The weather station wasn’t broken. It was the climate.

❝ Three hundred and twenty miles north of the Arctic Circle, a weather station in America’s northernmost city of Utqiaġvik (formerly Barrow), Alaska, has been quietly collecting temperature data since the 1920s.

Early this month, while preparing a report on US climate, experts at the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) noticed something odd: They were missing data from Utqiaġvik for all of 2017, and some of 2016.//

❝ Here’s how Deke Arndt, chief of NOAA’s Climate Monitoring Branch, explained the event:

In an ironic exclamation point to swift regional climate change in and near the Arctic, the average temperature observed at the weather station at Utqiaġvik has now changed so rapidly that it triggered an algorithm designed to detect artificial changes in a station’s instrumentation or environment and disqualified itself from the NCEI Alaskan temperature analysis, leaving northern Alaska analyzed a little cooler than it really was.

If only this explained the brain patterns of fake presidents, politicians and coal pimps who deny science. We know that their “intelligence” is artificial. Bought and paid for.

Extinct cave lion cub in perfect condition found in Siberia

❝ The pre-historic animal was found in permafrost on the bank of Tirekhtykh River of the Abyisky district of Yakutia by a local resident Boris Berezhnov.

Excited scientists unveiled the discovery – its facial features clearly visible – in Yakutsk…

❝ The animal was aged around one and a half to two months old when it perished. It is not yet clear whether the cub was male or female.

Expert Dr Albert Protopopov said: ‘It is a perfectly preserved lion cub, all the limbs have survived. There are no traces of external injuries on the skin.’

❝ The preservation is so good that it raises hopes of cloning the species back to life, he said.

RTFA. Terrific photographs. The concept appears to be realistic – but, only research and investigation will tell.

Chandra Gives Us the Elementary Nature of Cassiopeia A

❝ Where do most of the elements essential for life on Earth come from? The answer: inside the furnaces of stars and the explosions that mark the end of some stars’ lives.

❝ X-ray telescopes such as Chandra are important to study supernova remnants and the elements they produce because these events generate extremely high temperatures — millions of degrees — even thousands of years after the explosion. This means that many supernova remnants, including Cas A, glow most strongly at X-ray wavelengths that are undetectable with other types of telescopes.

Ready for the Jellyfish Apocalypse?

❝ The most common Irukandji, Carukia barnesi, are the size of a chickpea, and because they’re colorless, in the ocean they’re more or less invisible. The smaller ones might appear to you as the residue of a sneeze. The Irukandji’s translucent bell, shaped like a tiny boxing glove, trails four tentacles, delicate as cotton thread and about three feet long. The jellyfish’s sting doesn’t hurt overmuch. The pain is perhaps equivalent to a mild static zap from a metal doorknob—hardly even enough to make you want to suck your finger. The C. barnesi does not leave red welts, as other jellyfish do. You might miss the prick of its microscopic, stinging darts. You might think it’s just the start of sunburn.

Worst-case scenario: You’re dead by the following sunset.

RTFA. There are several little quirks like this that add a level of adventure and excitement to ordinary life in Australia I wouldn’t seek out.

Climate change a major issue for forestry planning


Ho/The Canadian Press

❝ Canada loses 20 times more forested land to fires and invasive bugs each year than it does to harvesting wood for industry — and Canada’s lumber association says climate change is making it worse.

❝ Derek Nighbor, president of the Forest Products Association of Canada, says he believes developing plans to address the impacts a warming planet is having on Canada’s forests needs to be a priority.

“We spend a lot of time looking back at history and trends but we (have) got to be looking forward and doing some modelling in terms of the warming climate and how do we stay ahead of this so we can ensure healthy forests for the future,”…

❝ Nighbor said Canadians have to take time to figure out what the forest looks like in the future.

How can we ensure a healthy forest, one that balances ecological imperatives, social imperatives, economic opportunities for the country…”

Or they could follow the American model and put a government in charge that couldn’t care less about environmental causes and effects. Especially if that consideration negatively affected profits – short-term – for corporate owners.

Alaska’s Permafrost is Thawing – Which Will Cause More Warming

The Arctic is warming about twice as fast as other parts of the planet, and even here in sub-Arctic Alaska the rate of warming is high. Sea ice and wildlife habitat are disappearing; higher sea levels threaten coastal native villages.

But to the scientists from Woods Hole Research Center who have come here to study the effects of climate change, the most urgent is the fate of permafrost, the always-frozen ground that underlies much of the state.

Starting just a few feet below the surface and extending tens or even hundreds of feet down, it contains vast amounts of carbon in organic matter — plants that took carbon dioxide from the atmosphere centuries ago, died and froze before they could decompose. Worldwide, permafrost is thought to contain about twice as much carbon as is currently in the atmosphere.

Once this ancient organic material thaws, microbes convert some of it to carbon dioxide and methane, which can flow into the atmosphere and cause even more warming. Scientists have estimated that the process of permafrost thawing could contribute as much as 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit to global warming over the next several centuries, independent of what society does to reduce emissions from burning fossil fuels and other activities.

RTFA. Don’t try to explain it to a Republican. They just figure this will make it easier for the companies relying on them as pimps – to drill for oil and natural gas.

Another anti-vaccine excuse fades away

Children and adults with egg allergies do not need to avoid flu shots or take special precautions, and healthcare providers need not ask if patients are allergic to eggs before giving a flu shot, allergy experts said.

Updated practice guidelines from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) state that people with egg allergies should receive an annual flu shot and that no special precautions are required…

A joint ACAAI and AAAAI task force reviewed findings from recent studies involving thousands of patients with egg allergies, and those studies uniformly showed egg allergic patients to have a similar risk for flu shot reactions as people without egg allergies…

The studies showed no benefit to taking special precautions, such as pre-vaccine skin testing or stepwise challenge, in egg allergic children and adults, and John Kelso of the Scripps Clinic in San Diego said the risks associated with not being vaccinated are now clear.

“There are hundreds of thousands of influenza hospitalizations in the U.S. each year, and tens of thousands of deaths,” he said. “There has been a growing recognition that not vaccinating poses a special risk. The vast majority of egg allergies are in young children and young children are more susceptible to flu.”

You can say “amen” to another copout. If only it was that easy to rid public health questions of superstition and ignorance.