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Longest UN climate talks end with no deal on carbon markets

Marathon international climate talks ended Sunday with negotiators postponing until next year a key decision on how to regulate global carbon markets.

After two weeks of negotiations in Madrid on tackling global warming, delegates from almost 200 nations passed declarations calling for greater ambition in cutting planet-heating greenhouse gases and in helping poor countries that are suffering the effects of climate change.

But despite holding the longest climate talks ever in 25 nearly annual editions they left one of the thorniest issues for the next summit in Glasgow, in a year’s time.

Carbon markets put a price on emission of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, and allows countries or companies to trade emissions permits that can be steadily reduced — encouraging the uptake of low-emission technologies.


Countries from Europe and elsewhere had said that no deal on how to govern the exchange of carbon credits was better than a weak one that could undermine a dozen or so existing regional carbon mechanisms.

“Thankfully, the weak rules on a market based mechanism, promoted by Brazil and Australia, that would have undermined efforts to reduce emissions has been shelved,” said Mohamed Adow, director of Power Shift Africa, a campaign group.

Under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, countries agreed to set up a new global carbon market system to help countries reduce emissions at a lower cost.

Canada’s energy sector has been hoping that cleaner-burning liquefied natural gas (LNG) exported from Canada will count as carbon credits. However, in comments to the Globe and Mail last week, Canada’s new environment minister, Jonathan Wilkinson, said the Liberal government’s aim is to reach Canada’s emission reductions targets through domestic cuts, not by relying on credit-trading.

Catherine Stewart, Canada’s chief negotiator at the talks, said her delegation is “disappointed” that countries could not agree to “robust rules” on Article 6.

“Canada will continue in our steadfast commitment to advance the implementation of the Paris Agreement through our domestic actions and our support for developing countries to help drive the urgent climate action that is needed to be taken by everyone,” Stewart said.


Carolina Schmidt, UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) president, attends a plenary session during Sunday’s talks, which ended in a deadlock. (Nacho Doce/Reuters)

Among the documents that the UN meeting passed Sunday was the “Chile-Madrid Time for Action” declaration calling on countries to improve their current pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. That is needed to come in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement target of avoiding a temperature increase of more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century.

So far, the world is on course for a 3- to 4-degree C rise, with potentially dramatic consequences for many countries.

Watch | A look at the divisions over global carbon markets:

The UN climate conference in Madrid is trying to lay the groundwork to support the 2015 Paris Agreement on global carbon markets. 1:38

Countries also agreed to designate funds for the most vulnerable countries to compensate them for the effects of extreme weather events, one of the most pressing issues for small island states.

But environmental groups and activists accused the world’s richer countries of showing little commitment to seriously tackling climate change.

“The Paris Agreement may have been the victim of a hit-and-run by a handful of powerful carbon economies, but they are on the wrong side of this struggle, the wrong side of history,” said Jennifer Morgan, Greenpeace International’s executive director.

Brazil, Saudi Arabia called ‘climate blockers’

“Climate blockers like Brazil and Saudi Arabia, enabled by an irresponsibly weak Chilean leadership, peddled carbon deals and steamrolled scientists and civil society,” she said.

The talks have been accompanied at times by angry protests from indigenous and environmental groups, both inside and outside the venue. The demonstrations reflected growing frustration, particularly among young people, at the slow pace of government efforts to curb climate change.

Chile initially chaired the talks, which had to be quickly moved to Madrid amid violent anti-government protests back home. Despite the pressure to deliver a positive outcome, activists criticized the Chilean government of President Santiago Pinera for holding on to coal-fired power plants until 2040.

Helen Mountford from World Resources Institute, an environmental think-tank , said the talks “reflect how disconnected country leaders are from the urgency of the science and the demands of their citizens in the streets.”

“They need to wake up in 2020,” she added.

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Longest Time-Lapse Shot From Space for ISS 20th Anniversary

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The International Space Station (ISS) has been orbiting Earth as a functional station for 20 years this month, and it’s time to celebrate as only astronauts can — with a really long timelapse video from space. The ESA has put together a fantastic 15-minute video of Earth from the ISS, but the actual length of time shown is much greater. In fact, this is the longest timelapse video ever shot in space.

