Climate going Permian, Cosmic Jerkiness, Penguins in Peril, Vaccines and Mitochondria
Climate going Permian on your arse
More carbon dioxide is being discharged into the atmosphere now than even the worst-case scenario in last year's assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. "We're seeing events predicted for the end of the 21st century happening already," Adelaide University's Barry Bock told the Canberra conference Imagining the Real Life on a Greenhouse Earth, and anticipates a temperature rise of six degrees. Such a spike would mimic the conditions of the Permian Extinction of 251 million years ago, which came as close as anything has to eradicating all life on Earth. "Oxygen isotopes in rocks dating from the time suggest that temperatures rose by six degrees, perhaps because of an even bigger methane belch [the release of the ocean's methane hydrates] than happened 200 million years later in the Eocene":
Sedimentary layers show that most of the world's plant cover was removed in a catastrophic bout of soil erosion. Rocks also show a "fungal spike" as plants and animals rotted in situ. Still more corpses were washed into the oceans, helping to turn them stagnant and anoxic. Deserts invaded central Europe, and may even have reached close to the Arctic Circle.
One scientific paper investigating "kill mechanisms" during the end-Permian suggests that methane hydrate explosions "could destroy terrestrial life almost entirely". Acting much like today's fuel-air explosives (or "vacuum bombs"), major oceanic methane eruptions could release energy equivalent to 10,000 times the world's stockpile of nuclear weapons.
"We are at or exceeding the fossil-fuel-intensive scenario, which the latest IPCC report didn't cover because they thought it was too much," Dr Pittock said.
Found via Rigorous Intuition
who does a lovely line in Lovecraftian doom.
Today Its cold here. The 17 sparrows who gather on my power line to chirp a survival-check chorus after each storm havnt yet made it out from the trees, I hear a few cheeps. In the Southerly storm the corridor boomed like a giant church organ pipe. 700 wind turbines couldn't warm us. I wish I had a car. We await the meltdown as Emperor penguin chicks fall through cracks in the ice.
jerk is the rate of change of acceleration... ie the 3rd derivtive
Do we really need a name for the fourth derivative, telling us how the jerk is changing with time? Apparently we do, as it has been denoted the “snap.” I just learned this from this new paper:
Cosmic Jerk, Snap and Beyond
Authors: Maciej Dunajski, Gary Gibbons
Abstract: We clarify the procedure for expressing the Friedmann equation in terms of directly measurable cosmological scalars constructed out of higher derivatives of the scale factor...
The best part is this footnote:
The analogous expressions involving 5th and 6th derivatives are known as crackle and pop. This terminology goes back to a 1932 advertisement of Kellogg’s Rice Crispies which `merrily snap, crackle and pop in a bowl of milk.’
(found on scienceblogs somewhere forgot where sorry)
A protester wearing a mask of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice walks past police officers in Kyoto, western Japan, where foreign ministers from top industrialized countries open two-day meeting Thursday, June 26, 2008. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)">
...so cute! So creative! So... Condilicious
-from: Princess Sparkle Pony
on 1 July 1858, 150 years ago today, that the idea of natural selection was first presented to the public in a joint reading of Darwin's and Wallace's papers at the Linnean Society of London
Penguins in Peril
he world’s largest breeding colony of Magellanic penguins at Punta Tombo on Argentina’s Atlantic coast. That population probably peaked at about 400,000 pairs between the late 1960s and early 1980s, and today is half that, she said.
There are similar stories from other regions. African penguins decreased from 1.5 million pairs a century ago to just 63,000 pairs by 2005, Boersma claimed. Galapagos Islands penguins, the only species whose range extends into the Northern Hemisphere, now number around 2,500, about a quarter of what their population was when Boersma first studied them in the 1970s.
...in 2006 as climate anomalies wreaked havoc on the same population of Emperor penguins featured in the popular 2005 film “March of the Penguins.” The colony bred in the same place as in other years, ... in September, with the chicks just more than half-grown, the adults apparently sensed danger and uncharacteristically marched the colony more than three miles to different ice.
the ice they chose remained intact the longest, but in. late September a strong storm broke it up and the chicks were forced into the water... The likely result, Boersma said, was a total colonywide breeding failure that year.
... El Niño Southern Oscillation events, which affect weather worldwide, seem to occur more often. During those times, ocean currents that carry the small fish that penguins eat are pushed farther away from the islands and the birds often starve ...
Mercury and Mitochondria
...nearly seven years after the preservative was removed from childhood vaccines, autism rates seem unaffected.
The Poling case, however, offered advocates a new theory: that vaccines may cause or contribute to an underlying mitochondrial disorder, which in turn causes autism. Although autism is common among children with mitochondrial disorders, ....
700,000 people in the United States had flawed mitochondria, and in roughly 30,000 of them the genetic flaws were expansive enough to cause disease.
This is You
Mapping the Structural Core of Human Cerebral Cortex
- This may be a radical new view of You
I dont really understand the text, possibly an example of New Science where huge datasets are mined for correlations, we dont need your Kepler & Newton?
MRI using an Achieva 3T Philips scanner souped up to the max?
degree and strength of a given node measure the extent to which the node is connected to the rest of the network, while centrality and efficiency capture how many short paths between other parts of the network pass through the node. A node with high degree makes many connections (where each connection is counted once), while a node with high strength makes strong connections (where strength is equal t
o the sum of connection density or weight). A node with high betweenness centrality lies on many of the shortest paths that link other nodes in the network to one another. A node with high efficiency is itself found to be, on average, at a short distance from other nodes in the network.
seems like a sort of Brain Google.. I think they said there are 8 main regions, with one most important ... That might explain those 7 voices I hear arguing at the back of my mind ...
Permian, Cosmic Jerkiness, Penguins in Peril, Vaccines and Mitochondria