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October 02, 2007 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-10-02

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, October 2, 2007 - 3

NEWS BRIEFS
WASHINGTON
Obamai-aises
$19 million in
third quarter
Barack Obama raised more
than $19 million this summer for
the presidential primaries, hold-
ing his lead for now in the race for
campaign cash though still trailing
Democratic rival Hillary Rodham
Clinton in national polls.
Fred Thompson, the GOP new-
comer, has collected more than
$11.5 million since June, when he
began exploring a run, Republi-
cans familiar with his fundraising
said yesterday.
Obama's Democratic rival John
Edwards reported raising $7 mil-
lion during the July-September
quarter for a total of $30 million
for the year. Aides said he would
show $12 million cash on hand and
was on track to meet his goal of
raising $40 million by the time the
first presidential contests begin in
January.
Clinton, whose fundraising has
nearly kept pace with Obama's,
had not released her third-quar-
ter figures yesterday. The quarter
ended Sunday night.
Clinton and the top Republican
presidential contenders were not
expected to disclose their totals
until later this week, perhaps as
early as today.
MOSCOW
Putin hints he's
interested in prime
minister position
President Vladimir Putin, in a
surprise announcement, opened
the door yesterday to becoming
Russia's prime minister and retain-
ing power when his presidential
term ends next year.
The popular Putin is barred
from seeking a third consecutive
term in the March presidential
election, but has strongly indicat-
ed he would seek to keep a hand on
Russia's reins after he steps down.
Putin's remarks yesterday at a
congress of the dominant, Krem-
lin-controlled United Russia party
hint at a clear scenario in which he
could remake himself as a power-
ful prime minister and eclipse a
weakened president.
Putin, 54, told United Russia
that his name will top its ticket
in Dec. 2 parliamentary elections
- a huge show of support from a
president who has always sought
to remain above the grit of party
politics.
He called a proposal that he
become prime minister "entirely
realistic," but added that it was
still "too early to think about it."
WASHINGTON
Blackwater blasted
in congressial
committee report
Blackwater USA is an out-of-
control outfit indifferent to Iraqi
civilian casualties, according to a
critical report released yesterday
by a key congressional committee.
Among the most serious charg-
es against the prominent security
firm is that Blackwater contractors
sought to cover up a June 2005
shooting of an Iraqi man and the
company paid, with State Depart-
ment approval, the families of

others inadvertently killed by its
guards.
Blackwater has had to fire doz-
ens of guards over the past three
years for problems ranging from
misuse of weapons, alcohol and
drug violations, inappropriate
conduct and violent behavior, says
the 15-page report from the House
Oversight and Government Reform
Committee. }
SEOU L
South, North
Korean leaders
meet in Pyongyang
North Korean leader Kim Jong
Il greeted South Korean Presi-
dent Roh Moo-hyun in Pyongyang
today to begin the second sum-
mit between the two countries
since the peninsula's division after
World War II.
Thousands of cheering North
Koreanswavingpinkpaperflowers
and a military honor guard bear-
ing rifles with bayonets heralded
the leaders' first encounter outside
a cultural hall in the North Korean
capital, where Roh traveled some
31/a hours by road from the South
Korean capital, Seoul.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports

