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ChannelYahoo News - Latest News & Headlines    
RSS File: http://news.yahoo.com/rss/science
Description: The latest news and headlines from Yahoo! News. Get breaking news stories and in-depth coverage with videos and photos.
  • In toothy prequel, piranha-like fish menaced Jurassic seas      Thu, 18 Oct 2018 15:07:39 -0400

    In toothy prequel, piranha-like fish menaced Jurassic seasScientists said on Thursday they have unearthed in southern Germany the fossil of a fish that, with its mouth full of razor-sharp teeth, strongly resembled today's piranhas, the stars of more than their fair share of Hollywood horror films. Named Piranhamesodon pinnatomus, it is the earliest known example of a bony fish - as opposed to cartilaginous fish like sharks - able to slice flesh rather than simply swallowing prey, enabling it to attack victims larger than itself as piranhas can. Piranhas are freshwater fish that inhabit rivers and lakes in South America.


    In toothy prequel, piranha-like fish menaced Jurassic seasScientists said on Thursday they have unearthed in southern Germany the fossil of a fish that, with its mouth full of razor-sharp teeth, strongly resembled today's piranhas, the stars of more than their fair share of Hollywood horror films. Named Piranhamesodon pinnatomus, it is the earliest known example of a bony fish - as opposed to cartilaginous fish like sharks - able to slice flesh rather than simply swallowing prey, enabling it to attack victims larger than itself as piranhas can. Piranhas are freshwater fish that inhabit rivers and lakes in South America.


     

  • South Africans Rally for Rape Accuser After She Endured a Grueling Cross-Examination During Televised Trial      Thu, 18 Oct 2018 08:57:34 -0400

    South Africans Rally for Rape Accuser After She Endured a Grueling Cross-Examination During Televised TrialCheryl Zondi has accused pastor Timothy Omotoso of rape


    South Africans Rally for Rape Accuser After She Endured a Grueling Cross-Examination During Televised TrialCheryl Zondi has accused pastor Timothy Omotoso of rape


     

  • The T Rex’s tiny baby arms might have been way more useful than they seem      Thu, 18 Oct 2018 17:34:29 -0400

    The T Rex’s tiny baby arms might have been way more useful than they seem

    Running into a Tyrannosaurus rex in the wild would have been a truly frightening thing for just about any animal that roamed the earth between 65 million and 80 million years ago, and for an obvious reason. The mighty meat-eater was huge in size and had a mouth built to turn bones into powder. If it snagged you with its jaws you were probably going to have a bad time, but nobody was afraid of its puny little arms... or were they?

    As Live Science reports, a new study presented at a recent meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology took a close look at how T. rex's arms would have functioned, and it makes some bold predictions.

    Just how T. rex used its arms and for what purpose has been hotly debated for years and years. Some believe the arms didn't do much of anything, while others have suggested that the tiny limbs flailed wildly with sharp claws that could have seriously injured prey or foes.

    This latest round of research approaches things from a different angle, seeking to determine the range of movement of the arms as a clue to their usefulness. The researchers studied the limbs of two distant modern relatives, the alligator and turkey, for hints. What the team concluded is that the T. rex could likely have turned its hands inward if it wanted to, and it may have used its arms to hold prey in place or pull it closer.

    The idea here is that the T. rex knew its jaws were its most potent weapon and so it used its arms to keep prey at the perfect biting distance. We'll of course never know for sure unless we could somehow watch a T. rex or similar upright carnivore find a meal, but the researchers are confident in what the fossils and modern animals tell them about how the dinosaur could move its limbs.


    The T Rex’s tiny baby arms might have been way more useful than they seem

    Running into a Tyrannosaurus rex in the wild would have been a truly frightening thing for just about any animal that roamed the earth between 65 million and 80 million years ago, and for an obvious reason. The mighty meat-eater was huge in size and had a mouth built to turn bones into powder. If it snagged you with its jaws you were probably going to have a bad time, but nobody was afraid of its puny little arms... or were they?

    As Live Science reports, a new study presented at a recent meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology took a close look at how T. rex's arms would have functioned, and it makes some bold predictions.

    Just how T. rex used its arms and for what purpose has been hotly debated for years and years. Some believe the arms didn't do much of anything, while others have suggested that the tiny limbs flailed wildly with sharp claws that could have seriously injured prey or foes.

    This latest round of research approaches things from a different angle, seeking to determine the range of movement of the arms as a clue to their usefulness. The researchers studied the limbs of two distant modern relatives, the alligator and turkey, for hints. What the team concluded is that the T. rex could likely have turned its hands inward if it wanted to, and it may have used its arms to hold prey in place or pull it closer.

    The idea here is that the T. rex knew its jaws were its most potent weapon and so it used its arms to keep prey at the perfect biting distance. We'll of course never know for sure unless we could somehow watch a T. rex or similar upright carnivore find a meal, but the researchers are confident in what the fossils and modern animals tell them about how the dinosaur could move its limbs.


     

  • 11-year-old arrested for his pregnant soon-to-be stepmother's murder: Part 1      Fri, 19 Oct 2018 19:30:49 -0400

    11-year-old arrested for his pregnant soon-to-be stepmother's murder: Part 1Twenty-six-year-old Kenzie Houk had been shot in the back of the head, and police charged Jordan Brown, the son of Houk's fiancÃ?(c), for her murder.


    11-year-old arrested for his pregnant soon-to-be stepmother's murder: Part 1Twenty-six-year-old Kenzie Houk had been shot in the back of the head, and police charged Jordan Brown, the son of Houk's fiancÃ?(c), for her murder.


     

  • NASA puts out the call for science and technology payloads made for the moon      Thu, 18 Oct 2018 22:22:49 -0400

    NASA puts out the call for science and technology payloads made for the moonNASA is following up on its plan to purchase rides on commercial lunar landers by soliciting ideas for the scientific and technological payloads to put on them. Those payloads could be flying to the moon as early as next year, NASA said today in its announcement of a program known as Lunar Surface Instrument and Technology Payloads. Somewhere between $24 million and $36 million would be available for the first round of payloads, with eight to 12 payloads expected to be selected. “We are looking for ways to not only conduct lunar science but to also use the moon as… Read More


    NASA puts out the call for science and technology payloads made for the moonNASA is following up on its plan to purchase rides on commercial lunar landers by soliciting ideas for the scientific and technological payloads to put on them. Those payloads could be flying to the moon as early as next year, NASA said today in its announcement of a program known as Lunar Surface Instrument and Technology Payloads. Somewhere between $24 million and $36 million would be available for the first round of payloads, with eight to 12 payloads expected to be selected. “We are looking for ways to not only conduct lunar science but to also use the moon as… Read More


     

  • Saudi Lobbying in the U.S. Has Tripled Since Trump Took Office      Thu, 18 Oct 2018 12:44:18 -0400

    Saudi Lobbying in the U.S. Has Tripled Since Trump Took OfficeLobbying from Saudi Arabia has tripled since President Trump took office


    Saudi Lobbying in the U.S. Has Tripled Since Trump Took OfficeLobbying from Saudi Arabia has tripled since President Trump took office


     

  • WHO says Zika risk low in Pacific ahead of Meghan visit      Fri, 19 Oct 2018 03:11:26 -0400

    WHO says Zika risk low in Pacific ahead of Meghan visitAs Prince Harry and his expectant wife Meghan prepare to tour Fiji and Tonga next week, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the risk of contracting Zika virus in the Pacific nations is low. The British royals, currently in Australia, arranged their trip before Meghan's pregnancy was known, sparking fears she and her unborn baby could be vulnerable in the island nations, where Zika is officially listed as a risk.


