Science

Alarmists Trumpet ‘Global Warming’ amid Record Cold Temperatures

Climate change alarmists continue to preach the dogma of global warming in a textbook case of cognitive dissonance, despite record low temperatures in different points around the globe. This past week, Buffalo and Watertown, New York, registered their coldest week in recorded weather history. Boston, too, is set to tie its record of seven straight days with temperatures remaining below 20 degrees, reports Weather.com, which has not been seen in Beantown for exactly 100 years—since the week ending January 4, 1918. Flint, Michigan, set its all-time record-low temperature for December of 18 degrees below zero last Thursday morning. North American cities too numerous to mention have been setting records for daily low temperatures, as the gelid weather wave shows its impressive staying power. For instance, the National Weather Service reported a temperature of minus 15 F in Omaha on Sunday, breaking a record low dating back to 1884. So what is going on? During the summer period, mainstream media offer an ongoing stream of reports of how climate change is causing higher temperatures and severe weather, yet when temperatures drop to record lows in wintertime, they write them off as normal cyclical weather phenomena. “Deadly heat waves are going to be a much bigger problem in the coming decades,” warned CNN in a report last June, “becoming more frequent and occurring over a much greater portion of the planet.” “Extreme heat waves,” CNN continued, “are frequently cited as one of the most direct effects of man-made climate change.” As Australian science writer Joanne Nova quipped, for the radical climate crowd, “extreme cold is just weather but all heat waves are climate change.” While heat waves and extreme weather events are routinely pointed to as indicators of global warming trends, the coldest weather in over a century is simply brushed off as “natural variability.” Or as J. Marshall Shepherd, director of the atmospheric sciences program at the University of Georgia, sarcastically described the record-low temperatures, “What we are seeing right now in the United States is just, … well… wait for it… ‘winter.’” Shepherd’s inconsistent use of cold and warm imply that cold is not just a lack of heat; it’s something fundamentally different, Nova wrote. “Heat, after all, can prove human attribution, but cold cannot prove the opposite.” USA Today ran a defensive piece titled “It’s cold outside, but that doesn’t mean climate change isn’t real.” The article cited authorities pointing to other points of the globe that are experiencing warmer than average temperatures, in a bid to relativize the cold spell. The ironic thing is, of course, that when the media speak of unusually hot weather as a sign of global warming, they never seem to look for places where it is unusually cold to show nature’s balance. Meanwhile, USA Today also cited Shepherd, who stated that daily or weekly weather patterns “say nothing about longer term climate change,” something one never hears during the summer months when news outlets are falling over themselves to point to “yet another” indication that burning fossil fuels is making the earth a hotter place. Jonathan Overpeck, a climate scientist at the University of Michigan, claimed that the recent record-cold weather is not only happening despite global warming, but, indeed, “at least in part” because of it. Overpeck’s theory is that a loss of Arctic ice has allowed more heat to transfer from the ocean to the atmosphere, causing a weakening of the polar vortex winds over the Arctic. As a result, more freezing Arctic air is swooping further south, he proposes. “That is due to the warming of the Arctic, which in turn is due to human emissions of greenhouse gases and primarily burning of fossil fuels,” Overpeck declared. In other words, all weather behavior—whether colder or warmer—becomes a confirmation that manmade global warming is real. Or, as Dinesh D’Souza tweeted, “Since heat & cold are both taken as confirmation of global warming, what, if anything, can disprove this supposedly scientific hypothesis?”

No kidding!!  Thanks to Thomas D. Williams, PhD for that outstanding analysis which highlights the ridiculous, pathological cult that is the extreme enviro-wacko movement in America.  Excellent!!

