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posted on 26 March 2017

Early Headlines: GW Will Increase Rainfall, New Ohio Law Inhibits Wind Farms, Break Up California?, EU C Emissions At 22-Yr Low, Mosul Offensive Suspended, And More

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Early Bird Headlines 26 March 2017

Econintersect: Here are some of the headlines we found to help you start your day. For more headlines see our afternoon feature for GEI members, What We Read Today, which has many more headlines and a number of article discussions to keep you abreast of what we have found interesting.

early-bird-301-180

Global

  • Global warming is increasing rainfall rates (The Guardian) It’s a well-known scientific principle that warmer air holds more water vapor. In fact, the amount of moisture that can be held in air grows very rapidly as temperatures increase. So, it’s expected that in general, air will get moister as the Earth warms - provided there is a moisture source. This may cause more intense rainfalls and snow events, which lead to increased risk of flooding. But warmer air can also more quickly evaporate water from surfaces. This means that areas where it’s not precipitating dry out more quickly. In fact, it’s likely that some regions will experience both more drought and more flooding in the future (just not at the same time!). The dry spells are longer and with faster evaporation causing dryness in soils. But, when the rains fall, they come in heavy downpours potentially leading to more floods. The recent flooding in California - which followed a very intense and prolonged drought - provides a great example. Here is a model of the effect of temperature on rainfall:

U.S.

  • Anti-wind bill costs Ohio schools hundreds of thousands of dollars (Think Progress) Superintendent Ken Amstutz dreamed of propelling his rural Ohio school district into a high-tech future with nearly a million dollars in annual revenue from a single wind farm set to go online this year. That was until the state legislature blocked wind development across Ohio, halting construction of the Long Prairie Wind Farm and leaving Amstutz’s district in financial limbo. House Bill 483, which became law in October 2014, more than doubled the minimum distance between wind turbines and property lines. Legislators said they changed the requirement to protect property rights and improve public safety, but it had the effect of closing off much of the state to wind power. But the case is not closed:

There is still hope for the landowners, farmers, families, and schools of northwest Ohio who have not reaped the benefits of wind power. Regulations can be overturned or updated. House Bill 190, introduced in 2015, would give setback and siting decisions to individual counties. If that bill is signed into law, schools across the state could see decades of revenue they desperately need.

Ohio state Sen. Cliff Hite (R), who voted for the bill that pulled the plug on Van Wert’s school funding, hopes to revive commercial wind development with HB 190. “I believe these projects should have the chance to thrive where people want them," he said. “And I believe they will live to fight another day."

  • The bad boys of Brexit join fight to break up California (The Sunday Times) They made their names breaking Britain away from Brussels, but Nigel Farage and his money man Arron Banks have now set themselves an even tougher target - splitting California in two. The self-styled “bad boys of Brexit" have just returned from the state, where Farage helped raise $1 million (£800,000) for a campaign to set up a referendum to divide California down the middle.

The Farage and Banks-backed intervention comes amid competing visions for “Calexit", with a rival effort aiming to take the state out of the union in reaction to the election of Donald Trump.

The British pair believe the same political playbook as Banks’s Leave.EU campaign would triumph by pitching ordinary people against the liberals of Los Angeles.

The plan is to hold a statewide referendum on the day of the US mid-term elections in 2018.

EU

  • Brexit talks will fail without compromise: José Manuel Barroso (The Guardian) Brexit negotiations are on course to fail unless both Britain and the European Union ditch their winner-takes-all approach to the coming talks, the former president of the European commission José Manuel Barroso has said. With just days to go before Theresa May formally notifies Brussels of the UK’s intention to leave the EU, Jean-Claude Juncker’s predecessor said the two sides were playing a dangerous game. The UK’s prime minister has said she believes “no deal is better than a bad deal", and some in her cabinet have openly talked up the prospect of walking away from the negotiating table. Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, has placed the settlement of Britain’s £50bn in financial liabilities as the prerequisite for any progress.

  • European Carbon Emissions at 22-Year Lows (Twitter)

european.carbon.emissions

UK

  • EU migrants keep benefits after Brexit (The Sunday Times) Ministers face an explosive row over migrant benefits amid claims that they are poised to violate another manifesto pledge as Theresa May fires the starting gun on Brexit this week.

EU migrants who have come to Britain will continue to be paid child benefit after Brexit to send to their families back home, under plans sent to ministers last week. A paper submitted by the Department for Exiting the European Union (Dexeu) to the cabinet’s Brexit committee recommended that the 3 million EU migrants in the UK when the prime minister takes the historic step of triggering Article 50 should keep their rights to state handouts even after Britain leaves the EU.

Those who arrive after Wednesday will not get the benefits. But cabinet ministers have been warned that any attempt to withdraw child benefit from those already here would undermine the health and pension rights of British pensioners in Spain and Britons living elsewhere in the EU when two years of talks start.

  • How Long Will Brexit Take? (Bloomberg, Twitter) Unwinding the UK from the EU will be a long process, as indicated by the organizational diagram:

Click for large image.

eu.diagram

Iraq

  • Iraq suspends Mosul offensive after coalition airstrike atrocity (The Guardian) Iraqi military leaders have halted their push to recapture west Mosul from Islamic State as international outrage grew over the civilian toll from airstrikes that killed at least 150 people in a single district of the city. The attack on the Mosul Jadida neighbourhood is thought to have been one of the deadliest bombing raids for civilians since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. Rescuers were still pulling bodies from the rubble on Saturday, more than a week after the bombs landed, when the US-led coalition confirmed that its aircraft had targeted Isis fighters in the area. They carried out the attack on 17 March “at the request of the Iraqi security forces", and have now launched a formal investigation into reports of civilian casualties, the coalition said.

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