    WHO says Zika risk low in Pacific ahead of Meghan visitAs Prince Harry and his expectant wife Meghan prepare to tour Fiji and Tonga next week, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the risk of contracting Zika virus in the Pacific nations is low. The British royals, currently in Australia, arranged their trip before Meghan's pregnancy was known, sparking fears she and her unborn baby could be vulnerable in the island nations, where Zika is officially listed as a risk.


     

  • What's next for Paul Allen's big investments? It's not clear      Thu, 18 Oct 2018 21:30:12 -0400

    What's next for Paul Allen's big investments? It's not clearSEATTLE (AP) — Prior to his death on Monday, billionaire Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen invested large sums in technology ventures, research projects and philanthropy, some of it eclectic and highly speculative. What happens to those commitments now?


    What's next for Paul Allen's big investments? It's not clearSEATTLE (AP) — Prior to his death on Monday, billionaire Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen invested large sums in technology ventures, research projects and philanthropy, some of it eclectic and highly speculative. What happens to those commitments now?


     

  • Carrots could be key to making greener buildings, say researchers      Fri, 19 Oct 2018 12:18:27 -0400

    Carrots could be key to making greener buildings, say researchersA group of researchers at Britain's Lancaster University has been using a household food blender to mix particles from the root vegetable with concrete to see if they can produce a stronger and more environmentally sound product.     "We found out you could increase the strength of concrete by 80 percent by using a small amount of this new material," lead researcher Mohamed Saafi told Reuters. It also means less cement is required, therefore lowering the global carbon dioxide (CO2) output. Cement is responsible for seven percent of total global CO2 emissions, according to International Energy Agency estimates.


    Carrots could be key to making greener buildings, say researchersA group of researchers at Britain's Lancaster University has been using a household food blender to mix particles from the root vegetable with concrete to see if they can produce a stronger and more environmentally sound product.     "We found out you could increase the strength of concrete by 80 percent by using a small amount of this new material," lead researcher Mohamed Saafi told Reuters. It also means less cement is required, therefore lowering the global carbon dioxide (CO2) output. Cement is responsible for seven percent of total global CO2 emissions, according to International Energy Agency estimates.


     

  • Barcelona's Sagrada Familia Church Has Been Under Construction for 136 Years. That's a Lot of Unpaid Permit Fees      Thu, 18 Oct 2018 23:50:32 -0400

    Barcelona's Sagrada Familia Church Has Been Under Construction for 136 Years. That's a Lot of Unpaid Permit FeesThe famously unfinished basilica has been under construction without a permit for over a century


    Barcelona's Sagrada Familia Church Has Been Under Construction for 136 Years. That's a Lot of Unpaid Permit FeesThe famously unfinished basilica has been under construction without a permit for over a century


     

  • S.Africa divers risk all to poach marine delicacies for China diners      Thu, 18 Oct 2018 23:40:05 -0400

    S.Africa divers risk all to poach marine delicacies for China dinersInvestigators are looking into allegations by fellow divers and his family that he was murdered, shot by a special task force during an anti-poaching operation in an increasingly violent battle between South African authorities and illegal hunters of abalone shellfish and rock lobster. Abalone is a delicacy prized in Hong Kong, mainland China and elsewhere in east Asia, where dishes featuring the marine molluscs are coveted at wedding banquets and can cost thousands of dollars. Illegal divers also search for rock lobster which is sold on the local market.


    S.Africa divers risk all to poach marine delicacies for China dinersInvestigators are looking into allegations by fellow divers and his family that he was murdered, shot by a special task force during an anti-poaching operation in an increasingly violent battle between South African authorities and illegal hunters of abalone shellfish and rock lobster. Abalone is a delicacy prized in Hong Kong, mainland China and elsewhere in east Asia, where dishes featuring the marine molluscs are coveted at wedding banquets and can cost thousands of dollars. Illegal divers also search for rock lobster which is sold on the local market.


     

  • Skull of ancient human found in burned Brazilian museum      Fri, 19 Oct 2018 16:00:43 -0400

    Skull of ancient human found in burned Brazilian museumThe skull, though damaged, was protected by a cabinet that fell over the glass box it was encased in, the museum's deputy director Cristiana Serejo said. Luzia was the star of a collection of 20 million items in the 200-year-old building that also contained Egyptian artifacts, archeological finds and historical memorabilia. A fire last month destroyed the vast majority of the collection and triggered an outcry about how Brazil's cultural institutions have deteriorated during an era of a weak economy and deep austerity measures.


    Skull of ancient human found in burned Brazilian museumThe skull, though damaged, was protected by a cabinet that fell over the glass box it was encased in, the museum's deputy director Cristiana Serejo said. Luzia was the star of a collection of 20 million items in the 200-year-old building that also contained Egyptian artifacts, archeological finds and historical memorabilia. A fire last month destroyed the vast majority of the collection and triggered an outcry about how Brazil's cultural institutions have deteriorated during an era of a weak economy and deep austerity measures.


     

  • One for the Road. A Man Allegedly Robbed a Subway Before Returning to Grab His Sandwich      Thu, 18 Oct 2018 09:37:56 -0400

    One for the Road. A Man Allegedly Robbed a Subway Before Returning to Grab His SandwichA robber returned to the scene of the crime for one very good reason.


    One for the Road. A Man Allegedly Robbed a Subway Before Returning to Grab His SandwichA robber returned to the scene of the crime for one very good reason.


     

  • Bye-bye, BepiColombo: Rocket’s red glare kicks off a marathon mission to Mercury      Fri, 19 Oct 2018 22:52:14 -0400

    Bye-bye, BepiColombo: Rocket’s red glare kicks off a marathon mission to MercuryA mission to the planet Mercury got off to a flashy start with tonight’s launch of an Ariane 5 heavy-lift rocket, but there’s a long way to go before the double-barreled BepiColombo probe gets to its destination. Liftoff from the European Arianespace launch complex in Kourou, French Guiana, came off flawlessly at 10:45 p.m. (6:45 p.m. ET). The $1.5 billion mission, named after the late Italian astrophysicist Giuseppe “Bepi” Colombo, is a joint project of the European Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA. Over the course of seven years, the spacecraft will trace a complex path… Read More


    Bye-bye, BepiColombo: Rocket’s red glare kicks off a marathon mission to MercuryA mission to the planet Mercury got off to a flashy start with tonight’s launch of an Ariane 5 heavy-lift rocket, but there’s a long way to go before the double-barreled BepiColombo probe gets to its destination. Liftoff from the European Arianespace launch complex in Kourou, French Guiana, came off flawlessly at 10:45 p.m. (6:45 p.m. ET). The $1.5 billion mission, named after the late Italian astrophysicist Giuseppe “Bepi” Colombo, is a joint project of the European Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA. Over the course of seven years, the spacecraft will trace a complex path… Read More


     

  • Donald Trump Didn't Really Win 52% of White Women in 2016      Thu, 18 Oct 2018 10:55:32 -0400

    Donald Trump Didn't Really Win 52% of White Women in 2016The idea that a majority of white women voted for the President has shaped national narratives. The only problem? It's probably wrong.


