Crucial Antarctic Ice Shelf Failure Possible in less than 5 Years

Ice shelf holding back one of the most dangerous glaciers in Antarctica is weakening. The Thwaites Glacier is a Florida-sized glacier already contributing to 4 percent of global sea level rise annually. However, until recently, the eastern portion flowed more slowly because of the ice shelf holding it back.

However, as the ocean continues to warm at a faster pace, the ocean is eroding the ice shelf from below the surface. There are now several large diagonal cracks along the floating ice. Ice shelf breaking would not be the problem, but what it is holding back will accelerate its movement up to 3 times faster. This will result in several feet of sea level rise and cause major devastation to millions of people living in coastal areas.

Of course, Thwaites isn’t only melting due to the ocean, there is also geothermal activity below causing weakness to the ice shelf. Whether we like it or not, climate is seeing a change, and what has been normal for hundreds of years is shifting.

Appropriate preparation would be necessary and encouraging.

Coree ILBO copyright (c) 2013-2021, All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in whole, or part without the express written permission.

Australian Red Crabs are occupying the Season of Greetings on the road

Photo from Parks Australia’s Twitter

Christmas Island in Australia is currently booming from massive migration of red crabs all over the roads to where they are heading and mating events. Roads are blocked for the crowds of immigration, and the doorstep of the office buildings are packed with the red crabs, according to the Parks Australia Twitter.

Of course, The red crabs are encountering unexpected predators and traffic accidents while they are partaking in their life journeys. Some brave crabs are crossing the underpasses and some smarty-pants are climbing over the bridges this time of the year. Acting manager of Christmas Island, Bianca Priest said, “Christmas Island National Park staff put up kilometers of temporary barriers, erect signs and close roads across the island to protect millions of crabs leaving their forest homes for the coast,” she mentioned at the Daily Mail Australia on Wednesday.

Officials have helped to keep their journeys safe and keep nature running accordingly within the biological ecosystem. Once mating has taken place inside or near the burrows, and after males leave, females stay three days at their place to produce eggs. The females remain in the burrows for at least two weeks to develop their eggs. When their time comes they move to the shoreline to release their eggs.

The island will remain closed for crab migration in the near future.

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This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in whole, or part without the express written permission.

Sudanese Democracy in Danger: Military Coup Detains PM and Dissolves Government

On Monday, the Sudanese military detained the prime minister, dissolved the government, and declared a state of emergency. It had only been two years since the Sudanese citizens marched to overthrow the longtime dictator Omar Hassan al-Bashir around two years ago.

The Biden administration plans to halt the $700 million bilateral assistance to Sudan. The U.S. is calling for the military to release civilian leaders, restore civilian control, and to not use violence against protesters.

The coup came days after the U.S. envoy to the region met with military leaders and warned them the American support was contingent upon Sudan’s agreement to give power to civilian rule.

Top military leader, Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan appeared on state television to announce new measures but did not specifically mention the detention of the prime minister, the suspension of the government. He also didn’t talk of the transition to a fully civilian government. He did mention that the military was still on target for democratic elections by mid-2023.

However, Sudanese public is moving. Crowds are gathering in the streets in protest. Locals have reported security forces reacting to the protesters with batons and live ammunition. Many are protesting to the two and half year of democratic progress that might disappear with this takeover.

Since Bashir’s ousting, Sudan has been struggling between a balance of civilian-military power sharing, although just last month, pro-Bashir elements in the army attempted an ultimately failed coup. Sudan’s Information Ministry, which is run by civilians, has issued statement calling for the people to defend their revolution,

Sudan’s current political coalition, led by anti-Bashir forces, had made progress with the westsern governments to normalize diplomatic and economic relations after years of sanctions prior to the military overthrow on Monday.

Another alarming issue is that while the civilian government of Sudan has authorized handing Bashir over from the Sudanese jail to the International Criminal Court in the Hague, the military had blocked the move.

Upcoming days will be important for the future of Sudan, quite indeed.

Coree ILBO copyright (c) 2013-2021, All rights reserved.

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Had enough of Covid-19? Nipah is Next.

As the world continues to struggle with the Covid virus (delta variant this year), the scientists are now warning of a resurgence of a different virus.

Although first discovered in 1980s, it first entered human culture in 1998, it arrived in central Malaysia by air, inside furry bats that lived on the fruit trees swaying over pig farms. But The bats dropped some of their half-consumed meals, which the pigs consumed. Then, the pigs coughed and transferred it to the pig workers.

Within 8 months, 105 Malaysians or about 40 percent of those infected, died of the virus, now dubbed Nipah. It caused fevers, brain inflammation, and comas.

It was then traced back to bats for disease investigation. Nipah erupts annually in Bangladesh, killing people at even greater rate as the country increased industrialization. Sometimes, the virus even broke out in India.

