New discoveries in the Valley of the Kings, looted art from Venezuela and evidence that humans were in Central America more than 20,000 years ago are just some of the stories Live Science will be watching out for in 2020.
Tombs of pharaohs and queens in Valley of the Kings
Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, which holds the tomb of King Tut and other Egyptian royalty, divulged several of its secrets in 2019, including a workshop complex, mummification cache, ostraca (pottery with writing on it) and newfound mummies. Excavations were carried out in both the east and west valleys of the Valley of the Kings and was funded in part by media companies that are paying for the right to film the excavations.
Excavations in the east and west valleys of the royal cemetery are ongoing; the artifacts found in 2019 are still being analyzed, and hieroglyphic writing on the ostraca is in the process of being deciphered. With all this work going on, it’s likely that more discoveries will be made in the Valley of the Kings in 2020. Zahi Hawass, the former Egyptian antiquities minister who is leading work in the valley, believes that several tombs built for the pharaohs and their queens have yet to be found.
Smelly problem ahead
The melting of permafrost in the Arctic and sub-Arctic is causing the remains of both humans and animals to thaw and decompose, giving local inhabitants a smelly problem to deal with.
The re-emergence of smallpox and other now-extinct diseases from these corpses is generally regarded by scientists as being extremely unlikely, and the World Health Organization (WHO) says that corpses don’t usually pose a major health problem. Even so, the emerging corpses bring with them some other issues. For instance, the corpses will inevitably smell and, if the dethawing corpses are underneath a building that humans still use, the corpses need to be dug up and re-interred to get rid of the smell. Additionally, if the corpses are near a water supply there is a risk of water becoming contaminated and causing illnesses such as gastroenteritis, according to the WHO.
Sweden is grappling with this problem on a growing scale. Centuries ago, there was a tradition in Sweden where people preferred to be buried under the floors of churches. However, as Earth’s temperature warms, these bodies are starting to thaw and decay. This problem can be exacerbated when churches install modern-day heating equipment that can warm a church more effectively (making it easier for corpses to thaw).
The problems associated with the thawing of long-buried bodies will likely get more attention in 2020 in the Arctic and sub-Arctic.
Archaeological treasure awaits at El-Assasif
In 2019, archaeologists discovered 30 sealed wooden coffins, their mummies still intact, in the ancient necropolis of El-Assasif near Luxor, Egypt. Dating back around 3,000 years, the haul of coffins has been called a “cachette of the priests” because some of the mummies are those of priests.
The decorations on the coffins are well preserved and none of the tombs had been robbed; grave looting in Egypt has been a common occurrence in both ancient and modern times, so to find 30 coffins and their mummies all untouched by grave robbers is extremely rare.
Archaeologists are continuing their excavations at El-Assasif. They are also analyzing the cachette in greater detail, translating the hieroglyphic inscriptions on the coffins and learning more about the mummies within. In 2020, they will likely dig up even more discoveries from this necropolis. Hopefully any new finds will also be untouched by looters.
Lost art of Venezuela
The situation in Venezuela is dire. Lack of food, medicine and rising violence all occurring after the country’s economic collapse has left the country in a terrible state. In 2018, Nicolás Maduro, the country’s president, was re-elected in what the country’s opposition said was a fraudulent vote, leading to a standoff between Maduro and the country’s opposition parties led by Juan Guaidó. The Brookings Institute estimates that more than 4.5 million people have fled Venezuela, a number that may jump to 6 million by the end of 2020.
While the world’s attention has, understandably, being focused on the humanitarian crisis and political strife, there is evidence that Venezuela’s rich historical treasures are being lost. Live Science has monitored large shipments of art leaving Venezuela. Documents from the U.S. Census Agency showed that in 2018 more than $12 million in art and antiques were shipped from Venezuela to the United States; and there are signs that some of this was stolen.
In September 2019, the Associated Press reported that the FBI was investigating stolen art from Venezuela that is being trafficked abroad. Venezuela’s opposition, led by Guaidó, claims that members of Maduro’s government are stealing the country’s art and selling it for their own personal benefit. Whether these claims are true or not is unclear.
In 2020, we can expect to hear more about the loss of Venezuela’s heritage.
Humans in Central America more than 20,000 years ago?
Live Science is aware of new research that suggests humans reached Central America more than 20,000 years ago. This would have occurred at a time when glaciers covered much of North America.
If this research is verified, it would be the oldest evidence for humans south of Alaska in the Americas. The new evidence the scientific team found includes a sizable number of stone tools as well as organic remains found in a cave. Various dating methods are being used to determine the age of the artifacts.
Previously, claims have been made of humans venturing south of Alaska before 20,000 years ago, though these claims have been found to be false or questionable. The scientists of the new study are aware of this and are taking the time to conduct additional fieldwork and analysis before publishing or widely disseminating their results.
If all goes well, this research will be published in a peer-reviewed journal sometime in 2020, and scientists not affiliated with the project will have a chance to evaluate its accuracy.
You would think manmade CO2 output levels must be sky-high, given all the relentless guilt-tripping propaganda we are fed about how humanity is the cause of global warming. The agenda to push AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) or manmade global warming started around the 1980s and has been gaining momentum for decades, fooling many people along the way.
Yet, despite all the publicity it has gotten, it has still failed to make clear a very fundamental point: exactly how much and what percentage of carbon or specifically CO2 (carbon dioxide) does humanity contribute to the atmosphere?
If man is really driving global warming (now conveniently called “climate change”), surely this level must be pretty high or at least significant, right? The answer may shock you … and give new meaning to the term global warming hoax.
Manmade CO2 Output Levels … Straight out of the IPCC’s Mouth
One of the difficult things about ascertaining the truth in the climate change debate is that there are so many different sets of measurements. Which one do you trust? How can you tell the truth when one side uses one set of data to prove its point, and the other side uses another set of data to prove its (diametrically opposed) point?
To bypass this dilemma, we are going to get the figures straight of the horse’s mouth so to speak by using data from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). The IPCC is not a scientific body as you may imagine but rather a political one with a very clear bias towards promoting AGW and climate change alarmism.
It’s their job to push the AGW agenda onto the public, even though they disguise that with claims that they “provide rigorous and balanced scientific information.”
“IPCC is government and not science. And the workers of the IPCC prepare the work in accordance with the rules and procedures established by the IPCC.
“In order to be scientific the scientific method has to be adhered. The use of many scientists to fill important parts of IPCC reports does not mean that everything is science. A report is just a report. In this case, a report from the IPCC. And the IPCC is (inter-) government.
“Scientists involved can produce their own scientific papers about their own specialised part of science, but a small group of writers writes the summaries and the conclusions – for the IPCC. And IPCC is government. …
“The IPCC’s stated mission is not to discover what accounts for climate change, but to assess “the risk of human-induced climate change.”
“Consequently, there is almost no discussion in its lengthy reports of other theories of climate change. Policymakers and journalists took this to mean the AGW theory was the only credible theory of climate change, and the IPCC’s sponsors and spokespersons had no incentive to correct the mistake.”
