WASHINGTON — A new study says that as the world gets warmer, parts of North America, Europe and Asia could see more frequent and stronger visits of polar vortex chills. Researchers say that’s because of shrinking ice in the seas off Russia.
Normally, sea ice keeps heat energy from escaping the ocean and entering the atmosphere. When there’s less ice, more energy gets into the atmosphere and weakens the jet stream, the high-altitude river of air that usually keeps Arctic air from wandering south, said study co-author Jin-Ho Yoon of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash. So the cold air escapes instead.
That happened relatively infrequently in the 1990s, but since 2000 it has happened nearly every year, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications. A team of scientists from South Korea and United States found that many such cold outbreaks happened a few months after unusually low sea ice levels in the Barents and Kara seas, off Russia.
UNITED NATIONS — President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority plans to ask the United Nations Security Council to compel Israel to end its occupation within three years as part of his new initiative to overcome diplomatic deadlock and move toward a two-state solution, one of his top aides said Tuesday.
The assertion by the aide, Hanan Ashrawi, was the most specific time frame given for Mr. Abbas’ demand for a deadline, which he began to float last month in the midst of fighting between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.
Mr. Ashrawi also gave one of the clearest signals yet that the Palestinians would use Palestine’s observer status at the United Nations, an upgrade won nearly two years ago over Israeli and U.S. opposition, to join the International Criminal Court and seek the prosecution of Israeli behavior in the occupied territories.
U.S. criticizes Israel
WASHINGTON—The United States on Tuesday took the unusual step of publicly criticizing Israel for plans to appropriate land in the occupied West Bank and calling for it to reverse the decision.
Some 988 acres in the Etzion Jewish settlement bloc near Bethlehem were declared “state land, on the instructions of the political echelon” by the military-run Civil Administration on Sunday.
The U.S. State Department called on Israel to reverse its decision.
Lawmakers back PM
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Lawmakers in Pakistan rallied around embattled Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday, and his government said it was ready to confront the “terrorists” who are trying to oust him from power.
During a day-long session of the parliament, legislators from across Pakistan’s political spectrum condemned what they view as a growing threat to the country’s fragile democracy. They accused former cricket star Imran Khan and firebrand Muslim preacher Tahirul Qadri of conspiring to engineer an unconstitutional power grab.
Also in the world ...
Philippine authorities said they thwarted a plot to set off home-made explosive devices at Manila’s international airport and a nearby mall, arresting three men who planned the attack to protest China’s assertiveness in the region. ... A British commission Tuesday rejected as too costly a proposal backed by the mayor of London to build a new four-runway airport on an artificial island in the estuary of the River Thames, saying the plan was too costly.
Compiled from wire reports