Usually, the Iditarod dogsled race in Alaska is a snow-packed spectacle. This year, not so much. Check out more pics of the doggies and bare ground dilemma, here.
In order to be a champion musher, you need dogs, sleds, a sense of athletic adventure and — oh, yeah — snow. Getting three out of four might work in baseball or basketball, but it just doesn’t count when it comes to the Iditarod , the 975-mile race that traditionally tests human and animal against Alaska’s elements.
Meteorologists are blaming an especially warm January, the third-warmest in the 96 years of records. The warmth melted snow, and not even the cold temperatures of February were able to make things right, leaving patches a dirty brown, rather than white, wonderland. The warm-to-cold cycle also created nasty ice and debris problems.
Here's a list of the mentions of climate change in the 2014 Quadrennial U.S. Dept of Defense Review ›
The Dept of Defense releases this report every four years as a way of articulating its strategic direction.
On March 7, 2014, Secretary of State John Kerry issued instructions to all diplomats around the world on combating climate change. He stressed that success in this effort will require active leadership and participation from everyone in the State Department and at posts around the world.
Personal Message From Secretary Kerry:
The environment has been one of the central causes of my life. I was just 26 when I participated in the very first Earth Day at home in Massachusetts. It was an eye-opening immersion into the power of grassroots action to force an issue onto the national radar screen and demand change. More than 20 million Americans—fully one-tenth of our country’s population at the time — came together to express a wake-up call. And they didn’t stop there. They elected a Congress that passed the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act and the first wave of legislation that set us on a path to change the face of the planet we share with the rest of humanity.
We can transform challenges into opportunities. I’ve seen it happen long before I had a vote in the Senate or an office in Foggy Bottom, and it’s what I still believe. But I’m not just waxing nostalgic. Protecting our environment and meeting the challenge of global climate change is a critical mission for me as our country’s top diplomat. It’s also a critical mission for all of you: our brave men and women on the frontlines of direct diplomacy.
Here’s what this guidance means in practice:
I. Lead by example through strong action at home and abroad: Making significant progress in combating climate change through domestic actions within the Department and at the federal, regional, and local level.
II. Conclude a new international climate change agreement: Working through the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to negotiate a new, ambitious international climate agreement applicable to all countries by 2015 to take effect in 2020.
III. Implement the Global Climate Change Initiative: Undertaking a pragmatic, whole-of-government approach to speed the transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient future, including (1) promoting clean energy solutions; (2) slowing, halting, and reversing emissions from land use; and (3) helping the most vulnerable countries strengthen climate resilience.
IV. Enhance multilateral engagement: Helping lead efforts including the Major Economies Forum, Clean Energy Ministerial, Montreal Protocol, and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants.
V. Expand bilateral engagement: Engaging more than 50 partner countries on clean energy, sustainable landscapes, and adaptation, including the largest greenhouse gas emitters in the developing world.
VI. Mobilize financial resources: Working to mobilize and leverage billions of dollars of funding to transform our energy economies and promote sustainable land use, as well as working to limit public incentives for high-carbon energy production and fossil fuels.
VII. Integrate climate change with other priorities: Better integrating climate solutions into cross-cutting challenges, including women’s empowerment, urbanization, conflict and national security, and our own management and operations.- See more at: State.gov
How our brains fool us on climate, creationism, and the vaccine-autism link.
Consider a person who has heard about a scientific discovery that deeply challenges her belief in divine creation—a new hominid, say, that confirms our evolutionary origins. What happens next, explains political scientist Charles Taber of Stony Brook University, is a subconscious negative response to the new information—and that response, in turn, guides the type of memories and associations formed in the conscious mind. “They retrieve thoughts that are consistent with their previous beliefs,” says Taber, “and that will lead them to build an argument and challenge what they’re hearing.”