    Donald Trump Didn't Really Win 52% of White Women in 2016The idea that a majority of white women voted for the President has shaped national narratives. The only problem? It's probably wrong.


     

  • Summer drought may shrink supplies of French spuds      Thu, 18 Oct 2018 11:56:00 -0400

    Summer drought may shrink supplies of French spudsIt's harvest time and the chips are down for potato producers in northern France where a long summer drought could see French spuds shrink in size and volume. The potatoes "first lacked water and then when rain fell in July started growing anew" which means the original plants lost starch and gained too much water, spoiling them, said Regis Dumont, a potato farmer from Warhem near the Belgian border. Then they got a roasting, with temperatures soaring to 37 degrees centigrade (98 Fahrenheit) in August, unusually hot for the northern French plains which account for two-thirds of the national potato crop.


    Summer drought may shrink supplies of French spudsIt's harvest time and the chips are down for potato producers in northern France where a long summer drought could see French spuds shrink in size and volume. The potatoes "first lacked water and then when rain fell in July started growing anew" which means the original plants lost starch and gained too much water, spoiling them, said Regis Dumont, a potato farmer from Warhem near the Belgian border. Then they got a roasting, with temperatures soaring to 37 degrees centigrade (98 Fahrenheit) in August, unusually hot for the northern French plains which account for two-thirds of the national potato crop.


     

  • You Are Not Your DNA      Thu, 18 Oct 2018 11:00:27 -0400

    You Are Not Your DNAJust days before Warren announced her DNA ancestry results, headlines were warning of a new threat to the genetic privacy of us all. The privacy warnings came from a paper in Science, which proclaimed that detectives, or hackers for that matter, could find the identity of “almost anyone” from a sample of DNA. Of course, if you committed rape or murder and left your DNA at the scene, this DNA matching capability could reveal that you are the perpetrator.


    You Are Not Your DNAJust days before Warren announced her DNA ancestry results, headlines were warning of a new threat to the genetic privacy of us all. The privacy warnings came from a paper in Science, which proclaimed that detectives, or hackers for that matter, could find the identity of “almost anyone” from a sample of DNA. Of course, if you committed rape or murder and left your DNA at the scene, this DNA matching capability could reveal that you are the perpetrator.


     

  • Breaching dams to save Northwest orcas is contentious issue      Thu, 18 Oct 2018 19:04:46 -0400

    Breaching dams to save Northwest orcas is contentious issueTACOMA, Wash. (AP) — Calls to breach four hydroelectric dams in Washington state have grown louder in recent months as the plight of critically endangered Northwest orcas has captured global attention.


    Breaching dams to save Northwest orcas is contentious issueTACOMA, Wash. (AP) — Calls to breach four hydroelectric dams in Washington state have grown louder in recent months as the plight of critically endangered Northwest orcas has captured global attention.


     

  • Former U.K. Prime Minister Says Electing Women Could Help Combat Wave of Populism      Fri, 19 Oct 2018 07:39:29 -0400

    Former U.K. Prime Minister Says Electing Women Could Help Combat Wave of PopulismWomen are the answer to rising populism and extremism in the U.K., according to the country's former Prime Minster John Major.


    Former U.K. Prime Minister Says Electing Women Could Help Combat Wave of PopulismWomen are the answer to rising populism and extremism in the U.K., according to the country's former Prime Minster John Major.


     

  • An Australian Woman Has Been Charged After Faking Cancer to Raise Money      Fri, 19 Oct 2018 01:40:01 -0400

    An Australian Woman Has Been Charged After Faking Cancer to Raise MoneyShe allegedly raised tens of thousands of dollars for a fraudulent GoFundMe page


    An Australian Woman Has Been Charged After Faking Cancer to Raise MoneyShe allegedly raised tens of thousands of dollars for a fraudulent GoFundMe page


     

  • Scientists prepare for expedition to the world's deepest depths      Fri, 19 Oct 2018 16:56:47 -0400

    Scientists prepare for expedition to the world's deepest depthsFor the first time, humans will visit the deepest part of each of the five oceans, plunging to the sea floor using a two-person craft designed to withstand the intense pressures more than 5.5 miles (9 km) below the surface. The project, known as Five Deeps Expedition, will use a special submersible vehicle that took more than three years to build. It is made of titanium and other special materials that can dive to the bottom of the ocean, said Victor Vescovo, an explorer who will pilot the vehicle after it leaves its supporting boat and descends toward the deepest parts of the ocean.


    Scientists prepare for expedition to the world's deepest depthsFor the first time, humans will visit the deepest part of each of the five oceans, plunging to the sea floor using a two-person craft designed to withstand the intense pressures more than 5.5 miles (9 km) below the surface. The project, known as Five Deeps Expedition, will use a special submersible vehicle that took more than three years to build. It is made of titanium and other special materials that can dive to the bottom of the ocean, said Victor Vescovo, an explorer who will pilot the vehicle after it leaves its supporting boat and descends toward the deepest parts of the ocean.


     

  • Nobel Prize Winner Gets Dedicated Bike Rack Spot Since He’s Not Such a Great Driver      Thu, 18 Oct 2018 10:59:00 -0400

    Nobel Prize Winner Gets Dedicated Bike Rack Spot Since He’s Not Such a Great DriverGeorge Smith may be one of chemistry’s foremost minds, but he admits he’s not so hot behind the wheel.


    Nobel Prize Winner Gets Dedicated Bike Rack Spot Since He’s Not Such a Great DriverGeorge Smith may be one of chemistry’s foremost minds, but he admits he’s not so hot behind the wheel.


     

  • Genes play significant role in whether students to go to university, scientists find      Thu, 18 Oct 2018 12:39:46 -0400

    Genes play significant role in whether students to go to university, scientists findGenetics plays a significant role in whether young adults choose to go to university, which university they choose to attend and how well they do, a new study suggests. Previous studies have shown that genetics plays a major role in academic achievement at school, with 58 per cent of individual differences between students in GCSE scores due to genetic factors. However, it was unclear if DNA was important in later life. Using data from identical twins to tease out how much of university choice was genetic,  researchers from King’s College London found that genes explained 57 per cent of the differences in A-level exam results and 46 per cent of the difference in achievement at university. They also found genetics accounted for 51 per cent of the difference in whether young people chose to go to university and 57 per cent of the difference in the quality of the chosen university. Dr Emily Smith-Woolley, from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, who co-led the research said: ‘We have shown for the first time that genetic influence on educational achievement continues into higher education. “Our results also demonstrate that the appetite young adults have for choosing to continue with higher education is in part, influenced by their DNA.” The researchers also found that shared environmental factors – such as families and schools - influenced the choice of whether to go to university, accounting for 36 per cent of the differences between students. However, shared environmental influences appear to become less important over time, become negligible for achievement at university.   Dr Ziada Ayorech, from the IoPPN, who co-led the research said: ‘Unlike secondary school, where students tend to share educational experiences, university provides young people with greater opportunity to be independent and to carve out their interests based on their natural abilities and aptitudes. “Students’ unique environments – such as new friends, and new experiences – appear to be explaining differences in university achievement and the role of shared environment becomes less significant.” The results were based on studying 3,000 pairs of twins from the UK as well as 3,000 people who had their gene sequenced. Comparing identical and non-identical twin pairs allows researchers to determine the overall impact of genetics on how much people differ on measures like exam scores. If identical twins' exam scores are more alike than those of non-identical twins this implies the difference between twin pairs is due to genetic factors The results were published in the journal Scientific Reports.


