How climate change is making hurricanes more dangerous » Yale Climate Connections

July 14th, 2019 by


Stronger wind speeds, more rain, and worsened storm surge add up to more potential destruction.

Climate change deniers often trot out the fact that hurricanes are not becoming more frequent as “evidence” that global warming ant the resulting climate change is not happening. That misses the fact that hurricanes are rapidly becoming more intense, lasting longer, and dropping more water.  

For instance, Hurricane Harvey, which inundated Houston, dropped more water than any other storm in us history.  The US Midwest has undergone unprecedented flooding this year (2019)  and Pacific typhoons have unleashed the most power ever recorded. 

This is not surprising and is exactly what was predicted.  As the world becomes warmer, there is more water in the atmosphere.  This water eventually comes back to Earth as rain or snow.

The idea that the climate crisis is going to happen in the future is flat wrong, it’s happing now and will rapidly get worse.


Source: How climate change is making hurricanes more dangerous » Yale Climate Connections

DoD Final Climate Report

February 11th, 2019 by

This is a recent paper from the US Department of Defense about some of the issues they are facing because of global warming. It includes the destruction of bases, humanitarian aid for dislocated populations, and dealing with the resulting wars.

Source document contributed to DocumentCloud by Nicholas Kusnetz (InsideClimate News).

Source: DoD Final Climate Report

NASA Satellites Being Shut Down and Wrecked

April 8th, 2018 by

I was just talking to a scientist from NASA. He works with atmospheric chemists and designs devices that measure the chemical makeup of the atmosphere at various levels.

The system is global and part of it is satellites that measure the upper atmosphere. It gives information to help understand the greenhouse gasses, global warming, and climate change.

All of the measurements are relative to previous measurements.  You can’t turn them off because when you turn them back on, there is a  gap.  Then, the system doesn’t know the previous measurements to calibrate to and it is useless. The satellites need to be sent up again.

Not only will the satellites become useless, we will have a gap in the data that could last for years plus, the cost of sending up new satellites.

Guess what useless, orange President is shutting them down? The alleged cost savings is dwarfed by what will be necessary to get them going again. It is malice towards scientists and environmentalists who don’t support him or his oil industry backers.

PLOS ONE: Placebos without Deception: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Irritable Bowel Syndrome

October 12th, 2016 by

Though our mind can only affect certain body processes it can have a lot more to do with healing than we have been able to identify until recently. Evidence based medicine and the idea that the mind has effect on healing are not at odds at all.  This article is a good example of how evidence based practices can be used to examine the mind’s effect on healing.

Background Placebo treatment can significantly influence subjective symptoms. However, it is widely believed that response to placebo requires concealment or deception. We tested whether open-label placebo (non-deceptive and non-concealed administration) is superior to a no-treatment control with matched patient-provider interactions in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Methods Two-group, randomized, controlled three week trial (August 2009-April 2010) conducted at a single academic center, involving 80 primarily female (70%) patients, mean age 47±18 with IBS diagnosed by Rome III criteria and with a score ≥150 on the IBS Symptom Severity Scale (IBS-SSS). Patients were randomized to either open-label placebo pills presented as “placebo pills made of an inert substance, like sugar pills, that have been shown in clinical studies to produce significant improvement in IBS symptoms through mind-body self-healing processes” or no-treatment controls with the same quality of interaction with providers. The primary outcome was IBS Global Improvement Scale (IBS-GIS). Secondary measures were IBS Symptom Severity Scale (IBS-SSS), IBS Adequate Relief (IBS-AR) and IBS Quality of Life (IBS-QoL). Findings Open-label placebo produced significantly higher mean (±SD) global improvement scores (IBS-GIS) at both 11-day midpoint (5.2±1.0 vs. 4.0±1.1, p <.001) and at 21-day endpoint (5.0±1.5 vs. 3.9±1.3, p  = .002). Significant results were also observed at both time points for reduced symptom severity (IBS-SSS, p  = .008 and p  = .03) and adequate relief (IBS-AR, p  = .02 and p  = .03); and a trend favoring open-label placebo was observed for quality of life (IBS-QoL) at the 21-day endpoint ( p  = .08). Conclusion Placebos administered without deception may be an effective treatment for IBS. Further research is warranted in IBS, and perhaps other conditions, to elucidate whether physicians can benefit patients using placebos consistent with informed consent. Trial Registration NCT01010191

Source: PLOS ONE: Placebos without Deception: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Irritable Bowel Syndrome

NASA GISS: NASA GISS: NASA, NOAA Analyses Reveal Record-Shattering Global Warm Temperatures in 2015

February 23rd, 2016 by

So since 2015 was by far the hottest year ever recorded things are going exactly as expected. The so-called “hiatus” never happened. The heat was being stored in the oceans and as the winds and currents change it is being released. 

A .23 degree rise in temperature makes the 2° limit on temperature rise look unobtainable at this point.  

Earth’s 2015 surface temperatures were the warmest since modern record keeping began in 1880, according to independent analyses by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 2015 was the warmest year since modern record-keeping began in 1880, according to a new analysis by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The record-breaking year continues a long-term warming trend — 15 of the 16 warmest years on record have now occurred since 2001. (Credit: NSA/GSFC/Scientific Visualization Studio)Globally-averaged temperatures in 2015 shattered the previous mark set in 2014 by 0.23 degrees Fahrenheit (0.13 Celsius). Only once before, in 1998, has the new record been greater than the old record by this much.

