We Are Entering The Crypto Ice Age.

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What is happening to the weather in the last couple of years? Are we entering a new Ice Age?

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Weather varies spatially and temporally. Where you are, when, and what you observe will jade your opinion on trends.

The Weather Channel is ubiquitous, so it would seem that weather calamity is also ubiquitous.

What I have personally observed in the last couple of years is that the summers have been drier and warmer than I remember. My observations have been made in the Seattle area and in the San Juan Islands.

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Maybe it’s wishful thinking: Growing up, I always wished that I had lived in a place with a warmer climate.

Maybe it’s a perversion of Murphy’s Law – seeing that I’m a Global Warming and.

Ethereum’s Proposed Hard Fork ‘Muir Glacier’ Would Delay Impending Ice Age

Ethereum developers have proposed a hard fork, named Muir Glacier, that should address the impending Ice Age, which could cause a significant slowdown on the Ethereum mainnet.

In an Ethereum improvement proposal at the end of November, Ethereum developer James Hancock wrote that the proposed Ethereum Muir Glacier hard fork would push back the mechanism, known as Ice Age.

Ice Age is unnecessarily complex and confusing

Ethereum’s Ice Age, also known as Difficulty Bomb, refers to the increasing hashing difficulty in the mining algorithm used to reward miners with Ether (ETH) on its blockchain. This piece of coding artificially slows down the production of blocks on Ethereum’s blockchain and therefore functions as a deterrent for miners who might choose to continue with proof of work (PoW) even after Ethereum has transitioned to proof of stake (PoS).

However, according to Hancock the existing implementation of Ice Age is unnecessarily complex and confusing to communicate to the community. He adds that any updates to the design should be able to model the effect on the network in a straightforward way that is easy to predict when it occurs. Currently, Hancock does not believe this is the case.

Hancock further points out that Ethereum’s upcoming hard fork would push back the mechanism “as far as is reasonable,” to give developers the time to decide whether to update Ice Age so that its behavior becomes predictable or to remove it entirely. He added:

“This fork would give us time to address the community to understand their priorities better as far as the intentions of the Ice Age, and give time for proposals for better mechanisms to achieve those goals.”

ETH block propagation at least twice as fast

In November, blockchain advisory and product development firm Akomba Labs conducted a test on the Ethereum network that showed it could make block propagation at least twice as fast. Test findings showed that the average block propagation performance dropped from 360 milliseconds without running BloXroute’s Blockchain Distribution Network to 172 milliseconds with it.

Exam Prep

Preporation for the TOEFL, IELTS, and GMAT

January 2020

S M T W T F S
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18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Text: Causes of Ice Ages

Geologists have shown that for about 80 percent of the past 2.5 million years, ice-age conditions have prevailed on the Earth’s surface. During the past one million years, increased glacial conditions have run in cycles of approximately 100,000 years.
Many different factors may contribute to these increases in glaciation at regular intervals throughout Earth’s more geologically recent history. The three most prominent factors probably relate to the amount of sunlight that reaches the Earth. This varies over time for three main reasons. First, the planet wobbles* as it spins, due to the pull of the sun and moon. Furthermore, the Earth tilts* on its axis and the degree of tilt changes over time. Finally, the orbit of the Earth around the sun is elliptical and the length of the major axis of the ellipse changes over a period of about 100,000 years. A mathematician named Milutin Milankovitch discovered in the 1930s that the pattern of insolation, or sunlight, predicted by these eccentricities in the Earth’s movement matched the period of the last several eras of intense glaciation.
These Milankovitch insolation cycles were the dominant theory in ice-age research for much of the twentieth century despite the fact that the match between periods of peak insolation and most intense glaciation were not exact. For example, a cycle of 400,000 years predicted by the Milankovitch theory has never shown up in the climate records obtained through the study of microfossils deposited on the sea floor. Also, recent analysis has shown that the insolation theory predicts peaks of sunlight at intervals of 95,000 and 125,000 years. Climatological data does not support this predicted sunlight peaking. Other damaging evidence was the indication of a precisely measured sudden rise in temperature at a water-filled cave in Nevada, which preceded the increase in solar radiation that was supposed to cause it.
These and other problems with the Milankovitch cycles led some researchers to seek alternative explanations for the cyclic arrival of extended ice ages. In the 1990s, it was discovered that the orbital inclination of the Earth to the sun and planets could also be responsible for climate changes. If we imagine a flat plane with the sun in the center and the planets revolving around it, the Earth slowly moves in and out of the flat plane by a few degrees, repeating the cycle every 100,000 years. Two scientists, Muller and MacDonald, have proposed that it is this orbital inclination which is ultimately responsible for the periods of glaciation and warming. They argue that because of the oscillation, the Earth periodically travels through clouds of debris, in the form of dust and meteoroids. Such debris could reduce the amount of solar energy reaching the surface of our planet, thus plunging it into regular cold periods.
The advantage of this theory is that it is not confronted with several of the problems associated with the Milankovitch theory. In particular, the new theory fits well with the analysis of ocean sediments taken from eight locations around the world. This analysis yielded data clearly showing the peak of the last several ice ages with a period of 100,000 years and corresponding to the periods when the Earth’s oscillating inclination takes it through clouds of extraterrestrial debris.
However, many researchers in this field are not yet persuaded by the inclination hypothesis. The main problem is that the amount of dust that falls to the ground when the Earth travels through space debris is relatively small – not enough to produce radical climate changes. Volcanic eruptions, for example, release much greater amounts of ash and dust and have relatively little effect on climate. Supporters have countered that the by-products created by the dust as it vaporizes on entering the atmosphere cause subtle changes to the energy levels. Nevertheless, the necessary physical proof has yet to be found to convince the skeptics.

