‘Ex­tra­or­di­na­ri­ly hot’ Arc­tic tem­pe­ra­tu­res alarm sci­en­tists

Times of Suriname - - ENGELS -

TURKEY - Turkey’s govern­ment is to wit­h­draw a bill that could over­turn men’s con­vic­ti­ons for child-sex as­sault af­ter a pu­blic bac­klash, the pri­me mi­nis­ter, Bi­na­li Yıldırım, has said.

Cri­tics had said the bill – which would al­low the re­lea­se from jail of sex as­sault con­victs if they mar­ry their vic­tims – would le­gi­ti­mi­ze ra­pe. Thou­sands of pe­o­p­le pro­tested against the bill at the week­end. “We are ta­king this bill in the par­li­a­ment back to the com­mis­si­on in or­der to al­low for the broad con­sen­sus the pre­si­dent re­quested, and to gi­ve ti­me for the op­po­si­ti­on par­ties to de­vel­op their pro­po­sals,” Yıldırım said yes­ter­day . “This com­mis­si­on will eva­lu­a­te and ta­ke in­to ac­count all si­des and su­re­ly a so­lu­ti­on will be found,” he ad­ded. In com­ments over­night, the Tur­kish pre­si­dent, Re­cep Tayy­ip Er­doğan, had cal­l­ed for a com­pro­mi­se to be found. The bill’s wit­h­dra­wal marks a ra­re con­ces­si­on to po­pu­lar op­po­si­ti­on by the ru­ling Jus­ti­ce and De­vel­op­ment par­ty (AKP) The AKP has do­mi­na­ted Tur­kish po­li­tics sin­ce co­ming to po­wer in 2002. If the bill had pas­sed, it would ha­ve per­mit­ted the re­lea­se from pri­son of men guil­ty of as­saul­ting a mi­nor if the act was com­mit­ted wit­hout “for­ce, th­re­at, or any other re­stric­ti­on on con­sent” and if the ag­gres­sor mar­ries the vic­tim. Op­po­si­ti­on par­ties from across the po­li­ti­cal spec­trum had hea­vi­ly cri­ti­ci­zed the bill, which was ap­pro­ved in an ini­ti­al par­li­a­men­ta­ry rea­ding on Thurs­day. It had been ex­pec­ted to be put for­ward again in par­li­a­ment yes­ter­day.

The main op­po­si­ti­on Re­pu­bli­can Pe­o­p­le’s par­ty (CHP) had cal­l­ed for the bill to be wit­h­drawn and vo­wed to go as far as the con­sti­tu­ti­o­nal court to block it. But the Tur­kish govern­ment in­sisted it was trying to help fa­mi­lies in which the men in­vol­ved we­re not ra­pists or sexu­al ag­gres­sors, and who we­re una­wa­re of the law. The legal age of con­sent in Turkey is 18 but child mar­ria­ge is wi­despread, es­pe­ci­al­ly in the south-east of the coun­try.

(The­gu­ar­di­an.com) USA - The Arc­tic is ex­pe­rien­cing ex­tra­or­di­na­ri­ly hot sea surfa­ce and air tem­pe­ra­tu­res, which are stop­ping ice for­ming and could lead to re­cord lows of sea ice at the north po­le next year, ac­cor­ding to sci­en­tists. Da­nish and US re­searchers mo­ni­to­ring sa­tel­li­tes and Arc­tic wea­ther sta­ti­ons are sur­pri­sed and alar­med by air tem­pe­ra­tu­res pea­king at what they say is an un­heard-of 20C hig­her than nor­mal for the ti­me of year. In ad­di­ti­on, sea tem­pe­ra­tu­res aver­a­ging ne­ar­ly 4C hig­her than usu­al in Oc­to­ber and No­vem­ber. “It’s been about 20C war­mer than nor­mal over most of the Arc­tic Ocean, along with cold ano­ma­lies of about the sa­me mag­ni­tu­de over north-cen­tral Asia. This is un­pre­ce­den­ted for No­vem­ber,” said re­search pro­fes­sor Jen­ni­fer Francis of Rut­gers uni­ver­si­ty. Tem­pe­ra­tu­res ha­ve been only a few de­grees abo­ve free­zing when -25C should be ex­pec­ted, ac­cor­ding to Francis. “The­se tem­pe­ra­tu­res are li­ter­al­ly off the charts for whe­re they should be at this ti­me of year. It is pret­ty shoc­king. The Arc­tic has been brea­king re­cords all year. It is ex­ci­ting but al­so sca­ry,” she said. Francis said the near-re­cord low sea ice ex­tent this sum­mer had led to a war­mer than usu­al au­tumn. That in turn had re­du­ced the tem­pe­ra­tu­re dif­fe­ren­ce bet­ween the Arc­tic and mid-la­ti­tu­des. “This hel­ped ma­ke the jet stream wa­vier and al­lo­wed mo­re heat and moi­stu­re to be dri­ven in­to Arc­tic la­ti­tu­des and per­pe­tu­a­te the warmth. It’s a vi­cious cir­cle,” she ad­ded. Sea ice, which forms and melts each year, has de­cli­ned mo­re than 30% in the past 25 ye­ars. This week it has been at the lo­west ex­tent ever re­cor­ded for la­te No­vem­ber. Ac­cor­ding to the US govern­ment’s Na­ti­o­nal Snow and Ice Da­ta Cen­tre, (NSIDC), around 2m squa­re ki­lo­me­t­res less ice has for­med sin­ce Sep­tem­ber than aver­a­ge. The le­vel is far be­low the sa­me pe­ri­od in 2012, when sea ice went on to re­cord its lo­west ever an­nu­al le­vel. Francis said she was con­vin­ced that the cau­se of the high tem­pe­ra­tu­res and ice loss was cli­ma­te chan­ge. “It’s all ex­pec­ted. The­re is no­thing but cli­ma­te chan­ge that can cau­se the­se trends. This is all he­a­ded in the sa­me di­rec­ti­on and pic­king up speed.” Ras­mus Ton­boe, a sea ice re­mo­te sen­sing ex­pert at the Da­nish Me­te­o­ro­lo­gi­cal In­sti­tu­te in Copen­ha­gen, said: “Sea surfa­ce tem­pe­ra­tu­res in the Ka­ra and Ba­rents seas are much war­mer than usu­al. That ma­kes it very dif­fi­cult for sea ice to free­ze.

(The­gu­ar­di­an.com)

A lar­ge pool of melt wa­ter over ice on top of the Beau­fort Sea in the Arc­tic Ocean.( Photo: Na­sa)

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