‘Junk science’? Studies behind Obama regulations under fire

Scientific studies used by the Obama administration to help justify tough environmental regulations are coming under intensifying scrutiny, with critics questioning their merit as the Trump EPA reverses or delays some of those rules. In one case, agencies determined the research used to prop up a ban on a pesticide was questionable. On another front, the Environmental Protection Agency never complied with a congressional subpoena for the data used to justify most Obama administration air quality rules. “EPA regulations are based on secret data developed in the 1990s,” Steve Milloy, who served on President Trump’s EPA transition team, told Fox News. “For the EPA, coming up with cherry-picked data is standard operating procedure.” Milloy, author of “Scare Pollution: Why and How to Fix the EPA,” was previously a lawyer for the Securities and Exchange Commission and is among critics who accuse federal agencies of carefully selecting scientific research to fit a political agenda. In October, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt issued a directive to ensure that individuals serving on EPA advisory committees don’t get EPA grants and are free from potential conflicts of interest. “Whatever science comes out of EPA, shouldn’t be political science,” Pruitt said in a statement. “From this day forward, EPA advisory committee members will be financially independent from the agency.” Environmental groups blasted the decision. “For Pruitt, anything that helps corporate polluters make money is good and science and facts are just roadblocks he wants to tear down,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club. Pruitt has become one of the most controversial members of the Trump administration in its first year, cast by his detractors as battling the kinds of regulations his agency is supposed to be upholding. But his office suggests many of those rules were flawed from the start. Click here to take a look at some of the most controversial studies behind those regulations:

Global warming? Record snow on Alaska mountain peak linked to climate change

Climate change has been blamed for causing higher temperatures, drought, wildfires and hurricanes — and now it’s being credited with generating record snow. A study released Tuesday in the journal Scientific Reports found that snowfall on the highest peak in the Alaska Range has more than doubled since the start of the Industrial Revolution in the mid-19th century, which researchers attribute to climate change. How? The study linked the heavy snow accumulation to “warmer waters thousands of miles away in the tropical Pacific and Indian oceans,” driven by rising greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Dartmouth College press release. “We were shocked when we first saw how much snowfall has increased,” said Erich Osterberg, an assistant professor of earth sciences who led the investigation with researchers from Dartmouth, the University of Maine and the University of New Hampshire. “We had to check and double-check our results to make sure of the findings,” Mr. Osterberg said. “Dramatic increases in temperature and air pollution in modern times have been well established in science, but now we’re also seeing dramatic increases in regional precipitation with climate change.” The paper, which analyzed “two ice cores collected at 13,000 feet from Mount Hunter in Denali National Park,” demonstrated that the modern snowfall is “unprecedented for at least the past 1,200 years and far exceeds normal variability.” Lead author Dominic Winski, a Dartmouth research assistant, said it was “now glaringly clear from our ice core record that modern snowfall rates in Alaska are much higher than natural rates before the Industrial Revolution.” “This increase in precipitation is also apparent in weather station data from the past 50 years, but ice cores show the scale of the change well above natural conditions,” Mr. Winski said. Less convinced were climate skeptics, who have long taken issue with the climate change movement for chalking up any number of weather patterns and natural disasters to global warming. Meteorologist Ryan Maue, chief operations officer at Weather.us, made the point that Alaska presumably would have experienced significant natural variability during that time frame and beyond. “Is the null hypothesis that climate remained static in Alaska since year 1600?” he said on Twitter. “The Pacific Ocean surely has variability on decadal/centennial/millennial time scales that would affect mountain snow.” The “global warming causes heavy snow” thesis isn’t new. During a 2011 cold snap, former Vice President Al Gore said that “scientists have been warning for at least two decades that global warming could make snowstorms more severe” by sending more moisture into the air. Others have claimed the opposite. In 2000, University of East Anglia senior research scientist David Viner concluded that winter snowfalls would become “a very rare and exciting event,” thanks to global warming. Quipped Climate Depot’s Marc Morano, “Why not? Less snow used to ‘prove’ global warming. Snow used to be ‘a thing of the past’ according to climate activists. Now more snow ‘proves’ global warming. No matter the weather, they can claim it is consistent with global warming theory.” “Man-made global warming has become unfalsifiable,” said Mr. Morano, author of “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change,” slated for release Feb. 26 by Regnery.