CO2 in the Atmosphere
Here are the simple facts. Earth’s atmosphere consists of the following gases at the following levels:
Nitrogen (N) – 78%
Oxygen (O) – 21%
Argon (Ar) – 0.9%
Trace Gases – 0.1%
So far, so good. CO2 is a gas in such small concentrations that it hasn’t yet entered the picture. So, the next step is to break down the composition of trace gases (which are also the greenhouse gases) in our atmosphere:
Water Vapor (H2O) – 95% of trace gases / 0.95% of overall atmosphere
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) – 3-4% of trace gases / 0.03 or 0.04% of overall atmosphere
Neon (Ne) – 0.1% of trace gases / 0.001% of overall atmosphere
There are also some gases at tiny concentrations, including helium (He), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and ozone (O3), as well as halogenated gases (CFCs) released by mankind which have damaged ozone.
Water vapor is far and away the largest greenhouse gas, but the IPCC chooses to ignore it! Check out these tables below where you can see that water vapor is excluded from the percentages. The IPCC and other AGW proponents claim they need to exclude water vapor from their calculations because it varies so much from region to region.
Yes, it does vary greatly all over the Earth, but to just exclude the largest greenhouse gas (and a massive driver of temperature too) from your calculations because it’s inconvenient or varies too much is grossly misleading and unscientific.
A pie chart typical of one used by the IPCC and AGW proponents. Water vapor, despite being the overwhelmingly largest greeenhouse and trace gas, is simply ignored and omitted.
Humanity’s Contribution to CO2 Levels
To recap: trace gases are 0.1% of the atmosphere, and carbon dioxide makes up 3-4% of these trace gases, so therefore CO2 is 3-4% of 0.1%. For simplicity’s sake, let’s call it 3%, so CO2 comprises 0.003% of the atmosphere.
That’s pretty damn small, but we can’t stop there, because the next question to ask is: how much of this is caused by human activity? The IPCC has conflicting sets of data here, but both are within a small range of each other, either 3.0% (using the 2007 figures) or 3.6% (using the 2001 figures):
Manmade CO2 output levels (IPCC data from 2001)
Manmade CO2 output levels (IPCC data from AR4, 2007)
No matter which set of data you use, the IPCC data shows that manmade CO2 output levels are ~3%. How do you figure this out? The 2001 data shows the total amount of CO2 going into the atmosphere (119 + 88 + 6.3 = 213.3) and the human portion as 6.3. Divide 6.3 by 213.3 and you get 2.95%.
The 2007 data shows the total amount of CO2 going into the atmosphere (29 + 439 + 332 = 800) and the human portion as 29. Divide 29 by 800 and you get 3.63%.
Manmade CO2: 3% of 3% of 0.1%
So here’s the bottom line. According to the IPCC’s own data, manmade CO2 output levels are 3% of 3% of 0.1% of the total Earth’s atmosphere. That’s 0.000009%! That’s 9 millionths.
CO2 is measured in ppm (parts per million) because it is such a tiny and insignificant gas, yet somehow, the propaganda has been so successful that is has sprouted into what some state is a US$1.5 trillion industry.
The IPCC Can’t Deal with Water Vapor
The IPCC is basically stuck on water vapor. It can’t actually measure it, since the variability across the world is so high, H2O vapor changes so quickly, and it takes place above a variety of different landscapes/topographies. There are too many variables to calculate to produce a good model. So it just shuffles it to the side and states it has no “confidence.”
“Modelling the vertical structure of water vapour is subject to greater uncertainty since the humidity profile is governed by a variety of processes … because of large variability and relatively short data records, confidence in stratospheric H2O vapour trends is low.”
It doesn’t suit the IPCC’s agenda to really dive in and better understand the role of water vapor as the key greenhouse gas driving climate temperature. It’s far easier to just pretend it doesn’t exist and only focus on the tiny amount of CO2 in the atmosphere instead.
Manmade CO2: A Massive Diversion
The idea that manmade CO2 output levels is a big problem, in the scheme of all of Earth’s eco problems, is a giant hoax. It diverts environmentalists’ attention away from the true issues that need addressing. Does it make any logical sense to spend so much money, energy and attention on 0.000009% of CO2, when there are very palpable, tangible and dangerous threats to our environment?
What about geoengineering, the aerial chemtrail spraying of barium, aluminum and strontium all over us, and the flora and fauna of the Earth? What about the release of synthetic self-aware fibers that cause Morgellons’ Disease, in line with the NWO synthetic agenda? What about unstoppable environmental genetic pollution caused by the release of GMOs?
What about the contamination of waterways with industrial chemicals, pesticides like glyphosate and atrazine, poisons like dioxin and DDT, heavy metals and pharmaceutical residues? Why are people wasting their energy on 3% of 3% of 0.1% when we have real MASSIVE ENVIRONMENTAL issues facing us as a species?
The truth is that the green movement has long been hijacked by the very same NWO manipulators who helped to ruin the environment in the first place, through their ownership of oil, chemical and pharmaceutical multinational corporations.
These manipulators rely on the average person being too busy or lazy to check the facts or think critically. They promote scientific illiteracy via their control of the MSM, the educational curriculum and their numerous think tanks.
Finally – if you dare – dig into the birth of the modern environmental movement, and you may be shocked to find how deeply it is steeped in eugenics and depopulation. It’s time to realize that those pushing this gigantic scam aren’t interesting in saving the environment – but rather depopulating it.
SUMMARY: Global warming is a theory with four components:
1. The Earth’s surface temperature is rising because of human activity, particularly industrial production and personal consumption;
2. Weather extremes we now experience are more destructive than in the past because of this warming effect;
3. If this trend is not stopped, the planet will soon be unable to sustain human life as we have known it; and
4. The solution is government management of all human activity, including the elimination of private property and personal freedom.
We reject the theory of anthropogenic (man-made) global warming for three reasons:
1. It is based on junk science and fraud. In other words, it does not exist. The driving force behind this theory comes from politicians, bureaucrats, and those employed by institutions that depend on government funding. All of these benfit from the alleged solution to the alledged problem.
2. The proposed solution requires crushing taxation, confiscation of private property, and denial of freedom-of-choice. This is contrary to The Creed of Freedom, paragraphs 3 and 4.
3. The threat of global warming is the bedrock foundation of almost all programs on behalf of totalitarioan government based on collectivism.
Exposing the Myths
Analysis by G. Edward Griffin
Leaders of the crusade against global-warming have no financial conflict-of-interest because they only care about the environment, but those who challenge their theories do so because they are paid by the fossil-fuel and nuclear-power industries.
ANALYSIS: There is no doubt that the rank-and-file, true believers in global-warming are motivated by a desire to protect the environment, but those at the top are not so naïve. They know that the specter of environmental disaster is a made-up horror story to frighten us into accepting crushing taxes and a global totalitarian system in the name of saving the planet. How do we know that? Because they say so.
Ottmar Edenhoffer, an official at the UN’s IPPC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) was a former co-chair if the IPCC Working Group III and lead author of the IPPC’s Fourth Assessment Report released in 2007. His report concluded:
One must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. … One has to free one’s self from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy…. The climate summit in Cancun at the end of the month is not a climate conference, but one of the largest economic conferences since the Second World War.” (Story) (Cached) (Original in German)
For an eye-opening summary of the meaning of “green” in the environmental movement (it means money), see “Climate Policy as Political Entrepreneurship”, uploaded to the University of Utah website here. (Cached)
MYTH2. Temperatures have risen since 1998, and reports to the contrary are false.
