German climate scientist Markus Rex warned this week that humanity may have already passed the tipping point for irreversible global warming.
“The disappearance of summer sea ice in the Arctic is one of the first landmines in this minefield, one of the tipping points that we set off first when we push warming too far,” said Markus Rex, who heads the atmospheric physics section of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research.
“And one can essentially ask if we haven’t already stepped on this mine and already set off the beginning of the explosion,” Rex warned Tuesday.
In September 2019, Rex captained a research expedition to the North Pole involving 300 scientists from 20 countries. The vessel Polarstern returned to Germany last October following 389 days drifting through the Arctic collecting ice samples.
Rex said his team found that the Arctic Sea ice had retreated “faster in the spring of 2020 than since the beginning of records,” adding that “the spread of the sea ice in the summer was only half as large as decades ago.”
Time will tell whether global warming has become irreversible, Rex cautioned.
“Only evaluation in the coming years will allow us to determine if we can still save the year-round Arctic Sea ice through forceful climate protection or whether we have already passed this important tipping point in the climate system,” he said.
Climate scientist Stefanie Arndt, who accompanied the voyage for 140 days, said it is “painful to know that we are possibly the last generation who can experience an Arctic which still has a sea ice cover in the summer.”
“This sea ice cover is gradually shrinking and it is an important living space for polar bears,” Arndt added.
Despite predictions of disasters for polar bear populations, they have, in fact, proven remarkably resilient to changes in polar ice, a phenomenon explored by climate skeptic Dr. Susan Crockford in 2017.
A 2007 report, for instance, had predicted that the loss of two-thirds of the world’s polar bear population by the middle of the 21st century, while insisting that the forecast “may be conservative.” Since then, the polar bear population has continued to grow.
In 2005, the official global estimate was 22,500 bears. By 2015, that number had risen to 26,500 and to 30,000 in 2017, the highest population in more than 50 years.
Crockford pointed that since polar bears do the bulk of their eating in the spring and fast for much of the summer, the presence of summer sea ice has relatively little to do with their feeding habits.
Meanwhile, the population of ring seal pups in the spring — the polar bears’ chief food — has also continued to rise, helping the bear population to thrive.
“Thriving polar bear populations have exposed the hubris behind global warming’s most beloved icon and the plight of the polar bears has become an international joke,” Crockford stated.
Internet down: Multiple global, Australian news sites down including BBC, New York Times, SMH, Age
The Verge, Financial Times and Bloomberg also experienced outages which lasted almost an hour, while locally, The Guardian, Nine, SMH and The Age were affected, including Channel 10 and 10play online. Users have also reported issues with 7Plus.
The outage has gone as far as sites for the White House along with the UK government’s website – gov.UK.
Retail giant Amazon, Reddit, Netflix, Pinterest, Twitch, PayPal and Shopify were also affected.
It appears News Corp sites were unaffected by the outage.
Internet sleuths have suggested a “big attack” but the outage was caused by a data centre provider, San Francisco based Fastly.
Most users were receiving ‘Error 503’ messages when attempting to access the sites and while a fix has been applied, users have been warned that they may “continue to experience decreased cache hit ratio and increased origin load as global services return”.
“When huge outages like this strike the internet, they are generally traced back to some central service provider, such as AWS,” said The Verge, which was forced to communicate through Google Docs.
“In this case, it seems the cause of the problem is due to a company called Fastly, which provides CDN (content delivery network) services to many websites.
The Age confirmed that tech teams for Nine publications, “including this masthead, confirmed that the issue was linked to CDN vendor Fastly.”
CDNs are “graphically distanced” networks of servers, which “help minimise delays in loading web page content, by reducing the physical distance between the servers and users”, according to The Australian’s David Swan.
Those servers are located in “data centres” around the world, connected via subsea cables.
“Fastly is one of four hosting service providers that looks after CDNs, Akamai, Cloudflare and Amazon Web Services, are the other three.
On its website, Fastly said: “The issue has been identified and a fix has been applied. Customers may experience increased origin load as global services return.”
Sites began to return but Fastly failed to indicate what had happened in the first place.
— Rhiannon Williams (@RhiannonJudithW)
Breaking: the internet. Huge parts of the web are currently offline, including Reddit, Twitch, and (regrettably) The Verge. We’ll keep you posted 👍
— The Verge (@verge)
Down Detector shows mass outages hitting major platforms all at the same time.
Cloud services like Fastly and AWS could be the root of the problem: pic.twitter.com/1kGWKckivn
— Dexerto (@Dexerto)
Giant dinosaur species found in Australia, among world’s largest | History News | Al Jazeera
Palaeontologists in Australia have identified a new species of dinosaur, naming it the Australotitan cooperensis and recognising it not only as the largest to ever roam the continent but also among the biggest in the world.
Australotitan, or the southern titan, was a long-necked sauropod that is estimated to have reached 25-30 metres (82-98 feet) in length and 5-6.5 metres (16-21 feet) in height, making it as long as a basketball court and as high as a two-storey building.
