Twenty thousand years ago, North America had a more impressive array of big animals than Africa does today. The continent was populated by mastodon, several species of mammoth, giant ground sloths, saber-toothed cats and bison twice the size of their modern counterparts. By 10,000 years ago most of these animals were gone, including the 10 species that weighed more than a ton. Many drastic changes occurred during this interval, including the arrival of Homo sapiens to the new world. Many have cited humans as the cause of this great megafaunal die-off: were H. sapiens causing mass extinctions even during the stone age?
Recent claims by climate change alarmists have raised the possibility that terrestrial ecosystems and particularly the oceans have started loosing part of their ability to absorb a large proportion of man-made CO2 emissions. This is an important claim, because currently only about 40% of anthropogenic emissions stay in the atmosphere, the rest is sequestered by a number of processes on land and sea. The warning that the oceans have reached their fill and their capacity to remove atmospheric CO2 is accompanied by the prediction that this will cause greenhouse warming to accelerate in the future. A new study re-examines the available atmospheric CO2 and emissions data and concludes that the portion of CO2 absorbed by the oceans has remained constant since 1850.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared greenhouse gases a danger to public health this week, in a move that could pave the way for future regulation. This is seen by many as a fallback move by the Obama administration in case the moribund Cap and Trade bill fails in congress. With perverse logic that could only be understood by a politician, carbon dioxide, a substance that is essential to life on Earth and to maintaining our planet's habitable ecosystem, has been lumped in with the likes of DDT and asbestos. The announcement comes on the first day of the Copenhagen climate summit and is seen by many as a sop to ecologists and global warming activists prior to President Obama's appearance at the end of the conference.
Climate and environmental scientists have become dependent on computer models in recent decades. The scientific literature and the popular press are filled with strident warnings of impending natural disasters, all predicated on the output of computer programs. The IPCC has solemnly predicted that climate change will drive thousands of species to extinction if anthropogenic global warming is not reined in. The coprophagous press has uncritically swallowed these computer generated droppings, reporting conjecture as fact and possibilities as certainties. Even though the climate change faithful continue to blindly believe the IPCC predictions, at least some researchers are aware of the glaring flaws in their computer models.
There are a number of scientists who disbelive the theory that an asteroid impact killed the dinosaurs. They point to evidence that some species of sauropod may have survived the Chicxulub impact—widely hailed as the smoking gun in the dinosaur extinction—as proof that the event was simply not big enough to be a knockout blow. Now, according to Sankar Chatterjee of Texas Tech University, new information reinforces his claim that a much larger impact that he has named Shiva, actually did the dinosaurs in.
Playboy cover girl and Dancing With the Stars competitor Joanna Krupa led a PETA protest recently outside a Los Angeles pet store that sells puppies. How can someone protest warm cuddly puppies? It seems that there are hundreds of puppies and dogs in city animal shelters and Ms Krupa considers it a crime to sell puppies when homeless dogs are available for adoption. At the protest, Krupa also unveiled a new racy campaign titled “Be an Angel for Animals.”
By now, even the American mainstream media has picked up on the hacked/leaked emails from CRU that implicate many of the world's top climate change activists in a tawdry web of lies and deception. US President Obama has reversed his decision not to attend the Copenhagen climate conference in a vain attempt to buck-up his flagging green credentials. Some claim we are witnessing the collapse of the climate change scam that the perfidious UN IPCC has been running for the past two decades, but is this true? All the signs indicate that the anthropogenic global warming crowd is going to ignore Climategate and proceed with business as usual.
Tropical America is one of many regions that have seen significant losses of amphibian species over the past few decades. In 2004, the first global assessment of amphibians revealed that almost a third of the world's known species are threatened with extinction. Early on, experts linked the mysterious disappearance of frog species throughout Central and South America to a fungal disease that was supposedly exacerbated by global warming. Now, according to new discoveries, it looks like climate change isn't to blame after all.
The Oklo uranium mine in Gabon contains well known evidence of natural nuclear reactors, but how widespread were they? A team of researchers has proposed a scenario to account for the disappearance of a radioactive mineral from the geological record. Part of their hypothesis is that a surge of oxygen billions of years ago caused the creation of millions of tiny nuclear reactors. If true, this primordial nuclear age could have played a role in the evolution of early life forms.
A report out from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting, which was held in Barcelona, identifies peaty wetlands as a major source of CO2. Marshes, swamps and bogs emit about 1.3 billion tonnes of CO2 a year as a result of human activity that drains them. If those dried out former swamps catch fire that amount can double and large amounts of aerosols can be emitted as well. With governments offering subsidies for growing biofuel crops the question is, how do we stop people from draining the world's remaining wetlands?
In the run up to Copenhagen, global warming alarmists are spreading the word that climate change is progressing even faster than the IPCC has projected. But contradictory data from skeptics and open minded scientists continues to indicate that global warming has gone on hiatus and may not return for decades. This has sparked a noticeable drop in public concern over climate change and has led some climate change true believers to bemoan increasing public “Climate Fatigue.”
According to a flurry of recent reports by the BBC and other mass media, the glaciers in the Himalayan mountains are melting at a furious pace. Of course this is taken as proof that climate change is still taking place at an ever accelerating rate, despite the fact the global temperatures have remained flat for the past decade. What, then, explains the rapidly retreating Himalayan glaciers? Nothing, because the glaciers are not shrinking. A new report by a senior Indian glaciologist states that the glaciers remain frozen and quite intact, thank you.
The Appalachian mountains are seldom mentioned among the world's great mountain ranges. Consisting mostly of low gentle ridges, when compared with the snow-capped peaks of the Himalaya, Andes, or Alps many would hesitate to call them mountains at all. But they are a large and ancient range, stretching over 1500 miles along the eastern portion of North America. The time of their formation has been dated back to the Paleozoic, with major uprisings occurring 650 million years ago. Then, about 460 million years ago, during the Ordovician period, they were the site of one of the most violent volcanic outbursts in Earth's history. New research reveals that, following that bout of vulcanism, weathering of Appalachian rock may have triggered one of Earth's major ice ages—a relatively brief frigid period that ultimately killed two-thirds of all species on the planet.
A new study in the journal Science has just shown that all of the climate modeling results of the past are erroneous. The IPCC's modeling cronies have just been told that the figures used for greenhouse gas forcings are incorrect, meaning none of the model results from prior IPCC reports can be considered valid. What has caused climate scientists' assumptions to go awry? Short lived aerosol particles in the atmosphere changing how greenhouse gases react in previously unsuspected ways. The result is another devastating blow to the climate catastrophists' computer generated apocalyptic fantasies.
A new book, entitled Data Engineering: Mining, Information and Intelligence, has just been published by Springer as part of the International Series in Operations Research & Management Science. Dr. Doug L. Hoffman was lead author on the Performance Modeling of Enterprise Grid Systems chapter of the newly published text book. The work is aimed at academics, students and industrial researchers in computer science and information systems.