ANALYSIS: One of the most troublesome facts challenging the theory of global warming is that, even according to UN sources and in spite of data manipulation, global temperatures have not risen since 1998. The dire predictions of increasing temperatures simply have not been validated by nature.
By 2014, this was damaging the credibility of the myth makers and causing skepticism in the public mind. Something had to be done to restore confidence in the global-warming narrative − and, with the Paris Climate Summit scheduled to begin in November of 2015, it had to be done fast in order to have an impact on the proceedings there.
In June of that year, an article appeared in Science magazine, written by a nine-man team at the Environmental Information office of the tax-funded National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This article was exactly what was needed. It said that the reported ‘pause’ or ‘slowdown’ in global warming was an error − and it had data and charts to prove it.
Because this article came with the imprimatur of NOAA, it well served the purposes of the Paris Conference. Afterward, however, it was learned that the article was politically inspired, and the authors had violated numerous principles of scientific inquiry. That was the conclusion of a former top scientist at NOAA itself, Dr John Bates who, in 2014, was awarded a gold medal by the Obama administration for his work in setting standards for producing and preserving climate data.
Bates said that all the scientific standards he had helped to establish at NOAA had been violated to produce a politically useful document at the Paris Climate Summit. The lead author of the article, Thomas Karl, had insisted on “decisions and scientific choices that maximized warming and minimized documentation … in an effort to discredit the notion of a global-warming pause, and rushed so that he could time publication to influence national and international deliberations on climate policy.”
Dr. Bates said that the NOAA team used fraudulent data, applied methods of analysis that overstated the speed of warming, relied on software that was known to be inaccurate, never submitted data for verification by others, and failed to archive the data, making it now impossible to examine. In other words, they lied and then destroyed the evidence.
MYTH3. Global warming is caused by pollution and weather-modification programs. Therefore, it IS man-made.
2016 Nov 18 from Nikeros
To Ed Griffin:
You don’t believe that Fukushima, nuclear testing, extensive military operations involving gawd knows what, fracking, aerosol spraying of aluminum, barium, strontium and gawd knows what else worldwide and on and on has no effect on the earths climate? Ok fine. I will say no more.
ANALYSIS: The anthropomorphic mantra of most global-warming proponents is that the “man-made” cause is CO2. Period. They claim that CO2 is the byproduct of industry and consumption and that it produces a “carbon footprint”. Therefore, they seek expanded government power and funding to reduce CO2. That’s the basis for all the carbon-tax and regulatory nonsense. None of these people are talking about taxing or regulating “Fukushima, nuclear testing, extensive military operations, fracking, aerosol spraying of aluminum, barium, strontium and gawd knows what else”. They talk only about CO2, the non-toxic greenhouse gas that does NOT cause global warming. The global-warming hoaxers are very good at lumping together pollution (which is real) and man-made global warming (which is not). They are countng on us to fall for the trick and fail to see that these are two entirely different issues.
In his article, Horgan rightly points out that today’s so-called “science skeptics” are little more than dogmatic tribal cultists (my words, not Horgan’s) who celebrate “skeptical” thinking concerning their selected philosophical targets while vehemently denying anyone’s right to question their own beliefs on things like breast cancer screening, vaccine safety, global warming and genetically engineered foods.
As Horgan eloquently explains in his piece, real skeptics are skeptical of everything, not just selected topics that are targeted by the madness of status quo science crowds (i.e. the “cult of scientism”).
Real skepticism means questioning everything… especially the status quo
A real skeptic, in other words, would bring critical thinking to all of our science narratives and cultural beliefs, including those that cover the origin of the universe (cosmology), the origin of the human species, the nature of consciousness, the long history of indigenous botanical medicine, the cancer industry and mammography, homeopathy, antidepressant drugs, water filters, the existence of God and everything else imaginable. But far too many of today’s infamous “skeptics” (such as Richard Dawkins) are really just cultists who labor under the false banner of “science.” And they’re offensive to real critical thinkers, it turns out.
“I don’t hang out with people who self-identify as capital-S Skeptics. Or Atheists. Or Rationalists,” explains Horgan. “When people like this get together, they become tribal. They pat each other on the back and tell each other how smart they are compared to those outside the tribe. But belonging to a tribe often makes you dumber.”
I’ve seen this myself, on both ends of the medicine spectrum. I’ve seen insanely stupid pharmacology experts swear that statin drugs are such miraculous chemicals that they should be dripped into the public water supply. But I’ve also seen “raw foodies” at festivals swearing that their “water vortexer machines” could levitate water in defiance of the laws of gravity.
In both cases, my critical thinking alarms go haywire, and I shake my head in disbelief that so many people are so gullible, regardless of their level of academic education or technical mastery of certain subjects. A highly trained doctor with an IQ of 200 can be just as functionally stupid as a high school dropout, I’ve observed. In fact, when it comes to medicine and health, many so-called “experts” are so ignorant of reality that they almost seem cognitively retarded.
My experience as a food research scientist has taught me to distrust everything by default
As a food scientist and lab science director of CWC Labs where I conduct food analysis via ICP-MS, LC/MS-TOF and other instruments, I’ve become even more skeptical of the mainstream natural products industry over the last few years.
Take note of the massive scam of commercial almond milk sold in grocery stores. Such products contain almost no almonds at all. Instead, they’re thickened with carageenan and made to look milky white by the addition of an inorganic mineral compound called calcium carbonate — ground up rocks! This calcium carbonate, when consumed in large quantities, can cause extreme bone pain, kidney calcification and may even contribute to the calcification of arteries. Yet it’s added to a so-called “natural” health product that people are drinking in huge quantities while thinking they’re being smart about their health. Truth be told, you’d be far better off drinking raw, unpasteurized cow’s milk than commercial almond milk.
I’ve also seen so much pollution in “natural” products — including toxic heavy metals and alarming quantities of pesticides and herbicides in supposedly “clean” products — that I’ve reached the point where my own food manufacturing operation now rejects 80% of the raw material lots we test. (See my upcoming book Food Forensics for detailed ICP-MS analysis revealing the heavy metals concentrations in over 800 foods, supplements and spices.)
Similarly, I find myself rejecting 80% of the total B.S. science nonsense reported by the scientifically illiterate mainstream media… (and sometimes even the “science” media). I’ve literally seen seemingly credible reports in the mainstream media that claim the most ludicrous science nonsense, including claims that cars can be “powered” by air and that cell phones can be “powered” by water. The air powered cars stories always neglect to mention that the air must be pressurized by some other energy source; usually coal-generated electricity that’s used to power the compressors in the first place.
I’ve also seen the Associated Press falsely report that all mercury has been removed from all vaccines in America (blatantly false), and I’ve seen the obedient Monsanto-puppet media (i.e. Forbes.com, a propaganda rag steeped in utterly false journalism) report ridiculous claims such as asserting that glyphosate disintegrates quickly in the food supply. In truth, this cancer-causing weed killer survives food processing and human digestion, showing up in both urine and breast milk, fully intact in its original molecular form.
