31 October 2018   Leave a comment

A new study of how much heat is being retained in the world’s oceans was published in the journal, Nature.  The results indicate that, because the instruments traditionally used to measure the ocean’s heat were flawed, we have underestimated how much the oceans have warmed.  New techniques (which I confess are beyond my ability to assess, but Nature is one of the most reputable science journals in the world) have given scientists a more accurate way to measure, suggest that:

“The world’s oceans have been soaking up far more excess heat in recent decades than scientists realized, suggesting that Earth could be set to warm even faster than predicted in the years ahead, according to new research published Wednesday.

“Over the past quarter-century, Earth’s oceans have retained 60 percent more heat each year than scientists previously had thought, said Laure Resplandy, a geoscientist at Princeton University who led the startling study published Wednesday in the journal Nature. The difference represents an enormous amount of additional energy, originating from the sun and trapped by Earth’s atmosphere — the yearly amount representing more than eight times the world’s annual energy consumption.”

The new data show that the oceans have warmed 60% more than assumed by the most recent study by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which was alarming enough without the new information.

 

US President Trump said that her might send between 10,000 and 15,000 more troops to the US-Mexican border.  If he does, that number would equal the number of US troops in both Afghanistan and Syria.  It is not clear what the additional troops would accomplish–they are prohibited by law from enforcing US domestic law.  They can supply logistical support to Border Patrol officials, but there is no real evidence that such support is currently lacking.  It also not clear what the threat is.

“And despite the heightened rhetoric, the number of immigrants apprehended at the border is dramatically lower than past years. Border Patrol agents this year made only a quarter of the arrests they made in 2000 at the height of illegal immigration, when the agency had half of the staffing it does today. The demographics have also drastically changed, from mostly Mexican men traveling alone, to Central American families with children.”

I have yet to find any cost estimates for these operations, but it is likely that supporting such a large contingent will be very expensive if it stays for any period of time.  Most estimates suggest that the “caravan” of asylum seekers is at least a month away from the border.

 

The Chief Prosecutor for the city of Istanbul officially reported today that the Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, was strangled and dismembered in the Saudi Consulate.  The Saudis have admitted that Khashoggi was murdered, but they have been forthcoming at all about the circumstances.  There appears to be a challenge to the Crown Prince because of the uproar over Khashoggi’s death.  The only surviving brother of the King, Prince Ahmad bin Abdulaziz , flew to Saudi Arabia from London and he could be perceived as a potential competitor to the Crown Prince, the son of the King.  If there is a challenge to the Crown Prince, Saudi Arabia may confront a serious economic challenge. 

Posted October 31, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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