Look forward to adding that to my library!

‘Super Earth’ is discovered and it has perfect conditions for aliens

Scientists have discovered a supersized version of Earth that could host life on a distant galaxy. The planet, named K2-18b, has been dubbed a rocky “super earth” that orbits a Sun-like star. And it is positioned in a solar sweetspot — making it possible to host life-giving liquid water. Researchers at the University of Texas and University of Montreal revealed the stunning findings, that could signal a perfect habitat for alien life. K2-18b even has a neighbouring sister planet, the cleverly named K2-18c, but is unlikely to host life because it is slightly closer to its Sun. Lead author Ryan Cloutier said: “Being able to measure the mass and density of K2-18b was tremendous, but to discover a new exoplanet was lucky and equally exciting.” But while the planets may already be teeming with otherworldly creatures, we will probably never know for certain. They orbit a red dwarf star 111 lightyears away — or 625,000,000,000,000,000 miles away — in the Leo constellation. Boffins were able to get the measure of K2-18b using data from the European Southern Observatory gathered with a High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher (Harps) instrument. Harps can help determine the mass and radius of a planet to work out its density. They found the planet is mostly rock with a gassy atmosphere, just like earth, but more research is needed to be sure. Mr Cloutier added: “If you can get the mass and radius, you can measure the bulk density of the planet and that can tell you what the bulk of the planet is made of”. “K2-18b is now one of the best targets for atmospheric study, it’s going to the near top of the list.” The research will be published in the journal Astronomy And Astrophysics.

Very cool!!    🙂

Stellar storms may light up signs of life on alien planets

Stellar storms, or eruptions of material that are regularly spewed into space by stars, could help scientists search for potentially habitable environments on alien planets, according to a new study. Most stars, including the sun, produce explosions on their surfaces that spit powerful particles out into space. These expulsions can rain down on nearby planets, and the new study shows that these interactions could create chemical “beacons” in the planetary atmospheres that reveal the presence of potentially life-friendly environments. “We’re in search of molecules formed from fundamental prerequisites of life — specifically molecular nitrogen, which is 78 percent of our atmosphere,” Vladimir Airapetian, a solar scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said in a statement from the agency. Airapetian is lead author on the new paper, which argues that modern instruments could detect these prerequisite chemicals faster than they could detect signs of existing life-forms. “These are the basic molecules that are biologically friendly and have a strong infrared emitting power, increasing our chance of detecting them,” Airapetian said. Because Earth is the only known habitable world so far, scientists use it as a guide for what to expect when hunting for life beyond the solar system. Water vapor, nitrogen and oxygen are all products of life as we know it. While the sun releases a relatively light stream of charged particles and occasional, energetic bursts, other stars can release far larger, more energetic and more frequent doses that bathe their nearby planets. If the charged particles interact with the atmosphere of a planet containing those products of life — water vapor and molecular nitrogen and oxygen — the interaction could trigger a cascade of chemical reactions that form what Airapetian and his colleagues call “atmospheric beacons” — molecular oxygen, nitric oxide and hydroxyl (one atom each of oxygen and hydrogen, bound together), according to the statement. Then, if the conditions are right, researchers could detect those beacons. As light from the star hits the planet’s atmosphere, it would cause the beacons to send energy into space as infrared radiation. Examining the radiation from the atmosphere of such a world would reveal the presence of these beacons. Since it takes a significant amount of molecular oxygen and nitrogen to create the beacons, their detection could indicate an atmosphere filled with biologically friendly chemistry, indicating a potentially habitable exoplanet. “Taking what we know about infrared radiation emitted by Earth’s atmosphere, the idea is to look at exoplanets and see what sort of signals we can detect,” said study co-author Martin Mlynczak. “If we find exoplanet signals in nearly the same proportion as Earth’s, we could say that a planet is a good candidate for hosting life.”

