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34 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  August 1, 2018

    Russia’s endgame in Syria: Iran for Ukraine?
    We may never know what was really discussed in the one-on-one meeting between US President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin at the Helsinki summit. Yet, it is becoming increasingly clear, and for many good reasons, that Syria was a key topic at the meeting. In fact, among all the issues that overshadow the relationship between Washington and Moscow (i.e. Russian interference in the 2016 US elections, the conflict in Ukraine, NATO expansion, etc.), Syria is perhaps the easiest to come to terms with.

    President Trump has repeatedly stated that he does not want to keep a military presence in Syria after the defeat of ISIL. Yet, he also stated that he would like to see Iran’s military presence in Syria reduced and its regional influence curtailed. The only way to reconcile these two objectives, withdrawing from Syria and containing Iran, is through cooperation with Russia.

    After more than two decades of withdrawing from the world stage and turning its back on the Middle East, Russia took almost everyone off guard with its September 2015 military intervention in Syria. Indeed, President Putin had pursued aggressive foreign policies elsewhere (Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014). Yet, these ventures were seen as very much defensive. Since the end of the Cold War, NATO was expanding eastward with little regard for Russia’s security interests. For Putin, the possibility that Georgia and Ukraine would become members in a new wave of NATO expansion was very real; and he, therefore, had to act swiftly.

    Syria was in a different category. It was Russia’s first post-Cold War power projection outside the territories of the former Soviet Union. Taking advantage of the US’ war fatigue, the Syrian crisis presented Putin with the opportunity to overcome the “trauma” of the collapse of the Soviet Union and reestablish Russia as a world power.

    Russia has succeeded in preserving the regime of Bashar al-Assad and preventing a victory by the US-backed opposition, but the motives behind Russia’s military intervention in Syria go beyond the internal dynamics of the Syrian conflict. It was first and foremost about Russia’s international standing and geopolitical interests. Russia has, in fact, used Syria as a launching pad to reassert itself on the international arena and attempt to change the unipolar nature of the post-Cold War international system. Iran was an important tool towards achieving that end.

    A possible trade between the two great powers seems therefore possible, wherein the US and its regional allies (Israel and the Arab Gulf States) would cease attempting to undermine the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad(and thereby accepting Russia’s domination in Syria) in exchange for forcing Iran out. Ideally, the Syria-for-Iran deal should make everyone happy, except Iran of course. Russia, according to several media reports, is willing to cooperate in Syria; but only as a first step towards addressing more fundamental differences with Washington. Indeed, Russia’s intervention in Syria has much broader objectives than merely keeping Bashar al-Assad in power.

    More
    https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/russia-endgame-syria-iran-ukraine-180730084501016.html

    Reply
  2. chrism56

     /  August 1, 2018

    All that big heatwaves that the media have been going gangbusters over are very localized, not worldwide

    And guess what – last month was cooler than July 2017 (about 0.3° down)- http://models.weatherbell.com/climate/ncep_cfsr_t2m_anom_072017.png
    and a degree down on 2016

    that hasn’t been publicized.

    Reply
    • chrism56

       /  August 1, 2018

      Sorry – fat fingers. The temperatures difference are 0.03° and 0.1° drops in terms of 1981-2010 mean

      Reply
      • Griff.

         /  August 1, 2018

        Indeed Pete
        The full results will not be in for another couple of weeks.
        It was an La Nina in the last year the warmest we have recorded.
        A La Nina is always cooler than a neutral or El Nino year.

        Reply
      • chrism56

         /  August 1, 2018

        No Griff you are wrong again. Like the way you posted a 6 year old graph to show current conditions. NOAA do near realtime data analysis. The last 2% of the month won’t significantly affect the data. Others take NOAA data and reanalyse/ modify it. And NOAA says that it is neutral ENSO, just like it was in July 2017 and July 2016
        http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf
        PG – the models, that are wrong in near everything else, say that things will get worse. They can’t even hindcast correctly. They don’t have the data to support them, be it hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, floods, even El Ninos – look at the above link and the graph of near 70 years history. . Even the IPCC says that there has been no increasing trends, just over-inflated claims in the media.

        Reply
        • Griff.

