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Dec
18

Inside Beijing's airpocalypse – a city made 'almost uninhabitable' by pollution

Author: Oliver Wainwright, theguardian.com on 18 Dec 2014

The scene could be straight from a science-fiction film: a vision of everyday life, but with one jarring difference that makes you realise you’re on another planet, or in a distant future era.Beijing smog

A sports class is in full swing on the outskirts of Beijing. Herds of children charge after a football on an artificial pitch, criss-crossed with colourful markings and illuminated in high definition by the glare of bright white floodlights. It all seems normal enough – except for the fact that this familiar playground scene is taking place beneath a gigantic inflatable dome.

“It’s a bit of a change having to go through an airlock on the way to class,” says Travis Washko, director of sports at the British School of Beijing. “But the kids love it, and parents can now rest assured their children are playing in a safe environment.”

The reason for the dome becomes apparent when you step outside. A grey blanket hangs in the sky, swamping the surroundings in a de-saturated haze and almost obscuring the buildings across the street. A red flag hangs above the school’s main entrance to warn it’s a no-go day: stay indoors at all costs. The airpocalypse has arrived.

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Dec
18

ESA: Venus probe doomed to fiery death on weird planet's surface

Author: Iain Thomson, theregister.co.uk on 18 Dec 2014

The European Space Agency has administered the last rites to its Venus Express probe, saying that the spacecraft is now out of control and has gone "gently into the night." venus express probe Its nine years of exploration ending up as Venusian rubble.

The European Space Agency has administered the last rites to its Venus Express probe, saying that the spacecraft is now out of control and has gone "gently into the night."

"The available information provides evidence of the spacecraft losing attitude control most likely due to thrust problems during the raising maneuvers," said Patrick Martin, ESA's Venus Express mission manager. "It seems likely, therefore, that Venus Express exhausted its remaining propellant about half way through the planned maneuvers last month."

Venus Express was launched in 2005 and took station around its namesake four months later to map out the planet's weather systems. During the past eight years the craft has sent back images from one of the more bizarre atmospheres in the Solar System, and caused head-scratching with the discovery that Venus is slowing down.

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Dec
14

The Greenhouse Effect and the Infrared Radiative Structure of the Earth's Atmosphere

Author: PSI Staff on 14 Dec 2014

In steady state, the planetary surface (as seen from space) shows no greenhouse effect whatsoever. So says Dr. Ferenc Mark Miskolczi of the Geodetic and Geophysical Institute, Hungarian Academy of Sciences in a breathtaking new study.earth atmosphere

Warning that climate scientists may have taken a wrong turn in attributing climate change to variability of atmospheric CO2 concentrations, the author asserts, "research must continue to find and establish the real causes and the true trends in global temperature change that may be present behind the natural fluctuations."

As with an increasing number of esteemed independent climate researchers, Miskolczi finds that "The greenhouse science is not settled, the presented results warrant further efforts to investigate many details of the surface radiative equilibrium processes."

Reacting to the new paper respected Canadian climatologist, Dr Tim Ball, said, “One of the reasons I admire Ferenc is the attacks on him by those who have created the greenhouse deception. It is almost always a sign the person is onto the truth.”

Astrophysicist and fellow independent climate analyst, Joseph E Postma commented, “Ferenc is an astrophysicist too.  No wonder he began to see through the bad physics.  If there was such a thing as a radiative greenhouse gas effect, astrophysicists would know about it in stars.”

