Aug 31, 2017

Scientists examine link between longer-lasting weather and climate change​

Gregory Bull / AP

Bloomberg reports that a slowing jet stream might be causing longer-lasting storms and heat waves, according to a study published in Nature this year. Study author Michael Mann, an atmospheric scientist at Pennsylvania State University, told Bloomberg that sometimes currents in the upper atmosphere go through a stationary phase that may be linked to longer-lasting weather disasters and "appears to be favored by human-caused climate change."

What they did: The scientists analyzed a number of extreme weather events, including Russia's 2010 heatwave, flooding in Pakistan in 2010, and the recent droughts in Texas and California. They found the jet stream stabilized during some of those cases, possibly holding the weather patterns in place.

A link to Harvey? On Monday, Mann published an essay detailing different ways climate change may have had an impact on Harvey. Although he mentioned jet stream stalling as a potential factor contributing to Harvey's persistence, he described the link as "tenuous."

The remaining question is whether the disruptions in the jet stream are caused by Arctic warming, which is occurring at twice the global average and could create opportunities for more persistent weather farther south. Even then, there is debate over whether there is a link between jet stream sluggishness and major storms at all. "It's still controversial," David Sobel, an earth scientist at Columbia University tells Bloomberg.

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Acting Navy head apologizes for calling fired captain "stupid"

Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly testifies on Capitol Hill in December. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly apologized Monday for calling Capt. Brett Crozier, the ousted commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, "too naive or too stupid" over his letter pleading for help following a coronavirus outbreak onboard.

The big picture: His apology came after President Trump told a news briefing earlier Monday he would "get involved" following a leak of Modly's remarks to the ship's crew on Crozier, who has since been diagnosed with coronavirus, which were obtained by CNN.

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 1,346,299 — Total deaths: 74,679 — Total recoveries: 276,636Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 367,507— Total deaths: 10,908 — Total recoveries: 19,598Map.
  3. 2020 update: Wisconsin Supreme Court blocks governor's attempt to delay in-person primary voting delayed until June.
  4. States latest: West Coast states send ventilators to New York and other states with more immediate need — Data suggest coronavirus curve may be flattening in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
  5. World update: U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson moved to intensive care as coronavirus symptoms worsen.
  6. Stocks latest: The S&P 500 closed up 7% on Monday, while the Dow rose more than 1,500 points.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Former Vatican treasurer George Pell's sexual abuse convictions overturned

Cardinal George Pell at the County Court in Melbourne, Australia, in 2019. Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

George Pell, the former Vatican treasurer, has won his appeal and had his child sexual abuse convictions overturned by Australia's High Court.

Why it matters: The cardinal became last year the highest-ranking Catholic Church official to go to trial and be convicted for sex abuse. But the High Court's ruling means he can be immediately released from prison, where he was serving a six-year sentence.

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