Smoke from BC wildfire supports experts conclusions for nuclear winter

first_imgVANCOUVER — Unprecedented smoke from British Columbia’s wildfires in 2017 is helping scientists model the potential impacts of nuclear war on the Earth’s climate, says a study from Rutgers University.The enormous plume of smoke formed the largest cloud of its kind ever observed, which circled the Northern Hemisphere, says the study published Thursday in the peer-reviewed academic journal Science.The cloud, called a pyrocumulonimbus, formed over the wildfire and sent black carbon high into the atmosphere, said the study’s co-author Alan Robock, a distinguished professor in the department of environmental sciences at Rutgers in New Jersey.The scientists used a climate model from the National Center for Atmospheric Research in the U.S. to forecast the movement of the dark cloud high into the Earth’s stratosphere, where there is no rain, Robock said.“This smoke that lofted up, that’s what our climate models told us would happen if we put smoke in (the model) as a result of fires from burning cities and industrial areas as if there was a nuclear war,” said Robock.The smoke lasted more than eight months in the stratosphere, where there is no rain to wash it away, the study said.When soot heats up and extends higher into the stratosphere the process is known as self-lofting, it said.“We had never observed it actually happen,” said Robock. “This natural occurrence validated what we had done before in our climate models, so it gave us more confidence that what we were doing was correct.”The team of researchers, including Robock, plugged the data from the B.C. wildfires into their software and successfully compared the real and the projected results, validating their ongoing climate modeling.Robock has been studying and modeling the potential impacts of a so-called nuclear winter since 1984. Even a relatively small nuclear war between India and Pakistan would, for example, send soot into the stratosphere, causing unprecedented climatic cooling, he said.“The temperatures wouldn’t get below freezing in the summer like they would with a war between the United States and Russia. But it would still have devastating effects on agriculture around the world, far removed from where the bombs were dropped,” said Robock, who added that global cooling as a result of nuclear war is by no means a solution to the global heating occurring today.In the case of nuclear winter resulting from a nuclear war between large superpowers, Robock said temperatures would dip below freezing in the summertime and stay there for years, causing starvation as agriculture grinds to a halt around the world.The wildfire smoke cloud contained 0.3 million U.S. tons of soot, while a nuclear war between the United States and Russia could generate 150 million tons, Robock said.It was the consensus on nuclear winter between both Soviet and American scientists that encouraged the de-escalation of the nuclear arms race in the second half of the 20th century, he said.Robock said he hopes the modeling of the climatic consequences of nuclear war will help convince countries to sign the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.There are currently 24 signatories to the treaty, which was adopted by the UN in July 2017 and is meant to be a legally binding mechanism to prohibit nuclear weapons and work towards their elimination worldwide.Fifty countries must sign on to the treaty before it can come into force.To date, neither Canada nor any of the nine countries known to be in possession of nuclear weapons have signed the treaty.Brenna Owen, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Should Terrell Owens Be In The Hall of Fame

Embed Code FiveThirtyEight More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Here’s a list of all the records that were set or tied in Super Bowl LI.The Washington Post’s Neil Greenberg picks eight numbers that highlight why this year’s Super Bowl was so shocking.Despite all the memes, Nate Silver notes that Super Bowl LI wasn’t really like the election.Across the NFL, players reacted to Terrell Owens’s Hall of Fame snub.SB Nation’s Harry Lyles Jr. argues that it’s ridiculous that Terrell Owens isn’t in the Hall of Fame.Significant Digit: 26.1, the player efficiency rating of Elena Delle Donne last season. Last week, Delle Donne was traded from the Chicago Sky to the Washington Mystics. Delle Donne said she would be willing to sit out the 2017 season if Chicago did not trade her. Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. On this week’s show (Feb. 7, 2017), we do a super-sized segment breaking down the record-smashing Super Bowl LI. The New England Patriots clipped the Atlanta Falcons’ wings in a 34-28 come-from-behind victory featuring the first overtime in Super Bowl history. Next, in his second year of eligibility, Terrell Owens did not make the Hall of Fame — does his #FlawedProcess claim have merit? We investigate. Plus, a significant digit on the WNBA’s Elena Delle Donne.Links to what we discussed: read more