The findings were published in the journal PeerJ on Monday.
“It’s been a long time coming, but we are very proud to showcase Australia’s largest dinosaur species,” said Scott Hocknull, a palaeontologist at the Queensland Museum and a co-author of the study. “We know it was a plant-eating dinosaur. It had a very long neck and a very long tail and had the look of a typical brachiosaurus. But it was enormous. It was a titanosaurian.”
Nicknamed Cooper, after the nearby creek where it was first found in 2006, the dinosaur is estimated to have lived more than 90 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period, and is estimated to have weighed about 67 tonnes.
“These are the largest dinosaurs that ever walked on earth and based on the preserved limb size comparisons, this new titanosaur is estimated to be in the top five largest in the world,” said Robyn Mackenzie, the director of the Eromanga Natural History Museum, who first spotted the dinosaur’s remains along with her husband on her family farm in southwest Queensland.
Since excavations for dinosaur fossils began in 2005 in the area, known as Eromanga Basin, two other large sauropods have also been discovered. They are nicknamed George and Zac.
“These dinosaur discoveries have opened a whole new world, not just to our family, but to people throughout Australia,” Mackenzie was quoted as saying by the 9News broadcaster. “It has been the most enriching journey.”
Hocknull told Al Jazeera it had been a “very long and painstaking task” to confirm that Cooper was a new species of dinosaur. The palaeontologists’ research relied on 3D scan models of bones to compare the dinosaur with its relatives in Australia and elsewhere in the world.
“When you have a dinosaur bone that weighs 200 kilograms (440 pounds), you can’t just put in a car and take them to other museums for comparison. So, we used 3D technology to scan the bones, so that I can go compare them in different museums and different collections,” he said.
The process took many years, but over that period Hocknell said: “We have been able to figure out that not only is it different, but it is Australia’s largest dinosaur species”.
The palaeontologist said the study found that the Australotitan was most closely related to three other sauropods that lived in Australia during the Cretaceous period – the Wintonotitan and the smaller Diamantinasaurus and Savannasaurus sauropods.
“That means they are one big happy family,” he said.
The new species also share relations with titanosaurians from South America and Asia, said Hocknell, suggesting they may have travelled to the continent from South America via Antarctica during periods of global warmth.
Or, he said, they might have island-hopped across ancient island archipelagos, which would eventually make up the present-day terrains of Southeast Asia and the Philippines.
South African woman gives birth to 10 babies, breaks Guinness World Record – Trending News News
A woman from South Africa’s Gauteng has broken a Guinness World Record as she gave birth to 10 babies at once. The record was previously set by Halima Cisse who gave birth to nine children in Morocco last month.
Gosiame Thamara Sithole’s husband Teboho Tsotetsi told Pretoria News that she delivered 10 babies at a hospital in Pretoria on June 7. The doctor, in fact, after medical scans earlier had detected that she will give birth to eight babies, but instead, she delivered seven boys and three girls by Caesarean section.
Gosiame Thamara, who has six-year-old twins, previously told the Pretoria News that her pregnancy was natural.
“It’s seven boys and three girls. She was seven months and seven days pregnant. I am happy. I am emotional,” Teboho Tsotetsi told Pretoria News.
Before the birth of her babies, Gosiame Thamara Sithole, during an interview with Pretoria News, had said, “I am shocked by my pregnancy. It was tough at the beginning. I was sick. It was hard for me. It’s still tough but I am used to it now. I don’t feel the pain anymore, but it’s still a bit tough. I just pray for God to help me deliver all my children in a healthy condition, and for me and my children to come out alive. I would be pleased about it.”
Gosiame Thamara Sithole (37) from Tembisa has given birth to a village breaking a world record with 10 kids at once last night. She delivered 7 boys and 3 girls. A true meaning of aiyate Sione. pic.twitter.com/pK2Bj15ZTm
— Man’s NOT Barry Roux (@AdvoBarryRoux)
At first, doctors had said that she was expecting six children (sextuplets). Following several other scans, Gosiame Thamara Sithole was told that she will deliver octuplets, but ultimately, gave birth to 10 children.
Gosiame Thamara Sithole had said that the two babies could not be detected initially because they were inside the wrong tube.
Professor Dini Mawela, deputy head of the school of medicine at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, said that Sithole’s case was rare. It was usually caused by fertility treatments, professor said. However, Sithole had clarified earlier that she was not on fertility treatment.
“It’s quite a unique situation. I don’t know how often it happens. It’s extremely high risk (pregnancy). It’s a highly complex and high-risk situation. The danger is that, because there is not enough space in the womb for the children, the tendency is that they will be small. What would happen is that they would take them out pre-term because there is a risk if they keep them longer in there. The babies will come out small, chances of survival compromised. But all this depends on how long she carried them for,” Professor Dini Mawela told Pretoria News.
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