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Trends in the Southern Annular Mode from observations and reanalyses

first_imgSeveral papers have described a significant trend toward the positive phase of the Southern Hemisphere annular mode (SAM) in recent decades. The SAM is the dominant mode of atmospheric variability in the Southern Hemisphere (SH) so such a change implies a major shift in the broadscale climate of this hemisphere. However, the majority of these studies have used NCEP – NCAR reanalysis (NNR) data, which are known to have spurious negative trends in SH high-latitude pressure. Thus, given that the SAM describes the relative atmospheric anomalies at mid-and high southern latitudes, these errors in the NNR data have the potential to invalidate the published findings on changes in the SAM. Therefore, it is important that a “true” benchmark of trends in the SAM is available against which future climate scenarios as revealed through climate models can be examined. In this paper this issue is addressed by employing an empirical definition of the SAM so that station data can be utilized to evaluate true temporal changes: six stations are used to calculate a proxy zonal mean sea level pressure (MSLP) at both 408 and 658S during 1958 – 2000. The observed increase in the difference in zonal MSLP between 408 ( increasing) and 658S ( decreasing) is shown to be statistically significant, with the trend being most pronounced since the mid-1970s. However, it is demonstrated that calculated trends in the MSLP difference between 408 and 658S and the SAM itself are exaggerated by a factor of 3 and 2, respectively, in the NNR. The SH high-latitude errors in the early part of this reanalysis are greatest in winter as are subsequent improvements. As a result, the NNR shows the greatest seasonal trend in the SAM to be in the austral winter, in marked contrast to observational data, which reveal the largest real increase to be in summer. Equivalent data from two ECMWF reanalyses, including part of the new ERA-40 reanalysis, are also examined. It is demonstrated that ERA-40 provides an improved representation of SH high-latitude atmospheric circulation variability that can be used with high confidence at least as far back as 1973 – and is therefore ideal for examining the recent trend in the SAM – and with more confidence than the NNR right back to 1958.last_img read more

Third Eye Blind Played The RNC Just So They Could Troll Republicans [Watch]

first_imgLast night, the Third Eye Blind summer tour hit Cleveland, OH, performing at a benefit concert during a time when the city was overrun by the Republican National Convention. While the concert was technically affiliated with the RNC, the hosting organization – the RIAA – had previously shown their support for the Republican party.With many GOP supporters in the building, lead singer Stephan Jenkins reportedly took a number of shots at the Republican party’s values, saying things like “Raise your hand if you believe in science” and launching into a speech about LGBTQ rights. The band also refused to play most of their hit songs, only adding to the crowd’s distaste for the performance. Of course, the one hit song they did perform is “Jumper”, which is partially about their manager’s gay high school friend who killed himself while at Military school, so the song was included in the set as part of the protest.Watch the band’s speech below. The band even snarkily struck back at disappointed fans on social media…last_img read more

West Midlands pensions chief Drever to retire

first_imgChair of the WMPF pensions committee, councillor Ian Brookfield, said: “It has been a real pleasure to work with one of the industry’s best known individuals. We wish Geik well in her retirement – she is a great colleague who will be sorely missed.”Meanwhile, Fletcher is to leave WMPF after less than a year in order to lead the LGPS Central pool’s investment team. He joins Andrew Warwick-Thompson, LGPS Central’s CEO.Since joining in September last year, Fletcher has played an active role in setting up LGPS Central, co-operating with senior staff at fellow LGPS funds for Cheshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, and Worcestershire.He also led a groundbreaking review of WMPF’s asset management costs, using a template developed by Chris Sier and now being adopted across the LGPS in England and Wales.Fletcher joined WMPF after a 20-year career at the Universities Superannuation Scheme, where he was latterly deputy CIO. He has also worked at the British Airways Pension Fund.Fletcher said: “Since joining the West Midlands Pension Fund I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the other partner funds of LGPS Central. I am delighted to have been offered one of the most exciting challenges within the industry, and to have been given the opportunity to work with our partner funds to deliver their objectives.“There is a lot of hard work ahead and a very challenging timetable, but I am convinced that LGPS Central will be successful in its ambition of providing transparent, high quality, excellent value for money investment management services to its partner funds.”WMPF is actively recruiting for its senior management team, although investment strategy implementation will pass from WMPF’s internal team to LGPS Central from April 2018.Last week another LGPS pool – Brunel Pensions Partnership – announced the appointment of two staff from one of its founder members to its senior management team. Geik Drever, strategic director of pensions at the UK’s West Midlands Pension Fund (WMPF), is to retire at the end of September, the public sector scheme announced today.The £14.3bn (€16bn) local government pension scheme (LGPS) is also set to lose its chief investment officer, Jason Fletcher. He is to move to LGPS Central, the £40bn asset pool of which West Midlands is a founding member.Drever joined WMPF in 2012 after a 25-year career with Edinburgh council. In the Scottish capital Drever was the council’s chief accountant, before moving to run its pension scheme, the Lothian Pension Fund, in 2002.Rachel Brothwood, WMPF’s director of pensions, will take over from Drever from 1 October 2017, the scheme said in a statement. She joined the fund in 2015 and has since led reviews of its administration, funding, and investment strategies.last_img read more

