Climate Web site

first_imgBy Sharon OmahenUniversity of GeorgiaMother Nature appears to be cutting Georgia farmers some slack sofar this year. And a new, three-state Web site can help themprepare for whatever the weather offers.”Now’s the time to prepare for rough weather,” said Joel Paz, anExtension agrometeorologist with the University of GeorgiaCollege of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “We’re havinga normal-weather year this year. When you’re experiencing an ElNiño, you have to have your contingency plans ready.”Paz is on a multi-university team of researchers who havedeveloped the Web resource to help farmers stay ahead of theweather. The site can help them prepare for many weatherconditions driven by the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)phenomenon.ForecastsThe Southeast Climate Consortium issues quarterly forecasts tohelp farmers in Alabama, Florida and Georgia manage their crops.The forecasts are on-line at www.agclimate.org.The SECC Web site uses data collected from university resourcesand the National Climate Data Center. It’s based on more than 50years of weather data. And it provides monthly rainfall andtemperature forecasts for Alabama, Florida and Georgia counties.It offers advice, too, for neutral, El Niño and La Niña ENSOphases. Florida State University’s Center for Ocean-AtmosphericPrediction Studies produces the SECC climate forecasts.At the Tallahassee center, researchers monitor surfacetemperatures in the Pacific Ocean near the equator to predictpotential weather effects in the southeastern United States.Periodic warming or cooling of those ocean surfaces, known as ElNiño or La Niña, can affect U.S. weather patterns. El Niños bringincreased winter rainfall. La Niñas have the opposite effect.Neutral phasePacific Ocean surface temperatures are near normal now, or in aneutral phase.Farmers make many business decisions based on unknown weatherconditions, Paz said. They decide whether to buy crop insuranceor grow a particular crop.The AgClimate Web site allows them to select their county, soiltype, irrigation method and past yields. The site creates apersonalized prediction of the farmer’s yields based on hisfields, the climate forecast and planting dates.The site has data for peanuts, potatoes and tomatoes. The teamplans to add cotton and other Southeastern vegetable crops soon.The site covers cold weather factors, too. Farmers who growpeaches, blueberries, strawberries and other fruits will benefitfrom the chilling-hours data.”There’s a big difference between climate data and weather data,”Paz said. “Weather information is used day-to-day. Climateinformation affects farmers’ future decisions, including varietyselection and management regimens.”More than farmersThe Web site was designed for farmers. But Paz says many othergroups will find the climate information useful.”We’re starting to target the information to government agencieslike the emergency management agencies,” he said. “And we’vefound that water-resource managers also find the data quiteuseful.”The Web site data predicts the likelihood of wildfires, too. Itforecasts little chance of wildfires this summer, due to recentheavy rains, the likelihood of a wet summer and the end of theSoutheast’s traditional wildfire season, which runs from Januarythrough early June.The SECC’s fall outlook, due in early September, will indicatewhether the neutral phase is continuing, Paz said.As with most weather and climate projects, there’s always amargin of error.”We look at probabilities based on history,” he said. “Our Website is accurate. But you’ve always got to give yourself somewiggle room.”SECC member universities, besides UGA, are Auburn,Alabama-Huntsville, Florida, Florida State and Miami.The SECC is funded by the National Oceanic and AtmosphericAdministration’s Office of Global Programs, the U.S. Departmentof Agriculture’s Cooperative State Research, Education andExtension Service and the USDA’s Risk Management Agency.(Sharon Omahen is a news editor with the University of GeorgiaCollege of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

