Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Snopes' Field Guide to Fake News Sites and Hoax Purveyors

I'm not giving examples of fake news items, because research has shown that when this is done, many people will remember the debunked "news" but not remember that it is false.

It boggles my mind that so many people on Facebook will take seriously obviously satirical items.

http://www.snopes.com/2016/01/14/fake-news-sites/

Kim LaCapria
Jan 14, 2016

The sharp increase in popularity of social media networks (primarily Facebook) has created a predatory secondary market among online publishers seeking to profitably exploit the large reach of those networks and their huge customer bases by spreading fake news and outlandish rumors. Competition for social media’s large supply of willing eyeballs is fierce, and a number of frequent offenders regularly fabricate salacious and attention-grabbing tales simply to drive traffic (and revenue) to their sites.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Honest Reporting

For the list liberal fake news sites he warns against, see the preceding blog post "If You’re A Liberal, Stop Sharing Links From These Fake News Sites"

I point out that Modern Liberals itself does contain a clearly labeled humor/satire section.

http://modernliberals.com/if-you-are-a-liberal-stop-sharing-links-from-these-fake-news-sites/

•••••

If you want to subscribe to honest reporting on national issues in the United States, there are many reputable and mostly neutral sources like AP, Reuters, BBC out there.

Here are a few of the websites I go to for news or opinion articles.

If You’re A Liberal, Stop Sharing Links From These Fake News Sites

I haven't looked at all of these web sites, but the ones I have I agree should be disregarded.

To avoid confustion, I'll list the sources he recommends is a separate post.



Saturday, March 10, 2018

10 Journalism Brands Where You Find Real Facts Rather Than Alternative Facts

I went ahead and went with their headline, although I disagree with their rosy view of WSJ editorials. I have found the WSJ editorials not trustworthy. They are often biased on behalf of the power elite. As this article says, it does provide info on what the non-batty right-wing is saying.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/berlinschoolofcreativeleadership/2017/02/01/10-journalism-brands-where-you-will-find-real-facts-rather-than-alternative-facts/#341d134ae9b5

By Paul Glader
Paul Glader is an associate professor of journalism at The King's College in New York City, a media scholar at The Berlin School of Creative Leadership and is on Twitter @PaulGlader.
Feb 1, 2017

Friday, April 21, 2017

Fecal microbiota transplants improve cognitive impairment caused by severe liver disease

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-04/eaft-fmt041117.php

Public Release: 21-Apr-2017
Fecal microbiota transplants improve cognitive impairment caused by severe liver disease
ILC 2017: Fecal microbiome transfer significantly reduced the number of hospitalizations compared to standard of care treatment
European Association for the Study of the Liver

A study presented today found that faecal transplantation of bacteria from one healthy donor into patients that suffer from hepatic encephalopathy (decline in brain function due to severe liver disease), is safe and improves cognitive function compared with standard of care treatment for the condition. Presented at The International Liver Congress™ 2017 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, the study results also demonstrated that the number of hospitalisations following faecal transplantation plus antibiotics was two, compared to the standard of care arm (lactulose and rifaximin), which was 11 (IQR 83 days). Specifically, there was a significant reduction in hospitalisations due to recurrent hepatic encephalopathy (six in the standard of care and none in the faecal transplant arm).

In the study, faecal transplant plus antibiotic treatment was well tolerated without any serious side effects. Furthermore, it was found that the faecal transplant plus antibiotic therapy restored antibiotic-associated changes in the body's bacterial composition.

•••••

Treatment of HCV allows for sustained removal from the liver transplant waiting list

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-04/eaft-toh041117.php

Public Release: 21-Apr-2017
Treatment of HCV allows for sustained removal from the liver transplant waiting list
ILC 2017: Of 38 patients (26.7 percent) that were delisted due to clinical improvement, one died as a result of rapidly progressing hepatocellular carcinoma while two (5.2 percent) other patients had to be relisted or considered for relisting
European Association for the Study of the Liver

The Netherlands: A new European study presented today demonstrated that patients with chronic Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and severe liver damage, taken off the liver transplant list as a result of successful direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapy, had a favourable outcome over a year later. The study, presented at The International Liver Congress™ 2017 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, showed that 38 of 142 patients (26.7%) could be removed from the waiting list due to clinical improvement. Of the 38 patients taken off of the transplant list, one (2.6%) died as a result of rapidly progressing HCC while two other patients (5.2%) had to be relisted or considered for relisting.

