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The US government on Tuesday unveiled a plan to roll back clean water rules protecting the nation's waterways and wetlands, fulfilling a pledge from President Donald Trump to farmers and supporters who view environmental regulations as too strict. The proposed changes to the Clean Water Act would "remove and replace" rules set by the administration of Barack Obama in 2015, which was widely praised by environmental protection activists. Trump had previously called the Obama-era regulation "horrible" and said it impeded economic development in rural areas -- an issue that was important to his electoral base.
European shares closed higher, in part from a boost in auto shares, and Wall Street opened on a strong note after a report that China is moving to cut import tariffs on American-made cars, which market participants viewed as a sign China is ready to make concessions on trade. "The key drivers of today's volatility are the political and geopolitical headlines," said Carol Schleif, deputy chief investment officer at Abbot Downing in Minneapolis.
The online retailer will hire only about 700 people next year at its new Long Island City location at One Court Square, growing to about 3,000 in 2020, according to documents released Tuesday by New York City. The documents include New York’s pitch to the Seattle-based tech giant to attract 50,000 good-paying corporate jobs to the metropolitan area, as well as a memorandum of understanding about the project in Long Island City. Amazon announced last month that it had split its new office project in half, with 25,000 jobs going to Queens and 25,000 going to the Washington, D.C. suburbs within 15 years.
As the Last Zumwalt-Class Vessel Launches, the Stealth Destroyer's Fate Remains Deeply Uncertain
Environmental groups opposed to offshore drilling sued the federal government on Tuesday to prevent future seismic tests for oil and gas deposits in Atlantic waters off the U.S. East Coast. Seismic testing, which uses air gun blasts, violates federal laws that protect marine mammals, endangered species, and national environmental policy, according the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Charleston, South Carolina, against U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and the National Marine Fisheries Service.
The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum is celebrating the 50th anniversary of NASA's epic Apollo 8 moon mission tonight (Dec. 11), and you can watch the event live. The museum is presenting a program called "Spirit of Apollo" at Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., tonight at 8 p.m. EST (0100 GMT on Dec. 12). The event is sold out, but you can watch a webcast of it live here at Space.com, courtesy of NASA.
Atop the globe, there's probably no turning back. Melting trends in the Arctic today are increasingly stark. The 2018 Arctic Report Card, produced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), depicts a thawing world that is continuing to warm and melt at an unprecedented pace. "I think that the report demonstrated everything we’ve been seeing for the last decade," Jeremy Mathis, a NOAA Arctic scientist who was not involved with this report, said in an interview. "The changes in the Arctic are happening faster than they’re happening anywhere else on the rest of the planet." Loss of November #Arctic sea ice volume since 1979...+ Data information: https://t.co/MJsb1hjtBx+ Additional graphics: https://t.co/uzWknWmNnX pic.twitter.com/TKk1MIrba9 — Zack Labe (@ZLabe) December 8, 2018 The driver of the Arctic's vanishing sea ice is warming air. Here, the trends are clear. Air temperatures in the Arctic over the last five years have been the five highest on record, since 1900, the report emphasizes. But in the Arctic, this warming is especially magnified. The vast Arctic Ocean is subject to an unstoppable "albedo effect," in which vanishing sea ice sets the stage for more melting of ice to occur, in a vicious cycle. Specifically, bright white sea ice has a high albedo, or ability to reflect sunlight. But when the ice melts, it leaves the dark ocean to absorb heat, which then warms both the oceans and surrounding air. In turn, this melts more ice. The consequences are clear. Sea ice is covering less and less area, commonly called "low ice extents." "The 12 lowest extents in the satellite record have occurred in the last 12 years," the report underscores. The red line shows the declining sea ice minimum, which occurs in September.Image: noaaThere isn't just less Arctic sea ice — the nature of the ice has changed profoundly too. The older, strongest ice — which is more resilient to warming temperatures — is vanishing. In 1985, the oldest ice (which is ice greater than four years old) comprised 16 percent of Arctic's total sea ice, the report concludes. But by March 2018, the old ice made up just 0.9 percent of the Arctic's ice, the report said. That's a 95 percent reduction. "That older, thicker ice showed very clear signs of melting this year," said Mathis. He noted the melting of the some of the most ancient, formidable ice in the Arctic — an area of ice north of Greenland that's about the size of Indiana. That