In U.S., 2012 so far is hottest year on record

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The first eight months of 2012 have been the warmest of any year on record in the contiguous United States, and this has been the third-hottest summer since record-keeping began in 1895, the U.S. National Climate Data Center said on Monday.

Each of the last 15 months has seen above-average temperatures, something that has never happened before in the 117 years of the U.S. record, said Jake Crouch, a climate scientist at the data center.

Winter, spring and summer 2012 have all been among the top-five hottest for their respective seasons, Crouch said by telephone, and that too is unique in the U.S. record. There has never been a warmer September-through-August period than in 2011-2012, he said.

“We’re now, in terms of statistics, in unprecedented territory for how long this warm spell has continued in the contiguous U.S.,” Crouch said.

He did not specify that human-spurred climate change was the cause of the record heat. However, this kind of warmth is typical of what other climate scientists, including those at the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, have suggested would be more likely in a world that is heating up due in part to human activities.

Alyson Kenward of the non-profit research and journalism organization Climate Central said in a statement, “Extreme heat is closely tied to climate change, and this summer’s heat wave left a global warming signature in the data, particularly in the ratio of record high to record low temperatures.”

Normally, the number of record highs and record lows would balance out, with an average ratio of one to one. This year, 25 states have had high to low temperature ratios of 10 to one or greater; 14 have had a ratio greater than 20 to one; and three have had greater than 40 to one ratios, Climate Central said.

Ohio topped this list with 49 record high temperatures for every record low.

DROUGHT PERVADES U.S. MIDSECTION

Last month was only the 16th warmest August on record, though still hotter than average, according to the climate data center, which is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

June was also warmer than average, while July broke the all-time heat record, the data center scientists said in a statement.

It was a dry summer: as of August 28, nearly 63 percent of the Lower 48 U.S. states were experiencing drought. Still, precipitation overall was near the long-term average, with the Southwest and Southeast wetter than average and the Northwest and Northern plains drier.

The Midwest has suffered the most extreme heat, according to Climate Central, which crunches the U.S. government’s weather and climate numbers.

Wisconsin, Iowa and Missouri ranked first, second and third, respectively, in terms of extreme heat in 2012, Climate Central said, followed by Indiana, Minnesota, North Dakota, Illinois and Ohio. Two states outside the Midwest – Colorado and Arkansas – rounded out the top 10.

Outside the Lower 48, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center has already reported that Arctic sea ice has shrunk to a record small size, and the melting season is not over yet. The Arctic is sometimes characterized as the world’s air conditioner.

As of September 5, the ice on the Arctic Ocean was less than 1.54 million square miles (4 million square km), a 45 percent reduction compared to September conditions in the 1980s and 1990s.

(Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

DNC reinstate ‘God-given’ and Jerusalem as Israel’s capital to party platform

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Facing unhappy pro-Israel groups amid a Republican-led outcry, Democrats gathered Wednesday at their presidential nominating convention made 11th-hour changes to the party platform to reinstate a reference to God and a declaration that “undivided” Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.

(First Question – Why were they having to reinstate these terminologies in the first place? Why would they think it was a good idea to take them out in the first place?

See video – The reaction of the people who voted to get rid of the word “God” and recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel seemed to us more vigorous and adamant than the people who were voting “aye”.  That is frightening. 

Our nation was founded on the principles of the Christian God, our Father, our Creator.  To not only move away from the Christian God, but to vehemently refuse God’s place in our society seems like an incredibly bad idea.

According to the article, all the boos were not about what was being voted on, but how it was being voted on.  You should watch the video to decide for yourself  and see how the Holy Spirit interprets it for you. ~ Sharon & Erick)

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/democrats-reinstate-god-jerusalem-israel-capital-party-platform-223437220–election.html

U.S. must show tougher stance against Iran

(Reuters)

By Ori Lewis

JERUSALEM | Sat Sep 1, 2012 1:56pm EDT

- A confidant of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday that U.S. President Barack Obama had yet to present a credible military threat that could deter Iran from seeking nuclear weapons.

The latest criticism was voiced by Tzachi Hanegbi, an influential former legislator who quit the opposition Kadima party in July to join up with Likud and Netanyahu, with whom he has always maintained a close relationship.