•••••

Diet high in animal protein is associated with NAFLD in overweight people

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-04/eaft-dhi041117.php

Public Release: 21-Apr-2017
Diet high in animal protein is associated with NAFLD in overweight people
ILC 2017: Significant associations between macronutrients and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease were found predominantly in overweight individuals
European Association for the Study of the Liver

A large epidemiological study presented today found that a diet high in animal protein was associated with a higher risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition in which fat builds up in the liver. These findings from The Rotterdam Study, presented at The International Liver Congress™ 2017 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, also showed that fructose consumption per se might not be as harmful as previously assumed.

NAFLD is a major health concern, because it can lead to permanent scarring (cirrhosis) and subsequently to cancer and malfunction of the liver.1 This may result in life-threatening complications for which a liver transplant is needed. Additionally, NAFLD also contributes to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases such as diabetes mellitus and atherosclerosis. NAFLD is diagnosed when accumulation of fat in the organ exceeds 5% of hepatocytes (the cells that make up the majority of the liver).2 It is estimated that approximately 1 billion people worldwide may have NAFLD with a prevalence of 20-30% in Western countries.3 It parallels one of world's most rapidly growing health concerns, obesity, which is also one of the most important risk factors in NAFLD.3 In its early stages NAFLD can be treated through diet and lifestyle changes, such as weight loss, but it can progress to more serious liver diseases.1 However, there is still a lot of debate whether weight loss alone is enough to reverse NAFLD, while emerging evidence suggests that the composition of the diet, rather than the amount of calories consumed, might also be important in NAFLD.

•••••

Friendships play a vital role in helping people get through substantial challenges in life

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-04/bps-twf042117.php

Public Release: 21-Apr-2017
That's what friends are for
Friendships play a vital role in helping people get through substantial challenges in life, according to a new study
British Psychological Society

Friendships play a vital role in helping people get through substantial challenges in life, according to a new study.

Until now, little research has been carried out into the role friends and, in particular, best friends play in building resilience to adversity -- surviving and thriving in the face of difficult times.

The new preliminary study, by Dr Rebecca Graber, University of Brighton Senior Lecturer in Psychology, for the first time provides long-term statistical evidence of the enormous benefit these valued social relationships have on adults.

•••••

Dr Graber said: "These findings reveal that best friendships are a protective mechanism supporting the development of psychological resilience in adults, although the mechanisms for this relationship remain unclear.

"The study provides long-term statistical evidence, for the first time, of the vital role of these valued social relationships for developing resilience in a community-based adult sample, while posing open questions for just how best friendships facilitate resilience in this way."

These findings support previous research by Dr Graber, published last year, revealing that best friends facilitate resilience processes in socioeconomically vulnerable children.

Making bins more convenient boosts recycling and composting rates

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-04/uobc-mbm042117.php

Public Release: 21-Apr-2017
Making bins more convenient boosts recycling and composting rates
University of British Columbia

Want to recycle or compost more? Try moving the bins closer, new UBC research suggests.

The study shows that placing bins 1.5 metres away from suite doors drastically boosts recycling and composting rates by 141 per cent. The findings highlight how small changes in convenience can have a big impact on performance.

•••••

When liver immune cells turn bad

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-04/uhn-wli042117.php

Public Release: 21-Apr-2017
When liver immune cells turn bad
University Health Network

A high-fat diet and obesity turn "hero" virus-fighting liver immune cells "rogue", leading to insulin resistance, a condition that often results in type 2 diabetes, according to research published today in Science Immunology.