German astronaut Alexander Gerst captured the video aboard the ISS on Oct. 6. It has a total of 21,375 images of Earth spread out over about 90 minutes of real time. Traveling at 28,800 kilometers per hour (17,896 mph), that’s how long it takes the station to make a full orbit of the planet. You probably don’t have time to sit through all that, but it’s a time-lapse, so you don’t have to. In the video below, the footage runs at 12.5 times actual speed.

The video starts over northern Africa with the station cruising off to look down upon central and then East Asia. It’s nighttime in these regions, so you can see the glowing lights of civilization as well as some lightning from the station. The ISS then heads across the ocean toward Australia and New Zealand. As it crosses the Pacific, you get to see the sunrise from the station’s perspective around the 10-minute mark. After that, it’s across South America, the Atlantic, and into Europe to complete its circumnavigation. You can use the handy map in the corner to track the ISS as it moves across the globe.

The station might be getting old, but it’s still one of Earth’s most important scientific achievements. Astronauts undertake research on the ISS that can’t happen anyplace else. However, the current US administration is pushing to end public funding of the ISS in the next decade, transferring operation and upkeep to private entities. There’s no telling how that would affect the ISS.

The ESA uploaded the full video to YouTube in 4K resolution. It’s no 8K video, but it’ll do. If you prefer to squirrel away the video forever, you can download the files from the ESA website. There’s a 768 x 432 resolution version that’s a mere 125MB. The full 4K resolution file is 3.02GB.

Now read: NASA Will Use ISS Supercomputer for Science ExperimentsSoyuz Crew Performs Ballistic Reentry After Booster Fails During Launch, and Boeing and SpaceX Might Not Be Ready for Manned Flights in 2019

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Dodgers' Muncy homers in the 18th to win longest World Series game in history

Exhausted yet exhilarated, the Dodgers headed home for a catnap. The Red Sox may well toss and turn thinking about one that got away.

Max Muncy's home run leading off the bottom of the 18th inning finally ended the longest World Series game in history early Saturday and gave Los Angeles a 3-2 victory over Boston that drew the Dodgers to 2-1 in the best-of-seven matchup.

Muncy homered to left-centre on a full-count pitch from Nathan Eovaldi, jolting the remaining fans to their feet at 12:30 a.m. local time. A grinning Muncy tossed his helmet aside as he headed for third in the final scene of a pivotal game that lasted seven hours, 20 minutes.

"The feeling was just pure joy and incredible excitement," he said.

Watch the wild finish to Game 3:

Max Muncy hits solo home run in 18th inning to lift Los Angeles to a 3-2 win, now trail the series 2-1. The game lasted 7 hours and 20 minutes. 1:04

The Dodgers mobbed Muncy at home plate, celebrating the solo shot that pulled them back from the brink of a potential 3-0 Series deficit that no team has ever recovered from.

The Red Sox could only rue their near-miss.

They were oh-so-close in the 13th to taking a commanding Series lead. But veteran second baseman Ian Kinsler's wide throw on a two-out grounder by Yasiel Puig let Los Angeles score the tying run.

"Had the last out in my glove and couldn't get it over there. It's tough to swallow," Kinsler said.

"I feel like I let the team down right there," he said.

Said Red Sox manager Alex Cora: "It was just a bad night."

"We had some situations that we could have put them away and then we didn't. And at the end we paid the price," he said.

Evoking memories of Kirk Gibson's winning pinch-hit homer in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, Muncy came within feet of ending it in the bottom of the 15th. But his shot to right sailed just foul and he ended up striking out.

"I really thought I had it," Muncy said. "That was kind of defeating at that point, but I was able to get back and get another shot."

The battle of attrition had a bit of everything: 46 players, including 18 pitchers, and 561 pitches. Never before had a Series game gone more than 14 innings.

Two games in one, really. And a fall classic, indeed.

"It was a must-win for us. Our guys just persevered," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

How long did they play? Put it this way: The game took 15 minutes more than the entire 1939 World Series when the Yankees swept Cincinnati, STATS said.

Long after rookie Walker Buehler dazzled over seven shutout innings for the Dodgers, things got interesting.

The Red Sox tied it 1-all in the eighth on a homer by Jackie Bradley Jr. and took a 2-1 lead in the 13th.