    Genes play significant role in whether students to go to university, scientists findGenetics plays a significant role in whether young adults choose to go to university, which university they choose to attend and how well they do, a new study suggests. Previous studies have shown that genetics plays a major role in academic achievement at school, with 58 per cent of individual differences between students in GCSE scores due to genetic factors. However, it was unclear if DNA was important in later life. Using data from identical twins to tease out how much of university choice was genetic,  researchers from King’s College London found that genes explained 57 per cent of the differences in A-level exam results and 46 per cent of the difference in achievement at university. They also found genetics accounted for 51 per cent of the difference in whether young people chose to go to university and 57 per cent of the difference in the quality of the chosen university. Dr Emily Smith-Woolley, from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, who co-led the research said: ‘We have shown for the first time that genetic influence on educational achievement continues into higher education. “Our results also demonstrate that the appetite young adults have for choosing to continue with higher education is in part, influenced by their DNA.” The researchers also found that shared environmental factors – such as families and schools - influenced the choice of whether to go to university, accounting for 36 per cent of the differences between students. However, shared environmental influences appear to become less important over time, become negligible for achievement at university.   Dr Ziada Ayorech, from the IoPPN, who co-led the research said: ‘Unlike secondary school, where students tend to share educational experiences, university provides young people with greater opportunity to be independent and to carve out their interests based on their natural abilities and aptitudes. “Students’ unique environments – such as new friends, and new experiences – appear to be explaining differences in university achievement and the role of shared environment becomes less significant.” The results were based on studying 3,000 pairs of twins from the UK as well as 3,000 people who had their gene sequenced. Comparing identical and non-identical twin pairs allows researchers to determine the overall impact of genetics on how much people differ on measures like exam scores. If identical twins' exam scores are more alike than those of non-identical twins this implies the difference between twin pairs is due to genetic factors The results were published in the journal Scientific Reports.


     

  • An Anonymous Group Spent $330,000 on Facebook Ads Urging Brits to Reject Brexit Deal      Fri, 19 Oct 2018 19:01:45 -0400

    An Anonymous Group Spent $330,000 on Facebook Ads Urging Brits to Reject Brexit DealThe Mainstream Network is the latest group to have been linked to ‘dark ads’ - anonymous advertisements targeted at specific users


    An Anonymous Group Spent $330,000 on Facebook Ads Urging Brits to Reject Brexit DealThe Mainstream Network is the latest group to have been linked to ‘dark ads’ - anonymous advertisements targeted at specific users


     

  • Water woes as drought leaves Germany's Rhine shallow      Fri, 19 Oct 2018 09:05:14 -0400

    Water woes as drought leaves Germany's Rhine shallowMonths of drought have left water levels on Germany's Rhine river at a record low, exposing a World War II bomb and forcing ship operators to halt services to prevent vessels from running aground. The water level on the Rhine on Friday reached just 77 centimetres (30 inches), 4 cm below a previous record low of 81 cm recorded in 2003, Cologne's waterworks authorities said. Although rainfall is expected next week, forecasters said it would not suffice to bring up water levels in Germany's most important waterway and a key shipping route for the Netherlands and France.


    Water woes as drought leaves Germany's Rhine shallowMonths of drought have left water levels on Germany's Rhine river at a record low, exposing a World War II bomb and forcing ship operators to halt services to prevent vessels from running aground. The water level on the Rhine on Friday reached just 77 centimetres (30 inches), 4 cm below a previous record low of 81 cm recorded in 2003, Cologne's waterworks authorities said. Although rainfall is expected next week, forecasters said it would not suffice to bring up water levels in Germany's most important waterway and a key shipping route for the Netherlands and France.


     

  • How forensic science has helped rediscover forgotten apples      Fri, 19 Oct 2018 07:42:14 -0400

    How forensic science has helped rediscover forgotten applesThe UK is home to more than 3,600 apple varieties - but they can't be told apart by look or taste alone.


    How forensic science has helped rediscover forgotten applesThe UK is home to more than 3,600 apple varieties - but they can't be told apart by look or taste alone.


     

  • California Principal Apologizes for Sending Email Warning About a Black Man at Starbucks      Fri, 19 Oct 2018 08:57:48 -0400

    California Principal Apologizes for Sending Email Warning About a Black Man at StarbucksA San Diego school principal apologized this week for sending an email to parents about a black man that perpetuated racist stereotypes.


    California Principal Apologizes for Sending Email Warning About a Black Man at StarbucksA San Diego school principal apologized this week for sending an email to parents about a black man that perpetuated racist stereotypes.


     

  • 'My Kind of Guy.' President Trump Praises Montana Congressman Who Assaulted a Reporter      Thu, 18 Oct 2018 23:08:51 -0400

    'My Kind of Guy.' President Trump Praises Montana Congressman Who Assaulted a Reporter"Any guy that can do a body slam — he's my kind of guy," the President said at a rally


    'My Kind of Guy.' President Trump Praises Montana Congressman Who Assaulted a Reporter"Any guy that can do a body slam — he's my kind of guy," the President said at a rally


     

  • Chinese Woman Kills Herself and Her Children After Her Husband Fakes His Death      Thu, 18 Oct 2018 08:26:35 -0400

    Chinese Woman Kills Herself and Her Children After Her Husband Fakes His DeathSome have blamed the incident on the harsh lives of women in rural China, prompting a national debate on the matter


    Chinese Woman Kills Herself and Her Children After Her Husband Fakes His DeathSome have blamed the incident on the harsh lives of women in rural China, prompting a national debate on the matter


     

  • De Beers eyes tech markets for synthetic diamonds future      Thu, 18 Oct 2018 21:10:43 -0400

    De Beers eyes tech markets for synthetic diamonds futureTORONTO/LONDON (Reuters) - Anglo American unit De Beers (AAL.L) is going after lucrative, but elusive high-tech markets in quantum computing, as it aims to expand its lab-grown diamond business beyond drilling and cutting. Element Six, De Beers' synthetic diamond arm, is building a $94 million factory in Portland, Oregon, an expansion that comes as scientists from Moscow to London push to develop diamonds for futuristic applications. Now coming of age after decades of experiments, technology called chemical vapour deposition, or CVD, offers a path to higher-quality, lower-cost production of synthetic diamonds and that opens the door to potential new computing markets.


