2/8/2005:

Intermediate Word:  jeremiad (a) small mammal with long legs  (b) paean of praise  (c) full, bushy beard  (d) prolonged tale of woe 
Difficult Word:
  greisen -  (a) quartz-and-mica rock  (b) gray  (c)  a grandfatherly figure  (d) a greasy suet dripping

NASA Could Get To Pluto In Weeks By Going Nuclear: Experts - SpaceDaily  SD: You've said that a mission to Neptune could be accomplished in 15-and-a-half days?  PC: Yes, at 1G acceleration all the way. You're accelerating at 1G all the time, and then when you get halfway, you turn the engine around and you decelerate at 1G.  SD: Can you describe the powerplant that produces this?  PC: The Russians have said that by 2050 they will have a highly efficient system that uses an extremely small amount of propellant. PC: No. It's a fusion device that produces extremely high-velocity particles, as much as a tenth of the speed of light. 
Stark warning over climate change  - BBC  Rising concentrations of greenhouse gases may have more serious impacts than previously believed, a major scientific report has said. The report, published by the UK government, says there is only a small chance of greenhouse gas emissions being kept below "dangerous" levels. It fears the Greenland ice sheet is likely to melt, leading sea levels to rise by 7m (23ft) over 1,000 years. The poorest countries will be most vulnerable to these effects, it adds. In the report's foreword, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair writes that "it is now plain that the emission of greenhouse gases... is causing global warming at a rate that is unsustainable." The European Union (EU) has adopted a target of preventing a rise in global average temperature of more than two degrees Celsius. But that, according to the report, might be too high, with two degrees perhaps enough to trigger melting of the Greenland ice sheet. To have a good chance of achieving the EU's two-degree target, levels should be stabilised at 450ppm or below, the report concludes. But, speaking on Today, the UK government's chief scientific adviser, Sir David King, said that was unlikely to happen.

Washington Post: Warming debate shifts to ‘tipping point’  Now that most scientists agree human activity is causing Earth to warm, the central debate has shifted to whether climate change is progressing so rapidly that humans may be helpless to slow or reverse the trend. This "tipping point" scenario has begun to consume many prominent researchers in the United States and abroad, because the answer could determine how drastically countries need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in the coming years. Many say it is urgent that policymakers cut global carbon dioxide emissions in half over the next 50 years or risk the triggering of changes that would be irreversible.     




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