September 27, 2013

UN-sponsored scientists report a 95 to 100 percent chance that most global warming in recent decades is human-caused.     Photo: Tatiana Grozetskaya/Shutterstock

Climate Scientists Set First "Carbon Budget"

Obama Plans to Issue Carbon Regulations

A group of United Nations-sponsored climate scientists issued a report Friday outlining the future of climate change: In a matter of decades, man-made carbon emissions will result in devastating changes around the globe.

According to the report, countries must cap their carbon emissions at one trillion metric tons, or face the fact that the planet will warm to 3.6 degrees Farenheit above the level of preindustrial times. The paper estimates that, without disincentives, we we will reach that temperature sometime around 2040.

In order to stay under the UN-dictated limit, companies will have to develop the technology to store carbon dioxide from emissions sources. Some have said that the cost of developing that technology would be prohibitive.

Research nonetheless suggests that the technology can be developed, and the Obama administration is set to move ahead with the first federal carbon regulations on U.S. power companies, a move that incited House Republicans to accuse Obama of waging a "war on coal."

The New York Time reports that any international negotiations toward a climate treaty remain muddled by years-old "technical and political disputes."

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Pat McQuaid reacts to the Lance Armstrong case.     Photo: Martin Criminale/Flickr

Brian Cookson Wins UCI Election

Replaces disgraced Pat McQuaid

Following months of bitter campaigning, Brian Cookson beat Pat McQuaid in a 24-18 vote Friday to become the president of the UCI, cycling's world governing body. Cookson has been the president of British Cycling since 1996 and ran on a platform or reform, promising to root out doping in the sport.

Reactions to Cookson's election have been positive from most corners of the sport. USADA CEO Travis Tygart, who played a pivotal role in revealing Lance Armstrong, congratulated Cookson, calling it a "vote for a new and clean future." On Twitter, Armstrong chimed in with "Hallelujah" and Jonathan Vaughters, manager of the Garmin-Sharp professional team, wrote "I suppose 7am is too early to start drinking in celebration," CyclingNews reports.

The road to the election was contentious. McQuaid has repeatedly faced charges of corruption throughout his campaign, dating to his dealings with Armstrong. With his reputation in tatters, McQuaid's home federation withdrew its support for his presidency. Under most interpretation of the UCI Constitution, McQuaid was out of the running because a president cannot be elected without the support of his home federation. But McQuaid quickly turned to Switzerland, the home of the UCI, for his nomination. Though they originally supported his bid, the federation later withdrew its nomination.

Coming into the election, McQuaid tried to push through an amendment allowing him to be elected on the support of the Thai and Moroccan federations. The amendment was put up to a vote during the election Friday and returned a 21-21 draw. After failing to secure the amendment, McQuaid brought in Swiss lawyers who claimed the constitution was open to interpretation and that he had the right to run for president.

With the prospect of a protracted legal fight looming, Cookson agreed to allow McQuaid to run. “All right, we’ve had enough of this. I’m going to propose that we pass straight to the election,” he said.

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    Photo: Mille Pattes Macon/Flickr

Climber Finds Treasure on Mont Blanc

May be from old plane crash

A French mountaineer has found a trove of jewels near the summit of Mont Blanc. According to the Guardian, the young man came across a metal box, containing emerald, rubies and saphires, that is thought to have come from an Air India crash some 50 years ago.

CNN reports that the stones are not being explicitly identified, but that their worth is estimated between $175,000 and $332,000.

The climber is being commended for handing in the box at a local police station. "This was an honest young man who very quickly realised that they belonged to someone who died on the glacier," police chief Sylvain Merly told AFP.

The find was made on the Bossons glacier, which has seen a number of historic Air India crashes. 

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