Source: NASA GISS: NASA GISS: NASA, NOAA Analyses Reveal Record-Shattering Global Warm Temperatures in 2015

Dragonfly telescope shines a light on dark matter

February 23rd, 2016 by

This gets a bit farther along the path to making sense of “dark matter.”

Sometimes a major discovery – like finding evidence to support the theory of dark matter – just requires a bit of creative thinking over a curry, as Dr Karl explains.

Source: Dragonfly telescope shines a light on dark matter

Depression Successfully Treated With 24 Minutes Of Innovative Type of Therapy – PsyBlog

February 22nd, 2016 by

This is fascinating, using virtual reality to treat depression. I wonder if it could work the other way. Some people I know seem to relate to most everything in the first person. If they see a movie, they imagine it is happening to them; if you make an analogy, they think you are talking about them; if they read some tragedy in the newspaper, they imagine that it happened to them. Every bad thing in the world that they hear about happens to them, personally. Such people often experience much pain and suffering, which they are eager to share with others.

People experiencing depression had just 8 minutes of this innovative therapy three times.

Source: Depression Successfully Treated With 24 Minutes Of Innovative Type of Therapy – PsyBlog

Climate confusion among U.S. teachers | Science

February 13th, 2016 by

It seems that part of the challenge teaching about global warming is that many science teachers are uninformed.

Although more than 95% of active climate scientists attribute recent global warming to human causes (1, 2) and most of the general public accepts that climate change is occurring, only about half of U.S. adults believe that human activity is the predominant cause (3), which is the lowest among 20 nations polled in 2014 (4). We examine how this societal debate affects science classrooms and find that, whereas most U.S. science teachers include climate science in their courses, their insufficient grasp of the science may hinder effective teaching. Mirroring some actors in the societal debate over climate change, many teachers repeat scientifically unsupported claims in class. Greater attention to teachers’ knowledge, but also values, is critical.

Source: Climate confusion among U.S. teachers | Science

Collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet after local destabilization of the Amundsen Basin

November 6th, 2015 by

Note that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is not the same as East Antarctic. This paper is about the West Antarctic Ice Sheet which is melting rapidly. Right now, on a balance, the East Antarctic Ice Sheet(s) and Central Antarctica are gaining ice because snowfall, but if the West Antarctic Ice Sheet slips into the ocean sea levels will rise about 3 meters (9 feet). This paper shows that we might have overestimated the time it will take for this to happen. It could happen in our lifetimes.  

The Antarctic Ice Sheet is losing mass at an accelerating rate, and playing a more important role in terms of global sea-level rise. The Amundsen Sea sector of West Antarctica has most likely been destabilized. Although previous numerical modeling studies examined the short-term future evolution of this region, here we take the next step and simulate the long-term evolution of the whole West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Our results show that if the Amundsen Sea sector is destabilized, then the entire marine ice sheet will discharge into the ocean, causing a global sea-level rise of about 3 m. We thus might be witnessing the beginning of a period of self-sustained ice discharge from West Antarctica that requires long-term global adaptation of coastal protection.AbstractThe future evolution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet represents the largest uncertainty in sea-level projections of this and upcoming centuries. Recently, satellite observations and high-resolution simulations have suggested the initiation of an ice-sheet instability in the Amundsen Sea sector of West Antarctica, caused by the last decades’ enhanced basal ice-shelf melting. Whether this localized destabilization will yield a full discharge of marine ice from West Antarctica, associated with a global sea-level rise of more than 3 m, or whether the ice loss is limited by ice dynamics and topographic features, is unclear. Here we show that in the Parallel Ice Sheet Model, a local destabilization causes a complete disintegration of the marine ice in West Antarctica. In our simulations, at 5-km horizontal resolution, the region disequilibrates after 60 y of currently observed melt rates. Thereafter, the marine ice-sheet instability fully unfolds and is not halted by topographic features. In fact, the ice loss in Amundsen Sea sector shifts the catchment’s ice divide toward the Filchner–Ronne and Ross ice shelves, which initiates grounding-line retreat there. Our simulations suggest that if a destabilization of Amundsen Sea sector has indeed been initiated, Antarctica will irrevocably contribute at least 3 m to global sea-level rise during the coming centuries to millennia.West Antarctic Ice Sheet sea-level rise tipping point instability marine ice-sheet instability

Source: Collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet after local destabilization of the Amundsen Basin

NASA Science Zeros in on Ocean Rise: How Much? How Soon? | NASA

August 27th, 2015 by

This is terrifying. The sea levels have risen 3 inches and as much as 9 inches in some places since 1992! They are rising much faster than we thought. 

NASA Science Zeros in on Ocean Rise: How Much? How Soon?Seas around the world have risen an average of nearly 3 inches since 1992, with some locations rising more than 9 inches due to natural variation, according to the latest satellite measurements from NASA and its partners. An intensive research effort now underway, aided by NASA observations and analysis, points to an unavoidable rise of several feet in the future.Members of NASA’s new interdisciplinary Sea Level Change Team will discuss recent findings and new agency research efforts during a media teleconference today at 12:30 p.m. EDT. NASA will stream the teleconference live online.The question scientists are grappling with is how quickly will seas rise?“Given what we know now about how the ocean expands as it warms and how ice sheets and glaciers are adding water to the seas, it’s pretty certain we are locked into at least 3 feet of sea level rise, and probably more,” said Steve Nerem of the University of Colorado, Boulder, and lead of the Sea Level Change Team. “But we don’t know

Source: NASA Science Zeros in on Ocean Rise: How Much? How Soon? | NASA