In a little follow-up note to the previous blog entry detailing the complexity and confusion that sometimes follows the AGW topic, notice that many record low temps have been occurring in the desert southwest of the U.S. recently. As is usually the case, the cold snap is just due to “the weather pattern”. I have seen some people cry foul in the past, pointing to the fact that every time there is record cold on the planet, it is just due to “normal changes in the weather pattern”, whereas every hot spell with record high temps is evidence of AGW and environmental apocalypse – not just “a change in the weather pattern”. While there is certainly some evidence of bias creeping into research into reporting, the main theme is that over many years and decades, the number of record hot spells is increasing while the number of record cold spells is decreasing. If we would happen to see more cold spells and more new all time record low temps (more than record highs) over a few years time, then we might have to re-evaluate current climate theories involving greenhouse gasses. As is, we are setting new record warm months at a clip 5 times greater than record cold months.
A now a little follow up on a space story that I have been blogging about for a few years now. Did you see that NASA has contracted with Bigelow Aerospace to provide an inflatable module for the ISS? This is great news for all of those who have had dreams to travel in space someday. NASA is the unfortunate victim of budget cuts and with the U.S. trillions in debt and adding exponentially more every year (recently), the chance that NASA will get increased funding is rather slim. Even if they did get some funding, it would most likely be spent on robotic space flight instead of human space flight (which is fine and great for science). It will be up to wealthy private individuals and companies to keep the dream alive and send humans into space. Be sure to follow the likes of Bigelow, SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin, etc… for the latest efforts. If you want be part of a risky space exploration mission, you don’t have to start your own company, or be a billionaire, you could always apply to be part of MarsOne. This is an effort to jump start the colonization of Mars, and will require very adaptable problem-solving people. They also would like to have people who have a deep capacity for self-reflection, because as currently designed, this would be a one way trip in 2023. You are expected to make Mars your home with no guarantee of a return to earth.
And finally, another “other-worldly” story that is in need of an update – Lake Vostok, Antarctica (past blog information here). The Russian researchers drilling down to this ancient lake that hasn’t seen the light of day for hundreds of thousands of years claim to have retrived a “clean” ice core of frozen lake water. They will analyze it soon to see if there are any here-to-fore unknown life forms lurking two miles below the ice.
Have a swell Tuesday! Meteorologist Justin Loew