Sea ice plays an important role in Earth’s climate system. The lack of direct indications of past sea ice coverage, however, means that there is limited knowledge of the sensitivity and rate at which sea ice dynamics are involved in amplifying climate changes. As such, there is a need to develop new proxy records for reconstructing past sea ice conditions. Here we review the advances that have been made in using chemical tracers preserved in ice cores to determine past changes in sea ice cover around Antarctica. Ice core records of sea salt concentration show promise for revealing patterns of sea ice extent particularly over glacial–interglacial time scales. In the coldest climates, however, the sea salt signal appears to lose sensitivity and further work is required to determine how this proxy can be developed into a quantitative sea ice indicator. Methane sulphonic acid (MSA) in near-coastal ice cores has been used to reconstruct quantified changes and interannual variability in sea ice extent over shorter time scales spanning the last ∼160 years, and has potential to be extended to produce records of Antarctic sea ice changes throughout the Holocene. However the MSA ice core proxy also requires careful site assessment and interpretation alongside other palaeoclimate indicators to ensure reconstructions are not biased by non-sea ice factors, and we summarise some recommended strategies for the further development of sea ice histories from ice core MSA. For both proxies the limited information about the production and transfer of chemical markers from the sea ice zone to the Antarctic ice sheets remains an issue that requires further multidisciplinary study. Despite some exploratory and statistical work, the application of either proxy as an indicator of sea ice change in the Arctic also remains largely unknown. As information about these new ice core proxies builds, so too does the potential to develop a more comprehensive understanding of past changes in sea ice and its role in both long and short-term climate changes.
Though The Wall was conceived as a societal allegory, it has never been as relevant in America as it is today. Pink Floyd’s 1979 album shows the consequences of a totalitarian regime building a wall, which certainly sounds familiar to today’s political climate.According to a report from EuroNews, bassist Roger Waters is not only aware of this, but is even considering a massive concert of The Wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Waters performed The Wall extensively in 2012, and a recreation of that elaborate performance would most certainly be a welcomed protest.In the article, Waters says, “Before this can happen, there will first need to be an awakening against these far-right policies… The sewers are engorged by greedy and powerful men as I speak to you.”This wouldn’t be the first time that Waters has openly criticized Donald Trump through his music. The Pink Floyd bassist released images comparing Trump to a Nazi during a performance in October, during the song “Pigs (Three Different Ones).” You can watch that video here, which was shared on Inauguration Day.Meanwhile, Waters recently announced a new solo album, which he’ll be supporting with a major world tour. Find out more about the newly announced album here.[H/T CoS]
By Gustavo Arias Retana/Diálogo November 01, 2018 In mid-September 2018, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro visited one of the few international partners his government has left: China. Maduro sought funding to give his administration some relief. Although he returned without a loan, he signed about 20 agreements leaving Venezuela in an even more dependent position. “Venezuela was the main gate of entry for China into Latin America and the Caribbean, and still is,” José Ricardo Thomas, political scientist at the Central University of Venezuela, who holds a doctorate in International Affairs from Peking University, told Diálogo. “There was a political-military elite gave the country away to China for personal gain, negligence, unsound geopolitical perception, and lack of nationalism.” “Venezuela is at risk of becoming ultra-dependent on China, which seems to have effectively happened. It could become just a bargaining chip for superpowers’ interests,” said Mariano De Alba, a Venezuelan lawyer specialized in international law and international relations. “Venezuela became a country whose partnerships do not conform with Venezuelan interests, but to political and ideological affinities. The current scenario is one where Venezuela lost almost all its independence.” Oil is what matters Although he did not elaborate on the details of the agreement with China, Maduro said one of the goals is to stabilize Venezuelan oil production. According to De Alba, the objective isn’t new, because China’s main interest in Venezuela is to increase its participation in energy production. “They are interested in the energy sector, especially oil, gas, and raw materials such as valuable minerals. Then, to a lesser extent, their interest is in infrastructure and construction,” De Alba said. “Obviously, any world power wants to have access to key raw materials, such as oil, to maintain its pace of economic growth. Therefore, China somehow takes advantage of the void that exists in Venezuela.” According to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Venezuela sent