Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sabado no Tarde - Ouro Preto - Festival das Artes 2011

VIa Climate Change: With Arctic Ice at Record Low, NSIDC Director Serreze says “we are on track to see an ice-free summer by 2030. It is an overall downward spiral.”

Ice extent (from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, 2011 in red).
We’re at a record low Arctic sea ice extent and volume:
The area of the Arctic ocean at least 15% covered in ice is … lower than the previous record low set in 2007 – according to satellite monitoring by the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado. In addition, new data from the University of Washington Polar Science Centre, shows that the thickness of Arctic ice this year is also the lowest on record.
In the past 10 days, the Arctic ocean has been losing as much as 150,000 square kilometres of sea a day, said Mark Serreze, director of the NSIDC.
“The extent [of the ice cover] is going down, but it is also thinning. So a weather pattern that formerly would melt some ice, now gets rid of much more. There will be ups and downs, but we are on track to see an ice-free summer by 2030. It is an overall downward spiral.
The trend is painfully obvious to all who aren’t blinded by ideology.  Indeed, many, including me, believe we’ll see virtually ice-free summers within a decade.
What do the experts — and deniers — predict for the September sea ice extent minimum?  The Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) has released its second Sea Ice Outlook report for July.  Just about all the cryo-scientists think the Arctic will easily beat last year’s minimum:

We received 16 responses for the Pan-Arctic report (Figure 1), with estimates in the range of 4.0 to 5.5 million square kilometers for the September arctic mean sea ice extent. The median value was 4.6 million square kilometers; the quartile values were 4.3 and 4.7 million square kilometers, a rather narrow range given the intrinsic uncertainty of the estimates on the order of 0.5 million square kilometers. It is important to note for context that all 2011 estimates are well below the 1979–2007 September climatological mean of 6.7 million square kilometers.
Credit: Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS).
It’s good that SEARCH has clearly posted the anti-science site WattsUpWithThat projection.  WUWT have been insisting for years that the ice has been getting thicker, when it has in fact been thinning, and last year they tried to rewrite history and claim that they hadn’t guessed wildly too high (see “Disinformers puzzled by reality, try to game prediction contest“).  Doesn’t look like they will be any closer to reality this year.
Neven’s Arctic Sea Ice Blog has more details on what’s going on up North.  He ends his post:
July 2011 could match or even beat July 2007.  Somebody call the UN. We are witnessing cryocide. ;-)
Related Post:

Friday, July 15, 2011

Via Huffington: Stephen Colbert: Rupert Murdoch's News Of The World Hacking Scandal Will Lead Him To Buy Colorado

Rupert Murdoch's therapy to deal with the News of the World scandal? Buy Colorado -- at least, according to Stephen Colbert.

Don't laugh. As MediaMatters noted in 2010, Murdoch already has pull in the state. He currently advises Genie Energy Corporation on oil shale development in Colorado's northwest quadrant, and as Fast Company notes, he shares the responsibility with none other than former Vice President Dick Cheney.

The Sagan Series (part 6) - End of an Era: The Final Shuttle Launch

Via JMG: Murdoch Scandal Hits Home: FBI Launches Investigation Of News Corp

The FBI has launched an investigation into Fox News parent News Corp, looking for evidence that the rightwing news organization may have hacked into the cell phones of 9/11 victims and family members. The inquiry apparently comes at the demand of wingnut Rep. Peter King (R-NY). The FBI has declined to comment on the investigation. According to the British press, Murdoch's organization asked a private detective to hack into the voice mail archives of UK citizens killed at the World Trade Center.

reposted from Joe

Quote of the Day

"To achieve, you need thought. You have to know what you are doing and that's real power."

JMG Photo Of The Day

These are greatly magnified grains of sand.

reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Worldwide Income Distribution

National Geographic has a huge interactive version.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Via Political Loudmouth and The Raw Story:

Political Loudmouth and The Raw Story shared a link.
By a wide margin, more Americans blame former President George W. Bush for the national economic outlook than they do President Barack Obama, according to a new poll.