So why is there no skepticism among “skeptics” about the food chain persistence of pesticides? The false diagnosis hoax of mammography? The lunatic quack medicine diagnosis of “psychiatric disorders” that are treated with mind-bending psychiatric drugs? Or even the scientifically proven fact that some children are seriously harmed by certain vaccines, most notably HPV vaccines?
As Horgan writes in Scientific American:
“The Science Delusion” is common among Capital-S Skeptics. You don’t apply your skepticism equally. You are extremely critical of belief in God, ghosts, heaven, ESP, astrology, homeopathy and Bigfoot. You also attack disbelief in global warming, vaccines and genetically modified food… Meanwhile, you neglect what I call hard targets. These are dubious and even harmful claims promoted by major scientists and institutions. In the rest of this talk, I’ll give you examples of hard targets from physics, medicine and biology. I’ll wrap up with a rant about war, the hardest target of all.
Real scientists reject the cult of scientism
What Horgan is doing is, dare we say, exercising REAL scientific skepticism. He’s refusing to sign up for the “cult of scientism” that all the other closed-minded skeptics obediently follow as their dogmatic mental prison.
Horgan understands that legitimate science is a process, not a belief system. “Science” isn’t belief in vaccines, GMOs, chemotherapy and global warming. Those are conclusions, not processes. Real science is a process of discovery; and that process must be subjected to questioning and criticism, or it isn’t science at all.
Let me repeat that for emphasis: Real science is a PROCESS, not a set of conclusions. Any “scientific” belief system which rejects critical questioning isn’t based in real science at all. It’s just dogma.
This explains why the entire vaccine industry — as it is fraudulently promoted today — isn’t scientific at all. Vaccine propaganda is founded in a dogmatic belief system that demands absolute obedience to political vaccine narratives while rejecting even the slightest questions or criticisms about vaccine ingredients, vaccine safety, vaccine adverse events or vaccine efficacy.
For example, merely asking the question of why flu shots still contain over 50,000 ppb mercury — that’s over 25,000 times the EPA limit of mercury in drinking water — earns you widespread ridicule and condemnation. And yet the mercury is still being injected into children. Yet the entire vaccine propaganda establishment rejects even the hint of discussion of mercury in vaccines, pretending it doesn’t exist.
The vaccine establishment, as Natural News readers well know, is practicing delusional thinking masquerading as science. It’s just as delusional as so-called “psychic surgeons” who claim to pull diseased liver parts out of a patient’s body (which later turn out to be chicken livers, go figure…). Any real skeptic, upon observing the quackery, propaganda and blatant deception of the vaccine industry, would have to conclude that the way vaccines are formulated, approved and promoted today makes a mockery of science.
More “science” B.S. is readily found in the fields of physics and medicine, too
Speaking on the subject of computing and AI systems, Horgan explains, “The Singularity is an apocalyptic cult, with science substituted for God. When high-status scientists promote flaky ideas like the Singularity and multiverse, they hurt science. They undermine its credibility on issues like global warming.”
Of course, Horgan may not yet understand that belief in man-made global warming as the primary cause for rising CO2 levels is also based on a politicized science cult. But that’s not even the point. I don’t expect other scientists to arrive at the same conclusions I’ve reached. What I do expect, however, is that scientists should honor the process of critical scientific thinking. If they honor the process, they will eventually reach the correct conclusions on subjects such as man-made global warming, vaccine safety problems, the total con job of statin drugs and so on.
On medicine, Horgan nails it. He gets the fact that today’s medical screening system is largely a fraud:
Over the past half-century, physicians and hospitals have introduced increasingly sophisticated, expensive tests. They assure us that early detection of disease will lead to better health.
But tests often do more harm than good. For every woman whose life is extended because a mammogram detected a tumor, up to 33 receive unnecessary treatment, including biopsies, surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. For men diagnosed with prostate cancer after a PSA test, the ratio is 47 to one. Similar data are emerging on colonoscopies and other tests.
He’s also right on the mark when it comes to psychiatric drugs and their fraudulent marketing:
Over the last few decades, American psychiatry has morphed into a marketing branch of Big Pharma. I started critiquing medications for mental illness more than 20 years ago, pointing out that antidepressants like Prozac are scarcely more effective than placebos.
In retrospect, my criticism was too mild. Psychiatric drugs help some people in the short term, but over time, in the aggregate, they make people sicker.
He also exposes the total fraud of so-called “gene discoveries” that ridiculously claim genes have been discovered for things like gay-ness or intelligence:
Another hard target that needs your attention is behavioral genetics, which seeks the genes that make us tick. I call it gene-whiz science, because the media and the public love it.
Over the past several decades, geneticists have announced the discovery of “genes for” virtually every trait or disorder. We’ve had the God gene, gay gene, alcoholism gene, warrior gene, liberal gene, intelligence gene, schizophrenia gene, and on and on.
None of these linkages of single genes to complex traits or disorders has been confirmed. None!
Much of what you’re told today under the banner of “science” is complete bulls–t
Horgan has come to the same conclusion that I’ve reached through a different path: Much of what we are taught today under the banner of “science” is complete bunk. Some of it is sheer hucksterism, and a lot of it qualifies as criminal fraud.
At the top of that list of science frauds is, of course, vaccines. As I’ve exhaustively documented here on Natural News, many popular vaccines (flu shots, measles, mumps) simply don’t work at all. Shockingly, outright admissions of a complete lack of scientific testing of the efficacy of such vaccines is admitted on their insert sheets. The Flulaval vaccine insert sheet, for example, admits there are “No controlled trials demonstrating a decrease in influenza” among people being injected with the vaccine.
Yet despite these extraordinary admissions of lack of efficacy, vaccine research fraud and the known toxicity of vaccine ingredients (which still include formaldehyde, mercury, aluminum and MSG), the systematic rejection of such evidence by vaccine promoting “science skeptics” borders on the fringe of mental illness. These are not scientists at all… they are con artists and criminals — like Poul Thorsen, a fugitive from justice who was once a CDC researcher — pretending to be scientists.
As a real scientist, I’ve dared to ask 21 questions we’re never allowed to ask about vaccines. Such questions are based on reason and rationality. They include commonsense questions such as, “If measles vaccines confer measles immunity, then why do already-vaccinated children have anything to fear from a measles outbreak?”
It is notable that the entire vaccine establishment not only refuses to answer such questions; they consider the mere act of questioning vaccine dogma to be blasphemy. The demand for absolute obedience to the false narratives surrounding vaccines has reached such a fever pitch that anyone can now see it’s no longer based in science at all. It is a kind of religious fervor put on by deranged zealots who claim an intellectual monopoly over all things related to vaccines. This phenomenon is, in a very real way, a “scientific dictatorship” — an apt oxymoron to describe today’s juxtaposition of conformist demands and so-called “scientific evidence.”
Hint: If you aren’t allowed to ask questions about the evidence, it isn’t evidence at all. It’s dogma, plain and simple. Vaccine proponents, as they operate today, are faith-based dogmatists who don’t need any legitimate evidence because they BELIEVE in vaccines. Their belief is so strong that it outweighs all evidence contrary to their current beliefs. And in case you didn’t notice, what I’ve just described here is a cult, not a science.