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Dec
14

Carbon Dioxide and the Global Temperature Disparity

Author: Bevan Dockery, PSI Researcher on 14 Dec 2014

On 16 September 2012, the Arctic sea ice extent set a record minimum, since satellite recording began in 1979, of 3.41 million sq. kms. [1]. Two years later, on 22 September 2014, the Antarctic sea ice extent set a record maximum of 20.11 million sq. kms. [2]. icebergs
 
These events corroborate the trends in the satellite lower tropospheric temperature for the Polar regions, latitudes 60 degrees to 85 degrees, available at Dr Roy Spencer’s web site [3]. The data extends from December 1978 until October 2014, a period of 36 years. It shows the North Polar region having had a rate of rise in average monthly temperature of 0.044096 deg C pa. while the South Polar regions had a rate of fall in temperature of 0.00014 deg C pa.
dockery 1
 
 In contrast, data from the station closest to the North Pole at Alert, NW Canada, [4] provides average monthly atmospheric CO2 measurements with a trend of + 1.673 ppm pa for the period  July 1975 to Dec, 2013. Data from the NOAA station at the South Pole [5] gave an almost identical trend of +1.672 ppm pa for the recording period December 1978 to 2013.
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Dec
12

Outdoor Jackets and PFCs

Author: Dr Klaus L.E. Kaiser on 12 Dec 2014

The Greenpeace (GP) Detox Campaign to get rid of a variety of materials in textiles is in its third year. outdoor jacket Let’s dig into just one aspect of it, namely per- and poly-fluorinated compounds (PFCs for short) that are used to make water repelling or waterproof high quality outdoor gear such as rain jackets and hiking boots.

Let’s look at their claim and findings a bit closer. To begin with, what does “fluorinated” actually mean?

What does “Fluorinated” mean?

Fluorinated or polyfluorinated means in this textile context that there are some materials in the product that contain the element fluorine tightly bound in the matrix. The chemical element fluorine (as its anion “fluoride”) is an important component of our bones and teeth. In form of the mineral fluoroapatite, that fluorine is particularly important to our wellbeing as it provides for the hardness and durability of the tooth enamel. On a percentage basis, fluorine makes up approximately 0.2% of the body’s mineral content. Fluorine deficiency can lead to bone and tooth decay, osteoporosis and arthritis.

Also, widely unknown or un-acknowledged, nature also produces organo-fluorine compounds in plants that occur on three or more continents like the pesticidal fluoroacetic acid.

The Greenpeace Claim

Greenpeace (GP) claims that such textile materials can cause a variety of deleterious effects (of course at entirely unrealistic concentrations) like “studies indicate that PFCs can cause adverse impacts both during development and during adulthood,” etc. In fact, the PFCs are neither ubiquitous (as also claimed) at any but ultra-trace levels nor of any particular environmental or health concern. Yes, some PFCs have been found in samples of Arctic air at levels of 10^-12 g/m^3 as well as in polar bear livers at levels in the order of 10^-11 g/kg.

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Dec
10

Linking Global Warming to Latest india Floods is Dishonest Insists Indian Environment Scientist

Author: PSI Staff on 10 Dec 2014

Latest Indian floods are being dishonestly linked to supposed ‘human caused’ climate change, says a prominent Indian environment scientist.  KhandekarDr Madhav Khandekar, a former research scientist from Environment Canada asserts that there “no evidence” to link the recent flooding in the Kashmire valley (Sept 2014) to humans. In what is increasingly being seen among independent scientists as alarmist propaganda Dr Khandekar adds that the UN’s Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change “should now be closed down.” 

“These extreme weather events are governed by natural variability and reducing human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) would be a complete waste of time,” Khandekar told Principia Scientific International.

“I have presented my latest report on Indian monsoon floods and droughts and am asking unbiased news reporters to make the facts known, added Madhav, who is presently on the editorial board of the Journal of Natural Hazards (Kluwer) and has authored other well-received scientific reports on global warming (e.g. see here and here). Like other independent climate researchers he finds that recurring extreme floods and droughts are linked to large-scale atmosphere-ocean cycles like the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the equatorial Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD).

In recent years, the summer monsoon has become weaker with frequent droughts (e.g., 2002, 2004, 2009 2012 and 2014). “The observational evidence it at odds with most climate model projections that predict the intensification of the monsoon with increasing concentration of atmospheric CO2,” said Dr Khandekar.

