Siberian mystery holes (Methingoes?) mapped out


I only have a couple more days to gather several hundred dollars, please help out if you can at my Paypal account at Darksydothemoon-at-aol-com. Posted above is a nifty map showing the three known mystery holes in Siberia. If we know of three of these in this remote region, odds are there are more. Maybe there are enough to make out a pattern in the noise. Do they correspond to old bore holes or wells that may have served as a handy refuge for accumulating water or gas? How old are they, and are they moving north or south? No one knows for now. But just for fun I have coined the term Methingo, a cross between Methane, thing, and pingo.

One important note: FreeThoughtBlogs will probably go offline around 2 AM eastern for an hour or two, or three or four or more, for a site remodel. The new logos and splash pages will be up Friday, if all goes well. We could have done it earlier, but Aug 1, 2011, was the anniversary of this network and the powers that be thought that would be a nice day for a metamorphosis.

Big coal demands God’s will be done



If you can, please chip in to my Paypal account at Darksydothemoon-at-aol-com. So that I can continue to bring you the greatest fundie funnies. Up on deck, coal PR crews — including one named Twinkle — in and around Alabama have challenged residents to see that God’s will be done. And God’s will, surprise surprise, is for big coal to maximize profit by avoiding pesky regulations and throwing the climate off kilter for a millennia or two: [Read more…]

June sets new global warming record



Please chip in to my Paypal account at Darksydothemoon-at-aol-com if you can. But some good news: I may have gotten at a job nearby company that pays .. OK. I should know by Monday. It would start in August, so no help this month. In the meantime, here in Texas, it’s pretty damn hot! It turns out last May and June were the hottest ones on record the world over. That’s not even the scariest datum: [Read more…]

Second mystery hole found in Siberian permafrost



Folks, please chip in to my Paypal account at Darksydothemoon-at-aol-com if you can. I wouldn’t ask if I had any other options. A second hole in warming Siberian permafrost has been reported in the same remote, icy wilderness where a larger one was found last week. Geologists are still unsure how these features are forming, but some consensus is developing around a subterranean explosion of natural gas and salty water triggered by climate change: [Read more…]

The Man from Kentucky goes to Mars again


Do you recall the idiot from Kentucky, state Senator Brandon Smith, who paraded his ignorance about the climate of that planet by claiming it was equal to Earth’s? It was just July 3 that Smith claimed ” I will simply point out that I think in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here. Nobody will dispute that. Yet there are no coal mines on Mars.” He’s back and has refined his spiel:

Leo Weekly — In deep and dark corners of the internet tubes, climate change deniers enjoy sharing this conspiracy theory that all planets are warming, so there must be increased output by the sun to explain climate change on Earth, not the burning of fossil fuels. For instance, if you Google this, the first link that pops up is this website claiming Martian warming is real and debunks climate change scientists. Elsewhere on the site you can read many posts on how the Jews did 9/11, too (seriously).

The only problem with this theory is that it is laughable because relies on a speck of information, largely photographs of ice melting in one region on Mars over a three years period. And we can actually measure increased output from the sun …

The sun is the second most scrutinized object in space, or the number one object if you don’t count the Earth. There is no measured increased in solar output beyond the usual, narrow band of known fluctuation.

Two science shows up for award

There’s a lot of propaganda passed off as science, endless parades of pseudoscience and just plain fake science-y truthiness, on TV. The quality or lack thereof always reminds me of the MtV clip above. Crappy science is on because, apparently, there is viewer demand for crappy, fake science-y truthiness just like there’s demand for MtV to air reality TV featuring vapid characters. I’m not talking about cheesy sci-fi movies or series, this awful fare is on cable channels with official sounding science-y and historical names. Soap operas loosly centered on chasing ghosts or cornering bigfoot regularly stains our screens and minds. One could be forgiven for mistaking those shows for a sci-fi series.

Like so many lousy cable shows, the protagonists, bravely hunting down X-files phenomena — playing it their own way! by their rules! no matter what those stupid elite scientists say! — never quite land their elusive quarries. Maybe next week they’ll finally get it! What a shock, huh? But there’s some good stuff, too.

This week, Joe Romm at Climate Progress writes about some Emmy nominated science programs:

“COSMOS: A SpaceTime Odyssey,” is the Fox network’s gorgeous, high-tech update of the classic PBS series, with the redoubtable Neil deGrasse Tyson in the narrator role made famous by Carl Sagan. It is one of the strongest defenses of science and the scientific method ever to appear on network TV — and Tyson was not shy in speaking out about the reality of climate science.“Years Of Living Dangerously” is the first documentary series devoted to climate change ever to appear on a major network or premium cable. Its 9 episodes were produced by the legendary storytellers and filmmakers James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jerry Weintraub — together with three former 60 Minutes producers who already have 18 Emmys between them.

The spice must flow

Watching Grumpy Grandpa McCain this morning making the rounds, trying to explain how we won the war in Iraq, but somehow failed in Iraq at the same time and now have to go back in and, what, re-win it? Well, it was interesting to watch him try and navigate through that tortured reasoning, even a little bit comical in a dark, cynical way, sort of a crazy neo-con blast from the bloody past. But here’s what sets civil war in Iraq apart from Syria or Libya: [Read more…]

Surprising data about cold snap

Just goes to show, stats and empirical science beats the pants off of anything else:

WU — As notable as this week’s cold wave was–bringing the coldest air seen since 1996 or 1994 over much of the nation–the event failed to set any monthly or all-time record low minimum temperature records at airports and cooperative observing stations monitored by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. As wunderground’s weather historian Christopher C. Burt summed it up for me, “The only significant thing about the cold wave is how long it has been since a cold wave of this force has hit for some portions of the country–18 years, to be specific. Prior to 1996, cold waves of this intensity occurred pretty much every 5-10 years. In the 19th century, they occurred every year or two (since 1835). Something that, unlike the cold wave, is a truly unprecedented is the dry spell in California and Oregon, which is causing unprecedented winter wildfires in Northern California.” Part of the reason that this week’s cold wave did not set any all-time or monthly cold records is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to do so in a warming climate.

As Andrew Freedman of Climate Central wrote in a blog post yesterday, “While the cold temperatures have been unusual and even deadly, climate data shows that intense cold such as this event is now occurring far less frequently in the continental U.S. than it used to. This is largely related to winter warming trends due to man-made global warming and natural climate variability.” For example, in Detroit during the 1970s, there were an average of 7.9 nights with temperatures below zero. But this decade, that number has been closer to two nights.