Vaccine “science” is a massive con job
The other huge con job found in vaccines is described thusly: Vaccines only “work” on those who don’t need them. In other words, when vaccines do work, they do so by initiating an immune response to a weakened virus that’s introduced into the body. This response requires an active and complex immune system that’s functioning well… the same kind of immune system, in other words, that could ward off an infection of a live virus encountered in the wild.
Meanwhile, people who have suppressed immune systems and are therefore extremely vulnerable to infections in the wild also happen to have extremely poor (and sometimes completely nullified) responses to vaccines. They don’t build antibodies, in other words, so the vaccines don’t work for them (they are non-efficacious).
In order to make vaccines “work” better on those with weakened immune systems, vaccine manufacturers add adjuvant chemicals that are irritants which cause excessive inflammation in the hope of eliciting a stronger immune response. While this may help some people, it also carries a very real risk of causing inflammatory damage to the neurology of some children who receive these vaccines. The results, as borne out by the vaccine adverse events databases and Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, is a growing number of children who are maimed, neurological damaged, put into comas or even killed by vaccines.
The entire “skeptics” cult of modern medicine denies any of this is happening, and that’s one reason why the skeptics are increasingly seen as high-functioning idiots who are possibly vaccine damaged themselves. Zealotous hate-bloggers like Doctor David Gorski — a psychopathic, mentally ill vaccine promoter who also carries out cancer surgery on African-American victims in Detroit — now characterize the skeptics cult, a cabal of mentally deranged lunatics and gay sex fetish seekers like James Randi who was caught on tape soliciting sex from a young man.
Richard Dawkins, for his part, is also an anti-consciousness cultist who believes in the irrational dualism that no other humans on this planet are conscious beings other than himself. Everybody else, he claims, is an unconscious biological robot suffering under the illusion of self awareness.
Meet three real scientists we need to empower to ask more questions of the scientific establishment
What kind of people do we really need to see more of in the realm of scientific skepticism? People like Rupert Sheldrake, author of Science Set Free. Sheldrake’s work is transformative, as it challenges the underlying non-scientific assumptions of modern science.
We also need more people like Gilbert Welch, author of Less Medicine, More Health. This book challenges the seven false assumptions of modern medicine.
The other thing we need, quite frankly, is independent scientists like myself who are conducting cutting edge, truly independent science, without any financial ties to governments, corporations or academia. My science lab, which has now passed our ISO 17025 accreditation audit, is free to pursue precisely the kind of scientific analysis of food and medicine that is blackballed or censored in the government-funded scientific community. Other scientists would lose their jobs if they pursued the kind of science I’m pursuing on a daily basis with absolute freedom.
Notably, this makes me a rare practitioner of real, independent science and a protector of the very kind of independent skepticism and scientific analysis that should be embraced by any system of knowledge that’s based on legitimate science. Yet the science I’m conducting is widely considered a threat to the scientific establishment, precisely because I’m willing to analyze vaccines for heavy metals and organic chemicals, for example. Such research is simply not allowed by the cult of scientism (the vaccine zealots) because they depend on widespread ignorance of vaccine composition to continue parlaying their fraudulent lies about vaccine safety.
I honor scientists who pursue a rigorous process of critical thinking… and I despise obedient status quo cultists
John Horgan might not yet be aware of the full story on vaccines, so he might disagree with me on such conclusions. But that’s not the point. I honor Horgan’s commitment to asking big questions. In fact, I honor those who vehemently disagree with me as long as they are following a process of authentic inquiry and open-minded skepticism.
What I despise is science cultists, dogmatic science propagandists and the worship of the “high priests” of science such as Neil DeGrasse Tyson, who can only be described as a “sciency” sleight-of-mind huckster who has more in common with stage illusionist David Copperfield than, say, Richard Feynman.
Tyson, like Dawkins, is a cultist. He has zero intellectual integrity and has sold out to the tribal dogmatists who spin tall tales of irrational mysticism that currently pass for “accepted science.”
For my part, I don’t claim to have all the answers — no human mind can possibly dare to claim a full understanding of the mysteries of nature (or the mind of God, for that matter). But as a real scientist, I’m willing to skeptically explore the evidence on just about anything. I don’t reject entire fields of scientific inquiry merely because they are taboo. It doesn’t mean I’m a sucker for silly claims, just that I’m intelligent and humble enough to realize that nature is far more mysterious than any human mind can possibly grasp. And we have much more to learn… many more scientific discoveries to make in the years ahead.
For example, psychic phenomena are often called “paranormal.” But what if they are so commonplace that they’re actually normal? Why can’t we study things like pets somehow anticipating the random arrivals of their owners many minutes in advance? Or mothers having a seemingly intuitive emotional connection to their children even when separated by distance? Why can’t we study dream premonition? Consciousness after biological death? Or even the possibility that the brain is a “quantum antenna” that can receive information transmitted from other conscious sources, transmitted by a quantum entanglement mechanism that Einstein described as “spooky action at a distance?”
If we are true scientists, we must at least BE CURIOUS about the nature of the universe and the apparent consciousness we seem to experience inside that universe. The minute we lose curiosity and decide we have all the answers, we cease being scientists at all. At that point, we just become mentally incapacitated dogmatic fools… like Dawkins and Randi, two people whom history will judge as being not just unwise hucksters, but even for slowing the progress of human knowledge into realms of understanding that are viciously attacked by “skeptics” today.
I often wonder just how many people have died needlessly due to the malicious “skepticism” of info-terrorist David Gorski or the Quackwatch propagandist Stephen Barrett. How many cases of cancer could have been prevented or reversed by natural and complementary medicine? How many studies might have been conducted in the pursuit of natural cures if not for the vicious, aggressive assaults on scientific curiosity being waged by “cult of scientism” intellectual bigots?
We’ll never know the answer to that question, but at least a few people like John Horgan are willing to start asking some legitimate questions about the false assumptions of “skeptics.” Have no doubt that Horgan himself will be maliciously slandered, attacked, defamed, censored and lied about for daring to ask such questions. The one thing today’s bulls–t scientific establishment cannot tolerate is actual skepticism. It threatens the cultist beliefs of the faithful “scientism” worshippers, you see…
California’s first significant snow storm of 2014 hit the Sierras on Wednesday and Thursday, dumping up to 2 feet of snow, with a melted water equivalent of up to two inches. However, this modest snowstorm was not enough to keep the Sierra snowpack from recording its lowest snow amounts in more than 50 years of record keeping during Thursday’s Sierra Snow Survey. The survey found a snow pack that was only 12% of normal for this time of year. Until Thursday, the lowest statewide snowpack measurement at this time of year was 21% of average, in 1991 and 1963, according to the Los Angeles Times. Since snowpack in the Sierras forms a crucial source of water for California, the dismal snow survey results are a huge concern.
