9 May 2015   Leave a comment

NASA has released a composite image of average cloudiness all over the earth.  The darker areas average more sunny days and the lighter ones more cloudy days.  According to NASA:

…this version of the map shows an average of all of the satellite’s cloud observations between July 2002 and April 2015. Colors range from dark blue (no clouds) to light blue (some clouds) to white (frequent clouds).

Map of globe with shades from dark blue to white mapping global clouds

 

North Korea has claimed that it has launched a ballistic missile from a submarine.  If true, the test suggests that North Korea has considerably widened its range of delivery to most places in the world.  The test does not indicate whether North Korea has developed a miniaturized nuclear warhead to fit on the missile–a very difficult feat.  But it does suggest that the current sanctions against North Korea are not discouraging the country from pursuing an active nuclear weapons capability.  It is not clear what the next step should be.  In many ways, the next steps really depend upon the Chinese reaction to the test.

The US and its allies have been bombing the Islamic State for nine months.  The attacks have cost the US about $2 billion and have killed about 8,500 people in the area controlled by the IS.  But it is difficult to assess how effective the strikes have been.  The military consensus is that the strikes alone cannot really do more than slow down the IS, and the US military is prepared for a long bombing campaign.  The Saudi attack on the Houthis in Yemen has diverted some of the bombing capabilities away from the IS so the campaign is at reduced strength.

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Posted May 10, 2015 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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