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+ - Partial Solar Eclipse 2014 Arrives Thursday->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes ""It's already been a big week for skywatchers, and more celestial fun is on the horizon.

On Tuesday, skywatchers were treated to the annual Orionid meteor shower. And now a spooky partial solar eclipse will darken skies for viewers across North America on Thursday, Oct. 23.

A partial solar eclipse occurs when the new moon passes in front of the sun, casting a shadow on Earth and blocking a portion of the sun from view.

The eclipse will be visible in the late afternoon between the East and West Coast of the U.S., as far north as the Arctic, and as far south as Mexico."

If you can be in an area with dappled sunlight, you may notice the individual spots of light are no longer round during the eclipse."

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+ - Power Plants Seek to Extend Life of Nuclear Reactors for Decades->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "The prospects for building new nuclear reactors may be sharply limited, but the owners of seven old ones, in Pennsylvania, Virginia and South Carolina, are preparing to ask for permission to run them until they are 80 years old.

Nuclear proponents say that extending plants’ lifetimes is more economical — and a better way to hold down carbon dioxide emissions — than building new plants, although it will require extensive monitoring of steel, concrete, cable insulation and other components. But the idea is striking even to some members of the nuclear establishment.

At a meeting of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in May, George Apostolakis, a risk expert who was then one of the five commissioners, pointed out that if operation were allowed until age 80, some reactors would be using designs substantially older than that.

“I don’t know how we would explain to the public that these designs, 90-year-old designs, 100-year-old designs, are still safe to operate,” he said. “Don’t we need more convincing arguments than just ‘We’re managing aging effects’?”"

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+ - Ebola Test Is Positive in Second Texas Health Worker->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "The authorities in Texas reported on Wednesday that a second health care worker involved in the treatment of a patient who died of the Ebola virus had tested positive for the disease after developing a fever.

The worker, who was not identified by name, had been “among those who took care of Thomas Eric Duncan after he was diagnosed with Ebola,” a statement from the Texas Department of State Health Services said."

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+ - Coalition accused of 'bullying' ANU after criticism of divestment->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "The government has been accused of bullying the Australian National University, after Joe Hockey criticised it for divesting from a number of fossil fuel companies.

In highly unusual remarks about a business’s investment decisions, the treasurer said ANU should reconsider its decision to jettison investment in seven firms – Santos, Iluka Resources, Independence Group, Newcrest Mining, Sandfire Resources, Oil Search and Sirius Resources.

“I would suggest they’re removed from the reality of what is helping to drive the Australian economy and create more employment,” Hockey told the Australian Financial Review.

“Sometimes the view looks different from the lofty rooms of a university.”

Hockey is one of several politicians to publicly rebuke ANU over its fossil fuel divestment. The assistant infrastructure minister, Jamie Briggs, said he would write to the ANU vice-chancellor, Ian Young, to ask him to reconsider the blacklisting of coal seam gas company Santos.

“To publicly denigrate the reputation of one of South Australia’s finest companies is a disgrace,” Briggs said. “This seems to be taking green activism to a new level where it is damaging Australian companies and potentially job creation in the country.”"

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Comment: Re:"152% too low"? (Score 1) 423

by mdsolar (#48072005) Attached to: Past Measurements May Have Missed Massive Ocean Warming
"The results suggest that previous estimates of the heat stored in the upper 700 meters of the ocean since 1970 have been too low. In the Southern Ocean in particular, they estimate past heat tallies were 48% to 152% too low." Let's start with the 48% number. What do we need to get the new estimate from the old estimate? Multiply the old estimate by 0.48 and add that to the old estimate. Simplified, just multiply the old estimate by (0.48 +1). For the 152% number, it would be a factor of 2.52.

Thermal energy can be added to or released from a system so there is no problem using a negative sign when describing it. But that is not what is going on here.

Comment: Gas price (Score 1) 517

by mdsolar (#48008669) Attached to: Utilities Should Worry; Rooftop Solar Could Soon Cut Their Profit
Natural gas does not seem to do all that well below $3/MMBTU so utilities will have to find less costly generation and lower prices if they want to retain their market share. Wind, and soon solar, could pin natural gas down to $3/MMBTU and start to cut its share, so utilities should be looking at these forms of generation to avoid losing custom to DIY.

Comment: Text of speech (Score 1) 261

by mdsolar (#47982417) Attached to: Obama Presses China On Global Warming
Here is the transcript of President Obama's speech on climate at the UN: http://insideclimatenews.org/b... I think this is the anchor paragraph:

"So today, I call on all major economies to do the same [declare emissions targets and implementation policies]. For I believe, in the words of Dr. King, that there is such a thing as being too late. And for the sake of future generations, our generation must move toward a global compact to confront a changing climate while we still can."

Threatening China with Dr. King may be even more potent than moving to impose carbon tariffs on their imports. http://news.slashdot.org/story... The legitimacy of China's government is threatened by Dr. King's philosophy.

+ - Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million in 4 Months->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "Yet another set of ominous projections about the Ebola epidemic in West Africa was released Tuesday, in a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that gave worst- and best-case estimates for Liberia and Sierra Leone based on computer modeling.

In the worst-case scenario, Liberia and Sierra Leone could have 21,000 cases of Ebola by Sept. 30 and 1.4 million cases by Jan. 20 if the disease keeps spreading without effective methods to contain it. These figures take into account the fact that many cases go undetected, and estimate that there are actually 2.5 times as many as reported.

The report does not include figures for Guinea because case counts there have gone up and down in ways that cannot be reliably modeled.

In the best-case model — which assumes that the dead are buried safely and that 70 percent of patients are treated in settings that reduce the risk of transmission — the epidemic in both countries would be “almost ended” by Jan. 20, the report said. It showed the proportion of patients now in such settings as about 18 percent in Liberia and 40 percent in Sierra Leone."

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