Via NPR: Out Of This World: Designs Of The Space Age

Unidentified Fashion Object: A 1963 rendering shows the design for Biff's Coffee Shop in Oakland, Calif. "It almost looked like a flying saucer," says Victor Newlove of Armet Davis Newlove Architects. "It looks like it's about ready to lift off."
The Space Age left a sleekly modern mark on everything from office parks to kitchenware to kids' TV shows like The Jetsons. Even today, if you drive around Los Angeles, you'll see relics of Space Age architecture, including the flamboyantly futuristic Los Angeles International Airport and a nearby coffee shop called Pann's.

make the jump here to listen / read the full story

Via NPR: Global Warming: A Guide For The Perplexed

Since there has been a lot of debate here at 13.7 (and everywhere) about global warming, and what is or isn't factual or good science, I thought it would be a good idea to bring out some of the basic science behind what we know and what we don't know about this important issue. Of course, this is not intended as an official document or as a thorough analysis, but as a primer for those who are interested in facts.
  1. The Earth is a finite system, which receives most of its energy from the Sun. A small amount of heating also comes from radioactive decay and release from the interior.
  2. The Sun emits radiation mostly in the visible spectrum, peaking at about 500 nm, closely corresponding to yellow light. Some of the radiation is reflected back into space, and some is absorbed and then reemitted back into space as lower-energy infrared radiation. Warming occurs when a larger fraction of the absorbed radiation is trapped near the surface. Think of your car, parked under the sun. With windows closed it gets much hotter inside.
  3. The trapping of heat is caused mainly by what are called greenhouse gases: water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and ozone are the main ones. Without these gases in the atmosphere, the average temperature would be approximately 59 ºF lower.
  4. During the past 100 years, the average global temperature has increased by 1 degree Fahrenheit. Global sea levels have risen 4 to 8 inches.
  5. These numbers are not disputed. What is disputed is the cause behind the increase: natural vs. anthropogenic (i.e., caused by human activity).
  6. There have been many periods of naturally-occurring warming in Earth's past history. Evidence going back hundreds of thousands of years has been uncovered with, e.g., the Vostok ice core samples from Antartica. (Petit, J.R. et al, Nature 399 (1999): 429–436). The findings show that global warming is directly correlated with an increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane in the atmosphere. The peak temperatures corresponded to the highest accumulation of CO2 at about 280 parts per million by volume (ppmv).
  7. This number should be contrasted with the readings of CO2 during the past 50 years, which shows a steady linear increase—after averaging for seasonal fluctuations (with amplitude of 20 ppmv)—from 310 ppmv (1958) to 385ppmv (2008)— and thus well above the peaks during previous heating periods in Earth's history for the past 400 thousand years. This increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases is directly related to an increase in population and industrialization linked to fossil fuel consumption.
  8. There have been small regional temperature fluctuations in recent history, known as Medieval Warm Period (about AD 950-1250) and the Little Ice Age that affected the North Atlantic region. The variation in temperature, measured from botany data and temperature records in England, was of about 0.2 degrees (up and then down), although global data indicates an overall cooling during the period. (See, e.g., Michael Mann et al, Nature 460 (2009): 880-3.)
  9. The Sun has a natural cycle where its irradiance oscillates periodically every 11 years. As the Sun irradiates more, the Earth receives more radiation and it could conceivably get warmer. However, there is no obvious periodic warming of Earth in sync with the solar cycle. Recent research on this issue leads to contradictory results due to the different action of greenhouse gases at different heights in the atmosphere, some even concluding that there could be cooling associated with a solar maximum. Also, even though the past decade has been warmer than average, the Sun has remained at a relatively low activity level, being actually late in climbing to its max.
Models attempting to quantify the increase in global temperature for the next 100 years are extremely complex, being sensitive to different assumptions about the coupling of heat flow between oceanic currents and the atmosphere, projected greenhouse gases outputs, deforestation rate and other factors. Hence, results vary broadly, predicting an increase between 2 and 5 degrees Celsius. No model predicts a decrease in global temperature. Even taking the lowest predicted value, the consequences would be devastating, especially to coastal communities.

