More quickly than predicted. Over the past 20 years that has become a common statement in every serious article discussing climate change research. Here’s the latest and as usual, it is alarming. But, it’s to be expected and more of the same will continue to come.
Ice loss from Antarctica has sextupled since the 1970s, new research finds
Antarctic glaciers have been melting at an accelerating pace over the past four decades thanks to an influx of warm ocean water — a startling new finding that researchers say could mean sea levels are poised to rise more quickly than predicted in coming decades.
The Antarctic lost 40 billion tons of melting ice to the ocean each year from 1979 to 1989. That figure rose to 252 billion tons lost per year beginning in 2009, according to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. That means the region is losing six times as much ice as it was four decades ago, an unprecedented pace in the era of modern measurements. (It takes about 360 billion tons of ice to produce one millimeter of global sea-level rise.)
Came upon this article this morning: Swarm of mysterious radio bursts seen coming from deep space
Reading this article and thought I’d share for two reasons. First, it includes a very cool video that explains electromagnetism. It’s something I think everyone should have at least a basic understanding of given that it is one of the four fundamental forces of the Universe but also, it’s something we use everyday. It’s a very well done video.
Even if the actual topic of the article is not of great interest to some, it includes a very interesting discussion of the workings of science. In this case, it’s just a highlight of the process of data collection followed by an attempt to understand and interpret the data, then looking for more data and better quality data to further test the current ideas and so on. I think it’s great to see humans working together, collaborating in an attempt to understand one of the mysteries of nature. It’s the kind of example we can look to in times like these when we’re surrounded by political arguments and heightened social fractures of many kinds. It is possible for humans to play well together and, in the process, become more knowledgeable about the world around them.
This quote sums up the process and the attitude very well:
“There is a lot of fun in the not knowing,” he says. “You keep adding more information, but as in all sciences, whenever you solve one mystery, it always opens up three more.”
On January 1, 2019 humans will pass and make the most distant observation of a world in our solar system. On this date just days away the New Horizons will pass Object 2014 MU69 in the Kuiper Belt. See the tweet thread by Alex Parker is fantastic as it illustrates a bit about how this observation has been made possible.
In just a few hours I will depart for Maryland for New Horizons’ New Years flyby of the Kuiper Belt Object (486958) 2014 MU69. Before I go, I thought I would re-tell some of the stories about how we came to know about this little world. pic.twitter.com/iE7f0KeFVK
More at his article here.
James Temple writing for the MIT Technology Review:
In early November, gale-force winds whipped a brush fire into an inferno that nearly consumed the town of Paradise, California, and killed at least 86 people.
By the second morning, I could smell the fire from one foot outside my door in Berkeley, some 130 miles from the flames. Within a week, my eyes and throat stung even when I was indoors.
Air quality maps warned that the soot-filled air blanketing the Bay Area had reached “very unhealthy” levels. For days, nearly everyone wore masks as they walked their dogs, rode the train, and carried out errands. Most of those thin-paper respirators were of dubious value. Stores quickly ran out of the good ones—the “N-95s” that block 95% of fine particles—and sold out of air purifiers, too.
I’ve long understood that the dangers of global warming are real and rising. I’ve seen its power firsthand in the form of receding glaciers, dried lake beds, and Sierra tree stands taken down by bark beetles.
This is the first time, though, that I smelled and tasted it in my home.
There will be much more of this to come. This is, obviously, just the beginning.
Sometimes you go for a walk and forget your hat so you use your fanny pack. Yes, I have a fanny pack. 🤓
Not the best photo in terms of quality due to cropping but I love it because, well, Snow Goose! Just one. So pretty. Side note: Trying out some image processing with Darkroom on iPad and it’s pretty fantastic.
The gold of a winter sunset.
This video at Big Think is an excellent description of the Big Bang. As much as I’ve read about it I’ve yet to come across a description this good and easy to understand. I’m trying it out on my family. Michelle Thaller does a fantastic job describing it. I’d previously heard it likened to a cinnamon roll expanding in an oven and I love cinnamon rolls so :nerd_face: But that description stops short of emphasizing, as she does in the video, the 2-D aspect, of only paying attention to the surface. New to my thinking.
Sunrise over the lake and a quiet cabin.
Fall morning water harvesting