Friday, March 31, 2017

Near 60F Today - Happy April

A Real Sharknado?

Talk about weird... How would you like to wake up to a bull shark sitting in your front yard? It wasn't really a sharknado, but a powerful cyclone hit parts of Australia earlier this week, which led to flooding across the region. After the floodwaters receeded a bit, this bull shark was spotted in someones front yard. YIKES! Here's an excerpt from NYDailyNews: "Cyclone Debbie brings Australia floodwater and bull sharks, some residents ignore dangers and enter saturated streets. A powerful Category 3 cyclone hit Queensland, Australia, this week, some Australians did not heed advice from officials to avoid floodwaters. Despite a warning from Australian emergency services, photos and videos were posted on social media of locals making use of the floodwaters — surfing, boogie boarding, kayaking and jumping on rain-soaked trampolines. The situation was “dampened” even further, however, when Queensland Fire and Emergency tweeted out photos of a large bull shark that washed up in the floodwaters. The tweet reads, “Think it’s safe to go back in the water? Think again! A bull shark washed up in Ayr. Stay out of floodwater. #TCDebbie #ifitsfloodedforgetit.”"

(This March 30, 2017 image shows a bull shark that was found in a puddle near the town of Ayr, located south of Townsville, following flooding in the area from heavy rains associated with Cyclone Debbie in Australia. (HANDOUT/REUTERS))

A Tumble Weed Traffic Jam?

While snow tends to create white-kuckle driving issues across the north, it appears that tumble weeds are cause for concern in the south! Check out this story from ABC7: Powerful winds wreaked havoc throughout the Southland on Thursday, knocking out power, capsizing a boat and creating a tumbleweed traffic jam. Several high wind watches and warnings were in effect from 9 p.m. Thursday through Friday morning in different parts of Southern California, including the Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys, as well as areas in the Inland Empire and Los Angeles County mountains. The extreme weather led to thousands of reported power outages believed to be wind-related. According to Socal Edison, 7,700 customers were without power across the region, most of them likely due to the strong wind conditions. The hardest hit was an unincorporated area of San Bernardino, which had 1,607 customers without power. Riverside had 1,086 customers without power.

Death Valley Dust Storm!

The same storm system that will be responsible for strong to severe thunderstorms across the Southern US this weekend was responsible for strong winds across the Southwest earlier this week. Take a look at the dust storm that developed in Death Valley National Park on Thursday! WOW!


Visible Satellite on Friday
Despite a few stubborn clouds across parts of central and southern Minnesota early in the morning, Friday turned out to be pretty amazing! Sunshine and mild temperatures made for a very nice day across the region.

2017 Ice Out Dates

Here's the latest MN DNR ice out dates, which shows that more lakes across Central MN have officially gone out for the season. Note that ice outs are occuring nearly 1 to 2 weeks ahead of schedule this year!

April 1st Comet Flyby!
Green comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak is flying over Earth's North Pole this week where sky watchers can find it all night long not far from the bowl of the Big Dipper. At closest approach on April 1st it will be just 21 million km from Earth--an easy target for backyard telescopes and almost visible to the naked eye. This is not a Great Comet, but it should be a good one. The best time to observe is during the dark hours before sunrise when the green fuzzball is high in the northern sky. If you have a GOTO telescope, you can point it using an ephemeris from the Minor Planet Center. 
See more from Spaceweather HERE:
(Taken by Yasushi Aoshima on March 22, 2017 @ Fukushima, JAPAN via


Solar Wind Continues to Blow

If you've keeping up to date with latest northern lights forecasts and were lucky enough to venture out at the right time with the right weather conditions, you may have had a chance to see the illusive northern lights this week! Here's an excerpt from regarding the most recent storm: "Minor G1-class geomagnetic storms are circling Earth's poles as our planet spends its 5th day inside a fast-moving stream of solar wind. Arctic and Antarctic sky watchers should remain alert for auroras after local nightfall"

(Image courtesy: Sònia i Joan on March 31, 2017 @ Kabdalis, Swedish Lapland via Spaceweather)


Northern Lights Potential Continues...

