At the preparatory meetings for COP21 in Lima, Peru, delegates from countries that are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change proposed changing the global temperature target from 2-degree Celsius to 1.5-degree Celsius. Over the advice of climate scientists, the change was adopted as an aspirational goal. Hereafter, the targets will be qualified as “well below 2-degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels with efforts to limit temperature increase to 1.5-degree Celsius,” to use the language of the Paris Agreement. The Industrial Revolution began in England in about 1750. However, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had been using 1875 as the base year for calculating global temperature. Dr. Michael E. Mann, the director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center has determined that from 1875 our net carbon budget is about 3000 gigatons of which we have used about 2000 gigatons or approximately two-thirds. Using another metric, the limit for … [Read more...] about Is 1.5-degree Celsius achievable?
WE, Manoling de Leon’s family, observed the 40th day of his passing on to eternal life the other day. My late balae and my wife, Jeanne, shared with him and his wife Chatina, with another wonderful couple, Calix and Annie, and with dear friends–Joel Fan and Dodo–some of the happiest times we all ever had in travels abroad. It was on a trip to Germany, when we were in Bavaria–which is my most favorite place outside the Philippines–that I learned how the word “cranky” entered the English language. We went to daily Mass wherever we went and in the town of Ruhpolding where we were staying–and enjoyed the blessings of small-town Bavarian hospitality (I wonder if now, 40-plus years later, Ruhpolding is still a “small town”). In our first two days in Ruhpolding, we went for morning Mass in a little church with small graveyard beside, it up a small hill just a short walk from Steinbach, our little hotel (which is probably now no … [Read more...] about My balae Manoling was a model Filipino international achiever
U.S. space agency NASA said on Thursday (Friday in Manila) that its Voyager 1 spacecraft has become the first human-made object to venture into interstellar space. New and “unexpected” data indicated 36 years after it was launched, Voyager 1 has left the heliosphere, the bubble of hot, energetic charged particles surrounding the Solar System, and entered into a region of cold, dark space, known as interstellar space, NASA said. It said the spacecraft arrived in this cold, unexplored interstellar region on or about Aug. 25, 2012, and is now about 12 billion miles (19 billion km) from our sun. “Now that we have new, key data, we believe this is mankind’s historic leap into interstellar space,” said Ed Stone, Voyager project scientist based at the California Institute of Technology in a statement. “The Voyager team needed time to analyze those observations and make sense of them. But we can now answer the question we’ve all been asking, … [Read more...] about Voyager 1 becomes first man-made object to leave solar system: NASA
Statement by VP Jejomar C. Binay [Vice-President Binay delivered this statement at the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit on March 24-25 at The Hague, Netherlands] Allow me to thank the Kingdom of the Netherlands, His Majesty King Willem-Alexander, His Excellency Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the NSS Organizing Team, for their leadership, hospitality and outstanding preparations for this summit. It is an honor to be in The Hague–the city of peace and justice–with esteemed leaders from all over the world to chart the path to a more peaceful and secure world. In our interlinked world, nuclear security is a real issue for all nations, big and small, rich and poor. Even as I speak, those with nefarious designs are continuing to probe the weakest links in our collective security chain, waiting for their chance to strike at the most vulnerable and the most complacent. The Philippines is doing its best not to become this weak link. The Philippines’ reaffirm its … [Read more...] about Philippine achievements in nuclear security
LONDON: Looking back over the past quarter-century, it isn’t easy to name a Western policy that can truly be described as a success. The impact of Western development aid is debatable. Western interventions in the Middle East have been disastrous. But one Western policy stands out as a phenomenal success, particularly when measured against the low expectations with which it began: The integration of Central Europe and the Baltic States into the European Union and NATO. Thanks to this double project, more than 90 million people have enjoyed relative safety and relative prosperity for more than two decades, in a region whose historic instability helped launch two world wars. These two “expansions,” which were parallel but not identical (some countries are members of one organization but not the other), were transformative because they were not direct leaps, as the word “expansion” implies, but slow negotiations. Before joining NATO, each country had to … [Read more...] about A true achievement under threat
AT the preparatory meetings for COP21 in Lima, Peru, delegates from countries that are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change proposed changing the global temperature target from 2ºC to 1.5ºC. Over the advice of climate scientists, the change was adopted as an aspirational goal. Hereafter, the targets will be qualified as “well below 2ºC above pre-industrial levels with efforts to limit temperature increase to 1.5ºC,” to use the language of the Paris Agreement. The Industrial Revolution began in England in about 1750. However, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had been using 1875 as the base year for calculating global temperature. Dr. Michael E. Mann, the director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center has determined that from 1875 our net carbon budget is about 3000 gigatons of which we have used about 2000 gigatons or approximately two-thirds. Using another metric, the limit for 2ºC is 450 parts per million of … [Read more...] about Is 1.5ºC achievable?
