Daily Archives: July 26, 2011

Global warming denialism? It ends now.

Somewhere around 1990 I wrote an article for a monthly paper on global warming. My intention was to explain the idea behind it (the greenhouse phenomenon) and to make clear the distinction between depletion of the ozone layer and greenhouse effects (the two were getting confused on a regular basis in those days). The reason I mention this is that there was virtually nothing in that article that would not pertain today, and other than the addition of piles and piles of data, there has been almost no change in the science of greenhouse effects that has occurred since then. And by that, I specifically mean the working models for the dynamics of atmospheric response to the release of fossil carbon into the atmosphere that existed then are merely simpler versions of, but not fundamentally different from, those that are used today.
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NASA Sets Launch Coverage Events for Mission to Jupiter

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA’s Juno spacecraft is set to launch toward Jupiter aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on Aug. 5. The launch window extends from 11:34 a.m. to 12:33 p.m. EDT (8:34 to 9:33 a.m. PDT), and the launch period extends through Aug. 26.

The spacecraft is expected to arrive at Jupiter in 2016, on a mission to investigate the gas giant’s origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere. Juno’s color camera will provide close-up images of Jupiter, including the first detailed views of the planets’ poles.

NASA will host a prelaunch news conference in the News Center at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday, Aug. 3, at 1 p.m. EDT

More info here.

Nyiragongo Volcano

I’ve spent a fair amount of time in Goma Congo (Zaire), trying hard to stay out of trouble, and I’ve flown around this mountain and driven around this mountain or its sister volcanoes, and the very existence of this volcano field has a lot to do with some of the research I’ve done. Oh, and for a while I had a truck with seats fitted to it that were taken from one of the many aircraft that had met its demise on the slopes of these cinder cones.

The reason I mention this at all is because NGS has a feature article with some amazing photos on Nyiragongo Volcano. Go have a look.

Looking back at what I’ve written here, it occurs to me that I’ve mentioned the Goma/Virnuga volcanoes a few times:

The Pre-Clovis Debra L. Friedkin site

ResearchBlogging.orgButter Milk Creek is a Texas archaeological site and an archaeological complex located rather symbolically a couple of hundred miles downstream from the famous Clovis site in New Mexico. It is the most recently reported alleged manifestation of a “pre-Clovis” archaeological presence. The most important thing about this site is probably this: It is well dated (though the dates need to be independently verified or otherwise run through the gauntlet of criticism dates of important sites are always subjected to) and there are a lot of artifacts at the site. The importance of the number of artifacts is two-fold: It means that the site is unambiguously evidence of human activities and not of the activities of, say, a ground squirrel burrow into which a random artifact from a later time fell, and it means that researchers will be able to say something interesting about the lithic (stone tool) technology represented there.

In order to understand why a “pre-Clovis” site is interesting, one needs to understand the peculiar nature of American archaeology and its conceptions of prehistory.
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Cool Idea: Community group for climate change information

Cool Planet is a community science-oriented organization located in Edina, Minnesota which “… strives to strengthen and empower the community of Edina by providing fun and engaging opportunities for citizens to join together in local homegrown solutions to climate change.”

Interesting idea. If you are in the Edina Area or are just interested in local community organization and science, check out their home page.

AudioVideo Things to Hear and See

Michele Bachmann doesn’t really care about bullies, or if bullying leads to really bad things happening to children, because there is no bully bill in the US constittuion and it’s natural anyway. Here’s the audio of her senseless yammering about how an anti bulling bill could lead to the boys all turning gay.

Move over TED, make way for BILL.
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