•••••

"We found that under conditions of obesity and a high-fat diet, the cells that typically strengthen our immune system by killing viruses and pathogens instead increase blood sugar. They become pathogenic and worsen insulin resistance," explains Dr. Dan Winer. In fact, the normal function of the immune cells becomes misdirected. The pathways they would typically use to fight infection create inflammation, unleashing a chemical cascade which impacts insulin and glucose metabolism.

•••••

Climate change will fuel terrorism, report warns

The U.S. military has warned of this, too.

https://thinkprogress.org/climate-change-terrorism-report-e2f0ba6b2268

Natasha Geiling
April 20, 2017

Climate change-fueled natural disasters and resource shortages will strengthen recruiting efforts of terror groups like ISIS and Boko Haram, according to a new report commissioned by the German government.

“As the climate is changing, so too are the conditions within which non-state armed groups such as Boko Haram and ISIS operate,” the report, issued by the think tank Adelphi, said in its executive summary. “Climate change contributes to creating a fragile environment in which these groups can thrive.”

•••••

The report also points to diminishing natural resources as fueling an environment ripe for terror recruitment. Africa’s Lake Chad, for instance, provides economic livelihood for nearly 80 percent of the population that lives in its basin. As the lake shrinks, economic opportunities for people in that area also decline, making the population susceptible to recruitment by Boko Haram.

•••••

In Syria, for instance, prolonged drought beginning in 2007 had a devastating impact on farmers and the state’s agricultural sector. Widespread food shortages caused mass migration from rural Syria into its cities, forcing an overcrowding that only served to further exacerbate existing resource shortages and grievances with the Syrian government.

“Amongst the chaos and instability brought about by fighting between the government, the Free Syrian Army and rebel groups, terrorist groups such as ISIS were able, later in 2014, to easily gain control over large parts of contested territory,” the report found. “Although ISIS had already been present in Iraq, it could only expand its influence to Syria when the country was pulled into a civil war.”

Born Anxious: Why Some of Us Are Wired to Worry



by Daniel P. Keating
April 20, 2017

We're all feeling much more stressed out these days, showing up as increases over the last few decades in how many of us suffer from stress-related diseases and disorders. Even if we're not sick yet, we carry more of the physical markers of stress that lead to future illnesses. We have a full-blown stress epidemic on our hands.

•••••

The problems come when we have excess cortisol in our body over an extended time. Why is this happening so much more often now? One reason is that there are more stressors, experienced more frequently. A second, hidden reason is biological. As stress increases overall, more of us will develop a poorly regulated stress system as a result of stressful experiences in early life, while we are still in the womb or in the first year of life. If we become "stress dysregulated" (SDR), we react more often, more strongly and for a longer time.

•••••

A harsh early life environment sends a signal that "amping up" the stress system is the best defense against danger — in other words, it is a chance for the genes to "listen to the environment" in terms of what that young life is likely to encounter.

•••••

But even if this SDR pattern is "biologically embedded" from early life, there are things we can do to change the pattern of our lives, even if it doesn't change the basic physiology.

Start before birth. A first goal should be to minimize early life stress, by providing more support for expectant and new parents, to avoid the early onset of stress dysregulation from stress methylation.
Supernuture fussy babies. For infants showing the pattern of high fussiness, difficulty in soothing, high sensitivity, and trouble sleeping - beyond the occasional episodes that most babies show — finding ways to provide "supernurturing" can turn the pattern around. Persisting in soothing for longer times, even though it is stressful, helps the infant toward better regulation of stress and emotions. This usually requires more than one caregiver to provide respite to the primary caregiver, and can come from partners, extended family, or others.

Pair stressed teens with a trusted adult. For children and teens, finding a strong social connection with a trusted adult — a family member, coach, teacher, mentor, or as they grow older, a romantic partner — can provide a positive path to reduce the effects of SDR. Strong social connections are almost always found in resilient individuals, who have bounced back from early adversity to succeed in many aspects of life.

•••••

Adopt healthy habits. Beyond awareness, changes in behavior and in how we see our stress reactions have biological effects that counter stress. Physical exercise burns cortisol and helps us to regulate our emotions and moods. Social connections remain important, and release chemicals — oxytocin and serotonin - that counteract cortisol. Becoming mindful helps us keep stressors in perspective, and also reduces cortisol.

