The New York Times: Climate researchers at Purdue University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology separately reported new evidence yesterday supporting the idea that global warming is causing stronger hurricanes.
The Christian Science Monitor: More than a dozen efficiency efforts are set for trims or elimination as the administration pushes long-term projects.
The Boston Globe: Teenage career preferences are a more reliable indicator than mathematical aptitude for predicting which students become scientists, suggesting a flaw in federal education strategies, a University of Virginia study found.
ScienceNow: Britain’s largest university union opted to go out with a bang yesterday when it urged its 67,000 members to consider boycotting individuals and institutions “that do not publicly dissociate themselves” from Israel’s policies toward Palestinians. Scientific leaders around the world strongly condemned the union’s action, which the union’s own executive officer had advised against.
The Guardian: Humanity has reached a “defining moment” in our dominion over the planet and our ability to destroy it, says Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society, who gave the Joseph Rotblat lecture at the Hay Book Festival in the UK two days ago. Rees said in his lecture, “Twenty-first century science: hopes fears and ethical challenges,” that scientific advances had made it much easier for individuals to commit devastating acts of terror on a much greater scale than 9/11. “In a global village there will be global village idiots. And with this power, just one could be too many,” he said. These might not be fundamentalists, but those with the mentality of a computer virus designer or arsonist, he added. “Even a single person will have the capacity to cause massive disruption through error or through terror. We are kidding ourselves if we think that technical education leads to balanced rationality.”
The New York Times: Computer models of storms that helped design the levee system in New Orleans were flawed from the start because the models were too simplistic says a report issued last week. The Army Corp of Engineers designed their hurriance model in 1969, and never saw the need to go back and reanalyze “the true risks of catastrophic flooding” in New Orleans. Even when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the successor agency to the Weather Bureau, recommended increasing the strength of the model, the corps did not change its construction plans. When hurriance Katrina hit the coast last year, Katrina acted more like four storms rather than one single storm, something that the corp’s simulations could not model. New levees and repairs to the old levees, will be based more on probability statistical research that can incoporate the latest research findings says Daniel Hitchings, director of the corps task force in charge of overall hurricane recovery for the Gulf Coast.
MSNBC: Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman/Boeing keep cards close to vest
The Christian Science Monitor: Their widening – by an average 140 miles – could shift storm tracks, dry out southern Europe, and grow some deserts.
The New York Times: Paul Krugman writes that scientists and anyone considering of running for office on a platform of dealing with climate change, need to be more pro-active in dealing with the manipulation of data by opponens of global warming. If their opponents misrepresent their data, they should call it scientific fraud “pure and simple” says Krugman.
Spaceflight Now: A Russian submarine has launched Complex Orbital Magneto-Plasma Autonomous Small Satellite 2 (COMPASS 2). The 180-pound microsatellite, managed by the Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism, Ionosphere, and Radio Waves Propagation (IZMIRAN), will study earthquakes and other natural disasters.