19 January 2018   Leave a comment

The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has just released its data on global temperatures in 2017 and the year is the second hottest on record.  Some had expected 2017 to be slightly cooler than average because there was no el Niño in the year, but even without the el Niño the temperatures exceeded expectations.   The last four years have been the warmest ever recorded.

 

 

According to the report:

“Earth’s global surface temperatures in 2017 ranked as the second warmest since 1880, according to an analysis by NASA.

“Continuing the planet’s long-term warming trend, globally averaged temperatures in 2017 were 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit (0.90 degrees Celsius) warmer than the 1951 to 1980 mean, according to scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York. That is second only to global temperatures in 2016.”

Even though NASA is a US government agency, it still appears as if high officials in the Trump Administration do not believe that immediate action is warranted to prevent climate change.

 

Tensions are always high along the Line of Control between India and Pakistan in Kashmir, but shelling between the two sides has continued into the third day.  In retaliation for violations of the ceasefire, India fired into the town on Sialkot in Pakistan’s Punjab province.  India and Pakistan have fought two wars over the disputed territory of Kashmir, but tensions have been rising dramatically since last December.  A number of security forces and civilians have been killed in the recent outbreaks of violence.  It is not clear how these tensions will play out.

 

Tunisia was the first country to experience the protests that ultimately culminated in the massive protests throughout the Middle East in 2011 that became known as the Arab Spring.  Tunisia went through the protests with less turmoil than was experienced in countries like Libya, Egypt, and Syria.  But the situation in Tunisia was never really resolved and since 3 January Tunisia has been experiencing new protests, largely over the price of food, but inextricably linked to a variety of other issues including the lack of jobs.  The recent protests were also the result of austerity policies imposed on Tunisia by the International Monetary Fund in 2012 and 2016 as the country’s debts increased dramatically.  The IMF policies will undoubtedly make more protests increasingly likely as the austerity policies depress wages and subsidies to the poor.

Posted January 19, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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