Central Valley, California, to Augusta, Georgia—that are designed, albeit amateurishly, to look like news sites. One of them, “South Michigan Update,” sports the headline “Byrnes Struggles to Escape Her Record,” referring to Democrat Pamela Byrnes in Michigan’s 7th District. Like the other NRCC sites, the featured post attacks the Democratic candidate in the race. The piece has a byline credit to “Geoff,” though, as The Washington Post pointed out, most of “Geoff’s” posts are rewrites of content from the NRCC site. The spare South Michigan site has one other item: a video ad for the 7th District’s Republican incumbent, Tim Walberg, that is featured under the header, “Most Viewed.”

As Lester Graham, an investigative reporter with Michigan Radio, described it in a story that drew attention to South Michigan Update, the casual observer might easily mistake the fake news site for a real one. Because the NRCC is promoting the sites through localized Google search ads, according to the National Journal, readers may well stumble on them unwittingly: It’s the first item that comes up when you search for the Democratic candidates’ name. The NRCC did put a box at the very bottom of the sites indicating that they are paid political ads. But the sites seem designed for social sharing and email-forwarding—exactly the kind of delivery where readers are likely to read only the headline or first few paragraphs of the story. They wouldn’t even see the bottom of the page.

“This ‘South Michigan Update’ may look phony and insubstantial to more sophisticated Web surfers, but a lot of online traffic doesn’t spend a lot of time thinking about such things,” said Fred Brown, vice chair of the ethics committee for the Society of Professional Journalists.

- See more at: http://www.cjr.org/united_states_project/republican_fake_news.php#sthash.fTEaOlwJ.dpuf

Australia to deliver arms in Iraq at US request

Australian will help deliver arms to Kurdish fighters battling Islamic State militants in Iraq.

Describing the situation in the country as an "humanitarian catastrophe," Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced on Sunday that the government had agreed to a US request for Australia to transport military equipment on the RAAF C-130J Hercules and C-17A Globemaster aircraft.

"Australia will join international partners to help the [anti-IS] forces in Iraq," Mr Abbott said in a statement.

Australian planes will fly alongside aircraft from Canada, Italy, France, Britain and the US.



more

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/australia-to-deliver-arms-in-iraq-at-us-request-tony-abbott-20140831-10ajfj.html

Atlantic City facing unprecedented economic collapse

Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer

The Atlantic City region is on the brink of a short-term economic disaster.

Atlantic City made history 36 years ago when it opened the first legal casinos in the United States outside Las Vegas.

Now it's doing so again as casino employment - which for years exceeded the number of city residents - drops precipitously after a decade of steady decline.

The closing of three casinos, starting with Showboat and Revel this weekend followed by Trump Plaza two weeks later, and the rapid-fire loss of 5,700 jobs, draw historic comparisons to longer-term collapses of U.S. industries such as steel.


Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140831_Atlantic_City_facing_unprecedented_economic_collapse.html

Central America Hit by Severe Drought

A severe drought has ravaged crops in Central America, and as many as 2.8 million people are struggling to feed themselves, the United Nations World Food Program said Friday. The drought, which is also affecting South America, has been particularly hard on southern Guatemala, northern Honduras and western El Salvador. Guatemala declared a state of emergency after 256,000 families lost their crops. Farmers growing peas, green beans and broccoli estimate that they will lose 30 to 40 percent of their crops. Jesús Samayoa, a farmer in Jutiapa, Guatemala, said, “I am 60 years old, and this is the first time I have seen a crisis like this.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/30/world/americas/central-america-hit-by-severe-drought.html?partner=rss&emc=rss


That's the whole article. First I have heard of this. Seems like more than the western US is having a bad drought...

Sunday's Non Sequitur- A Solution to Washington's football Team name issue




(I still like the suggestion that they change the logo to that of a potato)

The Rams have released Michael Sam.

One of their last cuts. Hopefully he catches on with another team, or goes on Practice squad
https://twitter.com/ESPNNFL/status/505806948533809152/photo/1
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