Police in Baton Rouge say they have arrested three people who stole guns with the goal of killing police officers. They are still looking for a fourth suspect in the alleged plot, NPR's Greg Allen reports.

"Police say the thefts were at a Baton Rouge pawn shop early Saturday morning," Greg says. "One person was arrested at the scene. Since then, two others have been arrested and six of the eight stolen handguns have been recovered. Police are still looking for one other man."

A 13-year-old boy is among those arrested, Greg says.

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After an international tribunal invalidated Beijing's claims to the South China Sea, Chinese authorities have declared in no uncertain terms that they will be ignoring the ruling.

The Philippines brought the case to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, objecting to China's claims to maritime rights in the disputed waters. The tribunal agreed that China had no legal authority to claim the waters, and was infringing on the sovereign rights of the Philippines.

Donald Trump is firing back at Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after she made disparaging comments about him in several media interviews. He tweeted late Tuesday that she "has embarrassed all" with her "very dumb" comments about the candidate. Trump ended his tweet with "Her mind is shot - resign!":

Donald Trump wrapped up his public tryout of potential vice presidential candidates in Indiana Tuesday night with Gov. Mike Pence giving the final audition.

The Indiana governor's stock as Trump's possible running mate is believed to be on the rise, with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich also atop the list. Sources tell NPR the presumptive GOP presidential nominee is close to making a decision, which he's widely expected to announce by Friday.

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The unassuming hero of Jonas Karlsson's clever, Kafkaesque parable is the opposite of a malcontent. Despite scant education, a limited social life, and no prospects for success as it is usually defined, he's that rarity, a most happy fella with an amazing ability to content himself with very little. But one day, returning to his barebones flat from his dead-end, part-time job at a video store, he finds an astronomical bill from an entity called W.R.D. He assumes it's a scam. Actually, it is more sinister-- and it forces him to take a good hard look at his life and values.

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Donald Trump picked a military town — Virginia Beach, Va. — to give a speech Monday on how he would go about overhauling the Department of Veterans Affairs if elected.

He blamed the Obama administration for a string of scandals at the VA during the past two years, and claimed that his rival, Hillary Clinton, has downplayed the problems and won't fix them.

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Pages

Pollution Playing A Major Role In Sea Temperatures

Apr 4, 2012
Originally published on April 4, 2012 6:20 pm

The Atlantic Ocean, especially the North Atlantic, is peculiar: Every few decades, the average temperature of surface water there changes dramatically.

Scientists want to know why that is, especially because these temperature shifts affect the weather. New research suggests that human activity is part of the cause.

Scientists originally thought that maybe some mysterious pattern in deep-ocean currents, such as an invisible hand stirring a giant bathtub, created this temperature see-saw.

And that may be part of it. But there's a new idea: The cause isn't in the water; it's above it — a kind of air pollution called aerosols.

Ben Booth, a climate scientist at Britain's Met Office Hadley Center, says that aerosols create clouds.

"The more aerosols you have, the more places there are for water vapor to condense," he says. "And so what aerosols do is they cool."

They cool the ocean because clouds reflect sunlight back into space before it can hit the ocean.

Aerosols are fine particles like soot or sulfur compounds, mostly from burning fuel. They seed a kind of cloud that's especially good at reflecting solar radiation back into space. Even on their own, without clouds, these aerosols act like sunblock.

Volcanoes create aerosols, too, but air pollution appears to produce more, and then the aerosols sweep across the Atlantic sky.

Booth has calculated their effect on sea surface temperature swings.

"If you combine the role of volcanic activity and the human emissions of aerosols, we account for 76 percent of the total variation in sea surface temperature in our study," Booth says. That's a huge amount.

Booth and his colleagues aren't the first to propose that aerosols influence sea surface temperatures. But climate scientist Amato Evan at the University of Virginia says they've done the most thorough job to date of tracking and confirming those changes.

"If they're right, human activity has a huge influence on just so many climate processes around the Atlantic Ocean," he says.