•••••

U.S. Warming Fast Since 1st Earth Day


http://www.climatecentral.org/news/us-warming-trend-earth-day-20257?utm_content=buffereedd6&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

April 21, 2017

Across most of the country, average temperatures have increased at a rate of about 0.13°F (0.07°C) per decade since 1910. That trend is in line with the broader trend of rising global temperatures fueled by the accumulation of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Of course warming isn’t uniform across the planet, and some regions are warming faster than others. And since the 1970s, warming across the U.S. has accelerated. On average, temperatures in the contiguous 48 states have been warming at a rate of 0.45°F (0.25°C) per decade since 1970.

The fastest-warming states over that period were New Mexico, Arizona and Delaware, which warmed at a rate of more than 0.6°F (0.3°C) per decade. The slowest-warming states were South Carolina, Georgia and Missouri, which warmed at a rate of 0.3°F (0.17°C) per decade.

This analysis draws on temperature data collected from the National Climatic Data Center’s Climate at a Glance database.

Informative links


http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/04/20/524896256/louisianas-governor-declares-state-of-emergency-over-disappearing-coastline
https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/04/being-rich-means-having-money-to-spend-on-being-richer/389871/?utm_source=atlfb

The reason why the Gwinnett Recling Bank closed on Satellite Blvd. I could never understand why people who cared enough to bring their recycled stuff there would be so lazy not to follow the signs, like not putting plastic bags filled with recyclables in the bins. How incredibly lazy do you have to be to not be willing to empty the contents of the bag into the bin, and put the bag in its proper place.
http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/recycling-is-in-trouble-and-you-may-be-part-of-the-problem/ar-BBA5SPk?li=BBnb4R7&ocid=mailsignout

The Lord's Resistance Army is a violent Christian cult, which is not mentioned in this article. If they were Muslims, that would surely have been mentioned.
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/u-s-ends-hunt-joseph-kony-top-rebels-battlefield-n748891
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_EPA_DOW_CHEMICAL?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2017-04-20-05-05-26

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Informative links


http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2017/04/explaining_science_won_t_fix_information_illiteracy.html
http://www.gipl.org/sightings-from-the-treehouse-fossil-fuel-industry-coup/
http://www.gipl.org/sightings-from-the-treehouse-fossil-fuel-industry-coup/
http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/04/19/524563155/when-active-duty-service-members-struggle-to-feed-their-families?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20170419
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/19/business/economy/united-mine-workers-retiree-health-plan.html?smid=fb-share
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/when-kids-call-the-shots/201703/4-ways-bad-marriages-are-worse-kids-divorce
https://www.pri.org/stories/2017-04-19/europe-accusations-russian-meddling-elections-come-no-surprise?utm_campaign=TheWorld&utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=SocialFlow
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/killed-hurt-shooting-downtown-fresno-california-46870435
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article145579009.html
https://promarket.org/less-interested-truth-capture-thrives/

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

"Normal" is hotter than it used to be

People in this part of the country (southeast) act like the world is coming to an end when we have winter weather that used to occur every winter.

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/628-months-since-the-world-had-cool-month-21365

This Graphic Puts Global Warming in Full Perspective
By Brian Kahn

To say the world is having a streak like no other is an understatement. Global warming has made cold scarce on a planetary scale.

This March clocked in as the second warmest March on record when compared to the 20th century average, according to newly released data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NASA data published last week came to the same conclusion, comparing temperatures to a 1951-1980 baseline.

The NOAA data shows the planet was 1.9°F (1.05°C) above the 20th century average for March, the first time any month has breached the 1°C threshold in the absence of El Niño. This March is the latest freakishly hot month following three years in a row of record heat.

NOAA and NASA baselines don’t really tell the whole story. How much the world has warmed since pre-industrial times is a crucial measuring stick for international climate talks and a more accurate representation of how much climate change is altering the planet.

Using the baseline of 1881-1910, a new, more dire picture of global warming emerges. This March was 2.4°F (1.3°C) above the pre-industrial average by that measure. More notably, this March marks a whopping 627 months in a row of warmer than normal temperatures. If you were born after December 1964, you’ve never experienced a month cooler than average on this planet.