Due to an Earth-facing storm on the sun, northern lights have been quite this week! Here's an excerpt from from a few days ago, which detailed why northern lights have been so active this week: POTENT CORONAL HOLE FACES EARTH: A canyon-shaped hole in the sun's atmosphere is facing Earth, and it is spewing a stream of fast-moving solar wind toward our planet.  NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory photographed the giant fissure on March 25th: This is a "coronal hole" (CH) -- a vast region where the sun's magnetic field opens up and allows solar wind to escape.  A gaseous stream flowing from this coronal hole is expected to reach our planet on during the late hours of March 27th and could spark moderately-strong G2-class geomagnetic storms around the poles on March 28th or 29th. We've seen this coronal hole before.  In early March, it lashed Earth's magnetic field with a fast-moving stream that sparked several consecutive days of intense auroras around the poles. The coronal hole is potent because it is spewing solar wind threaded with "negative polarity" magnetic fields. Such fields do a good job connecting to Earth's magnetosphere and energizing geomagnetic storms. Arctic sky watchers should be alert for auroras!


Northern Lights Potential Continues on Friday, March 31st & Saturday, April 1st

According to the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the northern lights potential is HIGH for Friday, March 31st and ACTIVE for Saturday, April 1st! Here's their forecast below:

Friday, March 31st: Auroral activity will be HIGH. Weather permitting, highly active auroral displays will be visible overhead from Inuvik, Yellowknife, Rankin and Igaluit to Juneau, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay and Sept-Iles, and visible low on the horizon from Seattle, Des Moines, Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, and Halifax.

Saturday, April 1st: Forecast: Auroral activity will be active. Weather permitting, active auroral displays will be visible overhead from Inuvik, Yellowknife, Rankin and Igaluit to Juneau, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Sept-Iles, and visible low on the horizon from Vancouver, Great Falls, Pierre, Madison, Lansing, Ottawa, Portland and St. Johns.

Active Weather Continues
Weather conditions across the country will remain quite active through the weekend and early next week across the Southern US as Pacific storms continue to slide across the country. These storms have been responsible for fairly impressive precipitation amounts in the Western US, including heavy snow in the higher elevations. As they move into the Plains, they become severe weather makers, which has been an ongoing situation since the beginning of the week. Here's the simulated radar through early next week, which shows additional storm systems pushing across the country with more high elevation snow and strong to severe thunderstorm potential.

Several Weather Threats Ahead 
According to NOAA's SPC, the risk of severe weather continues right through the weekend and potentially into early next week. The images below are the severe threats on Saturday and Sunday respectively. In these particular areas, large hail, damaging winds, isolated tornadoes and locally heavy rainfall will all be possible.

Southern Rainfall Potential
With the threat of strong to severe thunderstorms continuing over the next few days, heavy rainfall will be possible as well. Take a look at the precipitation potential through Thursday, which suggests some 2" to near 4"+ rainfall tallies across the region, especially along and east of the Gulf Coast States

2017 PRELIMINARY Tornado Count
According to NOAA's SPC, the PRELIMINARY tornado count for 2017 is at 423 (thru March 30). Interestingly, this is the highest number of tornado reports (thru March 30th) since 2012 when nearly 500 tornadoes were reported through that time frame. The 2005-2015 average number of tornado reports through March 30th is 219.

Late March Snow in the Northeast

The same storm system responsible for severe weather in the Central US over the past couple of days will be responsible for wintry weather across parts of the Northeast Friday & Saturday. Winter weather headlines have been posted for the potential of 8" to 12" of wet heavy snow that could lead to major travel concerns and even power outages.

Snowfall Potential in the Northeast

Here's the snowfall potential through Monday, which suggests a fairly decent 4" to 8" swatch across the region with some 8" to 12" amounts across the higher elevations. The early April snow could be very wet and heavy in spots that could lead to some power outages.

Simulated Radar Through

Here's the simulated radar through early Sunday morning, which shows heavy precipitation continuing to move through the region early Saturday before tapering late Saturday night. While some across the far north and into the high elevations will see snow, others will see a steady rain, which could accumulated to 1" through Saturday.

Winter Weather Concerns in the Western US

Another storm system will push through the Western US through the first half of the weekend with heavy snowfall potential across the higher elevations. The National Weather Service has issued a number of weather headlines through PM Saturday for snowfall potential of up to 12" or more!

