China's air pollution is now so bad it "resembles nuclear winter", say Chinese scientists. The pollution is impeding photosynthesis and potentially wreaking havoc on the country's food supply. [more inside]
Although the past 12 years have seen the warmest 10 years on record, temperatures have remained fairly steady, even while CO2 emissions grew by nearly a third. Temperatures should have been increasing during this period, rather 1998 was tied with 2010 for hottest on record. Now a study suggests why (pdf): sulfur emissions from Asian coal plants (China mostly) are so high they mimic the effects of a volcano which can cause short term cooling by reflecting light back into space. Insidiously, the long-term warming caused by CO2 (coal) has been masked by short-term cooling of sulfur (coal).
A $3million dollar, 3-year project by IBM to create a virtual tour of China's Forbidden City was released Friday. It is a large download, but there is support for Mac, Linux and Windows. Unlike most virtual tourist projects, this one seems to foreground actual human beings, and not just artifacts (architecture, art). It is based on gaming software but with an emphasis on historical authenticity and "a sense of decorum", meaning "you can't run and you can't fly," in the Forbidden City.
MIT report debunks China energy myth. A detailed analysis of powerplants in China by MIT researchers debunks the widespread notion that outmoded energy technology or the utter absence of government regulation is to blame for that country's notorious air-pollution problems. [more inside]
What caused the Viking Age? It has long been a source of, er, conflict among Nordic scholars. A new study ($ub-only) suggests the Viking Age was triggered by a shortage of women (lack of).
Roman descendants found in China? DNA tests will be done in a remote Gobi village to see if the blond-haired Chinese residents are related to Crassus' lost legion of c. 53 BC, as suggested by historian Homer Dubbs in 1957 and debated since.
After viewing this incredible video (.wmv) from China I am folding laundry like a pro (via Linkfilter)
New Discovery in Northern China challenges theory on origin of man. Human activities started in Asia some 2 million years ago long before Out of Africa.
China is on an 'execution frenzy' executing more people 1750+ over the past 3 months then the rest of the world combined over the past 3 years.. according to Amnesty International. The parades and stadiums add a nice Roman-era twist.