One of the hardest questions to answer in an infectious disease outbreak investigation is "Why?"
Why then? Why there? These questions can be almost impossible to answer - not only because of their heady metaphysical nature but also because of the difficulty of assessing the minute interactions between microbe, environment and human host. Public health officials are often left shrugging their shoulders, half-heartedly admitting to an unsatisfied public that they just don't know ........ Read more »
Chua KB, Chua BH, & Wang CW. (2002) Anthropogenic deforestation, El Niño and the emergence of Nipah virus in Malaysia. The Malaysian journal of pathology, 24(1), 15-21. PMID: 16329551
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who watches the watchmen? Who guards the guards themselves? Who...keeps the beekeepers. You would need quite a large hive for that I suppose. Alright, maybe that last one doesn't work, but one that certainly does work is: who attacks the attack blogs? Or, in the nomenclature of the internet, who trolls the trolls? In the climate change world there is an answer to that question, and like anything in this viper's nest of a debate, it's a controversial one. Please all........ Read more »
Lewandowsky S, Oberauer K, & Gignac GE. (2013) NASA Faked the Moon Landing--Therefore, (Climate) Science Is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science. Psychological science. PMID: 23531484
Milutin Milanković calculated his way through imprisonment and bombings to show how Earth’s movement helped drive ice ages, revealing how far we’ve strayed from the path we should be following into the next global freeze. ... Read more »
Petrović, A., & Marković, S. (2010) Annus mirabilis and the end of the geocentric causality: Why celebrate the 130th anniversary of Milutin Milanković?. Quaternary International, 214(1-2), 114-118. DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2009.10.031
An international team of researchers, including Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, geochemist James Day, has found new evidence that material contained in oceanic lava flows originated in Earth’s ancient Archean crust. These findings support the theory that much of the Earth’s original crust has been recycled by the process of subduction, helping to explain how the Earth has formed and changed over time.... Read more »
Robert Monroe. (2013) Unique Chemistry Reveals Eruption of Ancient Materials Once at Earth’s Surface. UC San Diego News Center. info:/
The world’s third longest river has a new age: The Yangtze River was in place by at least 23 million years ago, geologists report April 22 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.... Read more »
Erin Wayman. (2013) News in Brief: Yangtze's age revealed. ScienceNews. info:/
Could varying concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide cause the planet to warm and cool? This was a key question facing scientists from the mid-1800s onwards – not because of a concern over man-made emissions of CO2, but because of a … Continue reading →... Read more »
Ed Hawkins, & Phil. D. Jones. (2013) On increasing global temperatures: 75 years after Callendar. QJRMS. info:/
Callendar, G. (1938) The artificial production of carbon dioxide and its influence on temperature. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 64(275), 223-240. DOI: 10.1002/qj.49706427503
Callendar, G. (1961) Temperature fluctuations and trends over the earth. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 87(371), 1-12. DOI: 10.1002/qj.49708737102
Scientists have reported that the last 30 years of the 20th century, i.e. from 1971-2000, were the warmest years in the last 14 centuries in the history of the Earth.
Researchers in this study worked on the previous two millennia and found a "long-term cooling trend", i.e. 0.1-0.3 C (0.2-0.6 F) of cooling per thousand years, depending on the region, until the end of the late 19th century. They found that the tempera........ Read more »
Ahmed, M., Anchukaitis, K., Asrat, A., Borgaonkar, H., Braida, M., Buckley, B., Büntgen, U., Chase, B., Christie, D., Cook, E.... (2013) Continental-scale temperature variability during the past two millennia. Nature Geoscience. DOI: 10.1038/ngeo1797
David Stainforth from the London School of Economics and his colleagues have developed a new way to analyse weather data and understand which aspects of climate have changed most on a local level, showing European trends with less than a 2% chance of happening at random.... Read more »
A young homing pigeon must learn quickly how to find its way home from the strange neighborhoods where humans insist on leaving it. At first the bird does this by relying on its crudest instincts, returning to its roost along a route full of youthful zigzags. Over time, though, it refines its methods. A mature pigeon takes a much simpler route, because it has drawn itself a more complex map.
