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Antarctica just hit 65 degrees, its warmest temperature ever recorded

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Just days after the earth saw its warmest January on record, Antarctica has broken its warmest temperature ever recorded. A reading of 65 degrees was taken at Esperanza Base along Antarctica’s Trinity Peninsula on Thursday, making it the ordinarily frigid continent’s highest measured temperature in history.

The Argentine research base is on the northern tip of the Antarctic peninsula. Randy Cerveny, who tracks extremes for the World Meteorological Organization, calls Thursday’s reading a “likely record,” although the mark will still have to be officially reviewed and certified.

The balmy reading beats out the previous record of 63.5 degrees, which occurred on March 24, 2015.

The Antarctic peninsula, on which Thursday’s anomaly was recorded, is one of the fastest-warming regions in the world. In just the past 50 years, temperatures have surged a staggering 5 degrees in response to earth’s swiftly-warming climate. Around 87 percent of glaciers along the peninsula’s west coast have retreated in that time, the majority doing so at an accelerated pace since 2008.

The WMO notes that cracks in the Pine Island Glacier “have been growing rapidly” in the past several days according to satellite imagery.

 

A 2016 photo of Esperanza Base. (Andrew Shiva)

A 2016 photo of Esperanza Base. (Andrew Shiva)

The recent spate of warmth owes to a ridge of high pressure that has lingered over the region for several days. High-pressure systems feature sinking air, which favors milder temperatures.

This effect was amplified on a local level due to a “foehn” wind, characterized by air sweeping down a mountain that begins compressing as air pressures rise near the earth’s surface. That causes additional warming.

Moreover, a look at simulated atmospheric profiles around the time it hit the record indicated warmer air aloft than at the surface — meaning any air that mixed down to ground level could have had an additional leg up in warming.

It’s been a monumental year for climate extremes, and we’re only on day 38 of 2020. January was the warmest on record globally according to atmospheric monitoring group Copernicus, with records shattered in Europe and Asia. A number of locales in Eastern Europe and particularly Russia wound up more than 12-13 degrees above average.

[This record] doesn’t come as any surprise,” wrote Eric Steig, a glaciologist studying climate change at the University of Washington. “Although there is decade-to-decade variability, the underlying trend across most of the continent is warming.”

He says this record will likely broken again in the not-so-distant future.

“That warming has been particularly fast on the Antarctic Peninsula — where Esperanza is — in summer (the season [they’re] now in). So we can expect these sorts of records to be set again and again, even if they aren’t set every single year.”

David Bromwich, a climate researcher at Ohio State University, noted, however, that while the Antarctic Peninsula has warmed strongly since the late 1940s, temperature trends in summer have been variable in recent decades, including a brief cooling spell since 1998. “So overall, this record looks to be a one time extreme event that doesn’t tell us anything about Antarctic climate change,” he wrote in an email.

Additional extreme warmth is likely in the Antarctic Peninsula in the coming days. Temperatures some 40 to 50 degrees above normal are predicted by some models.

Jason Samenow contributed to this report.

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Scientists says University of Oxford COVID-19 vaccine has 80% chance of success – ghanapublisher.com

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Oxford University researchers say the world can’t afford to wait for vaccines to go through trials before production starts.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said the Oxford trial – and another at Imperial College London – will each get at least another £20m of public money.

An urgent appeal has been issued for volunteers to take part – with those who do so being offered up to £625. People coming forward must be aged 18 to 55 and in good health.

Professor Sarah Gilbert, from the Jenner Institute team at Oxford, told Sky News the time it will take to determine if the vaccine is effective is “heavily dependent” on how much virus transmission there is in the community.

If the volunteers do not come into contact with the virus, researchers cannot test if the vaccine has protected them.

“If there’s very low virus transmission in amongst all the volunteers that we’ve vaccinated, we just have to wait a long time to get the result,” Prof Gilbert said.

“So we’re looking at trying to test healthcare workers, in hospitals, people who are more likely to be exposed, so that we can get this result more quickly.”