In other words, when we think we’re reasoning, we may instead be rationalizing. Or to use an analogy offered by University of Virginia psychologist Jonathan Haidt: We may think we’re being scientists, but we’re actually being lawyers (PDF). Our “reasoning” is a means to a predetermined end—winning our “case”—and is shot through with biases. They include “confirmation bias,” in which we give greater heed to evidence and arguments that bolster our beliefs, and “disconfirmation bias,” in which we expend disproportionate energy trying to debunk or refute views and arguments that we find uncongenial.That’s a lot of jargon, but we all understand these mechanisms when it comes to interpersonal relationships. If I don’t want to believe that my spouse is being unfaithful, or that my child is a bully, I can go to great lengths to explain away behavior that seems obvious to everybody else—everybody who isn’t too emotionally invested to accept it, anyway.
TL;DNR, but looks interesting.
Say it ain’t true!!
5) The tag limit
This Tumblr rule is hard and fast: Only the first five tags in a post are searchable. That means that only the first five tags will show up for a user who’s trying to browse or track tags on Tumblr. If you want people outside your dash to see your post about figure skating during the Olympics, you need to make sure that “figure skating” is one of the firstfive tags you use in your post.
This also means that if you want to be able to find your own post later by searching your tags, only the first five tags you use will be searchable. Try it yourself and see!
Maybe one day soon Tumblr will list the “first five tags only” rule, but for now, we’re stuck with it. Learn to navigate it—or else be constantly confused about why your favorite posts aren’t showing up under tag searches.
Also, you can post by email! Gahhhhhh!
If current trends in global warming continue unmitigated, some of the world’s most well-known and historically significant cultural landmarks could be destroyed by rising global sea levels.
A new study examining the long-term effects of sea-level rise on the 720 spots around the world that have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites found that roughly 20 percent of them could be ruined if temperatures rise 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius) above pre-industrial levels over the next two millennia, said study lead author Ben Marzeion, an assistant professor at the Institute of Meteorology and Geophysics at the University of Innsbruck in Austria.“I didn’t expect that so many of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites would be affected,” Marzeion told Live Science. “I knew that many of the sites are close to the sea, but I didn’t expect to have such high numbers. If you asked me when I started doing this, I would have said maybe 2 or 5 percent.”The findings are also worrisome because the scenario imagined in the study - that is, a temperature increase of 5.4 degrees F (3 degrees C) above pre-industrial levels - is not much more extreme than current climate change projections, the researchers said.
Back at UMass-Amherst, my advisers asked me to create a sea-level rise vulnerability assessment of lighthouses along the coasts of Maine and Massachusetts. The idea was to create a method to integrate adaptation techniques into cultural heritage protection policies in New England. Pretty interesting concept. Especially since so much history and so many landmarks are located along coastlines. Instead, I did a study of the first tax-payer funded adaptation plan in the world in a tiny city in Denmark.
“A lot of the time climate change doesn’t really seem tangible,” said lead author Scott Taylor, a postdoctoral researcher at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. “But here are these common little backyard birds we all grew up with, and we’re seeing them moving northward on relatively short time scales.”
The birds moved so fast the scientists had to add an extra study site partway through their project in order to keep up.
In Pennsylvania, where the study was conducted, the hybrid zone is just 21 miles across on average. Hybrid chickadees have lower breeding success and survival than either of the pure species. This keeps the contact zone small and well defined, making it a convenient reference point for scientists aiming to track environmental changes.
“Hybridization is kind of a brick wall between these two species,” said Robert Curry, a professor of biology at Villanova University, who led the field component of the study. “Carolina Chickadees can’t blithely disperse north without running into black-caps and creating hybrids. That makes it possible to keep an eye on the hybrid zone and see exactly how the ranges are shifting.”
The researchers drew on field studies, genetic analyses, and crowdsourced bird sightings. The data was matched with winter temperatures observations, and the scientists also closely studied the birds’ DNA to pinpoint the distribution of the two species.
I like the idea that climate change will create new species through hybrids.
Just back from Kazakhstan. It was a very dangerous -30c (-22f below zero). We (USAID) and the UNDP run a Climate Resilient Wheat program(PDF) for the KZ government. Here are some non-work pics…:)
This is what Okinawa woke up to on Monday morning, around 5:30am. For once I am actually glad I couldn’t get my early morning run in!