9 months agoRabbi Matondo rejects Man City contract offer

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Rabbi Matondo rejects Man City contract offerby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveRabbi Matondo has rejected a new contract offer from Manchester City.The Sun says he could be the next youngster to leave the Etihad.Pep Guardiola has lost Brahim Diaz to Real Madrid and now has one of his brightest Academy prospects targeted by German clubs.The 18-year-old, capped by Wales, has a full season left on his current deal but fresh terms have not been agreed.Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Monchengladbach, and RB Leipzig all watched the forward play in a UEFA youth clash against Hoffenhiem earlier in the season.And City ideally don’t want youngsters running down their contract like Spain Under-21 star Diaz. last_img read more

Suncor refinery restart to ease PetroCanada service station fuel outages

first_imgCALGARY – Suncor Energy Inc. says a fuel supply shortage that left some of its Petro-Canada stations in the four western provinces with no gasoline to pump should clear up in the next few days.Stations began running out of fuel about two weeks ago in Edmonton and Calgary, followed by some Petro-Canada outlets in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and B.C.Spokeswoman Nicole Fisher says Suncor’s 142,000 barrel-a-day Edmonton refinery was restarted last week after being shut down for regular spring maintenance and the company is working to resupply the stations.She says the shortage of gasoline and other fuels in Western Canada was made worse because other suppliers were also off line, preventing Petro-Canada stations from using alternative sources.She says she doesn’t know how many stations were without fuel supplies.Fisher says Suncor is apologizing to customers who were inconvenienced by the outages, adding the last time it had such severe shortfall was two years ago in the wake of the Fort McMurray wildfire.“As they ran out, we’ve been working to replenish but some of them haven’t been replenished,” she said. “We do know this is an inconvenience for our customers and we do apologize.”last_img read more

IBM computer proves formidable against 2 human debaters

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO – An argumentative computer proved formidable against two human debaters as IBM gave its first public demonstration of new artificial intelligence technology it’s been working on for more than five years.The new skills show that computers are getting better at mastering human language and speech.The computer made its case for government-subsidized space research by pulling in evidence from its huge internal repository of newspapers, journals and other sources. After delivering opening arguments, the computer listened to a professional human debater’s counter-argument and spent four minutes rebutting it.The company unveiled its Project Debater in San Francisco on Monday. IBM selected possible topics based on whether they were debatable, but neither the computer nor the human debaters knew the topic in advance. Nonetheless, the computer championed the topic fiercely with just a few awkward gaps in reasoning.“Subsidizing space exploration is like investing in really good tires,” argued the computer system, its female voice embodied in a 5-foot-tall machine shaped like a monolith with TV screens on its sides. Such research would enrich the human mind, inspire young people and be a “very sound investment,” it said, making it more important even than good roads, schools or health care.After closing arguments it moved on to a second debate about telemedicine.An IBM research team based in Israel began working on the project not long after IBM’s Watson computer beat two human quizmasters on a “Jeopardy” challenge in 2011.But rather than just scanning a giant trove of data in search of factoids, IBM’s latest project taps into several more complex branches of AI. Search engine algorithms used by Google and Microsoft’s Bing use similar technology to digest and summarize written content and compose new paragraphs. Voice assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa rely on listening comprehension to answer questions posed by people. Google recently demonstrated an eerily human-like voice assistant that can call hair salons or restaurants to make appointments.But IBM says it’s breaking new ground by creating a system that tackles deeper human practices of rhetoric and analysis, and how they’re used to discuss big questions whose answers aren’t always clear.“If you think of the rules of debate, they’re far more open-ended than the rules of a board game,” said Ranit Aharonov, who manages the debater project.IBM doesn’t try to declare a winner of the debates, but Noa Ovadia, one of the human debaters, said the computer was a formidable opponent even if it made a few too many blanket statements about space exploration being the pinnacle of human achievement.Ovadia, a national debate champion in Israel, said she was impressed by its fluency in language and ability to construct sentences. She said the computer was able to “get to the bottom line of my arguments” and respond to them.Among several outside experts IBM invited to attend Project Debater’s debut was Chris Reed, who directs the Centre for Argument Technology at the University of Dundee in Scotland. Reed said he was impressed by its grasp of “procatalepsis” — a rhetorical technique that involves anticipating an opponent’s argument and preemptively rebutting it.As expected, the machine tends to be better than humans at bringing in numbers and other detailed supporting evidence. It’s also able to latch onto the most salient and attention-getting elements of an argument, and can even deliver some self-referential jokes about being a computer.But it lacks tact, researchers said. Sometimes the jokes don’t come out right. And on Monday, some of the sources it cited — such as a German official and an Arab sheikh — didn’t seem particularly germane.“Humans tend to be better at using more expressive language, more original language,” said Dario Gil, IBM’s vice-president of AI research. “They bring in their own personal experience as a way to illustrate the point. The machine doesn’t live in the real world or have a life that it’s able to tap into.”There are no immediate plans to turn Project Debater into a commercial product, but Gil said it could be useful in the future in helping lawyers or other human workers make informed decisions.last_img read more

