Archives for February, 2013

Permafrost: The Tipping Time Bomb

From Peter Sinclair: One of the most feared of climate change “feedbacks” is the potential release of greenhouse gases by melting arctic permafrost soils. New research indicates a critical threshold of that feedback effect could be closer than we once thought.

We were talking about River Blindness. Trigger Warning: The video below is not for general consumption. Having said that you may want to watch it. The first part depicts the reactions of a handful of celebrities watching a series of shots depicting seven different related tropical diseases, and I must say, having seen all of…

King Leopold’s Soliloquy

This is the book: King Leopold’s Soliloquy: A Defense of His Congo Rule. If you prefer, this is the on line version. I first became aware of, and read, King Leopold’s Soliloquy, which is not his soliloquy but a parody of what he might say according to Samuel Clemens, while doing fieldwork in the ex-Belgian…

Arctic Ice Loss

You all know that the Arctic Ice melts more each summer than ever before. In a few years, the Arctic will be ice free during the summer. The rate of annual melting is greater than expected even just a few years ago. Please note that the increasing melt of Arctic sea ice does not bode…

Humans appear to have a great deal of variation in sexual orientation, in what is often referred to as “gender” and in adult behavior generally. When convenient, people will point to “genes” as the “cause” of any particular subset of this diversity (or all of it). When convenient, people will point to “culture” as the…

City of Angels Will Dump Coal by 2025

Last February 17th, there was a big rally at the Los Angeles City Hall where people demanded action on climate change and an end to our reliance on fossil fuel. The city of Los Angeles gets 39% of its electricity from coal fired plants, so that would be hard. But today, we’ve learned that “…Los…

There will be a discussion on Climate Desk Live about this topic tomorrow, Feb 27th. Details and access to the event are HERE. Increasingly, the US Navy is leading the charge towards clean energy, which can in turn impact national security an even climate change. Through investments in biofuels, construction of a more energy-efficient fleet,…

The Bloggies

[View the story “Why does the science community shun the Bloggies?” on Storify] Why does the science community shun the Bloggies? I was shocked to discover that @bloggies is unaware of the reason that science blogs no longer participate in the contest. @bloggies noted: Prominent climate skeptic blogs tend to campaign for nominations, while other…

A big step in improving the efficiency of photovoltaic cells in on the horizon. A paper published over the weekend in Nature Physics describes the ability of a substance called Graphene to convert a high percentage of the energy from sunlight into electricity. Graphene uses more of each photon’s energy, and a wider range of…

CO2 is plant food, right?

See Peter’s original post here, which also covers the recent alarming finding by NASA regarding Eastern US forests. EG, ” The warming climate this century has caused new stresses on trees, such as insect pest outbreaks and the introduction of new pathogens. Scientists consider both climate change and disease to be dominant driving forces in…