32 articles from SUNDAY 2.2.2020

Starwatch: seasonal chance to glimpse Mercury

The solar system’s innermost planet can never be seen in the night sky. But there is a chance to see it at twilight during the next two weeksThis coming week offers the chance of seeing Mercury in the evening sky. The innermost planet, Mercury’s orbit is just 0.38 times the size of Earth. Being that close to the sun means that we can never see the planet in the night sky but at certain times...

Wild grey seal caught ‘clapping’ on camera for the first time

The sound resembles ‘shotgun-like cracks’ and attracts potential matesA wild grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) has been caught “clapping” on camera for the first time, making sounds that resemble “shotgun-like cracks”.The large male was filmed striking its flippers together off the coast of the Farne Islands, near Northumberland, during the breeding season in 2017. Continue...

The Guardian view on deep sea exploration: murky waters ahead | Editorial

This year could be a crucial one for ocean protection – but threats abound. A robust global treaty is neededThe 60th anniversary of the expedition that first took humans to the highest spot on earth – the peak of Everest – was widely celebrated seven years ago. The 60th anniversary of the first expedition to its deepest point has gone almost unnoticed. Yet that trip to the bottom of the...

Rounds of wintry weather to eye the central US through midweek

A couple of storms will sweep across the center of the country over the coming days, bringing wintry weather from Iowa to Texas.After dumping inches of snow in across the Great Basin and the Rockies, one storm will move across the Plains into Tuesday."As this first storm moves eastward, it will lose much of its intensity," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Eric Leister.Although low...

Asteroid That Killed the Dinosaurs Was Great for Bacteria

The asteroid moved 24 times faster than a rifle bullet as it struck Earth some 66 million years ago. Its supersonic shock wave flattened trees across North and South America, and its heat wave sparked incomprehensibly large forest fires.The event lofted so much debris into the atmosphere that photosynthesis shut down. The nonavian dinosaurs disappeared. And nearly 75% of all species were...

If there's a silver lining in the clouds of smoke it's that this could be a tipping point | Michael Mann

Australia’s horrific bushfires could be the catalyst that pushes the world to a mass recognition that it’s time to actAs a climate scientist on sabbatical in Australia, I’ve had plenty of conversations about the climate crisis lately as bushfires have burned their way to the front of everyone’s mind. Although the Murdoch media make it seem as if there’s plenty of debate, the reality is...

What a to-do! How to write the perfect list

Looking for freedom from that familiar nagging feeling? Here’s how to get stuff done without overwhelming yourselfIt is simple and elegant and ordered. In theory, the to-do list is the answer to all your productivity problems. First, write “write to-do list” at the top, just so you have something to tick off immediately, then list all the things you need to get done. Work your way through,...

Wintry feel returns to Iowa in time for the caucus on Monday

The month of February started off springlike across Iowa with temperatures surging well above normal.On Saturday, afternoon high temperatures were recorded as much as 5-10 degrees Fahrenheit above normal for cities like Sioux City, Des Moines and Cedar Rapids. Temperatures ranged from the upper 30s to the upper 40s instead of being stuck in the lower to middle 30s.After another day of highs in the...

AccuWeather meteorologists weigh in on Punxsutawney Phil's prediction

Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring during the 134th celebration of Groundhog Day on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, on Sunday morning, but do AccuWeather meteorologists agree?Punxsutawney Phil's forecast accuracy is approximately 39%, however this year he could be right predicting an early spring. Groundhog Club co-handler John Griffiths holds Punxsutawney Phil,...

Powerful storm to usher in damaging wind gusts across Southern California

Through the past week, much of Southern California has experienced an offshore breeze, promoting above-average temperatures. Heading into the first full week of February, that will change as this storm system tracks through.A major storm system that is expected to bring feet of snow to the Intermountain West will usher in potentially damaging wind gusts to Southern California.Powerful...

Severe thunderstorms to target Dixie Alley this week

Mild air at the start of this week in the South will set the stage for severe thunderstorms to erupt during the middle days of this week.Prior to the arrival of the storm system, above-average temperatures will warm much of the eastern half of the United States. This will act as one of the ingredients for the severe weather in the coming days.A powerful storm from the Rockies early in the week...

China's reaction to the coronavirus violates human rights | Frances Eve

The WHO has praised country’s response, but heavy-handed approach could make things worseWhen the World Health Organization declared the 2019nCoV coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency, it effusively praised China’s response to the outbreak. The WHO issued a statement welcoming the government’s “commitment to transparency”, and the WHO director general, Dr Tedros Adhanom...

Coronavirus: 11 more UK nationals to be flown back from China

Foreign secretary confirms evacuation as Philippines reports first death outside ChinaDominic Raab has confirmed that 11 evacuees will be flown to the UK from the Chinese city at the centre of the coronavirus outbreak on Sunday, on a French-chartered plane, after they missed a previous evacuation flight on Friday.The foreign secretary said the government was doing everything in its power to help...

The menopause isn’t so scary that young women need to sign up for costly surgery | Catherine Bennett

The benefits of tissue harvesting to delay a supposed middle age hell are doubtfulAgainst a background of tasteful pastel – which signals from the off that we are in the land of discretionary spending on faulty female anatomy – the ProFaM website makes its unique bid for women’s money. Ovarian tissue storage! And not only for fertility-related reasons. Who’d want a menopause? “Will you...