Western Snowfall Potential

Here's the snowfall potential through PM Sunday, which shows heavy snowfall tallies across parts of the Intermountain West. Keep in mind that some of the heaviest amounts could top the 12" mark


California Snowpack’s Water Content Remains Far above Average

According to the California Department of Water Resources, the California snowpack is running 164% of historical average for March 30th! The average statewide snow water equivalent (SWE) is 45.8" !! WOW, that a lot of water locked up in the snowy mountains! Here's an excerpt from a news release 
SACRAMENTO – With every monthly measurement of the California snowpack this winter, the state’s rebound from the previous five years of drought becomes more evident. Today’s electronic readings from 95 sites in the Sierra Nevada show an average statewide snow water equivalent (SWE) of 45.8 inches, or 164 percent of the historical average for March 30 (27.9 inches).
Today’s manual snow survey by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) at Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada found a SWE of 46.1 inches, 183 percent of the late March/early April long-term average at Phillips (25.2 inches). The three previous 2017 surveys at Phillips near the beginning of March, February and January found an SWE of 43.5 inches for March, 28 inches for February and 6 inches for January. SWE is the depth of water that theoretically would result if the entire snowpack melted instantaneously. That measurement is more important than depth in evaluating the status of the snowpack. On average, the snowpack supplies about 30 percent of California’s water needs as it melts in the spring and early summer. Electronic measurements indicate the water content of the northern Sierra snowpack is 40.8 inches, 147 percent of the multi-decade March 30 average. The central and southern Sierra readings are 50.5 inches (175 percent of average) and 43.9 inches (164 percent of average), respectively. Dr. Michael Anderson, State Climatologist, observed: “Although the record pace of the snowpack accumulation fell off significantly in March, California enters the snowmelt season with a large snowpack that will result in high water in many rivers through the spring." The Phillips snow course, near the intersection of Highway 50 and Sierra-at-Tahoe Road, is one of hundreds surveyed manually throughout the winter. Manual measurements augment the electronic readings from about 100 sensors in the state’s mountains that provide a current snapshot of the water content in the snowpack. Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program, conducted DWR’s survey today at Phillips and said of his findings, "The storm track shifted away from California during March, but we still have a very substantial snowpack, particularly in the higher elevations in the central and southern Sierra. This is an extremely good year from the snowpack standpoint,” he said, adding that this year’s snowpack ranks in the upper quarter of historic snowpacks and is providing “great reservoir recovery.” Many Californians continue to experience the effects of drought, and some Central Valley communities still depend on water tanks and bottled water.  Groundwater – the source of at least a third of the supplies Californians use – will take much more than even an historically wet water year to be replenished in many areas.

Precipitation Last 90 Days
Here's an interesting map! The radar estimated precipitation over the last 90 days suggests that nearly 40"+ of liquid precipitation has fallen across parts of the Western US since the end of December 2016! A steady stream of Pacific moisture earlier in the year really helped to boost precipitation values across the region.

Drought Worsens in the Southeast

According to the US Drought Monitor, drought conditions in the Southeast continue to intensify. While EXTREME drought conditions have decreased from nearly 3% to a little more than 1%, more of the area under abnormally dry conditions going from 70% last week to nearly 85% this week.

Rainfall Potential in the Southeast

The good news is that active weather conditions will help bring the potential of widespread heavy rainfall to the region through early next week. According precipitation forecast through Friday, some spots across the Southeast could see as much as 2" to 4" of rain.