Surface temperatures around the Atlantic influence the amount and timing of rainfall in West Africa and the Amazon in South America, and whether there's drought there. They affect the number and strength of Atlantic hurricanes and even where hurricanes go.

That's if, as Evan says, Booth and his team are right.

Booth used computer models to analyze a very complicated process — the interaction of ocean and atmosphere over many decades. The models' predictions didn't match all the changes people have actually observed in the Atlantic.

Evan says scientists need more hard evidence to nail down exactly how aerosols affect oceans, but he's observed a similar process going on in the Indian Ocean.

"The same type of release of pollution aerosols coming from the Indian subcontinent is actually changing the monsoon," he says, referring to the pattern of rainy and dry weather in the Indian Ocean.

The new research appears in the journal Nature. If it's confirmed, it could foretell a warmer Atlantic, because the aerosol pollution has apparently cooled the Atlantic some. But new pollution controls are reducing the amount of those aerosols — that's good for public health, but it also means the ocean loses its sunblock.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

The Atlantic Ocean, especially the North Atlantic, is peculiar every few decades the average temperature of surface water there changes dramatically. Scientists want to know why that is, especially because these temperature shifts affect the weather. New research suggests that human activity is part of the cause.

NPR's Christopher Joyce reports on new research that suggests human activity is part of the cause.

CHRISTOPHER JOYCE, BYLINE: Scientists originally thought that maybe some mysterious pattern in deep ocean currents creates this temperature seesaw, like an invisible hand stirring a giant bathtub. And that may be part of it. But there's a new idea: The cause isn't in the water; it's above it. It's a kind of air pollution called aerosols.

Ben Booth, at Britain's Met Office Hadley Center, explains that aerosols create clouds.

DR. BEN BOOTH: The more aerosols you have, the more places there are for water vapor to condense.

JOYCE: They're like seething clouds.

BOOTH: Yes, and what aerosols do is they cool.

JOYCE: They cool the ocean because clouds reflect sunlight back into space before it can hit the ocean.

Aerosols are fine particles like soot or sulfur compounds, mostly from burning fuel. They seed a kind of cloud that's especially good at reflecting solar radiation back into space. Even on their own, without clouds, these aerosols are kind of like sun block.

Volcanoes create aerosols too, but air pollution appears to produce more and then they sweep across the Atlantic sky.

Booth has calculated their effect on sea surface temperature swings.

BOOTH: If you combine the role of the volcanic activity and the human emissions of aerosols, we account for 76 percent of the total variation in sea surface temperature in our study.

JOYCE: That's huge.

BOOTH: Yes.

JOYCE: Booth and his colleagues aren't the first to propose that aerosols influence sea surface temperatures. But climate scientist Amato Evan, at the University of Virginia, says they've done the most thorough job to date of tracking and confirming those changes.

AMATO EVAN: If they're right, human activity has a huge influence on just so many climate processes around the Atlantic Ocean.

JOYCE: Surface temperatures around the Atlantic influence the amount and timing of rainfall in West Africa and in the Amazon in South America, and whether there's drought there. They affect the number and strength of Atlantic hurricanes if, as Evan says, they're right.

Booth used computer models to analyze a very complicated process. The models' predictions didn't match all the changes people have actually observed in the Atlantic. Evan says scientists need more hard evidence to nail down exactly how aerosols affect oceans, but Evans says he's observed a similar process going on in the Indian Ocean.

EVAN: The same type of release of pollution aerosols coming from the Indian subcontinent is actually changing the monsoon.

JOYCE: The monsoon is a pattern of rainy and dry weather in the Indian Ocean.

The new research appears in the journal Nature. It could foretell a warmer Atlantic. Warmer because the aerosol pollution has apparently cooled the Atlantic, but new pollution controls are reducing the amount of those aerosols. And that's good for public health but it also means the ocean loses its sun block.

Christopher Joyce, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.