This week, the WHO identified Nipah as the Disease X that could potentially cause human epidemics. Up to 75 percent of new infectious diseases impacting humans right now are related to wild animal source, as human population gets closer to wildlife and raise livestock; the livestock becoming the link between wildlife and humans in transferring dangerous diseases.

Initially, the Nipah outbreak had been linked to mosquitoes, so mosquitoes were exterminated; however, pigs were continuously exported, and those outside of Malaysia got sick. Eventually, the scientists realized they’d found a new paramyxovirus that affected the pigs.

When the investigators arrived in Malaysia, the local folks explained the fearful sound of pigs coughing, dubbed “one-mile barking cough” that one could hear a mile away, coming closer and closer to one’s own piggery, before one would also get sick.

To deal with this outbreak, the Malaysian government performed a massive culling, killing one million pigs that spring; it did stop the disease temporarily. However, ultimately, as humans get closer to wild habitats and wildlife, this is only a higher possibility every year. Recently, scientists revealed that more than 47,000 wild animals were sold in markets in Wuhan, China, in the two years prior to the Covid-19 outbreak. Bats unlike other mammals do not have struggle with these quite horrific viruses, which scientists believe is due to their ability to fly, which suppresses inflammation.

Unlike other animals, bats being mammal can pose a problem for other mammals, such as pigs, dogs, and even humans due to the genetic similarity, making humans vulnerable.

Malaysia is therefore, very alert about Covid-19 because they don’t want to deal with Nipah like outbreak again.

Nipah does not yet have a vaccine or treatment.

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Shortage is due to American Consumerism, not Supply Chain

Business Insider reported that despite the reports that shortages in supplies had been causing shortages on the shelves, this is actually not true: in fact, Americans have simply been purchasing more.

US imports have been at record highs at ports. National Retail Federation reported that in fact, without shortages, Americans would likely spend even more money to purchase goods.

Americans are struggling to obtain even the simplest goods, such as toilet papers, paper towels, milk, toys, and even cars.

However, ultimately, America being short of everything claim is inadequate to explain the true nature of the situation, which is that America has imported more in the past 8 months.

Country’s inventory to sales ratio shows a 10-year low, indicating that in fact, America is low on “stuff.” However, Port of Los Angeles reported at 30% uptick in incoming cargo in the first nine months of the year, although most of these items are nonfood goods. Port of Charleston, South Carolina, has seen record breaking cargo, so much so that warehouse space is “effectively sold out.”

In the first nine months of 2021, retail sales were up 14.5% over the same period in 2020. Most retailers now believe that consumer spending power is stronger than ever, and the trend should be expected to continue.

True shortages do exist. Semiconductor supply will likely be lagging behind demand for years; furniture makers are short on foam.

However, most consumer goods are not actually facing shortages. Instead, there are full warehouses, jammed ports. and record high transportation prices. Options are limited; either clear away the backlog container by container, or block up the actual supply chain by preventing further clogging by the supplier.

Coree ILBO copyright (c) 2013-2021, All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in whole, or part without the express written permission.

The fired FBI official McCabe Wins Retirement Benefits and Back Pay


The former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe won the lawsuit to receive his retirement benefits and backpay against the federal government on Thursday. It is a huge victory for the government employees fired by former president Trump with minimal notice.

According to NPR, former president Trump had fired many government officials during his term, and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was one of them. Andrew McCabe was fired only hours before his retirement, and it was on his 50th birthday in 2018. Andrew McCabe filed a civil lawsuit and the Justice Department has agreed to restore full law enforcement benefits and provide attorney fees for him.

He has argued that his ouster was a result of a “years-long public vendetta” by former president Trump.”I think the message that you get loud and clear from the terms of the settlement is that this never should have happened,” McCabe said. “It feels like complete vindication because that’s what it is.”

Andrew McCabe worked 21 years in service at the Bureau. McCabe can return to work if he wants. He will get all his retirement benefits and back pay as well from this settlement. One of McCabe’s attorneys at the time said a senior Justice Department official told him the department was making things up as it went along.

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Taliban Justifies No-Shave Order in Southern Afghanistan as being faithful to Islam

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On Monday, the Taliban issued an order to forbid shaving or trimming of beards in the southern provinces of Helmand, and threatened to punish barbers that violated this directive. The order was issued by the vice and virtue department and directed it to areas in Lashkar Gah, provincial capital of Helmand, justifying it as being in line with Sharia law, which is the law as defined in the Islamic holy scriptures called the Quran.

Punishment was promised but not specified; those breaking the order would be punished with no right to complain.

Since overtaking Afghanistan upon U.S. and NATO’s departure, the Taliban has set an interim government, with many hardline leaders from the previous reign in late 1990’s; of course, there are no women leaders.

Since the Taliban ousting in 2001, men have been shaving or cleanly trimming beards in Afghanistan.

The current outlook of Taliban rule doesn’t seem to be looking too well; just last weekend, the Taliban hung a body from a crane in the main square of Herat, which is a third-largest city in Afghanistan. A bystander who witnessed the event recounted the event, stating that four bodies were brought to the square, and three were taken to other parts of the city for public display.