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World Book Fair to focus on childrens literature

first_imgThe nine-day fair organised by the National Book Trust in association with the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) is particularly themed ‘Kathasagara: Celebrating Children’s Literature’ this year. Approximately 25 countries are participating this year with Poland being the guest country. A contingent of  around 25 people including authors, illustrators and publishers are participating from Poland in the fair.Speaking on the occasion, the President said, ‘We must be uncompromising in rejecting intolerance, prejudice and hatred. Book fairs such as NDWBF should remind us that our history and traditions have always celebrated the ‘argumentative’ Indian and not the ‘intolerant’ Indian. Multiple views, thoughts and philosophies have competed with each other peacefully for centuries in our country and freedom of speech is one of the most important fundamental rights guaranteed by our Constitution.’ Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Congratulating the organizers for having chosen children’s literature as the theme for this year’s fair, Mukherjee said that no human society can develop in all dimensions if it does not produce meaningful literature. He appealed to parents and teachers to inculcate in children the habit of reading. He said implanting the habit of reading in children will ensure that it becomes a skill that stands them in good stead throughout their lives.Commenting on the fair the director of the Polish institute, Anna Tryc-Bromley said ‘We see this Fair not only as a feast of literature but also as a historic opportunity for Polish and Indian publishing industry to meet.’last_img read more

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Bandh day 2 Attempts fail to hamper normal life services

first_imgKolkata: The second day of the bandh called by the opposition trade unions had no impact across the state including Kolkata. In several areas, the bandh supporters resorted to hooliganism to obstruct vehicular movement.In Rajabazar, the bandh supporters attacked a pool car carrying school children. One child was injured by the stone pelters supporting the bandh. Transport service remained normal and more government buses were pressed into service. Also Read – 3 injured, flight, train services hit as rains lash BengalThe State government offices, educational institutions and even private companies recorded normal attendance. The IT sector and Port activities were normal and so was the attendance at tea gardens. Attendance at Nabanna, new Secretariat buildings and other state offices at different parts of the city and the state recorded above 95 percent of attendance. On Wednesday morning, the bandh supporters again tried to put up a blockade by organising a rally at Jadavpur led by CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedPolice immediately intervened and dispersed the mob. Several CPI(M) leaders and cadres have been arrested including Chakraborty. In Rajabazar, the SFI workers and leaders resorted to hooliganism to make the bandh a success. They even attacked a pool car carrying several nursery students to school. It is alleged that the bandh supporters pelted stones at the pool car. As a result, the windshield and other glass windows broke. One child got injured and was immediately rushed to Calcutta Medical College Hospital where the doctors treated him. Later, police arrested the SFI leaders. Train service was partially affected in the Sealdah and Howrah section. Howrah Division was made obstruction free by 8:10 am and Sealdah Division was made the same by 12:30 pm. On Wednesday morning, the bandh supporters allegedly placed bombs on the railway track near Habra railway station. Due to this train services got disrupted in the Bongaon section for almost three hours. In the Ranaghat section, the bandh supporters put up a blockade at Ranaghat and Simurali station. Banana leaves were thrown on the overhead electric wires. In the Sealdah South section, train services got disrupted at Lakshmikantapur and Namkhana. In Basuldanga, the bandh supporters placed concrete slabs on the railway tracks and put up a blockade. Later, Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel dispersed the mob and normal train movement commenced after almost an hour. Over 10,000 police personnel were deployed in the city along with an additional force of 5,000 to prevent any untoward incident. Kolkata Police arrested 99 persons in connection with attempts of enforcing the bandh on Wednesday. In the Hills, the bandh failed to make an impact. Shops, offices, business establishments and educational institutes remained open. There was normal traffic on the road. Tea gardens in the Hills also remained open.last_img read more

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