Archive for February 9th, 2010

Ecomonic report card by Simon Johnson

| February 9, 2010 | Reply
Ecomonic report card by Simon Johnson

Economist Simon Johnson has just issued a detailed report card of the economic condition of the U.S., as well as many other countries, and it’s not pretty.

Share

Read More

Large and Small

| February 9, 2010 | 1 Reply
Large and Small

I previously posted on the magic of “Power of Ten,” a book that inspired me with images of things both very large and very small. Here’s another wonderful set of images to illustrate the relationships among things that are large and s

Share

Read More

F22 capabilities

| February 9, 2010 | 9 Replies
F22 capabilities

Though I am totally against the current U.S. military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq, I can still appreciate the incredible technical capabilities of U.S. weaponry–in this case, the F22 fighter aircraft. I’ve never before seen aircraft doing many of these maneuvers.

Share

Read More

Warming to Climate Claims

| February 9, 2010 | 11 Replies
Warming to Climate Claims

As Washington D.C. gets record snowfall, climate denialists cackle with glee. It was a cool summer, and now a cold winter. So, they wonder, where is this global warming?

“People,” I want to condescendingly say, “look at the sun.” Weather girls of all genders and persuasions are mentioning that this is the coldest winter in 11 years. Notice that? Are they unaware that there is an 11 year cycle of solar warming and cooling that corresponds to — and can be measured by — sunspots? So it’s like saying with implied importance that this is the coldest month since 12 months ago. The spots are just starting up, much like the days getting longer at the end of December. Here is a nice look at the sunspot phenomenon.

It is intuitively confusing that dark spots mean more heat. But the pair of images here shows visible and ultraviolet views of the same scene. Those dark spots are tunnels into the gamma-hot regions of the sun. Our eyes can only see one octave on the spectrum. Both hotter than blue and cooler than red ranges are invisible. Dark. Red hot is the coldest temperature that gives off light. (Read about Black Body Radiation if you want to know how this is known.)

Another detail that climate denialists get wrong is the meaning of heavy snowfall. If you get heavy precipitation, it implies much moisture aloft. That is, many more megatons of water are evaporated. By heat.

So before you point to a low local current temperature as evidence against global warming, please look at the time scale that climatologists use, like the Temperature record of the past 1000 years, or even for the last century and a half:

Share

Read More