Fascinating!!    🙂

Tyrannosaurus Rex’s little arms may have been used for ‘vicious slashing’, scientist claims

The Tyrannosaurus Rex was one of the scariest killers in the history of Planet Earth. But its fearsome image was undermined a little by the ridiculousness of its puny arms, which were among the smallest of all dinosaurs when considered proportionally against the size of its body. Now one scientist has claimed the tiny arms were actually “vicious weapons” equipped with four-inch claws which would have allowed it to eviscerate its unfortunate prey. Steven Stanley, a palaeontologist working at the University of Hawaii, gave a presentation to The Geological Society of America last week in which he claimed nature equipped the monster with “formidable weaponry”. The research flies in the face of previous suggestions that the T-Rex was a lover as well as a fighter, which used its little arms to clasp its partner close during sex. “Its short, strong forelimbs and large claws would have permitted T-Rex, whether mounted on a victim’s back or grasping it with its jaws, to inflict four gashes a metre or more long and several centimetres deep within a few seconds,” said Stanley, according to New Scientist. “And it could have repeated this multiple times in rapid succession.” Other scientists have cast doubt on these claims, with Jakob Vinther, a paleobiologist from the University of Bristol, suggesting Stanley’s argument was “illogical”. The T-Rex’s stubby extremities were just three feet long, meaning it would have needed to get extremely close to its victims if it wanted to rend them limb from limb. And the arms really were used for lovemaking, the claws would hardly have made the encounter very comfortable. Previous research suggested the T-Rex was more of a sensitive lover than you might think. The terrifying meat-eater, which stood 20 feet tall and had jaws bristling with serrated teeth up to nine inches long, was believed to have had a snout as sensitive to touch as human fingertips. A team of researchers suggested two rexy beasts would rub their noses together during foreplay, before getting down to the monstrous act of physical love.

..and I think I need therapy to get that visual out of my head.  No..  I’m inclined to think that Mr. Stanley is on to something.  But, who knows?  Me may never truly learn..

Slow flow of human immigration may have doomed Neanderthals

What killed off the Neanderthals? It’s a big debate, and now a study says that no matter what the answer, they were doomed anyway. Our close evolutionary cousins enjoyed a long run in Europe and Asia, but they disappeared about 40,000 years ago after modern humans showed up from Africa. The search for an explanation has produced many theories including climate change, epidemics, or inability to compete with the modern humans, who may have had some mental or cultural edge. The new study isn’t intended to argue against those factors, but just to show that they’re not needed to explain the extinction, says Oren Kolodny of Stanford University. He and colleague Marcus Feldman present their approach in a paper released Tuesday by the journal Nature Communications. They based their conclusion on a computer simulation that represented small bands of Neanderthals and modern humans in Europe and Asia. These local populations were randomly chosen to go extinct, and then be replaced by another randomly chosen population, with no regard for whether it represented the same species. Neither species was assumed to have any inherent advantage, but there was one crucial difference: Unlike the Neanderthals, the modern humans were supplemented by reinforcements coming in from Africa. It wasn’t a huge wave, but rather “a tiny, tiny trickle of small bands,” Kolodny said. Still, that was enough to tip the balance against the Neanderthals. They generally went extinct when the simulation was run more than a million times under a variety of assumptions. If survival was a game of chance, “it was rigged by the fact that there’s recurring migration,” Kolodny said. “The game was doomed to end with the Neanderthals losing.” Kolodny said the evidence that such migrations actually occurred is suggestive rather than conclusive. Such migrations would not be expected to leave much of an archaeological trace, he said. Experts in human origins said the paper could help scientists pin down the various factors that led to the Neanderthals’ demise. It fits in with other recent attempts to explain the extinction without assuming behavioral differences between Neanderthals and our ancestors, said Wil Roebroeks of the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. The notion of such differences is largely disproven, he said. Katerina Harvati of the University of Tuebingen in Germany said while the new work could be useful in solving the extinction mystery, it doesn’t address the question of why modern humans dispersed from Africa into Europe and Asia. It’s important to figure out what was behind that, she said in an email.

Fascinating!!   🙂