We, and by “we” I mean “Donald Trump and his Republicans,” are already in a position of disdain by most of the rest of the world for being only one of three nations not signed on to the Paris climate pact.
The other two countries were a) Syria, not really a country any more, and b) Nicaragua.
Nicaragua is now joining the pact, according to Vice President Murillo, reported here:
“It is the only instrument we have in the world that allows the unity of intentions and efforts to face up to climate change and natural disasters,” Murillo said.
Nicaragua, a poor Central American nation that is often threatened by hurricanes, was the only nation to reject the agreement in 2015, and has argued for far more drastic action to limit rising temperatures.
The latest round of negotiations take place after a string of powerful hurricanes ravaged Caribbean island nations and caused billions of dollars in damage along the Texas and Florida coastlines.
Climate scientists have said warmer air and water resulting from climate change may have contributed to the severity of the storms. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has disputed such claims as an attempt to “politicize” natural disasters.
Apparently, a meteor hit Nicaragua late Saturday night, forming a 12 meter wide crater. This would be a small chunk to make a crater that little. It has not been confirmed yet, but there is a strong possibility that this meteor was associated with 2014 RC. NPR quotes AP which quotes a Nicaraguan government official as saying the meteor “appears to have come off an asteroid that was passing close to Earth.” NPR also quotes the BBC which quotes another astronomer: “Astronomer Humberto Saballos said the meteorite could have broken off from the 2014RC asteroid which passed Earth at the same time.”
I await further analysis and consideration. It could be a coincidence. Or perhaps this somewhat larger asteroid, 2014 RC, was traveling in a pack. They are known to do that. If so, “coming off” 2014 RC may be too vague a statement. Perhaps it came off a gazillion years ago. Or perhaps a handful of chunks were traveling together because the were mutually attracted in antiquity (via gravity).
*If you go to that link you will learn that the Earth is doomed because we are about to be rained down upon by a large number of asteroids. But be careful, take it with a grain of salt. Phil Plait at Slate wrote a post that discusses this: No, We’re Not Facing an Onslaught of Asteroid Impacts. This rumor comes from the same source that told us that the “supermoon” was going to kill everyone (it did not).
There is an asteroid out there known as 2014 NZ64 that is at the root of that story. It was just discovered. The asteroid is expected to pass by the earth 399 times between 2017 and 2113, however, the asteroid’s exact track and location is unclear because it was observed for too short of time. The best estimate at the time, though, is that 2014 NZ64 has a very low probability of hitting the earth ever, and pretty much no chance in the nearish future. The 399 measured future passes sum to an impact probability of 0.0000021. Just out of curiosity I’d like to know the estimated probability of something else happening to this asteroid, like it hitting the moon or another asteroid or something. Probably also low.