Figure 1. Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Survey Program for the Department of Water Resources, walks leaves a snow covered meadow after the second snow survey of the year near Echo Summit, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014. Despite the overnight snow storm the survey showed the snow depth at 12.4 inches with a water content of only 1.4 inches for this location at this time of the year. Gehrke said that while the recent snow fall will help, it is not enough to impact the water supply.(AP Photo)
The forecast: little drought relief in sight
One of the most persistent and intense ridges of high pressure ever recorded in North America has been anchored over the West Coast since December 2012. While the ridge has occasionally broken down and allowed low pressure systems to leak though, these storms have mostly brought spotty and meager precipitation to California, resulting in California’s driest year on record during 2013. January 2014 could well be its driest January on record. The ridge inevitably builds back after each storm, clamping down on any moisture reaching the state. Since rain-bearing low pressure systems tend to travel along the axis of the jet stream, these storms are being carried along the axis of the ridge, well to the north of California and into Southeast Alaska, leaving California exceptionally dry. The latest runs of the GFS and European models show that the ridge is now building back, and it appears likely that California will see no significant precipitation until at least February 7. A weak upper level low will move along the coast on Sunday and spread some light rain along the immediate coast, but this precipitation will generally be less than 0.25″–too little to have any significant impact on the drought. The ridge will not be as intense when it builds back, though, which gives me some hope that a low pressure system will be able to break the ridge by mid-February and bring the most significant rains of the winter rainy season to California.
Worst California drought in 500 years?
UC Berkeley paleoclimatologist B. Lynn Ingram, author of “The West Without Water: What Past Floods, Droughts, and Other Climatic Clues Tell Us About Tomorrow”, said in an interview, “this could potentially be the driest water year in 500 years.” Her research on tree rings shows that California has not experienced such an extreme drought since 1580. “If you go back thousands of years, you see that droughts can go on for years if not decades, and there were some dry periods that lasted over a century, like during the Medieval period and the middle Holocene. The 20th century was unusually mild here, in the sense that the droughts weren’t as severe as in the past. It was a wetter century, and a lot of our development has been based on that.” It’s no wonder, then, that the overall agricultural impact of the drought could reach $1 billion this year, according to the Fresno-based Westlands Water District.
California’s drought woes are part of an on-going 14-year Western U.S. drought that began in 2000, and peaked between 2000 – 2004. A 2012 study titled, Reduction in carbon uptake during turn of the century drought in western North America, found that the 2000 – 2004 drought was the most severe Western North America event of its kind since the last mega drought over 800 years ago, during the years 1146 – 1151. The paper analyzed the latest generation of climate models used for the 2013 IPCC report, which project that the weather conditions that spawned the 2000 – 2004 drought will be the new normal in the Western U.S. by 2030, and will be considered extremely wet by the year 2100. If these dire predictions of a coming “megadrought” are anywhere close to correct, it will be extremely challenging for the Southwest U.S. to support a growing population in the coming decades.
Megadroughts in the Western U.S. can develop from natural causes, as well, and the current pattern of cooler than average ocean temperatures in the Eastern Pacific and warmer than average ocean temperatures in the Atlantic increase the odds of drought conditions like the ones we have seen during the current megadrought. Edward Cook, director of the Tree Ring Laboratory at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, N.Y., said at a presentation last month at the American Geophysical Union meeting that tree ring data show that the area of the West that was affected by severe drought in the Medieval period was much higher and much longer than the current drought. It is “indeed pretty scary,” Cook said. “One lasted 29 years. One lasted 28 years. They span the entire continental United States.” Two megadroughts in the Sierra Nevada of California lasted between 100 and 200 years. Bobby Magill at Climate Center has more on Dr. Cook’s presentation in a post, Is the West’s Dry Spell Really a Megadrought?
Figure 3. Normalized precipitation over Western North America (five-year mean) from 22 climate models used to formulate the 2013 IPCC report, as summarized by Schwalm et al., 2012, Reduction in carbon uptake during turn of the century drought in western North America. The horizontal line marks the precipitation level of the 2000 – 2004 drought, the worst of the past 800 years. Droughts of this intensity are predicted to be the new normal by 2030, and will be considered an outlier of extreme wetness by 2100. The paper states: “This impending drydown of western North America is consistent with present trends in snowpack decline as well as expected in-creases in aridity and extreme climate events,including drought, and is driven by anthropogenically forced increases in temperature with coincident increases in evapotranspiration and decreases in soil moisture. Although regional precipitation patterns are difficult to forecast, climate models tend to underestimate the extent and severity of drought relative to available observations. As such, actual reductions in precipitation may be greater than shown. Forecasted precipitation patterns are consistent with a probable twenty-first century megadrought.” Image credit: Schwalm et al., 2012, Reduction in carbon uptake during turn of the century drought in western North America, Nature Geoscience 5, 551-555, Published online 29 JULY 2012, DOI: 10.1038/NGEO1529, www.nature.com/naturegeoscience.
If There’s Global Warming…Why Is It So Cold?
It’s been top-ten coldest January on record in the Upper Midwest, and much colder than average over much of the Eastern U.S. However, the that isn’t the case over other portions of the globe, including the Western U.S. and Alaska. Wunderground’s weather historian Christopher C. Burt analyzes the situation in his latest post, How Cold has this January been in the U.S.? He concludes, “this January’s average temperature nationally has probably been close to normal since the western half of the nation has been almost as much above average as the eastern half was below average. The only region that will most likely have experienced a TOP 10 coldest January will be the Upper Midwest.” In the U.S., only four stations set all-time low minimum temperature records in January, compared to 34 that set all-time high maximum temperature records. I’ve been monitoring global temperatures this month, and it appears likely that January will rank between the 5th and 15th warmest January since record keeping began in 1880. Of particular note were the amazingly warm January temperatures in the Balkans. According to weather record researcher Maximiliano Herrera, “over 90% of all stations in the Balkans from Slovenia to Croatia to Bosnia to Serbia To Montenegro to Kosovo etc., have DESTROYED their previous record of warmest January ever (many locations have 100 – 200 years of data.) In many cases the monthly temperatures were 7 – 9°C (13 – 16°F) above average, and the new records were 3 – 4°C above the previous record. This is for THOUSANDS of stations, almost all of them. In Slovenia, for example, Mount Kredarica is the only station in the whole country not to have set its warmest January on record.”
Video 1. If There’s Global Warming … Why Is It So Cold? The latest video from climate videographer Peter Sinclair on the Yale Climate Forum website demonstrates that while it was a very cold January in the Midwest, this has been counterbalanced by record warmth over the Western U.S. and Alaska, caused by an unusually extreme kink in the jet stream.
Links Another Unexpected Disaster That Was Well Forecast. Based in Atlanta, TWC’s Bryan Norcross concludes that “WARM GROUND + VERY COLD AIR + SNOW + WORKDAY = CHAOS. If the decision-makers understood the formula above, this information should have been sufficient to trigger a proper response.”
A small British company has produced the first “petrol from air” using a revolutionary technology that promises to solve the energy crisis as well as helping to curb global warming by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Air Fuel Synthesis in Stockton-on-Tees has produced five litres of petrol since August when it switched on a small refinery that manufactures gasoline from carbon dioxide and water vapour.
The company hopes that within two years it will build a larger, commercial-scale plant capable of producing a ton of petrol a day. It also plans to produce green aviation fuel to make airline travel more carbon-neutral.