Our accelerated growth has fed from fossil fuels for about 200 years. It's time we embrace different energy sources that have a more sustainable relationship with the environment. We must change our ways, from parasitic to symbiotic.

make the jump here to read the full article

Via the Coffee Party Movement:

‎"This is essentially a People’s is a struggle for maintaining in the world that form of government whose leading object is to elevate the condition of afford all, an unfettered start, and a fair chance, in the race of life."

- Abraham Lincoln (Message to Congress, July 4, 1861)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Via TruthtoPower: U.S. Economy 101 (in Plain English, with Humor!): How the GOP and the Media Are Shucking You

Be honest: You and most people are affected by the economy, but you only have a glimmer of an idea why it’s screwed up. There is the massive disinformation campaign put on by the billionaires who control millions spent by companies’ lobbyists, Astroturf grassroots activist groups, and propaganda outlets like Fox News to make the common thinking on the economy their thinking. Here’s a 101 on the our economy, and why the fear-narrative on debt ceiling talks and cries of America going broke are a lot of hooey.

The old cliche is true: Money makes the world go round.  The U.S. Dollar is the de facto world currency.  There are billions and billions of our dollars circulated and transacted around the globe daily that may never touch our shores.  Our treasury bonds are the one instrument in the world where people can safely park their money from fry-cooks to financiers to world corporations and governments.

What backstops our currency and our bonds?  Our word that we’ll make good on it.

Yep. That’s it.

Via Political Loudmouth:

Is America broke? No. It is pure Republican theatre. If you have friends who are concerned about this, here's a nice little explanatory piece you can share with them.
Be honest: You and most people are affected by the economy, but you only have a glimmer of an idea why it’s screwed up. There is the massive disinformation campaign put on by the billionaires who control millions spent by companies’ lobbyists, Astroturf grassroots activist groups, and propaganda out

Via the Coffee Party Movement:

‎"An all-powerful government is not the solution. But slashing government in order to provide more and more resources to big business and the super-rich who our government already bailed out and who are now reaping historic profits but still aren’t creating jobs --- that’s not a solution, either."

The fact is that while the private market is undoubtedly the best way to create wealth and innovation in America, we know that left to its own devices and unchecked by any other forces, the market will also produce enormous inequality impossible for subsequent generations to surmount.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pôr do Sol / Sunset and the view out my front door // ea vista a nossa porta

its good here! //  e bom aqui!

Via the Coffee Party Movement:

 ‎"So let’s summarize: The economy isn’t fixing itself. Nor are there real obstacles to government action: both the bond vigilantes and structural unemployment exist only in the imaginations of pundits. And if stimulus seems to have failed, it’s because it was never actually tried."

Via the Pragmatic Progressive: Ten Ways Socialism is Killing the Private Sector

There is no more frightening word in the American English lexicon than the word ‘socialism.’ Socialism destroys freedom. It destroys innovation by destroying the ability to profit. Under a socialist system, all color will be drained from life. Individuality will be lost and creativity will be squashed. Life will be unrecognizable. Well, at least that’s what we are told. Is that really true? Does socialism leave us a dreary world, lacking in choice and liberty? Will we all be forced to eat the same food, read the same blogs and watch the same movies?

If real life is any example, the answer is a resounding “No!” Socialism has been a part of American life for as long as America has been a country. Socialism has been surviving alongside capitalism. In recent years, capitalists have gotten very clever at competing in a socialist market.

Via the Pragmatic Progressive: Liberal Juxtaposition and the Obama Presidency

The current state of the American left is stuck in two camps. One that makes little to no difference between Barack Obama and George W. Bush, and the other that does. The former is constantly threatening to not vote for Democrats if they don’t get what they want, the latter desperately tries to convince them why that defeats the purpose.

The chorus from the “professional left” has been a steady drone of fund raising for their respective groups and threats of boycotting the President’s reelection. I use the term professional left because I honestly believe many of them are more concerned with making money than championing liberal causes. It’s the only conclusion I can come to when normally reasonable people cling to the tiniest inclination of a rumor without the slightest substantiation and proceed to lose their minds or worse, exploit the situation by hyperventilating.

make the jump here to read the full article

Via the Pragmatic Progressive: Quote of the Day


Quote of the Day


“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”
Copyright 2011 by Daniel C. Orey All rights reserved. No part of this website may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.