           /  August 1, 2018

          ROFL
          Whatever.
          IPCC

          Many analyses indicate that the evolution of rainfall statistics through the second half of the 20th century is dominated by variations on the interannual to inter-decadal time scale and that trend estimates are spatially incoherent (Manton et al., 2001; Peterson et al., 2002; Griffiths et al., 2003; Herath and Ratnayake, 2004). In Europe, there is a clear majority of stations with increasing trends in the number of moderately and very wet days (defined as wet days (≥1 mm of rain) that exceed the 75th and 95th percentiles, respectively) during the second half of the 20th century (Klein Tank and Können, 2003; Haylock and Goodess, 2004). Similarly, for the contiguous USA, Kunkel et al. (2003) and Groisman et al. (2004) confirmed earlier results and found statistically significant increases in heavy (upper 5%) and very heavy (upper 1%) precipitation of 14 and 20%, respectively. Much of this increase occurred during the last three decades of the 20th century and is most apparent over the eastern parts of the country. In addition, there is new evidence from Europe and the USA that the relative increase in precipitation extremes is larger than the increase in mean precipitation, and this is manifested as an increasing contribution of heavy events to total precipitation (Klein Tank and Können, 2003; Groisman et al., 2004).

          The PDI index of the total power dissipation for the North Atlantic and western North Pacific (Emanuel, 2005a; see also Box 3.5) showed substantial upward trends beginning in the mid-1970s. Because the index depends on wind speed cubed, it is very sensitive to data quality, and the initial Emanuel (2005a) report has been revised to show the PDI increasing by about 75% (vs. about 100%) since the 1970s (Emanuel, 2005b). The increase comes about because of longer storm lifetimes and greater storm intensity, and the index is strongly correlated with tropical SST. These relationships have been reinforced by Webster et al. (2005, 2006) who found a large increase in numbers and proportion of hurricanes reaching categories 4 and 5 globally since 1970 even as the total number of cyclones and cyclone days decreased slightly in most basins. The largest increase was in the North Pacific, Indian and Southwest Pacific Oceans.

          Pity no one is taking any notice of the loons like you.
          eh.

          Reply
        • chrism56

           /  August 1, 2018

          I can see you are back to you teenage girl behavior – Mummy will be upset.
          I don’t know where you got your quotes from, but this is AR5 WG1 TS

          There is low confidence in a global-scale observed trend in drought or
          dryness (lack of rainfall), owing to lack of direct observations, dependencies
          of inferred trends on the index choice and geographical inconsistencies
          in the trends. However, this masks important regional changes
          and, for example, the frequency and intensity of drought have likely
          increased in the Mediterranean and West Africa and likely decreased
          in central North America and northwest Australia since 1950. {2.6.2;
          Table 2.13}
          There is high confidence for droughts during the last millennium of
          greater magnitude and longer duration than those observed since the
          beginning of the 20th century in many regions. There is medium confidence
          that more megadroughts occurred in monsoon Asia and wetter
          conditions prevailed in arid Central Asia and the South American monsoon
          region during the Little Ice Age (1450–1850) compared to the
          Medieval Climate Anomaly (950–1250). {5.5.4, 5.5.5}
          Confidence remains low for long-term (centennial) changes in tropical
          cyclone activity, after accounting for past changes in observing
          capabilities. However, for the years since the 1970s, it is virtually certain
          that the frequency and intensity of storms in the North Atlantic
          have increased although the reasons for this increase are debated (see
          TFE.9). There is low confidence of large-scale trends in storminess over
          the last century and there is still insufficient evidence to determine
          whether robust trends exist in small-scale severe weather events such
          as hail or thunderstorms. {2.6.2–2.6.4}

          So there most recent document says there is no trends in droughts or rainfall, droughts were historically worse, no change in cyclone activity or storminess, or hail or thunderstorms. I’m with the IPCC, you are out on the limb.

          Reply
          • Griff.

             /  August 1, 2018

            ROFL
            You poor little thing .
            Reading whacko blogs that confuse the gullible.
            It does not say no trend.
            Low confidence means we dont have the data not that it has not happened .
            https://theconversation.com/lost-in-translation-confidence-and-certainty-in-climate-science-17181
            Before satellites we did not have the ability to track cyclones across the worlds oceans reliably.
            For the period we do have reliable data we see an increasing trend in all basins for tropical cyclone strength.
            This has become even more apparent since 2013.
            Because Physics more heat = stronger tropical cyclones .