    De Beers eyes tech markets for synthetic diamonds futureTORONTO/LONDON (Reuters) - Anglo American unit De Beers (AAL.L) is going after lucrative, but elusive high-tech markets in quantum computing, as it aims to expand its lab-grown diamond business beyond drilling and cutting. Element Six, De Beers' synthetic diamond arm, is building a $94 million factory in Portland, Oregon, an expansion that comes as scientists from Moscow to London push to develop diamonds for futuristic applications. Now coming of age after decades of experiments, technology called chemical vapour deposition, or CVD, offers a path to higher-quality, lower-cost production of synthetic diamonds and that opens the door to potential new computing markets.


     

  • This absurd parody proves that all TED Talks really do sound the same      Fri, 19 Oct 2018 17:05:36 -0400

    This absurd parody proves that all TED Talks really do sound the sameIt's not just you: A lot of TED Talks sound the same. Comedian and writer Keaton Patti — who imagined what a White House press briefing written by a bot might sound like — just shared a new imagined bot script, this time parodying the language of lofty TED Talks. SEE ALSO: Burger King's AI-written ads are beautiful disasters The "visibly clothed" TED TALKER opens the bizarrely inspirational lecture — given in a "place where you can talk" — with an anecdote about his or her grandfather, who was "paid for for being old."  "He told me there's just enough plastic in the ocean for someone to marry," the TED TALKER states. "But we're almost out of time." The audience doesn't care much about the actual TED Talk, but are insistent that they be shown graphs. I forced a bot to watch over 1,000 hours of TED Talks and then asked it to write a TED Talk of its own. Here is the first page. pic.twitter.com/FpGz25q9zc — Keaton Patti (@KeatonPatti) October 18, 2018 "The crowd likes the graph since it is a graph and they like graphs for the reasons they have," the script reads. Honestly, how relatable.  When the plastic from the ocean breaks into the room, the crowd "waits to see if it this will somehow turn into a graph."  Patti even mocked up a very scientific graph for our enjoyment. Look at this if you want to live. pic.twitter.com/XBUEgTSmX4 — Keaton Patti (@KeatonPatti) October 18, 2018 Patti jokes that bots write these scripts after watching 1,000 hours of content. While they're actually just delightful parodies, people really love them. I'm disturbed by just how compelling this was...if it was a book, I would have kept reading straight through and the scary part is that I'm not sure why.... — Vagobond���������������� (@vagobond) October 18, 2018 me trying to meet my word requirement on an essay pic.twitter.com/UZ1R9a5V7H — rhêtorík (@djrhetorik) October 18, 2018 Even the official TED Talks account found it "truly inspiring."  Truly inspiring. https://t.co/ROcM0ECA5W — TED Talks (@TEDTalks) October 18, 2018 WATCH: What's up with the Razer Phone 2? — Technically Speaking


    This absurd parody proves that all TED Talks really do sound the sameIt's not just you: A lot of TED Talks sound the same. Comedian and writer Keaton Patti — who imagined what a White House press briefing written by a bot might sound like — just shared a new imagined bot script, this time parodying the language of lofty TED Talks. SEE ALSO: Burger King's AI-written ads are beautiful disasters The "visibly clothed" TED TALKER opens the bizarrely inspirational lecture — given in a "place where you can talk" — with an anecdote about his or her grandfather, who was "paid for for being old."  "He told me there's just enough plastic in the ocean for someone to marry," the TED TALKER states. "But we're almost out of time." The audience doesn't care much about the actual TED Talk, but are insistent that they be shown graphs. I forced a bot to watch over 1,000 hours of TED Talks and then asked it to write a TED Talk of its own. Here is the first page. pic.twitter.com/FpGz25q9zc — Keaton Patti (@KeatonPatti) October 18, 2018 "The crowd likes the graph since it is a graph and they like graphs for the reasons they have," the script reads. Honestly, how relatable.  When the plastic from the ocean breaks into the room, the crowd "waits to see if it this will somehow turn into a graph."  Patti even mocked up a very scientific graph for our enjoyment. Look at this if you want to live. pic.twitter.com/XBUEgTSmX4 — Keaton Patti (@KeatonPatti) October 18, 2018 Patti jokes that bots write these scripts after watching 1,000 hours of content. While they're actually just delightful parodies, people really love them. I'm disturbed by just how compelling this was...if it was a book, I would have kept reading straight through and the scary part is that I'm not sure why.... — Vagobond���������������� (@vagobond) October 18, 2018 me trying to meet my word requirement on an essay pic.twitter.com/UZ1R9a5V7H — rhêtorík (@djrhetorik) October 18, 2018 Even the official TED Talks account found it "truly inspiring."  Truly inspiring. https://t.co/ROcM0ECA5W — TED Talks (@TEDTalks) October 18, 2018 WATCH: What's up with the Razer Phone 2? — Technically Speaking


     

  • President Trump Threatens Mexico If Caravan of 4,000 Honduran Migrants Reaches U.S. Border      Thu, 18 Oct 2018 13:48:02 -0400

    President Trump Threatens Mexico If Caravan of 4,000 Honduran Migrants Reaches U.S. BorderAs about 4,000 Hondurans made their way through Guatemala, attention — and pressure — turned to Mexico Thursday, after U.S.


    President Trump Threatens Mexico If Caravan of 4,000 Honduran Migrants Reaches U.S. BorderAs about 4,000 Hondurans made their way through Guatemala, attention — and pressure — turned to Mexico Thursday, after U.S.


     

  • China Wants Its Own X-37B Spaceplane      Thu, 18 Oct 2018 22:59:00 -0400

    China Wants Its Own X-37B SpaceplaneBut spaceplanes come with certain liabilities.


    China Wants Its Own X-37B SpaceplaneBut spaceplanes come with certain liabilities.


     

  • How can genetic data be better encrypted? Researchers find a way      Thu, 18 Oct 2018 14:12:52 -0400

    How can genetic data be better encrypted? Researchers find a wayUsing nothing more than a simple vial of saliva, millions of people have created DNA profiles on genealogy websites. This problem of access is one that Bonnie Berger, a professor of mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and her colleagues think they can solve, with a new cryptographic system to protect the information. "We're currently at a stalemate in sharing all this genomic data," Berger told AFP.


    How can genetic data be better encrypted? Researchers find a wayUsing nothing more than a simple vial of saliva, millions of people have created DNA profiles on genealogy websites. This problem of access is one that Bonnie Berger, a professor of mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and her colleagues think they can solve, with a new cryptographic system to protect the information. "We're currently at a stalemate in sharing all this genomic data," Berger told AFP.


     

  • The True Story Behind the Movie Can You Ever Forgive Me?      Fri, 19 Oct 2018 10:06:10 -0400

    The True Story Behind the Movie Can You Ever Forgive Me?Here’s what the movie gets right and what it doesn't


    The True Story Behind the Movie Can You Ever Forgive Me?Here’s what the movie gets right and what it doesn't


     

  • A $215 Million Settlement Proposed in Alleged USC Gynecologist Abuse      Fri, 19 Oct 2018 13:51:15 -0400

    A $215 Million Settlement Proposed in Alleged USC Gynecologist AbuseAbout 500 current and former students have now made accusations against Tyndall


    A $215 Million Settlement Proposed in Alleged USC Gynecologist AbuseAbout 500 current and former students have now made accusations against Tyndall


     

  • President Donald Trump Wants to Stop the Caravan. Here's What Experts Think Would Help      Thu, 18 Oct 2018 16:38:26 -0400

    President Donald Trump Wants to Stop the Caravan. Here's What Experts Think Would HelpFor the second year in a row, President Donald Trump is upset about a caravan of Central American migrants headed to the United States.


