Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Polar sea ice trends continue in different directions and other news and views for Tuesday 23 September

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  • Scientists debate polar sea-ice opposites – “Arctic sea ice has passed its minimum summer extent, say polar experts meeting in London. The cover on 17 September dipped to 5.01 million sq km, and has risen slightly since then, suggesting the autumn re-freeze has now taken hold. This year’s minimum is fractionally smaller than last year (5.10 million sq km), making summer 2014 the sixth lowest in the modern satellite record. The Antarctic, in contrast, continues its winter growth. It is still a few weeks away from reaching its maximum, which will continue the record-setting trend of recent years. Ice extent surrounding the White Continent has just topped 20 million sq km. The marine cover at both poles is the subject of discussion at a major UK Royal Society conference taking place this week.
  • The fight of their lives – The White House wants the Kurds to help save Iraq from ISIS. The Kurds may be more interested in breaking away.
  • The Limits to Fighting the Islamic State – Gareth Evans writes – “… as the US-led mission is currently conceived and described, it is not clear whether its objectives are achievable at acceptable costs in terms of time, money, and lives.”
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  • The drinking habits of AFL supporters – “Considering that 14 of the 18 AFL teams are sponsored by an alcohol brand or retailer, it seems an apt time to take a look at the booze preferences of AFL fans. In the year to June 2014, supporters of most AFL teams (with the exception of Greater Western Sydney, Western Bulldogs and Port Adelaide) were more likely than the average Australian adult to have drunk alcohol in an average four weeks.
  • Who’s made Australia’s most sexist comments? Check out the shortlist – “Tonight, more than 350 women will come together to judge the 22nd annual ‘Ernie Awards for Sexist Remarks. Through a technical voting system of ‘booing’ while the short-listed offenders are read out during the gala dinner, the honourable award winners will be determined.”
  • Giving Chickens Bacteria … To Keep Them Antibiotic-Free
  • Short-Term Benefits of Climate Change Policy – “If the case for reducing the use of carbon-based energy can be made right now, in terms of immediate health benefits, then that seems a useful starting point for discussion. “
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