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Dec
09

THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD

Author: Dr Vincent Gray on 09 Dec 2014

Science is supposed to take place by the use of the “Scientific Method defined in the following way.keep calm

THE FREE DICTIONARY

“The principles and empirical processes of discovery and demonstration considered characteristic of or necessary for scientific investigation, generally involving the observation of phenomena, the formulation of a hypothesis concerning the phenomena, experimentation to demonstrate the truth or falseness of the hypothesis, and a conclusion that validates or modifies the hypothesis”

OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY

"a method or procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses. 

For most of us the scientific method is what is described in official scientific publications. Yet PB Medawar in his “Is the Scientific Paper a Fraud? http://www.albany.edu/~scifraud/data/sci_fraud_2927.html  argues that:

“The scientific paper in its orthodox form does embody a totally mistaken conception, even a travesty, of the nature of scientific thought.

The conception underlying this style of scientific writing is that scientific discovery is an inductive process. What induction implies in its cruder form is roughly speaking this: scientific discovery, or the formulation of scientific theory, starts with the unvarnished and unembroidered evidence of the senses. It starts with simple observation - simple, unbiased, unprejudiced, naive, or innocent observation - and out of this sensory evidence, embodied in the form of simple propositions or declaration of fact, generalizations will grow up and take shape, almost as if some process of crystallization or condensation were taking place.

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Dec
09

Why the Greenhouse Gas Effect is not needed to Explain Earth’s Climate: a Summary

Author: Joseph E Postma & John O'Sullivan on 09 Dec 2014

The consensus science view that man-made global warming is caused by increased emissions of carbon dioxide (the so-called ‘greenhouse gas effect’) is under increased attack. The numbers from both thermometer readings and the very latest revised calculations by scientists show that the ‘theory’ has come unstuck. mathemagician Despite decades of higher CO2 emissions allegedly impacting atmospheric temperatures, the thermometers have been stuck on a 16-year plateau. Climate scientists have been at a loss to explain the “pause.”

According to the ‘experts’ more CO2 is supposed to mean more warming, but it just isn’t happening. So then, what gives? Is the ‘theory’ now busted? Astrophysicist and climate researcher, Joe Postma explains below:

Joe Postma: I, and fellow Principia Scientific International (PSI) researchers, can offer a quick summary of our reasoning why the ‘greenhouse effect’ from atmospheric gases is junk science. Apart from the disproof offered by the thermometers themselves (which show no warming despite ever-rising CO2 levels), judicious examination of the numbers in the physics is needed to explain the flow of energy entering and leaving Earth’s climate system.

The key number for our starting point is the actual energy scientists agree which is measured to be coming from the sun. This is known to be 1370W/m2.

 Now we reduce 1370W/m2 for albedo and adsorption effects, this gives 960W/m2   

Question: Can you explain in more detail where the figure of 960W/m2 come from? 

Joe Postma: The figure of 960 comes from 1370 * 0.7, where 0.7 is the absorptivity (one minus the albedo). As such, 960 equates to 88 degree Celsius of heating directly under the sun, i.e. on the equator plus or minus, say, ~15 degrees.

Question:  Now please explain where the IPCC get their ‘33 degrees colder’ assumption (climate scientists assume Earth is 33 degrees warmer than it would otherwise be, because of the supposed ‘greenhouse gas effect.’

Joe Postma: 33 degrees colder’ is simply the difference between the near-surface air temperature, and the effective blackbody temperature of the earth.  However the bottom of the atmosphere is always expected to be higher in temperature than the effective blackbody temperature in any case, independent of any greenhouse effect.

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Dec
08

Biggest-Ever Telescope Approved for Construction

Author: Mike Wall, Space.com on 08 Dec 2014

The world's largest telescope has gotten its official construction go-ahead, keeping the enormous instrument on track to start observing the heavens in 2024. telescope

The European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), which will feature a light-collecting surface 128 feet (39 meters) wide, has been greenlit for construction atop Cerro Armazones in Chile's Atacama Desert, officials with the European Southern Observatory (ESO) announced Thursday (Dec. 4).