    President Donald Trump Wants to Stop the Caravan. Here's What Experts Think Would HelpFor the second year in a row, President Donald Trump is upset about a caravan of Central American migrants headed to the United States.


     

  • Somali Refugee Says Dunkin' Employee Called Police Because She Talked in Her Native Language      Fri, 19 Oct 2018 13:48:28 -0400

    Somali Refugee Says Dunkin' Employee Called Police Because She Talked in Her Native Language"She was like, 'You can leave, or I'm calling the cops'"


    Somali Refugee Says Dunkin' Employee Called Police Because She Talked in Her Native Language"She was like, 'You can leave, or I'm calling the cops'"


     

  • The world’s biggest organism is facing its end      Thu, 18 Oct 2018 15:55:49 -0400

    The world’s biggest organism is facing its endAt first glance, Pando is unimpressive. If you aren’t looking for it, you could easily drive past the homogenous forest of stems ranging from a few inches to some 100 feet (about 30 meters) tall—the biggest they appear more like trunks—all with matching leaves, on one of the few roads leading to Fish Lake in…


    The world’s biggest organism is facing its endAt first glance, Pando is unimpressive. If you aren’t looking for it, you could easily drive past the homogenous forest of stems ranging from a few inches to some 100 feet (about 30 meters) tall—the biggest they appear more like trunks—all with matching leaves, on one of the few roads leading to Fish Lake in…


     

  • Why police believe ex-boyfriend was not connected to woman's murder: Part 3      Fri, 19 Oct 2018 19:38:37 -0400

    Why police believe ex-boyfriend was not connected to woman's murder: Part 3Adam Harvey was eliminated as a suspect by investigators, who say he had an alibi and no gun residue on his hands.


    Why police believe ex-boyfriend was not connected to woman's murder: Part 3Adam Harvey was eliminated as a suspect by investigators, who say he had an alibi and no gun residue on his hands.


     

  • An Alliance of Plants and Fungus Could Be the Key to Farming in Space      Fri, 19 Oct 2018 13:39:00 -0400

    An Alliance of Plants and Fungus Could Be the Key to Farming in SpaceOne crucial plant hormone could help make eggplants in space a reality.


    An Alliance of Plants and Fungus Could Be the Key to Farming in SpaceOne crucial plant hormone could help make eggplants in space a reality.


     

  • Startup plans to launch small satellites from Virginia coast      Thu, 18 Oct 2018 12:09:34 -0400

    Startup plans to launch small satellites from Virginia coastNORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A California-based startup has announced big plans to go small as it reaches into space, rocketing satellites the size of loaves of bread into orbit from Virginia.


    Startup plans to launch small satellites from Virginia coastNORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A California-based startup has announced big plans to go small as it reaches into space, rocketing satellites the size of loaves of bread into orbit from Virginia.


     

  • The Making a Murderer Filmmakers on How Steven Avery's New Lawyer Changes Everything      Fri, 19 Oct 2018 09:24:52 -0400

    The Making a Murderer Filmmakers on How Steven Avery's New Lawyer Changes EverythingFilmmakers Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi on how they used season 2 to responded to criticisms of Marking a Murderer's first season.


    The Making a Murderer Filmmakers on How Steven Avery's New Lawyer Changes EverythingFilmmakers Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi on how they used season 2 to responded to criticisms of Marking a Murderer's first season.


     

  • Workers would pay to have a boss with these 10 traits, new research finds      Thu, 18 Oct 2018 08:45:00 -0400

    Workers would pay to have a boss with these 10 traits, new research findsNew research from New York University finds that both men and women see stereotypically male traits such as assertiveness and competitiveness as 'must-haves' for successful leaders. Researchers argue that preference for these certain types of leadership traits could explain why there are fewer women in positions of power. In the findings, published in the journal "Frontiers in Psychology," researchers ran two studies to understand how men and women perceive what makes a great leader by focusing on attributes often associated with certain genders.


    Workers would pay to have a boss with these 10 traits, new research findsNew research from New York University finds that both men and women see stereotypically male traits such as assertiveness and competitiveness as 'must-haves' for successful leaders. Researchers argue that preference for these certain types of leadership traits could explain why there are fewer women in positions of power. In the findings, published in the journal "Frontiers in Psychology," researchers ran two studies to understand how men and women perceive what makes a great leader by focusing on attributes often associated with certain genders.


     

  • 93 More Women Accuse Former USC Gynecologist George Tyndall of Sexual Misconduct      Fri, 19 Oct 2018 02:53:54 -0400

    93 More Women Accuse Former USC Gynecologist George Tyndall of Sexual MisconductHe has faced accusations from about 500 current and former students


    93 More Women Accuse Former USC Gynecologist George Tyndall of Sexual MisconductHe has faced accusations from about 500 current and former students


     

  • Joe Biden, 75, Says His Age Would Be a 'Legitimate Issue' If He Runs for President      Thu, 18 Oct 2018 09:28:21 -0400

    Joe Biden, 75, Says His Age Would Be a 'Legitimate Issue' If He Runs for President"They're gonna judge me on my vitality"


    Joe Biden, 75, Says His Age Would Be a 'Legitimate Issue' If He Runs for President"They're gonna judge me on my vitality"


     

  • Women Achieved Enormous Power in Ancient Egypt. What They Did With It Is a Warning for Today      Thu, 18 Oct 2018 10:30:47 -0400

    Women Achieved Enormous Power in Ancient Egypt. What They Did With It Is a Warning for Today"Ancient Egypt allowed more females into power in the ancient world than any other place on earth. Was that society somehow more progressive than we might expect? The answer is a quick and deflating no."


    Women Achieved Enormous Power in Ancient Egypt. What They Did With It Is a Warning for Today"Ancient Egypt allowed more females into power in the ancient world than any other place on earth. Was that society somehow more progressive than we might expect? The answer is a quick and deflating no."


     

  • Giant galaxy supercluster found lurking in early Universe      Fri, 19 Oct 2018 12:35:38 -0400

    Giant galaxy supercluster found lurking in early UniverseScientists have discovered a primitive "supercluster" of galaxies forming in the early Universe, just 2.3 billion years after the Big Bang. The structure, nicknamed Hyperion, is the largest and most massive to be found so early in the formation of the Universe, which sprang into existence around 13.7 billion years ago. "This is the first time that such a large structure has been identified at such a high redshift, just over two billion years after the Big Bang," said Olga Cucciati, a researcher at the Astrophysics and Space Sciences Observatory in Bologna and lead author of a study detailing the discovery.


