NY Times – The United States government offers tax incentives to companies pursuing medical breakthroughs, urban redevelopment and alternatives to fossil fuels. It also provides tax breaks for a company whose hit video game this year was the gory Dead Space 2, which challenges players to advance through an apocalyptic battlefield by killing space zombies. Read Article
UCAR – A three-year series of research flights from the Arctic to the Antarctic has successfully produced an unprecedented portrait of greenhouse gases and particles in the atmosphere, scientists announced today. The far-reaching field project, known as HIPPO, is enabling researchers to generate the first detailed mapping of the global distribution of gases and particles that affect Earth’s climate.
The series of flights, which come to an end next week, mark an important milestone as scientists work toward targeting both the sources of greenhouse gases and the natural processes that draw the gases back out of the atmosphere. The team measured a total of over 80 gases and particles in the atmosphere.
One of HIPPO’s most significant accomplishments has been quantifying the seasonal amounts of CO2 taken up and released by land plants and the oceans. Those measurements will help scientists produce more accurate estimates of the annual cycle of carbon dioxide in and out of the atmosphere and how the increasing amount of this gas is influenced by both the natural world and society.
The team also found that black carbon particles—emitted by diesel engines, industrial processes, and fires—are more widely distributed in the atmosphere than previously thought. Such particles can affect climate in various ways, such as directly absorbing solar radiation, influencing the formation of clouds or enhancing melt rates when they are deposited on ice or snow.
“What we didn’t anticipate were the very high levels of black carbon we observed in plumes of air sweeping over the central Pacific toward the U.S. West Coast,” says NOAA scientist Ryan Spackman, a member of the HIPPO research team. “Levels were comparable with those measured in megacities such as Houston or Los Angeles. This suggests that western Pacific sources of black carbon are significant and that atmospheric transport of the material is efficient.”
Researchers were also surprised to find larger-than-expected concentrations of nitrous oxide high in the tropical atmosphere. The finding has significant environmental implications because the gas both traps heat and contributes to the thinning of the ozone layer. Nitrous oxide levels have been increasing for decades in part because of the intensive use of nitrogen fertilizer for agriculture. The abundance of the gas high in the tropical atmosphere may be a sign that storms are carrying it aloft from sources in Southeast Asia. Read Article
Reuters – Ten years after committing to fight AIDS, the United Nations is taking on an even bigger bunch of killers — common chronic diseases — in what is shaping up to be a bruising battle between big business, Western governments and the world’s poor. Tobacco, food and drinks companies are in the firing line for peddling products linked to cancer, diabetes and heart disease, while politicians in the rich world are accused of failing to set firm targets or provide funds for a decent fight. Read article
WSJ – The U.S. Senate, in an unusual procedure, cleared the way Thursday for the U.S. to lift its borrowing authority by $500 billion to $15.19 trillion, enough to keep the support federal government borrowing through late January or early February. Read article
Telegraph – Nato said it had struck a pro-Gaddafi tank, two armoured vehicles and a multiple rocket launcher in the town of Bani Walid – an attack called in as rebels were forced to call off an attack on Saturday evening. As night fell on Sunday, rebels were in control of parts of the town and had seized the university. Around Sirte, Col Gaddafi’s birthplace and showpiece city where regime forces were also holding out, Nato destroyed a set of surface to air missile canisters, two tanks and two armed vehicles. Read Article
Ten years on from the seminal event of our age, we examine the true legacy of that day, and remember the many millions who have suffered as a result of the official conspiracy theory of what happened that fateful day. CLICK HERE TO READ
Epoch Times – South Korean authorities are attempting to deport a married couple who are seeking asylum in the country. Should either of them be deported to China they may face detention, torture, and possibly death, since both are practitioners of the spiritual discipline of Falun Gong, which has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party for more than a decade. Read Article
Reuters – More kids than previously thought could be at risk for dangerously high blood pressure, with as many as a quarter having blood vessels that look like those of much older people, according to a new study. Because there is a theoretical possibility that some of these kids could suffer a stroke or a heart attack down the road, researchers say the findings mean all kids should have their blood pressure measured. “I do think it’s important that everybody gets screened for high blood pressure,” said Dr. Karen Redwine of Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, whose findings appear in the Journal of Pediatrics. Read article
BBC – Tony Blair has denied that military intervention in the Middle East has radicalised Muslims and encouraged them to engage in acts of terrorism. The former prime minister said the fight against Islamic terrorism would only end “when we defeat the ideology”. Read article
Canadian Press – Some lobbyists for a controversial pipeline project stretching from the Alberta oilsands to the Gulf of Mexico need no introduction to confidantes of U.S. President Barack Obama. TransCanada Corp. (TSX: TRP) has recruited heavyweights from the presidential campaigns of Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Massachusetts Senator John Kerry to lobby for the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline. Read Article
Telegraph – In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph on the eve of the Prime Minister’s historic visit to Russia tomorrow, William Browder, the founder of UK-based Hermitage Capital Management, said the British government had shied away from tackling Russia on human rights issues and claimed that the Kremlin was laughing at Mr Cameron behind his back. Read Article