The Jenner Institute team at Oxford is starting production before the trial is complete and wants to have about a million doses ready to be sent out by September.

“We really don’t want to find ourselves in a situation where the vaccine can show it’s safe, it gives strong immune responses and it protects people, but we haven’t got any doses to vaccinate anyone else with,” Prof Gilbert said.

Andrew Pollard, professor of infection and immunity at the University of Oxford, said producing very large numbers of doses is a “big technical hurdle” that is “not achievable within six months and may not be achievable within a year”.

But he added that for “smaller scale it could be possible with an effective vaccine to get there rather sooner”.

The Oxford vaccine, called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, is made from a harmless chimpanzee virus that has been genetically engineered to carry part of the coronavirus.

The technique has already been shown to generate strong immune responses in other diseases.

Deals have been done with three UK manufacturers, and several more abroad, to make the vaccine.

Prof Gilbert said she hoped “up to 500 people” would be part of the trial by the middle of May.

She said it would be a “randomised control trial” and half of the people would get a different vaccine.

“We will be monitoring them asking them to contact us if they have any symptoms of coronavirus and then we will find out who is getting infected,” she added.

The trial will involve healthy volunteers and take place in Oxford and Southampton, with three other sites to be added later.

Meanwhile, the Imperial College London team has been testing its vaccine on animals since February and clinical trials are expected to start in June.

Mr Hancock said developing a vaccine is an “uncertain science” but that the two teams were making “rapid progress” and would be backed “to the hilt”.

He said: “At the same time we’ll invest in manufacturing capability so if either of these vaccines safely works then we can make it available for the British people as soon as humanely possible.”

However, he cautioned that “nothing about this process is certain”.

More than 70 vaccines are in development around the world but – alongside the US and China – the UK is one of the few involved in human trials.

 

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The Best And Luxurious Restaurants In California

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The Best And Luxurious Restaurants In California.



California’s namesake cuisine still defines contemporary menus throughout the United States after having forced us to reconsider our vegetables—don’t dare claim that you’ve always loved Brussels sprouts.



while the modern food truck movement, which began on the streets of Los Angeles, has already been co-opted by national fast food brands. And thanks to generations of diverse immigrants, Californians enjoy the nation’s best tacos, Thai food, and—look away, New Yorkers—maybe even pastrami.




So if you’re looking for quintessential things to do in California, we suggest lots of dining. Whether you’re seeking eateries with three Michelin stars or just a few post-meal wet naps, here are the best places to get a taste of the Golden State.

French Laundry



Where: Yountville

Bourdain said this rarified Napa Valley institution was the best restaurant in the world; French Laundry’s organic garden is likely more impressive than your favorite park; and it’s seemingly easier to gain admission to Stanford business school than nab a reservation.




The historic stone structure actually served as an actual French laundry during the early 20th century, and is an inspiring backdrop for chef/owner Thomas Keller’s carefully considered, three Michelin-starred tasting menu designed to imbue the perfect bite—artfully plated dishes of Alaskan King Crab with crispy garden cauliflower; charcoal grilled Japanese wagyu with cèpe mushrooms—while leaving you craving another, until the next course arrives and the sensation repeats.



Trois Mec

Where: Los Angeles

This funky eatery showed L.A. that high-end dining can be fun, thanks to its home in a former strip mall pizza joint—original bulb-lit sign still intact—and the power trio partnership of Chef Ludo Levebvre and restaurateur pair Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo. At Trois Mec, meals start with a series of snacks, such as a mustard crème brûlée and crispy tapioca with parmesan and passion fruit, before the actual five-course meal begins.





The constantly changing tasting menu might include creative dishes such as roasted lobster with charred pineapple, or lamb with mint pesto and smoked eel. There are only 24 seats, and you’ll be required to buy tickets in advance. Not willing to throw down for $110 a nonrefundable reservation? Pop next door to the casual Petit Trois for expert bistro fare including a deliciously messy, foie gras-infused double-decker dubbed the Big Mec.