    Giant galaxy supercluster found lurking in early UniverseScientists have discovered a primitive "supercluster" of galaxies forming in the early Universe, just 2.3 billion years after the Big Bang. The structure, nicknamed Hyperion, is the largest and most massive to be found so early in the formation of the Universe, which sprang into existence around 13.7 billion years ago. "This is the first time that such a large structure has been identified at such a high redshift, just over two billion years after the Big Bang," said Olga Cucciati, a researcher at the Astrophysics and Space Sciences Observatory in Bologna and lead author of a study detailing the discovery.


     

  • These Are the Best High-Fiber Foods, According to Experts      Thu, 18 Oct 2018 12:36:04 -0400

    These Are the Best High-Fiber Foods, According to ExpertsThey might surprise you


    These Are the Best High-Fiber Foods, According to ExpertsThey might surprise you


     

  • This scientist keeps winning money from people who bet against climate change      Fri, 19 Oct 2018 07:00:00 -0400

    This scientist keeps winning money from people who bet against climate changeJames Annan keeps winning.  Annan, a climate scientist and director of the Blue Skies Research Organization, has won numerous bets over the last decade against scientists from a variety of academic backgrounds.  In short, people keep betting him that the world will cool or warm slightly, rather than continue on its accelerating warming trend. Annan is nearly undefeated. Most recently, Annan won $10,000 from two solar physicists at the Institute of Solar-Terrestrial Physics in Russia — Galina Mashnich and Vladimir Bashkirtsev — on a wager agreed upon 10 years ago.  But now that the results have come in (showing that 2012-2017 was warmer than 1998-2003), his fellow gamblers won't pay up. "I was pretty confident in winning," Annan said in an interview. "Now, they're refusing to reply — I'm a little disappointed." "They had 10 years to save up," he added. Blues show cooler temperatures relative to the average.Image: nasa Yellows and reds show temperatures warmer relative to the average.Image: nasa There are no climate scientists, Annan included, arguing that such wagers will help solve the considerable political hurdles needed to dramatically lower modern civilization's greenhouse gas emissions.  Yet, it's a continuance of a rich history of researchers making similar scientific antes, and underscores that the climate isn't just warming at an accelerating pace, but that humans — not the whims of the sun or other natural processes — are now to blame.  For some scientists, it's an easy bet. "It’s like taking candy from a baby," Bill Patzert, a former NASA climatologist who spent decades researching the rising trends of both sea levels and global temperatures, said in an interview. “I’m not averse to taking candy away from [climate] skeptics," said Patzert. “Often in my public lectures, I have offered to take all comers on sea level rise and temperature. At this point, I'll definitely take all bets." SEE ALSO: Things in the middle of the Arctic are getting really strange In the past, prominent scientists have both won and lost wagers on a wide variety of scientific topics.  "There is a long history of people using bets to encapsulate their beliefs," said Annan. Famed theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking once conceded a light-hearted defeat to physicist Kip Thorne on a matter of black holes. In 1990, biologist Paul Ehrlich lost a wager to economist Julian Simon after betting that certain valuable metals would grow more scarce, and expensive.  Today, however, the extreme minority of scientists who remain skeptical about the overwhelming consensus that the Earth will continue warming at an accelerating pace are quite careful about how they might place a bet, if they choose to bet at all.  Over a decade ago, Annan attempted to bet MIT atmospheric physicist Richard Lindzen — who, broadly speaking, doubts climate change forecasts are scientifically plausible — that temperatures would rise, not cool.  But Lindzen asked for 50 to 1 odds in his favor — meaning that if Lindzen won, Annan would have to pay 50 times more than Linzen. Annan, not pleased to be put at such a profound disadvantage, declined. Still today, Lindzen would take such odds — which puts him at little risk.  "At 50-1, I would certainly bet that 2018-2023 will be cooler than 1998-2003," Lindzen said over email. Variability and loss of September #Arctic sea ice volume since 1979...+ Model data info (PIOMAS): https://t.co/UDsruDEI5p+ Additional graphics: https://t.co/bTAfMZhjL1 pic.twitter.com/MRWhK8yWBi — Zack Labe (@ZLabe) October 13, 2018 Lindzen, who has debated Bill Nye about climate change, maintains the world's future warming will be only slight, and that global temperature will always fluctuate in small ways. For this reason, he's adverse to taking lower odds.  "Betting on small changes is pure gambling," said Lindzen. A wager on how much temperatures might rise, however, seems more amenable to Roy Spencer, a meteorologist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville who continually asserts the current warming trend is insignificant and will continue to be insignificant.  "The question is, how much warming?" Spencer said over email. "That would have to be part of any bet I'd participate in. I believe future warming will be weak and possibly even beneficial." There's no question Lindzen and Spencer are in an extreme climate science minority, and they're well aware of it. Their analysis or research efforts, for instance, aren't seriously considered by either the U.S. Climate Assessment or the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — the global agency tasked with providing objective analyses of the societal impacts of climate change. Possible causes of radiative forcing: changes in solar activity, in volcanic activity or greenhouse gases. The latest US Climate Assessment shows how much each of these contributed. See https://t.co/q2dySg8xmb The human contribution is about 100%. That is: all of it. /2 pic.twitter.com/i6Ewprs7aQ — Stefan Rahmstorf (@rahmstorf) October 15, 2018 But even mainstream scientists, as recently as 2008, have argued in peer-reviewed scientific literature that the world would likely experience a temporary cooling trend. They were quickly challenged.  In 2008, a group of six climate scientists including Penn State's Michael Mann challenged the researchers to a bet.  In the study published in the journal Nature, the cooling forecasters concluded that both intervals of 2000 to 2010 and 2005 to 2015 would be slightly cooler than conditions between 1994 to 2004.  But would the world actually cool during these periods, even just as a temporary cooling blip? "We think not — and we are prepared to bet serious money on this," Mann and company wrote.  But this 2008 bet, underscored Mann, was far different than the bet Annan recently won against the Russian solar scientists, who argued the sun's activity — not human activity — is currently responsible for the globe's warming. The scientists who published the study challenged by Mann and others "weren’t denying human-caused climate change — they are mainstream researchers and they were doing honest science," Mann said over email. "However, they were making an extraordinary claim." "And as Carl Sagan famously said, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence," noted Mann. "They were unable to provide that evidence and we didn’t think their prediction was good science.  Mann and company were never taken up on the scientific wager. But Mann would have won. "Subsequent time and data proved them wrong and us correct," said Mann. Increasing carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere.Image: nasaAs climate scientists are always quick to point out, short-term changes in climate can be telling, but longer-term trends are the gold scientific standard.  And the over century-long warming trend, observed independently by U.S. government agencies and climate scientists globally, is not just trending up, but trending up at an accelerated pace.  “Continuing warming, when averaged over sufficient time span variability, like of 10-20 years, seems like a great bet to me,” David Archer, a geophysicist at the University of Chicago, said over email. Archer was part of Mann's group who previously challenged the Nature researchers in 2008. There's also another, somewhat obvious trend: Annan keeps winning.  He's won a variety of smaller wagers, he said. But this doesn't exactly make up for his not getting paid $10,000 for a clear win. "Those guys should pay up — that's not right," said Patzert. Also tellingly, the few climate skeptics out there might just not take bets at all.  In May 2005, Nature reported that British environmental writer George Monbiot challenged climate skeptic Myron Ebell — who led President Trump's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) transition team — to a $9,000 bet.  Ebell, who has confidently stated that climate change "is nothing to worry about" — would not take the bet. But Annan, like Patzert, is still very much keen on taking wagers that the planet will continue its warming trend. "If anyone wants to argue otherwise, I would be happy to take their money," said Annan. WATCH: Ever wonder how the universe might end?    