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations voted overwhelmingly Thursday to recognize a Palestinian state, a victory decades in the making for the Palestinians after years of occupation and war. It was a sharp rebuke for Israel and the United States. In an extraordinary lineup of international support, more than two-thirds of the world body's 193 member states approved the resolution upgrading the Palestinians to a nonmember observer state. It passed 138-9, with 41 abstentions. The historic vote came 65 years to the day after the U.N. General Assembly voted in 1947 to divide Palestine into two states, one for Jews and one for Arabs. Israel became a state but the Palestinians rejected the partition plan, and decades of tension and violence have followed. Real independence, however, remains an elusive dream until the Palestinians negotiate a peace deal with the Israelis, who warned that the General Assembly action will only delay a lasting solution. Israel still controls … [Read more...] about UN vote recognizes state of Palestine; US objects
Tiangong-1, China’s first space station, is expected to break up in Earth’s atmosphere within months. Some pieces, such as those made of titanium, will be strong enough to hit the ground. Whole objects may survive intact due to the onion-like layering of spacecraft modules. Launched in September 2011, China’s first space station – Tiangong-1 – will soon burst into a fiery rain of debris over Earth. China recently told the United Nations that Tiangong-1 could reenter our atmosphere by early 2018. When it does, extreme heat and pressure caused by plowing through air at more than 15,000 miles per hour will destroy the 8.5-ton spacecraft. But not everything may vanish.Bill Ailor, an aerospace engineer and atmospheric reentry specialist, says there’s actually a good chance gear and hardware left onboard could survive intact all the way to the ground, thanks to Tiangong-1’s onion-like layers of protective … [Read more...] about China’s first space station is going to crash into Earth — but objects inside of it may reach the ground unharmed
Many Federal Reserve officials are concerned that inflation will remain lower for longer, according to minutes of the policy meeting they held in September. The textbook stipulation that low unemployment should push up worker pay, spending, and, subsequently, prices is not showing up as obviously as it should. “Many participants expressed concern that the low inflation readings this year might reflect not only transitory factors, but also the influence of developments that could prove more persistent,” the minutes said. Some members debated that more secular factors, like the influence of technology on lowering prices, may suppress inflation below the Fed’s 2% target for longer. This may warrant more patience in raising interest rates, the Fed officials said, adding that they needed to preserve the credibility of their 2% target. They were split on whether to hike for a third time this year, likely to be considered in December. “These … [Read more...] about The Fed is worried that it won’t achieve one of its key objectives for a while
This fall, Apple’s Photos app will add a feature that reveals the company’s increasing expertise in computer vision technology. Apple Photos will be able to sort your snapshots by face, activity, and even the facial expression you or your friends might be making. Developer Kay Yin decided to go under the hood, into system frameworks, to take a peek at how Apple’s actually pulling off this artificial intelligence achievement. He published his findings on Medium. Turns out, Apple’s newest software includes a list of objects, terms, and even facial expressions that Photos can detect. “I found them by poking around plist files and system framework binaries” in the beta version of Apple’s software, Yin told Business Insider. For example, the photos app only recognizes and distinguishes between seven hardcoded facial expressions: GreedyDisgustNeutralScreamSmilingSurpriseSuspicious. Apple’s photo search works by … [Read more...] about A complete list of objects that Apple Photos can recognize