melting is no easy feat. This ice is, on average, 16 feet thick, and can grow to as much as 65 feet thick. All signs point towards the reality that this trend will continue, which means an Arctic dominated by young, thin ice — ice that is all the more susceptible to today's accelerating climate change. SEE ALSO: Smokey Bear's world is on fire. But the old mascot won't die. Soon enough, this means an ice-free, or nearly ice-free Arctic. "We’re headed towards an ice-free summer in the not-too-distant future," said Mathis. "We're on the order of a decade or two away." Stopping this trend, in the short term or coming decade, will be nearly impossible. This is because humanity has loaded the atmosphere with the highest concentrations of carbon dioxide — a potent greenhouse gas — in some 15 million years. It won't simply fade away in so short a time. What's more, climate and economics researchers expect modern civilization to increase our carbon output over the coming decade. But in the longer term — to stave off even more dire warming in the Arctic — the solution is simple and promoted by scientists everywhere: We must reduce our global carbon emissions in an extreme way. A look at the loss of thicker (usually older) #Arctic sea ice in Octobers from 1979-2016 (PIOMAS, ice < 1.5 meters masked black) pic.twitter.com/BtHCwVUdKk — Zack Labe (@ZLabe) November 14, 2016 An increasingly ice-free Arctic will certainly open up economic opportunities, including those for commercial shipping. But this comes with a big cost. The Arctic, a dominant region of Earth, has sway over the greater globe. "We know climate change in the Arctic can have a destabilizing effect on weather and climate patterns around the Northern Hemisphere," said Mathis. "We're going to have to pay attention to those trade-offs." Of note, the Arctic report card details a growing understanding of how Arctic warming has a significant effect on the jet stream, high atmospheric winds that cut directly across the United States. A warm Arctic reduces the temperature difference between the middle-latitudes, where the lower 48 states lie, and the Arctic. This tends to dampen these winds and allows the jet stream to bend, in big waves. There's ever-growing evidence that this results in persistent summer-like weather patterns over the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere. "The Arctic meltdown may also be contributing to summer heatwaves, drought, wildfires, and flooding over Northern Hemisphere continents," Jennifer Francis, a marine scientist at Woods Hole Research Center, wrote in the report. This weaker jet stream, pushed up higher into California, is already making for an extended, damaging fire season in California, scientists say. A wavier jet stream over North America.Image: noaa"...it's becoming ice-crystal-clear that change in the far north will increasingly affect us all," Francis writes. Elsewhere in the Arctic Report Card, NOAA outlines more examples of widespread change — some of it beneficial, but mostly not. With depleted sea ice comes a boom in ocean plankton, which means more ocean creatures sucking historically high carbon dioxide out of the air. Some of these blooms of ocean life, however, are toxic. Elsewhere, the iconic grazing animals of the high north, like reindeer, have seen their populations plummet by half. Microscopic plastic contamination is climbing in the Arctic, in some places increasing 20 times over the last decade. Some of these changes are easier to see than others. But dramatically vanished sea ice, stoked by climate change, is an easily-visible, growing reality. "The Arctic is a great indicator of where the global climate is headed," said Mathis. WATCH: Ever wonder how the universe might end?
TripAdvisor Inc.’s 81 percent gain in 2018 is second only to AMD’s 95 percent rise in the index. While Wall Street has been skeptical on AMD for years, the phenomenon is relatively new for TripAdvisor. Just three of the 27 analysts covering TripAdvisor recommend buying shares now, down from more than a third of analysts four years ago when the stock was trading significantly higher, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Children account for a third of Ebola cases in an outbreak of the disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with hundreds orphaned or isolated, the United Nations said on Tuesday. Nearly 300 people have died from the highly contagious disease since August in the restive east around the city of Beni.
NIH Funding Opportunities
- Notice of Expiration of PA-18-471 "Innovative Questions in Symptom Science and Genomics (R15 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)"
- Advance Notice: Streamlining the Certifications and Representations Process and Phasing out the SF-424B
- NIDCR Mentoring Network to Support a Diverse Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Research Workforce (UE5 Clinical Trials Not Allowed)
- Limited Competition: Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Program: Exploratory Collaborative Innovation Awards (R21 Clinical Trial Optional)
- Limited Competition: Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Program: Collaborative Innovation Award, (U01 Clinical Trial Optional)