"The decision taken by Council [ESO's chief governing body] means that the telescope can now be built, and that major industrial construction work for the E-ELT is now funded and can proceed according to plan," Tim de Zeeuw, ESO's director general, said in a statement. "There is already a lot of progress in Chile on the summit of Armazones, and the next few years will be very exciting." [Photos: World's Largest Telescope Being Built in Chile]

E-ELT construction was first approved in June 2012, but on the condition that contracts worth more than 2 million euros ($2.48 million at current exchange rates) could be awarded only after 90 percent of the total funding required to build the telescope (1.083 billion euros, or $1.34 billion, at 2012 prices) had been secured. An exception was made for "civil works," including the leveling of the site and a road up Cerro Armazones, ESO officials said.

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Dec
07

Monsanto’s Roundup Herbicide May Be Most Important Factor in Development of Autism and Other Chronic Disease

Author: mercola.com on 07 Dec 2014

In recent weeks, we’ve learned some very disturbing truths about glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s broad-spectrum herbicide Roundup, which is generously doused on genetically engineered (GE) Roundup Ready crops. round upGE crops are typically far more contaminated with glyphosate than conventional crops, courtesy of the fact that they’re engineered to withstand extremely high levels of Roundup without perishing along with the weed.A new peer-reviewed report authored by Anthony Samsel, a retired science consultant, and a long time contributor to the Mercola.com Vital Votes Forum, and  Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), reveals how glyphosate wrecks human health.In the interview above, Dr. Seneff summarizes the two key problems caused by glyphosate in the diet:

  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Systemic toxicity

Their findings make the need for labelling all the more urgent, and the advice to buy certified organic all the more valid.

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Dec
06

Donors back scientists' wireless eye replacement

Author: Richard Chirgwin, theregister.co.uk on 06 Dec 2014

Monash University's work on a direct wireless sensor-to-brain interface to bypass optic nerve damage has had a boost with donations totalling AU$2 million that will help get the technology ready for human trials. Monash vision

The university has announced that Marc Besen and Monash chancellor Alan Finkel have each chipped in AU$1 million, to which the university will add a million of its own, enough to cover “critical development costs” of the project.

The Monash Vision Group's (MVG) project is working to couple external vision sensors – a digital camera in glasses – via wireless to a brain implant. The idea is that the implant will stimulate the brain's receptors directly, rather than via the optic nerve, so the system could help people not only with eye damage, but also with patients suffering nerve degeneration.

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Dec
06

How to be a Good BEE: Make Honey or Pollinate Crops?

Author: Dr Klaus L.E. Kaiser on 06 Dec 2014

The honeybees have a problem: they are confused. More specifically, they wonder whether their primary task is to produce honey or to pollinate plants. honeybees

The answer depends on whom you ask!

The Honeybees as Honey Makers

For many centuries now honey was the product expected from the apiarists’ honeybee hives. The apiarists and the bees did their best and the world has had a good amount of honey all the time. In the Middle Ages the “Lebkuchen” (a German term for gingerbread) was invented. It gave the apiarists of Franconia and elsewhere a convenient way to flog their honey in the form of a “value-added” product. Ever since, the Christmas seasons in Europe are incomplete without gingerbread cookies or gingerbread houses, like the one above.

Even the bees liked that arrangement. During the winter season they were well taken care of by their apiarist owner and in the next spring and summer they rewarded him with a new bounty of honey. However, that century-old arrangement has been abrogated and circumvented in recent years. Now, many bee colonies are given another task that does not jive with the former.

That new task for the bees is to pollinate every flower in sight. Of course, the old task of making honey did not become superfluous, just the opposite. The bees are now expected to fulfill both roles as prescribed.

Unfortunately, that does not work; let me explain in more detail.