Los Angeles answered with the tying run in the bottom of the inning.

After Dodgers centre fielder Cody Bellinger made the throw of his life in the 10th, both teams scored on bizarre errors in the 13th.

Cora used starter David Price in relief, rotated his outfielders in the middle of innings and even put catcher Christian Vazquez at first base for the first time in his big league career.

Out of position players, Roberts called on ace Clayton Kershaw to pinch-hit in the 17th. He flied out.

The stadium organist was busy, too, launching into "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" in the 14th inning — a second version of the seventh-inning stretch. Not many had left by then.

The crowd cheered when the stadium clock struck midnight.

"What a ballgame. What a marathon," Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner said. "Unbelievable fight from our club."

"I think my beard got about three inches longer."

The Dodgers snacked on peanut butter and banana sandwiches whipped up by a team employee, and hung a bag of bananas over the dugout railing to change their luck.

"We were well-fuelled," Kershaw said.

Game 4 is later Saturday at Dodger Stadium. Eovaldi had been scheduled to start for the Red Sox, but he threw 97 pitches over six-plus innings in relief as one of nine pitchers they used. The Dodgers backtracked on Rich Hill and said they would announce a starter later.

"I'm a little tired, but we're ready to come back tomorrow," Los Angles slugger Yasiel Puig said, looking at his watch and adding, "in a couple of hours."

The Red Sox had a wild 13th with a walk, a steal, an infield hit and an error before taking a 2-1 lead.

Brock Holt drew a leadoff walk and stole second. Pinch-hitter Eduardo Nunez got flipped on his back by catcher Austin Barnes as he chased Scott Alexander's wild pitch.

Nunez then reached on a nubber to the right side and Alexander bungled the toss to first, allowing Holt to score. Nunez got knocked on his back again on the play at first, but stayed in the game as Boston had no one left on its bench.

The Dodgers tied it 2-all in the bottom of the 13th. Muncy drew a leadoff walk and tagged up when Nunez tumbled into the third base stands after catching Bellinger's pop foul. Muncy scored when Kinsler botched the throw to first on Puig's infield single.

Bradley Jr. tied it at 1 with a drive off closer Kenley Jansen in the eighth.

The Dodgers led 1-0 on Joc Pederson's two-out homer in the third.

Both teams squandered numerous chances. The Red Sox stranded runners in the 10th and 11th. The Dodgers left runners on in every inning from the fifth to the 11th.

Boston had runners at the corners in the 10th. Pedro Baez walked J.D. Martinez with one out and took third on Holt's single to center.

Bellinger started a sensational, inning-ending double play from center field, catching Nunez's pinch-hit fly and then firing to catcher Austin Barnes a few feet up the third-base line. Barnes made the tag as Kinsler came barreling past and both players tumbled to the dirt.

The game began in 78-degree heat — 31 degrees warmer than at Fenway Park for the first two games.

Buehler stymied the Red Sox through seven innings. The right-hander retired his final 14 batters before leaving after 108 pitches. He allowed two hits, struck out seven and didn't walk anyone.

"He's got an overt confidence, a quiet confidence, a little combo," Roberts said. "But he's got tremendous stuff, and he lives for moments like this."

Boston starter Rick Porcello gave up one run and three hits in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out five and walked one.

Alex Wood threw a hitless inning for the win.

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Longest eclipse of century to darken parts of Asia and Africa — but you can see it, too

The moon will glide into Earth's shadow Friday in what will be the longest lunar eclipse of the century. While it won't be visible in Canadian skies, there are ways you can see the spectacle for yourself.

Lunar eclipses occur from two to four times a year, but not all of them are visible.

Sometimes they are penumbral eclipses, where the moon passes through Earth's fainter outer shadow, which isn't quite visible to the human eye.

Then there are partial eclipses, where just part of the moon passes through the dark umbra, or shadow. And finally, there are total lunar eclipses, where the entire moon passes through the umbra.

The reason we don't get eclipses every month is because the moon orbits Earth on a slightly inclined plane of five degrees.

Unlike solar eclipses, which last a few minutes, lunar eclipses last three hours or longer.