    This scientist keeps winning money from people who bet against climate changeJames Annan keeps winning.  Annan, a climate scientist and director of the Blue Skies Research Organization, has won numerous bets over the last decade against scientists from a variety of academic backgrounds.  In short, people keep betting him that the world will cool or warm slightly, rather than continue on its accelerating warming trend. Annan is nearly undefeated. Most recently, Annan won $10,000 from two solar physicists at the Institute of Solar-Terrestrial Physics in Russia — Galina Mashnich and Vladimir Bashkirtsev — on a wager agreed upon 10 years ago.  But now that the results have come in (showing that 2012-2017 was warmer than 1998-2003), his fellow gamblers won't pay up. "I was pretty confident in winning," Annan said in an interview. "Now, they're refusing to reply — I'm a little disappointed." "They had 10 years to save up," he added. Blues show cooler temperatures relative to the average.Image: nasa Yellows and reds show temperatures warmer relative to the average.Image: nasa There are no climate scientists, Annan included, arguing that such wagers will help solve the considerable political hurdles needed to dramatically lower modern civilization's greenhouse gas emissions.  Yet, it's a continuance of a rich history of researchers making similar scientific antes, and underscores that the climate isn't just warming at an accelerating pace, but that humans — not the whims of the sun or other natural processes — are now to blame.  For some scientists, it's an easy bet. "It’s like taking candy from a baby," Bill Patzert, a former NASA climatologist who spent decades researching the rising trends of both sea levels and global temperatures, said in an interview. “I’m not averse to taking candy away from [climate] skeptics," said Patzert. “Often in my public lectures, I have offered to take all comers on sea level rise and temperature. At this point, I'll definitely take all bets." SEE ALSO: Things in the middle of the Arctic are getting really strange In the past, prominent scientists have both won and lost wagers on a wide variety of scientific topics.  "There is a long history of people using bets to encapsulate their beliefs," said Annan. Famed theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking once conceded a light-hearted defeat to physicist Kip Thorne on a matter of black holes. In 1990, biologist Paul Ehrlich lost a wager to economist Julian Simon after betting that certain valuable metals would grow more scarce, and expensive.  Today, however, the extreme minority of scientists who remain skeptical about the overwhelming consensus that the Earth will continue warming at an accelerating pace are quite careful about how they might place a bet, if they choose to bet at all.  Over a decade ago, Annan attempted to bet MIT atmospheric physicist Richard Lindzen — who, broadly speaking, doubts climate change forecasts are scientifically plausible — that temperatures would rise, not cool.  But Lindzen asked for 50 to 1 odds in his favor — meaning that if Lindzen won, Annan would have to pay 50 times more than Linzen. Annan, not pleased to be put at such a profound disadvantage, declined. Still today, Lindzen would take such odds — which puts him at little risk.  "At 50-1, I would certainly bet that 2018-2023 will be cooler than 1998-2003," Lindzen said over email. Variability and loss of September #Arctic sea ice volume since 1979...+ Model data info (PIOMAS): https://t.co/UDsruDEI5p+ Additional graphics: https://t.co/bTAfMZhjL1 pic.twitter.com/MRWhK8yWBi — Zack Labe (@ZLabe) October 13, 2018 Lindzen, who has debated Bill Nye about climate change, maintains the world's future warming will be only slight, and that global temperature will always fluctuate in small ways. For this reason, he's adverse to taking lower odds.  "Betting on small changes is pure gambling," said Lindzen. A wager on how much temperatures might rise, however, seems more amenable to Roy Spencer, a meteorologist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville who continually asserts the current warming trend is insignificant and will continue to be insignificant.  "The question is, how much warming?" Spencer said over email. "That would have to be part of any bet I'd participate in. I believe future warming will be weak and possibly even beneficial." There's no question Lindzen and Spencer are in an extreme climate science minority, and they're well aware of it. Their analysis or research efforts, for instance, aren't seriously considered by either the U.S. Climate Assessment or the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — the global agency tasked with providing objective analyses of the societal impacts of climate change. Possible causes of radiative forcing: changes in solar activity, in volcanic activity or greenhouse gases. The latest US Climate Assessment shows how much each of these contributed. See https://t.co/q2dySg8xmb The human contribution is about 100%. That is: all of it. /2 pic.twitter.com/i6Ewprs7aQ — Stefan Rahmstorf (@rahmstorf) October 15, 2018 But even mainstream scientists, as recently as 2008, have argued in peer-reviewed scientific literature that the world would likely experience a temporary cooling trend. They were quickly challenged.  In 2008, a group of six climate scientists including Penn State's Michael Mann challenged the researchers to a bet.  In the study published in the journal Nature, the cooling forecasters concluded that both intervals of 2000 to 2010 and 2005 to 2015 would be slightly cooler than conditions between 1994 to 2004.  But would the world actually cool during these periods, even just as a temporary cooling blip? "We think not — and we are prepared to bet serious money on this," Mann and company wrote.  But this 2008 bet, underscored Mann, was far different than the bet Annan recently won against the Russian solar scientists, who argued the sun's activity — not human activity — is currently responsible for the globe's warming. The scientists who published the study challenged by Mann and others "weren’t denying human-caused climate change — they are mainstream researchers and they were doing honest science," Mann said over email. "However, they were making an extraordinary claim." "And as Carl Sagan famously said, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence," noted Mann. "They were unable to provide that evidence and we didn’t think their prediction was good science.  Mann and company were never taken up on the scientific wager. But Mann would have won. "Subsequent time and data proved them wrong and us correct," said Mann. Increasing carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere.Image: nasaAs climate scientists are always quick to point out, short-term changes in climate can be telling, but longer-term trends are the gold scientific standard.  And the over century-long warming trend, observed independently by U.S. government agencies and climate scientists globally, is not just trending up, but trending up at an accelerated pace.  “Continuing warming, when averaged over sufficient time span variability, like of 10-20 years, seems like a great bet to me,” David Archer, a geophysicist at the University of Chicago, said over email. Archer was part of Mann's group who previously challenged the Nature researchers in 2008. There's also another, somewhat obvious trend: Annan keeps winning.  He's won a variety of smaller wagers, he said. But this doesn't exactly make up for his not getting paid $10,000 for a clear win. "Those guys should pay up — that's not right," said Patzert. Also tellingly, the few climate skeptics out there might just not take bets at all.  In May 2005, Nature reported that British environmental writer George Monbiot challenged climate skeptic Myron Ebell — who led President Trump's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) transition team — to a $9,000 bet.  Ebell, who has confidently stated that climate change "is nothing to worry about" — would not take the bet. But Annan, like Patzert, is still very much keen on taking wagers that the planet will continue its warming trend. "If anyone wants to argue otherwise, I would be happy to take their money," said Annan. WATCH: Ever wonder how the universe might end?    


     



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