As 2015 rolls apparently to a new temperature record, beating 2014 – (the first six months are on pace) – more and more scientists have been offering clarity on the well-worn myth that climate warming is somehow slowing down.

This video is from 2013, but still very current, and just shows how well the scientists understand the process of planetary warming.  Closest thing we have to a global “thermometer” is the satellite record of sea level rise.

If someone claims that the globe is not warming, ask them to explain this graph.
If they can show how sea levels can continue to rise in the absence of a warming planet, they will get a Nobel, and you should demand a share of the winnings for giving them the idea.

Here, James Hansen sets a BBC interviewer straight on the issue.

Below – I talked to my friend Josh about the same time, and he fleshed out the reasons why there is no pause – showing why the current jump in temps is no surprise to scientists who’ve been studying the matter, and citizens who’ve been paying attention. Read the rest of this entry »

The feeding structures of the amoeba Naegleria fowleri have a face-like appearance. Source: Image by D.T. John & T.B. Cole, Visuals Unlimited via National Geographic

The feeding structures of the amoeba Naegleria fowleri have a face-like appearance.
Source: Image by D.T. John & T.B. Cole, Visuals Unlimited via National Geographic

I’ve posted on this before. It’s not going away.


A 14-year-old boy from Texas died Sunday after contracting a brain-eating amoeba that thrives in warm freshwater.

Michael Riley, from Houston, went swimming with his school track team at Sam Houston State Park in mid-August, his family said in a statement on a Facebook page. After suffering from meningitis-like symptoms, Riley was taken to the hospital where doctors later confirmed it was a case of Naegleria fowleri.

Commonly found in warm freshwater such as lakes, ponds and hot springs, humans are infected by the deadly organisms when water containing the amoeba travels through the nose and migrates to the brain, destroying the tissue.

High temperatures in the summer months elevate the risk of coming into contact with the brain-eating amoeba.

Cases of Naegleria fowleri are rare but deadly. After initial symptoms such as headaches, vomiting and fever, the disease progresses rapidly and in most cases causes death within three to 18 days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

You Say Denali,..

September 1, 2015


Obama came out, well, smokin’ on climate the other day, at the beginning of his Climate themed arctic swing.

He’ll be visiting a glacier and doing some arctic survival training with a reality TV expert.  And he’s also rung the starting bell for the great climate debate of 2016.

Presumed (still) nominee Hilary Clinton has signaled her intention of making the climate issue part of the campaign with some appealing and witty youtube videos that got some play over the summer.
But it seems as september has arrived, and political messagers know folks are starting, dimly, to pay attention, there is some serious thrusting going on.

Below, a Fox News profile of the Obama Alaska swing – notable for the reporter’s aside that “..there is not consensus..” on the cause of climate change, as well as a weak list of bullet points from a non-scientist think-tank flack, swinging  the “..temperatures have not increased..” canard like a stinking dead cat. Read the rest of this entry »

The President will be visiting some of the first of what will be many. Climate refugees in America.


Because the town’s days on the edge of the Chukchi Sea are numbered, no money has been invested to improve residents’ lives. Eighty percent of the homes do not have toilets. Most rely on homemade honey buckets — a receptacle lined with a garbage bag topped by a toilet seat.

Residents haul water from tanks in the middle of town, 25 cents for five gallons. The school is overcrowded. Still, the unpaved streets here ring with the laughter of children, the buzz of all-terrain vehicles, the whoosh of the wind.

“If the shore-fast ice is thin and weak, it’s not safe to make a camp,” said Timothy Schuerch, president of the Maniilaq Assn., a tribally operated health services organization with clinics in Kivalina and the other borough villages. “Whaling crews have drifted out to sea.”

The Inupiat who live in Kivalina get most of their food from the land and sea around them. The increasingly warm weather means an abundance of cloudberries and low-bush blackberries, said Millie Hawley, Kivalina tribal president, but it also threatens many of the food staples on which Alaska natives here depend.

“With the caribou, usually it’s like clockwork,” Hawley said. “Every June, we’d hunt. We haven’t done that in years. It’s unpredictable. We don’t know when we’ll see them.”

Kivalina residents hang the caribou’s hindquarters outside of their homes to age. The frozen meat is eaten raw, dipped in seal oil, which is also harvested in June. Trout is eaten the same way. The Inupiat also depend on seal for meat.

“Usually we get 80 to 100 seals for the whole community,” Hawley said. “This year, we were looking to get eight. The community now has to go without dried meat and oil.”

A bit of an antidote to the bad news. At least in some places,  charismatic aquatic megafauna are still hanging on.


I’ve heard that line in a horror movie or two..

Greg Laden’s Blog:

I’ve got a press release from the University of Southern California that seems important, but I don’t have time today to read the study. So, you can look at the press release and tell me what you think of it.

Climate Change Will Irreversibly Force Key Ocean Bacteria into Overdrive

Scientists demonstrate that a key organism in the ocean’s foodweb will start reproducing at high speed as carbon dioxide levels rise, with no way to stop when nutrients become scarce

Imagine being in a car with the gas pedal stuck to the floor, heading toward a cliff’s edge. Metaphorically speaking, that’s what climate change will do to the key group of ocean bacteria known as Trichodesmium, scientists have discovered.

Trichodesmium (called “Tricho” for short by researchers) is one of the few organisms in the ocean that can “fix” atmospheric nitrogen gas, making it available to other organisms. It is crucial because all life — from algae to whales — needs nitrogen to grow.

A new study from USC and the Massachusetts-based Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) shows that changing conditions due to climate change could send Tricho into overdrive with no way to stop — reproducing faster and generating lots more nitrogen. Without the ability to slow down, however, Tricho has the potential to gobble up all its available resources, which could trigger die-offs of the microorganism and the higher organisms that depend on it.

By breeding hundreds of generations of the bacteria over the course of nearly five years in high-carbon dioxide ocean conditions predicted for the year 2100, researchers found that increased ocean acidification evolved Tricho to work harder, producing 50 percent more nitrogen, and grow faster.

The problem is that these amped-up bacteria can’t turn it off even when they are placed in conditions with less carbon dioxide. Further, the adaptation can’t be reversed over time — something not seen before by evolutionary biologists, and worrisome to marine biologists, according to David Hutchins, lead author of the study.

Read the rest of this entry »


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