In Praise of Generic, Garden-Variety Thunderstorms
By Paul Douglas

"Ceraunophilia" is a vaguely irrational love of lightning and thunder. I can't say I suffer from that affliction. I have a healthy respect for thunderstorms, having studied them for 45 year. It's true that a subset of thunderstorms can spawn large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes. But less than 1 in 10 T-storms will turn severe; fewer than 1 in 100 will ever spin up a tornado. If it wasn't for thunderstorms during the warm season Minnesota would have a climate similar to New Mexico. Precious little would grow here.
A higher sun angle will coax warmth & moisture northward from the Gulf of Mexico, increasing the potential for severe storms as we sail into April and May.
Weather apps, NOAA Weather Radio, local media & social media and sirens can keep you informed, but there's still no substitute for common sense. First growl of thunder? Head inside.
Saturday should be the nicer day of the weekend; a late-day instability shower Sunday. Big storms continue to track south of town this week. ECMWF guidance hints at 70F a week from Sunday, with a debilitating case of spring fever.
Extended Forecast:
FRIDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear and chilly. Winds: NNE 5. Low: 34.
SATURDAY: Partly sunny and pleasant. Winds: S 7-12. High: 62.
SATURDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy and quiet. Winds: SSW 5. Low: 41
SUNDAY: Sunny start. Pop-up shower late. Winds: S 7-12. High: 55.
MONDAY: Mix of clouds and sun. Dry for the MN Twins Opener. Winds: NE 5-10. Wake-up: 45. High: 60
TUESDAY: Patchy clouds, still pretty quiet. Winds: NE 8-13. Wake-up: 44. High: 59
WEDNESDAY: Cloudy with rain across southern MN. Winds: NE 8-13. Wake-up: 43. High: 55.
THURSDAY: Mostly cloudy. Cooler breeze kicks in. Winds: NNW 10-20. Wake-up: 39. High: 51.
FRIDAY: Sunny skies, winds slowly east. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 35. High: 57
This Day in Weather History
April 1st
1882: A record high of 75 degrees is set at Minneapolis.
Average High/Low for Minneapolis
April 1st
Average High: 50F (Record: 84F set in 2015)
Average: Low: 31F (Record: 9F set in 1975)
*Record Snowfall: 4.6" set in 2002
Sunrise Sunset Times For Minneapolis
April 1st
Sunrise: 6:53am
Sunset: 7:41pm
*Daylight Gained Since Yesterday: ~3 minutes & 7 seconds
*Daylight Gained Since Winter Solstice (December 21st): ~4 hours & 4 minute

Moon Phase for March 31st at Midnight
2.5 Days Before First Quarter
Weather Outlook For Saturday
High temperatures on Saturday will be quite warm across region. With highs in the 50s and low 60s, we'll be above average for the first day of April!
Weather Outlook For Saturday
Here are the winds for Saturday, which look pretty negligable for much of the day. No worries here, move along.
Weather Outlook For Saturday
Skies will remain sunny early in the day, but clouds will be on the increase late as our next rain makes movves in on Sunday.

Quiet Friday & Saturday, but a Soggy Sunday Ahead

Here's the weather outlook through the middle part of next week, which shows a few light showers possible on Sunday, but weather conditions look fairly quiet for Monday. Great news for the MN Twins Home Opener. The next bigger storm system looks to roll in midweek with heavier, steadier rain potential. Stay tuned.

Precipitation Potential

Here's the precipitation potential through the middle part of next week, which shows a few heavier spots of rain moving into the region by the middle part of next week.

Extended Temperature Outlook for Minneapolis
Here's the temperature outlook through April 15th, which shows temperatures gradually warming over the next several days with highs sliding into the 50s & 60s as we head into the first couple of weeks of April. Note that the average high temperatures in the Twin Ciites on March 31st is 49F, while the average high on April 15th is 58F!
______________________________________________________________________________8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook
According to NOAA's CPC, the 8 to 14 day temperature outlook suggests warmer than average temperatures in the Upper Midwest from April 8th - April 12th.

Temperature Outlook
Here's the 8 to 14 day temperature outlook, which takes us into the 2nd week of April. Note that warmer than average temperatures look to develop across much of the nation, while the only cooler than average spot would be found across parts of the Western US.
 National Weather Outlook
Here's the weather outlook through the weekend, which shows active weather conditions continuing across much of the nation. Note that another storm system looks to move into the Central US with strong to severe thunderstorm potential this weekend.

5 Day Precipitation Forecast
According to NOAA's WPC, the 5 day precipitation forecast suggests widespread 2" to 4"+ of precipitation across parts of the Southern and Eastern US as our storm systems continue to slide east.
Snowfall Potential
Here's the snowfall potential over the next several days, which shows some accumulations across parts of the Northeast and in the Western mountains. Other than that, there doesn't appear to be any major snow events brewing across the Central US anytime soon.