Tim Fox, head of energy and the environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London, said: “It sounds too good to be true, but it is true. They are doing it and I’ve been up there myself and seen it. The innovation is that they have made it happen as a process. It’s a small pilot plant capturing air and extracting CO2 from it based on well known principles. It uses well-known and well-established components but what is exciting is that they have put the whole thing together and shown that it can work.”
Although the process is still in the early developmental stages and needs to take electricity from the national grid to work, the company believes it will eventually be possible to use power from renewable sources such as wind farms or tidal barrages.
“We’ve taken carbon dioxide from air and hydrogen from water and turned these elements into petrol,” said Peter Harrison, the company’s chief executive, who revealed the breakthrough at a conference at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London.
“There’s nobody else doing it in this country or indeed overseas as far as we know. It looks and smells like petrol but it’s a much cleaner and clearer product than petrol derived from fossil oil,” Mr Harrison told The Independent.
“We don’t have any of the additives and nasty bits found in conventional petrol, and yet our fuel can be used in existing engines,” he said.
“It means that people could go on to a garage forecourt and put our product into their car without having to install batteries or adapt the vehicle for fuel cells or having hydrogen tanks fitted. It means that the existing infrastructure for transport can be used,” Mr Harrison said.
Being able to capture carbon dioxide from the air, and effectively remove the principal industrial greenhouse gas resulting from the burning of fossil fuels such as oil and coal, has been the holy grail of the emerging green economy.
Using the extracted carbon dioxide to make petrol that can be stored, transported and used as fuel for existing engines takes the idea one step further. It could transform the environmental and economic landscape of Britain, Mr Harrison explained.
“We are converting renewable electricity into a more versatile, useable and storable form of energy, namely liquid transport fuels. We think that by the end of 2014, provided we can get the funding going, we can be producing petrol using renewable energy and doing it on a commercial basis,” he said.
“We ought to be aiming for a refinery-scale operation within the next 15 years. The issue is making sure the UK is in a good place to be able to set up and establish all the manufacturing processes that this technology requires. You have the potential to change the economics of a country if you can make your own fuel,” he said.
The initial plan is to produce petrol that can be blended with conventional fuel, which would suit the high-performance fuels needed in motor sports. The technology is also ideal for remote communities that have abundant sources of renewable electricity, such solar energy, wind turbines or wave energy, but little in the way of storing it, Mr Harrison said.
“We’re talking to a number of island communities around the world and other niche markets to help solve their energy problems.
“You’re in a market place where the only way is up for the price of fossil oil and at some point there will be a crossover where our fuel becomes cheaper,” he said.
Although the prototype system is designed to extract carbon dioxide from the air, this part of the process is still too inefficient to allow a commercial-scale operation.
The company can and has used carbon dioxide extracted from air to make petrol, but it is also using industrial sources of carbon dioxide until it is able to improve the performance of “carbon capture”.
Other companies are working on ways of improving the technology of carbon capture, which is considered far too costly to be commercially viable as it costs up to £400 for capturing one ton of carbon dioxide.
However, Professor Klaus Lackner of Columbia University in New York said that the high costs of any new technology always fall dramatically.
“I bought my first CD in the 1980s and it cost $20 but now you can make one for less than 10 cents. The cost of a light bulb has fallen 7,000-fold during the past century,” Professor Lackner said.
Russia hints plans to quit Kyoto Protocol October 18, 2012 Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev Enlarge Russia on Thursday hinted that it may refuse to sign up to a new round of targeted carbon cuts that could see the Kyoto environmental protection treaty extended beyond its end of 2012 expiry date. “One has to admit that we never got any real commercial gain from the Kyoto Protocol,” news agencies quoted Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, pictured on October 12, as telling a government meeting. Russia on Thursday hinted that it may refuse to sign up to a new round of targeted carbon cuts that could see the Kyoto environmental protection treaty extended beyond its end of 2012 expiry date.
“One has to admit that we never got any real commercial gain from the Kyoto Protocol,” news agencies quoted Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev as telling a government meeting. “That does not mean that we have to try and drag it (the treaty) out any further,” Medvedev added. European diplomats at the May G8 summit in France said that Russia along with Japan and Canada had confirmed plans not to join the second round of carbon cuts. Russia ratified the treaty in 2004. It has since argued that its terms harm developing nations. Medvedev noted that he had said on repeated occasions in the past that “if the world community fails to agree on Kyoto, we would wave it goodbye.” He said he was thinking of extending the treaty’s terms with EU nations alone. “But considering our uneasy relations with the European Union, I am not sure how likely this scenario will be,” he said. A range of EU nations are probing Russian energy natural gas giant Gazprom for price-fixing and other unfair practices under its new Energy Charter Treaty. Medvedev did not explain his reasoning beyond the mention of Russia’s failure to tap into the profits it could have earned had it sold other nations unused carbon emission credits from its domestic producers. (c) 2012 AFP
Extraordinary melting of sea ice in the Arctic this summer has shattered the all-time low sea ice extent record set in September 2007, and sea ice continues to decline far below what has ever been observed. The new sea ice record was set on August 26, a full three weeks before the usual end of the melting season, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Every major scientific institution that tracks Arctic sea ice agrees that new records for low ice area, extent, and volume have been set. These organizations include the University of Washington Polar Science Center (a new record for low ice volume), the Nansen Environmental & Remote Sensing Center in Norway, and the University of Illinois Cryosphere Today. A comprehensive collection of sea ice graphs shows the full story. Satellite records of sea ice extent date back to 1979, though a 2011 study by Kinnard et al. shows that the Arctic hasn’t seen a melt like this for at least 1,450 years (see a more detailed article on this over at skepticalscience.com.) The latest September 5, 2012 extent of 3.5 million square kilometers is approximately a 50% reduction in the area of Arctic covered by sea ice, compared to the average from 1979 – 2000. The ice continues to melt, and has not reached the low for this year yet.
Figure 2. Sea ice extent on September 5, 2012, showed that half of the polar ice cap was missing, compared to the average from 1979 – 2000. Image credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center.
Why the Arctic sea ice is important
Arctic sea ice is an important component of the global climate system. The polar ice caps help to regulate global temperature by reflecting sunlight back into space. White snow and ice at the poles reflects sunlight, but dark ocean absorbs it. Replacing bright sea ice with dark ocean is a recipe for more and faster global warming. The Autumn air temperature over the Arctic has increased by 4 – 6°F in the past decade, and we could already be seeing the impacts of this warming in the mid-latitudes, by an increase in extreme weather events. Another non-trivial impact of the absence of sea ice is increased melting in Greenland. We already saw an unprecedented melting event in Greenland this year, and as warming continues, the likelihood of these events increase.
