Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary “reading list” which will include very brief summaries (and sometimes longer ones) of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for “reading list” items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.
- France bows to EU pressure on budget deficit (Adam Thompson, Financial Times) After issuing a figurative middle finger in the air last week ,France has now decided to trim €3.6 billion ($4.6 billion) from its 2015 national budget to try to forestall a fight with Brussels over the failure to contain the budget deficit to 3% of GDP as specifies in the Maastricht treaty. Before the cut the deficit was to be s little more than 4% of GDP; the change will reduce it to near 3.5%.
- Huge Solar Flare Erupts from Biggest Sunspot in 24 Years (Photos) (Tariq Malik, Space.com) The largest sunspot since 1990 darkened an area of the sun’s surface with a width much larger than the diameter of earth (7,918 miles) and comparable to Jupiter (86,881 miles at the equator) in size. That corresponds to an area of 5.8 trillion square miles. The cross-sectional area of the earth is “only” 50 million square miles so this sunspot covered more than 10,000 times the cross-sectional area of the earth. The sun has been very active this year with numerous sunspots and many powerful solar flares resulting. Solar flares interact with the earth’s magnetic field and can disrupt radio communications, increase radiation exposure on the planet’s surface and (usually) have a secondary impact on the earth’s weather. See next article.
- The Sunspot Cycle (David Hathaway, NASA) Sunspots have been observed and counted since the early 1600s, although continuous daily observations were not begun until 1849. The first graphic below summarizes sunspot activity observed from the time of Galileo (early 1600s) to the present day. The second graphic (three parts) shows the monthly average data detail since 1750. The correlation of sunspot activity with climate on the earth was first observed during the extremely low period of sunspot activity from about 1645 to 1715 which corresponded to a period known as the “Little Ice Age”. Note: There is another time period given the name “The Little Ice Age” from around 1300 to 1870 which contains the 1645-1715 period. See the third graph below from The Little Ice Age, Ca. 1300-1870 (Environmental History Resources). Note: Superimposed on the longer term sunspot variation are shorter periods of abnormal volcanism which have also produced planetary cooling for a few years. One of the climate factors that may be influenced by sunspots is the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) which has a strong influence on the weather for North America and Europe. The NAO status is reported regularly by climate economist Sig Silber in his weekly weather and climate reviews every Tuesday at GEI News. The last item below is a solar flare video from Space.com.
- Articles about conflicts and disease around the world
Why people without symptoms aren’t going to give you Ebola (The Conversation)
Nigeria Girls Detail Horrific Boko Haram Abuse (Sky News, MSN News)
In a Liberian slum swarming with Ebola, a race against time to save two little girls (The Washington Post)
Boehner: Bush would have punched Putin (CNN, MSN News) Video
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