But the eclipse that will stretch from South America to New Zealand on Friday will last almost four hours, coming in at three hours and 55 minutes. And totality, which will occur over Africa, the Middle East and part of Asia, will last an hour and 43 minutes, making it the longest one in 100 years.

This year's total lunar eclipse will last almost four hours, but won't occur over Canada. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

And yes, you'll likely hear this eclipse being referred to as the "blood moon." But there's nothing scary about it.

During a lunar eclipse, the sun lies directly behind Earth, refracting — or bending — light. Blue light is scattered, leaving only red. The light of all the sunsets and sunrises occurring simultaneously is reflected off the moon, making it seem red.

The deepness of the red depends on the particles in the air. So it's anyone's guess just how red this eclipse will be.

While Canadians won't be able to witness the event first-hand, there are ways to capture it from the comforts of home.

You can watch it online with The Virtual Telescope Project or Slooh. Both are resources that provide live-streaming of astronomical events. While they will show the entire eclipse, if you're looking for totality, it occurs from 3:30 p.m. ET to 5:13 p.m. ET.

Extra treats

But there are a couple of extra-special happenings that night.

For one, Mars will be at opposition, when Earth lies directly between it and the sun (four days later, Mars will be the closest to Earth since 2003).

And finally, there will be a conjunction between Mars and the moon. Astronomers often talk about these events, characterized by two celestial bodies appearing very close together in the sky. There isn't anything particularly scientific about it, but it makes for wonderful viewing and photographs.

On the night of the total lunar eclipse, Mars and the moon will be roughly six degrees apart in the night sky. And you can enjoy the pairing here in our night sky. You can find the local time of moonrise by visiting the site Time and Date.

Lunar eclipses occur as the moon passes through Earth's shadow. It can pass through the outer, fainter shadow, called the penumbra. When it passes into the umbra, we can get either a partial or total lunar eclipse, depending on how much of the moon crosses into it. (CBC)

So, while the total lunar eclipse won't be gracing Canadian skies, you can still go out and enjoy Mars and the moon as they stand closely together in the night sky. And don't forget Saturn and Jupiter, too, which will also be up for most of the night.

The next total lunar eclipse visible from Canada will be on Jan. 21, 2019, and will last three hours and 17 minutes, with totality lasting an hour and two minutes.

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Bills end NFL's longest active playoff drought with win and help

Amid the dancing and screaming and hugs and high-fives in the Buffalo Bills’ locker room , defensive tackle Kyle Williams watched his two young sons climbing around in his stall.

“What do you think, boys?” Williams shouted. “Where are we going? The playoffs?! Yeah!!”

His sons are only 6 and 4. For their dad and most Buffalo fans, Sunday was a long time coming.

The Bills snapped the longest current non-playoff drought in North American pro sports, making the post-season for the first time since 1999. They avoided elimination by beating Miami 22-16, and clinched an AFC wild-card berth minutes later when Cincinnati rallied past Baltimore.

The Bills watched the dramatic finish of the Bengals game on locker room TVs, and then erupted.

“Everybody went crazy,” said Williams, who is in his 12th and perhaps final season with the Bills. “I’ve been a wreck for 10 to 15 minutes.”

His voice choked with emotion, and he wasn’t the only one.

“Well I started crying, if that’s a good reaction…” former Bills running back Thurman Thomas said in a text to The Associated Press.

McCoy leaves game injured

Buffalo (9-7) will travel to face Jacksonville and former Bills coach Doug Marrone on Sunday. Marrone resigned as Bills coach three years ago Sunday.

“Hopefully it’s not as bad as it seemed,” quarterback Tyrod Taylor said.

The Bills’ joy was tempered by the loss of 1,000-yard rusher LeSean McCoy with a right ankle injury. He was carted off the field in the third quarter and was in a walking boot after the game.

The frustration of a disappointing season got the best of the Dolphins (6-10) with 6:21 left, when receiver Jarvis Landry, running back Kenyan Drake and offensive lineman Jake Brendel were ejected following a fight. Landry was cited for disrespecting an official, and Drake for throwing his helmet 20 yards in anger. Unsportsmanlike conduct penalties were called against both teams.

The undisciplined Dolphins, who came into the game with the second-most penalties in the NFL, had 14 for 145 yards.

