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Why Rome Will Be The Busiest, Rowdiest, Holiest Place Ever This Sunday


ROME- What do get when you mix a rugby match and a marathon with the patron saint of Ireland and an Argentine Pope? Endless eternal city traffic jams, for sure. Holy chaos? Well, we'll see.

Here is the once-in-a-lifetime agenda for Rome this Sunday.


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There are an estimated 100,000 people -- including 14,000 runners -- who will come to the city to partake in the Rome Marathon, scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. The route is set to start and end near the Colosseum, closing off many roads. Unlike other years, runners will not pass by St. Peter's. (see below!)

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Santi Martin


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The AS Roma soccer club will play Parma in a Serie A in an evening clash at the Olympic Stadium.

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Irish Invasion

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Meanwhile, squeezed between the marathon and the soccer match will be a major rugby contest: Italy hosts Ireland in an afternoon Six Nations showdown at the same Olympic Stadium. Oh, did we mention Sunday also happens to be St. Patrick’s Day?

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|| UggBoy♥UggGirl || PHOTO || WORLD || TRAVEL ||


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City planners in Rome were already bracing for all the above activity when the date for the papal conclave was set. Now that Pope Francis has been elected, it’s expected he will say the Angelus on Sunday morning in St. Peter's Square. His first official public appearance will draw huge crowds. But, at least the cardinals didn't choose an Irish pope -- then things might have gotten really rowdy!

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The Problem With Always Blaming Climate Change For Natural Disasters

Climate change is real, but a closer look at the science shows there are many factors that contribute to weather-related disasters. It is important to raise awareness about the long-term impact of global warming, but there's a risk in overstating its role in the latest floods or fires.

People on foot, on bikes, motorcycles, scooters and cars navigate through a flooded street during the day time.

Karachi - People wade through flood water after heavy rain in a southern Pakistani city

Xinhua / ZUMA
Axel Bojanowski


BERLIN — In September, thousands of people lost their lives when dams collapsed during flooding in Libya. Engineers had warned that the dams were structurally unsound.

Two years ago, dozens died in floods in western Germany, a region that had experienced a number of similar floods in earlier centuries, where thousands of houses had been built on the natural floodplain.

Last year saw more than 1,000 people lose their lives during monsoon floods in Pakistan. Studies showed that the impact of flooding in the region was exacerbated by the proximity of human settlements, the outdated river management system, high poverty rates and political instability in Pakistan.

There are many factors that contribute to weather-related disasters, but one dominates the headlines: climate change. That is because of so-called attribution studies, which are published very quickly after these disasters to highlight how human-caused climate change contributes to extreme weather events. After the flooding in Libya, German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung described climate change as a “serial offender," while the Tageszeitung wrote that “the climate crisis has exacerbated the extreme rainfall."

The World Weather Attribution initiative (WWA) has once again achieved its aim of using “real-time analysis” to draw attention to the issue: on its website, the institute says its goal is to “analyse and communicate the possible influence of climate change on extreme weather events." Frederike Otto, who works on attribution studies for the WWA, says these reports help to underscore the urgent need for climate action. They transform climate change from an “abstract threat into a concrete one."

In the immediate aftermath of a weather-related disaster, teams of researchers rush to put together attribution studies – “so that they are ready within the same news cycle," as the New York Times reported. However, these attribution studies do not meet normal scientific standards, as they are published without going through the peer-review process that would be undertaken before publication in a specialist scientific journal. And that creates problems.

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