            Same goes with extreme rainfall events increasing .
            We dont have reliable long term data hence low confidence for long term trends.
            In the period we do have reliable data we see regional increases.
            Because physics again More heat the atmosphere potently holds more moisture. .

            In both of these cases we are seeing events that are outside of anything we have recorded before.

            I said thelast year was a La Nina not July was one.

            Reply
            • chrism56

               /  August 1, 2018

              As usual you are projecting. Temperatures are seasonal, not yearly. I was talking about months. You did not read. NOAA says MJJ 2017 was neutral but you know more than them apparently. And now a blog post trumps IPCC, great one.

            • chrism56

               /  August 1, 2018

              And learn the difference between ENSO and SOI
              https://www.climate.gov/news-features/blogs/enso/why-are-there-so-many-enso-indexes-instead-just-one
              That is why anyone with any sense uses ENSO.

            • Griff.

               /  August 1, 2018

              ROFL
              The old projection accuse me of what you keep doing
              I said the last year was an La Nina .There is a delay of about six months between ENSO and its effect on global temperatures .
              https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2000JD000298

              From the blog.

              n the IPCC reports, confidence is expressed qualitatively and tells us how certain we are that scientific findings are valid. The level of confidence is determined by the type, amount, quality and consistency of evidence.

              Poor quality data = low confidence.
              Low confidence does not mean it is not happening just that we can not tell from the available Data.
              Before we had satellites we needed to rely on ships to know if there was a storm out to sea
              Ships only cover a small area at any time.
              As we dont have time machines we will probably never know for certain about storms before satellites covered the earth .
              Since we have had good data we see a clear trend in cyclone strength and a poleward shift in storm track in all oceans.
              As we would expect from the physics of storm initiation and intensification.
              This is what is know as conciliation of evidence.
              The known physics of storm formation and the reliable measurements coincide.

              As to blogs.
              You get your confusion from reading whacko blogs like lolwuwt and a lot of idiots think they know this because it is wrong .

              Keep me laughing at your ignorance and your belief in your proven wacko sources .

            • chrism56

               /  August 1, 2018

              Griff
              As well as your just silly name calling, you don’t even read your own references. From the conclusion “The lag of global mean temperatures behind N3.4 is 3 months, somewhat less than found in previous studies. ”
              And that is why NOAA average over the preceding 3 months – which in 2016, 17 and 18 were all neutral. And thank you for proving the NOAA is right.
              With regards to IPCC, you can’t even get that right. Here is the relevant document.
              https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/supporting-material/uncertainty-guidance-note.pdf
              Low confidence means low agreement AND limited evidence.

            • Griff.

               /  August 1, 2018

              “That is why NOAA average over the preceding 3 months”……..
              How is your math lessons going?
              Still just as wrong about time. Get teach to give you extra classes.
              Three months delay means not including the last three months.

              If there was three months delay between you saying something stupid and me laughing I would be laughing after three months not right now or over the next three months.

              Yet we get pigeon chess. You think you are right when you are just looking dense.
              Jesus mate you are funny.

              confidence in the validity of a finding, based on the type, amount, quality, and consistency of evidence (e.g., mechanistic understanding, theory, data, models, expert judgment) and the
              degree of agreement. Confidence is expressed qualitatively.

              Yip low confidence does not mean no trend it just means we can not tell from the available data with any confidence.To much area lies outside of shipping lanes to say conclusively anything about tropical cyclones on the century time scale .

              With the data from satellites since 1970 that we do have high confidence in we can see a clear trend in the power and track of tropical cyclones.
              As we would expect from Physics……Warmer seas more energy for storms to grow stronger . Warmer sea also mean they can stay as warm core tropical cyclones further towards the poles.

            • Griff.

               /  August 1, 2018

              And learn the difference between ENSO and SOI
              ENSO
              El Nino Southern Oscillation
              You were saying?

