This year we are poised to set the global temperature record in an ENSO-neutral year. And while eastern tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures have been warmer than normal in recent months, those temperatures were colder than normal in the beginning months of the year, so the net effect of ENSO on 2014 global temperatures has been minimal.
2014 Headed Toward Hottest Year On Record — Here’s Why That’s Remarkable – 2014 is currently on track to be hottest year on record, according to new reports from both the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the U.K.’s Met Office Wednesday. Similarly, NOAA reported two weeks ago that 2014 is all but certain to be the hottest year on record. … It’s usually the combination of the long-term manmade warming trend and the regional El Niño warming pattern that leads to new global temperature records. But not this year.”
Better Off With Bibi? - “Despite all the petty politics and infighting, there are still reasons we shouldn’t be so quick to assume that elections — and (possibly) a new prime minister — will solve Israel’s problems.”
How Monsanto’s Big Data Push Hurts Small Farms – “Genetically modified seed/pesticide giant Monsanto envisions itself transforming into an information-technology company within a decade, as a company honcho recently told my colleague Tim McDonnell. A year ago, Monsanto dropped nearly $1 billion on Climate Corp., which ‘turns a wide range of information into valuable insights and recommendations for farmers,’ as Monsanto put it at the time. … Big Data may help monocrop farmers use less fertilizer and pesticides per acre harvested than they had been before, but if they drive out more diversified and less chemical-intensive operations, the result might not be as clear-cut as the agribusiness companies suggest.”
Profiling the Islamic state – n a new Brookings Doha Center Analysis Paper, Charles Lister traces IS’s roots from Jordan to Afghanistan, and finally to Iraq and Syria. He describes its evolution from a small terrorist group into a bureaucratic organization that currently controls thousands of square miles and is attempting to govern millions of people. Lister assesses the group’s capabilities, explains its various tactics, and identifies its likely trajectory.
“Strangerland” (Australia, Ireland) Director: Kim Farrant Cast: Nicole Kidman, Joseph Fiennes, Hugo Weaving, Lisa Flanagan, Meyne Wyatt, Maddison Brown
Sundance Film Festival Unveils 2015 Competition, Next Lineups – World Cinema Dramatic Competition – “In the World Cinema dramatic competition, [director of programming Trevor] Groth noted a number of titles pairing emerging filmmakers with established-name actors, including Australian director Kim Farrant’s “Strangerland,” a marital drama starring Nicole Kidman, Joseph Fiennes and Hugo Weaving”
“Partisan” (Australia) Director: Ariel Kleiman Cast: Vincent Cassel, Jeremy Chabriel, Florence Mezzara