Interesting disaster notification app. Any followers know about this app? Where could I find more information?
"Officials canceled two Olympic test events last February in Sochi after several days of temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit and a lack of snowfall had left ski trails bare and brown in spots. That situation led the climatologist Daniel Scott, a professor of global change and tourism at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, to analyze potential venues for future Winter Games. His thought was that with a rise in the average global temperature of more than 7 degrees Fahrenheit possible by 2100, there might not be that many snowy regions left in which to hold the Games. He concluded that of the 19 cities that have hosted the Winter Olympics, as few as 10 might be cold enough by midcentury to host them again. By 2100, that number shrinks to 6.
The planet has warmed 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since the 1800s, and as a result, snow is melting. In the last 47 years, a million square miles of spring snow cover has disappeared from the Northern Hemisphere. Europe has lost half of its Alpine glacial ice since the 1850s, and if climate change is not reined in, two-thirds of European ski resorts will be likely to close by 2100.
The same could happen in the United States, where in the Northeast, more than half of the 103 ski resorts may no longer be viable in 30 years because of warmer winters. As far for the Western part of the country, it will lose an estimated 25 to 100 percent of its snowpack by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions are not curtailed — reducing the snowpack in Park City, Utah, to zero and relegating skiing to the top quarter of Ajax Mountain in Aspen.” NYTimes
Contact me directly if you intend to apply. 3-5 years expeience required. Supports USAID. Excellent opportunity.
Associate Communications Specialist
RESPONSIBILITIES AND DUTIES:
Engility Corporation, building on IRG’s legacy in international development, seeks an Associate, Communications Specialist. The full-time Communications Associate will help expand the company’s corporate and project-based communications for its International Development Business and work with USAID. This individual will support the business group’s need for online presence across multiple digital media platforms. This includes regular communications support for Engility and the organization at-large, and those that support specific programs, strategic partnerships, thought leadership initiatives, technical tool development and enhancement, and the development of high-profile, digital marketing materials.
Oversee Engility International Development’s online presence, including public websites and digital communications efforts such as social media initiatives
Provide digital media support for high level public events with USAID and other organizations
Collaborate to develop and execute integrated media plans across platforms for key issue areas
Execute online communications strategies to raise visibility by increasing web traffic, growing online communities, and other digital media outreach
Work as part of a team to develop new web content, email newsletters, and social media and ensure quality in text, graphics, and other online content through content management system
Provide input to the Communications team for the development and implementation of the communications strategy
Help ensure that internal staff are aware of communications policies and procedures, support staff through the tools needed to enact these procedures, and improve and adapt these procedures as necessary
Help ensure that internal staff are aware of the company’s practices (messaging, logo use, language style, design style, branding, etc.) and assist them in complying with these standards
Probable overseas field travel to projects, client mission offices and conferences
MINIMUM TANGIBLE QUALIFICATIONS:
Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field
Must have 3-5 years of directly relevant experience, including developing and executing integrated strategic media plans across platforms
At least two years of website management experience; expert with social media tools and new media technology.
Strong social media engagement skills
Experience managing organizational social media feeds (e.g., Twitter and Facebook)
Knowledge of some or all of the following: how to manage PDFs, edit photos, create graphics, and edit web pages using Adobe Creative Suite Web Premium including Acrobat Pro, Photoshop, Fireworks and/or Dreamweaver, Adobe Connect, and/or similar applications
Experience working within the communications culture of international development and staff in the public sector
Excellent writing skills and experience in editing
Attention to detail, strong organizational skills, adaptability, and flexibility
Ability to manage multiple projects effectively in a fast-paced environment and consistently meet deadlines.
Ability to work both independently and highly collaboratively, with appropriate levels of initiative and creativity
High degree of integrity, professionalism and maturity, and the ability to handle confidential matters
Experience managing a content management system using Drupal or similar platform
Ability to measure web trends using available tools
Experience working with quantitative data
Diplomatic manner and disposition in interacting with management, colleagues at all levels, regional contacts, and the general public
Judge called the Govenor’s actions to change the law illegal. Excellent coverage by the AP.