1. CLIMATE CHANGE
Greenhouse gases: The U.S. and China have announced a climate change agreement that would limit carbon emissions. The deal came at the end of a trade summit in China, attended by U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Under the agreement, the United States would cut its carbon emissions between 26-28% – from levels set in 2005 – by 2025. China, for its part, would peak its carbon emissions no later than 2030 and would also increase the use of non-fossil fuels to 20% by 2030. Did you get all that? The administration hopes the announcement by the two superpowers will spur other nations to follow suit.
2. COMET LANDING
Headed to the surface: The Rosetta mission to land a probe on Comet 67P is past the point of no return, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced on Wednesday. “There is no going back now,” the agency said after the spacecraft’s lander was released for its trip to the surface. If it succeeds it will be the first time a spacecraft has landed on a comet. The Philae lander separated from the mother ship Rosetta around 3:30 a.m. ET to begin its 7-hour descent. We should know around 11 a.m. ET, if Philae landed safely.
3. COLD SNAP
Brrrrrr: An early blast of cold air will leave more than half of the United States shivering into the weekend. About 200 million people will be affected by the severe cold, CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri said. The unseasonably cold temperatures associated with an arctic air mass will continue to surge southward through the central United States. Temperatures are forecast to be 20 to 40 degrees below normal for areas east of the Rockies into the Great Plains.
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