•••••

Our Climate Future Is Actually Our Climate Present



How do we live with the fact that the world we knew is going and, in some cases, already gone?
By JON MOOALLEMAPRIL 19, 2017

•••••

We seem able to normalize catastrophes as we absorb them, a phenomenon that points to what Peter Kahn, a professor of psychology at the University of Washington, calls “environmental generational amnesia.” Each generation, Kahn argues, can recognize only the ecological changes its members witness during their lifetimes. When we spoke recently, Kahn pointed to the living conditions in megacities like Kolkata, or in the highly polluted, impoverished areas affected by Houston’s oil refineries, where he conducted his initial research in the early ’90s. In Houston, Kahn found that two-thirds of the children he interviewed understood that air and water pollution were environmental issues. But only one-third believed their neighborhood was polluted. “People are born into this life,” Kahn told me, “and they think it’s normal.”

A University of British Columbia fisheries scientist, Daniel Pauly, hit upon essentially the same idea around the same time, recognizing that as populations of large fish collapsed, humanity had gone on obliviously fishing slightly smaller species. One result, Pauly wrote, was a “creeping disappearance” of overall fish stocks behind ever-changing and “inappropriate reference points.” He called this impaired vision “shifting baseline syndrome.”

•••••

Such shifting baselines muddle the idea of adaptation to climate change, too. Adaptation, Kahn notes, can mean anything from the human eye’s adjusting to a darker environment within a few milliseconds to wolves’ changing into dogs over thousands of years. It doesn’t always mean progress, he told me; “it’s possible to adapt and diminish the quality of human life.” Adapting to avoid or cope with the suffering wrought by climate change might gradually create other suffering. And because of environmental generational amnesia, we might never fully recognize its extent. Think of how Shel Silverstein’s Giving Tree, nimbly accommodating each of the boy’s needs, eventually winds up a stump.

•••••

Putin-linked think tank crafted plan to swing election for Trump

http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/329602-putin-linked-think-tank-crafted-plan-to-swing-election-for-trump-report

Putin-linked think tank crafted plan to swing election for Trump: report
By Nikita Vladimirov - 04/19/17

A Moscow-based think tank linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin created a plan to swing the 2016 election in favor of Donald Trump, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

Three current and four former U.S. officials told Reuters that two confidential documents obtained from the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies justify the conclusion reached by the U.S. intelligence community about Russia's interference in the U.S. presidential election.

According to the report, the institute is run by former senior Russian intelligence officials appointed by the Russian president's office.

The seven U.S. officials told Reuters that one of the documents was a strategy paper drafted in June of 2016 that advocated a propaganda campaign on various media platforms urging U.S. voters to back a presidential candidate with a friendlier stance toward Russia.

The second document, written in October, advocated for Russia to switch focus to amplifying voter fraud claims, given the widely held view at the time that Hillary Clinton was likely to beat Trump.

The shift in strategy would be utilized to undermine Clinton's presidency and damage her reputation, the document implied.

According to four of the sources, the June strategy paper expanded on Putin's earlier strategy from March 2016, in which Moscow allegedly instructed state-backed media outlets such as Sputnik News and RT to produce more pro-Trump content.

A spokesperson for Sputnik dismissed the claims of U.S. sources, calling them an "absolute pack of lies" in a statement to Reuters.

Informative links



http://equitablegrowth.org/equitablog/value-added/u-s-income-inequality-trends-in-the-21st-century/
https://mainlymacro.blogspot.com/2017/04/inequality-or-poverty.html
http://www.cbpp.org/blog/middle-class-americans-big-stake-in-social-security
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/17/california-pesticides-central-valley-trump
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/17/california-pesticides-central-valley-trump
http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/329225-china-approved-three-ivanka-trademarks-on-same-day-she-met-with
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/17/california-pesticides-central-valley-trump
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/apr/18/late-term-abortion-experience-donald-trump

Fossil Fuel Industries Pumped Millions Into Trump's Inauguration, Filing Shows

https://insideclimatenews.org/news/19042017/fossil-fuels-oil-coal-gas-exxon-chevron-bp-donald-trump-inauguration-donations

By Marianne Lavelle
April 19, 2017

Fossil fuel companies were not big donors to Donald Trump's presidential campaign, but they helped him shatter records in raising money for his inauguration festivities, according to new disclosures filed at the Federal Election Commission.

