12 February 2018   Leave a comment

Researchers have gone over 25 years of satellite data and have found that sea levels are rising significantly faster than expected.  The research conclusions are sobering and pinpoint climate change as the cause of the sea level changes:

“At the current rate, the world’s oceans on average will be at least 2 feet (61 centimeters) higher by the end of the century compared to today, according to researchers who published in Monday’s Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences.

“Sea level rise is caused by warming of the ocean and melting from glaciers and ice sheets. The research, based on 25 years of satellite data, shows that pace has quickened, mainly from the melting of massive ice sheets. It confirms scientists’ computer simulations and is in line with predictions from the United Nations, which releases regular climate change reports.”

These estimates are likely conservative.  A rise of two feet can be managed by the richer coastal cities, but the costs will be significant.  Coastal cities in poor countries will probably be dramatically altered.  But, in all cases, a two-foot rise along with a storm surge is not really manageable for any major city.  Averting climate change is a more intelligent way to address this future problem.


Get ready for the Year of the Dog.  The Chinese follow a lunar calendar and this year the New Year falls on 16 February.  But it is not a single day event: “Traditionally, the celebrations span 16 days, from a family feast on New Year’s Eve through to the Lantern Festival on day 15.”  All Chinese people try to get home for this holiday and the trips constitute the largest yearly human migration.  This year, however, many who are traveling home will not be able to return to the cities where they once worked.  The Chinese government is cracking down on who can live in Beijing as it tries to create less crowded conditions in the capital city.


The African National Congress (ANC), the ruling party in South Africa, has given its leader, Jacob Zuma, 48 hours to resign as head of state.   Zuma’s rule has been plagued by scandals and the leader  of the ANC, Cyril Ramaphosa, delivered the decision of the party to Zuma after an extended meeting of the Executive Committee of the ANC.  Zuma’s term as President runs until mid-2019 and there are fears that he may refuse to resign, a decision that would precipitate a serious political crisis in South Africa.  Today is the 28th anniversary of the day that Nelson Mandela was freed from prison to lead the country out of the misery of apartheid, a system of institutionalized racism that officially governed the country from 1949 to 1991, although racial segregation dominated the country throughout the entire colonial period.  We will have to see how Zuma responds.

Jacob Zuma

Posted February 12, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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