Thursday, September 27, 2012

Climate change is already damaging global economy, report finds

Climate change is already damaging global economy, report finds:
Yep. It's got nothing to do with the bankers. The global economic train wreck is due to CO2. Really.

Climate change: Arctic snow lost faster than ice

Climate change: Arctic snow lost faster than ice:
Climate change: Arctic snow lost faster than ice

Nature 489, 7417 (2012). doi:10.1038/489477b

The rate of loss of Arctic snow cover during spring is outpacing even the rapid decline of sea ice.Chris Derksen in Toronto and Ross Brown in Montreal, both of Environment Canada, looked at satellite data on high-latitude snow cover between April and June since

Salt Marshes Will Absorb Carbon until 2050, but Then Be Overwhelmed

Salt Marshes Will Absorb Carbon until 2050, but Then Be Overwhelmed:
By Alister Doyle
OSLO (Reuters) - Salt marshes around the world's coasts will help slow climate change until about 2050 by soaking up greenhouse gases but then risk making the problem even worse as sea levels rise, a study showed on Wednesday.
Plants such as grasses and shrubs - which thrive in salt marshes found from India to the United States - absorb heat-trapping carbon from the air. [More]

100 Million to Die by 2030 If World Fails to Act on Climate

100 Million to Die by 2030 If World Fails to Act on Climate:
By Nina Chestney
LONDON (Reuters) - More than 100 million people will die and global economic growth will be cut by 3.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030 if the world fails to tackle climate change, a report commissioned by 20 governments said on Wednesday.
As global average temperatures rise due to greenhouse gas emissions, the effects on the planet, such as melting ice caps, extreme weather, drought and rising sea levels, will threaten populations and livelihoods, said the report conducted by humanitarian organization DARA.
It calculated that five million deaths occur each year from air pollution, hunger and disease as a result of climate change and carbon-intensive economies, and that toll would likely rise to six million a year by 2030 if current patterns of fossil fuel use continue.
More than 90 percent of those deaths will occur in developing countries, said the report that calculated the human and economic impact of climate change on 184 countries in 2010 and 2030. [More]

Friday, September 7, 2012

10 Living Things That Are Surprisingly Related

10 Living Things That Are Surprisingly Related:
Due to a worldwide increase in scientific literacy, most people are familiar with what a species is. They know that two different animals or plants are different species. However, breeding has produced subspecies which can confuse the issue somewhat. The ordinary potato and the sweet potato are completely unrelated, yet the incredibly varied dachshund, the Great Dane, and the old English sheepdog are all, astoundingly, the same species. Here are ten species whose members are just as unexpectedly varied.

Brassica oleracea
Brassica Romanesco
Brassica oleracea is a species of leafy vegetable which we know in many different forms. It has been bred into a number of different subspecies, each with its own morphology and taste. Imagine sitting down to a meal of steamed broccoli, baked cauliflower, fried kale and cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. Every single one of these vegetables, despite looking and tasting different, is Brassica oleracea. Broccoli has been bred to accentuate the inner part whilst cabbage has been bred for its leaves. It does not take a stretch of the imagination to see that Brussels sprouts are, for the most part, miniaturized cabbages, and cauliflowers are largely paler broccolis. Kale are cabbages which have been bred to grow their leaves outwards instead of into a head. Nevertheless, all these vegetables are easily distinguished by taste, and their hugely different shapes and colors makes it surprising that they are all the exact same species.

How hiccups, yawns and giggles make us human

How hiccups, yawns and giggles make us human: In his new book, "Curious Behavior: Yawning, Laughing, Hiccupping, and Beyond," Robert R. Provine takes us on a tour of those all-too-common quirks that make us sometimes hide our heads in shame.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

James Dorsey: Afghanistan's Future: Civil War or Soccer Rivalry?

Olahraga mempersatukan Afghanistan.
James Dorsey: Afghanistan's Future: Civil War or Soccer Rivalry?

.. .
A decade later, a major Afghan telecommunications company, Roshan Telecom Development Co., and media tycoon Saad Mohsen's Moby Group are launching Afghan Premier League soccer in what David Ignatius of the Washington Post juxtaposes as Afghanistan's post-withdrawal options: televised soccer rivalry or armed civil war.

Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF) president Keramuddin Karim backed by sociological analysis argues that "to establish peace and stabilize a country, one must not only focus on training soldiers. Sport is also a strong base for peace, as it embodies values such as unity, integration, pride and prevents racism, drugs and other elements that bring insecurity to the country."

.. U.S.-led international forces played shortly after their overthrow of the Taliban an Afghan team in Kabul's Ghazi Stadium to highlight the change they were bringing to the war-ravaged country. Last December, Afghan leaders together with U.S. ambassador Ryan Crocker and the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen, attended the festive opening of Kabul's completely refurbished 25,000 seat Ghazi stadium to highlight progress from the days that the Taliban used it for public executions and amputations of limbs.

The hope now is that the new league's eight teams who represent different parts of the country with a history of being at loggerheads with one another will compete on the pitch instead of the battlefield once U.S. forces have left despite the fact that some of them bear the names of fiery birds: the Eagles of the Hindu Kush in central Afghanistan, the Goshawks from southeastern Afghanistan and the Falcons of Kabul.

The recruitment of players also serves the effort to bridge the country's fault lines. Selection takes place on a reality television show, Maidan e Sabz or Green Field, for which thousands of Afghans have applied. The audience of each show selects 18 out of 30 candidates whose performance is judged by a group of former Afghan national team players and coaches who pick 15 players while the studio audience votes for the final three. ... | news | world news | Arabs slam Syria violence | news | world news | Arabs slam Syria violence

Arab foreign ministers denounced on Wednesday "crimes against humanity" being perpetrated in Syria, and called on the Damascus government to stop the violence immediately.
Iraq Rejects US Claims That Iran Using Airspace to Send Arms to Syria - by Dana Hughes
Red Cross promises to continue work in Syria
President al-Assad: Syria Welcomes Red Cross Humanitarian Operations
Syria aflame

Asia Times Online :: How to make more Singaporean babies

Asia Times Online :: How to make more Singaporean babies