Homing pigeons have been subjected to all kinds of research. The latest study used GPS devices, whic........ Read more »
Schiffner, I., & Wiltschko, R. (2013) Development of the navigational system in homing pigeons: increase in complexity of the navigational map. Journal of Experimental Biology. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.085662
A new data processor is creating maps of land deformation from satellite radar data over larger areas and with higher precision than ever before. These maps can be used to detect and monitor geological hazards.... Read more »
ESA Observing the Earth. (2013) Greece's ups and downs. ESA Observing the Earth. info:/
The data were a shock even to climate scientists. Four years ago, researchers noticed that Arctic sea ice was melting much faster than expected; it’s so bad now that these same scientists predict that all Arctic sea ice will be gone by 2050. That’s bad news for a warming planet.... Read more »
Overland, J., & Wang, M. (2013) When will the summer arctic be nearly sea ice free?. Geophysical Research Letters. DOI: 10.1002/grl.50316
Climate information for the future is usually presented in the form of scenarios: plausible and consistent descriptions of future climate without probability information. This suffices for many purposes, but for the near term, say up to 2050, scenarios of emissions … Continue reading →... Read more »
Creating and averaging thousands of slightly different historic temperature records shows that Northern hemisphere 21st century temperatures are almost certainly unique in the last 600 years, according to Harvard University’s Martin Tingley.... Read more »
Tingley, M., & Huybers, P. (2013) Recent temperature extremes at high northern latitudes unprecedented in the past 600 years. Nature, 496(7444), 201-205. DOI: 10.1038/nature11969
The glaciers and ice-sheets of Greenland retreat and melt in a warming world. Towering almost 3000 meters above sea level the ice-sheet is so thick and heavy that it depresses the bedrock underneath below current sea-level. Monitoring the ice-sheet, outlet … Continue reading →... Read more »
Csatho, B., Schenk, T., Van Der Veen, C., & Krabill, W. (2008) Intermittent thinning of Jakobshavn Isbræ, West Greenland, since the Little Ice Age. Journal of Glaciology, 54(184), 131-144. DOI: 10.3189/002214308784409035
Holland, D., Thomas, R., de Young, B., Ribergaard, M., & Lyberth, B. (2008) Acceleration of Jakobshavn Isbræ triggered by warm subsurface ocean waters. Nature Geoscience, 1(10), 659-664. DOI: 10.1038/ngeo316
Khan, S., Wahr, J., Bevis, M., Velicogna, I., & Kendrick, E. (2010) Spread of ice mass loss into northwest Greenland observed by GRACE and GPS. Geophysical Research Letters, 37(6). DOI: 10.1029/2010GL042460
"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." --Nils Bohr, Nobel laureate in Physics It would be ridiculous if climate science simply stopped at the present. How would that conversation go with the UN? "Well," the hypothetical scientist would say, "we've noticed a global warming trend over the last 50 years, and think maybe you should help the world prepare for a new and different climate." "I see" hypothetical Ban Ki-moon, UN secretary general would reply. "What exa........ Read more »
With the global population now well over seven billion there are few remaining parts of the world relatively untouched by human activity. We assess the current state and future prospects of five final frontiers: rainforests, Antarctica, the Arctic, the deep sea and space.... Read more »
Carlos Duarte. (2013) Final frontiers: the Arctic. The Conversation. info:/
Christmas arrived early this year for people who love animals carrying transmitters around. A new open-access journal called Animal Biotelemetry launched this week, and it promises to bring new tales of mind-blowing bird migrations and seals that study climate change (without exactly having volunteered for the job). Also, sharks.
Published by BioMed Central, the journal will include all kinds of research having to do with biological data gathered by instruments attached to animals. Thi........ Read more »
The largest harmful algae bloom in Lake Erie’s recorded history was likely caused by the confluence of changing farming practices and weather conditions that are expected to become more common in the future due to climate change.... Read more »
Jim Erickson. (2013) Record-breaking 2011 Lake Erie algae bloom may be sign of things to come. University of Michigan News. info:/
Failure to model a climate fingerprint from 5 million years ago thought to be similar to what we can expect in the warmer future must be resolved, say Lafayette College’s Kira Lawrence and University College London’s Chris Brierley... Read more »
The paper was a bombshell. Felisa Wolfe-Simon, a microbiologist at the US Geological Survey and NASA, found very strange bacteria in a very strange lake that energized itself in a very strange way. The bacteria lived in Mono Lake, California, and used the usually toxic chemical arsenic to sustain life, whilst most other living things used the chemically similar phosphorus.... Read more »
Wolfe-Simon F, Switzer Blum J, Kulp TR, Gordon GW, Hoeft SE, Pett-Ridge J, Stolz JF, Webb SM, Weber PK, Davies PC.... (2011) A bacterium that can grow by using arsenic instead of phosphorus. Science (New York, N.Y.), 332(6034), 1163-6. PMID: 21127214
Redfield RJ. (2011) Comment on "A bacterium that can grow by using arsenic instead of phosphorus". Science (New York, N.Y.), 332(6034). PMID: 21622706
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