Climate change includes increasing lightning strikes

lightning-strikes
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Lightning strikes in the lower 48 U.S. states will increase about 12% for every degree rise in Earth’s average temperature, potentially sparking more wildfires, according to a new study.

The new estimate was based on calculations of convective energy and precipitation from future thunderstorms, and fits three independent data sets chronicling past strikes, according to the study, published online Thursday in the journal Science.

“You need two ingredients to make lightning in a storm,” said the study’s lead investigator, David Romps, a climate scientist at UC Berkeley. “One of those is that you have water in its three phases — vapor, liquid and ice — coexisting in the cloud. And the other is that the storm clouds be rising quickly enough to loft that liquid and ice into the atmosphere and keep it suspended. So we’ve built our proxy around those two ideas.”

Previous formulas were built around predicted cloud heights and did not account for as much of the variance in actual strikes as the new proxy does, according to the study. The new proxy explains about 77% of the variance in strikes.

A 12% rise for every degree Celsius works out to about a 50% rise over this century

It’s only conjecture; but, you would have to think an increase in lightning strikes will forge an equivalent rise in the number of wildfires – lightning causing about half of all wildfires. Not a feature of climate change that anyone in mountain and forest country looks forward to.

Thanks, Mike

Kentucky Baptists vote to expel church for being too tolerant


Crescent Hill Baptist Church — Looks pretty solid to me

Kentucky Baptists have voted to sever ties with a Louisville church that is open to performing same-sex marriages.

Baptist leaders from around the state gathered Tuesday in Bowling Green for the Kentucky Baptist Convention’s annual meeting. They voted overwhelmingly to end their longstanding relationship with Crescent Hill Baptist Church.

The church’s pastor, the Rev. Jason Crosby, has said the church is open to performing same-sex marriages and ordaining gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual members. Crosby made a plea Tuesday to allow the church to remain a part of the convention. He said the decision came after much discussion and a process that lasted two months.

“We looked at what is sexual orientation and gender identity,” Crosby said. “We took a vote in which we decided that we would fully welcome and affirm gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals in the life of this church.”

Kentucky Baptist Convention Executive Director Paul Chitwood said same old blah, blah, blah!

Crosby said his congregation supports the new stance and believes that in years to come, the church will be on the right side of history…

Bigots will continue to build themselves a tightly-fenced world on a piece of ideology steadily shrinking, diminishing as ignorance is diminishing. The process is often slow; but, it is inexorable.

Brave New World is real — only now it’s called “data mining”

google

With their thousands of software engineers, huge resources and myriad databases, the Googles, Amazons and Facebooks may seem to inhabit an alternative IT universe.

But what the big web services firms are doing today with data volumes and data types will soon be the common experience for many businesses, according to Neo Technology CEO Emil Eifrem…

“If you’re interested in seeing the future of how data-oriented architectures are likely to evolve, the future is already here — just unevenly distributed,” Eifrem said.

“What that means is if you look at some of the big web services — the Googles and the Amazons of the world — they are already today dealing with the volume and shape of data that everyone else will be working on in five years from now…”

And our government – courtesy of their pat 3-letter agencies – is even bigger.

“When you receive an email in your Gmail account, that’s going to be chopped up into various forms and stored as a simple log over here in maybe the equivalent of a document database. But then over here all the contacts and the keywords are going to be stored in a graph database. Then they have really awesome systems for keeping all that data in sync,” he said.

“It’s not perfect and it’s a lot of hard work. But it’s the reality that we’re all going to face and a lot of people are already facing it today.”

Eifrem said companies are already past the point where a single database is capable of managing all data workloads — and it’s misleading for any vendor to suggest it has the answer to all an enterprise’s database problems…

“If you don’t go to the pains of choosing that technology and getting that thousand times improvement, then someone else in your vertical will. They’re just going to build a much better product and glean so much better insights that they’re going to outperform you…

“Every single dataset today or tomorrow is going to be big. So the role of the data architect in the future is going to be to look at my big dataset and then identify parts of it that are shaped as tables and say, ‘That fits really well in my trusted old relational database from Oracle or IBM or whatever,'” Eifrem said.

RTFA and keep this fact in the front of your brain: the dataset being discussed is you.

Eifrem sells products which perform best at slicing and dicing all the information available about your life and how you live — to sell you something and make a profit. That’s not what Uncle Sugar does with the same or similar software.

The government we confront – through Congress, through a compliant Supreme Court, led by whoever is in the White House from the Age of Reagan forward – compiles every speck of information on you, me and the dog to assure themselves that we’re going to stay in line. Or be kept in line. Some geeks will revolt! Some will accept a paycheck – and cooperate

Regardless of how often and how loudly they lie, the two qualities our government fears the most are transparency and democracy.

Thanks, Mike

Cartoon of the Day


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Anyone out there gullible enough to believe any number of Republicans in Congress – majority or minority – would evaluate and vote for Loretta Lynch to replace Eric Holder? You know what the phony arguments will be. Lies.

She’s been through the vetting process before Congress twice before and passed handily. But, opposition to racism isn’t a virtue among what passes for conservatives, nowadays.