Sad News on National Crayon Day: Friday, March 31st
Who knew that there was a national crayon day? Unfortunately, that beloved Dandelion crayon in the box of Crayola crayons will be no longer! On Thursday, March 30th, Dandelion announced his retirement.
See more from Crayola HERE:

_______________________________________________________________________________"Eating Ice Cream For Breakfast May Improve Mental Performance And Alertness, Study Says"
Now this is news that I like to hear!!! Count me in! Here's an excerpt from IBTimes on how eating ice cream for breakfast may improve your mential performance: "Most parents would consider it a crime to give a child ice cream for breakfast. But they might rethink allowing their kids to have a scoop of the cold, sweet treat first thing in the morning, if they knew it could make them smarter. Although an early morning sugar rush may be parents and teachers worst fears, a new study recently found eating ice cream first thing in the morning can actually be beneficial for the brain. The study, published by Kyorin University professor Yoshihiko Koga, said eating ice cream right after waking up can result in improved instances of alertness and mental performance. The study, which was published on Japan's Excite News website Tuesday, compared participant’s brain activity in people who had been given ice cream immediately after waking up with those who had not eaten ice cream. Koga found that people who had consumed ice cream for breakfast showed better reaction time and were able to process information better than those who did not have the ice cream. Further tests of brain activity also showed that the people who had ice cream first thing in the morning had an increase in high-frequency alpha waves, which are associated with higher levels of alertness and can reduce mental irritation, the report said."
See more HERE:
_____________________________________________________________________"'Space Poop' Challenge Winners Come Clean on Victory"
When you gotta go, you gotta go. Here's an interesting story about space poop from "From power-supply issues to skin-protection concerns, the winners of NASA's Space Poop Challenge discussed all the details of their innovative spacesuit waste-disposal systems in a panel discussion about their responses to NASA's astronaut potty problem. The challenge called on participants to design a device that would go inside a spacesuit, whisk waste away from an astronaut's body and keep the waste contained for up to 144 hours, without astronauts needing to use their hands. The challenge received more than 5,000 submissions from teams in 130 countries. Steve Rader, deputy manager of NASA's Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation (CoECI), said the agency has long struggled with how to deal with human waste inside a spacesuit. He was one of the judges for the challenge and said picking the best submission was hard, in part because of the disgusting subject matter."
See more from HERE:

______________________________________________________________________________"Space arms race as Russia, China emerge as 'rapidly growing threats' to US"
"U.S. satellites may be vulnerable to attacks that could make our whole way of fighting war riskier, according to experts. "Every major space-faring nation that can track a satellite and launch into outer space has the means to mess up a satellite," said Michael Krepon, a space security expert and co-founder of the Stimson Center think tank in Washington, D.C. A space arms race of sorts is underway with weapons under development or in the arsenals of China, Russia and the U.S. Space weapons include satellite jammers, lasers and high-power microwave gun systems. "My guess is that our capabilities to carry out a war in space are a lot better than the Chinese and Russians," said Krepon. According to analysts, space weapons could be used to compromise navigation, surveillance, communications and other functions in a wartime scenario or national emergency."
See more from CNBC HERE:

________________________________________________________________________"Exxon to Trump: Don't ditch Paris climate change deal"
ExxonMobil doesn't want President Trump to abandon the global climate agreement reached in Paris. America's biggest oil company told the White House it believes the Paris agreement is an "effective framework for addressing the risks of climate change" and the U.S. should remain a party to it. Exxon (XOM) said the country is "well positioned to compete" under the terms of the Paris deal, which was reached in late 2015 with the goal of slowing global warming. President Obama hailed the agreement as "the moment that we finally decided to save our planet."
See more HERE:

_____________________________________________________________________________"Climate change: global reshuffle of wildlife will have huge impacts on humanity"
Mass migration of species to cooler climes has profound implications for society, pushing disease-carrying insects, crop pests and crucial pollinators into new areas, says international team of scientists. Global warming is reshuffling the ranges of animals and plants around the world with profound consequences for humanity, according to a major new analysis. Rising temperatures on land and sea are increasingly forcing species to migrate to cooler climes, pushing disease-carrying insects into new areas, moving the pests that attack crops and shifting the pollinators that fertilise many of them, an international team of scientists has said. They warn that some movements will damage important industries, such as forestry and tourism, and that tensions are emerging between nations over shifting natural resources, such as fish stocks. The mass migration of species now underway around the planet can also amplify climate change as, for example, darker vegetation grows to replace sun-reflecting snow fields in the Arctic."
See more from the Guardian HERE:
(Tropical fish like this Blue-barred Parrotfish are expanding their distribution towards the poles and destroying economically important kelp forests in Australia. Photograph: Jason Edwards/NG/Getty Images)
"Climate change's toll on mental health"
"When people think about climate change, they probably think first about its effects on the environment, and possibly on their physical health. But climate change also takes a significant toll on mental health, according to a new report released by the American Psychological Association and ecoAmerica entitled Mental Health and Our Changing Climate: Impacts, Implications, and Guidance. Climate change-induced severe weather and other natural disasters have the most immediate effects on mental health in the form of the trauma and shock due to personal injuries, loss of a loved one, damage to or loss of personal property or even the loss of livelihood, according to the report. Terror, anger, shock and other intense negative emotions that can dominate people's initial response may eventually subside, only to be replaced by post-traumatic stress disorder."
See more from HERE:
"Study: Climate change is affecting the jet stream so that extreme weather is more likely to persist for longer periods"
"Ever since 2012, scientists have been debating a complex and frankly explosive idea about how a warming planet will alter our weather - one that, if it's correct, would have profound implications across the Northern Hemisphere and especially in its middle latitudes, where hundreds of millions of people live. The idea is that climate change doesn't merely increase the overall likelihood of heat waves, say, or the volume of rainfall - it also changes the flow of weather itself. By altering massive planet-scale air patterns like the jet stream, which flows in waves from west to east in the Northern Hemisphere, a warming planet causes our weather to become more stuck in place. This means that a given weather pattern, whatever it may be, may persist for longer, thus driving extreme droughts, heat waves, downpours and more. This basic idea has sparked half a decade of criticism and debate, and at the cutting edge of research, scientists continue to grapple with it. And now, a new study once again reinforces one of its core aspects."
See more from PostandCourier HERE:
(Visualization of very wavy Northern Hemisphere jet stream. A study shows that the large scale flow of the atmosphere is changing in such a way as to cuase weather to get stuck more often. (NASA))

_________________________________________________________________________"Farming becoming riskier under climate change"
Scientists the world over are working to predict how climate change will affect our planet. It is an extremely complex puzzle with many moving parts, but a few patterns have been consistent, including the prediction that farming as we know it will become more difficult.Scientists the world over are working to predict how climate change will affect our planet. It is an extremely complex puzzle with many moving parts, but a few patterns have been consistent, including the prediction that farming as we know it will become more difficult. Scientists infer the impact on agriculture based on predictions of rainfall, drought intensity, and weather volatility. Until now, however, the average farmer may not have been able to put predictions like these into practice. A new University of Illinois study puts climate change predictions in terms that farmers are used to: field working days. "Everything else flows from field working days," says U of I and USDA Agricultural Research Service ecologist Adam Davis. "If you're not able to work, everything else gets backed up. Workable days will determine the cultivars, the cropping system, and the types of pest management practices you can use. We're simply asking, 'Can you get in to plant your crop?'" In a previous study, the group developed models that reliably translated past climate data into field working days for Illinois. In the new study, they coupled those models with climate change scenarios to forecast field working days into the future."
See more from HERE:
(Credit: Bobby Mikul/public domain via

