It’s the Sun, stupid

You would think that common sense would point in that direction, but there’s no money to be made in natural causes. You can’t pass legislation regulating the sun, but you can try to bullshit the general public into believing that they are the cause of the “problem” and only through their great sacrifices (mostly by a reduced standard of living through taxation) can they fix the “problem” they caused.

From NationalPost.com:

Four years ago, when I first started profiling scientists who were global warming skeptics, I soon learned two things: Solar scientists were overwhelmingly skeptical that humans caused climate change and, overwhelmingly, they were reluctant to go public with their views. Often, they refused to be quoted at all, saying they feared for their funding, or they feared other recriminations from climate scientists in the doomsayer camp. When the skeptics agreed to be quoted at all, they often hedged their statements, to give themselves wiggle room if accused of being a global warming denier. Scant few were outspoken about their skepticism.

No longer.

Scientists, and especially solar scientists, are becoming assertive. Maybe their newfound confidence stems from the Climategate emails, which cast doomsayer-scientists as frauds and diminished their standing within academia. Maybe their confidence stems from the avalanche of errors recently found in the reports of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, destroying its reputation as a gold standard in climate science. Maybe the solar scientists are becoming assertive because the public no longer buys the doomsayer thesis, as seen in public opinion polls throughout the developed world. Whatever it was, solar scientists are increasingly conveying a clear message on the chief cause of climate change: It’s the Sun, Stupid.

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Dismantling of Saudi-CIA Web site illustrates need for clearer cyberwar policies

From The Washington Post:

By early 2008, top U.S. military officials had become convinced that extremists planning attacks on American forces in Iraq were making use of a Web site set up by the Saudi government and the CIA to uncover terrorist plots in the kingdom.

“We knew we were going to be forced to shut this thing down,” recalled one former civilian official, describing tense internal discussions in which military commanders argued that the site was putting Americans at risk. “CIA resented that,” the former official said.

Elite U.S. military computer specialists, over the objections of the CIA, mounted a cyberattack that dismantled the online forum. Although some Saudi officials had been informed in advance about the Pentagon’s plan, several key princes were “absolutely furious” at the loss of an intelligence-gathering tool, according to another former U.S. official.

Four former senior U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss classified operations, said the creation and shutting down of the site illustrate the need for clearer policies governing cyberwar. The use of computers to gather intelligence or to disrupt the enemy presents complex questions: When is a cyberattack outside the theater of war allowed? Is taking out an extremist Web site a covert operation or a traditional military activity? Should Congress be informed?

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Water Practically Flies Off ‘Near Perfect’ Hydrophobic Surface That Refuses to Get Wet

From ScienceDaily:

Engineering researchers have crafted a flat surface that refuses to get wet. Water droplets skitter across it like ball bearings tossed on ice.

The inspiration? Not wax. Not glass. Not even Teflon.

Instead, University of Florida engineers have achieved what they label in a new paper a “nearly perfect hydrophobic interface” by reproducing, on small bits of flat plastic, the shape and patterns of the minute hairs that grow on the bodies of spiders.

“They have short hairs and longer hairs, and they vary a lot. And that is what we mimic,” said Wolfgang Sigmund, a professor of materials science and engineering.

A paper about the surface, which works equally well with hot or cold water, appears in this month’s edition of the journal Langmuir.

Spiders use their water-repelling hairs to stay dry or avoid drowning, with water spiders capturing air bubbles and toting them underwater to breathe. Potential applications for UF’s ultra-water-repellent surfaces are many, Sigmund said. When water scampers off the surface, it picks up and carries dirt with it, in effect making the surface self-cleaning. As such, it is ideal for some food packaging, or windows, or solar cells that must stay clean to gather sunlight, he said. Boat designers might coat hulls with it, making boats faster and more efficient.

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Chile quake may have tipped Earth’s axis

From CNN:

(CNN) — The massive earthquake that struck Chile on Saturday may have shifted Earth’s axis and created shorter days, scientists at NASA say.

The change is negligible, but permanent: Each day should be 1.26 microseconds shorter, according to preliminary calculations. A microsecond is one-millionth of a second.

A large quake shifts massive amounts of rock and alters the distribution of mass on the planet.

When that distribution changes, it changes the rate at which the planet rotates. And the rotation rate determines the length of a day.

“Any worldly event that involves the movement of mass affects the Earth’s rotation,” Benjamin Fong Chao, of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said while explaining the phenomenon in 2005.

Scientists use the analogy of a skater. When he pulls in his arms, he spins faster.

That’s because pulling in his arms changes the distribution of the skater’s mass and therefore the speed of his rotation.

Richard Gross, a geophysicist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, used a computer model to determine how the magnitude 8.8 quake that struck Chile on February 27 may have affected Earth.

See scenes of devastation from the quake

He determined that the quake should have moved Earth’s figure axis about 3 inches (8 centimeters). The figure axis is one around which Earth’s mass is balanced. That shift in axis is what may have shortened days.

Such changes aren’t unheard of.