S&P Exec: Global Shift to Renewables Will Persist, All Politics Aside

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Sydney Morning Herald:The global shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy will continue regardless of political action such as President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Paris climate agreement or outbursts from ex-Australian prime ministers, a senior ratings analyst says.“The tide has turned,” said Michael Wilkins, the head of climate and environmental risks at Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings, adding the transition meant the economic viability of assets such as coal mines and coal-fired power stations would be “vastly impaired”.Mr Wilkins’ comments come as new S&P research points to deep falls in the costs of renewable energy as other groups report important shifts by corporations at home and abroad on climate risks.Mr Wilkins said investors, including in Australia, were increasingly demanding to know how companies were monitoring financial exposure to climate change – and what they were doing about the threats.The risks include challenges their businesses will face in a carbon-constrained world but also the physical damage posed by more extreme weather events as the planet heats up.Pressure for disclosure is only likely to increase as groups, such as the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure, win the backing of the central banks of G20 nations. Mr Wilkins said it was understandable if commodity-based economies such as Australia moved slower than other nations but even here investors were starting to act. “Despite various U-turns in Australia politics on climate change topics, there is still a very progressive trend in Australia for sustainable finance and renewable energy,” Mr Wilkins told Fairfax Media during a visit to Sydney.Research out this month by S&P found the cost of new offshore wind farms had plunged 50 per cent since 2015 in the UK as developers rapidly learn how to overcome the challenges of the emerging sector.New wind farms were being developed at about £55 ($93) per megawatt-hour, far below the £92 /MW-hour locked in for 35 years for the UK’s controversial Hinkley Point nuclear power plant, he said.Solar photovoltaic costs, which have halved in the last few years, will fall another 35 per cent by 2020, Mr Wilkins predicted.“You could argue we’ve reached a tipping point,” he said, adding that with falling storage prices, intermittent energy sources could soon compete with traditional fossil-fuels on dispatchability grounds alone even without including their environmental advantages.More: ‘Tide has turned’: Global rating agency says climate economics trump politics S&P Exec: Global Shift to Renewables Will Persist, All Politics Asidelast_img read more

Eight charged in Sweden over Caribbean drug bust

first_imgBy Dialogo March 27, 2012 STOCKHOLM, Sweden – Swedish prosecutors charged eight people on March 26 suspected of belonging to a drug ring linked to a massive Caribbean cocaine bust in 2010, following a lengthy probe in several European countries. The eight suspects, whose names were not released, were charged with aggravated narcotics crime, narcotics smuggling and money laundering for crimes committed between 2006 and 2010, Sweden’s international prosecution authority said March 26. The charges were linked to a record drug bust in June 2010 on a sailboat off the Caribbean island of Martinique, where police seized some 1.4 tons of Colombian cocaine, worth around 4 billion kronor (€505 million, US$675 million), according to the Swiss authorities. The seized cocaine corresponds to 5.6 million doses, prosecutors said. [AFP, 26/03/2012; Thelocal.se (Sweden), 26/03/2012]last_img read more

Football News Don’t know the reasons why India is doing badly, says Alessandro Del Piero

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Football News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. highlights New Delhi: Former Italy and Juventus great Alessandro Del Piero has ruled out a coaching role in the foreseeable future, including a stint in the Indian Super League, where he played last as a professional. The 44-year-old, who played for Delhi Dynamos in the inaugural 2014 ISL, is happy being a television pundit. The former World Cup-winning Italy forward had announced his retirement on October 15. He greeted a select Indian media group with a namaste on the sidelines of the Laureus World Sports Awards held here earlier this week.”I have been to India a couple of times for different reasons after my ISL stint. I am following what is happening in the league.  I had a great time there, a short time, just three months but happy that the league has grown, it is six months now. I quite like how things are moving,” he said.When asked why the Indian national team is not improving despite ISL being five seasons old, Del Piero said: “I  know what is going on with your national team but don’t know the reason why they are doing badly. It is not easy. One thing is how you grow the league and another is how the national team grows. It is not easy to balance.”Whether he would like to come back to India in a coaching job, he said: “Not at the moment. I see the game in a different way now, working with the tv. Thanks to my experiences in India and Australia my knowledge is growing.” Juventus great Alessandro Del Piero has ruled out a coaching role in the foreseeable future.He believes that India Football team is doing badly. He has also been a part of World-cup winning squad.  Talking about the ‘Ronaldo’ effect at Juventus this season, Del Piero is not surprised by the success of the star striker.”I am not surprised how good he is doing. Cristiano has the same mentality of Juventus. They want to win every game, ever friendly game, every training game. The result is there to see.”Now, they are in the toughest phase of the season. Juventus needs the best Ronaldo and Ronaldo needs the best Juventus. The team is really high level but the other teams are not. So they need more competition,” he added.last_img read more

On the Beat: Previewing Syracuse vs. Connecticut

first_img Related Stories Security breach: Syracuse focuses on protecting football as turnovers continue to plague team Syracuse football beat writers Chris Iseman and Ryne Gery preview Syracuse’s matchup with Connecticut. Comments Published on October 19, 2012 at 1:00 amcenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img