BC sending Forest Firefighters to help in Alberta

first_imgtwo hundred and thirty firefighters (consisting of 10 initial attack crews and 10 unit crews)three agency representativesa 19-person incident management teamfourteen supervisorsThe request for assistance was made through the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, which co-ordinates the mutual sharing of firefighting resources between B.C. and other jurisdictions. All associated costs are covered by the jurisdiction that requested the resources.Considering the current and forecasted fire situation in British Columbia, sufficient personnel and resources remain in the province to respond appropriately to any fire activity here. Crews can be deployed out-of-province for up to 19 days, but can be recalled at any time.The BC Wildfire Service recognizes the importance of sharing firefighting resources given the invaluable assistance Alberta has provided to B.C. during the last two wildfire seasons, which were the worst in the province’s history. KAMLOOPS, B.C. – The Province of B.C. will send 267 wildfire personnel to Alberta to help with firefighting efforts.Firefighters and support staff will start arriving on Wednesday and Thursday and will be deployed as needed in the Province.Of the people being sent, the majority will be firefighters which include the following:last_img read more

Terrorism: two people brought before public prosecutor at Rabat appeal court

first_imgRabat – The national judiciary police brought, on Thursday, before the public prosecutor at the Rabat appeal court two people sued in two terrorism-related cases.The first is sued for membership in a banned religious group and holding unauthorized public meetings with recidivism, a legal source said.The second is sued for forming a criminal gang to prepare and commit terrorist attacks and membership in a banned religious group. The two accused will be questioned by the examining magistrate in charge of terrorism affairs.last_img read more

Morocco, US discuss ways to boost cooperation in field of energy

first_imgRabat – Minister of Energy, Mines, Water and the Environment, Abdelkader Amara, held talks Monday in Rabat, with Ambassador of the United States of America in Morocco, Dwight L. Bush Sr., on ways to promote cooperation in the field of energy, including renewable energy.This meeting was an opportunity to discuss several topics including energy and ways to further promote the Moroccan-American cooperation in the energy field as well as the Free Trade agreement, Amara told the press.The two officials also discussed means to expand the prospects of this cooperation toward sub-Saharan countries, given the particular interest shown by HM King Mohammed VI and President Barack Obama toward the continent, he added, noting that Africa suffers from a shortage of equipment in terms of electrification and energy in general. In a similar statement, the American diplomat said he was “very happy” to be in Morocco, a “longtime friend,” deeming as “constructive” the talks with the Moroccan Minister.This meeting also discussed “the opportunities to work together,” Bush said, noting that they also focused on the commitment of His Majesty the King to expanding access to energy.last_img read more

Ohio State wrestler Kyle Snyder qualifies for 2016 Olympics in Rio de

OSU sophomore Kyle Snyder enters the arena during the 2016 NCAA Wrestling Championships on March 19 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Credit: Courtesy of OSUAfter winning a world championship, a Big Ten championship and a national championship in less than a year, Ohio State sophomore wrestler Kyle Snyder added another accomplishment to his résumé: an Olympic berth.Snyder was victorious in Iowa City, Iowa, on Sunday after taking down 2012 Olympic gold medalist Jake Varner in the best-of-three series of matches. As the reigning world champion, Snyder received an automatic spot in the finals.“It’s pretty hard to describe,” Snyder said in an OSU press release. “It started off making it to the NCAA finals as a true freshman then losing that. After that I kind of fell into a lot of success, not really fall into it but through a lot of hard work and self-belief. I really haven’t had a chance to look back on it yet, honestly.”Varner won in the first meeting, but Snyder rebounded after a short resting period. The OSU sophomore tied the score 4-4 in the initial bout but lost because of criteria.Snyder walked out from the locker room with a much more focused demeanor for the next meeting and showed complete control in the next two matches, outscoring Varner 10-1.“It was pretty nerve-wracking,” Snyder said in the release. “I had all intentions of winning the first match and winning two in a row. But that is why the sport of wrestling is great because you never know what is going to happen. You never know if you are going to win or lose, all you can do is just prepare.”It’s the fourth time Snyder has beaten Varner in his career. Last year, prior to his world championship, Snyder toppled Varner twice in the U.S. Team Trials and once at the U.S. Open.The freshly crowned heavyweight champion is set to represent the United States at 97 kilograms in Rio de Janeiro from Aug. 5 to 21. Snyder joins a handful of OSU alumni who have earned their way onto the U.S. Olympic team in the past. Mark Coleman finished seventh in 1992, while Perry Martter and Harry Steel competed in 1924.Snyder is the only Buckeye wrestler to make it to the Olympics while an active member of the Scarlet and Gray.All other OSU wrestlers shooting for a spot on the national team were eliminated from contention earlier in the day, including redshirt sophomore Nathan Tomasello and the Buckeyes’ most notable alumnus, four-time NCAA champion Logan Stieber. Tomasello lost in the quarterfinals, while Stieber lost in the semifinals. read more