          • chrism56

             /  August 2, 2018

            As I predicted, the last 2% of the data made no difference to the global temperatures for July.
            http://models.weatherbell.com/climate/ncep_cfsr_t2m_anom_072018.png though I note continental USA, Siberia and Greenland were significantly colder than average. This month, the world was colder than July 2017 which was colder than July 2016. So the world isn’t catching on fire.
            Griff, Lag does not mean offset. Go back and look at the maths equations and read paragraphs 56-58. The SOI is a subset of the ENSO so it is not the same, That is why ENSO has EN at the front because it is so much more than two barometric pressures -comprende? I used only NOAA and the latest IPCC report. You had a real potpourri of sources that matched your confirmation bias, many of which you never even read, let alone understand. Who is the science denier?.
            With regards your teenage girl rant against wingnut blogs, I note that PAGES2K, another source you have previously used for links, had to do a major but unpublicised backdown. The temperatures in the Arctic are not unprecedented with the preceding period (1940-70) being warmer. https://www.nature.com/articles/ngeo2566#rightslink Note how they thank (no doubt through gritted teeth) Steve McIntyre for finding their errors – with datasets having to be dropped or inverted!. Something the 50+ climate science experts didn’t see. So those wingnut bloggers know what they are talking about, unlike you.
            Have a good day.

            Reply
    • Monthly temperature records are usually reported after the month has finished.

      The heat waves in the northern hemisphere have been over-egged in relation to climate change. but there are valid warnings that these more extreme events may become more common in the future – but not the norm, as weather and climate always fluctuates.

      This covers the various reports of the heat waves
      https://www.carbonbrief.org/media-reaction-2018-summer-heatwaves-and-climate-change

      Reply
  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  August 1, 2018

    Why Trump’s ratings defy gravity and he will probably win again:
    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2018/07/31/how_trump_has_managed_to_defy_gravity_137665.html

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  August 1, 2018

      its the Trumpanzee Tea Party..Al…you’re invited.

      Reply
      • Joe Bloggs

         /  August 1, 2018

        Al is already polishing his ischial callosities in preparation.

        #MAGA Mueller Ain’t Going Away

        Reply
  4. Joe Bloggs

     /  August 1, 2018

    As of last week’s reunification deadline, several hundred children had still not been reunified with their parents. The government, meanwhile, was unable to locate the parents of more than 400 children who were unlawfully separated.

    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/07/video-the-family-separation-hearing-was-a-shameful-display-of-buck-passing.html

    One minute you’re the lone super-power in the world and seen as a nation of laws, the next minute. whammo… You’ve accidentally kidnapped 2500 children, like Boko Haram.

    Utter bastardry… another defining moment for trumpery.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  August 1, 2018

      They weren’t unlawfully separated. The law required them to be separated.

      For an even-handed look, try this instead of Joe’s rants:
      https://rewire.news/article/2018/05/08/jeff-sessions-separated-immigrant-families-obama/

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  August 1, 2018

        I think you’re missing the main point. Your kids were taken from you & now they can’t find you.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  August 1, 2018

          Except you were warned this would happen before you decided to jump the border with them.

          Reply
          • Joe Bloggs

             /  August 1, 2018

            I hope that it never happens to your family, you heartless baboon.

            Reply
            • Pink David

               /  August 1, 2018

              I imagine it’s not a common experience for families who don’t try to illegally cross other countries boarders.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  August 1, 2018

              Not being an irresponsible Lefty idiot I wouldn’t subject my children to that consequence of my actions. Obviously you would – even to get into Trump’s supposed hellhole.

          • Gezza

             /  August 1, 2018

            You have a copy of the letter they were all handed at the river, in Spanish, saying this?

            Don’t be daft Alan.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  August 1, 2018

              If you think news like that doesn’t spread fast amongst would be border jumpers it’s not me who is daft.

            • Gezza

               /  August 1, 2018

              If you think you’ve been a Spanish speaking US border jumper with kids so you know exactly how this all happens & what they expect – no you really are daft.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  August 1, 2018

              If you think a straw man argument like that carries any weight you really are daft.

            • Gezza

               /  August 1, 2018

              It’s not a straw man argument, it’s just my alternative way of telling you you have no knowledge of the circumstances of all these illegals & therefore your assumptions have no validity without being properly tested – and you should know this. And that’s the end of it. Unless you want to sputter on, but I’ve lost interest.

  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  August 1, 2018

    Zanu PF wins the Zimbabwe election.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  August 1, 2018

      I’ll catch up with this on Aljaz tv late tonite. I expect there’ll be claims of widespread voting irregularities that are standard for elections in Africa.

      Reply

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