Polar ice caps could
be damaged for
good, experts say

By ANDREW C. REVKIN
The New York Times
The Arctic ice cap shrank so
much this summer that waves
briefly lapped along two long-
imagined Arctic shipping routes,
the 'Northwest Passage over
Canada and the Northern Sea
Route over Russia.
Overall, the floating ice dwin-
dled to an extent unparalleled
in a century or more, by several
estimates.
Now the six-month dark sea-
son has returned to the North
Pole. In the deepening chill, new
ice is already spreading over vast
stretches of the Arctic Ocean.
Astonished by the summer's .
changes, scientists are studying
the forces that exposed 1 million
square miles of open water -- six
Californias -- beyond the aver-
age since satellites started mea-
surements in 1979.
At a recent gathering of sea-
ice experts at the University of
Alaska in Fairbanks, Hajo Rick-
en, a geophysicist, summarized
it this way: "Our stock in trade
seems to be going away."
Scientists are also unnerved
by the summer's implications for
the future, and their ability to
predict it.
Complicating the picture, the
striking Arctic change was as
much a result of ice moving as
melting, many say. A new study,
led by Son Nghiem at NASA's
Jet Propulsion Laboratory and
appearing this week in Geo-
physical Research Letters, used
satellites and buoys to show that
winds since 2000 had pushed
huge amounts of thick old ice out
of the Arctic basin past Green-
land. The thin floes that formed
on the resulting open water melt-
ed quicker or could be shuffled
together by winds and similarly
expelled, the authors said.
The pace of change has far
exceeded what had been esti-
mated by almost all the simula-
tions used to envision how the
Arctic will respond to rising
concentrations of greenhouse
gases linked to global warming.
But that disconnect can cut two
ways. Are the models overly con-
servative?
Or are they missing natural
influences that can cause wide
swings in ice and temperature,
thereby dwarfing the slow back-
ground warming?
The world is paying more
attention than ever.
Russia, Canada and Denmark,
prompted in part by years of
warming and the ice retreat this
year, ratcheted up rhetoric and
actions aimed at securing sea
routes and seabed resources.
Proponents of cuts in green-
house gases cited the meltdown
as proof that human activities
are propelling a slide-toward cli-
mate calamity.
Arctic experts say things
are not that simple. More than
a dozen experts said in inter-.

views that the extreme summer
ice retreat had revealed at least
as much about what remains
unknown in the Arctic as what
is clear.
Still, many of those scientists
said they were becoming con-
vinced that the system is head-
ing toward a new, more watery
state, and that human-caused
global warming is playing a sig-
nificant role.
For one thing, experts are
having trouble finding any
records from Russia, Alaska or
elsewhere pointing to such a
widespread Arctic ice retreat in
recent times, adding credence to
the idea that humans may have
tipped the balance.
Many scientists say the last
substantial warming in the
region, peaking in the 1930s,
mainly affected areas near
Greenland and Scandinavia.
Some scientists who have long
doubted that a human influenrce
could be clearly discerned in the
Arctic's changing climate now
agree that the trend is hard to
ascribe to anything else.
"We used to argue that a lot
of the variability up to the late
1990s was induced by changes
in the winds, natural changes
not obviously related to global
warming," said John Michael
Wallace, a scientist at the Uni-
versity of Washington. "But
changes in the last few years
make you have to question that.
I'm much more open to the idea
that we might have passed a
point where it's becoming essen-
tially irreversible."
Experts say the ice retreat
is likely to be even bigger next
summer because this winter's
freeze is starting from such a
huge ice deficit.
At least one researcher, Wie-
slaw Maslowski of the Naval
Postgraduate School in Mon-
terey, Calif., projects a blue Arc-
tic Ocean in summers by 2013.
In essence, Arctic waters may
be behaving more like those
around Antarctica, where a
broad fringe of sea ice builds
each austral winter and nearly
disappears in the summer.
While open Arctic waters
could be a boon for shipping,
fishing and oil exploration, an
annual seesawing between ice
and no ice could be a particularly
harsh jolt to polar bears.
"Natural variations could
turn around and counteract the
greenhouse-gas-forced change,
perhaps stabilizing the ice for a
bit," said Marika Holland, of the
National Center for Atmospheric
Research in Boulder, Colo.
But, she added, that will not
last. "Eventually the natural
variations would again rein-
force the human-driven change,
perhaps leading to even more
rapid retreat," Holland said. "So
I wouldn't sign any shipping
contracts for the next five to 10
years, but maybe the next 20 to
30."

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39803 4 5
3,803
2
Number of American service
members who have died in the 9
War in Iraq, according to The
Associated Press. There were
no casualties identified by the
Department of Defense yesterday.

di atocm

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