China 330,000 barrels of oil to pay part of its debt in 2017. In the first semester of 2018, oil production in Venezuela fell by 20 percent. Cyclic debt The relationship between China and Venezuela is very tight, De Alba said, due to the debts the South American country incurred. China granted credit to Venezuela during the last 10 years for at least $62 billion—Venezuela still owes $23 billion. The South American country pays its debts with oil. However, in the last three years the Chinese government exempted Maduro from repaying the outstanding loans and only collected interest. “Maduro’s problem now is that the financial relationship between Venezuela and China has gone on several years, and the Chinese government realized that the Venezuelan regime is neither capable nor willing to implement proper economic reforms to seek a balance and get back on track toward economic growth,” De Alba said. “Now Maduro turns to China, but the Chinese are aware of the high risks of investing in Venezuela. Consequently, they agreed to give limited funding to their companies operating in Venezuela to maintain oil production going and guarantee the shipment of crude oil to their country.” The loans tie Venezuela to China, Thomas said. There is also uncertainty about what the deals include, as both sides conducted secret negotiations. “The challenge for most Venezuelans should also be in managing the obscure credit operations [late President Hugo] Chávez and Maduro undertook. Currently, the content of oil contracts is unknown: flows, compensations, interest rates, prices assigned to pay off the debt, etc.,” Thomas said. “Something similar is happening with the agreements signed on natural resources and raw materials. It’s unknown how much China is allowed to interfere. Finally, in case of bankruptcy or regime change, which court will the Chinese use to claim the millions of dollars they granted?” Geopolitical game Thomas points out that although China tries to focus its relationship with Venezuela on economic terms, its geopolitical interest in the country, as part of its global expansion strategy, is undeniable. “It’s all a calculated, pre-established move within the support and action plan involving Beijing, Caracas, Istanbul, Havana, Tehran, and Moscow. The former carefully funds and coordinates some actions of the rest in favor of its geostrategy to control the majority of states, territories, markets, and continents to the detriment of the United States,” Thomas said.
MALVERN, Iowa – The non-qualifiers race new to the upcoming Deery Brothers Summer Series is already drawing plenty of interest.Malvern Trust & Savings Bank provides $500 toward the purse to be paid for each of those 10-lap races. The Dash for Cash will be held at each IMCA Late Model tour event with at least 32 entries.“This gives drivers who don’t qualify for the main event laps in a pre A-type feature, for a good amount of money and a trophy,” said Bank President and former late model driver Jay Burdic. “It’s another way to get more drivers involved every night and give them another reason to get their car ready and maybe win a trophy.”“I like the idea of the Dash for Cash because I was one of the guys who struggled. I completely get what it was like to load up at the end of a tough night,” he continued. “The Dash for Cash will help get more cars to series events, especially on those 100 degree days in August.”Winners of the Malvern Trust & Savings Bank Dash for Cash earn $300, with $250 paid for second, $200 for third, $150 for fourth and $100 for all other non-qualifiers.“In an effort to extend the mantra of more money for more racers more often, partnering with Jay and Malvern Bank is something we are really excited about,” said IMCA Marketing Director Kevin Yoder. “It will not only give drivers an opportunity for additional seat time and increased cash, it will provide added entertainment at events where qualifying for the main event is going to be challenging. It’s a new wrinkle that continues to make the Deery Brothers Summer Series unique.” Located in southwest Iowa, in the Omaha-Council Bluffs Metropolitan Area, Malvern Trust & Savings Bank is family-owned and has a long history of supporting racers and race series in Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri.While getting its name out to potential depositors and other new customers, the new partnership with IMCA is another way the bank can help support the sport.“It just made a lot of sense for us to gravitate to this series,” said Burdic. “The Deery Series is grassroots racing, dirt track racing at its best. It’s not about who has the most money or the biggest hauler. It makes sense for an Iowa bank to get involved with an Iowa-based series.”Burdic drove from 2000-2008 and is now co-owner of a late model team, so he knows the financial side of racing first-hand.“The racing community is a hugely important part of our bank. We understand dirt track racing. We understand how racers think,” he said. “We want to continue to get our name out there and make sure people know there is a small town bank option for them. We understand the culture of racing probably better than any other bank in the United States.”The bank website is www.malvernbank.com. Burdic can be contacted at 712 624-8686 during regular business hours.Opening night for the 30th annual Deery Series is Friday, April 8 at Davenport Speedway.