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The Roomba-maker is collaborating with Google on improving the efficiency of your smart home. …read more
Car crashes, “accidental” falls, poisoned lovers: The Underwood White House runs red with blood as the final season approaches. …read more
Startling New Research Finds Large Buildup of Heat in the Oceans, Suggesting a Faster Rate of Global Warming
The world’s oceans have been soaking up far more excess heat in recent decades than scientists realized, suggesting that Earth could be set to warm even faster than predicted in the years ahead, according to new research published Wednesday.
From a report: Over the past quarter-century, the Earth’s oceans have retained 60 percent more heat each year than scientists previously had thought, said Laure Resplandy, a geoscientist at Princeton University who led the startling study published Wednesday in the journal Nature. The difference represents an enormous amount of additional energy, originating from the sun and trapped by the Earth’s atmosphere — more than 8 times the world’s energy consumption, year after year. In the scientific realm, the new findings help to resolve long-running doubts about the rate of the warming of the oceans before 2007, when reliable measurements from devices called “Argo floats” were put to use worldwide. Before that, different types of temperature records — and an overall lack of them — contributed to murkiness about how quickly the oceans were heating up. The higher-than-expected amount of heat in the oceans means more heat is being retained within the Earth’s climate system each year, rather than escaping into space. In essence, more heat in the oceans signals that global warming itself is more advanced than scientists thought. “We thought that we got away with not a lot of warming in both the ocean and the atmosphere for the amount of CO2 that we emitted,” said Resplandy, who published the work with experts from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and several other institutions in the U.S., China, France and Germany. “But we were wrong. The planet warmed more than we thought. It was hidden from us just because we didn’t sample it right. But it was there. It was in the ocean already.”
Wednesday’s study also could have important policy implications. If ocean temperatures are rising more rapidly than previously calculated, that could leave nations even less time to dramatically cut the world’s emissions of carbon dioxide, in hopes of limiting global warming to the ambitious goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels.
of this story at Slashdot.
No matter which service you have, there’s something scary for you to watch. Time to stream and scream! …read more
Take a look at the incredible costumes you’ve sent in for our Halloween contest with TV Guide. …read more
Nintendo’s financial report also reveals that the company has sold 22.86 million Switch consoles. …read more
If a multimillion dollar class-action settlement basically doesn’t pay a single consumer, is it fair? That’s not the start of a lawyer joke; it’s the crux of a case being argued Wednesday in the U.S. Supreme Court that, advocates say, has serious implications for the ways consumers benefit from duels with businesses in large-scale litigation. From a report (paywalled): “This is potentially billions of dollars going from everyday consumers to lawyers’ slush funds,” said Ted Frank, the litigation director at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, who’s disputing the $8.5 million settlement between Google and 129 million class members before the Supreme Court. The case, Frank v. Gaos, focuses on the question of whether it’s fair and reasonable to ever have class action settlements that give money to outside groups instead of the class members themselves. A decision for Frank — who also happens to be a class member in the Google case and is a longtime gadfly questioning class action settlements — could require the money go directly to consumers and upend a class action pay out method that’s been around for decades. The underlying case has to do with Google’s 2013 agreement to pay $8.5 million to settle a case claiming widespread privacy rights violations. When any web surfer looked up topics on Google, the search engine beamed the search terms — like “depression” and “medical leave” — in the URL string to the third-party websites. The search term revelations broke various state and federal laws, plaintiffs said. After about three years of litigation, the parties settled. Google added more online disclosures and opened its wallet without admitting liability. The settlement’s payouts included a $5,000 award for each of the three named plaintiffs and $2.12 million for the legal fees of the plaintiffs’ lawyers. The remaining $5.3 million was divvied up among six universities and organizations pledging to put the money towards improving internet privacy. Lawyers for both Google and the class members say Frank’s objections to the settlement are unfounded.
of this story at Slashdot.