Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The Guardian: "Planet likely to warm by 4C by 2100, scientists warn"

Link to web site

"Temperature rises resulting from unchecked climate change will be at the severe end of those projected, according to a new scientific study.

"The scientist leading the research said that unless emissions of greenhouse gases were cut, the planet would heat up by a minimum of 4C by 2100, twice the level the world's governments deem dangerous.

"The research indicates that fewer clouds form as the planet warms, meaning less sunlight is reflected back into space, driving temperatures up further still. The way clouds affect global warming has been the biggest mystery surrounding future climate change."

Sunday, 22 December 2013

The Independent: "The gathering storm: A look back on middle-class Europe's last carefree Christmas before the onset of World War One "

Link to web site

"The Liberal Chancellor of the Exchequer, David Lloyd George, said just after Christmas 1913:
"Our relations with Germany are infinitely more friendly now than they have been for years. Sanity has now been more or less restored on both sides of the North Sea."
The Economist, self-assured then as now, told its readers to go home and party:
"There is no reason why the inhabitants of this prosperous little kingdom should not enjoy a merry Christmas."
The Daily Graphic, ancestor of the Daily Mirror, was more prescient.:
"Wherever we look we see the grim apparatus of war … clogging the wheels of industry and squandering the fruits of peace."
This was a lone voice. Some feared a European war. Few imagined that 'progress' – not just modern weapons but railways, aeroplanes, canned food, industrial production, powerful economies – were about to mutate into the cancer of the most destructive war the world had ever known."

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

"The US and China must show leadership on climate change"

"As the European Union dithers, the world's two biggest carbon emitters must work together to help countries reach a climate deal"

Link to The Guardian

"The world is approaching a watershed moment in its battle to limit the risks posed by global climate change, and international leadership from the United States is needed now more than ever before.

"A report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in September warned that emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are already raising temperatures, melting glaciers and the polar ice caps, elevating sea levels and changing the strength and frequency of many extreme weather events.

"Without sharp reductions in emissions, global average temperature could be much more than 2C degrees above its pre-industrial level by the end of the century, beyond anything the Earth has seen for millions of years, and way outside the experience of modern Homo sapiens."

Monday, 2 December 2013

"Welcome, lookers-in everywhere! This will eventually be BBC1"

Link to web site and iPlayer

"Sixty years ago today the BBC unveiled its first 'television symbol' - a moving logo to identify a TV channel - nowadays known as an 'ident'.

The new medium of television, the BBC decided, needed a new way to identify itself to viewers.

As television grew more polished, it needed something more exciting than a random selection of testcards in between the programmes.

The device known popularly as 'the bat's wings' (or, in some hostile newspapers, simply as 'the thing') was the solution it came up with.