Mister Jiu’s

Where: San Francisco

Chef/owner Brandon Jew pulled off a culinary feat when he brought San Francisco foodies back to famously touristy Chinatown with his elegant transformation of a tired landmark restaurant into a gorgeous Michelin-starred hot spot accessed via an obscured entrance on an atmospheric alleyway.




Jew tossed out the bottles of Kikkoman, opting instead to fashion everything from scratch, from the soy sauce to the lick-the-bowl-clean hoisin. With beloved dishes such as wagyu fried rice with cured tuna heart, and whole roasted duck with all the fixings, reservations are tough, as are walk-up spaces at the 15-seat bar. Thankfully, Mister Jiu’s upstairs former banquet hall has recently been reimagined as a stylish, dim sum-fueled cocktail lounge.

State Bird Provisions

Where: San Francisco

The visionary, dim sum-style San Francisco restaurant—which now prompts lines around the block and hackers to steal all available reservations—was a happy accident. While waiting for what was supposed to be their first restaurant to be constructed, husband-and-wife chef team Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski decided to open a temporary eatery in an adjacent storefront. Because there wasn’t room for a full kitchen, they prepped meals in advance and served them dim sum-style via a cart that roved the cozy dining room.



Soon after, it was named Bon Appetit’s Best New Restaurant of the Year, and the rest is history. The novelty is undeniable, yet it’s Brioza and Krasinski’s delicious, inventive dishes—often featuring seemingly incongruous ingredients such as miso caesar asparagus with seaweed breadcrumb and sourdough pancakes with sauerkraut, pecorino & ricotta —that made it a hit.

Chez Panisse

Where: Berkeley

Not only did this humble Berkeley restaurant (opened by Alice Waters in 1971) introduce the world to California cuisine—highlighting peak-of-the-season ingredients with simple preparation—it also gave rise to its own surrounding neighborhood, The Gourmet Ghetto.

 

The 47-year-old destination still has it as evidenced by a kitchen that turns out both consistently excellent dishes: despite inviting Portlandia-esque quips, Chez Panisse’s prix fixe menus still read like a list of local food producers as in the hand-cut linguine with Hog Island clams, pancetta, and sweet peas or Grilled Wolfe Ranch quail with sage, braised green garlic, and porcini mushrooms. Frugal foodies should look to Monday nights which feature a simpler, more rustic tasting menu—and a lesser price tag—as well as a secondary upstairs eatery, The Café, which features come-as-you-are environs and moderately priced, a la carte options.

Ironside Fish & Oyster

Where: San Diego

A far cry from the dowdy seafood shack that its name might imply, this buzzy eatery in San Diego’s hip Little Italy features an Instagram-ready interior with a wall of piranha skeletons and restroom hallway illuminated by a giant marquee sign reading “Shit Happens.” Glitz and giggles aside, the seafood here is no joke.




You’ll see an endless stream of impeccably fresh oysters, rich uni toast, and savory Spanish style octopus whiz by your table to feed the boisterous dining room. Because Ironside is owned by local cocktail impresarios Consortium Holdings—which own the superb Craft & Commerce up the street—you can pair your lobster roll with expert tiki drinks served in a Shamu mug.

Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch

Where: St. Helena

Craving the quintessential Wine Country experience without forfeiting next month’s rent? Head to Farmstead in the quaint Napa Valley town of St. Helena. Al fresco dining among the vineyards? Check. Wine and olive oil tasting? Check. Organic farm stand, blooming edible garden and event lawn with live music?




Check, check, check. The expansive, crowd-pleasing menu combines Wine Country cuisine with downhome BBQ the feature ingredients from their ranch as in a grass-fed steak tartare with farm egg, and smoked ribs with green apple slaw. Plus, the property is likely walking distance from your in-town hotel which means you can enjoy that extra glass of wine or two.