______________________________________________________________________________"Climate change: China calls US 'selfish' after Trump seeks to bring back coal"
"State-run tabloid says Beijing cannot fill vacuum left by US and urges west to pressure Trump on global warming. Chinese state media has lambasted Donald Trump’s efforts to roll back many Obama-era environmental regulations, with a state-run tabloid saying that: “No matter how hard Beijing tries, it won’t be able to take on all the responsibilities that Washington refuses to take.” In an editorial highly critical of Trump’s retreat on environmental regulation, the Global Times made it clear Beijing was uncomfortable taking over leadership of the fight against climate change and could not fill the vacuum left by the US. “Western opinion should continue to pressure the Trump administration on climate change. Washington’s political selfishness must be discouraged,” the editorial said. “China will remain the world’s biggest developing country for a long time. How can it be expected to sacrifice its own development space for those developed western powerhouses?”"
See more from The Guardian HERE:
(Donald Trump has previously called climate change a hoax created by the Chinese. Photograph: Bloomberg via Getty Images)
______________________________________________________________________________"China's secret plan to crush SpaceX and the US space program"
"China's breakneck economic expansion may be flagging, but the country's ambitions in space show no signs of slowing down. Alongside ongoing efforts to rival NASA by placing robotic landers, and eventually astronauts, on the moon and Mars, China's government is increasingly looking to its burgeoning space sector to rival U.S. companies like Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin and Elon Musk's SpaceX, which is targeting March 30 for the latest launch of its Falcon 9 rocket. Though Chinese space authorities have publicly announced the country's ambitions to forge itself into a major space power by the early 2030s, President Xi Jinping's government is also considering ways to direct spending that will push Chinese tech companies toward breakthroughs in downstream technologies like robotics, aerospace, artificial intelligence, big data analytics and other 21st-century technologies. The majority of China's space ambitions remain focused on boosting Chinese prestige at home and abroad. But a push within Xi's government to triple spending on space science as well as the emergence of a small but growing group of privately backed space start-ups suggest that both Chinese industry and government see long-term economic benefits in their investments in space technologies."
See more from CNBC HERE:
(Imaginechina via AP Images -In this TV grab, Chinas latest manned space capsule docked with the lab, the Tiangong-1 in space, 13 June 2013.)
"SpaceX And NASA Find ‘Landing Site’ For 2020 Mars Mission"
"SpaceX finally picked a suitable landing site for its 2020 Mars Mission, after working in cooperation with NASA’s JTL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory). The two organizations picked four regions of Mars as potential landing sites. Deuteronilus Mensae, Phlegra Montes, Utopia Planitia, and Arcadia Planitia (the names will be familiar to all Mars trilogy readers) are all placed on the Mars’ northern hemisphere and they all offer suitable conditions such as proximity to Mars’ ice deposits (that will be used as a water source for future astronauts), a good potential for using solar power, and a closeness to scientifically interesting spots. Scientists at JPL and SpaceX used the HiRISE high-definition camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for picking the potential landing spots and after detailed reconnaissance, they determined that only Arcadia Planitia is smooth enough for performing a landing."
See more from mobipicker HERE:
"NASA looking at spaceport in lunar orbit as deep space gateway to Mars"
WASHINGTON – NASA hasn’t officially scrapped its mission to use an asteroid as a stepping stone to Mars but it’s taking steps to chart a new approach that instead would rely on a spaceport circling the moon. Under a program dubbed Deep Space Gateway, agency officials Tuesday said they still plan to use the lunar orbit as a staging platform to build and test the infrastructure and the systems needed to send astronauts to Mars. But instead of breaking off a chunk of asteroid and dragging it to the moon, NASA's new plan calls for building an orbiting spaceport that could have even more uses. The space port, a mini space station in essence, would serve as a gateway for missions both to deep space and the lunar surface. Though not designed for a permanent crew, the spaceport would be equipped with a small habitat for astronauts, docking capability, an airlock, and would be serviced by logistics modules to enable research, according to NASA.
See more from USAToday HERE:
(Picture taken on November 14, 2016 shows the supermoon rising above Cape Town.(Photo: RODGER BOSCH, AFP/Getty Images via USAToday)

_______________________________________________________________________"Trump's NASA budget preserves Mars mission, cuts Earth science, asteroid trip, education"
WASHINGTON — No more mission to bring astronauts to an asteroid, but stable funding for a trip to Mars. A cut in Earth science programs, but support for a mission to study Jupiter’s icy moon Europa. Elimination of education programs, but more resources to improve cybersecurity of the space program. President Trump is proposing a $19.1 billion budget for NASA in 2018 that is about the same as the current year’s $19.3 billion allocation – not bad considering the president is proposing deep cuts in many non-Defense programs. EPA alone would see a 31% reduction. But Trump’s vision for NASA calls for some dramatic shifts from the priorities the space agency pursued under President Obama, according to a broad budget outline the White House released Thursday. Line-item details on the administration’s proposed spending plan for NASA and other executive branch agencies are expected in the coming weeks.
See more from USAToday HERE:
(A handout photo released by the European Space Agency on Feb. 2, 2017, shows a perspective view of the Mars north polar ice cap and its distinctive dark troughs forming a spiral-like pattern.(Photo: European Pressphoto Agency/European Space Agency)
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