17 seasons of frustration

Meanwhile, for the Bills, 17 seasons of frustration ended.

“The locker room is electric, man,” said guard Richie Incognito, who finished a season above .500 for the first time in his 11-year career. “We have been working so hard for this. So much has been said about it. And now the monkey is off our back. We’re in the post-season, and we’ve got new life.”

Buffalo punctuated the memorable victory with a 1-yard touchdown run by Williams for the first score of his career.

“I thought, ‘Try not to screw it up. They’re not going to call it again if I screw it up,”‘ he said.

He and his teammates celebrated with choreographed back flops in the end zone.

“I was a little surprised at the touchdown celebration,” Taylor said. “I was the only one who wasn’t aware of falling down.”

Golf great Jack Nicklaus wore Bills gear and a smile watching from the stands as his grandson, tight end Nick O’Leary, caught Tyrod Taylor’s 26-yard touchdown pass.

The Dolphins scored a touchdown with 1:56 left and recovered the ensuing onside kick, but Jordan Poyer’s interception sealed the win.

Buffalo continues domination of Miami

Taylor went 19 for 27 for 204 yards and one score. In six games against Miami, he has 10 touchdown passes and no interceptions.

For the Dolphins, the season finale had the feel of an exhibition game, with thousands of empty seats and David Fales giving a lengthy, unimpressive audition as a potential backup quarterback in 2018. Miami was eliminated a week ago and will sit out the playoffs for the eighth time in the past nine years.

Miami lost to Buffalo for the seventh time in their past 10 meetings.

“I guess it’s a little perplexing,” defensive end Cameron Wake said.

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Queensland Gets the World’s Longest ‘Electric Highway’

If ever there was a place to get range anxiety, it’s Australia, with its thousands of miles of uninterrupted desert. Who would even think of driving a battery-electric vehicle there? (Not many; Queensland only hosts about 700 electric vehicles.) But now some Australian travelers can say goodbye to range anxiety, starting in 2018. The state government of Queensland has announced that it’s going to install a network of 18 charging stations along a highway stretching more than two thousand miles. It runs along the east coast of Queensland from Cairns to Coolangatta and then turns west to Toowoomba.

The government didn’t state how long it will take vehicles to charge at the stations. Other reports from the US claim that they can fully recharge a vehicle in 30 minutes, but it’s not clear which vehicles this applies to. In the US, we tend to associate fast charging almost exclusively with Tesla and its Superchargers, but there are other fast charging solutions in other parts of the world, often generically referred to as DCQC (Direct Current Quick Charge). These stations can theoretically match Tesla for charge speed, assuming compatible vehicle hardware is installed, though the charge time and the average distance between each station (assuming the stations are themselves equidistant) works out to about 70 miles each. That’s technically within the Nissan Leaf’s range for the 2017 model, though I wouldn’t recommend taking a 1,200 mile trip in one.

Australia-Map

The planned charging station route. Image by The Guardian

But fast charging isn’t the only trick Queensland is taking from Tesla’s book. The Queensland stations will be available for the public to use at no charge, at least for the initial phase. The “world’s longest” appellation has to be a bit qualified — it’s the world’s longest electric-vehicle highway in a single state, stretching some 1,260+ miles (2,000 km).

The sticker price of this enormous coast-to-coast infrastructure investment? $ 3 million. This is practically chump change in terms of infrastructure; installing a similar length of regular asphalt highway would run upwards of a million dollars per mile, but Queensland doesn’t have to put in the entire road, just the charging stations. Queensland’s Minister of Environment, Steven Miles, says it’s all about getting more people using electric cars. “This project is ambitious, but we want as many people as possible on board the electric vehicle revolution, as part of our transition to a low-emissions future,” Miles said in a statement. The Australian government has also announced that the energy provided to the charging stations will be itself either generated by renewable power or purchased by using carbon offsets.

As for what the automakers think, Audi Australia managing director Paul Sansom toldThe Guardian that EV drivers need to have confidence they’ll be able to find a charging station when they need it, even when driving in an unfamiliar area.

“This is the current expectation around frequency of petrol stations, and it’s, rightly, what consumers will demand as often become more prevalent,” Sansom said.

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