Gjusta

Where: Los Angeles

No one does a brunch scene better than L.A., and this upscale Venice deli and bakery is pleasant proof. The white-washed, warehouse-like eatery is illuminated by bright skylights and patrons who look impossibly fresh-faced for an early weekend morn. With homemade bialys, a cabinet full of pickles and flavored smears, and some of the best house-cured and smoked fish in town, you might mistake Gjusta for a contemporary Jewish deli.



Yet, the wooden counter that runs the length of the restaurant displays a smorgasbord of delectables including pastries, fancy toasts, and sandwiches such as a tasso ham-spiked croque madame and a rotisserie chicken bánh mì. Order at the counter, grab your latte, and wait for your food to be brought out to the canopied backyard patio for weekend bliss.

The Marshall Store

Where: Tomales Bay

Few eateries on this list capture a sense of place as does the Marshall Store, a humble, waterfront seafood shack perched over the gentle lapping waves of Tomales Bay and brimming with oysters sourced from their nearby farm. Get them raw with mignonette or grilled and slathered with a variety of toppings including house BBQ sauce and garlic butter or crumbled chorizo with chorizo butter.




Outside, a smoker churns out aromatic salmon and exceptional crostinis topped with smoked oysters and a mound of fromage blanc. Grab a bottle of rosé from the cold case, and enjoy your feast on a wrap-around wooden deck overlooking the water, or join the party at the communal tables lining the shore that’s blanketed with craggy white oyster shells.

Guerrilla Tacos

Where: Los Angeles

Taco trucks—both traditional loncheras and the new school hipster sort—are quintessential LA. Wesley Avila, no stranger to both worlds having been raised on his mom’s Mexican soul food and classically training in high-end kitchens such as Le Comptoir, has taken street food to the next level with his Guerrilla Tacos truck.




We’re talking char siu pork tacos with avocado, gooseberry-topped hamachi tuna tostadas, and their best-selling sweet potato tacos with fried corn, feta, and almond chile. You’ll often find the truck parked in front of LA’s hip coffee shops, but check their site for a weekly menu and schedule to find out what’s cooking and where.



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Screen and quarantine Akufo Addo when he returns from Europe – GHA

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The Ghana Health Alert (GHA) has called for the screening and quarantine of President Akufo Addo and his entire delegation upon their arrival into the country after his 12 days European tour.

According to the Civil Advocacy Group of Medical and Public Health practitioners, it noted that President Akufo Addo showed signs of having contracted flu during the presentation of State of Nation Address.

It said it was therefore very unsafe for the President’s handlers and medical team to have ignored the extreme danger his current iternary poses to his health and allowed the President to travel to the very cold Nordic regions of Europe for as long as 12 days.

The group noted that this call has become extremely necessary and important due to the ever-spreading Coronavirus and the WHO’s “biggest worry” in making sure that the disease does not affect countries with weaker and unprepared healthcare systems, most especially the African continent which already has reported of some cases.

It further observed that in a statement made by WHO Regional Director for Africa on Feb 22, 2020, he noted strongly that there are “critical gaps in readiness for countries across the continent “. This means that citizens must be vigilant in protecting and ensuring that members are safe from this disaster.

A statement signed by the GHA Executive Secretary Dr. Vida Yakron said “it is, therefore, a matter of concern that in an era when most Presidents across the World have placed travel ban on foreign Trips to several Countries, our President could not emulate same by postponing his trip due to the Coronavirus scare and its possible pandemic threat.”

It added: “Since the virus is said to have a minimum incubation period of not less than 14 days, we the members of the Ghana Health Alert have no alternative than to call on the Ghana health authorities and the Nugochi Medical Research Center to be on alert for the screening and quarantine of the President and his delegation as they could be persons of interest in case of any targeted biological warfare against Africa through Ghana. Under the circumstances we have no alternative than to call for the quarantine upon arrival into Ghana.”

The GHA believes that the disease is no respecter of persons, the total exposure of the President on this European Tour makes him and his delegation a threat to public health and they must be screened and if possible quarantined in accordance with WHO protocols.

Source: Kasapafmonline.com/102.5FM

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