1.The word ” prevailed” in the passage is closest in meaning to
A. ruled
B. existed
C. survived
D. triumphed

2. What can be inferred from paragraph 2 about the factors that contribute to
glaciation?
A. They affect the Earth’s spin,
B. They are geologically recent.
C. Only three factors relate to levels of sunlight.
D. Other factors than those relating to the sunlight affect ice buildup.

3. The phrase ” these eccentricities” in the passage refers to all of the following EXCEPT
A. the various movements of the Earth as it spins
B. trie degree of change in the Earth’s tilt over time
C. tne pattern of insolation matching the Earth’s movement
D. the changing distance to the sun during the Earth’s elliptical orbit

4. Scientists accepted the Milankovitch theory even though
A. the peaks of sunlight occurred at intervals of 95,000 and 125.000 years
B. the peaks of insolation and intense glaciation did not match
C. there were climate records of a 400.000-year cycle
D there were microfossil deposits on the sea floor

5. In paragraph 4. why does the author suggest the image of a flat plane?
A. To help the reader visualize the positions and movements of the heavenly bodies
B. To demonstrate to the reader how the Earth orbits the sun
C. To support the argument that the orbital inclination increases tilting
D To show how the Milankovitch theory doesn’t explain the cyclical changes in climate

6. The word in the passage refers to
A. such debris
B. solar energy
C. the surface
D. our planet

7. In paragraph 4, the author explains that
A. Milankovitch did not know about the orbital inclination of the Earth
B. glaciation occurs when the orbital inclination has entered a new cycle
C. the Earth always travels through clouds of debris after moving out of the plane by a few degrees
D. the amount of solar energy reaching the Earth’s surface causes the changes of temperature

8. What problem in the Milankovitch theory was mentioned as being explained by the Muller and MacDonald theory?
A. The climate records obtained by studying microfossil deposits not matching his predicted cycle
B. The irregularities of the Earth’s movements through orbital inclinations not following any pattern
C. The Earth’s spin wobbling in relation to the Earth’s oscillating inclination
D. The peak in the ice ages occurring at intervals between 95,000 and 125,000 years instead of 400,000

9.The word “persuaded” closest in the passage is meaning to
A. convinced
B. discouraged
C. affected
D. challenged

10. What problem is associated with the Muller and MacDonald theory?
A. The amount of debris that is released from volcanoes is proportional to the amount of interstellar dust.
B. The amount of ash from volcanoes and space dust that vaporizes in the atmosphere is too small.
C. The amount of dust entering the atmosphere is less than the amount of ash and dust released by volcanoes.
D. The by-products created by vaporized space dust cause relevant changes to the energy levels.

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