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You are browsing the archive for May 2017 - Dan's Wild Wild Science Journal.

31 May 2017

The Remarkable Things You See in Ice Cores-Like the Black Death

A new paper is out in the AGU journal GeoHealth and it shows something that is truly remarkable. Researchers looked at lead concentrations in an ice core from a glacier on the Swiss-Italy border. They wanted to know if there was a natural background of lead pollution and they pretty much got there answer. There is not. What’s remarkable though is how they found out: The Black Death. When the …



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28 May 2017

How To Get Your Science Noticed? Get The Government to Try and Cover It Up!

Raul Grijalva, the ranking member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, sent a hot letter this week to the Secretary of the Interior. It was about the removal of the first line of a USGS press release last week. The press release was about a newly published paper showing a dramatic increase in coastal flooding as sea level rises, and I wrote about it last week here. Even Richard Nixon …



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25 May 2017

GOES-R Will Become GOES-East

It was highly likely that the new GOES-R satellite (Now GOES 16) would be moved to where the GOES-East satellite is now when it becomes operational in November. This is now official, with the announcement coming from NOAA today. By moving GOES 16 to 75 degrees east, we will see virtually all of the Tropical Atlantic and still have good coverage of the U.S. all the way past the Rockies. The …



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23 May 2017

Deleting Science That is Politically Inconvenient Will Backfire

A major paper on the impact of sea-level rise is out today. FYI: The first line of this USGS release about the paper is missing the first line: “Global climate change drives sea-level rise, increasing the frequency of coastal flooding.” It was removed by political appointees in the Interior Dept. The Washington Post broke that story here:  The press release is here: https://www.usgs.gov/news/next-decades-frequency-coastal-flooding-will-double-globally I did a related story this week …



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20 May 2017

New Teacher’s Guide to Climate Change

Earlier in the year, a right-wing think tank (Heartland Institute) sent out a slick piece of non-scientific propaganda to thousands of teachers about climate change. It was pretty much a failure since virtually everyone I know in atmospheric science warned teachers about it, but now thanks to an NSF grant, there is some real science that can be safely used in the classroom. The PDF copy is free. Click on …



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18 May 2017

Every Student Needs To Understand This

You really should read Tom Friedman’s book Thank You For Being Late.  He skillfully put into words something I’ve been thinking about for a long while now about education and why a high school diploma is no longer enough. Every student needs to understand this, and students and parents, you ignore it at your peril. The Culture Issue Our educational system could certainly use improvement since, in most of the …



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13 May 2017

Our Past Climate Is A Warning For the Future

There are some excellent books for non-scientists about our climate, but some of the best are written by Brian Fagan- an Archaeologist! His book The Long Summer is superb, and I am currently listening to a series of lectures he made for The Great Courses. Any story of human history is incomplete without looking at the role of climate, and in The Long Summer, Fagan points out that all of written …



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9 May 2017

This is Long, but it Explains a Lot.

A friend of mine told me about this essay, and while Foreign Affairs magazine is not on my usual reading list, I see why it has such a high reputation. Take the time to read this.



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6 May 2017

Using Basic Algebra To Develop An Extreme Temperature Index

This is a cross-post from my friend and fellow meteorologist Guy Walton. Guy is working on an extreme temperature index that will take into account not just the magnitude of the record but weight this by the length of the record. Breaking a record at a site with 50 years of data is not as important as doing the same in a place with 135 years of data. The next …



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4 May 2017

Looking at Lightning From On High! The GLM Works!

The new GOES-16 weather satellite has something no geostationary weather satellite has ever had before. An instrument that can see lightning. In real time. It’s called the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM for short), and while we have been seeing some real time images from GOES-16 for over a month now, the GLM is still being checked out. Today, NASA and Lockheed released some new video of the GLM in action …



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