The magnitude 9.1 earthquake in 2004 that generated a killer tsunami in the Indian Ocean shortened the length of days by 6.8 microseconds.

On the other hand, the length of a day also can increase. For example, if the Three Gorges reservoir in China were filled, it would hold 10 trillion gallons (40 cubic kilometers) of water. The shift of mass would lengthen days by 0.06 microsecond, scientists said.

Common weed killer found to chemically castrate frogs

From RawStory:

One of the most common weed killers in the world, atrazine, causes chemical castration in frogs and could be contributing to a worldwide decline in amphibian populations, a study published Monday showed.

Researchers compared 40 male control frogs with 40 male frogs reared from hatchlings until full sexual maturity, in atrazine concentrations similar to those experienced year-round in areas where the chemical is found.

Ninety percent of the male frogs exposed to atrazine had low testosterone levels, decreased breeding gland size, feminized laryngeal development, suppressed mating behavior, reduced sperm production and decreased fertility.

And an alarming finding of the study was that the remaining 10 percent of atrazine-exposed male frogs developed into females that copulated with males and produced eggs.

The larvae that developed from those eggs were all male, according to the study by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

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Earlier studies have found that atrazine feminized zebra fish and leopard frogs and caused a significant decline in sperm production in male salmon and caiman lizards.

“Atrazine exposure is highly correlated with low sperm count, poor semen quality and impaired fertility in humans,” the study said.

Atrazine is widely used by farmers around the world as a weed- and grass-killer, particularly in production of corn, sorghum and sugar cane.

According to the Washington-based Natural Resources Defense Council, the chemical herbicide has been banned in the European Union, although advocates for atrazine, who say the weed-killer increases crop yields, say only some European countries have banned it.

The US Environmental Protection Agency said four years ago that there was insufficient data to determine whether the chemical herbicide affects amphibian development and refused to ban the chemical.

Around 80 million pounds of atrazine are applied annually to crop fields in the United States alone, and half a million pounds of the herbicide fall to earth in rainfall in the United States, including in areas hundreds of miles from the farmland where it was originally applied, the study says.

“Atrazine can be transported more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) from the point of application via rainfall and, as a result, contaminates otherwise pristine habitats, even in remote areas where it is not used,” the study says.

A perfect storm is brewing for the IPCC

From The Telegraph (UK):

The news from sunny Bali that there is to be an international investigation into the conduct of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and its chairman Dr Rajendra Pachauri would have made front-page headlines a few weeks back. But while Scotland and North America are still swept by blizzards, in their worst winter for decades, there has been something of a lull in the global warming storm – after three months when the IPCC and Dr Pachauri were themselves battered by almost daily blizzards of new scandals and revelations. And one reason for this lull is that the real message of all the scandals has been lost.

The chief defence offered by the warmists to all those revelations centred on the IPCC’s last 2007 report is that they were only a few marginal mistakes scattered through a vast, 3,000-page document. OK, they say, it might have been wrong to predict that the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035; that global warming was about to destroy 40 per cent of the Amazon rainforest and cut African crop yields by 50 per cent; that sea levels were rising dangerously; that hurricanes, droughts and other “extreme weather events” were getting worse. These were a handful of isolated errors in a massive report; behind them the mighty edifice of global warming orthodoxy remains unscathed. The “science is settled”, the “consensus” is intact.

But this completely misses the point. Put the errors together and it can be seen that one after another they tick off all the central, iconic issues of the entire global warming saga. Apart from those non-vanishing polar bears, no fears of climate change have been played on more insistently than these: the destruction of Himalayan glaciers and Amazonian rainforest; famine in Africa; fast-rising sea levels; the threat of hurricanes, droughts, floods and heatwaves all becoming more frequent.

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12 more glaciers that haven’t heard the news about global warming

From I HateTheMedia.com:

The glaciers are melting! The glaciers are melting! The glaciers are…uhhhhh…never mind.

Turns out the IPCC’s chicken little story that all the Himalayan glaciers are melting is just another exaggeration. Or fraud. Take your choice. You know, like the stats coming out of East Anglia CRU. And its claim that Antarctica is melting. And that Greenland’s ice cap is melting. And that sea levels are rising. And that the polar bears are dying. Fact is, some glaciers are retreating, but many others around the world are growing.

“But how is that possible? How can glaciers be growing when the world is warming up like a package of Jiffy-Pop in a microwave?”

Here are a dozen glaciers (or groups of glaciers) around the world that are growing almost as quickly as global warming skepticism.

1. Himalayan glaciers are growing, not shrinking

Things are not as they seemed to be in the IPCC report. Not only are the Himalayan glaciers not shrinking, they’re growing. Discovery reports:

Perched on the soaring Karakoram mountains in the Western Himalayas, a group of some 230 glaciers are bucking the global warming trend. They’re growing. Throughout much of the Tibetan Plateau, high-altitude glaciers are dwindling in the face of rising temperatures. The situation is potentially dire for the hundreds of millions of people living in China, India and throughout southeast Asia who depend on the glaciers for their water supply.

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