Huge storm pummels Alaska
A massive low pressure system with a central pressure of 970 mb swept through Alaska on Tuesday, generating hurricane-force wind gusts near Anchorage, Alaska that knocked out power to 55,000 homes. Mighty Alaskan storms like this are common in winter, but rare in summer and early fall. The National Weather Service in Anchorage said in their Wednesday forecast discussion that the forecast wind speeds from this storm were incredibly strong for this time of year–four to six standard anomalies above normal. A four-standard anomaly event occurs once every 43 years, and a five-standard anomaly event is a 1-in-4800 year event. However, a meteorologist I heard from who lives in the Anchorage area characterized the wind damage that actually occurred as a 1-in-10 year event. A few maximum wind gusts recorded on Tuesday during the storm:
The storm has weakened to a central pressure of 988 mb today, and is located just north of Alaska. The storm is predicted to bring strong winds of 25 – 35 mph and large waves to the edge of the record-thin and record-small Arctic ice cap, and may add to the unprecedented decline in Arctic sea ice being observed this summer.
Figure 5. An unusually strong storm formed off the coast of Alaska on August 5 and tracked into the center of the Arctic Ocean, where it slowly dissipated over the next several days. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color mosaic image on Aug. 6, 2012. The center of the storm at that date was located in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. Image credit: NASA.
Arctic storms may be increasing due to climate change
This week’s Alaskan storm is the second unusually strong low pressure system to affect the Arctic in the past month. On August 4 – 8, a mighty storm with a central pressure of 963 mb raged through the Arctic, bringing strong winds that helped scatter and break up Arctic sea ice. According to a detailed post at NASA Earth Observatory, that storm was in the top 3 percent for strongest storms ever recorded north of 70 degrees latitude. A study of long-term Arctic cyclone trends authored by a team led by John Walsh and Xiangdong Zhang of the University of Alaska Fairbanks found that number and intensity of Arctic cyclones has increased during the second half of the twentieth century, particularly during the summer. Dr. Zhang explained that climate change has caused sea ice to retreat markedly in recent decades and has also warmed Arctic Ocean temperatures. Such changes may be providing more energy and moisture to support cyclone development and persistence. The strong storms of this week and a month ago would have had far less impact on the ice just a decade ago, when the sea ice was much thicker and more extensive.
A sea ice decline double-whammy
The monster Arctic storms like we’ve seen this year have sped up the rate of sea ice loss, but increased water temperatures and air temperatures due to human-caused global warming are the dominant reasons for the record melting of the Arctic sea ice. A July 2012 study by Day et al. found that the most influential of the possible natural influences on sea ice loss was the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO). The AMO has two phases, negative (cold) and positive (warm), which impact Arctic sea ice. The negative phase tends to create sea surface temperatures in the far north Atlantic that are colder than average. In this study, the AMO only accounted for 5% – 31% of the observed September sea ice decline since 1979. The scientists concluded that given the lack of evidence that natural forces were controlling sea ice fluctuations, the majority of sea ice decline we’ve seen during the 1953 – 2010 period was due to human causes.
Last month, the global average temperature climbed to the second highest for May on record since 1880, according to U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) records.
Much of the world, including nearly all of Europe, Asia, northern Africa, most of North America and southern Greenland experienced above average May temperatures. In fact, last month wrapped up the warmest spring on record for the continental U.S., NOAA records show.
The global May record included the combined global land and ocean average surface temperatures for the month, which 1.19 degrees Fahrenheit (0.66 degrees Celsius) above the 20th-century average of 58.5 F (14.8 C). This record was beat only in 2010, when the global average was 1.24 F (0.69 C) above the 20th-century average.
The Northern Hemisphere saw its warmest May on record — 1.53 F, or 0.85 C above average — while the Southern Hemisphere’s May ranked ninth warmest among all Mays on record, at 0.85 F (0.47 C) above average.
Of course, it wasn’t unusually warm everywhere. Australia, Alaska and parts of the western U.S.-Canadian border were notably cooler than average.
Snow cover on the Northern Hemisphere was significantly below average in May, according to NOAA records.
Globally, this spring ranked as the fourth warmest. Meanwhile, May brought a slew of temperature records to the continental U.S. after an unusually warm spring and mild winter.
Because of natural fluctuations in weather, climate scientists are loath to connect events that occur over a short-time frame, from a strong storm to an unusual warm spring, to climate change. However, the warming effect of humans’ greenhouse gas emissions forms a backdrop for the weather the world is experiencing and shows up as a longer-term trend. It is not a coincidence that the first decade of this century was the warmest on record, according to NOAA’s State of Climate in 2010 report.
Cherry blossoms on March 4, a sign of early spring in Brooklyn.
CREDIT: Wynne Parry
For parts of North America, this winter was the winter that nearly wasn’t.
January ranked as the fourth-warmest for the 48 U.S. states on record since 1895. December, too, was above average, although not as significantly. The final analysis for February is not yet in, but weather watchers expect last month to rank above average temperature-wise as well.
Of course, this year hasn’t brought early beach weather for everyone; just ask residents of Alaska and Europe, where a frigid cold snap is blamed for hundreds of deaths. And the warmth has been blamed for contributing to the slew of devastating tornadoes that hit the Midwest and southern U.S. on Friday (March 2).
While scientists have said that global warming willcause an uptick in extreme weather, they are hesitant to link any one event or even an unusual season to climate change. Even so, they say, global warming may play a role in the weird winter weather.
The jet stream
The key to understanding the unusually warm winter lies in the jet stream. It is made up of high-altitude, westerly winds. Its polar branch, the one important for determining winter weather, travels over the mid-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere in winter, according to Jeff Masters, director of meteorology at the weather service and news site Weather Underground.
The polar jet stream divides cold Arctic air to the north from warmer air to the south. This year, meteorologists say, the jet stream has kept the cold air bottled up farther north than usual.
As a result, warmer-than-usual temperatures this year have graced much of the United States, particularly in New England, the Great Lakes and the Upper Plains, according to Mark Paquette, a meteorologist with AccuWeather.com. Southern Canada, too, has gotten its share of mild winter weather
The polar jet stream is influenced by natural patterns, the most prominent being fluctuations in the Northern Annular Mode, also called the Arctic Oscillation. When the mode is in its so-called positive phase, air pressure over the far north remains low, leading to a stronger jet stream. This keeps the cold Arctic air bottled up to the north. The negative phase, meanwhile, is associated with a weaker, meandering jet that allows cold air to spill south.
Until late January, the mode was in its positive phase, resulting in warmer temperatures farther north.
But a reversal of phase allowed the jet stream to meander some, and let Arctic cold air move down into Eastern Europe. The result was a cold snap that is blamed for killing hundreds.
The mode has shifted again since then. In fact, a strong jet stream contributed to the tornados that hit the south and the Midwest last week, as did the arrival of warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico, according to Masters, who discusses the tornados on his blog.
La Niña and the future
Another large-scale atmospheric pattern, one related to temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, is also at play. This winter La Niña, associated with cooler water temperatures in the Pacific, has been in effect. La Niña is typically associated with drier-than-normal conditions for the southern and eastern U.S. — largely consistent with precipitation this winter, according to Deke Arndt, chief of the climate monitoring branch at the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in Boulder, Colo.
“The dryness looks like what we would expect with La Niña, the warmth we saw is consistent with the positive Arctic Oscillation,” Arndt said. “The two of them tougher, all else being equal, would tend to produce a warmer and drier winter, especially east of the Rockies.”
Paquette predicts an end to this trend. “Mother Nature or weather patterns have a way of evening themselves out. I think it only matter of time before this mild dry pattern flips and we get into a much different weather pattern.”