A cannon sprays artifical snow on a ski slope at El Colorado skiing center, in the Andes, some 30km from Santiago. (Photo: AFP/Martin Bernetti) Just a few decades ago, the Andes mountain range could be buried under 4m of snow, forcing the closure of access roads and requiring the use of tractors to get around. But this year, it's snowed only three times in the Chilean Andes, and never more than 30cm. It's not just Chile affected, but the whole of the Andes where the area of snow cover in the central zone has diminished by 5 per cent to 10 per cent each decade, according to Raul Cordero, an academic at the University of Santiago. "But it's not just snow cover that's decreasing, the thickness of the snow cover is also reducing," he said. "So when we talk about a decrease of the cover of five to 10 per cent, this probably signifies a much greater reduction in the volume of available snow over the Andes." Rising temperatures mean the snow line - above which snow never melts all year … [Read more...] about Climate change forces Chile ski stations to make fake snow
What ski resorts are open now
Israel strikes in Syria in more open assault on IranThe Saigon Times Daily What is believed to be guided missiles are seen in the sky during what is reported to be an attack in Damascus, Syria, January 21, 2019, in this still image taken from a video obtained from social media – PHOTO: REUTERS BEIRUT/JERUSALEM (REUTERS) - Israel struck in Syria early on Monday as part of its increasingly open assault on Iran's presence there, shaking the night sky over Damascus with an hour of loud explosions in a second consecutive night of military action. Damascus did not say what damage or casualties resulted from the strikes, but a war monitor said 11 were killed and Syria's ally Russia said four Syrian soldiers died. The threat of direct confrontation between arch-enemies Israel and Iran has long simmered in Syria, where the Iranian military built a presence early in the civil war to help President Bashar al-Assad fight Sunni Muslim rebels seeking to oust him. Israel, regarding … [Read more...] about Israel strikes in Syria in more open assault on Iran
Has he made the world a better place? AFP/Fabrice COFFRINI His foundation, which hosts many of the world's most powerful, famous and wealthy people at its annual meeting in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, has clearly made an impact. But questions have grown about whether the organisation is meeting its declared goal of "improving the state of the world", with resentment rising against the pro-business Davos agenda, and voters turning instead to populist leaders. One persistent criticism is that WEF meetings, including this week's main annual gathering in Davos, have simply created a safe space for the corporate world to lobby governments without oversight. Schwab was not available for an interview with AFP but the WEF's managing director, Adrian Monck, said in an email that the organisation "subscribes to the highest standards of governance". "FRAGILE AUTHORITY" Schwab, born in Ravensburg, Germany, in 1938, was a little-known business professor at the University of Geneva when in … [Read more...] about Has Davos made the world better?