If Edward Snowden’s revelations about the United States’ global surveillance activities taught U.S. allies anything, it’s that on the world stage, even your closest friends can’t be trusted. The United States has recently been feeling the sting in a similar way – not because of espionage, but because its allies are hemorrhaging valuable defense technology to China. Recent reports suggest that the United States’ European allies and Israel have exported or had made plans to export sensitive defense technology to China.
According to Reuters, “If the People’s Liberation Army went to war tomorrow, it would field an arsenal bristling with hardware from some of America’s closest allies: Germany, France and Britain.” Reuters substantiates this claim – Chinese advanced surface warships largely field French and German diesel engine designs under the hood; Chinese destroyers field French sonar technology, as do anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters and surface-to-air missiles; British propulsion technology and airborne early warning radars can be found in several PLA fighters, bombers, and anti-ship aircraft. Additionally, “some of China’s best attack and transport helicopters rely on designs from Eurocopter, a subsidiary of pan-European aerospace and defense giant EADS.”
What happens when a superpower dies? What happens when the geopolitical order that has stabilized the world for several decades crumbles?
We are all about to learn firsthand.
For most of the past century, the United States of America has been the world’s single greatest guarantor of global stability. Without American might in World Wars i and ii, Britain, France and the rest of Europe would have been trampled under the boot of a German-led military takeover. After the Second World War, America stimulated the fastest period of growth in Europe’s history, providing massive aid that propelled the ravaged continent toward cooperation and prosperity. America rebuilt and stabilized war-torn Asia, significantly helping Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, China, India, Taiwan and other neighboring nations recover. Simultaneously, America checked the spread of communism in Eastern Europe and throughout Asia, countering Soviet aggression and eventually bringing down another totalitarian empire with globalist ambitions.
It’s called Pax Americana: the period of relative world peace that dominant American power has produced. It prevailed in the Western Hemisphere for most of the 20th century. It reigned throughout the Western world since World War ii in what is also felicitously referred to as “the Full Article Here
As of Friday August 9th, the heat wave in eastern Asia continues but in central Europe it has subsided. Some of the highlights below.
This map illustrates quite well where the core of the heat wave in China has taken place. It is dated August 1st, so you can now add 9 more days to number of days of “continuous high temperatures” which means days of 35°C+ (95°F+). Map from the Chinese newspaper ‘Global Times’.
On Wednesday August 7th Shanghai once again broke its all-time heat record with a 40.8°C (105.4°F) temperature, besting the record set just the day before (40.6°C/105.1°F), and also on July 26th. Prior to this summer, the record for Shanghai was 40.2°C (104.4°F) during the summer of 1934. Records in Shanghai date back to 1872. On August 8th the Read more…
Governments worldwide are failing to do enough to tackle drought, which lacks the headline-making punch of a hurricane but can have an equally devastating human and economic impact, the UN weather agency warned Thursday.
“A flood or hurricane is over within hours or days. A drought can last weeks, months, a season, a year. But droughts can cause as many deaths over time as any other natural disaster,” said Robert Stefanski, head of World Meteorological Organisation?s (WMO) agriculture division.
Droughts in recent years have struck regions ranging from the Horn of Africa and the Sahel, China, India, Mexico and Brazil to the United States, Russia and southeastern Europe.
Droughts are estimated to affect tens of millions of people and cause tens of billions of dollars in economic losses every year.
They are expected to increase in frequency, area and intensity due to climate change, yet Read more…
The last decade has produced record-breaking heat waves in many parts of the world. At the same time, it was globally the warmest since sufficient measurements started in the 19th century. Here we show that, worldwide, the number of local record-breaking monthly temperature extremes is now on average five times larger than expected in a climate with no long-term warming. This implies that on average there is an 80 % chance that a new monthly heat record is due to climatic change. Large regional differences exist in the number of observed records. Summertime records, which are associated with prolonged heat waves, increased by more than a factor of ten in some continental regions including parts of Europe, Africa, southern Asia and Amazonia. Overall, these high record numbers are quantitatively consistent with those expected for the observed climatic warming trend with Read more…
Image: Jenny Downing/Flickr
By Stephen Leahy, the Guardian
The record loss of Arctic sea ice this summer may mean a cold winter for the UK and northern Europe. The region has been prone to bad winters after summers with very low sea ice, such as 2011 and 2007, said Jennifer Francis, a researcher at Rutgers University.
“We can’t make predictions yet … [but] I wouldn’t be surprised to see wild extremes this winter,” Francis told the Guardian.
This year’s ice melt has broken the 2007 record by an an area larger than the state of Texas.
Polar ice experts “thought that it would be many years until we again saw anything like we saw in 2007″, said Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado.
The unprecedented expanse of ice-free Arctic Ocean has been absorbing the Read more…
A major part of the climate change that scientists have documented over the past few decades comes from human emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. Not all of it, however. Natural climate cycles haven’t magically disappeared — the El Niño/Southern Oscillation, or ENSO, for example, is entering a phase that will likely boost global temperatures temporarily — and scientists are still discovering new ones.
The latest comes in a new report published in Geophysical Research Letters. It’s well known that the Sun varies slightly in brightness every 11 years, and while those changes pale beside the effect of human-generated greenhouse gases, according to the report, they’re enough to trigger unusually cold winters in Central Europe.
The smoking gun is the freezing of the Rhine river, something that doesn’t happen often because it’s difficult to freeze such a large, free-flowing volume of water. Those unusually cold winters might come along at random, but by looking back at records dating to all the way back to 1780, a Read more…
The progressive shrinking of Arctic sea ice is bringing colder, snowier winters to the UK and other areas of Europe, North America and China, a study shows.
As global temperatures have risen, the area of Arctic Ocean covered by ice in summer and autumn has been falling.
Writing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), a US/China-based team show this affects the jet stream and brings cold, snowy weather.
Whether conditions will get colder still as ice melts further is unclear.
There was a marked deterioration in ice cover between the summers of 2006 and 2007, which still holds the record for the lowest extent on record; and it has not recovered since.
The current winter is roughly tracking the graph of 2007, according to the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).
The new study is not the first to propose a causal relationship between Read more…
The Schmallenberg virus causes stillbirths and birth defects in sheep, goats and cattle and is so new there is no treatment and no cure.
Yesterday, the Government’s vet agency confirmed that the first case has been reported in Wiltshire, leading to fears that this year’s lambing season could be badly hit.
The chairman of the NFU’s livestock board, Alistair Mackintosh, said the virus, which is named after the German town where it was first spotted and discovered only last year, has “the potential to become a catastrophe in the UK”.
It is believed to be spread by midges and is not thought to be a danger to humans, but farmers have little or no defence against it for their livestock. After the first cases last year in Germany, it quickly spread to Read more…