International News Desk – At Home: Happy Canadians – Around the World: Eclipse of the Forecast

International News Desk – At Home: Happy Canadians – Around the World: Eclipse of the Forecast

At Home: Happy Canadians

How good is your life? If you live in Canada, the odds are high that You’re pretty content?so say the authors of a new study.

As The Globe and Mail reports, ?Canada is the fifth-happiest country in the world, according to a global study on the social and economic well-being of nations.?

Beating out Canada for claims to the best life for its citizens were northern European nations like Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands. Dissatisfaction with the quality of life was most prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa, including war-torn countries like Sierra Leone. On the whole, most of the world (with the notable exception of the United States) has grown happier in the past 30 years.

The study took into account factors like wealth, family, job security, relationships, and ?political freedom, strong social networks and an absence of corruption.?

Nations are increasingly interested in measuring progress in terms of citizen satisfaction and developing ?public policy to boost well-being and reduce misery.? The study was commissioned for the United Nations Conference on Happiness and is the first of its kind.

Around the World: Eclipse of the Forecast

When the sun goes behind the clouds, the air temperature cools slightly?so it makes sense that solar eclipses can affect the ambient temperature in a similar way. But a recent study suggests that whole local weather patterns may be affected when a solar eclipse occurs.

As the National Geographic Daily News site reports, ?solar eclipses can alter local weather on small scales,? including change in wind speed and direction.

Scientists have long known that an eclipse can ?lower temperatures within [the] shadow by as much as 5 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius).? But although change in wind speed and direction have been observed during an eclipse event, the connection hasn’t been verified until now.

The study, which examined data from a 1999 eclipse, ?used the pre-eclipse conditions and computer modeling to create a forecast for that day that did not account for the eclipse’s shadow.? A comparison of the projection and the actual post-eclipse conditions ?showed a significant decrease in wind speed of about 1.6 miles (2.5 kilometers) an hour? as well as a clear shift in wind direction toward the south.