“I don’t see that there is a credible threat for American action, the rhetoric of the U.S. president is too vague, very amorphous … I don’t see that (Obama’s words) will be translated into more tangible intentions and therefore this is probably why the Iranians don’t take it seriously, they speak out against it and they dismiss it,” Hanegbi said.

It was another sign of Israeli impatience with its closest ally, the United States, which has urged Israel not to attack Iran on its own and to give international diplomacy more time to try to curb Tehran’s nuclear program.

Obama has insisted he will not allow Iran to build atomic weapons and that all options were on the table, but Israeli officials have said they wanted to hear stronger language from the president about possible U.S. military action.

In a U.S. election year, Republican candidate Mitt Romney has also sharply criticized Obama’s handling of Iran as not being tough enough.

Tehran says it is refining uranium to fuel a planned network of nuclear power plants so that it can export more of its oil and gas. The United States and its allies accuse Iran of a covert bid to develop the capability to make nuclear bombs.

Israel, believed to have the only nuclear arsenal in the Middle East, views a nuclear-armed Iran as a threat to its existence.

Israel’s deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon said on Friday he feared Iran did not believe it faced a real military threat because of mixed messages from foreign powers. But he told Reuters in July that the United States should lead the way.

“We believe of course that the military option should be the last resort and we believe that someone else should be doing the job. But we should be ready to defend ourselves by ourselves,” he told Reuters in an interview.

Netanyahu has said he will speak out about the dangers of Iran in an address this month to the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

He is also expected to hold talks with Obama during his visit but no announcement has yet been made. A senior Israeli official told Reuters last week that Netanyahu would seek a firm pledge of U.S. military action if Iran does not back down.

A United Nations report said on Thursday that Iran has sharply increased the number of centrifuges it has in a fortified bunker at Fordow, showing Tehran has continued to expand its nuclear program despite Western pressure and the threat of an Israeli attack.

CREDIBLE THREAT

Hanegbi, a former chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, told a town hall meeting in northern Israel that a forthright U.S. military threat was the most effective way to stop Iran.

“If there will not be a credible threat of military action, there probably won’t be another way to persuade the Iranians to stop their nuclear program. The most credible threat is the American threat, the American ability and its might are far more worrisome for the Iranians than Israel’s,” Hanegbi said.

But he added that Israeli action could also be effective in causing Iran to abandon its nuclear enrichment ambitions.

“Is the Israeli threat credible? I am not able … to tell the Iranians about our capabilities but the fact that I am talking about it shows that I do not think it is unrealistic,” Hanegbi said.

Hanegbi was convicted of perjury in July 2010 after an eight-year trial which forced him out of parliament but he has been allowed to stand again at the next elections where he is expected to stand as a Likud party candidate.

Hanegbi cited Israel’s 1981 destruction of Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor as an example of how the action had caused Saddam Hussein’s regime to abandon its nuclear ambitions.

The U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, has always cautioned against a go-it-alone approach, but he appeared to up the ante this week by saying Washington did not want to be blamed for any Israeli initiative.

“I don’t want to be complicit if they (Israel) choose to do it,” Dempsey was quoted as saying by Britain’s Guardian newspaper on Friday, suggesting that he would view an Israeli attack as reprehensible or illegal.

(Writing by Ori Lewis; Editing by Jon Hemming)

Israelis prepare for war with gas masks

by Joel C. Rosenberg

August 24, 2012

New home front Defense Minister as Iran Nuclear Threat grows and Syria Implodes

Evidence continues to mount that Israeli leaders are seriously contemplating launching a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, possibly within days or weeks. Now Israelis are accelerating their preparations for war. The country has a new Minister of Home Front Security. Meanwhile, Israeli citizens are standing in long lines to get gas masks for themselves and their children, concerned as much about the implosion of Syria and the possible use of Syria’s stockpiles of chemical weapons as about Iran’s nuclear threat.

“‘The world has received yet more proof that Iran is “continuing to make accelerated progress toward achieving nuclear weapons,’ Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday in a meeting with US Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) during the latter’s tour of the Middle East,” reports the Times of Israel. “Netanyahu spoke in response to a New York Times report warning that nuclear inspectors would soon report that Iran has installed ‘hundreds of new centrifuges in recent months’ and may be ramping up nuclear fuel production. He said that Iran was making progress on its nuclear program ‘while totally ignoring international demands.’”

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