Winged artiodactyls & Fireballs in the sky

Guys and gals I’m only $200 bucks short of salvation this month thanks to a number of generous readers. If you can kick in a few more shekels I will say a special prayer for you be able to continue working on issues near and dear to our hearts for at least another few weeks! My Paypal email address is DarkSydOtheMoon-at-aol and my snail mail address for those who dislike Paypal is in the first comment, thanks again! Context for the above image and more science-y stuff below the fold. [Read more…]

Science denial is deadly

Via WeatherUnderground: a view of part of Washington, Illinois from Mackenzie Street on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013 after a tornado tore through the area. (AP Photo/Alex Kareotes)

Creationism is annoying and depressing, but a typical middle-class voter can get through their entire lives availing themselves of the fruits of microbiology and science in general while yammering on against about evolution or geology. As Illinois residents dig out from another freak tornado epidemic and the death toll on the Phillippines in the wake of Super Typhoon Haiyan rises, it’s appropriate to note climate change is a whole different story. The wind, water, and drought brought on by changing climate are killers. Ask any expert: [Read more…]

The Hockey Stick rides again

Update: Dr Mann ably answered dozens of reader questions and remarks at Daily Kos here with a facility that should be a case study in any seminar on how practicing researchers can best leverage new media to convey important scientific info. For more great info, read that book!

BookmainThe Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches From The Front Lines
By Dr. Michael Mann, Ph.D
Columbia University Press Nov 2013
New 448 page paperback for $15.38 and on Kindle at $11.79. Click book image or this link to order now

Few scientists have been as viciously slimed as paleo-climatologist Michael Mann. He has been harassed by Congress, investigated by his employer, cyberstalked by the usual suspects, and at one point was the subject of an all-out witch hunt by none other than soon-to-be-unemployed Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

Needless to say, there was no wrongdoing found in any of those cases. Indeed, at every step Dr. Mann’s integrity and research was vindicated. And with that success and the intimidation that followed, far from shrinking away, he’s become a sorely needed voice at a time when science and scientists are often under attack, or at best a victim of the false equivalency syndrome afflicting far too many reporters and cable news celebrities. Meaning he’s not only a great scientist, he’s a truly courageous one. Today we’re pleased to have Dr. Mann’s comprehensive answers a couple of the more pressing weather-related questions of the day AND as a special treat, available in the comments below to respond in person to readers Daily Kos and FTB in a few minutes. We’ll also be monitoring the Twitter hashtag #AskTheMann for questions or comments.

The updated paperback version of the Hockey Stick would make a great stocking stuffer for the science junky in your life. Like the original, its well written in layman’s terms but still lays out the ruthless intersection of climate science and conservative politics faced by a small group of researchers who had the gall to succeed in their research and create the foundation on which modern paleoclimatology rests. But the best part for me is the fascinating tour of the science underlying climatology, with a particularly noteworthy focus on the analysis that went into the diagram that caused all the ruckus, first published in Nature by Mann, Bradley and Hughes in 1998: the Hockey Stick. [Read more…]

Climate change deniers still at it

rest assured, the usual suspects will have no problem denying the link between more intense storms and climate change. We’ll be discussing this very issue Sunday morning here at FTB and on Daily Kos with paleoclimatologist Micheal Mann. I’ll also be fielding questions at that time via Twitter using the hashtag #AskTheMann. In the meantime, the holidays are upon us by my personal calender — Nov 15 is close enough!

Please consider donating a modest sum to yours truly at the Paypal email address DarkSydOtheMoon-at-aol-dotcom. Thanks, it means a great deal to me to in terms of basic survival and to be able to continue blogging. If I don’t pick up a used PC soon, I may not be on for much longer. The two workhorses I’m using are both on their last legs.

I may have a treat for all FTB readers this Sunday


Use my email address: DarkSydOtheMoon-at-AOL-dotcom


Many thanks for those who have pitched in once again to help me navigate the serial tragic obstacles of the last few years. I’m starting to feel more grateful and a lot less desperate thanks to you. A number of of Paypal donations have already come in, enough to get me a little teary-eyed. So, if I’m going to rely on this crazy medium and the generosity of you regular readers to keep a roof over my head and the heat on, I owe it to you and the site to provide the best that my skillset can offer. One such event may be in the works for this coming Sunday morning. [Read more…]

The IPCC is out and so are the climate denialists

The “pause” in perspective. Chart courtesy of NASA GISS using meteorological station data of annual-mean surface air temperature change and base period 1951-1980

The IPCC is out with a new analysis of climate change and the verdict is hardly a surprise: there is a 95% probability that human industrial activity is far and away the dominant factor in forcing higher temperatures. Which means it’s time for the usual suspect to justify their extravagant salaries by taking to the pages of various publications and spread misinformation as far and as wide as fat stacks of cash and their wingnut enablers allow. [Read more…]

Graphic view of Arctic sea ice loss

There is much joy in Teaparty-ville that Arctic ice loss may fall short of a new minimum this year. Back in the reality-based world, there’s not much in the way of good news to celebrate:

Prof Andy Shepherd, from Leeds University, said: “Now that we have three years of data, we can see that some parts of the ice pack have thinned more rapidly than others. At the end of winter, the ice was thinner than usual. Although this summer’s extent will not get near its all-time satellite-era minimum set last year, the very thin winter floes going into the melt season could mean that the summer volume still gets very close to its record low,” he told BBC News.