More than 1,500 corporations and individuals gave a total $107 million to the presidential inaugural committee. That is more than double the $53 million raised for President Barack Obama's then record-breaking inaugural in 2009.

Among the big donors were Chevron, which gave $525,000; Exxon, BP and Citgo Petroleum, which each donated $500,000; and the Ohio-based coal company Murray Energy, which contributed $300,000. Kelcy Warren, the chief executive of Energy Transfer Partners, developer of the Dakota Access pipeline, gave $250,000. Continental Resources, the Oklahoma-based fracking company whose chief executive Harold Hamm was an early Trump supporter, gave $100,000.

Those seven donations alone surpass the $2 million that the Trump campaign raised from the energy and natural resources industry before the election, according to the tally by the Center for Responsive Politics. (In contrast, Republican Mitt Romney raised $13 million from the sector in his 2012 presidential bid.)

The Trump team's inauguration fundraising blitz raises red flags for those concerned about the influence of money in politics. "It's very clear the reason a corporation would seek to make a contribution to an inauguration is that they are making a business investment," said Tyson Slocum, head of the energy program at Washington watchdog Public Citizen. "And they are expecting a financial return on their investment in the form of access, or when they are pushing for specific legislative and regulatory priorities."

The Trump inaugural committee offered top donors perks such as access to cabinet appointees at "leadership luncheons" and other events.

The fossil fuel industry certatinly wasn't the only sector contributing to the inauguration festivities. The committee recorded big donations from Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson ($5 million), Microsoft ($500,000), American Financial Group ($500,000) and the health insurer Anthem ($100,000), among many others.

•••••

In addition to fossil fuel companies, some of the larger donors to the Trump inauguration were private equity titans who have major investments in oil, gas and coal. Contributing $1 million each to the inauguration were: Henry Kravis, co-chairman and CEO of KKR, a major energy company investor, and Paul Singer of Elliott Management, whose firm has stakes in Marathon Petroleum, Hess Oil and BHP Billiton. Private equity firms poured $20 billion into investments in U.S. shale oil and gas production in the first quarter of this year, indicating they are betting on big growth for the sector, despite low oil and gas prices, according to financial data firm Preqin.

•••••

Other energy companies that gave at least $100,000 to the Trump inauguration include Xcel Energy, one of the nation's largest utilities; White Stallion Energy of Houston, an oil and gas company; Consol Energy, a coal and natural gas company; and Cheniere Energy, a natural gas exporter.

The inaugural committee also garnered donations from the renewable energy industry, including $1 million from the Nebraska ethanol firm Green Plains Renewable Energy and $250,000 from NextEra Energy of Florida, the parent company of Florida Power & Light, which has mostly natural gas and nuclear power plants, but also a large amount of wind and solar generation.

March set a remarkable new record for global warming, NOAA reports



Joe Romm
Apr 19, 2017

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that last month set an unusual and unexpected new record for global warming.

No month before March 2017 had ever exceeded the “normal” temperature (the 1981–2010 average) by a full 1.8°F (1.0°C) — “in the absence of an El Niño episode in the tropical Pacific Ocean.”

•••••

So when a month sees record high global temperatures in the absence of an El Niño, that is a sign the underlying global warming trend is stronger than ever.

NOAA reports that both March and the year to date (January through March) were the “second warmest on record” for the world since global temperature records began in 1880. They were second only to 2016 which, of course, was a year marked by a major El Niño.

Significantly, both March and Janurary-March 2017 beat their 2015 counterparts easily — even though all of 2015 had El Niño conditions.