The barbers are speaking up and asking Taliban to reconsider this order, to “give freedom to people to live the way they want, if they want to trim their beard or hair.” Barbers in the area are already seeing reduction in income.

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This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in whole, or part without the express written permission.

Scientists develop solar cells for windows

Most agree that solar power is the next “big thing” when it comes to energy. With potentially infinite amount of energy that can be generated thanks to the Sun with relatively limited negative impact on the climate change, solar power has been something heavily in development.

However, as it has been until now, solar panels require an excessive amount of space and silicon, which is currently known to be the most efficient material for solar panels, is not transparent. This is a problem as based on energy use distribution, cities consume the most amount of energy but lack the space to generate that electricity based on current capabilities.

However, scientists have now developed a new transparent solar panel based on organic or carbon-based material to be used as window-friendly solar panels. Published in the science journal, Nature Communcications, the panel uses molecules that move photogenerated electrons to the electrodes, called non-fullerene acceptors. These acceptors when incorporated with sulfur, can reach efficiencies of 18% but have a short lifespan.

However, Yongxi Li (first author) have since figured out how to strengthen the non-fullerene acceptors; specifically, it would need to block off UV rays by adding a coating of zinc oxide, a sunscreen component on the side facing the Sun.

Then, the researchers added carbon-based material called IC-SAM as a buffer to solve this issue, and added another buffer layer in a form of fullerene shaped like a soccer ball.

Then they tested this new panel, from 1 sun to 27 suns, and temperatures as high as 65 degrees celsius. Result? These new solar cells would function at 80% efficiency after 30 years based on declination of performance.

Furthermore, these materials can be prepared as liquids, so the manufacturing and transportation costs might be incredibly lower than the current silicon-based solar panels. Thus, it might increase feasibility for wide scale use in large skyscrapers, but also on residential properties.

It is an exciting day for solar power and global energy self-sufficiency.

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Nicholas hits Texas and heads to Louisiana for a Double Dip

Photo captured from

After strengthening into a Category 1 hurricane on early Tuesday, Nicholas brough the coastal cities of Texas flooding and electricity outage. Nicholas is still pouring heavy rain, strong wind, roaming around Texas, and is heading towards Louisiana.

Now a category 2 hurricane, Nicholas hit Matagorda bay with wind gusts as high as 95 mph and brought 6 to 8 inches of rainfall leading to flooding in east Texas, especially Houston and Galveston areas from Monday to Wednesday. More than 500,000 residents in Texas are without power. It is now heading to Louisiana and the southern part of Mississippi, including areas that are currently struggling to recover from Ida.

Nicholas is currently headed towards the Carolinas and then will climb up the coastline.

These natural disasters have brought severe weather and brought devastation upon the areas as they’ve become a sort of ground zero for severe weather patterns. That being said, the energy company managing the electricity distribution in the gulf coast plans to restore electricity to the heaviest hit area before the end of September.

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Aftermath of the Afghan Exodus and What’s Left

Effective August 31, 2021, the U.S. and NATO forces have officially left Afghanistan, leaving the country back in the Taliban’s hands. Taliban celebrated their victory and return to power.
That being said, the U.S. still has some homework left over. There are still Americans in Afghanistan. Out of the 250,000 Afghan folks that assisted the U.S. forces, more than 100,000 are still in Afghanistan.
During the White House briefing today, a question arose as to the rescue plan for those remaining in Afghanistan after the August 31 deadline. The Chief of Press gave somewhat of an ambiguous answer but promised that anyone who has helped the U.S. that wants to come to the States would be given chances to do so, along with any American still stuck in Afghanistan.
Last Thursday, 13 U.S. service members and hundreds of Afghans were killed when a suicide bomber detonated the bomb at the gate of Kabul International Airport. Pres. Biden has promised that the U.S. would retaliate against ISIS-K for the attack and did so briefly after the attack.
Since the withdrawal began, Pres. Biden has seen a significant drop in approval rating, both in the execution of the withdrawal and in the quick overtaking of Afghanistan by the Taliban despite billions of dollars that had gone into training the Afghan military.
Many Americans are questioning the purpose of the Afghanistan campaign; some are even comparing it to the Vietnam war. The hardest struck are the Veterans of the Afghanistan-Iran conflict, who are now wondering why they went to a 20-year war where the result was the Taliban’s quick return and takeover of Afghanistan.
There are stories of U.S. citizens and green card holders being turned away at Taliban checkpoints and being beaten; it is unclear as to whether all U.S. citizens and green card holders have made it out safely.
With ISIS-K’s attack last Thursday, it is truly questionable as to whether the U.S. even succeeded at wiping out the terrorist threat to the safety of U.S. democracy.


Coree ILBO copyright (c) 2013-2021, All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in whole or part without express written permission.