It was especially hot last month in the Siberian permafrost,

•••••

Weather disasters from climate change are pushing some companies to Amazon's cloud, says CTO

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/18/amazon-cto-werner-vogels-climate-change-driving-cloud-shift.html

Ari Levy
April 18, 2017

Amazon Web Services has been winning business worldwide from companies that are stripping down their data centers and taking advantage of emerging cloud technologies.

Some clients are signing on for a different reason: climate change.

From New Jersey to Japan, massive storms and earthquakes in recent years have instantly wiped out technical infrastructures, leaving businesses unable to retrieve critical data. Amazon Chief Technology Officer Werner Vogels told CNBC on Tuesday that companies are turning to the cloud to make sure their data is backed up and always accessible.

Speaking in an interview from the AWS Summit in San Francisco, Vogels said that banks and telecommunications companies in the Philippines have been swarming into AWS facilities in Singapore of late, "given the massive typhoons that have hit the country time after time."

•••••

AWS wasn't created to address natural disasters, but there's no denying the trend is pushing companies into its doors. Last year was the warmest on record and NASA predicts that the number of powerful storms will increase as warming continues.

After Hurricane Sandy in 2012 on the New Jersey coast, an AWS client that builds backup solutions saw a surge in demand from nearby customers "that became interested in backing up their data on the West Coast," Vogels said. Following the devastating earthquake in Japan a year earlier, more companies there started moving to AWS.

•••••

NASA releases “then-and-now” photos of Earth. The changes are shocking

The earth has changed thru the eons. The difference now is how fast it is changing due to human influence. In the past, such rapid change has led to mass extinctions.

http://shareably.net/nasa-changes-in-earth/?utm_source=fio_fb_share&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=unique

written by Kristi Shinfuku on April 7th, 2017

The Earth has made giant geological shifts throughout the lifespan of our planet, but what we sometimes fail to realize is that even during human history, major changes in weather, environment, climate, and more have changed before our eyes.

We’ve found some differences between the same places and you won’t believe how different some of these places look!

•••••

This the Pedersen Glacier in Alaska. The left depicts the location during the summer, 1917, while the new photo showcases the summer, 2005. Notice the massive changes in snow level during the same time period.




•••••

Deforestation has taken a lot of forests in South America, and the forests of Brazil look drastically different than they did in the past. Look at the shocking difference. Forests in Rondonia, Brazil. June 1975 — August 2009.



•••••

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Humans on the verge of causing Earth’s fastest climate change in 50m years

https://skepticalscience.com/humans-on-verge-causing-fastest-climate-change-50m-yrs.html

17 April 2017

A new study published in Nature Communications looks at changes in solar activity and carbon dioxide levels over the past 420 million years. The authors found that on our current path, by mid-century humans will be causing the fastest climate change in approximately 50 million years, and if we burn all available fossil fuels, we’ll cause the fastest change in the entire 420 million year record.

The study relates to a scientific conundrum known as the “faint young sun paradox” – that early in Earth’s history, solar output was 30% less intense than it is today, and yet the planet was warm enough to have a liquid ocean. A stronger greenhouse effect due to higher carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere may be one explanation.

Over time, solar output has grown stronger, and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have fallen due to an effect known as “weathering” of rocks and an increase in plant life. The authors of this study found that over the past 420 million years, the slow heating of the sun and slow decline of the greenhouse effect have roughly offset each other, leading to a fairly stable long-term global climate.

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In every case the line is already quite steep due to the hundreds of billions of tons of carbon pollution humans have dumped into the atmosphere thus far. The size of the global energy imbalance we’ve caused is already on par with those previous blue wiggles – Earth’s ice age transitions. If we keep burning lots of fossil fuels, we could soon cause higher carbon dioxide levels and faster climate change than the Earth has seen in 50 million years. If we burn all available fossil fuel reserves (the black “Wink12k” line), we’ll see faster climate change than in the entire 420 million year record.

It’s an alarming proposition. Climate deniers will often argue against taking action to curb carbon pollution because climate changed naturally in the past and carbon dioxide levels were higher in the past. One Republican congressman repeated these talking points in the latest House “Science” committee hearing. While both arguments are technically true, they miss several important points.

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